A grateful heart can be hard to come by on Mother’s Day. If this weekend has you in a mix of emotions, this piece, by my literary agent and friend, Blythe Daniel, helps point our eyes to Jesus. Christ turns the hurting heart into gratitude and brings us victory in hard places.
When Christ Turns Your Heart Into Gratitude for Mother’s Day
Do you have a favorite memory as a mom?
Do you have a least favorite moment as a daughter?
If you had a mom who provided for you, you know what it’s like to feel thankful.
If you had a mom who came to your side and believed in you, you are very fortunate.
But if you did not have a mom who showed you a level of love, it can be hard to receive and offer it on Mother’s Day when the focus is celebrating mom.
For some, it feels like a holiday that they’d like to just skip. It can be painful to think about the ways you weren’t noticed or acknowledged and maybe still aren’t. Or you don’t have the closeness you wish you had with your children.
Maybe you have lost your mom, grandmother, mother-in-law or other mom figure in your life and it’s just another reminder of the person you wish you could speak to on a day that portrays Mother’s Day with pastels, flowers, brunches and naps.
Why is it so difficult to have any sort of victory in our thoughts when our hearts feel anything but grateful?
I’m a person who marks time by how old my kids are and what was going on in a particular year. I can remember what was happening and how I felt. But I wasn’t prepared for what came to me just after Mother’s Day five years ago.
I wanted to have victory in my thoughts.
I wanted to be grateful for each day. My mom and I appreciate the relationship we have and we have worked on our relationship so that we can be close. We know that’s not the story for all mothers and daughters and our hearts are truly tender toward those who don’t have this. We want to encourage every mother and daughter we know in their walk with each other.
When Mom shared with me five years ago this month that she had been diagnosed with cancer, I just didn’t want to believe that I might not get to spend time with or celebrate future holidays with my mom. It is just not how I saw our lives playing out. You know that feeling too, don’t you?
A PSALM TO SOOTHE YOUR SOUL
I decided that I would get up each morning and read a Psalm and send it to mom.
It was the only way I knew to stay grounded in God and hopeful.
I would text her, email her, write in a journal that was aptly titled “Big Dreams” and pray. And wipe away tears. And try to show my kids that God was real and I could get through this with his help.
It’s odd to say that I could feel grateful for the closeness I felt with God. It could be a strange feeling for you too thinking about how your distant relationship with your mom has led you to be closer to God and gain affirmation that you didn’t get from her.
Seeing things differently…
Or see how you want to do things differently with your children or grandchildren. You know there isn’t any other explanation for how you and the generation after you are functioning the way you are because of the power and restoration of Jesus Christ.
My own family has experienced the restoration from generations prior. If it weren’t for the redemptive work of how Christ breaks chains and sets captives free, we wouldn’t be able to give thanks even in the most challenging days. I heard a saying from a man named Ed Traut who shared with our church recently:
“As believers, we don’t have problems, we have challenges. The devil has problems, but not us.”
Now I know that many of us would say, “I’ve got problems, I really do. And it’s my mom (or my daughter or my son or fill-in-the-blank).” But when we think about gaining victory, if we stay in the mindset that problems define us, we aren’t seeing our way out. We’re stuck. Challenges, to me, shows that it’s an obstacle that we ask God to help us overcome. To move around, side step, or walk right over that challenge.
What would it look like in your life to ask God to help you overcome any challenges in your relationship with your mom or your children this Mother’s Day?
Can you say “I Love You, Mom” with a promise to be grateful for the mom that God gave you, even though not perfect? Will you look past her faults and share words over her that will show how you are looking to God to speak for you?
When you aren’t sure what to say, how about sharing scriptures with her?
I invite you to consider that when words fail you, ask God to give you his.
To give you his victory and to be able to see your mom with a different vision this year. Even if she is no longer able to tell you that loves and appreciates you, how will you model this to her or to your own children?
Sometimes we hope for words that we think will set us free. But we need to be initiators of hopeful words that Isaiah showed us:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” Isaiah 61:1 (NLT)
Has God given you a word or two that he wants you to hear him say over you? I pray that as you get ready to share words over your loved ones, that you hear him affirming you. And your choice to love and to trust him even in the moments when you face challenges in your relationships. He is able to heal and he wants your heart in the process. Will you share it with him?
For more on celebrating the mom in your life, click here to read I Love You, Mom! Cherished Word Gifts from My Heart to Yours. Written by the mother-daughter duo Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh, this book/devotional offers beautiful sentiments to share with your mother or mother figure in your life.
Grateful to have Blythe Daniel on the blog today
Blythe Daniel is an author, literary agent and marketer with 25 years of experience in media and publishing. She has written for Focus on the Family, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and Christian Retailing. She creates blog, podcast, and publicity campaigns and helps authors publish their books.
Finally, I pray you have a beautiful weekend.
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