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a pink sky

“Mother’s day is almost here and churches all over the country will be honoring mothers during the Sunday morning worship service. Once again, my heart breaks for all those mothers who are also widows, young and old, who will be recognized with honor as mothers and at the same time overlooked in their plight as widows.

I wonder how many older widowed mothers will leave these worship services and return home to empty houses with no one to take them out to dinner or to even prepare a dinner for them. Perhaps, they received a single stem rose as a token of honor as mothers in the worship service, but now they sit at their kitchen tables staring at it while they eat warmed up leftovers by themselves, as the token honor they received begins to sink in for being just that.” – Andy Mendosa, Director of Widows Harvest Ministries.

Reading my devotional this morning, I thought of my wonderful friend [more of a Grandmother to me] her name was Norma. She was well into her 80’s when her husband Lloyd passed away there was only a son who remained, a Grandfather, of just one child. So there wasn’t a large family to speak of. I was a young Mommie at the time, getting to church “on time” was comparable to a full time job, even with the help of David. I remembered our Sunday morning “Mother’s Day” church services – and the honoring of Moms woven into the morning message.

one roseGod had richly blessed me with a husband who loved his children beyond measure, who loved me and honored me every year with one single flower – and a loving note of gratitude tucked inside.

My sister would often host the Sunday festivities, for our mom. Norma would sometimes accept the invitation to join us along with a few other elderly women in the church.

I wondered though [in reading the passage this morning] if in my haste of scurrying to manage the babies to our destination for the day were we remiss in the totality of our benevolence?

I have been so blessed by my children who have always been gracious and loving especially on Mother’s Day. Blessed by their gentleness, now in the absence of my husband. Some of my most cherished gifts are those I received when they were young. David would help them in creating their special handcrafted works of art that each were so proud to give. Accompanied with their homemade cards displaying the years by their writing and grammar … some etched in David’s writing, when they were to young and could not – priceless pieces of my life.

wind chime of heartsThis year my own mother’s absence seems to be more at the surface for me. Even though this will be my 5th year to celebrate Mother’s Day, without her.

I was young girl when I realized that the outward eaves on the back yard patio was host to numerous “wind chimes.” When I asked my mom why, she explained that it was how she knew angels were near – each time they chimed, it was an angel. It wasn’t until years later that the cynicism surfaced and in my all knowing teenage years, I discovered … it was just wind!!! But she collected them and when I found my way into my own home, so didn’t I.

I hear them – the chimes, and I think of her. Perhaps I tell myself she’s whispering by and thinking of me too!

We laughed over the years, those long hours in the hospital gave way to much conversation, that people would probably think we’d both lost our minds had we ever disclosed the tale of the wind chimes. It would be something between my mom and me. But for me it was more, it was a wonderful glimpse of her heart.

It is easy to speak honor, whether it is to God or widowed mothers, but our actions will always give us away when it comes to whether our hearts are far or near.  If we only give honor in public places where we are being seen and heard giving it, but then when we come down off of the stage and the spot lights are no longer on us, the nearness of our hearts for the ones that we have spoken honor to with our lips will quickly know the truth.

1 Timothy 5:3-8 New International Version (NIV)

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Be a blessing in someone’s life this Mother’s Day ~ I know how greatly blessed I am to have my own children in my life, and to also be surrounded by the love and support of dear friends. I shudder to think of the many who will be alone, the families who will indeed celebrate their “first” Mother’s day without their spouse – without their mother …