What do you think I am a short-order cook?” My mom said this to me more than a few times when I was growing up. I am sure I didn’t really think about it at all until she said it. Surely a not so subtle reminder of how I just assumed she would step up to do what was needed or necessary to serve her kids.
Isn’t that what moms do? They love, support and nurture regardless of the circumstances and whether their contributions are acknowledged. It is the very reason Anna Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day in 1908.
With financial support from a Philadelphia department store owner John Wanamaker, Anna organized the first Mother’s Day celebration to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure that established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Moms race for impact—teaching and equipping their kids to stand on their own. Barbara Kingsolver sums it up well saying,
“Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.”
We don’t always acknowledge the many little things moms do—we just think it is her job. Do we assume she knows we appreciate her loving touches—unfortunately most of the time. We expect her to do what we think is necessary, required and expected because that is what moms do—save the thank you’s for later.
A mother’s steady loving touch is a rich and timeless gift. A daily reflection of her commitment to impact—constantly pouring out everything she possesses in love and service. Rudyard Kipling wrote,
“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
Mothers have a sense of what is needed and necessary in every moment. Tenneva Jordan paints the perfect word picture; ”A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” I recall so many times looking at the last piece of pie in the pie plate and hearing my mom say, “Would you like some vanilla ice cream with your pie?” “Yes, please!”
Success is truly measured by the impact we have in the most important roles we play. A mother’s heart for her children cannot be measured—only witnessed. Pouring out her blessing of love, wisdom and care upon her children, mothers dream of raising children up who love the Lord and reflect that love back onto their families, careers and community.
“What do you think I am? A short-order cook?” “Mom, yes I did! And you were a good one too.” P.J. O’Rourke said, “Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.” Oh how this rings with truth.
We run out the door in the pursuit of independence only to find that refrigerators do not stock themselves, clean clothes do not magically pop out of our dresser drawers and the smell of fresh cookies no longer fill the air when you walk in the door after a tough day.
Thank you Anna Jarvis for recognizing how easily we overlook what moms do. We shouldn’t need a holiday to remind us to thank our moms, grandmothers, aunts, or wives for being and doing whatever we need them to be in the moments we need them most—but we do.