Saturday, May 8, 2010

Remembering the Hurting this Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a very special day to many women. However, sometimes we forget that Mother’s Day can also be a very painful day. There are daughters who have lost their mothers to death or even to a broken relationship. There are women who have longed to have a child yet remain childless. There are mothers whose children have died. There are mothers whose children are sick, running from God or for whatever reason, are no longer speaking to them.

Mother’s Day is not always a happy day. It can be an extremely painful day. I remember one of the worst Mother’s Days I ever experienced. It was about six years ago. Our family was going through a very difficult time, as my oldest had been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Along with that difficulty were some behavioral issues and many nights where we didn’t get sleep. Being a mom was not a joyous occasion for me.

As our church does every Mother’s Day, we moms were invited to the front so that we could be recognized and prayed for. The front of the church was filled with smiling moms. What did I do? I was in the middle of this crowd bawling my eyes out. I had so many warring emotions going on inside of me. “God, this wasn’t what motherhood was supposed to feel like!”

Motherhood has its up and down moments. It has its difficult moments where we even wonder what God was thinking when he made us a mother. If you have never been in that place, be very thankful. But there are other women who are in that place. Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of what they no longer have or what they long for.

I feel very thankful that I can celebrate Mother’s Day knowing that all is well with my household. We are healthy, blessed and I have a good relationship with each of my children. But I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness for the others who are not where I am. I don’t want to forget those who are hurting.

So this Mother’s Day, I just pray that each of us will remember to pray for someone that may be facing a painful Mother’s Day. While you are celebrating, someone is hurting. If you don’t personally know someone who is going through a difficult time, then pray for those who have longed to be a mother and it hasn’t happened. Pray for those who have lost their mothers and those who are in a broken relationship. Pray for those mothers whose children have passed on or are not involved in their lives. This Mother’s Day, remember the hurting.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Going Through the Motions

To me there is nothing worse than just going through the motions of life. There is a great song by Matthew West called “The Motions.” This song talks about what it feels like to just go through the motions…almost as if you really have no feeling. Have you ever been in that place? Where all you seem to feel is numbness? This can happen in any area of our lives. It can happen in our walk with God, our marriage, our parenting, our work, our ministry, our friendships and the list could go on. This is probably one of the worst feelings to have, that numbness. It’s hard to penetrate through that.

This song also talks about what type of life you have when you are going through the motions; it’s a life of nothingness. Everything you do in life basically has no value, no meaning to it. That is a very sad and pathetic place to be.

Who wants to feel this way? No one signs up for this. But it happens. Sometimes it happens gradually. In fact, it can be so gradual that we don’t even see it coming. We are almost blindsided by it. However, it seeps in because we allow it to. There are so many things that try to invade our thoughts—discontentment, jealousy, discouragement, frustration, disappointment and so much more. When we allow these things to come in, we set ourselves up to be in that place where we are doing nothing more than going through the motions.

Thankfully there is hope. We can break out of that pattern with the Lord’s help. As Matthew West cried out in his song, “I don’t wanna go one more day…” We have to not want to go another day of just going through the motions. It has to start with us first. It’s easy to blame others or blame situations. It’s easy to say, “If only…” and wait for that “if only” to happen. But we have to take a step in the right direction. We have to determine that we are not going to live this way. It doesn’t matter what area of life it is in—we need to determine that we are going to get beyond the motions and start living again.

We also don’t want to end up with regrets. Another line in the song says, “What if I had given everything instead of going through the motions?” When we just go through the motions, we are missing out on all the good things that could be ours. I’m not talking about getting every single thing we want on our wish list. I’m talking about living our lives in such a way that we GIVE everything. It’s not about getting, it’s about giving. The more we give, the more we will receive. Anyone who is stuck going through the motions is not someone who is giving.

If you have been in that place, in some area of your life, stop wasting time. Get out of the rut, get out of the place of nothingness and step into a world of giving…give of yourself to those areas that are struggling and God will see you through. When you live your life for Him there is no way your life will be just going through the motions. It will be a life lived abundantly and completely!