We could all use some mothering right now

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and it caught me off guard. How is it May already? Quarantine life has me living in a permanent twilight zone.

Yesterday my hubby asked, “What do you want to do for Mother’s Day?”

And I half-smiled and said, “You’re joking right? You know what I want to do…and I can’t do most of it, but we can still do this whole dialogue thingy if you want.”

And he laughed, and smiled back and said “I know love, I’m sorry.” We both know I’ve done the same thing every mother’s day for the past 6 years: My bed-head, sticky-fingered kiddos bring me a chocolate croissant in bed and proudly present me with their self-created card-art. Then I go get a massage, grab a coffee by myself and read a little. When I get home, we all pile in the car, drive to the nursery and pick out flowers for my planters and afterwards eat a dinner I didn’t have to cook. It’s predictable and I love every minute.  But this year, all the parts that involve “me + activity + place” have been scratched off the list and what’s left is a normal day of quarantine. It’s not the celebration I was envisioning.

And this seems to be a common theme this season. We all have been faced with a “new normal.

And though I can’t do what I want, I can think about it….so I found myself thinking about the word “mother” What does it mean to be mothered and to mother someone else?

Before I go any further, I want to pause right here and acknowledge that this word and day may bring up a lot of pain for many of you. I think of you whose mom isn’t here anymore. Or those of you who haven’t been mothered the way you wanted. Some of you have struggled for years with infertility or have lost a child. My heart holds space for your heart today. I don’t know what to say, but I do know that the ache I feel for you, is only a fraction of what you are feeling. I see you, you are not forgotten and I’m so sorry for your pain. 

I want to move forward tenderly as I think about what it means to be mothered.

To be mothered is defined as: to be cared for, protected and nurtured.

It made me think of this quote that has stuck with me since reading Curt Thompson’s book, The Soul of Shame

“We are all born into the world looking for someone looking for us 

and we remain in this mode of searching the rest of our lives.”

(p. 138)

We are born searching for eyes to care for, protect and nurture us….and we never stop. This is part of our human condition. A deep yearning to see ourselves in the eyes of another

A deep yearning to be seen.

To be known.

We hear David speak of this desire two thousand years ago in the Psalms: “Search me God and know my heart.”

And what blows me away, is that God placed this desire within us so we could spend a lifetime searching for Him back. I believe His gift to us is the search.

For our hearts can rest in the truth that we have already by found.

It is our life’s adventure to discover God over and over again, and in turn discover our truest selves.  

David goes on in Psalm 139 to say,

1 You have searched me, Lord,

    and you know me.

2  You know when I sit and when I rise;

    you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3  You discern my going out and my lying down;

    you are familiar with all my ways.

4  Before a word is on my tongue

    you, Lord, know it completely.

5  You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

I find great comfort knowing that God is pursuing me and hemming me in just like a mother does for her child. 

What if, in honor of Mother’s day this year,  I nurture, care for and protect my soul in this season of uncertainty.

When I become afraid not knowing what tomorrow will hold, I can trust God knows when I will sit and when I will rise.

When my thoughts stray from what is good, beautiful, noble and true, I can trust He perceives them and lovingly draws me back in.

I agree with David, that this knowledge is far too wonderful and too lofty for me to attain in every moment of every day. So often I feel lost, confused or am harsh with myself.

But if I am still, and listen for the gentle voice that tucks me in at night, I will hear: “you, my daughter, are fearfully and wonderfully made.

So rest easy my child and face the dawn of tomorrow knowing you are loved and held.

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