Posts tagged mother’s day

Making a mother’s day



Maybe the last thing you’d expect to see in a blog for men is a post about Mother’s Day. That’s the precise reason I decided to write about it.

It’s not that the day’s not important, it’s just that it’s not something that shows up prominently on our radar screens as men. For most guys, whether boys or adults, Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that just seems to sneak up on us.

For me, that was especially true one year when I was in my early teens. The thought had crossed my mind once or twice that Mother’s Day was coming up. I really did appreciate my mom and had a great relationship with her. But in this particular year, if I had any thought of getting my mom something for Mother’s Day, it was a fleeting one.

So when I woke up one Sunday morning and realized it was Mother’s Day, it was too late. I felt incredibly guilty, but it was about to get worse. Normally, my dad was a gentle, non-confrontational man, but when he found out that I hadn’t thought enough to honor my mom for Mother’s Day, he really got mad at me. How could I forget the woman who did so much for me every day, who rarely thought of herself, and who never forgot me on special holidays like my birthday and Christmas?

He was still on his tirade when I stormed out of the house, half mad at him for coming down so hard on me and half mad at myself for being an ungrateful son. But my dad’s talk did accomplish one thing—it  stirred me to action.

For the next 30 minutes, in my tear-filled, angry stomp through the neighborhood, I stopped at every house with a garden and snuck away with the prettiest flowers!  I was determined to show my dad that I wasn’t a thoughtless son, and to convince my mom that I cared enough to only give the very best.

After I had composed myself emotionally (and picked enough flowers to fill my hands), I returned home and presented the bouquet to my mom with sincere apologies for my thoughtlessness. I could tell that my dad wanted to give me lecture number two (this one about stealing from the neighbors), but instead settled for an incredulous, quiet chuckle at my creatively desperate remedy.

I think Dad and I each learned something that day. I’ve never forgotten another Mother’s Day. And until I was an adult with my own kids, he never neglected to remind me a couple of weeks out that Mother’s Day was coming, and that he knew that I genuinely wanted to honor Mom.

I’ve tried to carry on that tradition with my seven children, reminding them when the calendar flipped over to May and even suggesting things that Ellie might appreciate. Of course, there have been years where they forgot, or have given half-hearted gifts that indicated that they might as well have. I just remind myself that I’ve been there.

I tell my story to remind you that the calendar is flipping tomorrow. Whether you only have your mom to honor or whether you have children of your own who need to honor their mom, here are some ideas to take the lead and show your appreciation for the selfless woman/women in your life.

Mother's DayThink about what speaks love to your mother or your wife.

Presents. It could be a flower arrangement, a live flowering plant, a box of chocolates, or something to nice to wear. Just knowing that her children took the time to pick out something just for her will make her feel honored. Even better, have them make her something. Maybe frame each child’s favorite photo with mom like we did.

Encouraging words. It’s one thing to pick out a greeting card for Mother’s Day. It’s quite another for Mom to hear or to read her children’s own words about what she means to them. Write them. Speak them. If you’re not near your mom, plan a phone call that’s off the clock. Just let her enjoy the conversation without being in a hurry to get off. If you really want to go all out, give mom a tribute—a nicely written letter, suitable for framing, that she can pull out months or years from now when she’s having an especially difficult day and needs a little reminder that her efforts have been worth it.

Physical touch. Young mothers spend much of their day getting pulled and tugged by their little brood. What if mom just had a day where her little ones could snuggle in her lap for a book, or to watch a movie together. For teens, maybe it means giving mom that unexpected hug that she so often deserves but so rarely gets. Or maybe she’d appreciate a massage, a manicure, or pedicure.

Acts of serving. Moms are always doing for others: cooking, cleaning, washing, shuttling, nurturing. This is a day where kids call pull out all the stops and do for mom what she’s always doing for them.  If they’re old enough, maybe they could cook the meals that day, including a special meal to honor Mom—maybe even breakfast in bed. Or they might custom-make mom a book of coupons for chores she normally does. Like washing the dishes or clothes, or anything else she always does without complaining, even though she may hate to do it.

Devoted time. If she could, mom would love to disconnect from the daily responsibilities and just spend time talking, or enjoying a relaxing day together. What does she like to do? Spend time outdoors? Have a picnic? Window shop or spend time at a coffee shop? Find out some things she likes to do, and make a day of it, being sure that the relationship is what gets priority.

Husbands, this can be your day to shine (in the eyes of your wife and your children). Think creatively. It’s your responsibility to remind your children that their mom matters (to them and to you), and just how blessed you are as a family to have her.

Set the tone for the day. Enable your children to honor their mom, whether that means taking them to the store to pick out gifts, helping them put their appreciation into written words, or doing all the heavy lifting around the house so that mom can just have that relaxing, uninterrupted time with her children.

For blended families, you as a man can play an important part. Mother’s Day can be awkward when the woman living with your children isn’t their biological mom. Still, she does a lot for them, and deserves appreciation. Help your children think outside their own feelings to recognize hers and the selfless things she does for them. If you’re the step, it’s a great day to step aside and let your children focus their love and attention on their mother.

And if your children’s mom is not in the home, make sure that this day is one where they can connect with her, to honor her as mother, regardless of your current feelings or situation. If their mom has passed away, it’s a perfect time to remember together and honor the impact she made during the time she was with you.

Part of being a man is putting aside yourself for others, particularly those who most care about (and are most dependent on) you. Mother’s Day is one day a year where you can exercise your God-given role by going all in for others.

© 2015 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

STEPSeek - 10-point checklistYou just finished reading the post by Scott Williams, “Making a mother’s day,” on the Stepping Up blog for men.

STEPThink - 10-point checklist

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” – Proverbs 31:28

STEPEmbrace - 10-point checklistWhether you have good or bad ones, “Putting Your Parents in Proper Perspective” is important for you both.

STEPPass - 10-point checklistFor tips on how to honor your mom (or your kids’ mom), read “4 Practical Ways to Honor Your Parents.”

The best gift for mom ever



Being a man who steps up includes being a man who honors his parents.  This must be important to God because it was one of the 10 Commandments (notice … not suggestions).  And, the reason this is the kind of thing a ‘Stepping Up’ man does is that it isn’t always easy.  Sometimes our parents didn’t or don’t ostensibly deserve our “honor.”  But it was not a mistake that God included this as one of the 10 Commandments.  There’s something that happens in us when we can find something to honor in our parents, if for nothing else than having us and giving us life.  Ultimately, when we honor our parents, we honor the Lord.

This is an excerpt from a book that Dennis Rainey wrote a few years ago, The Forgotten Commandment, and it was also excerpted for a website article on FamilyLife.com.

Men Stepping Up | Stepping Up Blog | FamilyLife | Honor your parents

In his book, The Forgotten Commandment, Dennis Rainey encourages readers to write a formal tribute to their parents and present it to them during a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc.).  Following is an example of a tribute — one that Dennis wrote to his mother.  Click here for more information on honoring your parents and for more tribute examples. 

I decided something was needed to set these words of honor apart from all the letters I had written in the past.  With Barbara’s help, I decided to have the tribute typeset and framed, making it into a more formal document. I took the finished product and mailed it home to Mom.

The Best Gift for MOM Was ME

Here’s what I wrote:

“She’s More Than Somebody’s Mother”

When she was 35, she carried him in her womb. It wasn’t easy being pregnant in 1948. There were no dishwashers or disposable diapers, and there were only crude washing machines. After nine long months, he was finally born. Breech. A difficult, dangerous birth. She still says, “He came out feet first, hit the floor running, and he’s been running ever since.” Affectionately she calls him “The Roadrunner.”

A warm kitchen was her trademark— the most secure place in the home — a shelter in the storm. Her narrow but tidy kitchen always attracted a crowd. It was the place where food and friends were made! She was a good listener. She always seemed to have the time.

Certain smells used to drift out of that kitchen — the aroma of a juicy cheeseburger drew him like a magnet. There were green beans seasoned with hickory smoked bacon grease. Sugar cookies. Pecan pie. And the best of all, chocolate bonbons.

Oh, she wasn’t perfect. Once when, as a mischievous three-year-old, he was banging pans together, she impatiently threw a pencil at him while she was on the phone. The pencil, much to her shock, narrowly missed his eye and left a sliver of lead in his cheek … it’s still there. Another time she tied him to his bed because, when he was five years old, he tried to murder his teen-aged brother by throwing a gun at him. It narrowly missed his brother, but hit her prized antique vase instead.

She taught him forgiveness too. When he was a teenager she forgave him when he got angry and took a swing at her (and fortunately missed). The most profound thing she modeled was a love for God and people. Compassion was always her companion. She taught him about giving to others even when she didn’t feel like it.

She also taught him about accountability, truthfulness, honesty, and transparency. She modeled a tough loyalty to his dad. He always knew divorce was never an option. And she took care of her own parents when old age took its toll. She also went to church … faithfully. In fact, she led this six-year-old boy to Jesus Christ in her Sunday evening Bible study class.

Even today, her age doesn’t stop her from fishing in a cold rain, running off to get Chinese food, or “wolfing down” a cheeseburger and a dozen bonbons with her son.

She’s truly a woman to be honored. She’s more than somebody’s mother … she’s my mom. “Mom, I love you.”

I knew she would like it, but I was unprepared for the depth of her appreciation. She hung it (right above the table where she ate all her meals). There was only an old clock on another wall in that room — and that clock was no rival for my mom’s tribute.

She shared it with family, the television repairman, the plumber, and countless others who passed through her kitchen. And now I share it with you.

My only regret in regards to Mom’s tribute is that I mailed it to her instead of giving it to her in person. Years later, Barbara wrote a tribute to her parents and then read it to them. Seeing that emotionally poignant moment with her parents unfold at Christmas was unforgettable. I wish I had driven home to Ozark to read my tribute to Mom — and to cry together with her.

The results of honoring my mom with a tribute were so encouraging that I began to challenge others to write tributes of their own. “Your parents need a tangible demonstration of your love now. Why wait until after they die to express how you feel?” I asked.

I never presented this idea as a magic potion or cure-all for healing difficult relationships. Yet, as people began implementing it, I started to see that honoring parents with a tribute touches something deep in the soul.  I began to see that there really was more to this command to honor parents than I realized.

As you approach an anniversary, a birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, or the Christmas holidays, consider the possibility that the best present you could give to your parents would be the gift of honor.  Below you will find examples of tributes that others have written as well as links to additional articles on writing a tribute to your parents.

Wherever you are in your relationship with your parents, I encourage you to write a tribute. It may be one of the most profound, mysterious, and incredible experiences of your entire life.

Maybe the best gift for mom this year for Mother’s Day is telling her in ink how much she means to you.

Adapted with permission from FamilyLife© www.familylife.com

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