Special Note to the reader: From my archives, I’m hoisting an article I wrote a few years ago, before I launched my blog on depression and faith. So most of you have not read it. There is no direct correlation with the theme of my blog, except for the fact that without our mothers, and especially without our wives– the mothers of our children–many men would be much more susceptible to depression than they are currently.
Also, this is written especially for the husband and for children in the home. If you’re a lady, either apply it to your own mom if she’s alive, or use a subtle means to expose your husband and kids to this article (such as printing it out and tucking it into the sports pages or wrapping it around their cell phone).
The Statue of Liberty towers above the entrance to New York Harbor. The French government gave it to the United States. A sculptor named Bartholdi spent twenty years and a lot of his own money to finish the project.
When Bartholdi looked for a human model whose facial features he would reproduce as “Lady Liberty,” he considered a host of well-known women. Then he selected his own mother.
How can you raise a monument to honor your mom, a grandmother, or the mother of your children, this Mother’s day?
- A Photo and a Verse
Select a good photo of her: your favorite portrait, a picture of her preparing a meal, or holding one of the kids. Arrange it in an expensive frame, leaving room for the words of Proverbs 31:28-29: “Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, he praises her, saying, ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.'”
Don’t hand it to her. Place it on the counter or on a dresser where she is sure to spot it. Letting her find it adds to the element of surprise.
2. Empty Envelope
Lick a stamp and put it in the corner of a letter envelope. Write her name and address on the envelope, then seal it. Yea, I know it is empty. Just follow directions.
On the back of the envelope, write these words: “Inside this envelope you’ll discover what our lives (my life) would be like without you.” Then mail the envelope so it arrives before Mother’s Day.
(The inside of the envelope is “empty,” get it? Just like your lives would be without her!
Date alert: Since you are getting this article so close to Mother’s Day, she may not get it in the mail before Sunday. “Plan B” is to seal the empty envelope, with the same message scrawled on the back of it, and leave it for her to find on Sunday morning.
3. First-Class Gratitude
This time put letters in the envelope, one for you and one from each of the children. Start your handwritten note with, “I thank God for you because….”
Each of you think of a specific way to complete the sentence. If you’re grown, writing to your older mom, she will get one letter. If you and your wife have three kids in the home, she’ll get four hand-written notes. Help the younger kids as necessary. Mail it if there is enough time left. Otherwise, leave it in an envelope for her to find. The key to the notes is specificity: list traits, accomplishments, talents, ministries she excels at, or chores she regularly perform which evoke gratitude for her.
4. Sumptuous Spread
Reserve a table for your family at her favorite restaurant. During the meal, each of you take turns telling her one thing you appreciate about her. Coach your kids in advance, if necessary. Be sure each of you mentions a different quality or contribution she makes.
One other thing. Don’t give her the bill for the meal.
5. Poetic Justice
Write her an original poem. If you don’t consider yourself a creative writer, don’t fret. She’ll appreciate the effort even more if it has not been a habitual form of praise to her. Older kids can brainstorm with you for lines or ideas to capture in the poem. It will mean even more to her if it is a joint effort.
When my older son was in middle school, I helped him pen this poem to his mom, which remains one of her prized possessions over three decades later.
Taken for Granted
Some moms get taken out to dinner
to a restaurant fit for a queen.
Then they’re taken where waists get thinner:
to a spa that can make them lean.
Others get taken on a second honeymoon,
or on a cruise to a place enchanted.
But moms like you, more often than not,
just get taken for granted!
Our whole point was, “That is one place we do not want to take you–for granted!”
Employ one of these ideas this weekend, or allow these to serve as a catalyst for your own thinking as you express appreciation for the lady of the house.
One other idea: Perhaps you know of a lady who wanted her own children, but she and her husband could not conceive. If they adopted children, write or call her and thank her for the love she has in desiring to give a home to kids without a biological family. If that lady is a Sunday School teacher or serves children in some other venue, let her know that she is spreading her “spiritual DNA” and making a significant investment in the future of those children. I know ladies without their own children or grandchildren who exercise a positive influence over kids, like that of a godly mother.
What is another way you or your kids have honored the lady of the house on Mother’s Day?