Tag Archive for mother’s day

The Top 12 Duties of a Mother

Mothers have one of the most influential and important jobs in the world…and one of the most difficult. Just consider some of the duties a mother carries out on a daily basis.

  • Party kids and their motherChef: A mother cooks 2-3 meals a day. Sometimes, their children will love the meals you prepare. Sometimes, they will hate them. Most of the time, they simply wolf down the food you prepare and run to their next activity. Occasionally you will receive the cherished “thank you.” Hearing those two words will make every meal you prepared worthwhile.
  • Housekeeper: As a mother you will have the opportunity to clean all kinds of messes—clothes left on the floor, cups left in the living room, spilled food, dirty diapers, vomit, the list goes on. But, one day your child may help clean the kitchen and…well, here’s for wishful thinking.
  • Resolve Conflicts: Children have conflict with friends, siblings, and even their parents. You will have the joy of helping your children learn the skills of listening, negotiation, compromise, and problem-solving, skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.
  • Event Planner: Mothers schedule. What else can I say? From play dates to doctor’s appointments to school events to after school activities to vacations to any number of other events, mothers schedule…a lot!
  • Teacher: Mothers teach their children everything…and I mean everything. When cooking they not only teach their children how to cook, but some basic math. They teach their children about relationships, problem resolution, and dating skills. Even more, they teach their children how to think! Mothers teach these things without even knowing they do it. Then there are all the things they teach on purpose…things like math, reading, how to clean, how to do laundry, how to keep house, etc.
  • Chauffeur: Mothers take their children to school, the doctor, and the dentist. They take their children to sporting activities, dance, gymnastics, and music lessons. They drive their children to play dates and to the store. And, they turn each drive into an opportunity to talk, grow closer, and learn. (See duty labeled “Teacher.”)
  • Laundry: Mothers do laundry. They get out the stains and keep the bright colors. Life needs a clean start!
  • Counselor: Children come to their mothers when they fail a test and when their heart is broken. Mothers comfort and advise. They kiss skinned knees and mend broken hearts. They heal broken spirits and teach children how to shape a joyous future.
  • Finance Manager: Mothers often help to manage the finances, teaching their children to do so as well. Balance the costs of groceries, school activities, and clothes as well as the utilities and other household expenses.
  • Health Care Provider: As previously noted, mother’s kiss skinned knees. They also check their children’s fevers, cook them chicken noodle soup, make them comfortable, and many other “doctoring” duties. In the long run, mothers probably do much more than your average physician and for a lot less pay!
  • Activities Director: When children are bored, mothers come up with ideas. They encourage their children to play. They teach their children nursery rhymes, games, and fun activities like cooking. In so doing, they teach their children how to manage their time in productive, effective ways
  • World Changer: Perhaps the most underrated task a mother fulfills is that of world-changer. Society is a mere 20 years from anarchy or continued civilization. It takes 20 years to raise a child, 20 years to “civilize them” or let them fall into anarchy, 20 years to raise children of character, integrity, and compassion or children of deceit, selfishness, and indifference. A mother plays a great role in this training. Mothers change the world with every child they raise.

Let’s all send out a big “thank you” to all our Moms, the real life impactors…the world changers of our society!

Mom & The Power of Gentleness

We lived in a second floor apartment and I had fallen down the stairs. I remember sitting on the bottom step, about four-years-old, crying and holding my leg as my mother sat next to me. With gentle words and a soft touch, she comforted me and assured that I was not hurt too badly. My mother’s gentleness convinced me I would survive and empowered me as a young child to get back up and play. I had survived, empowered by gentle words and gentle touch. As an adult, I have watched my wife offer the same gentle words to our children when they were hurt, scared, or upset. In each instance, our children were strengthened and empowered to overcome the obstacles…all through their mother’s gentle words and gentle touch.
Perhaps the whole family can learn from the example of a mother’s gentleness. The power of gentleness enables a person to keep their emotions in check, controlling those emotions so they do not overwhelm the other person. Gentleness learns to bring up sensitive issues with kindness–softly and carefully in order to avoid overwhelming the other person. It avoids harshness, critical statements, and sarcasm. Gentleness speaks the truth in love, in a tone and manner that enables the other person to hear it, understand it, accept it, and act upon it. A gentle answer even turns away anger and rage (Proverbs 15:1). It prevents many an argument and encourages strength in relationship.
Gentleness also means knowing when to step back and allow a person to learn some truth on their own, even though we know the answer already. It is a “strong hand with a soft touch;” a hand that guides without pushing and leads without pulling; a hand that simply rests on a shoulder to offer support and strength to the journey.
All in all, a gentle person has great power—the power to comfort, strengthen, encourage, calm, and soothe; the power to turn away anger and find restoration; the power to have the truth heard. Isn’t that the kind of power we want to wield in our family? Isn’t that the type of power we hope our family members develop? Those who have had the privilege of living under a gentle mother know that power. We have benefitted from the rippling effect of that gentle power in our own lives. But, the power of gentleness is not confined only to mothers. We can extend gentleness to every family member. Families can strive to make gentleness a staple in the whole family—so mother, father, son, and daughter alike will exhibit that powerful trait. Let us all endeavor to practice gentleness and, as we do, watch how it promotes a stronger, more intimate family filled with the joy of peace!

My Mom Kept That…Art?

My daughter took a pottery class in 6th grade. You can see the beautiful pottery she made in her class in the picture to the left. Her grandmother (my mother) visited us soon after she finished the class. While visiting, she noticed and admired the pottery my daughter had made. While encouraging my daughter’s talent, she mentioned the pottery “her father” (that’s me) made in 6th grade. I had a faint recollection of that artistic endeavor. In my mind I had made a pitcher. It was round and had a small opening on the top that gracefully lipped outward. The round body had a face sculpted into one side and the ears formed handles on each side of the face. It was an odd color though…kind of a muddy brown. A few months later, we visited grandma’s house and she presented my 6th grade pottery for my daughter’s admiration. My daughter, obviously stunned and speechless, stared at my work of art before a somewhat quizzical smile began to grow across her face. I took my work in my hands and looked at it from all sides. Not quite what I remembered. It was…well, what can I say? Ugly-it was ugly. I mean, it was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. It had no face, no ears, no…beauty. (You can see I am not exaggerating by looking at the picture to the right.) Obviously, my daughter did not get her artistic abilities from me.


You know what I found amazing though? Twenty-seven years before my daughter constructed her pottery, I brought home that incredibly “unique” piece of work. But, my mother never ridiculed my work; she never demeaned my effort. Instead, she accepted it, imperfect as it was. She knew that my developmental ability limited what I could do…and she accepted me and my effort anyway. She also knew that my lack of artistic talent limited what I could accomplish…and, she accepted me and my effort anyway. She knew that my “work of art” fell far short of perfect. It definitely missed the mark; but she accepted me and my effort anyway. She showed the extent of her acceptance by keeping my pottery over the span of 27 years. In fact, she packed it up when the family moved from Pittsburgh to Houston. She kept it when I left for college and kept it when the family moved from Houston to San Antonio to Eagle Pass to Austin and, finally, to Lock Haven. Twenty seven years later, and six cities later, she knew where it was and produced it, still safe and sound, for my daughter to see. When she unpacked it to show my daughter, I got a good laugh. I also realized the grace she exhibited (and continues to exhibit) in her acceptance of me and my effort—a grace that accepts a person in spite of limitations, in spite of missing the mark of perfection…the unconditional acceptance of grace. I mean look at that thing…only a mother could keep that, only a gracious mother who accepts her children no matter what.

5 Celebration Ideas for Mother’s Day

This year Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th. Maybe you already have a plan to honor your mother. But, in case you have not finalized you plans (or maybe you don’t have a clue), here are a few ideas to consider.
     ·         Get your mother a carnation. I know, it is simple and traditional… nonetheless, a good idea. Getting your mother a carnation for Mother’s Day traces its roots all the way back to the origin of Mother’s Day in the United States. Miss Ann Jarvis started this tradition on May 10, 1908. She sent 500 white carnations to the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church to be distributed to the mothers. She sent carnations in memory of her own mother, who held the white carnation as her favorite flower. Ms. Jarvis noted that the carnation symbolized the “virtues of motherhood;…whiteness stands for purity; its lasting qualities, faithfulness; its fragrance, love; its wide field of growth, charity; its form, beauty….” Go ahead and send a carnation to your mother and attach a card describing what the carnation symbolizes. If you think a carnation just is not enough, send your mother a whole bouquet of flowers.

·         Get together with your family and honor your mother by sharing stories about the mothers and grandmothers in your family. As you share stories, look through family albums to find pictures of these women…women who helped shape your family and, ultimately, you. Make copies of these pictures and create a photo album of all the “Moms Who Paved the Way” in your family. Under each picture, write a short caption describing their character and contribution to the family.

·         Write a short testimonial to your mother. Think of 2-3 ways in which she enhanced your life…or 2-3 characteristics you admire about her…or 2-3 ways she contributed to your happiness. Write them into a short testimonial along with real life examples that support them. Try to limit the testimonial to one side of a sheet of paper. Then, over dinner on Mother’s Day, read her the testimonial. But, you might need to have some Kleenex available for the tears of appreciation and joy.

·         Create a handmade craft for your mother. You can make a handmade card or a handmade pennant that reads “Go Mom.” Create a sports card with her picture and stats on it for the sports loving mother. Stats might include “number of meals cooked,” “number of booboos cared for,” number of sorrows kissed good-bye,” etc. Or, you could make her an award for #1 Mom, a certificate of appreciation, or a gold medal necklace. 

·         One more idea…tried and true. Make your mother dinner. As a family, treat her like a guest in a fancy restaurant. Prepare her favorite dish and dessert. Seat her in the waiting area (living room) with her favorite reading material while you set the table–good dishes, candles, and all. Escort her to the table, pull out her chair, and seat her. Serve her and enjoy conversation while you eat. Maybe even share some fun stories about your life with her. Then, let her relax while you clear the table, wash the dishes, and clean up the kitchen.
What are some of your Mother’s Day ideas? Please share them in the comment section below so we can all honor our mother on Mother’s Day.  

Fueled by Love: The Power of Mom

I tried to write something wise and insightful about mothers, but I lack the necessary prerequisites—wisdom and insight. Anyway, I also know that many more qualified people have already written about mothers. So, I decided to share their wisdom about motherhood. I hope you enjoy it. 
     ·         “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” — Elizabeth Stone
     ·         “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” — George Washington (1st President of U.S.A.)
·         “No one is poor who had a godly mother” — Abraham Lincoln (16th President of U.S.A.)
·         “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”– Abraham Lincoln
·         “My mother was the making of me.” –Thomas Alva Edison (American Inventor)
·         “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs… since the payment is pure love.” — Mildred B. Vermont
·         “Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” — Marion C. Garretty
·         “She gave me love, as well as life; so whatever goodness I may bring to earth began with the gift of my mother’s heart.” — Robert Sexton
·         “Mother – that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries.” — T. DeWitt Talmage
·         “On Mother’s Day I have written a poem for you. In the interest of poetic economy and truth, I have succeeded in concentrating my deepest feelings and beliefs into two perfectly crafted lines: You’re my mother, I would have no other!” — Forest Houtenschil
·         “Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” — William Makepeace Thackeray
·         “Now that… my kids are grown, I understand how much work and love it takes to raise and to keep a family together. The example of your strength, devotion, and patience is now rippling through the generations. Thank you!” — Forest Houtenschil
Mothers change the world. They profoundly influence their child’s identity, values, and ability to relate to others in a loving, compassionate way. Their influence ripples out from their children to the school…to the community…and, ultimately, to the culture. As adults, we hear our mothers speak to us in our conscience, we see our mother’s actions in our habits, and we feel our mother’s love as we care for our own children. Really, mothers are powerful and the fuel of their power comes from a deep, never-ending love.
Thanks Mom for the grace and love you shared with us, the example you set for us. You changed our lives…and you changed our world.