#MyMassTakeaway for Fourth Sunday of Easter.
At Mass today, one-year-old Legend didn’t want to sit. Didn’t want me to hold him. Didn’t want to be quiet.
He wanted to walk around (he can walk now) and be independent and play.
I tried to keep him happy for a while with quiet toys but he wasn’t having it. So I gave in and made the hike to the narthex.
He walked back and forth, happy at last.
Then Legend wandered too close to an elderly usher, who scooped him up with a giant smile on his face.
To my great surprise, Legend stayed with him for a while! From the end of the homily, all through the consecration, to the sign of peace, he rested calmly and quietly in the older man’s arms.
Then, catching my eye, he finally squirmed to get down and returned to me.
My goal at Mass today had been to pay super close attention to the readings so that I could write about something other than Mother’s Day.
But the reality is, I was immersed in my role of mother to an active little, and it stole my attention.
I don’t know what the readings, Gospel, or homily were about. I tried to listen, but my mind was occupied with making sure a certain cutie didn’t bolt up the aisle. And even when he was being held by the kind usher, I was busy keeping my eye on him to make sure he wasn’t feeling too nervous or uncomfortable.
As I stood in the back of the Church, wishing I was sitting in the pew, absorbing God’s Word to me, I thought about all the hopes and plans I had entertained for this Mother’s Day.
- Maybe my kids would make me a cute card.
- Or my husband would give me a thoughtful gift.
- Perhaps I could sneak away to a coffee shop for some time away.
- Or order dinner out so I won’t have to cook.
Mother’s Day and the surrounding hype tends to evoke a self-centered approach (in me at least). It makes me look a little closer at all the hardships of this role, and long for a small reprieve.
But, when Mother’s Day actually rolls around, I usually end up seeing it somewhat differently.
All the thoughts and plans I had for myself melted away as I watched my baby toddle around the small tiled area behind the pew.
I realized – Mother’s Day is not about me.
It’s not an award for something special that I’ve done.
It’s not a day to pamper myself and escape from the role of motherhood.
Instead, Mother’s Day is about these children God has placed in my life. It’s a celebration of this incredible gift that God has given me.
It’s about them.
Loving them, serving them, reminding myself what a joy it is to give myself to them.
Mother’s Day isn’t a day for me to run away from motherhood. It’s a day for me to enter into it in a more intentional way.
Today, I rejoiced in the blessing of being able to stand in the back of the church, appreciating how insanely adorable Legend is at this age. He was so cute, walking back and forth simply because he can.
Today, I rejoiced in the blessing of being able to share the gift my motherhood gives, by allowing that friendly usher to help out – giving him the opportunity to share in the joy of my sweet child.
Today, I rejoiced in the blessing of making breakfast for my family. In that task, I’m able to serve them, nurture them, and provide for them.
Mother’s Day is not a day for self-centeredness.
It’s a day for me to thank God for the countless opportunities these kids give me to know myself better – all my strengths and weaknesses – and to grow where growth is needed.
It’s a day to put aside all the selfish inclinations that hold me back from being the mom I’m called to be. A day to do the things I normally say no to.
So today, I’m going to play a game with my kids. I’m going to sit and read books. I’m going to fold laundry and scrub dishes.
And I’m going to order out dinner, but not because “I deserve it.” I’m going to do it so that I can trade meal prep for spending time with my husband and children, thanking them for the gift of motherhood they’ve given to me.
I’m celebrating my motherhood today for what it’s really all about – not gifts, or flowers, or me time – but about loving and serving those who made me a mother.
Thank you, God, for motherhood.
Thank you, dear husband, for motherhood.
Thank you, my four sweet children, for motherhood.
Today, I honor you.
Join the #MyMassTakeaway Linkup
#MyMassTakeaway is a community building hashtag. I encourage you to use it to share your thoughts about the Mass, Eucharist, and readings every Sunday.
Check out these reflections, and head over to Instagram to join!