There are some things about my mother Eileen Husted that you should know. All my life my mother has been a fairly large women with a very loud voice. She is someone who is not afraid to talk to anyone. And these days you can see her at her house in her home town watching grandkids or sharing her daily life with her sister who lives across the street. Like all kids I went through the stages of life with my mom. At one time she was only girl of my life, then other times she was my biggest embarrassment. No matter how I felt about my mom, most people like her. She has that kinda personality. I am sure most of you who are reading this can apply the same feelings toward your mother, at least I hope so.
For me, no matter where I was or what I had done, my mother gave the best hugs and has the softest skin. Since there was so much of mom to hug it made our hugs bigger and better. As a child I would hug her and as we hugged she would rock back and forth. I do the same thing now with my children. There is something calming of a hug with a rocking motion. Being the youngest I know I am the favorite (hehehe). Probably because by the time she got to me she had parenting all figured out and we had a lot of fun.
It was my mom who taught me to like old movies. I can remember Sunday afternoons when we got home from church that we would watch “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Ben-Hur,” anything with Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Doris Day, and John Wayne. It is no wonder that TCM is one of my favorite channels. She is also a sports fan. She was always a house mother and raised us kids while dad was doing church stuff. My mornings growing up had a schedule; Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Price is Right, Santa Barbra, and Days of Our Lives.
She loves me in the best of times and the worst of times. No matter where I am at or what I am doing my mom has been a constant in my life. I say all this because tomorrow is Mothers Day. So I thought I would post about my mom. She is very special to me for many reasons, some I have mentioned above, but the main reason that she is special is because my mom and dad showed me God’s love all my life.
Mothers Day began in 1908 at a Methodist Church in West Virginia. It was started by Anna Jarvis and became an official U.S. National Holliday in 1914. Anna Jarvis wanted to celebrate a day that honored mothers for all the hard work and sacrifices they make to raise children. Of course now it has been over commercialized and keeps the greeting card industry in business. But as a pastor I have to value Mothers Day because it is one of three holidays I get the biggest attendance in Sunday Morning Worship.
Since it is Mothers Day tomorrow I must comment that being a mother does not necessarily mean you have given birth to a human being. Sure that might be the basic definition of a mother, but any woman can be a mother if they allow God to define what a mother is.
This is not an extensive list, but I will bring up two passages that I think formulate what a mother is. The first passage Matthew 12:46-50; “While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers stood outside trying to speak with him. Someone said to him, ‘Look, your mother and brothers are outside wanting to speak with you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ He stretched out his hand toward his disciples and said, ‘Look, here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother.'”
This first passage is pretty clear. To be a mother is to do the will of the Father. The Father created female (mothers) to share in His image. They reflect the love that God has for creation. They proclaim with their lives the very sacrifice that God gave. They mourn and rejoice with all. They pray, speak, listen, discipline, read, teach, heal, and transform lives through their love. To do the will of the Father in heaven is to be the very definition of a mother.
The second passage I will bring up is also from the gospel according to Matthew. Matthew 23:37-39, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you. How often I wanted to gather your people together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that. Look, your house is left to you deserted. I tell you, you won’t see me until you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord’s name.”
A little different understanding, but really what Jesus proclaims is that a mother is one who obligates her life to protect. Jesus speaks of Himself as a mother hen who wants to gather her chicks from danger. Mothers have this uncanny ability to protect people, especially children.
I remember one time I was in the doctors office waiting for Judah to be seen. The place was packed with children and moms. I was the only dad in the place. Judah had just learned to walk and was getting really good at it. Anyway, I was just sitting there watching Judah walk and also fall. What was funny is that every time Judah fell, all the mothers in the room made an instinctive jerk toward Judah. Of course I sat there and didn’t think anything about it, but you could feel the protectiveness spewing from all the mothers as they sat. Mothers want to protect.
The point I would like to make is that Mothers Day is not just for women who give birth. All women were created to be mothers. We should celebrate all women for the fact that every woman that we come across has at one time or another been a mother.
This brings me back to my mother. I can remember all the times that were fun and comforting to describe my mother, but it is the times that she truly loved me and showed me the power of God’s love that I celebrate. Thank you Mom. Happy Mothers Day!!!