When planning a lesson as a teacher, I’ve been trained to really look at the objective I want my lesson to portray. What do I want my kids to know when I am done? It’s easy to get a wide angled lesson going in all directions and miss the single objective I started with.
Mother’s Day. A single objective. Honor your mother. Celebrate your mother. Remember your mother. Do you see the common thread here? Mother.
I write this blog this morning as an outlet for emotion that I will always struggle with as long as I am breathing. I don’t write this to be having a pity party or a woe is me time. I write this to just be honest about where I sit in my life.
Before I was married, I was lumped into the “mother” category because I was a teacher… a mother to so many. Stop. Church on Mother’s Day was always awkward and uncomfortable, especially being an older person without children. Then I married and became a “stepmother” to a wonderful young lady. Just the sound of those words makes me shiver. Now people would say, “see, you are a mom now!”
During that first phase of being a stepmother, I was the after thought in a Mother’s Day dinner prayer. “Oh, and bless Jenny… she is kind of a mother.” Ouch. That stepmother journey ended and then I was “childless” again. Fast forward some years and now I have three beautiful stepchildren.
Please don’t get me wrong. I love being a stepmother… their stepmother. It’s the closest thing I’ll ever experience to being a mother. I could not love the four people that I’ve been honored to be a step parent to more, than if they were my own.
Here’s where it gets hard for me. They are not my own. For whatever reason, God has chosen me to be a bonus parent in four lives and not have a child created from my own DNA. This one idea has so many facets of grief attached to it for me… too many and too personal to go into.
I know this brings up a whole other area for people who adopted and could not have children of their own. I’m not speaking for them or about them. I’m speaking from my own heart and my own experiences. We can’t know how anyone feels until we have walked their exact path in their exact shoes.
Mother’s Day for me is a day of profound sadness. It is one day and tomorrow it will be gone. I’ll tuck it away and continue on, feeling grateful for my life and those who inhabit it. In the meantime, on this day to honor mothers, I will hold my head up and smile, thanking God for the children whom I am blessed to call my stepchildren. But deep in my soul, there is a sad place and honestly speaking… it will always hurt.
Everyone has that deep place of sorrow or regret, and this is mine. Thankfully, I have a Father who loves me and has placed me in this life for a much greater purpose than I can imagine. If we all had everything we ever wanted, where would we be? We would not have a need to turn to Him for comfort, strength and guidance. His grace is sufficient… and today I am surrounded by that grace, as I celebrate and honor all of the “mother’s” in my life.