My Fitness

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day

I've been trying to figure out why I didn't want to celebrate Christmas, Valentine's Day, my birthday, and now Mother's Day too. I think I was finally able to pinpoint and articulate why in a conversation I had the other day.

At first I thought it was just something with Romans 14:5, "One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." That may be part of it.

Then I thought that maybe it was just becoming a parent and putting things into perspective. Did I really want to receive gifts on Christmas when Caleb could receive more if I didn't? Do I really want to receive a new gadget or something [from Felipe] when that money could have been used to buy us groceries? (this is why Felipe and I did not give each other gifts this past Christmas.) Felipe and I have had a couple of nice Valentine's Days, and birthdays, but that's more money that could be better spent...spent on Caleb! or on groceries.

While these two aspects might have a hand in why I suddenly dislike these holidays, I think it is mostly that each of these have been so abused by our consumerist, self-centered, and entitled society.

Christmas has become so much less than a celebration of Jesus. Every Christian I know has said something along the lines of "remember the reason for the season" but has also focussed too much time on what gifts they can receive. They are welcome to do as they wish. It's their money...until they start saying, "what did you get for me?" and expect that I get them something 'good enough'. When that happened, I decided that family pictures is what everyone is getting for now on.

It seems that Valentine's is all about the man acting like a slave to the woman. And birthdays are innately self-centered. Then Mother's Day...

So many people have decided to let Halmark decide for them if they should be offended or not on a certain day each spring. Instead of being offended and telling my husband and children to buy me things and make me cards and telling them to take me to an overly expensive dinner, I want to celebrate why I'm a mother, Caleb. And I couldn't be a mother without Caleb's father, Felipe. So on Mother's Day, instead of insisting on focussing on me, I want to celebrate being a happy family.

On Mother's Day for the rest of my life, I want to let my children know that I conceived and birthed children not slaves. I did not selfishly choose that I wanted children. I did not decide to selfishly not have children. I chose to be submissive to God and part of that submission was to allow him the right to give and take children as He sees fit. He said children are a blessing, not because they are supposed to make my life easier, because they most certainly do not. Being a mother is difficult. But the love that is passed on to Caleb and Felipe make motherhood a blessing. Even when Caleb is cranky or bratty, I love him and I never want him to think his birth was a birth of convenience or a mistake. We did not choose to have Caleb because we thought our lives were missing something or that he'd complete us. We didn't choose to have Caleb at all. We chose to love and follow God. God chose to give us Caleb. Felipe is the best gift from God I've ever received. Caleb is the second best blessing I have ever received. I would never want to demand anything from them because I love them. I would never want to guilt them into doing anything for me because love does not insist on its own way.

So this Mother's Day I celebrate my family.

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