Thank you, Mom.

“My mother was the making of me. She was so true and so sure of me; I felt that I had someone to live for – someone I must not disappoint. The memory of my mother will always be a blessing to me.” –Thomas Edison

The words of those great men in history are a testament to the place of influence mothers hold in our lives. Celebrating mothers and the institution of motherhood should be important to all of us. The influence a mother wields on her child cannot be over-emphasized; it is timeless in its impact and powerful in its life-changing capacity. For this, I say thank you to all the mothers out there. Mothers typically bear the brunt of their children’s anger, from the tantrum of toddlers to the rebellious character of teenagers and even the costly indiscretions of adults. Being a mother can be lonely, painful, and emotionally draining, yet mothers face and accept this calling with piety and unparalleled dedication and sacrifice. Talking of sacrifice, I recently read a story of an American mother of three who was pregnant with a fourth child. She was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma at 23 weeks of pregnancy. Doctors advised her to have her baby immediately and begin cancer treatment. However, doctors believed that her baby would have a greater chance of survival if the mother could wait until 28 weeks. She made the difficult decision to postpone her treatment even though the decision would affect her cancer prognosis. The mother’s unconditional love took hold. There is no greater love than a mother laying down her life for the greater good of her child (paraphrased). This mom exemplifies sacrifice, unparalleled love, and, ultimately, the great motherly heart.

Many mothers became soccer or hockey moms, as the case may be, not because they know a lot about the rules of the game; the motivating factor is simply to help and support their children. They become cheerleaders-in-chief for their children, cheering them to victory and comforting them in defeat. In a time of failure, their shoulders are broad enough to absorb children’s tears, and their loving arms are wide enough to hold them in a warm embrace. Moms spend countless hours teaching, praying, and doing seemingly mundane activities such as driving their children to school and other places. A recent study done in the UK indicates that the average mother drives children around for 1248 miles (2000km) each year. By the time her child turns 20, she will have driven 25,000 miles; mothers spend two weeks every year driving children around; it takes seven minutes to get kids into the car and the car out of the driveway. Without absolute dedication, this would be nearly impossible. They are also a model of a character for their children: with gentleness, they set the acceptable boundaries of good behavior. With firmness, they correct our mistakes and graciously forgive and forget our trespasses. We become who we are later in life partly because of the character our mother modeled to us; this echoes the truth in the words of Billy Graham that “only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.”

Thank you to all the mothers who toil day and night to raise children with godly characters. At GREAT MOTHER HEART, we appreciate your labor of love. Even though the society does not entirely recognize the work of being a mom, we recognize it, and we praise you to high heaven. The countless hours you spend raising your children often go unnoticed, but Heaven will reward you. To those mothers who may have been betrayed by their children whom they’ve spent the better part of their lives raising: we recognize your pain. It is real, and may the Spirit of God comfort your aching heart; with faith, hope, and love, they will return to your warm embrace like the prodigal son. Thank you to all the mothers. We will continue to celebrate YOU at Great Mother Heart. May the grace of our Lord, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.