Happy Mother’s Day! Today we celebrate, honor, and give thanks to our own mothers and all mothers everywhere. We praise all women who offer their hearts compassionately, whether they have borne children or not. Whether it is a learned or natural response many women develop an instinct, or parental understanding, to ‘mother’ - that tendency to care for, tend to, nurture, and protect.
Proverbs 31 describes information that the mother of King Lemuel shared with him. She extolled the benefits of finding a virtuous and capable wife: Someone the husband could trust; someone energetic and hardworking, able to prepare meals, spin thread, make bedspreads and belts, and extend a hand to the poor. Verses 25-31 say this about the ideal wife: She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her saying: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
Yes, that about sums up our mothers. We praise mothers for their fortitude and their selfless devotion to their children, despite how sometimes we drive them crazy. But above all, perhaps what we honor most is their love, and the boundless and countless ways that love materializes through them.
The power of a mother’s love manifests in many ways, and here are nine of the many avenues a mother’s love can take. Not every mother expresses all these powers all the time, but they are within them and can be called upon. They are not offered in any particular order.
First, their love expresses as the Power of Acceptance. Mothers accept themselves, their families, and their life situations. They adjust expectations to make positive differences. They accept their children just as they are.
Power 2 is Forgiveness. This is a power that flows freely from the Power of Acceptance. When a mother accepts, she forgives. That forgiveness frees her and us.
Power 3 is that of Patience. A mother shows love through patience. Yes, there are times when her patience is tested, pushed, and strained. Yet that power helps her and her beloveds learn, grow, and transform through every season. Patience allows each mother to love through long-term and difficult situations.
Power 4 is Individuality. Love flows through a mother and allows her to express as an individual in every unique situation. Her personality, talents, and strengths change to meet the demands of each new situation. She recognizes her children and all those within her loving troop as an exceptional individual.
Power 5 is Intention. A mother lives deliberately, purposefully, and chooses carefully. She chose to be a mother and we are part of that decision.
Number 6 is the Power of Advancement. This is the power to progress, improve, transform, overcome, and keep moving forward. The mother finds new skills and talents as they become necessary for herself and her loving brood.
Power 7 is the Power of Order. This includes finding balance in her life and providing balance for her loved ones. Love leads her to which fights to fight and which to decline, which plates to spin and which to ignore. This power directs her to mental and emotional stability and dependability.
The Power of Order also guides her to organizational skills, keeping track of things in the world and in her mind. She knows how to prioritize and have the right and important things correctly ordered. She understands that some things must be abandoned or postponed, and her love shows her the way.
Power 8 is the Power of Joy. The love flowing through a mother shows her when it is time for enjoyment. Family traditions are built, chores and work are infused with fun. Her love flows through her being as gratitude and this influences everyone around her. Negativity is released and she builds on the joy and exuberance of her children, encouraging them to be positive, and forward looking. Optimism shapes her future and influences her children. She recognizes teachable moments, pauses to reflect on the beautiful and special moments, and serves as an example for enjoying the present moment.
The Power of Peace is the power number nine. A mother’s love directs her to rest, relax, and renew. Although an easy power to ignore the Power of Peace spreads throughout her household in the way she speaks, acts, responds, and loves. A mother’s love draws her inward to God’s wisdom, courage, and strength, to find peace during the chaotic times of life.
Of course, not every mother exhibits every one of these powers. Some mothers develop other powers, such as the Power of Logic: If everyone else jumped off a cliff would you do it too? Also the Power of the Sciences, such as Biology: If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they’re going to stick that way, and Genetics: You are just like your father! Some mothers display the Power of Justice: One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you’ll see what it’s like!
My Mom turned 94 last month, and I am blessed to still be able to love her and experience her love. Her Motherly love ran though many of those powers I mentioned, although I think my brother, Lee, and I broke her patience meter early on.
For many people, Mother’s Day is about love, and for some it is about forgiveness: either asking for forgiveness or granting forgiveness. Forgiveness is not limited to the physical world. We can pray over any unresolved issue we might have with our mother and ask her for forgiveness or grant her our forgiveness whether they are in their bodies or not. We can release the guilt and hurt so that we can grow. They were the Divine vessel that bore us, grew us, and brought us into this life so that God could then take over. Truly, they did their job; the rest is up to us. I believe our Loving God wants us to honor our Mothers, no matter how effectively they raised us, no matter how clearly and efficiently they expressed their powers of love.
For thousands of years prior to Jesus it was a prevalent idea that God had different natures. The Hindi people long believed that part of God’s nature was feminine. The feminine aspect of God is important to many religions, but not so to Christians. Yet the idea that God is Creator, birther of the Cosmos and all that is, can easily be viewed as a mothering nature. It is also easy to see how God as an all-inclusive Father, Mother, and non-gendered Friend, can develop into a personal nature of God within our minds and hearts.
We are made in God’s image, neutrally gendered spirit. Our physical bodies have specific genders, and our DNA directs us toward particular thought patterns and behaviors. In contrast, our spirit natures are unlimited and reflective of the feminine- masculine all-encompassing nature that is God.
Each of us, at the spiritual level, is mother and father, regardless of our physical form. We nurture, we create, we bring order, and we construct. Contained within us are all the powers of the mother. We are wise and loving, strong and empathetic, logical and compassionate, spontaneous and thoughtful. In this sense, as a Child of God there is a Divine Mother and a Heavenly Father nature to each of us.
So, to the men who are watching or listening, do not be surprised or disconcerted by the gentleness, empathy, compassion, and caring that occasionally expresses through you. It is not weakness, but a sign of wholeness and strength. It is simply love expressing through you as the Divine Mother. Embrace it.
When we celebrate Mother’s Day, on the earthly level we celebrate our Mothers, and all the women – whether aunts, grandmas, sisters, cousins, friends, or strangers - who have helped us and nurtured us at some point in our lives.
It is my prayer that today we celebrate the Divine Mother within each of us. I pray we celebrate the worldly family into which we have been born, and we celebrate the power of a Mother’s love.
So, at all levels, I wish each of you a supremely happy Mother’s Day.