It is that time of year. The beautiful season of Advent that leads effortlessly into Christmas. If only it were that effortless. Oftentimes, as mothers who notoriously set high expectations for ourselves, the effort is never seen by others or it is taken for granted. Unfortunately, our society has spent many wasteful hours pointing out the differences between moms, whether that is in reference to stay-at-home moms, working moms, crafty moms, moms who volunteer, moms who bake and cook like it’s going out of style, moms who don’t like to cook, book-smart moms, street-smart moms, or whatever type of label is applied. The mom “labels” are a little ridiculous.
Yet Christianity focuses on the beauty of motherhood. There’s no need to add a “label” if we are viewing our role as a vocation, just like the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yes, Our Lady has many titles, but all of those emphasize her in relation to God; they are not superfluous. So instead of giving ourselves rather materialistic “labels,” let’s admire one another for our God-given title of mother.
In the spirit of Jesus’ love for all of us through his birth, life, death, and resurrection, I send all mothers this open letter of gratitude. We have all been given specific talents and personality traits that assist us in our own lives. Let’s walk forward, in this new liturgical year, and admire all mothers, no matter their talents, flaws, insecurities, or charisms. For we have all been created in the image and likeness of God and each one of us has been given the gift to mother a child (whether biologically or by adoption), but motherhood is not a one size fits all. There isn’t only one way to love and care for a child, but most importantly, we are all striving to raise our children to one day join the angels and saints in heaven – to love and serve God as He loves us. This, ultimately, is one of the most important vocations one can be given on this earth – motherhood.
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what he is sending us everyday in His goodness.” ~St. Gianna Beretta Molla
I write in gratitude to all mothers for their devotion, dedication, perseverance, and love in raising the next generation of souls for Christ. No matter your talents or flaws, each one of us is working tirelessly for Christ’s Church in our own special way. Thank you!
- I am grateful for those moms who can play in the mud, race cars, and build castles out of pillows with their little loves – you are creating the architects, engineers, and artists of tomorrow.
- I am grateful to the moms who always have a spotless kitchen, clean laundry, and swept floors – you are an example of order and cleanliness.
- I am grateful for those moms who have piles of papers and knick-knacks scattered throughout the house – you have created a safe world of distraction for your little ones.
- I am grateful to all those moms who kiss their sleeping children at night and tuck them in for a third time – imagine that you are kissing the Child Jesus, just as Our Lady did in Bethlehem. These are the peaceful moments you will always remember, no matter how exhausted you are from the day.
“Be not afraid to tell Jesus you love Him; even though it be without feeling, this is the way to oblige Him to help you, and carry you like a little child too feeble to walk.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux
- I am grateful to the moms who work every day to make their child’s world a better place – the fruitfulness of these efforts is long-term, but very much worth it. For there is no greater vocation than striving for greatness all for the Glory of God.
- I am grateful for those moms who wake up each morning, still sleep-deprived, but somehow reach for that cup of coffee (a true gift from God) and continue on with their day – you are teaching your little ones the value of adversity and continuity – an example of virtuous living.
- I am grateful for all those moms who worry – those with uneasiness about their children, their husbands, their homes, their jobs, and their daily duties – those worries, no matter how stressful they seem at the time, are signs of charity. It’s only natural to worry for those we love, just as Our Lord patiently waits for us to return to Him!
- I am grateful to the moms who find time to devote and volunteer their free moments not only for their families, but also for their friends, neighbors, and strangers – you keep the world turning and burning with love. What a charitable example for your children and the adults around you.
- I am grateful for the moms who love their husbands with an undying love, even during the difficult times, the exhausting times, and the amazing times – you are teaching your children one of the greatest lessons in life: the lesson of uncompromising devotion that can only be found in the family and in Christ’s Church.
- I am most of all grateful to my own mom, grandmother, my best friend, and all of the moms (and believe me, there are A LOT) I have ever met who devote their lives, their very essence, to the well-being of their children, their husbands, and their families. You have each made such a lasting impression on my soul. I have learned something very dear from each of you. May we all continue to light the path and encourage other moms to continue on this rocky vocation, for the true beauty will be found in the next generations of souls for God.
Copyright 2017 Danielle Heckenkamp