Unexpected Gifts on Mother’s Day

PictureCollage4This Mother’s Day, I was blessed to receive many gifts. My husband woke up early, made me breakfast, and cleaned up the kitchen. My son gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates. My daughter gave me a bouquet of flowers in a lovely container I can reuse and a pint of my favorite ice cream.

But, the best gifts I received from my children this year didn’t come from a store. They were gifts from the heart that came with a real-life lesson. My daughter gave me the gift of grace and my son gave me a heartfelt letter expressing the true meaning behind Mother’s Day.

Lesson 1 GRACE:

My daughter just received her driver’s permit a month ago. I’ll be honest, I’m not doing a very good job as a driving teacher! On Friday, I blew a correctable mistake she made while driving way out of proportion, and completely lost my patience with her. As soon as I realized how badly I had messed up, I beat myself up for the rest of the day and wallowed in guilt.

Yesterday afternoon, the day after I had completely failed her, my daughter excitedly asked me if I would take her to the grocery store. As soon as we entered the store, my daughter said with gleaming eyes and a bright smile, “Mom, I want you to pick out whichever flower arrangement you like best. Don’t worry about how much it costs. Oh, and I’m also going to buy you your favorite ice cream for Mother’s Day.”

Her gesture touched me for a couple of key reasons. First, she had completely and freely forgiven me. Secondly, my daughter is a budding artist. She was using her own hard earned money from a painting she had recently sold to purchase my presents. In every sense of the word, she was extending me grace.

When we got home from the store, it made me take a hard look at myself. And, I didn’t like what I saw. I got honest with myself and with the Lord. I realized that I have been letting my ego drive me lately. I have been critical, judgmental, and lacking in grace towards those around me.

My daughter’s gift of grace was a catalyst for me. I spent quite a bit of time being completely transparent with the Lord yesterday. I finally let go and handed my struggle over to Him. And, I am committed to going back to the caring, grace-filled person I truly am.

Lesson 2 THE TRUE MEANING OF MOTHERHOOD:

This morning, my son excitedly handed me a homemade card. It was a piece of white computer paper folded in half. On the front, he had drawn the back of an envelope with a heart sticker. On the inside, it said:

“Happy Mother’s Day! Today I just want to tell you how much I love and appreciate what you have done for me. You have been loving and kind to me and always shown Emily and I great compassion. Today is a special day in which we all realize how truly special and great our moms are. I love you very much Mom!”

My son’s gift reminded me what is truly important as a mother. As human parents, we are going to make mistakes from time to time. But the important thing is that everything we do as a mom, we do out of love and in the best interest of our children. Rather than focusing on every mistake we make and how we feel like we are failing our kids, we need to realize that in the end, all the acts of love over the course of their lifetime make a bigger difference in our children’s lives than the few times we miss the mark.

In the end, I can see the Lord’s hand weaving a tapestry in the gifts I received from my children. It started with an unexpected gift of grace. And then, to drive the point completely home with me, the Lord used a letter filled with a child’s love to tie everything together.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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