Happy, Holy, Hard, Hopeful, Healing Mother’s Day

I awoke this Mother’s Day to a message from my firstborn letting me know that she had arrived in Cannes for the film festival. She made a film a couple of years ago that won a couple of festivals in the US and in December she was invited to show in Cannes. My joy and pride in her talent and accomplishments is nothing less than holy.

This precious picture of the four who call me, “Mama” was taken six years ago. Those years have been filled with uncountable challenges and some fairly traumatic wounds. Shortly after receiving the message from France, my boys brought me breakfast in bed (that they made together without arguing -Woohoo!), gifts, and the sweetest card filled with their gratitude that I am theirs and they are mine… healing.

While eating the breakfast my boys made me, I began to weep. I so wish that this day wasn’t filled with such a mixed bag of emotions. But it is. It is a hard day not just for me, but for so many people that I know and love. Some of us have no mother to honor today. Some of us have mothers that, due to unhealed wounds, we would rather not honor today. Some of us are grieving children both alive and dead. Some of us are longing for children we do not yet have. Some of us have children with no father to encourage them to honor us. Some of us have our children’s fathers around, but because we are not their mothers or because of their own unhealed wounds, they do not honor us or encourage our children to do so. Some of us are living with shame and regret over choices we’ve made as mothers. Some of us have children that are being raised by other mothers. And some of us are raising children that were birthed by women who will never get to hear those children call them, “Mama.” All of these realities complicate this day.

Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy... “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 

I’ve had a couple of recent conversations that have reminded me of God’s truth, dried my tears today, and given me great hope. Those conversations have revolved around the many times in the book of Deuteronomy when God said to the Israelites that He gives us a choice between life and death, blessings and curses, and promises that whatever we choose is not just for ourselves, but for the generations to come. God didn’t say that we have to wait for our parents to choose life, prosperity, or blessings in order for us to experience those promises. He didn’t say that we needed to think about our circumstances before choosing. He didn’t say that we are unqualified to choose. He didn’t say that we needed to wait until everything was easy and painless. He simply said that WE get to make those choices. And, if we love Him and walk in His ways, we (and the place we occupy) will be blessed.

Romans 5:5 Such hope in God’s promises never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Whether this day is filled with hardship, holiness, hope, or a healing process; my prayer is that we all find something today to be happy about and the courage and wisdom to CHOOSE blessings, life, and prosperity.

Have a Happy Holy Hard Hopeful Healing Mother’s Day.

muffins with mom in a mental hospital

This post is for every girl who struggles to find joy on Mother’s Day.


Little girls play with dolls and dream of someday mothering real babies. But those little girl dreams never quite match reality, and for this reason many grownup girls have a love-hate relationship with Mother’s Day. I’m one of them.

I lost my mother in 2006. She wasn’t perfect, but she was a constructive, loving mother. I miss her.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted…

I have two babies that I will never hold this side of heaven and I know far too many Mamas longing to hold their lost babies today. Women who’ve lost a child through miscarriage, abortion, adoption, illness, or tragedy…. this is still your day. You are a Mother.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted…

On Mother’s Day 2016 my baby girl was seven months into a year-long hospitalization. In anticipation of Mothers Day, these signs were posted all around the hospital…


If you’re struggling today because your child is hospitalized, living in residential care, or unable to utter the word “Mom”, this is still your day. If you’re spending this day watching your child self-injure, destroy everything in their path, or praying that your child’s aggression isn’t directed at you, this is still your day. Hang in there, Mama!

If this day is hard for you, know that you are valued. Know that your job as a Mama holds worth beyond measure. Know that you are a creator, a giver of life. Know that God is near you. He sees your broken heart and He grieves with you.


Whether you are having Muffins with Mom in a mental hospital, longing for a Mom that isn’t here, longing for a child you cannot hold, parenting a prodigal child that you will not hear from today, or trying to find a way to feel like a success when your child has lost his or her mind; I pray that you find some joy today. Eat some chocolate. Drink some wine. Take a bubble bath.

This is still your day. Even if it brings with it a roller-coaster of emotions, I pray you feel God’s presence and find (at least) a moment to honor yourself.

Blessed Mother’s Day!

the bitter, the sweet, the laughter…

Warning: This post contains bad words.  If you’re easily offended, please stop reading NOW.

I lost my Mother in 2007.  Every Mother’s Day since has brought with it a mixed bag of emotions.  If you haven’t read that post, click the link and read it.  It’s good.

This year is not different.  I WANT to feel nothing but joy on this day.  I WANT to spend every single second of the day embracing the joys of mothering the children I get to spend my day with. I want to sing and dance and skip down the street over the fact that my children signed me up for a writer’s retreat (that will give me a few days off from mothering-Yippee!)  at God’s Whisper Farm.  But my wants have learned to walk alongside my grief.

Immediately upon waking this morning I shed tears for the woman on the other side of the world who gave birth to the precious girl I get to mother.  Our baby girl walked into our room this morning and yelled out,  “Happy Birth…  Mother’s Day!”  Yes, Baby Girl.  I also hope your birth mother is having a happy day.

At brunch I looked around and shed a few more tears over the little old ladies that my mother would never be.  Never growing old is truly a tragedy.

And after the little old ladies, I choked back a few more tears as I thought of my firstborn who is away at college.  And then my two babies who never made it into this world.  I miss them.

And then, laughter.

Our dear, dear Seth rode to church and to brunch with our friend Kim.  Seth is thirteen, has high-functioning autism, is home-schooled, and has a penchant for using new vocabulary inappropriately.  While stopped at a gas station, he looked over and saw two guys with long hair and said, “What a bunch of pussies!”  Kim asked him if he thought that was appropriate and he said, “Well, if they’re going to dress like that they should know people are going to call them pussies.”  After Kim shared with us and before I could explain to him what that word means and how inappropriate it is to use, our seventeen year old realized that he was scraping a spot off of his shirt and said, “Oh, gosh.  Our whole family really is a bit autistic.”  To which Seth added, “Yeah, we’re all just a bunch of pricks.”

I explained what the words meant.

He nearly died of embarrassment over the discussion of anatomy.

We all laughed.  Really hard.

Today is bitter.  It is sweet.  And by the grace of God, it is filled with laughter.

P.S.  We’re looking for a new vocabulary teacher at the Calvaresi Academy.  If interested, please apply in comments. 😉