When Anna Jarvis was 12 years old, she heard her mother’s prayer in Sunday school following
teaching on mothers of the Bible: “I hope that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.” At her mother’s graveside service, Anna remembered, and said, “…by the grace of God, you shall have that Mothers Day.” So, in 1908, Anna followed through on her decision and created Mother’s Day as a day to honor mothers.
Eventually President Woodrow Wilson declared it a national holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Once he did, it became so commercialized, that Anna called it a “Hallmark Holiday”.
She said, “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”* She regretted what she had established. According to my research, she was arrested for disturbing the peace while protesting the commercialization of Mother’s Day. She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against what the holiday had become. She said that she wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control. Over one hundred years later, Mother’s Day remains one of the biggest days for long distance phone calls, dining out, and buying gifts, flowers and cards.
recipes or remembering her gentle spirit; thinking about how hard she worked, or how much she prayed for me. I often talk about her to my daughters, so that they can “know” her. Now as a Mom of three, and one who has lived longer than my mother, I am blessed beyond measure by who my daughters are becoming and the mothers they are.
Mother’s Day can be a day of mixed emotions. For those who are mothers, and who still have mothers with them, Mother’s Day can be a family day, complete with a bouquet of flowers and lots of hugs and smiles. Those who are miles away may spend it alone but enjoy a long distance call or a Facetime visit.
Women who do not have their mothers, find it’s a sentimental and perhaps, sad day. This morning a friend commented, “I miss my Mom and doing things with her, especially when I see other women with their Moms.” For some who did not/do not have the best relationship with their mothers, it can be a day laced with disappointments or regrets.
And those who long to be mothers, but it isn’t a reality, find it painful, may want to ignore it, or try to wish the holiday away.
One of my friends, who never became a biological or adoptive mother, said she has had opportunities to “mother” the children of friends and nieces and nephews. Another takes the call of Titus 2:3-5 seriously, and has been a spiritual mother to several younger women.
So for this Mother’s Day… flowers, gifts, and a special meal together are great ways to celebrate and acknowledge mothers, and enjoy each other, but…
whether your mother is living, or no longer with you, or you have been “mothered” in ways as my two friends believe, you may want to record special reflections of time spent together, and slip it in a photo album or scrapbook, and pass those thoughts on to your children.
or, write a prayer or note of gratitude, and, as Anna Jarvis suggested, give it to the one who has “mothered” you.
Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation will commend your works to another, they will tell of your mighty acts.”
Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, can be more than a Hallmark holiday. It can be a day to tell how God has worked in your life, and if you are a mother, a time to pray to be the kind of mother, by His grace, you hope to become.
And, it can be a day to remember to pray for “that woman” who finds that day painful.