And then last night Jorja came into my room at about 11:30, crying and holding her ear. My gut reaction was an ear infection, but she said it was below her ear and when Jason and I got a good look, we noticed her cheek was swollen from her earlobe down to her jawline. She couldn't open her mouth wide enough to even let me check for strep. She just kept moaning and crying. At 11:30. I was spent. I felt the hope of making it to church slipping away. I admit it...I just wanted to give her ibuprofen and put her to bed. But we've never seen this set of symptoms before and after googling them, Jason said he was taking her to the ER just to be sure. She had been sick for two straight weeks. He told me to stay home and rest so I could go to church in the morning, but I said I would take her since there's no way I would sleep while they were gone anyway. I was wished a Happy Mother's Day by the paramedic checking us into the ER at Mayo. We sat in the room, Jorja and I. She played on the iPad, I feigned interest and tried to stay alert.
Preliminary diagnosis: Mumps.
Treatment plan: Quarantine and tylenol.
By the time we arrived home, I knew there was no way any of us were going to make it to Church. Again...
Happy Mother's Day, indeed.
So I cried for just a minute in the driveway when we got home. Then I sucked it up and went inside. Trying to be grateful that, really....it's only mumps. And trying to remember that I may be tired, weary, frustrated, weak, but I am made strong. Not by anything I have done, but by what is done for me.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
When I am ready to give in, He is there. Forever. Without Him, I would not be the mother who received today four of the most perfect framed poems written by four of the most amazing daughters to call me Mother, all orchestrated by a husband who loves me much more than I deserve.
So, you see, Mother's Day is not about me.
And, fellow mother, it is not about you.
It is about a holy, wise, strong, forever God.
On Mother's Day I don't expect to be relieved of my duties as mother and put on a pedestal by my family. I don't expect cards, gifts and displays of affection that rival those of a monarch.
Because Mother's Day is a day to celebrate the simple fact that we have been entrusted with miracles. And that we aren't left to struggle through long days and sleepless nights alone. We are given these gifts and we are given the tools to raise them in the Lord.
If only we stop making the day about us, and make it about Him, perhaps we wouldn't be disappointed when the day doesn't go just the way we envisioned. Perhaps if we focus our hearts on gratefulness and not recognition, we would see just how much we have already been given.
So on Mother's Day, I will not wake up ready to be celebrated, but I will wake up ready to celebrate, whether it's here at home, in the ER, or at my church, with just my husband and children, or with our friends and family. I will celebrate the one who made me a mother and who gives me the strength every day to raise the children He gave me.