I have a special appreciation for Mothering Sunday. I spent a good number of years being the one planning and being involved in Mothering Sunday all age worship or such like, arranging little posies of daffs and making sure we all bigged up the Mums...as we should of course...
But all the while, Andy and I were being told we were unlikely to have children naturally, we were continuing trying with no luck and facing the possibility that we would be 'just the two of us'. It felt pretty hopeless.
Throughout that time, it always struck me as a bit brutal, the way that Mothering Sunday is played out in our churches especially. Mothering Sunday is actually not about biological or birth mothers, let alone those who mother us in other ways. It's actually about the community of the church, the mother church, where all our roots begin.
I'm grateful to Jenny Baker on the Sophia Network blog for linking to this previous Maggi Dawn post on this very subject.
Maggi offers this useful insight which resonated with me:
When did Mothering Sunday become Mother’s Day? Only very recently – in the last 40 years. I have no problem with celebrating mothers – being one myself, I’m entirely receptive to celebrating motherhood any old time! I do remember, though, before I was a Mother, how profoundly excluded one could feel when Church celebrations of Mother’s Day tended to give out subliminal messages that one wasn’t a "real" woman if you weren’t a mother. I think Church should endeavour to celebrate motherhood in a wider sense – focusing on, perhaps, the Community of church, the mothering of God, the support of mothers by the whole church. We also need to take care, in celebrating motherhood, to wave a pastoral antenna for those who long to be mothers but can’t, those who have suffered miscarriages and stillbirths, those whose mothers have died recently, or who for any other reason struggle with "Mother’s day".
The very heart of the Father is that we should all feel part of the community of His children and the church is and should be the place where that is worked out most perfectly. Whilst we know it often isn't that way in reality, I do want to be aware of those for whom this day is most difficult and who perhaps stay away because of the memories, the pain or the disappointment.
Also, this Sunday I want to be grateful, in even greater measure for the blessings God has given me in my daughter and to be aware and thankful to those who have in their own way mothered, parented, mentored and made me into who I am and the mother I am, today.
Mon, I love you. Thank you for being there for me and for being so selfless and for loving me in everything I do and am.