Mother's Day Talk
The service today is to celebrate Mother's Day as a day of universal blessing for mothers and for all the women that we honor in our lives. A day when all mothers and nurturers are enfolded lovingly in the prayers and blessings of all people everywhere. So, let's take a look at Mothers.
In Reader's Digest, Jeanne Young wrote, "My children, who had forgotten to shop for Mother's Day, presented me with a homemade card. The contrite message read: "We know you deserve the very best, Mom. But we're glad you kept us anyway." It is a card I will never throw away."
And that's what being a mother is all about. Holding your children in your heart for who they are. When we honor and love them, they learn to honor and love us
WE ARE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
We are all here on this planet as students and teachers. The old rock song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young says, "Teach your children well." It also says, "Teach your parents well." Our children come not just to learn from us, but also to be our teachers. We learn much from having and being with our children and our parents. They often can see through us, be honest with us, and cause us to grow. Some of the hardest and most important lessons we learn are found in our families. And yet, I believe that before we come to this world, we pick the parents and the situation we want to come into so that we may develop and grow.
Somewhere, on some other plane of existence, we decide what challenges we need so that we may grow spiritually. So, we put ourselves into the most atrocious situations so that we can grow up.
Or at least we THINK we grow - but let our Mother come into the room, and we are again 5 years old.
A man wrote to READER'S DIGEST. Here is what he said: "My mother has always treated me like her baby, no matter what my age. After turning 30, I purchased a computer and learned to use it. Thinking I'd impress her with my skill and maturity, I sent her a well-written letter, complete with computer graphics, borders and an elaborate typeface. I phoned to ask her what she thought of the letter. 'It's lovely, dear,' she replied. 'I have it hanging on the refrigerator for all the neighbors to see.'"
I'm sure more than one of you can identify with that story.
PARENTS & CHILDREN
Of parents & children, Myrtle Fillmore writes in the book How To Let God Help You: "It is truly wonderful to have children and to be truly awake in caring for them, that they may grow up in health and poise and assurance that they are God's and that all things needful come through them and to them. Parents are but representing the divine Father-Mother in receiving and caring for these new body temples which souls are building for experiences and further development of the God-given faculties and powers. Remembering this takes away the sense of anxiety and burden and gives great peace and joy and consciousness of power and love and prosperity."
BEING A MOM
I would like to read a piece to you - the author is unknown. The mother writes:
We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." you think I should have a baby?"
"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations ..."
But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of childbearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.
I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.
I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé: or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation. I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting, and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.
I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five-year-old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom. However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.
Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in moment to save her offspring but will also begin to hope for more years-not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs. I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.
I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.
I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts. My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.
"You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God ... that of being a Mother.
HONORING OUR MOTHERS
Now I would like to pay tribute to the women we know.
We will use the white flowers for those who have passed from this physical world and the colored flowers for those living mothers that we wish to honor
I have the names of women that I would like to acknowledge.
So for (NAME) this (white) flower is in memory of (NAME).
For (NAME) this (colored) flower is in honor of (NAME).
And for me this flower is in memory of my mother Helen Caldwell.
Is there anyone else who would like to add a woman to this list?
As you look at this vase filled with multi-colored flowers, think of the women in your life who have influenced you, inspired you, strengthened you, and loved you. Women we loved and hated. Women we blame for all our faults and weaknesses and thank for all our strengths and talents. Women who weren't perfect but did the best they knew how to do.
Calvin Trillin wrote, "The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."
In your program you have a Mother's Day Responsive Reading - let's do that now.
MINISTER: "God shared His name of Father and the gift of fatherhood with man, but upon woman alone God conferred the name of Mother. To her God gave the privilege of motherhood, and upon her God bestowed the wondrous spirit of mother love."
ALL: "Thank You, Father-Mother-God, for this wondrous spirit of mother love."
MINISTER: "Like the love of the Divine Spirit, mother love knows no boundaries. With the almighty power of God love, in which it has its source, mother love can span a continent, rise to the highest mountaintop, or descend to the depths of the ocean. Time and distance are transcended."
ALL: "Thank You, Father-Mother-God, for mother love, which like your love is boundless."
MINISTER: "The word 'Mother' has a special meaning to every soul on earth. If there were none to fulfill the role of motherhood, there would be no human race. Motherhood is precious to the Divine Spirit, for God entrusted the birth of His beloved Son to a woman whom the world has come to know as Mary, the mother of Jesus."
ALL: "Thank you, Father-Mother-God, for the continuation of the human race through Motherhood."
MINISTER: "The mother idea is associated with life, that vitalizing renewing flow of energy, which awakens every atom in our bodies to a new and greater expression of its potential."
ALL: "God is blessing every mother now with renewed life that fulfills every need."
MINISTER: "The mother idea exemplifies faith, that ability to say "yes" to God and to good; that which renews us, strengthens us, quickens us, and inspires us to do our best. A mother has faith in her children. And this mother faith instills in children the idea that they can do whatever they set their minds and hearts to do."
ALL: "God is blessing every mother now with faith to meet every need."
MINISTER: "The mother idea is filled with understanding, a knowing that God as principle stands under all things; that within all things there is good. Through understanding, a mother knows how to accomplish that which needs to be done. A mother expresses an understanding in her children, which strengthens their faith in themselves."
ALL: "God is blessing every mother now with understanding to meet every need."
MINISTER: "The mother idea is filled with strength, the ability to be still, to practice patience, steadfastness, tolerance, and balance. A mother is loyal to her children and stands by with patience until they have the strength to stand on their own."
ALL: "Thank You, God, for mothers who are blessed with strength and who practice tolerance and patience."
MINISTER: "Now, let us thank God for the power and blessing of our united prayers as we declare for the mothers of the world: 'God is blessing you now with the love and joy, life and strength, understanding and faith that meet your every need.'"
ALL: "God is blessing you now with the love and joy, life and strength, understanding and faith that meet your every need."
MINISTER: "And, now let us affirm this blessing for the mothers who are dear to our own hearts. Take a moment to become aware of all of the mothers that are dear to your heart. Hold these beloved mothers in your mind's eye as we affirm: 'God is blessing you now with the love and joy, life and strength, understanding and faith that meet your every need!'"
ALL: "God is blessing you now with the love and joy, life and strength, understanding and faith that meet your every need!"
MINISTER: "Blessed are the mothers of yesterday. They nurture us with loving memories and inspire us to become all we are meant to be. Blessed are the mothers of today. They hold in their hands and in their hearts the keeping of tomorrow and the destiny of our children's future. Truly, God is blessing all mothers now. Amen."
I would like to wrap up today with what my Mother taught me:
My Mother taught me LOGIC...
"If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the store with me."
My Mother taught me MEDICINE...
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to freeze that way."
My Mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD...
"If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job!"
My Mother taught me ESP...
"Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold?"
My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE...
"What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you... Don't talk back to me!"
My Mother taught me HUMOR...
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT...
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
My mother taught me ABOUT SEX...
"How do you think you got here?"
My mother taught me about GENETICS...
"You are just like your father!"
My mother taught me about my ROOTS...
"Do you think you were born in a barn?"
My mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE...
"When you get to be my age, you will understand."
My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION...
"Just wait until your father gets home."
My mother taught me about RECEIVING...
"You are going to get it when we get home."
And my all-time favorite thing- JUSTICE
"One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU. Then you'll see what it's like."
aCharles Fillmore The Twelve Powers
gSoul and Sense Hannah Parker Kimball