Friday, May 9, 2014

For Special Moms

On Sunday, we honor our mothers, those dedicated women who fed us, changed our diapers, gave us soup and sympathy when we were sick, put band-aids on our boo-boos, comforted us when the goldfish died, quizzed us on our spelling words for school, and baked patriotic-themed cupcakes on short notice (because we forgot) for the Girl Scout bake sale. We can never say enough about these awesome moms.

But although all moms are amazing, on this Mother's Day, I’d like to honor some special moms in special circumstances. Because some moms are even more amazing.

Single moms. Moms who have no choice but to leave their newborns in daycare while they work to support their families. Moms who work all day at a diner or a doctor's office and then come home at night and make supper, supervise homework, and do all the mom-stuff until bedtime and beyond. Moms who never get a break and never get enough sleep. Moms who have to be part mom, part dad. Moms who go hungry so that the children will be fed.

Moms of children with disabilities. This is a special company of moms who have had to rethink their dreams and plans, wrestle with huge theological questions, and turn sacrifice into a daily way of life. Moms who stand up to doctors, school boards, government programs, busy-body neighbors, and even the good church people, to do whatever it takes to help their children with special needs.

Moms who adopt at-risk kids. For those saint-like moms who are willing to be foster or adoptive parents to kids who have been neglected or abandoned by their own families — kids with behavior problems, fetal-alcohol syndrome, or AIDS — kids who have fallen through the cracks of our educational system and social programs. Moms who choose to give their love where it is needed most.

Moms who grieve the loss of a child. I know a woman who lost one of her twins at birth. Some people couldn’t understand why she didn’t just rejoice in the surviving child and get on with her life. A child who dies leaves a forever hole in your heart, and yet, somehow these moms do "get on with it," for the sake of the family, while carrying a secret ache inside and sometimes crying when no one is watching.

Moms with disabilities — moms with multiple sclerosis, leukemia, depression — moms who still strive to be good parents, even though tying a shoe lace or doing laundry is much harder for them than for other people. Moms who put on a brave face and make a superhuman effort to be there for their kids. Moms who give all they can — and then give some more.

These special moms deserve our respect, our appreciation, and a helping hand when we can give it. This Mother's Day, remember the special moms in your family, in your church, in your neighborhood. Let's give them a listening ear and an open heart.

They are Heaven's royalty, queens with invisible crowns. And great is their reward!

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