Have you ever heard somebody say, ‘I’m just a mum?’ I certainly have!
This weekend we celebrate ‘Mothering Sunday’ and I use that term, rather than ‘Mothers Day’, deliberately.
‘Mothering Sunday’ goes back centuries to a tradition where people visited their home, or ‘Mother’ church, to give thanks, on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It later became a tradition for those in service to then be allowed time to visit their home and their own mothers following the church service.
These days, few will visit church on Mothering Sunday in comparison with years gone by, and of course, like last year, in these extraordinary COVID times, there will be many who will also miss visiting their mums. But regardless whether or not we can visit, it will be a day when we give thanks for our mums, whether still alive, or now in God’s care.
It’s the day when we say thank you for all our mum does, or has done for us.
I learned so much from my mum (and my grandma, her mum). I learned how to cook, to bake, to sew, to embroider, to knit, to crochet, to do calligraphy. I learned from her example how to coordinate my clothes and to take pride and make the best of my appearance. But most of all, I learned how not to give up and to fight for what is right, not to quit when things are difficult.
I realise this latter point might seem a bit of a contradiction if you’ve read about my mum’s suicide attempts on my ‘Secrets’ page, but my mum came through so much and she managed to pull herself out of that dark place, despite all dad’s continued flirting, philandering and adultery, and she did it for her children.
Mum never drove, but when we needed to get to school or an appointment she walked or she took us on the bus (all four of us if needs be). And when I needed to take a piano exam, she didn’t flinch at taking me to Manchester or wherever I needed to go, on the train.
When I got married, it was my mum who organised everything with me and who designed and made my wedding dress and those of my bridesmaids.
When I had my babies, it was my mum who dropped everything she was doing to come and help.
Mums just do so much and suffer so much for us, sharing our joy, our sorrow, our pain and our hurt. As Simeon said to Mary (Luke 2:35) ‘a sword will pierce your own soul (heart) also’, so it is for every mother each time her child suffers.
My mum, like Mary, mother of Jesus, who raised and supported her son and also had to watch Him suffer on the cross, and every mum we give thanks for this week, could never be ‘just a mum’ 💜💜💜