Monday, May 2, 2016

To Every Man on Mother's Day

 Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired);Her husband also, and he praises her, saying, 
“Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness],[f]But you excel them all.”Proverbs 31:28-29 (Amplified version) 

"What do you want for Mother's Day?" My husband asked me. For the first time in our married history, we have actual expendable finances for Mother's Day. Honestly, I've had ideas swirling around, but really never thought to ask for something. I threw out some ideas, joked that I wanted a clean house and to go to the bathroom in peace - two things that won't happen until the kids are much older. 

But Dads, something that will mean everything to us can cost you nothing. 

Tell her that you notice. 

How many times has she gotten up with a crying baby, a sick child, or even you when you needed her? How many times is she the last one to eat a hot meal, give up something that she needs over soccer cleats, school pictures, or a new pair of jeans for a growing child? How many jobs has she held that she didn't really enjoy, but it kept food on the table, and a functioning family? How many times has she held it together when everything else was falling apart? How many times have you depended on her to keep everyone going so that you could keep everyone going

You get the idea. 

Dads, let me give you a hint: our biggest fear is that no one sees us anymore. 

Two years ago, I was a counselor for an educational program for kids that the system failed. Some of the kids, this was their last chance before they would spend the rest of their juvenile days in jail. I went to trainings, I was educated, respected, and my words carried weight. I had four jobs, and no days off to keep us going. I was exhausted all of the time. 

Fast forward to today: I spend my days finding ways to count things with my toddler. It's a big deal when he remembers most of his letters, an even bigger deal if he tells me he has to poop - before he poops. I'm exhausted most of the time, but it's a life that I wouldn't give up for anything. 

Tell her, Dad. Tell her that you see her. Tell her that you notice. But tell her in a way that tells everyone else. See, the thing about praise is that it's public. It's done in front of everyone else. It's done not to only tell her how wonderful she is, but to tell everyone else as well. 

There's another kind of Dad here... The Dad that has watched his wife pray for a child, only to find her dreams empty. A Dad that has seen and heard a little heartbeat the size of a thumb, only to have to say goodbye to that dream. As Fathers, the drive is to always provide for your family, and it can wound even the strongest soul not to be able to provide the love of his life with the one thing that they've both always wanted: a child. 

Tell her, Dad. Tell her that you believe in her dream and that God has an awesome plan for you both. Tell her that she is going to make a kickass mom, and you're honored to be on this journey with her. Tell her that she isn't alone in this

Some of us have had to say goodbye to our mothers. I can't tell you what I'd give to tell my mom that I love her one more time. I'd give anything to text her, call her, or go to lunch with her. Hell, I'd give anything to fight with her. All I can do is hope she knows now how much I love her. 

Tell her. Tell your mom that you love her while you have the chance.
It won't cost you anything. Maybe some time, some pride, or some minutes on your plan, but it'll be worth it. It may be the best thing you'll ever do.  

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