Why Every Mom Needs a Bouquet of Dead Flowers This Mother’s Day – Encouragement for Today – May 9, 2017

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Why Every Mom Needs a Bouquet of Dead Flowers This Mother’s Day – Encouragement for Today – May 9, 2017

Alicia Bruxvoort May 9, 2017
Why Every Mom Needs a Bouquet of Dead Flowers This Mother’s
Day

ALICIA BRUXVOORT

“We know what true love looks like because of Jesus. He gave His life for us, and He calls us to give our lives for our brothers and sisters." 1 John 3:16 (VOICE) I’ll never forget the Mother’s Day my firstborn gave me a bouquet of dead daisies. The evening before, I’d watched from the kitchen window as my son roamed the overgrown field in our backyard and proudly picked a handful of golden blooms. He’d sniffed the silky petals with an appreciative nod, then he’d marched inside and asked me for a shoebox, some tape and a roll of aluminum foil. While I’d tucked his little sisters into bed, Lukas had tucked himself behind his bedroom door and warned me to stay out because he was working on a big surprise. But when Mother’s Day arrived with dawn’s pink streaks and my boy’s giddy shrieks, the surprise was all his. He raced to my bedside with that foil-wrapped box tucked under one arm, and he jumped up and down on the edge of my bed until I flashed him a sleepy smile. As he sang an original rendition of “Happy Mommy’s Day to You," I propped myself up on a pillow and let him plop his gift onto my lap. My 6-year-old watched with wiggly excitement as I oohed and ahhed over the shiny globs of wrapping paper. Little by little, I peeled back those lumpy layers of foil and plucked at the wads of tape until, finally, I lifted a bouquet of brown blooms from that shoebox tomb. My son’s wide blue eyes landed on his gift, and a bewildered grimace replaced his proud grin. But before his disappointment could morph into tears, I pulled Lukas close and thanked him for his thoughtfulness. Then I hopped out of bed and stuffed those dung-colored daisies into my fanciest crystal vase. And with a wink, I placed that Mother’s Day surprise right in the middle of the kitchen table as if it were the perfect centerpiece for our day of celebration. In hindsight, I realize it was. I may not have understood it then, but five kids and a dozen years later, I’ve learned something about motherhood that greeting cards don’t acknowledge and brightly colored daisies can’t capture. While motherhood is a beautiful and priceless gift, it is also a surprising summons to die. And maybe that’s why on some days this high and holy calling feels laborious and lusterless; monotonous and prosaic. Because motherhood (even spiritual motherhood) is more than a mandate to raise the next generation. It is an unending invitation to lay down our lives. Motherhood is saying no to the clanking cadence of selfishness and yes to the quiet rhythms of love. It’s relinquishing pride and persisting in prayer, surrendering greed and growing in grace. Motherhood is pacing the floor with a crying baby in the dark of night and holding a tearful teen in the depths of disappointment. It’s wiping bottoms and noses and floors countless times a day and listening to the same knock-knock joke over and over again. Motherhood is chasing toddlers when we’d rather be chasing our own dreams. And folding superhero underwear when we’d rather be rescued from the monotony of the daily grind.

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