I was curious, so I clicked on the article, “12 Mother’s Day Gifts Your Mom Actually Wants.” I smiled at the first comment below the article that read, “Huh? I wouldn’t want any of these. Who made this stuff up?” Mother’s Day is this Sunday. The television ads are insisting we shop and the restaurants are taking reservations. But what does your mom really want?

You can take her to a restaurant this Sunday and wait in line with all the other families. Jim still cringes at the memory of one particular Mother’s Day buffet. We pastored churches for a long time so we were always the last people to reach a restaurant on Mother’s Day. Jim wanted to treat his mom and me to a day off cooking that Sunday. By the time we arrived most of the meat had dried up, the fruit had begun to turn and the vegetables were picked over and cold. The shrimp that remained were floating in the melting ice sculpture and warned of salmonella as we passed by. The key lime pie we ended our meal with had been rushed from a freezer and was not yet fully thawed. To top it off, the Mother’s Day entertainment was a woman at a piano who had sung the same songs for the past four hours and was tired, off-key, and too loud. Jim paid the expensive check at the end of our meal. His mom and I cooked for every Mother’s Day that followed.

I feel badly for my kids every time there is an event that requires a gift for mom. I am blessed to have what I need and most of what I want. That is true for a lot of us. So, here is the list of gifts that I think most moms would remember and appreciate this Mother’s Day:

— A card that she will tuck away in a drawer or box because the handwritten message inside is something she could never throw away.
— A celebration that is about who she is, rather than an obligatory response to the date on the calendar.
— The knowledge that she will never be a burden to you just because her body grows old.
— A hug that says “I love you” instead of “I’m leaving now.”
— A commitment that tells her that you are a good steward of the life and love that she gave you.
— Appreciation for lessons she taught and prayers she prayed—because you realize you have been blessed by both.
— Listening to her children tell a favorite childhood story, and the chance to watch her grandchildren listen.
— The absolute certainty that she will spend eternity with you and the rest of her family.

Mother’s Day shouldn’t be about what has been purchased and wrapped. I’m sorry if, in your family, it is. Not everyone gets to grow up with Christian priorities. But, you can recreate the holiday according to God’s standards, beginning this week. Every mom needs to know her children will love, honor, and respect her for all eternity.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the other imperfect, flawed, and loving moms! We deserve the recognition, appreciation, and a day free from chores. If you are still lucky enough to have your mom on this earth, think about the gift list above and include something that will give her a memory to cherish for the rest of her life.



Join us at www.christianparenting.org and chime in on this week’s discussion question: What is the most memorable gift you’ve given or received for Mother’s Day?

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