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Mother and child handsThe older I have become, the more complicated Mother’s Day seems for me.  I grew up with an amazing mother.  She made tremendous sacrifices for our family, she was incredible witness to what serving Christ and others meant, and she was a caring and loving presence in my life.  As I have become an adult, our relationship has naturally changed.  We do not agree on a variety of things, but I have a deep love and admiration for her – more than I could probably ever explain or express to her or to you.

But as I have become an adult, the idea of motherhood has shifted.  When I moved away from my family, other women became mothers to me too.  I have become a mother myself and now see how incredibly difficult the job is.  And I have watched friends and family lose beloved mothers – sometimes at a very young age, and sometimes at a much more mature age.  The loss never goes away.

But I have also seen the darker side of mothers.  I have come to know individuals who were abused by their mothers.  I have come to know women who want to be mothers but cannot.  I have come to know mothers whose relationships with their children have become estranged and irreparably damaged.

So every year, given that Mother’s Day falls on a Sunday, I find myself torn about Mother’s Day.  I find myself wanting to celebrate the goodness of mothers – however we define motherhood.  And I find myself wanting to acknowledge how wholly painful this day is to others.  The best I can do is be honest about that tension and pray for all of us – that we somehow manage to hold our joy and our sorrow in tension this Mother’s Day.  And for all of us, I offer up this prayer:  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/42236079/The%20wide%20spectrum%20of%20mothering%20%28resource%29.pdf