Are you a mother?
Are you in the role of a mother?
Have you ever questioned the legitimacy of your role? Are you worthy of it? Are you enough?
They were perfect! It was Mother’s Day and the buttonhole posies sat neatly laid out on the table, ready to be pinned to each mother’s blouse, as she entered the church. The posies were a gift of thanks and appreciation given to all mothers in celebration of their hard work and dedication to raising their little ones, their grown-up ones, their fur-babies, and cattle-children—depending on the mother.
I had spent time putting each posy together carefully with love and enthusiasm. Each was a masterpiece.
At the time, my husband and I had been married for about a month and were living in a house next to his parents, on their property. His mother had a beautifully tended garden surrounded by a lot of natural bush. I had been thrilled to be given the special job of creating the posies, and even better still, I was trusted to do it all by myself. In times gone past, a group of ladies from our church worked together to create them, using flowers from my mother-in-law’s garden, but this year, the job had been given solely to me.
I wanted to create each posy perfectly and asked for clear instructions on how to make them. I was given support and guidance by a lady and close friend in our church, and understood I needed to use ferns as the greenery, chrysanthemums as the flower and tie them together with white ribbon. To finish, I was to wrap each posies stem with green florist tape and have ready a decorative pin, so they could be attached to each mother’s clothing. I knew I had followed the instructions perfectly, and my job was complete.
The first mother arrived. She had adult children a similar age to me, and together they had provided a sense of family that I had needed, after moving to Tasmania, away from my own family in South Australia. She was also the lady who had given me the instructions on how to make the posies. Her eyes looked at me, looked at the posies, then looked at me again as her lips fell silent, her head tilted to one side and a tiny crack of a smile appeared. A combination of shock-horror and laughter then broke out from her. I was puzzled.
“Why have you used bracken fern for the posies? They are a weed!” she said, her eyes opening wide in wait of my answer. “Well, I was going to use the ferns from my mother-in-law’s garden, but these were just nearby, and they looked so beautiful,” I replied confused. “The stems are strong, and they have helped hold the chrysanthemums up” I continued, not knowing that bracken fern was considered a weed, as this variety of fern was not any I had seen before. To me, bracken fern was as attractive and legitimate as any other for this job and worked great in the posies.
“They do have a beauty,” she agreed, looking at them with new eyes as she picked one up and let me help her attach it to her blouse.
Many mothers came in that morning and after a few giggles, they too saw the bracken fern the way I saw it, with beauty and strength. Each a masterpiece.
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:10, “For you are God’s masterpiece. He has created you anew in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things he planned for you long ago.”
You may be a mum that hasn’t reached the bar you have set for yourself; you may be a mum that feels like a fake, or not legitimate, not perfect, or not worthy. You may have a chronic illness, a disability (or have a child that does), and mothering is hard and tiring and you struggle to find your place. You could be a foster mum or step-mum, a dad, grandparent, guardian, sister or brother in a mother’s role, or you may be a mum-figure to close friends, fur-babies, or cattle, but whoever you are, whatever your story, and however you came to be in the role of mum, God sees you. He sees the beauty in you. He sees your strength. You fit. You are a perfect masterpiece in His eyes.
I hope You all have a very special and blessed Mother’s Day and know You are loved.
Tamika Spaulding writes from Tasmania and blogs at https://www.hisherd.com/