Sunshine filtering through the windows, robins playing on the front lawn. A content baby with bedhead and lots of sloppy kisses. It was a happy morning.
Jonny was taking Joseph out for daddy-son donuts, before dropping him off at preschool. Glancing out the window, I rolled up my sleeves to get started on the dishes, watching the chirping birds usher in spring. Asher sat at my feet, nibbling on post-breakfast crackers and sneaking crumbs to our well-fed dog.
Why is it that in the most joyful moments, my heart drifts somewhere else?
As suds filled the sink, I saw women who fight daily to provide for their families. Mothers who dream of clean water. I saw women who balance two jobs. Who forgo meals of their own to ensure that their little ones have something to fill their bellies.
Mother’s Day is approaching, and I thought about all of the mamas, here and abroad, who will never experience the opportunity and privilege I have. It’s unjust and I don’t understand and writing it makes my eyes fill with tears.
I thought about the women who place their children in orphanages, not because they don’t want to be mothers, but because their circumstances are broken, their hope has run dry.
And I thought about the sweet babies of all ages, the abandoned toddlers and the forgotten school girls, who ache for a mama to rub their backs and pack their lunches and braid their hair. The ones we too often think of as just a number in an infographic.
And I thought of those precious ones who have mothers but have never seen love modeled to them. The ones who have been ignored, neglected, or worse.
It’s not guilt — it’s empathy.
The thing that’s great about our hearts is that there’s enough room for joy — and for compassion.
See, I looked into my sink full of bubbles, and I think I heard Jesus. His heart is for the suffering, for the downtrodden. I think the Spirit whispers into our soul in those quiet moments. And because He cares, so should I.
So I will. I will care.
I will give thanks for what I have. I will give thanks in the quiet moments, and I will give thanks with my words. I will give thanks with my wallet, I will give thanks with my hands, I will give thanks with the way we raise my family, I will give thanks by the way we build our family.
May we have hearts filled with gratitude, not entitlement. May we let God mold and shape our hearts to sing his praises by the way we love. May we pray for, and then work alongside, the mothers who climb mountain after mountain for their children. May we pray for, and stand alongside, the children who do not have mothers to fight for them.
This Mother’s Day, here are just a few ways we can let gratitude flow through our hearts and out of our hands:
Purchasing products to support living wages
Supporting ministries standing in the gap for children
Supporting adoption when first families are not an option
- Financially supporting adoptive families
- Supporting an organization that gives grants to adoptive families
Supporting local mothers and children
- Connecting with transitional housing or shelter
- Mentoring or teaching a trade
- Tutoring young moms at a community college
- Babysitting for single mothers
- Stocking the food pantry
Our friends in Des Moines are raising money for clean water in Ghana. If you’re close, consider joining them!