Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  Now I know it is supposed to be a fabulous event.  And every mother should gush and be treated like a queen; and I hope you were, but is that really real?!

I got up extra early so I could finish cleaning house and cooking the big meal planned at our house.  Both grandparents were coming and we had four birthdays to celebrate as well, and so I had a lot of cooking to do, a lot of shopping for presents, and a lot of cleaning.  The night before I worked till late on everything and fell to sleep tired, knowing Sunday morning would still be full of activity.  By the time I got the kids dressed, the rest of the food going, and got ourselves to church I hadn’t even had time for a cup of coffee, and my mental note was that my husband hadn’t gotten me a cup either!  Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t really feeling it when the first person I saw at church said, “Happy Mother’s Day!”  I offered a nice “Thank You.”  By the time the third person said it, I answered, “Mmmhmmm”.  Everyone had such happy faces about the occasion and I just wanted to ask, “Did you all just work yourself silly to get here?”  We gathered our kids and got into the service and the two little ones fell apart about one song in.  They both wanted to be in my arms at the same time, and neither one wanted the other one there, and a recent shoulder problem keeps me from holding two at a time.  By the end of the song they were both in tears and I had to go out with them.  “Ahhhh….blessed Mother’s Day!”    They agreed to go to their classes and I finally went back to service where I just wanted to lean on my husband’s shoulder and take a nap.  This is a real mother’s day, not the one that flower shops and jewelry stores portray in those TV ads! 

Our pastor started on a sermon called the Supermodel Mom and it brought me back a few years.  In fact, if you’ll go to the “About” page of my official website www.kristanrussell.com, and scroll down, a speech I gave years ago (when we only had 7 children) is on there.  It was done in our church, and it was on Mother’s Day.  It was called Stony Supermodels, although much different from today’s sermon.  I remembered back to one of the things I said.  “Being a seasoned mother is waking up on Mother’s Day and being reminded: “It just isn’t about me!”. 

No, it isn’t.  Not this day, not any day really.  Somehow Hallmark has us convinced we are special and should be recognized for it.  After church, we rustled up the kids and hurried home to finish mopping the floor and setting out the food.  The family arrived and we had our dinner and passed out gifts and enjoyed the afternoon as family.  The tension melted away and when everyone went home, I feasted on a piece of cheesecake all by myself. 

As I reviewed the day, I realized I had missed a couple of things along the way.  My one son had bought flowers and arranged them on the table for dinner, the other stopped at the grocery to ask if I needed anything on the way home from church.  Another ran out for sour cream.  The neighbor boy, who we call “the other brother”, stopped by and gave me a hug and wished me happy mother’s day.  I got a voicemail from my oldest’s best friend who is away at school.  He wished me a happy day and said he hoped I was being treated like a queen because I deserved it.  And then I saw a sweet note from my oldest on Facebook that said, “Happy Mother’s day to the best mom I could ask for.  Through everything, Kristan Russell has stuck by me, loved me, and never given up on me.  I love you, mom.” 

Yep, it isn’t about  me.  It’s about them.  It’s doing it all so they can see how much you love them and love God!  It’s loving their friends, and anyone and everyone and going all out so they can see why you do it.  All my grumbling was in the moment that it was all about me, but the minute the focus shifts to NOT being all about me, I have to say, it feels a whole lot better!  Good, in fact!  Feeling blessed! 

Who’s in charge here??

The other day, I told one of my five year old twins that I was going to Bible Study.  She said, “Can I be in charge while you are gone?”  Now as funny as it was that she was even asking, I thought, “How interesting, she has to ask permission to be in charge!  What a concept!”  I told her that normally our oldest daughter is in charge when she is the one home and she would have to go ask her.  She sweetly said, “Okay, mommie.”  And, off she went.  

It stuck with me most of the day really.  Partly because there is a hierarchy issue going on in our house.  Currently, the older two who are normally home together are only two years apart.  One is the oldest girl.  The other is the youngest boy.  But he is many years in age from the oldest three boys.  So he’s kind of like an “only boy” sometimes.   He has a need to exert a little authority at times that are very inconvenient, like right when my daughter is trying to do so…and the clash happens.  In fact, they were at it again that day as I ran a couple errands on the way home.  

As I woke this morning, and I thought about the order of my day, I realized something that was very interesting from my twin’s original question.  Each day, we wake up and hopefully we all spend our time talking with God about the day.  And just like my twin, he says to us, “Can I be in charge today?”  What’s the answer?  Some days we say, “okay, God.”  Other days, we struggle and fight back and forth over who is in charge.  We know it’s him, and yet we try to exert our authority into our day causing all kinds of chaos! 

Who’s in charge of your day today?  Does He have full permission to have it His way?  

Today, I’m home all day with them, so momma’s in charge of them.  And if I do the day right, I’ll let God’s be in charge of me!  All day!