Mothers’ Day

We have enjoyed some of the most beautiful weather this weekend … clear blue skies, warm, sunny days, temperatures in the mid-70s. It almost makes all those dreary, rainy winter days seem to have been a dream …

Today was Mothers’ Day … but I didn’t get a chance to celebrate my mother. My mom spent the afternoon with Liz and ‘the cousins’, which I can hardly resent, since we monopolize so much of my parents’ attention. I tried to call and wish my Mom a happy Mothers’ Day, but I was relegated to voicemail. I guess we’ll have to do the best we can to celebrate her when she comes out on Wednesday.

Instead, I had the happy task of celebrating my wife, who is an excellent mother to all my rascally children. On the way to church, I asked all the kids why they were thankful to God for their mother, and the results were predictable. Nearly everyone (including me, I’m afraid) viewed Kathy as having value because of what she did for them. David was thankful for her preparation of his meals, and felt it necessary to list each of them in succession. Several were thankful because she reads to them and helps with their school. My first thankful thought was that I am thankful for Kathy because she loves me.

It is nearly impossible to get a family picture where everyone is smiling, but Kathy is rarely the problem.

Maybe the response was due to the way I posed the question, but it is interesting to think of the way that we often love God in the same way — looking for how He benefits us rather than adoring Him for who He is. I guess it is an inescapable fact that we are pretty selfish and self-focused people.

Looking at the blogs over the past two years, I see that I haven’t really done a proper Mothers’ Day blog for my wife. This cries out to be corrected:

Five Reasons I Am Thankful for the Mother of My Children

  1. She is kind.
    I often think that one of the main reasons God decided that “it is not good for man to be alone” is that we are so good at justifying our own behavior and denying the need for spiritual growth. One of the most challenging things about living with Kathy is that she sets a high standard of kindness. She seems to genuinely be capable of loving a large number of people and acts and speaks kindly toward nearly everyone. I am continually reminded of the way Jesus wants me to act toward others by the example of my wife.
  2. She is extraordinarily beautiful.
    I hope I never forget the way that Kathy smiled at me when she came up the aisle on our wedding day. I have a picture of her, taken by a bridesmaid in the dressing room just a few hours before, that helps me remember the way she looked. But in a strange way, she is more beautiful to me now than she was then. It certainly doesn’t hurt that she has been taking such good care of her body in the past year! Yesterday we were driving home from church, and she was wearing a very pretty and flattering pink dress. She had been waiting in the car while I grabbed something that had been forgotten in the church, and she had her knees drawn up and her feet on the dashboard of the van. There was something very young and girlish about her posture, and I got a chance to once again admire her grace and beauty. What were those fools at William and Mary thinking, to let me swoop down and carry her off? Even more, as I see her with eyes that have shared almost 14 years of marriage, the beauty of her character blazes out, almost eclipsing her physical attractiveness. A shared smile or a wink from her still makes my heart skip a beat, all the more because it is invested with so many shared experiences and jokes.
  3. My Sweetie enjoying a clean kitchen, thanks to Daniel
    My Sweetie, enjoying a clean kitchen, thanks to Daniel’s hard work.

  4. She is very fun.
    We never have to look very far for a chance to celebrate, thanks to Kathy’s enthusiam and delight in making the commonplace events of life a reason for joy. In stark contrast to my often-dour and occasionally-cynical perspective, Kathy views most events as an opportunity for fun through glasses of optimism and cheerfulness. She sets the standard for our whole family and draws us all closer to God by exhibiting the joy of the Lord.
  5. She is of noble character.
    It sounds stuffy when I read those words in Proverbs 31:10, but when I think about it, ‘noble’ is a great word to describe my beloved. One does not raise (or even partially raise) five children without becoming familiar with self-sacrifice — and what is nobility but putting the needs of others ahead of yourself?
    We have had a great life, so far, and have been spared a lot of the grief and sorrow that others have faced. But (I assure you) there have been countless opportunities to be selfish, and Kathy is strongly characterized by choosing her family over herself, day in, day out. When there is a sacrifice that needs to be made for the children, Kathy is almost always the one to set the example, and it falls to me to follow, often grumbling under my breath.
  6. She manages our home and the children’s schooling nearly single-handedly.
    One of the things any wise man prizes in a wife is her ability to manage the household. I can probably count on one hand the times I have heard her lodge a serious complaint about her role as home school teacher. While it is true that the children pitch in, and even I help a little, most of the day-to-day work of keeping our household in food and clothing and some semblance of cleanliness is done by Kathy. This often-thankless and nearly unending job is something she takes in stride, breezing through life with a cheerful spirit.

I could go on and on, but I don’t want the rest of the husbands out there to feel too jealous, so I’d better quit. Suffice it to say that I am a very fortunate man indeed, to have Kathy as my wife and the mother of my horde of children.


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