I was preparing for a Mother’s Day lesson for Sunday school this past week, looking up fun activities for the kids to do and interesting facts to share with the class. I’m not sure if you’re like me and never gave a second thought of when or how Mother’s Day became a national recognized holiday, I naively thought it’s always been recognized. I mean think about it, what would life be like without our Mother’s? All the things our moms do for us, the things we KNOW she does and the things that are being done without any “Thank You’s” or even any acknowledgement. All the things being done behind the scenes that our husbands and children never know about until there’s a day it stops being done. That such day is the day that absolute mayhem begins. How could a time exist when there wasn’t a day dedicated to thanking Mom’s everywhere?!
In 1907 following the death of Ann Jarvis, her daughter Anna decided to commemorate her mother’s memory and life’s dedication to helping the community of mothers during the Civil War, and for being a peacemaker & an encouraging unity among the women no matter which side their husbands had chosen. In 1878 Anna recalled listening to her mother teach a lesson on mothers from the Bible during Sunday School. Anna’s mother stated “I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother’s day, There are many days for men, but none for mothers.” Anna made it her mission to begin a campaign writing letters to prominent men, even H.J. Heinz, President Taft and former President Roosevelt being a few.
On May 1907 accommodations for a Mother’s Day (also referred to as Mothering Day) service had finally been arranged on the second Sunday in May at the same church where Ann Jarvis had once taught before her passing. The following year a special Mother’s Day service was also held in a large auditorium in Philadelphia, which could seat no more than a third of the 15,000 people who showed up. This tradition soon spread to 45 states and by 1914 President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day. Anna’s intentions were to honor and be a humble celebration to all mothers. By the 1940’s Anna Jarvis became saddened and bitter by how much this special holiday became commercialized. The very spirit of Mother’s Day was lost. Jarvis actually fought to repeal the holiday, only to make little progress.
Now I’m not trying put a damper on Mother’s Day or even say that we are over commercializing Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is so much more than a card, a dinner, and an expensive gift. It’s the act of lifting up Mother’s everywhere and pausing everything else going on in your life to remember her and show love that honors her. Let’s go a step further and take a moment to honor and lift up the women of faith who don’t have children, but love and care for us all the same. Proverbs 31 speaks of not only the influence and impact a mother has, but it speaks of all women. I believe Proverbs 31 is collection of the best attributes of many women. Let’s spend time with our mother’s, grandmother’s, and spiritual mother’s this Mother’s Day. Don’t forget to cherish all the wonderful attributes of our mothers and these precious times we have with them!
Prov. 31:10-31 10 “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She looks for wool and flax, And works with her hands in delight. 14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. 15 She rises also while it is still night, And gives food to her household, And portions to her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And makes her arms strong. 18 She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor; And she stretches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells [them,] And supplies belts to the tradesmen. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband [also,] and he praises her, [saying:] 29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, [But] a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.”