Surviving Mother's Day 2021 and Beauty


I read about a 4th grade teacher who assigned students to write an essay that started like this: My Mother is . . .

A consistent answer was "My Mother is beautiful!" The teacher said. . in looks . . no . . not all those mothers were beautiful but the students thought so.


When my daughter was young, she too was assigned a paper to write about me. She brought it home and I could tell by the look on her face that she was so proud! It said nice things . . and one sentence said, "my Mother is homely".


I cleared my throat and asked, "you think I'm homely"? Nodding her head 'yes', she went on to say, "you like to stay home a lot".


THAT'S HOMEY, NOT HOMELY!!! That word is actually used to describe a room or where a person lives as being comfy and cozy. Heavy sigh.


I believe it was Forest Gump who said . . "beauty is as beauty does".



Not everyone is happy on Mother's Day. Maybe your Mom has died, or was abusive or had an addiction. If so, you probably didn't get a chance to know her. Perhaps this holiday is sad for you because you have a child headed down the wrong path or you have wanted to have a child but haven't been able. If your child has died, this may be an especially difficult day for you. When I pastored a church, I wanted to be sensitive to the fact that for some this is not a time to celebrate. We always started the service that day with a Mother's Day Prayer from The United Methodist Book of Worship. You will find it at the end of this post.


Have you noticed being bombarded by advertisements for gifts for Mother's Day? A lot of them have to do with beauty products. Have you ever listened to Dr. J. Vernon McGee / Through the Bible Radio? He would go through the entire Bible in 5 years, then he would start all over again. If you listened much, you became familiar with some of his sayings. One of the most used was the comment while preaching "this is getting down to where the rubber meets the road". He mentioned once when he had a church there was a woman who thought it was wrong to wear make-up. He commented he wished she would change her mind!


Here is a text to show you what the Bible says about beauty.


Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:1-7


I realize to some women these are fighting words. It rankles them. When I read this out loud for the message at church, I saw one of the women in a pew quickly sit straight up as though someone had pinched her. She was frowning and stiffened up. As I have lived with abuse in the past myself, I explained that did not mean putting up with being treated badly or being a 'door mat'. She relaxed at some point in the service and we talked afterwards.


A woman who taught Sunday school stated she thought of being submissive as riding behind your husband on a motorcycle. All the bugs, bright lights, cold wind and rain hit him first and protect her. What do you think?


Here's what the world thinks about beauty. Just watch TV. Either you are born attractive or you can buy it. Cosmetics / clothing / plastic surgery are for sale. It's expensive, fads change. I wear make-up, used to get my hair and nails done, prefer plain clothes and tennis shoes. A woman at church years ago said . . 'oh, I see you're wearing that dress again', if that tells you anything. My sister and I never had our ears pierced because we said we have enough holes in our head.


Even Abraham Lincoln said "I think the Lord prefers common looking people . . that must be the reason he made so many of them."


My grandson, Austin, was still born. I am writing the following for Mothers who have 'lost' a child to death or could not have one.


Austin will never be bullied as a youngster at school or cyber-bullied.

He will never experience a gunman coming to his school and be shot.

He will never experience a gunman coming to where he is watching a movie.

He will never be drafted.

He will never come home from the military in a flag draped coffin.

He will never suffer and die from Covid.

He is safe in the arms of Jesus.

I believe Austin is a young adult in heaven and has a job to do.


If I did not believe in God / if I did not believe and know Jesus paid for my sins on the cross / if I did not have the comfort of the Holy Spirit with me 24/7, I could not have endured that loss or the death of my son last year. (See my blog post about Aaron for details.)

If you are hurting this week and especially this coming Sunday, read the 23rd Psalm over and over. Then focus on the first 5 words. Meditate and think of them as follows:

The LORD is my shepherd.

The Lord IS my shepherd.

The Lord is MY shepherd.

The Lord is my SHEPHERD.


MOTHER'S DAY PRAYER


For our mothers, who have given us life and love,

that we may show them reference and love,

WE PRAY TO THE LORD . . .


For mothers who have lost a child through death,

that their faith may give them hope,

and their family and friends support and console them,

WE PRAY TO THE LORD . . .


For women, though without children of their own,

who like others have nurtured and cared for us,

WE PRAY TO THE LORD . . .


For mothers, who have been unable

to be a source of strength,

who have not responded to their children

and have not sustained their families,

WE PRAY TO THE LORD . . .


LOVING GOD, BLESS THESE WOMEN, THAT THEY

MAY BE STRENGTHENED AS CHRISTIAN MOTHERS.

LET THE EXAMPLE OF THEIR FAITH AND LOVE SHINE

FORTH. GRANT THAT WE, THEIR SONS AND

DAUGHTERS, MAY HONOR THEM ALWAYS WITH A

SPIRIT OF PROFOUND RESPECT. GRANT THIS THRU

CHRIST OUR LORD. AMEN.


The United Methodist Book of Worship






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