Yesterday was Mothers’ Day. I suppose I should write some tribute to infertility, and how I haven’t forgotten the pain (I haven’t), or some glorious praise about how grateful I am that my mother is still alive (I am).
But holy cow…the fact that I can even find time to sit for a few minutes and catch up on “computer things” has rendered my brain pretty mushy. I have Important Things To Do! like print off my tutor application for Classical Conversations this fall, and the hand out for my parent practicum next week, and respond to about eight hundred emails.
I did want to write about this one thing, though, since last week…
Last Sunday (not Mothers’ Day), our preacher preached from I John 5:1-5. What really stuck out to me was verse 3: “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” (NIV)
I cannot begin to tell you how many people have said variations of this since my mom had her stroke and we moved her in with us:
“I could never do what you are doing.”
Let me translate that into what I hear that leaves me speechless every time:
* I could never quit my job and stay home to take care of someone else.
* I could never give up on my own life to put someone else first.
* I could never stop my whatever (hobbies, goals, jobs, date nights with the hubby, cuddle time with the kids, etc.) to take someone’s blood pressure, monitor their meds, and drive to countless doctor appointments every week.
* I could never treat my parent like a child, clean up their potty messes, help them shower, dress them, or encourage them to hydrate and eat well, because they’re my PARENT
* I could never not put myself first
* I could never take my mother with me everywhere I go
Maybe that’s not at all what people mean.
But here’s the deal.
The Bible says, multiple times, to honor your parents. It’s written in such a way that it means to honor them until YOU are dead. So even if they pass away, you are to honor their memory and them in the way you continue on beyond them.
It also means that you take care of them.
I John 5:3 says God’s commands aren’t burdensome. Burdensome means severe, stern, violent or cruel.
Taking care of my mother hasn’t been any of those things.
Hard? Exhausting? Life upending? Life changing? Emotional? Stressful? Difficult? Challenging? Financially draining?
Yes. Pretty much constantly.
But never burdensome.