mother’s day. i only realised as i grew older, how much i used to dread this day. not just for myself, but for those around me who feel like they are missing out on something.
for the single who longs to be a mother, but hasn’t been married; for the married women who long for children but is unable to have them, for mothers who have lost their children; for those who have lost their mothers – a special day to celebrate mothers (who have actually given birth) just makes it harder than it already is to face those facts. (please understand i’m not saying i’m against mother’s day, but let’s face it – mothers, in the traditional sense, have every day to remind them that they are mothers; the rest of the women have one big special day to remind them that they aren’t and maybe never will be).
i still remember growing up, we would give out flowers to the mothers at church, or they’d ask the mothers to stand up, and i distinctly remember wondering – even at that age – how do they know who’s a mother and who is not? well, tons of blogs & articles have been written about how the church celebrates mothers day, often in ways that are hurtful to those who are not the obvious “mothers.” i won’t go into detail about that, as i’m sure you can find that anywhere online.
having been out on the mission field for almost 10 years as a single woman, and being surrounded by plenty of missionary families/wives, it hasn’t always been easier. but i also don’t want to go into that today (though i’m sure i could fill an entire entry about things that have been said/done that are hurtful to the singles, haha).
no, today i want to talk about the wonderful way i’ve experienced motherhood on the field.
my own mother is back in my home country, and for the past ten years, i have only had the chance to celebrate mother’s day with her by skyping and saying “happy mother’s day!” or mailing a present to her from overseas. but i slowly began to realise that, while my own mother will always be my beloved mother, who has shaped who i am today – i now have other “mothers” that i also look up to, and have also influenced who i have become at the present.
when i think through the past 10 years here in taiwan and australia, there were plenty of ladies who poured into my life the way my own mother would, not just on a spiritual level, but also on an emotional and physical level – taking care of me, cooking for me, giving me advice, listening to me share, teaching me how to cook and answering my dumb questions about cooking, etc….there is no shortage of things that these ladies have done to help me mature on all different areas (if that is at all possible, hehe). if i were back in texas, it would be my own mother helping to teach those things to me. and yet here i am, on the other side of the world, learning from ladies – who are from various cultures, various age groups, both single & married…and it makes me so thankful.
i love my mother. and i love all the women who have poured into my life in the past 10 years the way my own mother would.
so i am thankful for my mother. and i am thankful for my pseudo-mothers as well, particularly the single women who have taught me much about being a single missionary. i am reminded of Titus 2, where Paul advises the older women to disciple and teach the younger – this is what i have had the blessing of being a recipient of, and what wonderful examples i have to look to.
i don’t know if God will ever give me my own children, but even if He doesn’t, i still hope that in small ways, i can be a “mother” to ladies; giving to, and investing in the lives of other women around me. i’ve learned that mothers day isn’t just a day for ladies who have birthed children to be appreciated, but a day to appreciate all the ladies around you who have been like a mother to you. i hope that eventually mother’s day will be about celebrating that.
so happy mothers day to my mother, and all the women around me who have been a part of my life, loving and caring for me.
i am truly thankful for you.
無論是很想當母親的單身女生，但是還沒有結婚；或是結了婚的太太但懷孕有困難的，或是孩子過世的母親，或是自己母親已過世的朋友們 – 我們大家慶祝一個專門只為懷胎生孩子的女人，只會讓以上的女士們感到更心痛受傷。(在這裡要先澄清一下，我不是反對母親節，而是說 – 我們一般想到的母親 – 生過孩子的 – 每天都有機會提醒自己是一位母親；剩下的女士們有特別的一天提醒她們自己並不是，也很可能以後也不會是)。
已單身女生來到台灣已經10年了，周圍也有很多的宣教士家庭/太太們，在這個環境裡生活也並沒有特別容易。但是我今天也不想要來談這個 （但是相信我有足夠的傷害單身人的話/行動 可以寫出一整篇啊！哈哈哈)
我自己的母親在美國，而這過去10年，我唯一能夠跟她一起過母親節就是在當天與她skype說 “母親節快樂！”或者就是寄個小禮物給她。但是我慢慢開始發現，雖然媽媽永遠都是我媽媽，也是讓我成為今天的我的人 – 我現在也有別的 “媽媽” 在我生命中付出，影響我的生命與走的路。
想想過去10年在台灣與澳洲，有多數的女士在我生命中付出，就像我自己媽媽會做的那樣。不只是在屬靈上付出，也是在情感上與生活上 – 照顧我，幫我做飯，給意見，聽我分享，教我怎麼做飯，也回答我問關於做飯的笨笨的問題…還不只這些呢！但是都是讓我學習成長的地方。如果我人還在美國，應該就是我自己的媽媽在教導我這些吧？但如今我在地球的另一邊，既然可以從不同的女士們學到許多 – 而且還是不同文化，不同年齡，單身/已婚的都有…讓我心裡很感恩。
我也為她們感恩，也為那些”乾媽嗎”們感恩，特別是那些單身的”媽媽”們教導我如何在工場上學習單身宣教士的生活。想起聖經裡提多書2張，保羅請年齡大一點的女士們要教導，照顧，訓練比他們小的 – 我既然收到這樣的祝福，她們也是我仰望的榜樣。