When I was younger, I would always get so excited about picking my mom the little bitty white flowers that grew up in our yard between mows. They smelled sickly sweet, and honestly, they were just weeds. When I got to junior high, I was delightfully surprised to find out there is literally a song about that exact thing called “A Handful Of Weeds” by Sheri Easter. It is about a little girl picking dandelions for her mother, and how she realizes after she gets older that her mother deserved an arm full of roses but is satisfied and thankful for a handful of weeds. I would sing it at church every Mother’s Day as part of the program.
As I’m typing this post and winding down from a Mother’s Day full of visits to both mine and Lee’s parents, as well as to my grandparents’, I decided to listen to the song since I didn’t actually sing it this year. I forgot what a beautiful song it really is, and tears filled my eyes. I also can’t help but feel convicted about how I’ve neglected my mom these past few months as my life has picked up steam. One line in the song states, “I could’ve done better, I know in my heart, than to scribble a note on a last minute card.” It breaks my heart to know that while I have seen my mom and I have spent time with her, this has been my approach in a way. The only time we really see each other is between our busy schedules; she’s usually coming home and I’m usually leaving at the same time. I know deep down that I haven’t given her the time and attention that she deserves, and that I need to make more time for her from now on.
Listening to that song, and thinking about how little I actually do for my mom made me appreciate everything she does for me. I just graduated from college with top honors. I’ve never had to worry about clothes, food or shelter. My mom is always in my corner when I need support, but she is my harshest critic when I need to be reprimanded. She carried me to piano lessons, voice lessons, viola lessons, track practice, football games and school functions. She held me when my feelings were hurt, and taught me to treat others, even those who mistreated me, with kindness. She taught me how to be strong, but gentle. She taught me how to be a leader, but to know when to pick my battles. My mom is a true example of a Proverbs 31 woman, and I am so thankful that she has given me an example of what a Godly woman should look like. Somehow she managed to raise three children (one with autism); work; keep a clean, tidy and orderly home; and still keep her faith strong. She led all of us to Jesus by showing us and teaching us about His love daily. I hope that one day I can find a way to show her how much I appreciate her presence in my life and all that she has done for me.
I never thought I would ever want to have children. To be completely honest, children scare me to death. I much rather prefer cats to kids. If you drop a cat, it will land on its feet. If you drop a little baby, you will seriously hurt it, and the thought of accidentally hurting a baby terrifies me. I’ve always been afraid of not being a good mom, or just not knowing what to do. However, as I have grown older and thought about how much my mom loves me, I can’t help get the warm-and-fuzzies in my chest. To be able to share a friendship and bond with my own daughter like the one I have with my mom would be pure joy.
While I was waiting in the checkout line at Brookshire’s with my mom’s pre-made bouquet in hand, I remembered all the times we worked planting flowers in the yard or working in her summer vegetable garden. We would bond and talk while planting impatiens, vinca, snapdragons, and lantana. We would sit in the yard for hours in the spring as we pulled up weeds and put new mulch in the flower beds. It is only now as an adult that I realize that not only were we planting flowers, but my mom was also planting seeds of hope, joy, and love in my heart; watering them with her prayers and words of encouragement; and yanking out the bitterness, anxiety, and immaturity that occasionally put down roots. Can you imagine how beautiful the world would be if everyone continually tended to the gardens of each other’s hearts in this way? I hope that if I do have a daughter one day, I can help her grow the way my mom has helped me.
My final reflections concerning Mother’s Day is how my relationship with my mother mirrors my relationship with God. How often have I offered Him a handful of weeds or a last minute card as an afterthought? How many times has God had to pull up the weeds of hate, worry, and sin that were suffocating everything else? How often do I really make time for my relationship with Him and show appreciation for all the things He has done for me? When I think about the answers to those questions, I am ashamed. However, I am so thankful that, like my mother, Jesus loves me unconditionally and will continue to help me grow spiritually, even though I can never measure up.
Don’t take your mother’s or Jesus’s love for granted today. Tell them how thankful you are. Take the time to nurture your relationships with them. Don’t forget that they made you who you are.
She may be satisfied with a handful of weeds, but strive to give your mother the roses that she deserves while she’s still on earth to enjoy them.