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With Mother’s Day this Sunday, here are a few quotes I have enjoyed on the subject of motherhood. Both as a mother of six children, three of which are grown, two of which are nearly grown, and a preschooler (!), and as a grandmother of two (the second one is to arrive, Lord willing, in September), and also as a daughter, I have many thoughts on the topic of motherhood that are touched on by these quotes.
One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters. - George Herbert
I long to put the experience of fifty years at once into your young lives, to give you at once the key of that treasure chamber every gem of which has cost me tears and struggles and prayers, but you must work for these inward treasures yourselves. - Harriet Beecher Stowe
My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.” ― Jodi Picoult
I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother. ― Martha Gellhorn
All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. ― Abraham Lincoln
A daughter without her mother is a woman broken. It is a loss that turns to arthritis and settles deep into her bones. ― Kristin Hannah
Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest. ― Debra Ginsberg
Mother, I love you so, said the child. I love you more than I know. She laid her head on her mother’s arm, and the love between them kept them warm. – Stevie Smith
Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.” ― Ambrose Bierce
Mothers can forgive anything! Tell me all, and be sure that I will never let you go, though the whole world should turn from you. ― Louisa May Alcott, Jo’s Boys
Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved. ― Kate Samperi
Gilbert put his arm about them. ‘Oh, you mothers!’ he said. ‘You mothers! God knew what He was about when He made you. ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams
This is what we do, my mother’s life said. We find ourselves in the sacrifices we make. ― Cammie McGovern
The clocks were striking midnight and the rooms were very still as a figure glided quietly from bed to bed, smoothing a coverlet here, settling a pillow there, and pausing to look long and tenderly at each unconscious face, to kiss each with lips that mutely blessed, and to pray the fervent prayers which only mothers utter. ― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom. – Henry Ward Beecher
Most all other beautiful things in life come come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world. – Kate Douglas Wiggin
The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. – Honore de Blazac
A man never sees all that his mother has been to him until it’s too late to let her know he sees it. – William Dean Howells
No matter how old a mother is, she still watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement. – Florida Scott Maxwell
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces that she never did care for pie. – Tenneva Jordan
A mom holds the hands of her children for a little while but holds their hearts forever. – Author unknown
My sister and her family and my mother came over to celebrate Mother’s Day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and a lovely time was had by all. My niece, Anna, captured the nice photo of Emmy with my oldest son, Charlie. My bookends, I call them. First and last!
Who gave me life? My mother.
Who first showed me love? My mother.
Who first breathed the name of Jesus in prayer over my head before I could form a word? My mother.
Who showed me the love of God in every act of tenderness and care? My mother.
Who taught me Bible verses as soon as I could talk? My mother.
Who sought to live out those verses in front of us? My mother.
Who taught me right from wrong and corrected sinful behavior? My mother.
Who wore out a Bible story book reading out the marvels of God’s mighty hand? My mother.
Who gave of herself constantly and poured all she had into her three children? My mother.
Who taught me mother-love for my own children? My beautiful mother.
I honor my mother, Freda, today who through many difficult circumstances and through the wearying and complex maze of this life shows the reality of her faith and shows Christ to her children and grandchildren and soon, their children.
We all love you, Mom and call you blessed!
Her children arise up, and call her blessed. ~ Proverbs 31:28a
It was almost like old times last night. The only difference was that instead of there being 5 kids in the van like in the old days, there were four of the now six children. For a little while, the laughing and joshing and fun reminded us all of the good old days when every van trip was a rollicking (and loud) one.
We went to Kopp’s Custard, a famous Milwaukee burger and custard joint. It was a Mother’s Day treat high in calories, but equally high in enjoyment for me. Charlie had everybody laughing, with Will serving as his co-comedian seated next to him in the back. Emmy laughed uproariously, not sure what she was laughing at, but joining in anyway. Jon, as usual, rolled his eyes at his siblings and made his usual dry comments. Tom, who is always a big part of the humor, added his laughs to the fun as we enjoyed our hamburgers.
Emmy had some bites of custard (a very rich kind of ice cream) from her daddy’s cone. She refused my chocolate after one try and returned to the vanilla Tom offered her. It’s unthinkable how the child could turn down chocolate custard, but perhaps it was just because it was Daddy’s cone, and she adores him.
Charlie and Will shot some hoops when we got home as the last light faded from the sky. I heard Will lamenting his burger intake because it undid his four mile run yesterday afternoon, and I had to laugh. His fitness jag right now gets a daily (hourly?) challenge from the growing boy’s appetite.
The best times, every mom will tell you, are times like that. Enjoying the company, laughing and being together. We missed the two who couldn’t be there. I could hear echoes of their voices in my mind as I sat in the van. Every child contributes something to a family, and when they’re not there, their presence is always missed. Kids grow up, but their place and contribution in a family is unique and nobody can replace it.
I savored this Mother’s Day so much, the cards with notes were dear. Emmy gave me a precious gift yesterday also, on top of the card she gave me (with a little help.) I was carrying her out of the kitchen after washing some sticky off her hands in the sink. She threw her arms around me and planted her lips on my cheek. Except she didn’t stop. She gave me the longest kiss ever and then tightly wrapped her arms around my neck for the ultimate hug. That, Hope Blog friends, is as sweet as life ever gets.
I thank the Lord sincerely for the privilege of motherhood. It is an inexpressible joy to pour myself into these children and try to give them a foundation of love and trust that will carry them through life. No parent or mother is perfect. Sometimes we miss things, or hurt our children without intending to. But I maintain that children know, deep down, when a mother genuinely loves them, and when they grow up and still come back and like to hang out with the family, it is the highest compliment of all. Thank you, family, for a happy Mother’s Day.
And thank you, Lord, for my excellent and loving Mom who started it all so many years ago by loving me.