I remember one morning when I was in elementary school, I woke to the usual scent of some delicious breakfast baking in the oven. Blueberry muffins, maybe. I walked into the kitchen, and instead of seeing my mom on her usual perch at the edge of a kitchen chair, drinking her coffee, I could see her lying on her bed in the next room, pale and looking exhausted.
She was sick. She had probably been up all night vomiting. And, the only way she could feel remotely like she wasn’t going to do it again was to lie down.
Still, when she saw me, she got up. She woke up my brother. She took the muffins out of the oven and poured me some juice. And every few minutes, she would go to the couch and lie down.
The usual morning rush commenced, and she ironed clothes and packed lunches and fixed hair, all while stopping to lie down when she had to. And once she had to run to the bathroom.
I don’t remember feeling particularly sorry for my mom that morning. I don’t even remember thinking it was remarkable that she managed to cook breakfast and get us ready as usual while she was so sick. Yet, the memory sticks with me.
It’s funny how you see things as a child that you can’t really interpret until you’ve grown up. Looking back on that morning now, I can see just a tiny glimpse of the kind of mother she has always been. Selfless. Determined. Always putting us before herself.
When I was probably way too old to be doing so, I would crawl into my mom’s lap and lay my head on her chest so I could listen to her heartbeat. There was a certain assurance in proving to myself that she was here, she was real, she was living and strong and standing between me and anything that could hurt me.
On this Mother’s Day, if it wouldn’t be awkward and a little ridiculous, I could still crawl into my mom’s lap and listen to the sound of her heart beating. And, it would still bring me comfort. But, because of her steadfast love and her godly example, she helped me find an even greater love, the only greater love than a mother’s love for her child. God’s love. And, I am so thankful that she pointed me to Him on mornings when she was up making blueberry muffins while she should’ve been in bed.
She has always been beautiful. But, the picture in my mind of her lying on the couch between tasks that morning, absolutely green, is a lovely one. Because it shows the kind of mother she really is.
I don’t know if I can live up to her legacy, but I pray that I can love my kids in a way that will point them to Christ. I pray that I can put my own selfishness aside and love them with everything I have. I pray that when they remember a morning from their childhood, although it definitely won’t feature blueberry muffins (even on a good day), that they will remember true love and sacrifice and the comforting rhythm of their mother’s heart.