Reading that verse from Proverbs, I’m reminded of many times in my life when I really didn’t give my mother cause to rejoice.
I suppose every mother dreams of having perfect children, but the only woman who ever did gave birth in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. All the other mothers in history have had to learn on the job when it comes to modeling God’s grace and perseverance with children who force them to develop it.
I definitely created my share of “teachable moments” for my mom growing up. You could say that I was energetic as a boy, and so were my sister and brothers. In our house growing up, there was a whole lot of energy, with plenty of noise, skinned knees and the frequent need for motherly intervention in squabbles. While all four Bonnen offspring could hold our own, I think my mom and my siblings would agree that I was probably the most “energetic” one of the bunch.
Mom showed an incredible depth of resilience and character when it came to dealing with me. My rambunctious ways in elementary school finally drove her to seek insight from the medical profession that revealed my dyslexia, a challenge I’ve worked to overcome every day since. Even though she had three other kids to worry about, she poured herself into my therapeutic challenges and drove me from our home in Angleton to a specialist in Houston who taught me techniques to overcome my learning disability.
In retrospect, I’m not really sure how she devoted that kind of time and effort to me, even while raising three other children, keeping a house and loving my dad. I credit a mother’s love. I believe it’s about the purest, tangible reflection of God’s unconditional love we experience in our lifetimes. I see it every day as my wife, Kim, invests her time and effort in our sons, navigating her own “teachable moments.”
As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, I encourage you to reflect on those times when your mom had no cause to rejoice in your words or actions, and resolve to give her more cause to rejoice in the days to come. At the same time, I hope we are all able to look back on some of those challenging episodes from growing up and laugh about them together.
In my family, we all laugh about the time my high school journalism teacher got so frustrated with me that she gave me a swat on the arm, then felt immediate remorse. She called my mother to explain that moment of spontaneous corporal punishment and was shocked when moms said “hit him again.”
We laugh about it, even as we agree that moments like that shaped my character and honed hers. I’m grateful that her love got us all through one challenge after another.
Today, as you connect with your mother, whether she’s in your home, on a video call or even in heaven, I hope you’ll take time to reflect on those moments where a mother’s love made all the difference. For fun, in the comments below, I hope you’ll share one of your moments from growing up that wasn’t cause for rejoicing in the moment, but has become a source of nostalgia and a good laugh today.
Happy Mother’s Day