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Celebrate the Mothers

This is the week where mothers are recognized for their contributions and love. Where would we be without our moms?

We’ve all had one – at least for awhile. They are the ones who raised us the best they could – cooking us meals, encouraging us in our interests, guiding our decisions. Of course they made mistakes – we all do.

If we had the opportunity to become mothers, we too did our best, while making our own mistakes along the way. But we tried. We held the little ones while reading the many books, we hugged the older ones with their broken hearts, and watched as they left home to become independent.

This can be a difficult day to celebrate.

Maybe you're the woman who always wanted children and didn't marry.

Maybe you are the woman who has been trying unsuccessfully to have your own child or have suffered through the loss of a miscarriage.

Maybe you are the woman whose child has deceased – the greatest of all losses.

Today you are a woman who has lots of fun with her young children … and tomorrow you are overwhelmed with your young children.

Maybe you are a woman who is a single parent – living a full life in a role of mom and dad.

Maybe you are a woman who is sharing your children with another family.

Maybe you are a woman who has a child with a disability, or who has a child who is very ill.

Maybe you are the woman who is a step-mom, giving and loving and truly being their mom the best you can!

Maybe you are the woman who is a foster mom, opening your heart and your home to little ones in need of love and care.

Maybe you are the woman whose child moved away. You’ve lost contact, but they live in your heart.

Maybe you are the woman whose child is in trouble.

Or you’re the woman who has a child you are unable to connect with.

Maybe you are the woman who younger ones gravitate towards to find guidance.

Maybe you're a mom who is now able to enjoy your grandkids! or great-grandkids!

Are you a woman who has a senior mom who needs you, and a child who needs you too?

Or are you like me and have recently endured the loss of your mom. Love remembers Love!

Maybe you are the woman who is grieving the loss of your mom who, although still alive, sometimes doesn’t know who you are.

Maybe you are the woman - a mother, a grandmother, maybe a great-grandmother - who lives alone in a senior home.

All of these women have great inner strength! They have struggled, they have had sleepless nights. They have watched their kids make little mistakes, and big mistakes. They’ve watched as their kids pack up luggage and move away, and move back home, and move away again. They’ve loved their kids through all their own pain. And that’s just what we do… as moms. We stand together and get stronger. We share stories. We share hopes and dreams, happiness and challenges. No one ever said it would be easy being a mom. But no one every warned us it could be so hard – so many tears and heartaches. Our goal is to teach our little ones – to give them all the skills they need – so that they can leave us and live successfully with their own families. That’s what love does. Strengthen, encourage and teach them to fly.

In many cultures, families stay together, supporting and encouraging each other. They provide guidance and wisdom that’s passed down to the next generation. In other cultures, the children move to continue schooling, move for work, and the families become physically and sometimes emotionally distant not by choice but by result of these moves.

We all hope for the big family sitting around the dinner table, but in reality it often doesn’t happen that way.

There are many times in our lives when we need each other – women with experience, women who have been where we're walking. It might be our neighbor, the older woman we spend time with at work, an aunti, or a woman in a group where we have a common interest. Women standing together!

When I lived in Winnipeg, in a different city than my mom, I met a woman who shared a lot of time as we just listened to each other’s stories. She was a real encouragement and gave me guidance, as she understood the work I was doing. She was physically there for the drop-in coffee chats I was needing at that time. She wasn't my mom, but she was a great friend. There was another time when I was searching for knowledge and an older lady gave me much-needed mentorship. I am so thankful for each of these women, but they could never replace the love I have for my mom! I know my mom also had friends who were my age. It can be healthy when respected. We can all learn from each other. I’m thankful that happens. My mom will always be my mom.

We know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. These village women may include teachers - nursery school or Sunday school, classroom or activity, the woman in the cafeteria at school, friend’s family or co-workers. Choose wisely. We become like the people who we spend the most time, as we learn from each other. (That’s wisdom for all of us!) We are that village! We are these women! We honor, teach, respect, love and discover life together. Accept the help. Accept the encouragement and guidance. Accept the friendship.

And be the woman who extends her hand in guidance and friendship. Especially in these times, we all need each other. As women, we are created with a mother’s heart of nurture and love. Look around – who needs you? It could be that single mom who lives in your neighborhood. Or the teenager who seems to be always alone. Maybe someone new to your city? Or someone grieving a loss. Maybe even volunteer and meet some people at the soup kitchen downtown who need a mother's heart to just listen to their stories.

We don’t know how, or when life will change, so respect the time and love the people in your life. Never take anything for granted.

So, in this time, love like only a mother can! Love like only a woman can! Always!

There is a time and a season for everything.

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