When Mother’s Day is Hard

Ok – I’ll just admit it right now… I’m having a tough time.  Tears are already streaming down my face, and I haven’t written anything but a Facebook Post to my mom and the title of this blog post.  And it’s not because I don’t have a wonderful mom or that my kids are in a bad place right now… it’s just because sometimes  no, a lot of times, well… sometimes being a mom is HARD.  It’s hard on the heart, mind, body, soul, spirit.  But who would trade anything for it?  I know I wouldn’t!

I cried all day last year on Mother’s Day.  My oldest was heading to college, and my youngest would follow the next year (this year).  And I cried because I realized that thought that my days of mothering influence were over.  That horrible mother-guilt that incessantly plagues us overwhelmed me and screamed “Did I teach him enough? Did I do enough with him?  Did I pray for him enough?  Did I ____ and ____ and ____ and _____ and on and on and on… until I was crumpled over in the unconsolable ugly cry.  Let’s just say that it didn’t make for the sweetest Mother’s Day memory.  haha!  (But it is quite a funny one now!)

On top of the guilt over my own parenting failures came the guilt of “now that I’m a parent facing the “end of my parenting” (as I saw it then), look at what I put my own parent’s through – and what saints they were… and I’m SO sorry!!!”  Boohoohoohoohooooooo!  Mother’s Day Meltdown of 2015.  It was epic.  (Guilt?  We’ll have to talk about that later!!!)

I’ve learned a bit since then, and realized that what the older and much wiser moms ahead of me who have “been there and done that” have said is 100% true – Mothering doesn’t stop when the kids start college.  In fact, what caused my tears this morning is what I wrote to my mom on FB:

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! You are the best example of a Proverbs 31 woman I’ve ever known. I’m so thankful that you are still guiding and teaching me by your words and by how you live your life. I love you SO much and can’t thank God enough for our friendship and the years He has blessed me with as you continue to selflessly pour your life into others. I’m so grateful to call you both Mom and Friend!

Mom and Me 2016. SmellingCoffee.com

I’m almost 50 (gasp – 1st time I’ve ever written that!!) and my mom is still guiding me and influencing my life.  As Abigail prepares to graduate in a few days (we’ll talk about this later, too!) I’m so thankful to finally get it through my thick head that my mothering doesn’t end on college move-in day!

But here’s the thing about Mother’s Day – and why I believe that so many emotions tend to rise to the surface especially on this occasion:

(I wrote this part last year) To me, on three of the most special and heart-expressing days of the year it’s easy to be extremely either joy-filled if you have what is celebrated or sorrow-filled if you don’t. Either “Yay Me” or “Poor Me.”  For these three days, if we’re not intentional, what we have or don’t have, and what others have and/or don’t have can totally rob us of our own joy and gratitude for the many blessings God bestows upon us daily.  Can you guess which three days I’m talking about?

Now I’ve not done any scientific research or anything like that… but from observation of myself and life around me, those three days are:

Valentines Day 
Mother’s Day 
Father’s Day  

In year’s past, I’ve shared on the blog how God is our Divine Valentine, meeting our deepest need for Love, and how He is the Father that we all wish we could have, the One we long for.  But did you know that He is also described in the Bible as a Mother-figure?

In Isaiah 66, God is talking about His people, His rebellious children whom he dearly loves… those for whom He is waiting to turn back to Him.  And He offers this promise of comfort for the time that they return:

As a mother soothes her child,
so I will comfort you.

Isaiah 66:13 (The Voice)

I will comfort you there

like a mother
    comforting her child.
Isaiah 66:13 (CEV)

This offers us a beautiful three-fold truth for this Mother’s Day.

1.  If you need comfort today, God longs to give it to you.  No matter what.  Read on.

2.  God doesn’t give up on US – you and me… those of us reading these words right now.  No matter how old we are or how far we’ve strayed, God continues to wait for us to return to Him and longs to comfort us like a mother longs to comfort her child.  Verse 12 talks about being nursed and carried on the hip, then vs 13 talks about a mother longing to comfort her child.  If we connect those two, think of how a nursing mother longs to comfort her child in both emotional AND physical ways.

This is the maternal love of God toward YOU.  We see Him most often as Father, but if you are missing a Mom today who loves you and comforts you, you have one in God.  And you can gratefully and joyfully celebrate Him on this Mother’s Day!!! 🙂

A Mother's Love. SmellingCoffee.com

3.  God doesn’t give up on OUR KIDS.
 If they are in a place of trouble right now, re-read the paragraphs above and be encouraged.  And pray scripture for them like crazy.  Stormy Omartian has some excellent resources on praying scripture for your children at different ages and stages.  But just know this: When you can’t mother them, God still can.  I’m banking on this for the near future as my nest empties.  God’s arms are longer and stronger than ours, and His love and wisdom are endless. Praise the Lord!

If Mother’s Day is hard for you for any reason – Kids, no kids, difficult kids, Mom, no mom, difficult mom… I am praying for you and asking that today you and I would be very aware of the MANY blessings the Lord has poured upon us through Himself and HIS PRESENCE in our lives.  No matter what, let’s choose to find lots for which to be grateful on this sentimental and emotional holiday and turn it into a celebration of God, who always loves us so. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to you all~




If you have time, this post from 2014 might bring further encouragement. 🙂

The thought of “Mother’s Day” carries so many different emotions, doesn’t it? For me, there is the deep and humble gratitude for 1) having a Godly mother who loves and sacrifices (even now) for her family and children; 2) the fact that she is still very much alive, is my friend, and has an active part our lives; and 3) the undeserved blessing of being able to be a mother to two teenagers of my own.

I do not take these gifts lightly, because right on the heels of those grateful thoughts about my own mother and life, my mind flashes to dear friends of mine who can not claim one or more of the blessings named above. With a tender heart, I am praying for each of them this Mother’s Day. I’m also praying for those of you who can relate to the ones on my heart.

I think of my friends whose Godly, beautiful mothers now live with Jesus. They miss their moms so much! I think of my own mom missing her mom. If this is you on this Mother’s Day, I pray that God pours His peace and joy over your heart as you celebrate the gift He gave you in your mom, and that sweet memories of her will overtake the sorrow of her absence with you this year. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

My heart is breaking for mothers I know who are missing and grieving their children, especially those moms with children in both Heaven and on Earth – experiencing that everyday tug-o-war between sorrow and joy. For you dear sisters, I pray that God will keep you in His perfect peace as you settle your minds on Him through your trust in Him, even when you don’t understand (from Isaiah 26:3). May God give you His joy this Mother’s Day, His unexplainable and peace-filled joy!

I think of mothers grieving their very-much-alive children who are living a life no mother ever dreams for her baby. For those knowing their children are not walking with the Lord, and for those who have no idea where their children presently are or what they are doing, I know you are praying relentlessly! I join you and pray that Psalm 126:5 will be a reality in your lives: “They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.” A men!

I’m thinking of loved ones who are desperate to be mothers, yet for some (only God-known reason) God has not answered their pleas with a “yes”. This is usually a tremendously hard day for these ladies. I also think of the beautiful women who long to be wives, so that they can, one day, be mothers. For all of you lovely ones, I pray that God will strengthen your heart as you hope in and wait upon Him. (from Psalm 31:24).

I also think of precious children (young and adult) I know who do/did not have mothers who sacrificially loved them and tirelessly, yet joyfully, invested in their lives. Some dear ones grow up with the full awareness that they were not planned nor wanted. Some are abused, ignored, and used by their own mothers. Some have had to act as mothers to their own moms. God has had and will have to do a lot of healing in the hearts of these precious ones, and finding a Mother’s Day card is never an easy or enjoyable task for them. To these loved-so-much-by-God souls, Rick Warren, in Purpose Driven Life, reminds us of this:

“You are not an accident. Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did…

Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you. It doesn’t matter whether your parents were good, bad, or indifferent. God knew that those two individuals possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom “you” he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you…God’s purpose took into account human error, and even sin. God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything He creates.”   
Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life

If you haven’t felt loved by your mom, I’m so so sorry! But I’m also so thankful that she chose life, and that the DNA God placed within her was exactly what He needed in order to create YOU!

For those of you who are joyfully and gratefully celebrating this Mother’s Day, I joyfully celebrate with you! And for those of you who will struggle a bit this Mother’s Day, I’m praying often for you.

On this day, and on every other day, as we reflect on what we have and/or what we’re missing, may each one of us cling to the comfort and presence of the Lord – who loves us more than any human being could ever dream.


Ann VosKamp - Happy & Grateful

Happy Mother’s Day to each of you, with love and prayers~


The LORD helps the fallen

and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

The eyes of all look to you in hope;

you give them their food as they need it.

When you open your hand,

you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

The LORD is righteous in everything he does;

he is filled with kindness.

The LORD is close to all who call on him,

yes, to all who call on him in truth.

He grants the desires of those who fear him;

he hears their cries for help and rescues them.

The LORD protects all those who love him,

but he destroys the wicked.I will praise the LORD,

and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
forever and ever.
Psalm 145:14-21, NLT






About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com