I love the book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. It is one of the books that I have read the most, and I love it every time I pick it up. Each time, I have been able to read it by relating to the characters who fit the time and season of my life the best. I can remember reading it being young and often misunderstood, and sometimes misunderstanding things myself, like Amy. Most of the time, I felt impulsive and brash and totally unfeminine like Jo. Later on, desiring family and stability like Meg. I only could marvel at Beth and her goodness knowing my own heart. And now, longing to grow into the maturity of motherhood, Marmee is my model.
I cry every time I read it too. And today I was struck by a passage that reminded me of something I read briefly over the course of this last week. Someone was writing in hopes of encouraging mothers not to focus on unmet expectations this Mother’s Day but to love and serve the family that made them Mothers. Encourage she did, and I have been thinking of her short post often this week.
Being a homeschooler means that the teacher doesn’t help prepare the Mother Day cards with your children the week before Mother’s Day. And so, in past years, I have struggled with not having my expectations met. But the reality is, Mother’s Day isn’t about ME, it’s about so much more. And I can find joy in the love that the Lord has given me. I want to find joy in the love that the Lord has given me.
In the passage I mentioned earlier, Marmee writes a note to Jo and sticks in the mailbox for her to read later. I’ll pick up where Jo beings to read it:
“One from her mother made her cheeks glow and her eyes fill, for it said to her –
I write a little word to tell you with how much satisfaction I watch your efforts to control your temper. You say nothing about your trials, failures, or successes, and think, perhaps, that no one sees them but the Friend whose help you daily ask, if I may trust the well-worn cover of your guidebook. I, too, have seen them all, and heartily believe in the sincerity of your resolution, since it begins to bear fruit. Go on, dear, patiently and bravely, and always believe that no one sympathizes more tenderly with you than your loving
‘That does me good! That’s worth millions of money and pecks of praise. Oh, Marmee, I do try! I will keep on trying, and not get tired, since I have you to help me.’
Laying her head on her arms, Jo wet her little romance with a few happy tears, for she had thought that no one saw and appreciated her efforts to be good, and this assurance was doubly precious, doubly encouraging, because unexpected and from the person whose commendation she most valued. Feeling stronger than ever to meet and subdue her Apollyon, she pinned the note inside her frock, as a shield and a reminder, lest she be taken unaware,”-Alcott
Oh, you can bet tears hurriedly came out from my eyes as I read this passage earlier this afternoon. And it gave me something to do in order to celebrate Mother’s Day well this year. It gave me notes of encouragement to write to my children, the ones that made me a mother. Notes that they can read to know my love on Mother’s Day because after all- that’s what I want them to remember more than any gift they got me or card they made. I want them to know that I love them with all of my heart.
I have included the card I made that can be printed double-sided if you want to celebrate Mother’s Day well this year too. You can print it on cardstock or regular paper. Or you can make your own!