For ten years I have been navigating the minefield of Mother’s Day. As the years go by I have learned one important thing that helps to make this day enjoyable. It can be applied in so many situations, but I find it particularly helpful on days like today.

It’s very simple.

Drop your expectations.

That’s it. Don’t expect your husband to know you’d like waffles with strawberry sauce and coffee for breakfast. In bed. Don’t expect that your kids will make you a card and a gluey mess of a craft. Don’t expect that your husband knows you don’t want him to buy overpriced flowers when he could get them cheaper next week. Don’t expect that your children will obey you. Don’t expect that everyone around you will treat you like a queen for a day. They don’t know what kind of royal treatment you are expecting, and even if that were their goal, all their best efforts would likely fall short of your expectations and you’ll all be yelling at each other by the day’s end. Not that I’d know.

I know the job is hard, and I know it takes sacrifice and is filled with thankless work. Believe me, I know. I also know that I don’t do the endless work of mothering for praise and thanks. I do it because it is who I am: I am a mother. I have birthed four miracles into this world, and I have given myself for them and to them because it is the holy task given to me.

God in his wisdom knew better than I, that I think of myself too much. In my mothering I am taught sacrificial love and am reminded of the great love that Jesus has loved me with. He didn’t just get up in the night to calm night terrors, he left his throne to take on the form of a lowly human so that he could serve me to the extreme of taking the punishment for my sin. God now calls me his daughter, and he is my Father. I’ve already gotten far more than I deserve.

If I can learn to drop my expectations, I realize how rich I already am.

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