Happy Mother’s Day, Princess!
Once upon a time we were little girls. By day we jumped off picnic tables with our umbrellas open pretending to be Mary Poppins. We folded our arms and blinked our way back into the genie bottle. At night we were tucked into bed with the same fairytales. The heroine, always a princess and the hero always a prince.
As a child, I remember reading Snow White and I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her in comparison to all the other princesses.
For example, look at Cinderella, she had a LOT of help. She had a Fairy Godmother hook her up with a sparkly gown, an updo, and designer shoes. The local chipmunks (Stella and Dot) made her jewelry. As if that wasn’t enough, Jack’s Midnight Limousine Service provided free transportation to and from the biggest party of the season.
Then there’s Rapunzel. What did she do? She sat up in a tower probably watching Netflix all day, combing her hair and painting her nails.
Don’t even get me started on Sleeping Beauty. She got to…well…SLEEP!
But Snow White? Now, there’s a princess to admire. A single parent who worked tirelessly taking care of her seven littles. Her hair cut into a sensible bob. She didn’t wear a fussy ball gown with sparkly netting and a tiara, no, she wore a simply designed, primary colored dress.
She’s the only princess whose fairytale began with a prince that she lost. When she started her new life, she didn’t complain, she went to work.
Have you ever looked in the mirror, reflected on your life, and wondered, “What happened to my happily ever after?”
There are very few things that touch my heart more than seeing a single mom thrive in spite of all the obstacles. It can seem like a thankless job at times. Believe me, I know!
When I was a young single mother, many days, no, MOST days I wondered, “Am I even close to getting this right?” I longed for someone, anyone, to stop long enough to put their arm around me and say, “I want you to know you’re doing a great job.”
I felt it only fitting, this Mother’s Day weekend, to give honor to the single mother. The woman who will wake up on Mother’s Day and fix her own breakfast (and anyone else’s in the home). She will go to church and sit among a sea of women wearing corsages, nestled under the arms of their husbands. She will most likely buy her own lunch. She is a strong, strong woman and doesn’t even know it.
Now that my children are grown and I have time to reflect on my days as a young single mother here’s what I have learned.
One of God’s names is Jehovah El-Roi which means – The God who sees.
“The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His”.
-II Chronicles 16:9
You are not invisible! He sees you! He feels your heartache when you see a father and son marching to the ball-field in matching uniforms while your son is sitting on the sidelines. He smiles while watching you frost cupcakes for your daughter’s bake sale, and then turn around and paint a stripe on your son’s car for the pine wood derby all in the same night. He notices your stocking is the only one not filled on Christmas morning. He feels your anxiety when you walk, unescorted, into a room full of people. HE SEES YOU!!!
“God never overlooks a single sparrow, and he pays attention to you, down to the last detail – even numbering the hairs on your head”.
-Luke 12:6-7 MSG
Take heart, Princess, every day you wake up and “try” you are making a difference in God’s kingdom. He has entrusted you with his most precious treasure – raising tiny soul(s). Oh, He sees you alright, He is in awe of your courage. What you are doing matters!
2. Humor is a great release valve.
I remember one Sunday morning at church. The auditorium was filling up rapidly and the only place to sit was down front. The fact my son was only a year old didn’t deter me because I was having a really good hair day. I was wearing a black turtleneck, my favorite ivory wool pencil skirt, and a brand- new gold and pearl necklace that pulled my outfit together (can I just say, I looked gooood). I knew what people were thinking “She’s got all that going on yet she’s still single, Whaaat?”
After church started, the one-year old made it about halfway through the service before starting to fidget and I was running out of Fruit Loops. He then did the dreaded kick feet while arching back move (oldest trick in the book) causing the Velcro on his little shoes to make contact with my hose. As I bent over to disengage the Velcro his arms started flailing.
I couldn’t hold off any more, it was time to remove said one year old from the front row. About half way out his pudgy fist grabbed ahold of my glasses twisting them to a 45-degree angle across my face. I wrestled his wiggly body all the way down the aisle (aka walk of shame).
When we finally got home I passed by the mirror and realized my necklace was broken, hanging like a sausage link around my neck and right smack dab in the middle of my ivory skirt was a large red spot the size of a grapefruit. Apparently colored cereal runs when it comes in contact with slobber. Hopefully the gaping hole in my pantyhose was enough of a distraction that people didn’t notice.
It’s those days when things go wrong on so many levels all you can do is laugh.
“Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.”
That one year old is now the most mild- mannered, kind-hearted 26 year- old man you will ever meet. Yay God! (As a side note, I can’t wait for him to have a son of his own.)
Your kids may not remember every incident from their childhood but they will remember how you acted and reacted.
3.Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never give up!
Aren’t there days when you just want to give up? Like when your month is longer than your money and the car breaks down. Or maybe when the kids go to Dad’s for the weekend and come home with big stories and even bigger toys but the homework didn’t get done and you have to be the enforcer. Or when “everyone else” is going on a fabulous get away during Spring Break and your kids are going to latch-key.
The night the kids and I moved back home from out of state I unloaded the U-Haul. The total haul: one newborn, one toddler, a few household items, and one not so crisp $20 bill. I didn’t even have a car or a job.
That night, after tucking the kids in bed, I kneeled down and asked God to speak to me. When I opened my Bible, it fell open to this verse:
“God did not give you a spirit of timidity, He gave you power, love, and self- control” II Timothy 1:7
How is it that I had never seen that scripture before? Since then, this verse has been my motto. It keeps me focused and on track. Whenever I feel timid I stop and think, “If I’m not feeling power, love, or self-control then, guess what! Those feelings are not from God.” You will mess up, just don’t give up.
I no longer feel sorry for Snow White, I admire her tenacity. As you wake up this Mother’s Day, I hope you realize your prince has been there all along, the Prince of Peace. And even if you didn’t get your happily ever after my prayer is that you will find your happily even after.
Happy Mother’s Day from Hangar 6! You are doing a great job!