“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15)
Labor Day wasn’t that long ago and I sit here wondering how many of you readers celebrated Labor Day as a day of rest? I sure did! I was vacationing in one of my favorite parts of the country, the west. As I was riding along enjoying the view in the beautiful state of Colorado, the word “labor” floated through my head. It did not seem to go away. I began to contemplate what Labor Day means to me
Soon I began to laugh out loud. Why? No one understands the word labor more than a mother, especially a mom of many. Moms live the word, “labor” each day of their life. As a mommy mentor, I often share with other moms the wisdom I have learned along the road of motherhood. One thing I tell them is, “First we labor to bring our children into this world, than we labor in prayer to bring them to Christ.” Then I promptly add, “The second labor is harder than the first.” As we nod our heads in total agreement, we exchange a smile that says, “So true!”
Labor to those of us who have birthed a baby, or two, define the word with just four letters, “W-O-R-K!” Those who became mothers through adoption may not have experienced the first kind of labor but I’m certain they know well the second. Let’s face it, labor for a mom is not just work, it is long and hard work. It is the joy that is set before us of welcoming this blessing from God that helps get the work done.
A mother’s heart begins to grow the minute she knows she has a baby in her womb. Once a baby is brought home, the real work and growth begins. The mother’s heart gives a mom the grace to get up throughout the night and feed their baby, sport spit up on her blouse with pride, or take care of a sick child, day and night. It is a labor of love to take care of this new blessing from God.
As hard as the physical work of motherhood is, it cannot ever compare to the spiritual work of leading their child to Christ. In word and deed a mother and father are being used by God to pass down the Christian faith. As they “labor in prayer” throughout their child’s life, and sometimes through the night, the work becomes a work of grace. You cannot do this work all alone; it is a work that God does through us.
This was my Labor Day contemplation. As I walked down memory lane, I could not help but applaud all moms, who are the hardest workers I know. I call MOTHERS my heroes! I call them heroes because I know what is in the job description. Until I became a mother I had no idea how they labor on a daily basis. Moms are unbelievable women who have not only chosen to give life, but they have chosen to lay down their lives daily for their family. This “labor of love” is only truly seen by God alone. It is a work done in the heart!
What did I do after my thoughts ceased? I called one of my heroes, Jane Anne, a mother of eleven blessings! Now without taking a breath I relayed my entire thoughts on Labor Day to her. “Labor Day is our day,” I began. “We labor more than anyone I know. Birthing our children in the natural eleven times for you, eight for me, then laboring in prayer spiritually to bring them to Christ, not to mention diapers and dishes. After all, moms never rest. Besides, who works harder than a mother?” I questioned. “Labor Day is like another Mother’s Day, or another Sabbath Day, ‘a day of rest.’ I hope you are resting, Jane Anne.” It was at that very moment that I broke into song with the words, “You deserve a break today.” How did Jane Anne reply? I do not know, I did not let her get a word in edge wise. My hope is that she was taking a nap. I think that if I had paused for a breath, she probably nodded her head and said silently, “So True.”
Even though Labor Day is over, I challenge you to regularly put your feet up, take a nap or watch your favorite TV show, daily if possible. Call your favorite “mom” friend and encourage them in their ‘labor of love.” Rest will restore your soul. Mom, “You deserve a break today” and every day. You are my heroes!