When I meet folks and sign CD's after a show, I have a pretty picture of our whole family to show off to anyone who asks about our family. One nice lady said, "You are such a beautiful family!" I told her, "Well, we clean up nice." It's not that I don't enjoy compliments or wish to put my best foot forward in nice pictures and dressing up, but with Mother's Day looming before us, I feel compelled to make an appeal to all mothers that for that one day especially, we have to be kind to ourselves. After all, as all mothers know, it literally takes weeks to plan a good family picture with clean and ironed outfits and making sure the boys have haircuts and no black eyes...
When we look at a perfect family photo or sit in church this Sunday and hear about how perpetually angelic all mothers are, we need to smile graciously and thank our loved ones for their efforts to honor us and repeat the mantra, "I will not compare myself to others, I will not compare myself to others..." With all the photo-shop photos and glowing Facebook posts out there I feel there is a very real temptation to feel badly about our own lives when we hold them up to the edited and abridged versions of the digital world.
The truth is that a mother is a powerful thing. Not a perfect thing...but powerful thing. The power comes not from what we can do, but for the connection we are between heaven and earth. When we make ourselves more or less than this we get into trouble.
There is a song on my new CD, The Dawn and The Dusk, that expresses what motherhood has taught me. The song is called, "The Golden Thread." I was working on the lyrics in my room this last Fall when the words came to me, "There is no place you can fall from my grace." As I sang the words I had the most singular experience. I realized that in my efforts to write this song that expresses my forever-connection to my children, this same song was teaching me of God's forever-connection to me. It was as if God was holding me and saying, "Now you understand how much I love you."
So...to all my fellow mothers I have this advice for this Mother's Day...Let your only expectation be the love and gratitude you feel for the chance to feel the way God feels about you. Remember...your power is in your connection between heaven and earth, not in the perfect image of the perfect family.