All women may not be mothers, but every person - men and women - has a mother.

You may not have known her, or even liked her, but you still had a mother. Most of us, though, cherish our mothers - and even acknowledge how wise she becomes as we grow older.

How to celebrate your mother:

  • Don't pity yourself. Maybe you had a mother who did not know how to love or care for you. Stop concentrating on your own broken dreams. Find ways to help other mothers who, like yours, need some parenting skills.

  • Don't dread Mother's Day. Instead of focusing on your situation (maybe you've lost a child, or cannot conceive), think of Mother's Day as a time to reflect on, serve, and honor your own mother.

  • Pick up the phone. The phone company tells us that Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year. You can join the throng of happy well-wishers. But don't stop there: Make a commitment to call your mother on a regular basis - just to tell her how much you love and appreciate her.

  • Write a note. The written word is so much more powerful than a phone call. Getting mail is a delight, being able to read and reread a message is encouraging, and looking at the handwriting is endearing.

  • Patch relationships. If you and your mother are separated by disagreements, look for ways to bridge the gap. If misunderstandings are to be resolved, you can be the first to extend a hand. Forgive or ask for forgiveness. Resolve to find ways to be compatible, loving, and caring.

  • See her as more than "Mom." Get to know her beyond just her nurturing qualities toward you. What are her thoughts, dreams, and feelings?

  • Rejoice if you have more than one mother. Some people have moms, adoptive moms, step-moms, mothers-in-law, and grandmothers. Make room for each of them in your heart - and your schedule.

  • Learn from your mother. What are the qualities you admire in the moms in your life? Which qualities have you inherited? Which qualities are you determined not to acquire, or want to develop?

  • Treasure the thoughts. If your mother is no longer with you don't despair. She's as close as your memory. Think about the good times - not the loss.

  • Get rid of the mother-in-law myth. You are in a love triangle with her - so find ways to make it work. Decide to love her as you love your spouse. If she's difficult, learn to be polite and respectful.

  • Little things mean the most. Caring doesn't have to have monetary value. Hugs, kisses, taking a bowl of strawberries are ways to say I love you. Wash her windows, help her in the garden, or bake her favorite cookies.

  • Visit regularly. If your Mom is in a nursing home, across town, or across the country, plan to see her on a regular basis. Sharing time together is worth more than any bouquet of flowers.

  • Grow away from them. Understand that as you get older, marry, or move away from home, you are entering into a different relationship with your mother - which can be as equally rewarding. It's a part of life: they did it once themselves, and now both of you can grow in other ways.

  • Adopt a mom. Find a woman who needs to be cherished and show her how much you care.

  • Look to Jesus. In His last moments on the cross Jesus showed His love toward His mother. Jesus saw His mother and the disciple He loved standing near her. He said to His mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother (John 19:25-27).