Mother’s Day is upon us and if you haven't thought about what you are going to do for mom, you may be looking for gift ideas. Jewelry, flowers, and cards are wonderful gifts for any mom to receive, but I'd like to suggest some non-traditional gifts that every mom needs. No matter whether it's a mom with small children or a mom who now has grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we all long to receive gifts from the heart. They are indeed the ones that mean so much.  This year, consider giving mom one of these gifts:

Appreciation: Although gratitude is often felt in the heart, it doesn't become "thank you" until it is spoken with words. Communicate appreciation for the things mom did or does now. Writing it in a letter is always a nice touch because it can be read over and over again.

Encouragement: Words of encouragement are greatly needed by a tired mom. Communicating value for the job they do goes a long way. "What you do for our family is so important", "You are a wonderful mother" and  "I love the way you take care of our family" are phrases every mother needs to hear.

Help: If mom is older, help around the house or the yard is always greatly appreciated. A mom with children still at home will melt if she hears the words, "How can I help you?" on a regular basis from dad or the kids.  In most families, mom carries the majority of responsibility for laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and keeping schedules straight.  "What can I do to help you?" is a gift that every mom needs.

Time: The gift of time is intangible, yet invaluable. It is greatly needed and greatly appreciated when given. Moms need many different gifts of time.  Consider which one your mom or wife needs most from you and give it to her this Mother’s Day.

Time with you. Have you been unavailable? Spending time with you could be the best gift you could give.

Time alone. A busy mom, especially with small children, could use some time alone. When surrounded by children day and night, mom needs an opportunity to refuel.

Time alone at home. One evening my husband took all the kids out. He left me at home to finish a project. I was amazed at the feeling I had being at home all alone.  I realized how important that time was for me. I felt rejuvenated!

So what are you getting for mom this Mother’s Day?  The gifts you can't buy at the store may be the most important ones you will give.  Those are the ones that a mom really needs.

Jill Savage (http://www.jillsavage.org/) and her husband Mark have five children.  Serving as the Executive Director of Hearts at Home (http://www.hearts-at-home.org/), Jill is the author of five books including her most recent release My Heart’s At Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs.