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How to Create a Mother's Day Gift with Your Words

How to Create a Mother's Day Gift with Your Words

Stacks of old construction paper with noodles or pom-poms barely hanging on. Messages with misspelled words. Handprints that resemble hands that no longer fit in yours.

These gifts that moms have received on Mother’s Day mean the world to us. Some children that designed these priceless originals are no longer in your nest. Some are dearly missed, and you have wondered how you could continue, especially on a day that highlights mothers. Some may be far away from you right now, but never too far from your heart.

No matter where you find yourself this Mother’s Day, there is someone who celebrates you and sees what you carry as a mom. In fact, before God created you, he knew you’d be a mom. The Bible says: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 136:19 (NLT)

That means he knows all the days of our lives—even the hard ones. And even how you would feel about this particular Mother’s Day. Some moms dutifully go through Mother’s Day celebrating their children but aching to hug their own mom or tell her just one more time, “I love you, Mom.”

For those who can, how does it help our hearts to reach out to our mom and share how much we want to be close to her and how much we appreciate her? How does it change her and us?

For years, I thought mothering was about me. My ability to juggle it all, simultaneously holding hearts and schedules in the same breath and loving on my kids, and thinking those days would never end. As my kids have grown, and I’ve grown with them, I see that being a mom is so much more than how much I can do for them. It’s about warming your heart to love on days when your children need you more than you need to tackle your agenda.

I watched my own mom lay down whatever she was doing to come be by my side. She is one of those moms who make it look easy. She has made meals, packed lunches, listened to us talk about our day, taxied us to where we needed to go, and welcomed anyone who came to our home with homemade cookies or pound cake. She did these things even when it cost her. And it still does as we live across the country and don’t get to see each other as much.

It wasn’t until I became a mom of pre-teens in the last couple of years that I really saw how much it cost her. Prayers in the night, inconveniences, financial sacrifices, and the sheer emotions of watching your children handle certain aspects of life growing up, going to college, making decisions, and managing life.

As moms, we have to hold our tongue and let our children make their own decisions. We have to do so even if we know that it might cost them. I’ve learned from my mom that the best way to start in on a tougher conversation is not: “You should ___________, or you don’t need to____________” but rather, “Is it okay if I share my thoughts with you? Do you want to hear how I handled that when I was your age?” It’s a more gentle and conversation-opening approach than bells and whistles sounding an alarm: “You’re about to enter dangerous territory with your words.”

For some children and mothers, Mother’s Day reminds them of all the spoken or not spoken words that still bring pain. The bright pictures they made their mom, and the cheerful cards that they delivered trying to win her heart have been packed away, along with their heart.

Words can build us up or tear us down, can’t they? King Solomon wisely said in Proverbs 11:17 (NIV), “Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.”

Sometimes finding the right words for mom can be difficult. Where do you start? How do you say something that isn’t entirely true, like how much you love who she is? Maybe you love her but not what she did (or didn’t do) for you. What could you possibly say to her on Mother’s Day that would be genuine?

Have you ever considered a word gift? A word gift is an affirmation of who mom is that can be tied to a Scripture verse that shares that characteristic. My mom and I started asking each other, “What do moms need today? What would help them when sometimes no one thanks them for the job they do? Do they connect with God in their role as a mother?”

Mom and I wrote twenty-five word gifts that show a mom how much she is worth to God even if her family doesn’t say these words to her. Words like you are forgiven, you are fearless, confident, attentive, you are a legacy, a servant, a listener, and a provider. And there is a corresponding scripture that we can see traced to the affirmation.

My mom had difficulty finding the words to give to her mom on Mother’s Day because of the piercing words and sharp anger her mom projected. Mom would look at cards and try to find the most generic one she could that would cover the day. Maybe that’s you, and you aren’t sure what to say. Or perhaps you have so many words that reflect how you want to honor your mom that you can’t narrow them down.

We encourage you to choose your own word for your mom or the person who fulfills the role of mom in your life. In addition to any characteristic you could share with them, how would the words “I love you, Mom” change or strengthen your relationship? Often when we speak words ahead of time, we see the fulfillment of them change the course of a relationship. Or alter the make-up of the relationship entirely. When my mom showed genuine love to her mom, it warmed her mom’s heart. Mom did it because she prayed and asked God to help her be able to love her. And he gave her the words to share from a genuine voice, not glossing over what had happened between them but overriding her mom’s actions with expressions of love.

I would like to think that my teen and almost teens will feel free to tell me that they love me not just on days that feel easier but on harder days. Because choosing to love takes intentionality and faith that no matter how you love your kids, they will receive your love because it’s you. And even if they are far away or not responding, hearing you say, “I love you, son” or “I love you, daughter,” may be what you want to say this Mother’s Day rather than waiting to hear those words from them.

What would it look like to reverse the tradition and reach out to your child before they have a chance to struggle with how they would reach out to you? Can you make it easier for them to come to you? And if you are looking for a way to reconnect with your mom, would you be willing to start with “I love you, Mom”? I believe we won’t fully know just how much these words mean to moms who receive them until it reaches them right where they are. When we have been stripped of just about everything else, love remains.

One of the best reminders of this is 1 Corinthians 13:8, 13 (NIV) “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. v. 13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

How will you share your words of love this Mother’s Day? However you choose to honor mom and God who created her and you, may you know how fully you are loved not because of what you do (or don’t do) but because of how much God paid for your life through his son’s life. He thought you were worth everything. We need to see ourselves as he does. Will you join me in participating in his love by sharing it with the mom in your life even if sometimes you don’t feel they deserve it?

Let’s be those who give love freely because it is a costly gift we can give with a never-ending price tag of value. May your days of cherishing the ways your mom did her best to care for you bring you memories you can hold onto and pass on to your children for generations to come.

Blythe Daniels Book

For more on celebrating the mom in your life, click here to read I Love You, Mom! Cherished Word Gifts from My Heart to Yours. Written by the mother-daughter duo Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh, this book/devotional offers beautiful sentiments to share with your mother or mother figures in your life.

Photo credit: ©evegenyatamanenko

Writer Blythe DanielBlythe Daniel is a literary agent, author, and marketer. Her agency markets books through podcasts, blogs, and launch teams and represents books to publishers. Blythe was the publicity director for Thomas Nelson Publishers and has been a literary agent for the past 16 years. Blythe has written for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Ann Voskamp, Focus on the Family, CCM Magazine, Christian Retailing, and others. Blythe and her mother have co-authored two books: Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters (Harvest House) and I Love You Mom: Cherished Word Gifts from My Heart to Yours (Tyndale). She is married and lives in Colorado with her family.

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Video created by Kayla Koslosky, Stock footage courtesy: ©Soundstripe Library, Photo courtesy: ©Soundstripe Library/SWN Design