Today is Mothers’ Day in the UK, a day when mothers are supposed to be shown additional love and respect from their families. One of the ways many families choose to do this is to give Mum a break from her usual chores, especially cooking, so many Mums will today have breakfast in bed. The usual treat of a Sunday lunch out is not possible in the current climate, but many families will still try to make the day as special as possible for Mums.
The life of a mother is usually an endless round of busyness, especially when children are very young and dependent. A mother will typically have to bath and dress children, sort out food and shopping and cooking, play with children, keep the house clean and often juggle work and other family commitments at the same time. There is very little time to sit down and relax; one of my favourite children’s books (‘Five Minutes’ Peace’) captures this sense of chaotic busyness when Mrs Large finally manages to grab three minutes and forty-five seconds of peace after being disturbed by her children everywhere, even in the bath. In our current situation, Mums will have even more to do now schools have closed and there is a sense of ‘how am I going to cope with all this?’ in many homes at this time.
Jesus urged us to come to Him when we are weary and burdened (‘burned out’, as the Message version puts it) and promised that He will give us rest. (Matt 11:28-30) One of the things we all need to do is to embrace stillness, to ‘be still and know’ that God is God. (Ps 46:10) We may feel stillness is as elusive as Mrs Large’s five minutes’ peace, but if we can be like Mrs Wesley who would pull her apron above her head in the kitchen as a sign to her large family that she needed a few minutes’ prayer with her God, we will find strength to go on, no matter what.