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I went back and forth this Mother’s Day, thinking about how I wanted to celebrate and reflecting on my feelings of this day. I have three beautiful, young children and am in the full glory of being in the middle of pregnancy again. If there was any time to celebrate, the time would be now as once more my body surrenders to the wants and needs of new life growing and I am caught between the beginning stages of being a mother once more and raising young, energetic children.

I decided I would take this day for myself, to enjoy it and relish in being celebrated as a mother and woman. I “let” my husband cook breakfast and tried my best to stay out of the way and not clean behind him. I did not completely relax but I enjoyed being with my children and feeling special.

But I almost couldn’t do it. Not when I thought about all the people, same as me, who scroll past picture after picture in their Facebook feeds of friends with their mothers and announcements of how they have the best mother in the world. Not when I thought about instead of posting a picture I needed to go buy a wreath to place on a grave instead and wondering how people would feel if that was the picture I posted.

Not when I think about my grandmother and how she buried two of her own daughters before passing and the grieving she felt, the women out there who are yet to be mothers when every fiber of their being desires to be, the women whose children are taken away or the 200+ girls missing who have mothers and fathers and aunts and siblings and nations crying out for their return.

Not when I think about the women dragged to abortion clinics in other countries and others still forced to give their child away to continue to be slaves and prostitutes or maybe their family just thought they were too young to have a child.

The melancholy in me is strong on this day and thus I waited to make this post. It seems Mother’s day brings about more grieving than celebrating.

But then I thought about what I could do different, how to turn grieving to joy and celebration. I don’t like to have the spotlight on me often but I could enjoy the gift of my children, the gift of a successful and strong marriage. I don’t want to waste away the gift I have been given. Knowing my life could have had a more sorrowful fate makes me appreciate what I have that much more.

So I thank God for the blessings He has given me, the trials I go through with my own children all the while knowing they have a safe and loving home. I thank Him for the child inside me, that the setback and sorrow we felt in our first attempt at being a parent has been returned tenfold as joy in the four we have and the two waiting for us one day to adopt.

I turn that grief I feel for others into compassion and prayer and I am reminded of the importance of women and girls, of how precious they really are in this world and how many have forgotten their value, including other women. I pray that I would not lose the passion that God has placed in me all these years for young women, for those who struggle to regain their value and sense of worth and just want to be celebrated.  I remember my grief of a child lost, of a mother lost, of a grandmother lost, of an aunt lost, of friends who have lost just as much and more.

I pray that others find the time to celebrate, that they do not take their own mothers for granted or the fact that they are themselves mothers. That they remember those who have lost much, who need to know that they too are worth something.

So I celebrate every woman, young and old, mother or not. I pray for them to cherish their gifts in life, their reasons to celebrate who they are as a woman. And I especially pray for all mothers, the bearers of life in this world who bring forth out of pain new beings each day across the globe.

Including me. Including mothers who have passed- for their legacy left behind, and those stepping into the journey the first time, waiting for their child to breathe his or her first breath.

Happy Mother’s Day. You are loved. You are worthy to be celebrated.