Mother's Day

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. It will be my first Mother’s Day with a Baby and I’ve really been looking forward to it. Today as I was quickly flipping through a few blogs I found this video about Mother’s Day on Tall Skinny Kiwi. It really challenged me. I have been looking forward to Mother’s Day as a day to relax, maybe have my husband take the baby for a while, take a nice calming bath, etc. But, this video discusses the history of Mother’s Day being rooted in a Peace movement after the civil war. It mentions a Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe. She wrote this just after the civil war to a nation still in desperate need of a deep peace. She called on all mothers, all women really, to “Arise then… women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts!” She asked them to “take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace… Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God – In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient and the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”

It got me thinking about how I might “promote the great and general interests of peace” this Mother’s Day? How can I promote peace within my own heart, within my marriage, within my family, and within my world at large? How can I, in my unique role as a mother and homemaker, join with other mothers to fight on behalf of peace?

Honestly, I don’t really have answers to these questions, but I’m thinking about them. I want to keep my eyes and ears open for ways I can further peace in my community and world. And I want to instill a heart of peace within my son.

From the beginning of my son’s young life I have prayed that he wouldn’t be a fighter, a warrior that just charges ahead at the front lines not thinking of the cost of battle. I have prayed instead that he would be a man of peace. I have prayed that he would be filled with compassion and that he would have a soft heart. I have prayed that when he fights he would do so prayerfully, wisely and intentionally. I have prayed that when he picks up his weapons it would be as a guard, fighting to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

How do you “promote the great and general interests of peace”?

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman