"And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." (Mark 12:41-44)I just finished reading another grand book by DeAnne Flynn, entitled The Mother's Mite. She illustrates this story by pointing out that this widow, gave ALL that she had to give, thus making it more than all of the others' offerings.
Now, consider mothers--either your own mother, yourself as a mother of children, or as one who mothers other people (think caregivers, aunts, grandmothers, friends, teachers etc.).
Aren't there times when we, though we think we are not giving much, are actually giving our ALL? It's these small and simple things we do for our children or others that truly matter to them--and let them know that we love them. It does not mean that we have to do everything to be the best mom we can. Small efforts matter.
In her book, Flynn shares many beautiful stories of mothers doing small things that are actually big things to others. These are touching and tender gifts to the reader. Each story is met with a small challenge or idea of something we can do to improve our mothering efforts. Equally sweet, are quotes from children of all ages sharing an effort their mother made that helped them feel special or loved.
Flynn closes with this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland:
"If you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do."Isn't that perfect? We just have to do our best--not your neighbor's or girlfriend's best--but YOUR best. You can read his full talk here--it is glorious.
Admittedly, I felt somewhat inadequate to all of the mothers in this book, wondering if there is anything that I actually do that helps my young children in some way. It's hard to see it when you're just trying to keep your head above water and not lose your mind or temper in the process. And of course, I count the minutes until bedtime--when the house settles down and there is . . . quiet. I'm trying to just take it one day at a time.
So, I went to my young ones for some Mother's Mites of my own. Here's what they said (clearly, I need to work on this area):
"I like that you buy clothes and shoes and food for me." ~Cooper, Age 11
"No matter what, you love us." ~Sydney, age 9
"I love you because you feed me." ~Ty, age 7
"I know what makes me feel happy...when you kiss and hug me!" ~Kate, age 6
"[You] get me drinks." ~Cole, age 3
Scarlett, 20 months, though she can't yet articulate everything she wants to, I'm sure she would answer that she loves to be snuggled and kissed and loves me to just listen to her jabber.
I encourage you to do this yourself--ask your children what it is that you do that makes them feel special or loved. See what they say. Write down their answers and start collecting your own "mites."
Enjoy a little song by DeAnne Flynn...I love this song. Focus on the important lyrics.