Give yourself away this Mother’s Day

I’ve had a somewhat sour opinion of Mother’s Day for a while now. It seems like just another “Hallmark Holiday” that makes me feel less-than, somehow, by the end of the day. I get cards from people who love me telling me I’m a good mom, and I don’t believe them. I expect some magical day and it ends up being regular.

A few years ago, I let go of all of that and just let it be another day. I don’t need one day a year to get affirmation or love; I need that every day. So I’ve kept my expectations low and my plans small.

But this year is different.

This year, I want to stop thinking about what I need on Mother’s Day to feel worth (which can only come from One Source and that’s why I’m always empty by the end of the day).

Instead, I’m focusing on mamas who are like me — they don’t want much for Mother’s Day. But they’re also not like me — because they’re preparing to give birth in a place where the act of giving life can be life-threatening.

I’m involved with Mercy for Mamas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing maternal health in the slums and villages of Uganda. For now, our main ministry is purchasing and distributing Mama Kits (click to learn more), which are purchased for $7 each wholesale and contain sterile birthing supplies so that these mamas can have safer births.

This is a cause that chose me. After I adopted a son whose first mother died after giving him birth, she will never leave my heart.

And for Mother’s Day this year, instead of seeking to gain recognition or praise, I’m committing to give myself away. Here’s how you can, too:

1. Buy a bracelet.

Mercy for Mamas has beautiful paper bead wrap  bracelets for sale, which are handmade by the founder’s (Melissa’s) personal friends in Uganda. The bracelets, which are available in a variety of colors, also feature a small charm that says ‘Mercy for Mamas.’ Every time the bracelet is worn, you or your recipient can remember the mamas who were given a safer birth because of your gift.

The bracelet is only $15, shipping included. Because all overhead costs have been donated, each bracelet purchases two Mama Kits. Each bracelet is gift-wrapped and arrives with this beautiful card (emailed or mailed) that has information about Mercy for Mamas and your gift.

Click here to view the bracelet colors still available. To order a bracelet, email your order to info@mercyformamas.com.  Be sure to include the description of the color you’d like and a mailing address, and then we’ll send send you payment information.  All orders ship after payment is received.

2. Make a direct donation.

If the bracelets run out or you want to give directly to the Mama Kit fund, there’s a direct donation option as well. Direct donation amounts start at just $7 for one Mama Kit. After you donate, we’ll send you another version of the card above, via regular or e-mail, with information about your gift and Mercy for Mamas. Add a personal note and honor the mothers in your life by giving life-saving birthing supplies to mothers in Uganda.

To order a card and make your donation, simply send an email to info@mercyformamas.com with the amount of your desired donation.  We’ll send you a confirmation with all of the payment information.

3. Give yourself away.

Mercy for Mamas is now planning its first ever missions/blessing trip to Uganda. Volunteers will be distributing mama kits, visiting orphanages and helping in slums and villages where we can. The trip is being planned for late September to early October, and will last about 10-12 days.

I’m planning on going on this trip with Mercy for Mamas with a side purpose: I want to interview the women who have survived childbirth in Uganda, as well as the families who have experienced loss of sisters, wives and mothers to post-childbirth complications. I want to photograph them and write their stories. (More on that later.)

There are still spots open for the trip. More details are available here. If your heart is being pulled in this direction, won’t you consider Who might be pulling you there? If you’d like to sign up or ask Melissa for more information, email her at info@mercyformamas.com.

And if you’re a young mother like me, and you have apprehensions about leaving your kids for that long, I have a story to tell you. Stay tuned and watch the blog in the next week or so. Here’s teaser: Doing something like this might be hard in the moment, but it will give your kids a gift of eternal value they could not experience any other way.

 

This Mother’s Day, think about giving a gift that could save the life of a mother in Uganda — which can also save a child in Uganda from losing his mama and becoming an orphan. And pray about going there yourself to serve some of God’s most precious children.

 

Linking with Emily.

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5 comments on “Give yourself away this Mother’s Day

  1. brian miller says:

    very cool…and very practical as well…love that bracelet…and i feel you on what mothers day has become and on what you are doing to make that a bit different…we will honor my wife the day before, because i am taking a little boy to see his mom in prison…

  2. Kim Hyland says:

    What an inspiring post and ministry. We really do find freedom when we set aside our own expectations and consider how we can better love others. I used to feel such apprehension as Mother’s Day would approach and would inevitably be disappointed. When I started seeing it as a day to celebrate the joy of being a momma instead of a day for ME to be celebrated, it became one of my favorite days of the year. Can’t wait to check out this ministry! Thanks.

    • Celebrating the joy of being a mother — yes. That is exactly how I will be approaching it this year, for myself. Thank you!

  3. oh friend, i love that you are doing this, and would really love for you to guest post upon your return from uganda, and tell readers more about this ministry… would you be open to doing this? if so, let me know via email: wierenga.emily@gmail.com. love your heart. e.