Monday, 15 March 2010

Life Long Learning - Mothering Sunday.


I have been a Christian for 18 years this year and yet there are things which I feel I really should know that I find I don't!  Yesterday was Mothering Sunday, a festival which I can recognise as being a Christian festival day.  I am aware that there has always been a deal of disgruntlement (is that a word? if not it should be!).  The majority of this being by those who are always correcting business and folk (and churches) that it is not Mothers Day.  However what I have never been away of is exactly where the festival comes from.

My neice for whom I am a kinship carer, told me in the week that she did not want to think about Mothers Day at all (they had done something at Guides that evening).  I felt that this was fair enough, I had already organised to celebrate her birthday early with her friends over this weekend which also meant my husband and youngest were away from home.

However as the day approached I found myself getting more and more grumpy and depressed.  The voices in my head were moaning about never being able to have a 'normal' mothers day again.  I felt really agitated by all the facebook/ twitter posts about Mothering Sunday/ Mother's Day.  I understood that Mothering Sunday was about more than Mums being spoilt, however I could not put my finger on exactly what it was all about - God mothering us?  Showing respect and gratitude to those that mother us?  I certainly know without a doubt that God tells us to look after orphans and therefore would be appauled at the church purposefully or not causing great pain to orphans, which is what my neice and myself is feeling.  When you do not feel mothered even if you still have a mother it hurts. (I can't imagine how bad it might feel if you have lost your mother).

It was therefore a complete revelation when I started to look at the history of this festival, this site was the one that I particularly liked for it's simplicitiy.

I never knew:

  • about it being a time when you went back to your 'mother' church.
  • it being a time in the past when servants would be given the day off to go and see their parents (and go to church as a family).
  • it also being known as 'refreshment' day - when you were given a day off from Lenten fasting.
  • it being a time having 'simnel' cake as a focus for thinking about and celebrating the feeding of the 5000.
So at least I can now tell my children some more of the reality of what 'Mothering' Sunday is all about.  On a brighter and God-incidental note, my husband did go back to his 'mother' church this weekend with my daughter and spent some time with his step mum with my daughter and they were told about the 'mother church' aspect of it.

The weekend has now passed, I have learnt a lot and I have an awful lot to be thankful for:

154. My family, nuclear and extended.
155. My puppy dog, bringing me hours of endless fun and companionship.
156. The most generous friends, on-line and physically around me bouying me up and keeping me going.
157. The many gifts that have been sent down to us with my husband from Manchester from 'Granny' and friends.
158. The teacup pictured at the top of this article, a belated birthday present, which I am overjoyed to have received.
159. A Happy neice who enjoyed her early birthday celebrations.
160. The first narcissi opening up this morning.
161. Time to blog.
162. Knitting in the garden.
163. Life.


holy experience

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