This holiday has been celebrated in the US for a little more than a century (since 1908), and I know mothers around the nation really appreciate being applauded and recognized for countless hours of selfless care for their families.

We all know motherhood is hard. It’s never-ending. Even when the kiddos go to bed, I’m still on duty, my senses just alert enough all night to hear a child’s cry. I suppose that even when my littles are grown and live in different houses with families of their own, I will still spend my nights with my mother-heart a little bit alert. I want to live my life in prayer for these kids.

Motherhood is sanctifying. My sin is glaringly obvious when I see that same sin in my children. Encouraging them to get rid of sin starts with my own commitment to denying sin. (Which is, of course, only successful through the work of the Holy Spirit.) I often think that it’s an awfully good thing that God blessed us with babies so quickly after our marriage, because I hate to think how stubborn and selfish I’d be if I hadn’t started this sanctifying process so young. God had His work cut out for him, to really get ahold of my me-centered heart. (And as you’ll see below, that me-centeredness still creeps up more often than I’d like!)

Motherhood is also SO rewarding. After birthing these gigantic children, I had the reward of nursing them for almost a year (6 months for J). I have the reward of snuggles, hugs, tickles, and laughs. I put the work in as a homeschool mom, and get the reward of seeing the “lightbulb moments,” like when they start reading fluently or suddenly understand a concept we’ve been discussing. I get the reward of seeing the Scripture they’ve memorized be applied in real life. I have had the greatest reward: watching all four of our kids recognize their need for a Savior, and asking Jesus to be Lord of their lives.

These are the things that are recognized on Mother’s Day. I think it’s a healthy thing for dads and kids to try to understand the mothers in their lives. It’s good to treat them like a queen for the day, and thank them for all they do.

But while I love the rewards and accolades, I really pour my heart into parenting so that God might be glorified.

One of our favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

I had to remind myself of that whenever I looked at Facebook or Instagram yesterday. There was picture upon picture upon status upon status of people praising their mothers and doing sweet things for them. And that ugly thing called envy reared its head. Jealousy – it’s not a pretty sight.

I was looking for human reward instead of God’s glory.

My sweet family bought me lunch, and sat around the table talking about “what they love about mommy,” and we planted my “gift” a week or so ago (5 beautiful red lilies).

Why wasn’t I content with all of that sweetness, knowing that my family appreciates me?

Why did I feel as if my day wasn’t enough because I didn’t receive {insert any Facebook status here}?

Sin. That’s all, friends. When I was supposed to be celebrating the gift of motherhood, I was internally acting like a selfish, spoiled brat. That’s just lovely, isn’t it?

Mother’s Day (or any day) becomes detrimental when I start comparing my experience to yours. You know the old saying, “Comparison kills contentment?” TRUE. STATEMENT.

The highlight of my day yesterday was a family bike ride to a park, a walk in the woods, and playing “Sprinkler Baseball” in the front yard. It was relaxing and fun and stressful and hilarious.

Maybe you read a book in your hammock or went out to coffee by yourself or played roller derby. Whatever your day looked like, if God was glorified, it was a successful Mother’s Day. It doesn’t matter what anyone else received. The day you experienced was a gift in itself.