Meaning of Mother’s Day keeps growing

Published 12:25 am Sunday, May 14, 2017

A recent Sunday school lesson on prayer — specifically the story of Jesus in the garden — got me thinking about prayer and people for which I am most thankful.

As the lesson unfolded, our class learned that theologians believe Jesus prayed for approximately three hours the night before his arrest.

Often for me, perhaps you as well, carving out just a few moments for prayer seems difficult. It’s easy to put other things ahead of prayer time.

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Like thousands of others in our part of the world, I’ve prayed countless times. Some wind up being almost rote recitations, but others are for specific requests.

But Jesus wasn’t like us — thankfully — he was all man and all God simultaneously. He had more focus than we could imagine and had a great deal on his mind that night in the garden. He was facing the punishment for all of our sins.

It’s a mind-boggling amount of pain he suffered for you and for me. For that great sacrifice, I’m forever indebted.

We should all work to increase the amount of time spent in prayer, as it’s impossible to thank Him too much for what He’s done.

He has blessed me in many, many life-changing ways.

First, he gave me amazing parents, who sacrificed much for their children. I’m blessed to still have both parents living.

Approximately 11 years ago, God blessed me further with the answer to prayers. I prayed to Him and explained that I knew I was not walking the path he sought for me and that I wanted to know his plan for me. I prayed that if that plan involved a partner, to reveal her to me.

A month later I was dating the woman who became my wife just over a year after that. She’s clearly had an amazing impact on my life and was indeed the answer to my prayers.

She understood me on many levels and thus we made an immediate connection.

But over the nearly nine years we have been married, as I’ve learned more about her, the more I’m amazed at her.

Over the last four years, I’ve seen a side of her that was previously not known.

Since the birth of our daughter, mother Julie has been a part of my life.

She’s a pretty amazing mother, always quick to answer a question, help make a craft project or otherwise keep our oldest occupied.

I thought she was pretty much hitting on all eight mom cylinders until our son was born in December.

Then I realized she had more than eight cylinders and was capable of showering twice as much love with the arrival of our second child.

She loves them deeply, and its evident in how she talks with them and comforts them.

Daughter Anna is quick to become upset with even the slightest of injuries. Mom is always quick to throw her arms around Anna and offer a comforting hug and a logical reason why putting a Band-Aid on a minor bruise isn’t required.

For baby James, he requires less in the way of immediate calming — unless a noise startles him as he’s horribly terrified by loud, unexpected noises. But nonetheless, when tears are in his eyes, Momma is what he needs most.

While I loved Julie as a spouse and life partner before we began having children that love has deepened by seeing how she loves and cares for others, particularly our children.

Today, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, the holiday has new meaning for me. I’m deeply thankful for my own mother and her years of helping to reveal the world to me.

But I’m also delighted to see the mother of my children show that same level of love as well.

It’s both heart-warming and rewarding to watch. Sometimes when the world has you down, nothing but a mama hug will do.

Happy Mother’s Day, Julie, and all of the other mothers out there.

You are all irreplaceable.
Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or