Summary: A mother cannot give a perfect love but she can give a sacrificial love.

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In 1914, a woman from West Virginia named Anna Jarvis spearheaded a campaign to help persuade U.S. president Woodrow Wilson to set aside May’s second Sunday as a national day for recognizing mothers all over the world. She orchestrated a letter-writing campaign to Wilson, lobbied influential politicians and clergymen and distributed brochures arguing about the importance of a national day for mothers.

Jarvis’ cause came from admiration for her mother, Anna Maria, and others like her who had been an inspiration. But by the early 1920s, she was sickened by the commercial circus around the annual event. She felt the day had nothing to do with celebrating the real achievements of women. “She simply wanted a day to honor and remember mothers, but in her mind it didn’t turn out that way," says William Pollard, an archivist at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, where Jarvis bequeathed her letters and other writings.

It turned out that the one who was credited for giving us Mother’s day was the same woman who campaigned to have it removed from the calendar. The reason was due to commercialism. She believed the spirit of Mother’s Day has been spoiled by the commercialism of cards, flowers and once-a-year sincerity.

Jarvis spent her latter days crashing floral company conventions to protest and urging card companies to give the money they made from Mother’s Day to the poor. At one Mother’s Day convention where flowers were being sold she was arrested for disturbing the peace. She even launched a lawsuit to stop a Mother’s Day festival from being held.

In the end, Jarvis lost the fight. The woman, who was never a mother herself, exhausted her financial resources and ruined her mental health in that fight. She died alone in 1948 in an asylum at the age of 84. Just before her death Jarvis told a local reporter: "I devoted my entire life to Mother’s Day and the racketeers and grafters have taken it over." (Source:

Anna Jarvis’ motive for having a recognition day for mothers was to honor and remember mothers for their achievements. I believe her motive for fighting for its removal was for the same reason: to honor and remember mothers for their achievements. Mothers do not deserve to be honored for one day only to be neglected the rest of the year. God’s creative plan to bring love and caring to light is through the mothers. Mother’s Day has a very special place in the hearts of the majority of people.


• Hallmark estimates that 150 million Mother’s Day cards will be sent this year but only 95 million Father’s Day cards;

• Mother’s Day is the third largest greeting card holiday of the year.

• U.S. Americans spend an average of $105 on Mother’s Day gifts, $90 on Father’s Day gifts.

• The phone rings more often on Mother’s day than Father’s day.

• The busiest day of the year at car washes? The Saturday before Mother’s Day.

What mom thinks still matters. (“A Mother Who Dared to Dream Again” by Ray Ellis on Sermon Central)

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