Summary: 1- A mother’s care 2- A mother’s praise

INTRO.- ILL.- Did you hear about the oldest living mother? SAN AGUSTIN, El Salvador - Friends and relatives of Cruz Hernandez’s gathered Wednesday, May 3, 2006, to celebrate her 128th birthday, a milestone that might make her the world’s oldest person.

Hernandez, who relatives say spends most of her time dozing and no longer speaks, was surrounded by some 200 people at her party, some bearing a cake and others dressed as Salvadoran mythological heroes.

According to national records, Hernandez was born on May 3, 1878, in one of the country’s central provinces, where she gave birth to 13 children. She now has 60 grandchildren, 80 great-grandchildren and 25 great-great grandchildren.

Wow! What a mother! She surely must have led a good life and/or was blessed with good genes.

Can we even begin imagine what it was like for her to care for those 13 children back in the early 1900’s? I can’t imagine anything but all work and no play.

ILL.- It’s like something Dr. James Dobson told about in regard to his wife. He told about a time he came home when his son, Ryan, was a small baby. It had been a terrible day for his wife. Ryan had been sick and had cried all day long.

Once, as she was changing his diapers, the telephone rang and Shirley reached over to answer it before fastening up his diapers. Just then Ryan had an attack of diarrhea.

She cleaned up that mess and put him in clean, sweet-smelling clothes. Then she took him into the living room and fed him. As she was burping him he threw up all over himself, and her, and the couch, too.

Dobson writes, "When I came home I could smell the aroma of motherhood everywhere." Shirley cried out to him, "Was all of this in my contract?"

I’m sure many mothers have felt the same way.

ILL.- Did you hear about the oldest woman to give birth? A 63-year-old psychologist is set to become Britain’s oldest mother after undergoing fertility treatment.

I say, “good luck and God bless you!” You’re going to need all the help you can get!

Elaine has always said that the reason God doesn’t give babies to most women over 50 is because they are likely to put them down and then forget where they put them.

PROP.- Let’s consider two simple thoughts about mothers.

1- Her care

2- Her praise


I Thess. 2:6-7 “We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.”

The apostle Paul said he could have been tough as nails as an apostle but instead he chose to be like a mother, gentle and caring.

I think we all believe this is the way a mother should be: gentle and caring. They care for their families by cooking, washing clothes, cleaning, running errands, playing chauffeur, playing nurse, healing bruised feelings, etc.

If American mothers ever thought they had it hard, listen to this story about a mother in the Philippines.

ILL.- WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, MOTHERS GO HUNGRY. JOSEFINA Flores is only 40 years old, but she looks at least a decade older. Thin and gaunt, the mother of six seems in no condition to do even the least of her daily chores at her farm here in this mountainous area, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Cebu City.

But she does them all, and beginning at the crack of dawn until late evening, Josefina is in constant motion. She starts the day with a two-kilometer (mile and ¼ ) trek to fetch water, and continues on to cooking meals, gathering and selling firewood, making charcoal, cleaning the house, looking after the children and her husband, and seeing to it that everyone in the family has something to eat.

Of all her chores, it is the last that Josefina is finding hardest to do these days. Hunger is a familiar feeling in a community of nearly 400 families - as it is in many other poor farming communities elsewhere. But in this prolonged season of El Niño, the situation has gone from bad to worse, and there has been even less food here to go around. And the mothers, as usual, are having it toughest.

"Life has been hard," says Josefina. "But there must be something that my husband and children could eat. If there’s any left, then that’s what I eat." Wow!

We have known of mothers to go without certain things and perhaps a dessert so the kids could have it, but to go without food entirely for the rest of the family is a strong commitment for any mother!

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