(RNS) — With Mother’s Day falling every year on a Sunday — this year it’s May 8 — many churches try to honor the moms in their congregations during weekly worship services.
The world’s sacred texts include a number of stories about mothers, who often are the first to pass faith on to their children. Many view the work of mothering as holy work and experience the love of God in the love of their mothers.
As the quote attributed to author Rudyard Kipling goes, “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
Still, Mother’s Day is not really a religious holiday. And it can be awkward or painful for many, including — but not limited to — women wishing to be mothers, mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss or the death of a child, couples struggling with infertility and people who have strained relationships with their own parents or children.
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But there are many thoughtful ways individuals and houses of worship can celebrate those who do the work of mothering.
Here are a few gift ideas for mothers of many faiths.
Expectful meditation app
Expectful describes itself as a “haven of holistic care for moms: hopeful, expecting, and new.” Gift a Mindful Mother’s Day with a subscription to its app, which offers meditations for those on many different journeys to motherhood.
‘Mom Saints’ art print
The stories of the saints star a number of mothers. This print of a watercolor painting by Etsy shop Light Bearer Designs depicts five of them: Saint Monica, Saint Gianna, the Virgin Mary, Saint Felicity and Saint Perpetua.
Crystals for mothers
Moms will take any help they can get to ease their worries. There’s a crystal for that in this crystal collection especially for mothers by Etsy shop Moonvibe Crystals.
‘Someone Other Than a Mother’ by Erin S. Lane
Growing up Catholic, author Erin S. Lane writes that she had “two options for a life well lived: Mother or Mother Superior.” Lane challenges the worldview of “maternal exceptionalism” in her new book “Someone Other Than a Mother,” shattering stigmas and reminding readers there are many meaningful paths for women.
Hijabi mom mug
There isn’t enough coffee in the world for the sleep-deprived mothers of new babies. A morning mugful is a start. This mug by Etsy shop Productivity Girl features a portrait of a hijabi mom holding her infant son with the words, “All that I am today I owe it to my mother.”
Jesus-Women collection from The Happy Givers
“Jesus protected women. Empowered women. … And spoke of women as examples to follow. Our turn.” This inspiring message is available on clothing items, prints, tote bags, mugs and more by Christian nonprofit The Happy Givers, and all profits support its children’s home in Peru, rebuilding projects in Puerto Rico and other projects.
Star of David charm bracelet
Jewelry is always a popular gift for Mother’s Day. This charm bracelet from Etsy shop Swedish Beauty Design includes “mom” and Star of David charms, as well as customizable letter and birthstone charms. It also can be made into a necklace or keychain.
‘Rewilding Motherhood’ by Shannon K. Evans
Just as environmentalists seek to rewild land by returning it to its natural state, author Shannon K. Evans invites women to rewild motherhood through what she calls an “empowered feminine spirituality.” Her book “Rewilding Motherhood: Your Path to an Empowered Feminine Spirituality” released last September.
‘We Are the Granddaughters of the Witches You Couldn’t Burn’ T-shirt
Celebrate the strength of the witchy women in your life with this T-shirt from Etsy shop SmashGlam with the message “We are the granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn.”
‘Heaven Lies at the Feet of Your Mother’ card
Don’t forget to send Mom a card! This card from The Muslim Card Shop on Etsy features a pretty floral design and a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: “Heaven lies at the feet of your mother.”
‘Jesus Calling for Moms’ by Sarah Young
The most recent installment in author Sarah Young’s popular “Jesus Calling” series is “Jesus Calling for Moms: Devotions for Strength, Comfort and Encouragement.” The book is a compilation of devotions from the series alongside a new introduction and prayer for moms; journaling prompts and questions; and space to write reflections.
Zodiac gift boxes
Who doesn’t love to unwind with a warm bath? These gift boxes by Etsy shop The House on White Oak are packed with stickers and spa products inspired by Mom’s Zodiac sign.
Woman of valor print
Need a last-minute gift to celebrate the woman of valor in your life? Print and frame this minimalist artwork by Etsy shop Hebrewish Art Prints featuring a verse from Proverbs 31 in both Hebrew and English: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Rooted for Good sugar scrubs
Rise and shine with a revitalizing trio of all-natural sugar scrubs by Rooted for Good in scents like lavender mint, rosemary mint and coffee. Some proceeds from all Rooted for Good purchases support a Catholic missionary family.
Gathering of Hope tote bag
Not all moms will have a happy Mother’s Day. Let those who are grieving know you’re thinking of them with a Timely Tender Tote from Gathering of Hope, a Christian nonprofit supporting mothers who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. Each tote bag contains a blanket, teas, a journal, Scripture cards and other comforting items.
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Some affiliate links are included in this gift guide.