Mother's Day is coming up, so I wanted to speak to your heart for a minute, mama. I've spent my fair share of Mother's Days feeling unappreciated and disappointed. I expected to be pampered, spoiled and presented with gifts only to find that it was basically just another Sunday. My husband always tries to make a fuss, but I wanted acts of love and appreciation from my kids, and not forced scribbles on a card either.

I wanted real, genuine love and appreciation. From my kids. Too much to ask? From young children, apparently so.

I've cried at the end of more than one Mother's Day because every mom on Facebook got something that seemed like a genuine expression of love from their child while my kids were forced to draw a heart on a page by their father at 8 pm before it was "too late."

Comparisons are sneaky little devils that zap the joy right out of life. I ended the day feeling like a rotten mom and like I possibly had rotten, ungrateful children.

But a few years ago, I realized something pretty awesome, and it changed the way I see Mother's Day. My kids give me little gifts of love every single day. What was I complaining about?!

We've intentionally created a culture of love and appreciation in our home. We frequently give each other small gifts, handfuls of picked flowers, and love notes.

So, to my kids, Mother's Day wasn't some out-of-the-ordinary day. It was just another day with Mom, and while I didn't get showered with gifts on one particular day a year, I realized I get showered with love on a daily basis, and that's better than good enough!

Mamas, your children might not take the time to plan an elaborate getaway or cook you hot meals all day, but pay attention to the little gifts you get throughout the day, every day:

A sweet snuggle from your little one.

Arms around your neck.

An invitation to play.

Your child's laughter.

An emotional expression that proves your child feels safe with you.

Late night conversations of the heart.

Butterfly kisses on the cheek.

A small hand to hold.

Your child's sweet voice calling you mommy.

Fistfuls of flowers from the yard.

Arms raised wanting you to hold them.

Handmade cards and art "projects."

A child who runs to you for comfort when they are worried or scared.

The precious sound of "I love you."

Fingerprints everywhere and messes to pick up. (Yes, they are gifts. Imagine life without them.)

A beating heart lying next to you, safe and secure in your love.

Each and every day of motherhood offers invaluable gifts if you slow down and take the time to notice them. Once you do, you will no longer be disappointed that you weren't showered with gifts on Mother's Day but will feel content and grateful for the gifts you are given every ordinary day. (But I do hope you get some chocolate this Sunday.)

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