Mère ... Mutter ... Manman ... Anya ... Mor ... Matka ... Madre ... Mama ... มารดา ... "Mother" is spoken around the world with such a full meaning in every place. When I first saw my little stick turn pink ;) , I couldn't conceive of what it would mean in my life. Dear friends I know have grafted children into their families through adoption, hardly able to imagine what it was going to mean to mother them. Still other friends have suffered the grief of sending a child on ahead to heaven, and I can hardly relate to what that does to a mother's heart.
Being a mother is a guaranteed way to make you face your frailties, inadequacies, and weaknesses. It brings a woman to her knees in prayer for those she cares for.
Mother's Day is not easy for every woman. It can seem like a day that points out where we've fallen short or experienced loss. I've been meditating on Philippians 1 this week, and I think it does a mom's heart good to remember, "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (v. 6) I'm so glad God is continuing to grow me into the woman I need to be, so I can be the mother I need to be. In the meantime ... much grace!
Some mother children they watched grow up, children they gave names to or wrapped in blankets. I have the rare chance to spend Mother's Day with my own mother this year. On Saturday evening we get to do something really special together; we'll go with a group of ladies to a nearby women's shelter to share a Mother's Day cookout with them. We'll take great food, a game (complete with LOADS of prizes to win, donated by the gals of our church), a craft (also provided by some gals from the church), and words of encouragement. Mother's Day isn't easy for every woman. It can feel like a day that points out where we've fallen short or experienced loss.
Many women mother as surrogates, providing spiritual tenderness and nurturing for people of all ages. It's more of a need now than ever, as many women find themselves far from home and family or clinging to pieces of broken families, without access to the illusive "Hallmark card" kind of mother/daughter relationship. Whatever the case, good or bad, mothers leave a legacy. If every woman leaves a legacy of how she mothered those in her family or in her pathway, what do you say to women who have walked an empty road and are reminded daily of empty arms and broken heart? Do they get a 2nd chance to mother another? Do WE get 2nd chances to leave a good legacy? Do we more time to make a difference in someone's life?
Our opportunity to "mother" is life long, whether we nurture little people in our home, love children who are transitioning from childhood to adulthood, or become a spiritual mother in someone's life. I am sure of this, because, though I've been blessed with a godly mother who has influenced me, I've been blessed to have many spiritual mothers along the way. I think of them on Mother's Day: Becky, Murtha, Wanda, Susan, Carol, Carol, Martha, Angela, ...
I'll probably never see "the stick" turn pink again and brace myself for changes ranging from stretch marks to a stretched heart, but I know life will daily offer me the chance to mother those God brings along my path. I want to sow a rich legacy of mothering. When Eve was given her name, she was told it meant she would be the "mother of all the living," and our world needs the tender nurturing of the women of God more than ever. Here's how you might mother another:
- mentor a teenage girl in your church or neighborhood
- welcome kids whose parents are unavailable into your home
- reach out to a younger woman who has no family nearby
- ask God to show you someone needing nurture, then talk to, pray for, & actively love them
- invite a college student over to cook a meal together
- invite a high school or college student to go on a day trip with your family