07 May 2015

What Kind of Mother Are You?

On this Sunday, May 10th we will celebrate Mother’s Day here in the United States.  To all my European readers I recognize that you celebrated your mothers two months ago in March.  Whatever the date, it truly should be declared a national holiday to honor precious mothers throughout the world.

So often when this holiday comes around women who are childless quickly dismiss the day with the mindset that it doesn’t apply to them.  I’d like for you to consider viewing this special day from a different perspective.  I’ll start by asking you to think of what comes to mind when you hear the word mother. 

What characteristics surface when you see someone you revere as a mother?  It can be your own mother or grandmother, or someone you highly admire as a mother.  Since I have the floor I’ll share a few that come to my mind.  When I think of a good mother I think of one who exhibits love, caring, nurturing, protection, guidance, listening skills, disciplinary skills, encouragement . . . and my list could go on.  When I look over the aforementioned characteristics, I ask the question “Aren’t these the same characteristics that should be present in every female?”

The more women I connect with in everyday life or through ministry I discover how many people are starving for love.  My husband is a professor at one of the universities in the area.  Recently a number of his students visited us during one of our Sunday worship services.  The Spirit of the Lord prompted him during our normal time of greeting to have all the mothers in our church to go to the students and simply greet them with a hug.  The response was touching to put it mildly. 

I didn’t see one of those students that were not crying or teary eyed – females and males alike.  It was apparent that the students were moved by the gesture.  When my husband asked them to share their experience of being in our worship service it was unanimous that they never expected anything like that but it was so welcomed and appreciated.  They went on to explain they felt love and genuine care.

I believe that many times we refrain from doing certain things in life because we do not bear a title that would lend itself to that particular thing.  So even if it crosses our mind or pricks our heart we hold back because we convince ourselves it not for us to do but that it is someone else’s responsibility.  When we do that I am convinced that the other person misses out on something they may be in desperate need of and we miss out on the blessing of giving or sharing.  

For many years early in our marriage my husband and I were having unanticipated difficulty in conceiving a child.  As the years passed, I began to long for a child to call my own.  I doted on other people’s babies and babysat often to get my “baby fix”!  But the ache in my heart seemed to weigh me down mentally, emotionally, and even physically like a ton of bricks.  Then something that was never planned began to happen.  My husband and I started teaching in our local Christian school that was affiliated with our church.  Daily we were interacting with adolescents and teenagers.  Whatever the Spirit of God had placed in us seemed to act as a magnet that drew them to us. They came and attached themselves with all their needs, baggage, fears, insecurities and even family issues. 

Before I knew it I was being called “Mom” and I wasn’t even out of my 20s.  Yes, in case you’re wondering — I married young, at the tender age of 19.   In my own gentle way I began to nurture, embrace, listen, encourage them in the best way I knew how.  I began to show them genuine love.  Some issues we took on were heavy and complicated but through prayer and wise counsel I decided to be the mother that so many of them needed.  To some I was the “2nd Mom”, to others I was the “Mom” they did not have, and yet to others I became the interim “Mom” that helped to restore relationships that had been somehow broken.  From that beginning to this day I have never regretted my decision to step out of myself and do what I was created to do in the first place. 

God created us as females to love, support, care, nurture, and develop those who are placed in our lives whether it be through birth, adoption, or divine connection. Ladies it’s in you, so why not share it.  Someone desperately needs what you have to give.  When you follow God’s leading you will never go wrong and I promise you He will guide you every step of the way.

Happy Mother’s Day!  I salute you for all you do and all you are.  May God’s abundant blessings overtake you that you have not room enough to receive them!