May 11, 2022
I must admit, mothers are beyond amazing. I am a bit biased as I personally count up having thirteen mother-like figures in my lifetime (thus far - I am never too old to accept mothering love lol!).This is a simple shout-out to those of you who are mothers and who may actually have the time to read this ;).
Most mothers I knew, and know - when they get some free time (is that even a thing!?)- are like iPhone batteries looking for a charging connection.I want to go on record with a big “go for it” – be free moms to initiate all those ways that most of us men have no clue about; those ways to re-charge that allows some life to flow in; some self-care; whether it be scented bath bombs, chocolate, a candle or two, a peaceful walk in nature, etc
Fact is, no one knows the incredible calling of a mom, except other moms, and no one knows the incredible amount of virtue that flows through a mother's heart but other moms, and God of course! There is one story I look forward to hearing from Jesus someday about how he experienced his mom. I imagine Mary sitting beside him listening as he recalls his experiences; I imagine her sharing how she found the courage and what were ways to recharge through the thick and thin of that time.
As a father, I barely knew what Jen managed with our kids. Those times when Jen would be away for something - hours or perhaps some days - when I was solely responsible for the kiddos and life’s realities many lessons were learned (yes, the kingdom of God does stop for one lost sock, or one lost teddy bear, and hair berets!). When I was ‘holding the fort’ there were more than a few ‘incidents’…more than I care to admit, where a few kiddos may have headed out the door commando-style when it came to underwear (hey kids, where does mom keep those?).
Let's be honest, moms are masters at adaptation honing skills that border on the miraculous over time. Building a framed structure, a house, may take a few months, but it does not hold a candle to building a home that keeps shapeshifting. Anyone reading this that is not a mom – heads up; you will never ever regret helping a mom to find those rare spaces and places to recharge – make it happen, especially after what these past two years doled out!
“The hand that rocks the cradle shapes the world” – I don’t recall when I first heard that quote, but I have never forgotten it - it has proven time and time again to be an absolute reality. You only must observe a couple of chapters of human history to see what happens when people do not get rocked in the arms of a mother's love.
If I could sum up what I wish to give as the greatest shout out for you moms, it would be this – ‘you being you’, being a mother to your children, (and many others!) is the absolute undisputable foundation that gives humanity the capacity to bring love into this world. Those who change the world do so because they have a core capacity to love… and to love, they first need to have experienced being loved.
Moms, you do have the greatest calling – keep rocking the cradle and have fun doing it!“
I always think of it like this: it is the mother, or feminine love, who puts the heart into the human race. A mother that is whole enough within herself is the one who teaches her children how to both love and be loved. She puts within that child the ability to receive and contain love—a container that can overflow to others. As human beings we have to be taught everything: we have to be taught how to walk, how to talk, and how to eat, among many other things. But we also need to be taught how to love” – Denise Jordan
My second shout-out is - you are never alone…
Love is a response to love. We all learn how to love as a response to being loved with a particular kind of love—a nurturing love- in Greek it is known as storge.
Storge love is “family affection” and conveys the idea of tenderness and care. Storge comes from both a mom and a dad. A father can show affection to his children by surrounding and protecting the household, keeping it secure and free from fear and anxiety (are you listening guys ?!) This love is also conveyed through the wider family, through siblings, grandparents, and beyond. It is beyond the part that wants to note here.
One of the ways God loves us with His perfect agape love is that he places into His extended family – a space where we can experience storge love from his kids. Like all families, it has its limitations, but if the extended family is growing into wholeness, as I believe we are, it becomes a true blessing.
Bottom line, you are not alone, moms – both in receiving some of that ‘extended family’ storge affection for yourselves, but also in your heart's desire for your children. His extended family of imperfect people has been my greatest encouragement over the years. Many of those 13 moms I mentioned earlier were from His extended family. I can also say with no hesitation, that the ‘extended family’ has been a huge factor in seeing our own children grow in love – so many examples. It does take a village to help raise a child.
I know many of us know these truths, I simply wanted to remind us all once again – mothers rule! You bring love into the world! You should be celebrated way more than this fast-paced world allows. Take some extended times in season – lots of life poured out of you moms in these last two years - it ok to take some extended time to renew. And family, let’s up our awareness of all the hands that rock the cradle.
Have a great Mother’s Day… how about a great year!