There is only one Bible Story my daughter enjoys acting out more than being the bathtub baptizer, and that’s the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Even as a little girl, she recognizes that Mary is special.
Mary was set aside by God for a singular purpose; mother to the Messiah. This young girl, without position or power, would carry and bear our Prince of Peace and cement herself in the narrative of Jesus. Is it any wonder my little girl pretends to be her?
The Bible tells us in the book of Genesis, chapter 3, verse 20 that Eve was “the mother of all living things.”
What does it mean to “mother” someone? What does it mean to be a “mother”? When I think of myself as a mother, I immediately go back to the early days of pregnancy – I can remember what it was like to notice the subtle changes in my body. I remember the sense I had that “something” was going on in there. I remember reading all the books and websites to track the monthly development of each of my babies. Their development and my role in it overwhelmed me. The way that I viewed my self and even my body changed and I think I realized fully, for the first time, that I had been created for something bigger than myself.
As each of my pregnancies progressed I saw myself not only as a creator of life but also as a protector. I remember walking in bustling stores over the holidays with a guarded arm placed in front of my growing belly or even driving to work with a much more “defensive” approach when considering the cars around me. Before my sweet girls were even born I was exhibiting those “momma bear” traits that every mother hears about. And, then when my girls were born there is this joy and love that comes flooding in – I will admit that with my first born I was not prepared for it. Everyone tells you that having a child will change your life; there is no way to appreciate fully what this will look and feel like without actually going through the process.
For me, with the love, came this incredible sense of responsibility; and not just in the sense of caring for their physical and emotional needs. My questions and concerns went beyond just “Why is she crying?” and “Is she getting enough to eat?” Because of my girls, I feel this greater connection to my Creator and what He has called me to. Not only am I responsible for my own faith and it’s development, but now I am faced with that of my children, they are the next generation of Kingdom builders and I play a role in getting them there. I know that I (along with my husband) am responsible for planting and cultivating the seed of faith. And, my role as mother changes again, adding on the descriptor of “teacher” as well.
As my girls continue to grow I see my role for each of them shifting and I also become the disciplinarian, the encourager, the advocate, and the confidant. I see how as a mother, my relationship with my daughters mimics in many ways my Heavenly Father’s relationship with me. I recognize that if I do not mother my children then the world and our culture will and the consequences of that are too great.
This work of being mom, and of mothering is significant. Motherhood matters.