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Mothering Others and Other Mothers

Maternal instincts took over when our sole Pekin duck ”Pika” was introduced to 8 adopted ducklings. At first, she ran from the sight of these little ones who looked unlike her, she behaved aloof and unaffected by their needs which were darned annoying. To get them to imprint on her, I put up a fence to keep them close together; where they shared their meals, swam in the make-shift pool and slept in the same shelter. After 2 weeks, her attitude changed as she found her “calling”. The little peeps turned into quacks as they followed her every move, copied her and desperately needed her as a leader.

This life on Earth sometimes feels foreign to me, and from its beginning I looked to my mom to help navigate my own mothering journey. Raising my two fledglings (with a lot of help) who now soar as mothers, I’ve continued to experience life’s greatest calling in mothering others. Mothering adult stepchildren is my greatest joy and challenge, to pray continually, and apply grace before words. Memories of my mom are seeing her productively mothering others who would come by for tea and be treated to tea and cookies out of fine china with a pretty napkin while she befriended, counselled and listened. She took seriously the scriptures about serving others as she lived to do that and never expected to be served in return.

I’m not naturally like my mother in that way. I’m more like Pika the duck. If I wasn’t fenced in by the Word of God, I’d probably leave the ducklings and go play in the pond and gorge myself on nightcrawlers. However, like the ducks, my fence has helped me love, and nurture those who waddle behind and look to me to lead. His grace can labor through me in all its power to help me. God in His sovereignty gives me roles and landscapes that are foreign, simply because I must rely only on Him and not on my own ability and strength.

Perhaps this inspires you to list your “Other Mothers”; to be thankful for those women who fill your love tank, who unconditionally serve and treat and delight in you! Perhaps you are facing an unfamiliar landscape or feel like a foreigner with children who you can hardly recognize as your own. Be encouraged; when God calls us to “mother” He never deprives or withholds the grace we need. This Mother’s Day celebrate your “Other Mothers” and try by God’s grace to be one yourself.

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