The Christian Life

Thoughts on Motherhood

Long before I had children of my own, I dreamed of becoming a mom.


When I ask my little girl what she wants to be when she grows up, she always says, “I’m going to get married and be a mommy.” And I often find myself resisting the urge to say, “Oh, but you can go to college first and get a job and this or that?” As if getting married and being a mommy is something less than.  As if there is a just in front of the words wife and mom. 

There isn’t.

My mom is one of the reasons I am who I am today (and my dad is, too-but this is a post about moms). Her influence and presence in my life is incomparable: diligently teaching me to study God’s word, reading to me for hours and hours of my childhood, teaching me the value of pretend, crying with me when I thought my boobs were too big in middle school (they were), rejoicing with me when I got an A+ on a test in college, thrilled beyond words when I became pregnant with my own girls.

Moms have more power in shaping the future than anyone else on Earth.

To this day, the moments that my babies were born were the most phenomenal snapshots of my life-redeeming work, tears, exhaustion, and pain into the cries of new life, beautiful new life.  Even now, I am desperately aware that ushering them through life is a tremendous responsibility.

But the thing is…we don’t have to be biological mothers to be moms.

Before I had my own children, I was a surrogate mom for a week in Venezuela nurturing a little girl named Roxanna-hugging her, loving her, meeting her friends, praying for her. I was a spiritual mom to a dear friend during her adolescent years, praying with her every morning, struggling with her as she sought her own identity. I was a mom to friends, and roommates, and sisters-listening, drinking coffee, laughing, making food…and they were moms to me. Along the way-older women nurtured me over coca colas at the student union, when my own mom was hours away.  Others cried with me and counseled me when my heart was broken in my mid 20s, rejoicing later with me when my real Prince Charming finally swept me off my feet. And when my mama was miles away, she was nurturing other people’s babies, too. Sipping coffee, providing nurture, feet tucked up underneath them.

We are all mothers deep down. It is distinctly female…to be Mother, whether it is biological, surrogate, adoptive, or spiritual.

My baby girl is four and we have no idea what her life will hold. She may grow old and serve the world without marriage and without children of her own. And she may have a million degrees and focus on her career and that is fine. Or she may decide to marry right out of high school and start a quiver. Regardless, I pray that she becomes someone’s mama.

Because relationships are the only glue that hold the world together…stronger than any man made technology.

And degree or no degree…when my little girl says she wants to be a mommy, I will esteem that desire in her because mothering is a beautiful and worthy job-the most important job. To be in the presence of a good Mom, is to see the face of God.

 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 

Proverbs 31:29

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