surely we’ve all heard the famous proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.”
well, this is certainly a truth in my own life.
i have, for lack of a better term, several “other mothers” who’ve taken me under their wings and into their care.
if i look back long and hard enough the first of my “other mothers” was my 5th grade english teacher. she was nurturing, loving, supportive and my number one fan. probably the best gift she gave me was that she believed in me… and she saw it her duty to take up my educational cause. i guess it would make sense that an older woman with many years of experience would have the special talent of making a young, insecure girl that she spent time with every day feel… mothered.
in my young adult life i had the awesome honor of being loved on and cared for by a couple of “other mothers”…
one of my “other mothers” functioned also as a life coach as she asked me the hard questions, exhorted me (probably fewer times than i actually needed it – sometimes the best gift a mother can give is the precious gift of grace!) and simply spent time hanging out with me. even to this day, this very special “other mother” mothers me with support (& when possible) affection and encouragement. she truly is one of the most precious women i know.
another “other mother” that played a significant role in my life was my spiritual mentor. as my “other mother” she took me on many great adventures. whether she was helping international students in our hometown or jet setting around the world she always invited me along. she fostered in me a sense of purpose that went beyond myself. there is no doubt, her sacrificial love for others and total acceptance of me made an everlasting imprint on my heart.
and now, as an adult i am extravagantly blessed with “(an)other mother”.
you may or may not be surprised to discover that probably the most loyal, patient, encouraging and supportive “other mother” in my life is my mother-in-law… or as a friend of mine often says, mother-in-love. without question my mother-in-love has blessed me more than any daughter-in-law, especially me, deserves. on many levels she is my advocate, my voice… and most importantly, my friend. our relationship has deepened and blossomed over the years… but two of the most humbling events that brought such sweetness, such intense appreciation for her occurred when we moved overseas and i, for the first time ever, had a glimpse at how excruciatingly painful it was for her to give her son over to me when we said our vows… and again when she willingly gave him over to an unknown people. then, just when i thought my appreciation for her had reached its climax she became the nai nai (grandmother) of our sprouts… and my love and sense of awe for her reached even greater depths. she truly is a remarkable woman… and i am blessed beyond measure to have her as my mother-in-love.
even as i think on these “other mothers” i can’t help but think of the many other special women who’ve impacted my life for eternity. and once again i am amazed by God’s provision… the village of women who he has used to mold my heart.
my sincerest hope is that liberty will also be able to enjoy the unique benefits of “other mothers”… and that the village of women in her life will also be able to leave a sweet, lasting imprint on her tender heart.