The Love of a Mother

Right now as I write it is a few days away from Valentine’s Day. So, naturally there is an emphasis on love and showing love towards others- those special people in our lives whom we want to show our love for through cards, sweets, flowers, and gifts. It is even celebrated in school (still) with little valentine cards for classmates and parties with cupcakes and juice.

This talk of love has made me think about love. But, more specifically a mother’s love. See, I am a mamma bear when it comes to my kids- which yes, they are not really littles anymore! My youngest turns 23 in a few days, but, yes they are STILL my KIDS. If you aren’t familiar with bears, especially mamma bears- they are protective. There is a saying that you never get between a mother bear and her cubs in the wild. I’ve never tried this and haven’t seen a bear in the wild that close- so I can’t really say if this is true, but it is what I’m told.

So, as a mom it really hurts me when someone hurts my kids or says something bad about them- my mamma bear rises up in me and I feel hurt too. It is difficult to explain to guys- no offense- or those without kids of their own- the love I have for them is just strong, even as they are well into adulthood. There is this incredible bond that begins before they are even born. I love my husband, but at times if I am honest, this love for my kids is just as strong.

Maybe its the carrying them for nine months, or the realization when you hold them for the first time – that this little human is totally dependent on you that spurs you on to make the vow that you’re never going to let anyone hurt them.

Early on in our marriage my husband and I experienced infertility and thankfully, we were eventually able to conceive and have three awesome kids of our own. So, I really feel blessed to have been able to bring these little humans into the world. Maybe that’s why I feel even more love and thankfulness for them. I am blessed by God and fortunate to be their mom.

Over the years, I have heard criticism that hurt and pretty much all the time was unfounded, like the time someone told me to cut my daughter’s hair as a baby because she had too much! Or that one was fat for a baby, or one must be autistic, or another diabetic because he liked to drink water as an infant. There are certainly too many critics and experts on infants and children. There isn’t a shortage. But, through it all I had to vent a little to my husband and then move on to forgiving the critics. That is the difficult part. How do you forgive someone who hurts your little kid with their words? Or hurt you about your mothering?

Honestly, it is just like any other kind of hurt that requires forgiveness. We cannot hold on to grudges, and anger towards others, who like us are created in the image of God. We all have spoken critical words towards others at one time or another. Maybe we were hurting ourselves, or full of fear and anxiety and we lashed out without thinking. Sometimes our mouths can get ahead of our brains. Yikes! Been there done that!

God asks us to forgive those who have wronged us and even pray for our enemies. It is tough stuff, even for mamma bears like me. But, greater than a mother’s love for her children is God’s love for His. Not are all God’s children-only those who have called upon Him for salvation- but all are created by Him. All are known by Him before they take one breath here on earth. And He love all of them. The whole world. That’s not just the planet He talks about in John 3:16- but all the people- all His creation. If God can forgive us our wrongdoing against Him, surely we can too. Maybe the greater the love- the mamma bear kind of love, takes more effort to forgive those who hurt our children, but with God’s help we can do this.

This applies to us all, not just to moms and dads. We are all God’s creation, and we will hurt each other. But we can also love others and forgive others because we are made in God’s image.

So, this Valentine’s day, remember that God has so much love for the world that He sent His Son to redeem it. He protects and loves us, even more than a mamma bear- His love is perfect and greater than a mother’s love. He loves you!-God Bless- Nancy

You Are Not Forgotten

As she was talking I noticed the soft flow of tears from the corner of her eyes. It was not an ugly cry, just a slow leak of tears to wet her cheeks. Why was she crying? She had just lost a loved one and was recounting how she was feeling. Sad, angry, hurting, but calm and peaceful. Why? She knew her loved one was in Heaven and it gave her peace and hope, but she admitted she has moments of anger and frustration.

I have been in her shoes before, when my mom passed four years ago. It hasn’t been easy. Sometimes I still get angry and overwhelmed with sadness. Grief is a process and takes time to go through. It is not an overnight process. It takes time to heal, but in all of it, God is there. It doesn’t always seem like He is, but He is. So, today I just wanted to offer a word to encourage you. I know many people have hurts that they are processing through. The world is a hurting place. We feel hurt. We hurt others. Others hurt us. We live in a difficult world full of hurting things. Things like death, disease, injury, financial problems, breakups, divorces, abuse, accidents, job losses, failures. The world is continuing on a downward spiral until Christ’s return. Now that I’ve bummed you out even more, let me now offer encouragement.

So, how do we deal with all this hurt? Does God even care? Sometimes we might not think He does. Like He’s just walked away from His creation and said, “Well, there you go, figure it all out, I’m going on vacation, see you later when I return.”  Sadly, some believe this is how God created the universe, that He just started the evolution process and walked away. But, this faulty theology is not the truth. God created the universe and all creatures, even you, and He is very much involved with it.

And He is involved in our lives, even when it doesn’t seem that way. He promises to be with us. In Matthew 28: 20 Jesus says,  “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (NIV).  In Joshua 1:5 God promised Joshua “I will never leave you or forsake you” (NIV). If you’ve read the book of Joshua before, then you’ll know that God said this before Joshua was to lead a group of rebellious people to the promise land of Israel. It was not just an easy trip. It had its challenges. There were battles to be fought and people died.  In chapter 5 God asked Joshua to have all the men circumcised. We can only imagine what the guys must have been thinking about Joshua. They probably were not very excited about that. And not to mention the pain involved.  It must have hurt. In chapter 7, Joshua had to deal with the defeat at Ai, because one person disobeyed the direct command not to take the spoils for themselves. People were killed because of one man’s selfishness and Joshua had to deal with it. And he doubted God too, even asking God why “Did you bring us here to the promised land only to destroy us?”. You can read this for yourselves in chapter 7:6-12. Joshua had heard directly from God, but he found himself hurting, confused and doubting God’s intentions. Later, after the disobedience had been dealt with, God gave Joshua victory in defeating Ai. We can read it now and see how it all worked out. Chapter 7 was a problem, chapter 8 we find the outcome. It would be nice if we could fast forward our lives, or turn the pages ahead to see how every difficulty was going to work out, But. well we can’t. I could go on about the Book of Joshua and how God was with him, but I just wanted to point our that God was still with Joshua, even in the difficult stuff. He does the same for us today. He hasn’t changed.

Do I have all the answers as to why we face hurts and challenges in this world when God could take them away? No. We could drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out the whys all the time. But, let me challenge you today, as I have to remind myself on a daily basis; God is for you. He has not forgotten you. He is with you. ALL THE TIME. Even in the bad stuff, the hurting stuff. Sometimes you just have to hold on to God’s promises with white knuckles, when everything in you wants to doubt and throw away your hope. Hang in there, YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN. Believe it, repeat it out loud, even through the tears or anger. God is for you. He loves you. He’s invested in you at great cost to Him (Jn. 3:16). God Bless You- Nancy