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In the classic sense of the word, “mothering” means to give birth to; to bear; to bring up with care and affection. But if you look up its synonyms, you’ll find the meaning broadened significantly to embrace a whole slew of women we are blessed to know throughout our lives. Women who tend, foster, minister, nurse, nurture, protect, take pains for, treasure, keep an eye on, keep tabs on, look after, provide for, wait on, and watch over.

In fact, I would venture to say that much of the mothering we receive in life comes from sources other than the actual women who bore us for nine months and gave birth to us. Sometimes the “mother” who bore and birthed us turns out to be the same woman who brings us up with care and affection. But not always.

Fortunately though, if we look back over our lives for a moment, we’re likely to see many mothers who have cared for us with affection, helped bring us up, tended to our needs in one way or another, been mindful of us, nurtured us, nursed us, and treasured us enough to take pains to protect and foster us. They’re everywhere. Sisters, friends, grandmothers, and aunts. Teachers, babysitters, cousins, and counselors. A mother-in-law. An adult daughter. A co-worker. Even a young child. {Mothering comes so naturally to little ones.}

I love the thought that even though a mother is long gone, or was never present in the first place – even when the desire to mother is so strong it hurts — there is still an abundance of mothering to be had in our lives. And when we’ve received the mothering we need, we get to mother others … until the time comes when the tables turn once again, and the ones we have treasured begin to tend to us in much the same way that we watched over them. It’s a beautiful picture of give and take throughout the seasons of life.

That’s what we honor each year in the month of May – the time-honored, life-giving nature of motherhood. And that’s who we embrace with these words today. The whole slew of you!

You are loved, appreciated, celebrated, and honored.


Love Julie