One Sunday in 2007, as I struggled with my first-born toddler in church, I watched another young mother encourage one child who had just spoken to the congregation, and simultaneously seek to quiet another she held on her lap. I looked around at other beautiful, young women that all seemed to radiate light as they did all the little things mothers do, surrounded by little ones who need them. I knew some of these women, how they were also the ones coordinating activities at the schools, helping with sports and scouts, inviting other moms to meet at the park, making healthy meals for their families, and coming to my rescue when I felt overwhelmed.
Though most of them were younger than me, they were further along in their mothering journeys. I sat in awe at all they did (and do), with such grace. So I wrote this tribute to my sisters and my friends.
The Young Mother
I marvel. How did she learn?
When did she become?
Still so beautiful, so seemingly young. Yet she knows.
She knows to whisper encouragement and praise
After the first talk or a reverent spell.
She knows when to be firm and when to embrace.
She teaches, loves, corrects.
She aids with homework, plans play dates and parties,
Helps in the classroom, and rescues others so like her.
She knows how to dry tears, calm fears, heal hurts.
She knows what each one needs, how to quiet one in church,
Build castles with another in the sand, to dance and play uninhibited.
She knows how to make home a safe haven of peace,
How to nourish her family, body and soul.
She knows when to cuddle, read, sing, and rock.
She knows the thrill of small arms holding tight.
She knows to seek the Spirit, and counts not the cost
Of nights without sleep and days full of giving.
How did she transform? Still the vision of youthful loveliness, yet now more.
She knows the greatest joy through her eternal mission.
Behind her eyes, the wisdom; in her smile, the empathy.
Within her heart, the depth.
How did she learn? From her own mother.
Love without end.
When did she become? She’s always been.
A divinity within.
(Download a FREE printable of this poem as a Mother’s Day gift for your sisters and friends!)
Years later, I saw a short paper my 5-year old daughter wrote about “what I want to be when I grow up.” Tears came to my eyes as I read:
When I grow up, I want to be a Mom because that’s what my Mom is and she says it’s the greatest job in the whole world!
I do say that. And I’m so glad she believes me! Despite sometimes hard and discouraging days, motherhood is indeed the greatest job I have ever had, or ever will have. It is a sacred privilege and trust for which I am deeply and humbly grateful to my Father in Heaven.
Though I know my mothering will always fall short, how I hope and pray I help her recognize that it’s the most important role she will ever have, that her worth and impact is eternal, that mothering is a part of her divine nature… and that she is entitled to heaven’s help. I am so thankful for my mother, who ingrained these truths in me and showed me how to call on the powers of heaven to love and raise her family. It’s the greatest gift!
Thank you to all the supreme examples of motherhood I see in person and online every day. Mothering is not restricted to those we birth; it is a part of our innate instinct as women regardless of whether we have borne children. I see women bless and nurture others every day, within and outside their families. You inspire me!!
Are you still looking for a Mother’s Day gift for a sister or friend or daughter? Or seeking some inspiration yourself? DOWNLOAD this FREE PRINTABLE of The Young Mother and slip it in a frame… problem solved!
Enjoy! Happy Mother’s Day!