Returning to our Identity as Mothers: We Will Nurture

The kids are up. It’s time to make breakfast. The white jackets and unhappy faces worn by the women in Congress last night haunt me. They stood up and applauded for themselves when the President acknowledged how many women in this nation are working these days – and how many stand in Congress. But they refused to stand up when he said we would protect babies in their mother’s wombs, made in the “holy image of God.”

For this, they didn’t budge. They crossed their hands and frowned, white coats stiff as their cheeks.

Aren’t they mothers, I think?

Weren’t their babies warm on their chests, nestling those tiny hands around pinky fingers, learning to suckle and burp? Didn’t their babies’ initial cries catch air and ring true of the miracle of birth?

We are mothers, created to nurture. 

The first woman’s name was Eve — her name means: Life.

When did we forget?

Women breath life into all we touch — beginning with the plants. Although my green thumb isn’t very strong, I do know to water the living things once a week. I notice when I forget, the leaves turn dark brown, crispy and brittle on the edges.

From the moment of conception, the mother brings Life.

You took me from the womb,

making me secure

while at my mother’s breast.

I was given over to You at birth;

You have been my God

from my mother’s womb.

– Psalm 22:9-10

I am a Mother.

I Nurture.

nurture verb

: to supply with nourishment

care for and nurture a baby

: EDUCATE

nurture kids in clean, colorful rooms with the latest books and learning gadgets.

: to further the development of : FOSTER

nurture his intellectual inclinations.

The word nurture means: to advocate, champion, endorse, support, uphold. Assist, boost, work for, forward, foster. Incubate, nourish, nurse, promote.

Why aren’t they standing? 

When did we step out of our identity as women — as mothers — to protect life, grow it, claim it, and name it?

We keep saying it’s not life, when we were once seeds growing in our mothers’ wombs.

I bemoan all this, head to pillow — to my man.

The Cowboy cuts right to the chase.

“Well, what are you going to do about it?”

I pause. I stutter. I stumble. I don’t want to say the wrong thing, but I have to say it out loud:

“I will speak about it. I will write about it.

I will model for the girls what it is to be a woman.

I will make sure they know.”

Sammy’s up, feet shuffling on pale wood.

“Mommy.”

“Mommy.”

“Mommy.”

These are the first three words he says each morning. I leave a cool cup of coffee for this moment. We put on socks and pick out shirts and get ready for school – where he will be fostered, promoted, educated, nurtured.

The Cowboy takes Sam to school; I clean up scraped pans of eggs and leftover pulled-pork, half-eaten tortillas, and cold coffee with cream. Beds made, hair washed, I grab my yoga mat — out the door. It’s a mandate to take care of my body and I’m not missing it today.

At the end of class, in shavasana, a room of women lay flat on our backs and breathe long, drawn inhales and exhales that drain the belly. The yoga teacher says the words I’ve heard hundreds of times, words reverberating in gyms and yoga studios and on screens across America this morning: 

“Turn on your side and lay in the fetal position.”

I cringe. How can we all be laying here knowing that every quarter of a minute, a baby is torn by the limbs from the place we just laid our hands, our mama’s bellies? Is everyone else in this room curled up in peace or does the word “fetal position” bother anyone here or anywhere? I know the answer.

There are tears all over this nation today, from mamas who lost their babies, in one way or another.

The yoga teacher tells us to sit up and she speaks, the same words we’ve heard countless times before: “The divine light in me honors the divine light in you. Namaste.”

Does that mean the divine light in you honors the divine light of a child? 

Or is that just something we say when it’s convenient, when it sounds kind, gentle, and loving.

(Just checking.)

I am a Woman, created to nurture. Designed to bring life. I bring life when I hug a booboo, fluff the pillows, crack the eggs, clean the pan, go to yoga, call “I love you!” as he walks out the door. 

I bring Life. 

That’s Who I Am. 

Dear God, don’t ever let me forget. And when I step outside of who you designed me to be in some of my weakest moments as a mother, as a woman, as a wife — remind me Who I Am:

a nurturer who supplies, cares for, educates, fosters, advocates, 

champions, supports, upholds — 

a nurturer who assists, boosts, works for, forwards, fosters, 

incubates, nourishes, nurses, and promotes — 

When I step out of my identity as a Mother — dear God, bring me back. 

Let me remember:

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6 Response to “Returning to our Identity as Mothers: We Will Nurture

  1. Jen, truth in love, with a little fire under your soul with compassion for the unborn. And a big encouragement for all moms, both the at home mom and the career mom. No matter what, we are nurturers by God’s flawless design. I consider it a privilege and a honor to be called mom and now grandma. Thank you for being the voice that is countercultural and timely. To God be the glory.

  2. I whole heartily agree. When were these mothers and doctors given authority to decide who lives or dies? Does “abortion” sound better than “murder”? Because that’s what it is. A living human being with breath in its’ lungs. I don’t mean to sound angry – our struggle is not against flesh and blood, it’s righteous anger I have against an enemy that has so deceived us into thinking that if it’s to save the mother’s life it’s ok to abort the child or if there is multiple physical problems it’s ok to abort the child because what kind of a life would it have? We serve a God who does not make junk, mistakes or errors. We are all made in his image.

    1. Thank you Karen. We stand together for the sanctity of ALL Life — the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is for all of us — all children have a right to live. We will stand firm on the truth and not waver!

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