Nurturing Them

KidsHer children rise up and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28

I believe nurturing is the primary way a mother demonstrates love to her child.

 To nurture means to care of and encourage the growth or development of

To look after, support, foster, or cultivate,

To encourage, promote, stimulate, contribute to, assist, help, strengthen, fuel.

As I approached the new year, “nurture” is the one word for my role as a mother that the Lord continually placed on my heart and mind.

I’ve been a mother now for almost 19 years. Craig and I were blessed with 6 children in the span of 10 ½ years. I always laugh about this, because we thought we’d have 2 kids (I’m sure God is laughing with me)! As you would rightly guess, our little ones were totally dependent on us for all their physical and emotional needs. It’s when they become more physically independent that we can sit back and relax a bit, right?

Or… maybe this is just the beginning of a new kind (or new phase) of nurturing. Our children (now ages 19,17,14,12,9, & 8) still need my nurturing. Time and maturity doesn’t’ change this truth. You see, the long days have turned into very short years and as with all things, normalcy can breed complacency and complacency can often turn to neglect. I won’t allow this to be my story! I have a choice. If you are a mom, so do you.

They still need my attentiveness and support. It just looks a bit different now.

Two Nurturing Necessities

1. Attentiveness – Staying alert to the various needs of my child.

They may or may not show signs of wanting your attention, but your child wants your attention. They need it. The trouble is that I’m easily distracted! Can you relate? Well, I’ve decided to commit to fully engage as a listener – to be “all there.” And my one-sided “wise” lectures don’t count as listening. My child wants my heart to connect as I listen to their ideas, life-stories, and struggles.

2. Support – Supplying what they need to help them succeed.

We all need this kind of support. Our children never outgrow this need.

They need our sincere encouragement, loving hugs, practical help, spiritual guidance, etc., etc. (without manipulating and judging)—now that’s a big task! I’ve found that I constantly need God’s wisdom to discern what kind of support they need. Enabling my child will weaken their character and development. I want to equip not enable! Or maybe my child is hurting and they are resisting the support they desperately need. In this case, I’m tempted to feel rejected but I’ve learned not to withdraw. Instead, I seek God’s strength to show them His unfailing love.

Embrace Your Calling

A few months after the birth of my fourth child, Sam, I was outraged by the apparent lies from well-meaning people who had promised me that going from 3 to 4 kids was a cinch. “It was moving from 2 to 3 kids that was the real challenge,” they had insisted.  A mentoring friend of mine phoned me in the midst of my despair. God used her words to calm me and set my mind straight. “Amy (long pause), this is your life.” It was this simple yet profound statement that cleared my fog.  “Yes,” I said. “You’re, right.” From that point on I stopped resisting the pressure and stress of mothering. I began to embrace it as the calling that it truly is.

My children are not a hobby that I can enjoy when I feel like it and then set aside. Mothering is my permanent calling, and nurturing is how I will show them love as I look to God to nurture me!

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18 thoughts on “Nurturing Them

  1. Excellent message Amy! I really could have used that insight 21 years ago. Hoping to do better and ‘be present’ more with my niece and potential future grandchildren. Planning to share your wisdom with my young mom friends.

  2. Thank you for these timely words on nurturing! I have six as well (10 years down to 10 months) and have felt God working in me to shift my mindset to embrace His calling of mothering with all of my heart. I’m easily distracted by all the “grown-up” tasks I need to do and struggle really being present for my kids. You are right that I have a choice, and your post is a great reminder to me to give my kids my full attention. Thank you for doing this blog! I am being blessed by what God is teaching you!

  3. Agreed. They need you more at 13 than at 3. I love the book “Loving Our Kids On Purpose” which truly helped with the transition of my parenting style when our kids were adolescent. I didn’t realize it would evolve into such a “new thing” after the younger years

  4. Oh so thankful for this post! I JUST asked my small group to pray for me in this area yesterday! Such practical wisdom. My four daughters are 6, 8, 11, 13 so it seems we are moving from the physically demanding years to more emotional investment. Lord, help me LISTEN more and LECTURE less! Thank you for writing this, Amy!

  5. I’m enjoying reading your posts! My husband & I were privileged to meet your husband several years ago, when I sent a certified letter to him explaining that he was in my husband’s Top-Three-People-to-Meet List. It was an honor to meet him & visit with him about our heart for Oklahoma City as well.

    I couldn’t agree about going from 3-4…it doesn’t feel like addition, it feels like multiplication! But its all ok. In fact, its good. 🙂 Our fifth child is a month old & our oldest turned 9 yesterday.

    Thank you for your thoughts on Nurturing. I need the reminders right now–it’s easier for me to nurture the little ones, but sometimes i feel lost with the older ones…your definitions are so helpful!

  6. Amy! Mine are almost 3, 5, and 7 and boy can I relate! I just recently “embraced” motherhood in that exact realization! Thank you for your words of truth and encouragement!! Lord guide us!

  7. Thank you for sharing such great wisdom, even for an empty nester. It reminded me of Eph. 4:2&3 walk worthy of the calling you have recieved, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, deligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.

  8. Great and timeless reminder. My son is only 15 months, but for a season I’m our main provider, so I have to be super strategic about my time at home and spending it well. It’s helpful to remember that the best long-term investment is spending more time to nurture our son and just letting the lesser things go.

  9. Hey Amy ! It’s Mary from the pastor’s wife group. Loved your post. I knew my calling in this life was to be a wife & mother. I was truly blessed to have a awesome mother who was a natural at nurturing. She is still a great example even at 85 🙂 Our children are now 35 & 31 and Scott & I just celebrated anniversary #37. Life just gets sweeter as we follow God’s instruction and are obedient to his calling. Thank you for all you do for the women in your life ! Love you Mary

  10. My favorite! Probably because nurturing (our 4 boys especially) is hard! Not as hard with our 2 girls. I’m going to join your nurturing efforts! I love the definitions! I’m encouraged!!!

  11. I needed to hear these truths! Thank you for writing these posts. I appreciate your honesty and humility as you help strengthen and encourage us sisters!!

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