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Nearer My God to Thee—through Mommyhood

Studying Martin Luther’s life led my daughter Emily (19) to declare that she wanted to do something important with her life, to change the world, to make a difference! She didn’t want to live out her day-to-day life doing small things. Which caused tears to spring to my eyes, and a passionate sermon on the merits of mommyhood to form on my lips . . . ending with “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!”

Oh, to be a mother! Is there anything closer to God? Is there any job description that requires you to walk in the Savior’s footsteps more closely? To love, lift up, nourish, heal, mourn with, comfort, rejoice with, to be there for. To be there for. Just like God, in so many ways.

The mommy-child bond is like no other on earth. We are genetically linked, and spiritually tied by an invisible umbilical cord that never separates. In no other relationship is there such a connection. The child who was within us becomes the friend, comrade and beloved all throughout life.

I was surprised at this powerful link, and at myself when I had my 6th child. Although I had lived thousands of miles away from my mother for years and years of married life, when the labor got very intense and things looked like they may be going awry, I found myself unconsciously and instinctively cry out, “Mom!”. It shocked me to hear myself—and yet why should it? No one is more connected at a core level, no one more dependable, more caring all throughout life, and especially in time of trouble, than Mom.

My husband’s grandmother described knowing exactly when her son was shot down in World War II half-way around the world. She said she felt it. The umbilical cord is ever present.

I know there are no perfect moms, and I am certainly not one, but my job description calls me to be. It calls me to step up daily and be less self-focused, more inclined to the good of another, less proud, more in tune, less fussy, more content. It causes us to stretch ourselves and live the high road. I know some do not have that wonderful mother, or even a working relationship with their mom, but that doesn’t keep us, ourselves, from trying to be that angel-person for our own children!

Emily asked me to drive her to work, apologizing for the interruption. And once again I thought about life as a mother. Interruption? What’s that? It seems that every day, all day long, is a sort of an interruption when you are raising kids. Not a negative thing, just a realization that what you are doing at the moment is not as important as nurturing and loving the children, and serving them, and teaching them, and modeling Christ-like living in the day-to-day for them. So they will know first-hand how to live! And the little things you do all day long, the in-and-outs of daily life, are the substance of greatness.

Mommyhood. It is something very powerful and sacred. To be there for. To be there for. Nothing we could ever do on this earth could compare to the noble influence we create by being a good and present mother. That impact will be felt generation after generation after generation . . . long after we are gone.

Do something important to change the world! Be a good mommy.

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