Mothers do not come in one shape or one size.  There’s my mother by birth (in the picture with me), who loves me like no one else ever has or ever will, and I am so grateful for her.  I think that she thinks I walk on water, and who doesn’t need at least one person to believe in you like that?  I have a stepmother, who has been a friend to me since I was ten or eleven years old and who has taught me so much.  I have an aunt who filled in the gaps when my Dad moved out of state when I was a little girl, who shared her faith with me along the way and is one of my dearest friends to this day.  I have a mother-in-law who has loved my kids so very well since the day they were born.  And I have a mentor who calls me her birdie and pours into me as if I’m one of her own daughters.
And I know plenty of women who are mothers beyond their own biological children.  I have a friend who has adopted a little girl from Ethiopia and one from Burkina Faso.  I have another friend waiting to go get her Ugandan babies.  And another one who is in the process of waiting for her first child, a little boy from South Korea.  And then there is the friend involved in a fostering program, who has an adorable little man living under her roof, who just may end up staying for good.
And the single mothers that I know, either by choice or by circumstance, who are the mother and the father, who are the good cop and the bad cop, who handle every decision on their own and celebrate every joy solo as well.
Your children might not be old enough yet – or outwardly-focused enough yet – to rise up and call you blessed as Proverbs 31 promises, so allow me.
Bravo to you.  It’s an amazing privilege to take on the role of molding another life, guiding and praying, protecting and shaping.  You lay your life down.  You go to bed spent and wake up still tired some days.  You pray when you don’t know what else to do; you pray because you know it’s the most important thing you can do.  Your children are watching you and you are doing more right than you give yourself credit for.
Keep doing what you’re doing.  I know the benefits can be slim some days but you are doing eternal work.  Your children are blessed to be growing up in the care of a woman who loves God, so focus on him and let him fill you up.  Hang on to Jesus, dear one.  And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for mothering well.

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