Mothering

Mother holding her daughter

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.—PHILIPPIANS 4:19 [NIV]

When I was 10 years old, my mom became crippled with rheumatoid arthritis brought on by giving birth. Her hands couldn’t open or close diaper pins, pull the rubber nipples over the top of bottles or snap closed the tiny onesies on her newborn son. She came home from doctor visits crying from pain and frustration. Anti-inflammatories, cortisone shots and dipping her hands in a crock pot of melted wax helped a little.

When my little brother fussed at night, I went to him. “Shhhh, don’t cry,” I’d coo. I rocked him until he drifted off to sleep.

Eventually, surgeries replaced all of the joints in her fingers and toes.

“I’m sorry, honey, for all the years you had to help me,” Mom said to me recently, tears streaming down her face. “I wasn’t a very good mother to you or your sisters.”

“It’s okay, Mom. Really. You did the best you could.” I smiled and took her hands in mine. “You’re a great mother.”

I might have been the one to wake in the night, but we all raised our little brother. We did it as a family, because that’s what families do—take care of each other—no matter what.

Today's Prayer:

Thank you, God, for the gifts of those who mother lovingly, even when they are not our mothers.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts