What Does a Mother Do with Her Nurturing Heart When All the Kids Are Grown? – The Stream

When I became a mother for the first time, I knew I loved this first little girl with all my heart.

Her dad and I would be the ones to teach her how to do everything for the first time, like how to laugh, how to walk, talk, and be confident in life — and most of all, to come to know Jesus through a personal relationship.

We didn’t need to teach her how to cry; that came naturally! Ha! But I wanted to protect her from all hurt and pain, even though I knew that would be impossible as she experienced life. There would be scrapes and falls as well as disappointments. I couldn’t stop those experiences from happening, but tried awfully hard to soften the blows of life.

A Son Is Born

Then, five years later, our son entered our family. Hoping that I had improved at being a mother, I was so excited to now have a little boy! Our firstborn always said the two siblings who came after her had it easier than she did. (I’m sorry. The firstborn is the one we practice on as new parents.)

James and I were blessed to have such wonderful children, and we thank God that He entrusted us with them. They filled my heart and life as a mother.

The dreams of my life were to be a wife and mother. I enjoyed it at every age, and felt so blessed to be in this role.

There were many days when I felt unqualified, but I hoped my children would always know I loved them and would do anything I could for them. I knew they knew I wasn’t perfect and that sometimes when I’d lose it (so to speak) and react instead of responding to their actions or requests that I still would give my life for them. It was hard to convey to a child who had misbehaved or acted ugly that I really loved them. Many times I would correct them with a broken heart, but knowing I was doing it because I loved them. (I know when they became parents themselves they came to understand!)

As the Years Go By

As a mother, you watch your children grow up, get married, and start their own families. Time flies by, and then your children have children!

Now comes the fun: You are a grandmother. For several years, your children will need your help with their children — babysitting and spending lots of good times loving them! The nurturing instinct in you is still active, and you love it.

Now the grandkids are getting bigger — starting school, making new friends, and becoming very busy in life. The visits become fewer as you try to adjust to the new life for the whole family. This is God’s plan, but knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it easy — especially for a mom who has lived life thus far fulfilling that nurturing gift from God.
I have to be honest: Sometimes this process has made me sad. I think, What do I do now with this nurturing desire that has never diminished in me?

I know God must have something else in mind, because He doesn’t leave us hanging with no more purpose in life. So I ask my Father to reveal the wayHe wants me to focus my gifts . I will always have that nurturing spirit toward my family, but now I use it only if they ask. They are spreading their wings and we are so proud of them. They are doing what God intended!

God has, in no uncertain terms, told me, I’m not finished with you. There is work to be done! If you will be soft clay in My hands I will shape another season of opportunity, serving Me and blessing others.

I know the enemy will pounce on this change of season if I don’t consistently yield myself to God for this time in my life. Many other mothers also are at this exact point in their lives. Remember, God is our source and our strength, and He will use us if we will follow Him!

Betty Robison cohosts LIFE Today with her husband, James. The program reaches more than 300 million households in North America, Europe, and Australia. The Robisons founded LIFE Outreach International, a worldwide media ministry and missions organization. Betty is also the author of the inspirational bestseller Free to be Me, and coauthor of Living in Love.

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