My husband Shayne is a master falconer. When he wants to protect and settle the falcon, he covers the falcon’s head with a hood, which creates in the bird a feeling of safety from predators and threats.
We talk of Sisterhood and Brotherhood, of Fatherhood, Childhood and Motherhood. We live in a wonderful Neighborhoods. It means something to us to belong to these “hoods”—we feel a sense of belonging to something that is good and safe; and in return, we feel a sense of responsibility to uphold and contribute to it.
Sheri Dew said, “Motherhood is more than bearing children. … It is the essence of who we are as women.” All of creation requires the life-giving, nurturing, saving, protecting acts of MOTHERHOOD to reach its potential.
Rachel Janovic said, “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in, it is what God gave you time for.” (blog post, Desiring God)
Mothers are not only women who have given birth, but also women who haven’t. I have numerous women in my life who understand what Motherhood means. Grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, and neighbors have mothered us.
Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in, it is what God gave you time for.
I’d like to share some personal stories:
· When I first learned to ride a bike, I thought I would ride it to school, which was just six blocks or so from home. On my way, my foot got caught in the spokes and I fell. Unable to untangle myself, this kind sister came from her home and rescued me. She cleaned and bandaged my foot and called my mom. She was not my mother, but she felt like it that day.
· In junior high, a teacher, who wasn’t married and didn’t have children, wore various colored wigs to class, which was quite a spectacle to me. Yet she instilled in me the power of poetry. She had us memorize poems and recite them in front of class. They had strong messages about character, motivation, and living well. She was not my mother, but her influence felt like it.
· A woman known as Grandma Hall would invite her primary class to her home for, what I would call, tea time. She would have pressed white linens, homemade lemonade, and fresh cookies. She was always old to me. She was not my mother, but her genuine smile and personal warmth made me feel there was more love to go around and the world was filled with good.
· Most of my vacations and summers were spent with extended family. So many hours, days, even weeks together have created a trail of loving memories for what I learned from my grandmothers, aunts, and cousins. I learned how to
* pick citrus and squeeze grapefruit juice,
* perform skits and music in front of others,
* plan reunions that bring us together,
* pitch in for family meals with cooking and washing dishes BY HAND, and
* have REAL conversations with REAL people, face-to-face.
These women smiled because of the goodness and truths they lived by. While they have faced challenges of every kind, they have held their ground and come through brighter and better. They were not my mother, but they increased my desire to be part of this Motherhood.
The Motherhood in my neighborhood has blessed our family for more than 25 years. They have saved our children from danger, fed them when they said they were hungry, invited them to join in your adventures, reminded them of their responsibilities, taught them how to serve others, shared your testimonies, and fasted and prayed for them. They live with mother hearts.
The world is shouting rather loudly now that Motherhood is of little importance, and even that there are more important things to spend our time on. It is quite distracting. While the noise has intensified, it isn’t new. It’s a battle that’s been going on since the beginning of time. Even then, Eve was called “The Mother of all Living” and approved by God before she birthed a child. (Moses 4:26)
The title of Mother belongs to every female–that’s every female who has or will ever live. It is our finest title, our finest work, and our finest blessing, and will ultimately bring us to our finest joy.
Motherhood is the basis of eternity—past, present, and future. Motherhood doesn’t put us on a pedestal, but it does put us in the presence of angels. Through it, we are partners with God. Through it, we have the right to be guided and helped, to feel love, peace, and safety, and to reach our potential. Through it, we have the responsibility to provide guidance and help, to create and share love, peace and safety, and to help others reach their unique potential.
· It means we are women who embrace all the good that Motherhood is—
* serving, and
No influence is of greater value and no title should be more acknowledged, adopted, and adored by women of every age.
Someone has said, “Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.” Giving life is a miraculous process— We learned this more deeply through our experience with our daughter Kristen and our granddaughter Sara Kate, whom we lost after 5 days of miraculous living.
This divine process of a woman giving life cannot, has not, and will not be usurped or changed by even the brightest scientists and doctors. It is worthy of every “Wow”, “Oooo” and “Awwww” we can say. There are no words to describe its wonder.
This is where we all begin—with a miracle. And then our days are spent in a home. My home was a true “hood” of faith, security, and peace. My mother embraced Motherhood. She fought for it during the 70’s. She withstood public pressure, even ridicule as the debate raged on. She went on to represent families and mothers in the national arena, where those pressures intensified. I know where she stands. I know she has a Mother Heart. I know she knows that Motherhood is divine.
Our very hearts teach us that Motherhood is the best in us, if we listen. Motherhood in all its forms is our most ennobling title, our holiest work, and our most cherished opportunity.
Now is the time to go back to the wells of truth and remember what we have always known. Then, we will have the power, the courage, and the resolve to live it and to stand up for it.
By JaLee Jackson Clarke
JaLee Jackson Clarke is a mother of 5, grandmother of almost 11 and hopefully more,has her MBA and works as an HR Manager and Executive Administrator. Pursuing joy and knowledge, and opportunities to serve are her passions. She enjoys discussion, fabric, sunshine, fresh air, and long walks.