I am privileged to know Cheryl personally. She is a beautiful woman and mother who encourages me weekly through our phone conversations and through her blog, Moms in Need of Mercy. I am honored to introduce her to you today!
A few months ago, these orchids held so much promise. Two stems burst forth with no less than a dozen buds. We awaited a magnificent display of gorgeous flowers.
Yet something went wrong. Perhaps due to a lack of watering, or lack of fertilization, the buds that held such promise of beauty never bloomed. In fact, they shriveled up and fell off the branches altogether.
As I reflected on what went wrong, I realized: this is the perfect picture of our children’s souls. We are given so much potential. We can cause our children to flourish with nurture, or shrivel for lack of time, attention, and encouragement.
Anyone can be a caregiver; only one is Mother. We can meet our children’s basic needs—making sure they are fed, bathed, and given proper clothing—and yet still fail them by neglecting to draw out the uniqueness our Creator has placed inside each of our children. They will be, as Sally Clarkson writes in The Mission of Motherhood, “uncultivated and underdeveloped.”
Succeeding as a gardener requires intentional effort. A lovely garden doesn’t just happen. Succeeding as a mother requires intentional acts to nurture our children’s spirits and encourage growth of their God-given talents and personalities.
Certainly, there are many mundane moments as Mom, but we must be sure that there is plenty of quality time—personal one-on-one investment into each of our children’s lives on a regular basis. We could go through our lives as mothers, spending our days with our children, but never really exposing the “roots” of who they truly are (and helping them bring that uniqueness to surface). And then, like the orchid, we will miss the breath-taking beauty of what could have been and fail to experience the joy brought by seeing our children’s lives bloom. Instead, let’s plan to intentionally nurture our children's precious souls.
A former broadcast journalist turned full-time mom of four, Cheryl Hackett aims to encourage other moms in our high calling of motherhood at Moms In Need of Mercy (www.momsinneedofmercy.com). In addition to sharing humorous stories of life with three sons, six and under (like when they closed themselves in the ice chest at the grocery store, and when one swallowed a quarter), she hopes you’ll find grace and receive mercy to help in your time of need. You’ll find encouragement and practical tips for mothering well, keeping our marriages strong, managing our homes effectively, and saving money to stretch our dollars as far as possible.