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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Here's to all the women who stay on the job. I'm talking about one of the toughest jobs on earth — being a mother. As someone observed, "Motherhood is full of frustrations and challenges. Eventually, though, they move out." They may eventually move out, but a mother in the thick of her child-rearing years can be excused for thinking the demanding job confronting her will never end. Readers's Digest once told of two Bible college students who decided to go door to door sharing their faith. At one house they walked through a gauntlet of screaming kids and barking dogs. A tired mother opened the door. "We would like to tell you how to obtain eternal life," they said. She hesitated as she looked around for a moment at a mountain of laundry, a pile of dirty dishes, and the screaming kids. Then she said, "Thanks, but no thanks. I don't think I could stand this for eternity." Motherhood is extremely labor-intensive. It may be for women, but it is not for wimps. What would we do without mothers who are willing to take on all the demands and challenges that being a mother brings?

Motherhood is an on-going challenge requiring mothers to make staggering physical, emotional, and spiritual investments in the lives of their children. Even when they move out of Mom's house, they never move out of her heart. The bond between mother and child that began in her womb almost always endures until she is laid in her tomb. Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord affirmed the powerful, unique nature of a mother's connection with her children — "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you" (Isaiah 49:15). This Scripture admits the possibility a mother may forget her children. But the comparison itself makes clear that a mother who forgets her child is the exception from the rule, an aberration, a deviation so abnormal and rare and so unexpected that in human society we never expect to see it, and are always shocked when we do. The connection between a mother and children is almost impossible to sever. Someone noted that the decision to have a child is to decide to allow your own heart to walk around outside your body for the rest of your life. That is especially true of a mother's love. The umbilical cord is cut moments after birth, launching forth a brand new life into the world. But other strings soon begin to develop. For years mother holds the child close, literally — nursing, nurturing, teaching, prodding, protecting, providing. She serves and makes thousands of personal sacrifices. The child graduates from Day School and then high school and probably college/university. But he/she never graduates from Mom's heart. Twice we read that concerning her Son Jesus that Mary "kept all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19, 51). How long did Jesus stay in Mary's heart? The answer is found in John 19:26 where John records that from the cross Jesus "saw... His mother standing by." Thank God for godly mothers who keep us in their hearts. That string is never completely cut.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ