Encouraging a Young Mother (and Happy BD to Abby!)

I am so proud of my friend Andrea. I met her through blog land a few years ago and I think she is a fantastic mother and wife to her husband. She moves around a lot (her husband is in the Army), and she always stays so focused and positive in life’s changes and challenges around her, plus she’s an incredible mother to 3 beautiful children. (Check out Sgt and Mrs Hub, here.)

I encouraged her awhile back, so she wrote me a very sweet note:

Thanks so much for loving on me! Seriously. My parents are missionaries and have been in China for the last three months – and I tell you, God has been so faithful to me… He has provided these little “mothering” touches at just the times I need them most. I haven’t been able to talk to my mom except for three times and I miss the love that comes from that relationship. So, your sweet, encouraging words were just what my heart needed to hear.

I immediately felt Andrea’s pain. And reading her email brought me back to 12 years ago TODAY, when my youngest child was born.

Twelve years ago (photo of me and kids taken the first night home), the night I brought Abby home from the hospital (Elliot was 4, Garrett 2), I cried my eyes out because my mom, who was had previously come home with me after every birth, couldn’t be there. She was too sick with cancer.

Miss Abigail had her nights and days mixed up and I was exhausted. I wanted my mom in such a bad way. When my boys were born, she would stay up with the babies at night so I could sleep, and then wake me up when it was time to feed the baby. She’d cook for our family and even clean under my kitchen sink! So this was my first time to ever “need” her in such a way that it made me break down and cry.

Twelve years later I have gotten over the pain. But I still feel a twinge when I read an email like Andrea’s.

I know the value of a mother, the role she plays in a daughter’s life. And when I’m tempted to pick up the phone to call my mom, I’m reminded of all the wonderful women who in the past twelve years have stepped up to the plate, offering me insight and motherly advice.

I am thankful for the years I had with my Mom. And I’m thankful for the older friends in my life who season my life with wisdom and grace.

I’m thankful for the relationship I have with my daughter. A relationship that I pray will continue to be strong and healthy through her mothering years.

Yes, anyone who knows what it’s like to lose a mother knows that the “missing” aspect will never end.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to my sweet Abigail Ellen Rose. Twelve years ago today, our family’s life was changed forever, as you’ve brought such joy and beauty and laughter to it.

How about you – Can you stretch yourself to find a young mother that you could encourage?

It’s a gift without a price tag, for sure!

36 comments on “Encouraging a Young Mother (and Happy BD to Abby!)”

  1. Hi girls! This has become one of my favorite blogs because …well, oh so many reasons. I am a grandmother now and also a reluctant entertainer, but I feel like the Lord is leading me into a new chapter of life, being a mentor to young SHM’s in our church. I lost my mom in a car accident when I was 16 – I mostly wish she could meet my children and grandgirls. My oldest daughter is working overseas in ministry and that has been a hard letting go process. I am looking forward to being able to share with these young women and hopefully giving them some tools to work with and a friend to come alongside them. Thanks for all your encouragement!

  2. I am part of a MOPS (Mothers of preschoolers) group in this group most have very young children but there are a few of us that have older children as well as a preschooler and then we have our Mentor Mom who is there to encourage us too. We meet twice a month and encourage each other. I enjoy these meetings so much and have learned so much from the ones younger than me too. I only hope that I have taught them something as well.
    Amy in Oklahoma

  3. Hi Tammy's mom Ruth here. I read your comment on daughter Tammy's blog & you mentioned being in Keizer which is where I live. I came by & read your Blog & was blessed by what you wrote, about mothers & daughters. Tammy is my one & only & i'm glad they have the two girls whom I enjoy very much

  4. Wow, thanks you for sharing from your heart. My mom passed away from cancer July 2007. I was 5 month pregnant with our second child. My mom was with me when I gave birth to Hadassah our first. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to give birth with out her. However, with a loving husband, a wonderful midwife and an all knowing heavenly father Katherine Margaret came into this world last December.
    Each day I miss my mom. I wish she was here with me. My mom was a lot like you. She had the gift of hospitality and passed it on to me. Each time I host in my home, love on my husband and cherish my children I am so thankful for who she was and how she taught and trained me to be a wife, a mother, a host and most of all a lover of Christ.
    I find comfort in knowing that one day we will see our mothers again. For now we have the memories to pass on. I often think of my mom, with many others preparing our homecoming feast up in heaven.
    Blessings to you, Niina

  5. Happy Birthday to your dear Abigail.

    Your post touched me to tears. I have lived in Texas all my life. When I went away to college I was a bit away but still in Texas.

    The Lord has brought us to Florida about 5 or 5 1/2 months ago with my husband’s job.

    I *ache* for my mother. She had a brain annurism a year ago this last June. She is a precious person and we have never been closer than we became after her annurism. I guess realizing life was so short. She has always been the first to bathe my babies – it’s just been a tradition.

    I miss her terribly. She is not a “phone person” and she is internet illiterate ~smile~ so right now I know exactly what you mean.

    My heart literally aches.
    Thank you for opening up and sharing.
    smiles, Cassidy

  6. I realized bloglines is not showing when you have new posts so I missed this one until now.

    Happy (belated) Birthday to your dear sweet girl! Trusting her day and week has been an extra special one!

    As for stretching myself to reach out to young mothers… you know where that stretching has and continues to lead me. :-)

    Going out for coffee with yet another one next week as her husband is deployed for a year to Iraq while she remains here with 2 preschoolers.

    Continuing to be stretched as I attempt to love and support these young women!!…

  7. well, here i was, looking at lots of yummy food pictures, and now i have to pause and find a tissue. this is an extremely touching post–thank you for sharing with us. i’m calling my mom immediately. :)

  8. Lovely, thoughtful post! My mother moved away a few years ago and since going through my separation I have really noticed not having immediate family around to help out with the practical things that have become more demanding and tiresome as a single mum. I also tend not to let her into too much of what is happening as she is so far away and would only worry! It has been hard.

    I also love the wisdom of sharing through the generations, whether we are related or not doesn’t matter, we can all encourage one another and bless the people who are in our lives and gain from the wisdom of those who are ahead.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom, and happy birthday to beautiful Abby, Nel x

  9. i pray that we are all in the position that god puts us in when we are supposed to be there. thank you for such heartfelt words.

  10. My Mom has been gone half of my life and you never get over the pain of NOT having her hugs, kisses and touches. It is a hard road to travel. I try to encourage young Moms, especially those who have no Mom in the local area. I remember the loneliness and pain of not having a Mom for encouragement. Thanks for this wonderful post.

    Betty in Oklahoma

  11. Sandy,
    I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face. I lost my mom to brain cancer when I was 18. I am now married and have two daughters of my own, ages 4 and 2, and I can totally relate to the cry that comes from inside for a “mom moment.” Not only at the birth of my girls but those days when you feel as though a difficult season of child rearing will never pass….anyone can tell you you’re doing a great job…but to hear it from your mom is priceless.

    I can honestly say that God has truly blessed me with lots of surrogate moms and an amazing mother-in-law, all of which He has used at just the right moment when I needed them the most.

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