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  • Rhonda Kelley

Grateful for My Many Mothers!

Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries to honor women who have birthed, nurtured, and influenced their own children and the children of others! The dictionary defines a mother as a female parent who molds and shapes her child from the womb into the world. In the Bible, a mother’s role is both biological and inspirational. God created woman to not only bear children physically but to care for them spiritually. What a perfect design by God!

In our world today, society seeks to blur the lines of motherhood. Those who believe the truth of God’s Word understand that God created man and woman, husband and wife, father and mother to complement each other and to lead the family in love. At Mother’s Day and then at Father’s Day, children are encouraged to express gratitude to their parents for their love, provision, and support.

I realize that my life has been impacted not only by my biological mother but by many women who have influenced my life profoundly. At this special time and throughout the year, I reflect on them with gratitude. These women have invested themselves in me at different times and in different ways.

My two grandmothers were a part of my life for many years as both lived into their late 80s. Grandmother Harrington served faithfully alongside my granddaddy who was a Methodist minister. She taught me how to live out the Word of God. My maternal grandmother, Mama Lu, loved the Lord and her family. She taught me faithfulness to my family and my church among other spiritual lessons.

God gave me a loving mother who nurtured me in faith daily. She is devoted to the Lord, His church, and His people. She instilled in me a heart for others as we opened up our home in hospitality. She continues to reflect the joy of the Lord and the peace from Him even in challenging circumstances. I am so very grateful to celebrate this Mother’s Day with my 95-year old mother who lives only 15 minutes from me!

When I married, I was blessed with a godly mother-in-love. Mom Kelley was a prayer warrior who modeled for me the power of prayer and the blessing of answered prayer. She also wrote notes of encouragement to family members and friends who continue to express gratitude for her thoughtfulness.

God has placed women in my life at different ages and stages who have been godly influences. In high school, an older girlfriend taught me confidence and grace, inviting me to be in her wedding. In college, my sorority sponsor modeled for me biblical marriage as she lovingly supported her husband in the home, church, and workplace. When we married, Chuck’s sister Dorothy became a mentor for me in teaching the truth of God’s Word with excellence. And, at seminary, JoAnn Leavell was an example of a ministry wife who used her own spiritual gifts in service with her husband.

Though I have never birthed or adopted children of my own, I consider myself a spiritual mentor to many women and girls. I have poured my life into theirs and claim many younger women to be my children. What a joy to be a mother!!

I am grateful for motherhood and these mothers who have made such a positive impact on my life. Thank you seems so trite for my deep, heartfelt gratitude! But, today and every day, I say, “I am grateful to the many mothers in my life!”


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