Generation Cedar

I had the privilege of a young lady’s help over the weekend while my oldest daughter is away. We were hosting a wedding and she offered to come and “stand in” where needed, although she went far beyond her call of duty. (My house is so clean!)

Olivia is a young woman with vision…oh to have been prepared with that kind of vision at such a young age!

She enjoys helping moms not only because of her love for children, but because, as she put it, “I’m in training…where else could I get this kind of training for my desired profession?”

Certainly colleges can “prepare” you for any vocation your heart desires…except that one of motherhood. Boy is this the biggest oversight in the universe? The profession that determines the direction of the future of our nation doesn’t have a training course?

Well, it does, in fact, and it’s called HOME. But we no longer recognize it as a viable training ground for a real profession. So as our regard for the seriousness of HOME crumbles, so does the fabric of the culture. And we scratch our heads and wonder “why”.

As Olivia and I sat on the porch last night after a tiring day, we pondered a typical question of motherhood. “How does a mother maintain a close relationship with all her children (particularly if she has several)?” She had been asked this question by another worried mother.

Funny we sometimes make up our own definitions to suit how we think things need to be. I’ve heard many a mom say she doesn’t want more children because her relationships would suffer with them.

Really? So, if God made a woman to reproduce prolifically, He just “forgot” about the relationship part? He just didn’t think about it?

No, I believe it’s one more area where we assert our “wisdom”, the kind that isn’t always parallel to God’s.

If He gives me children, He provides–for all our needs, not just the physical ones. He forms those relationships in the context of the family he places them in, just as He wants them to be.

Is it a breeze? Of course not! It’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be, as someone mentioned in an earlier post, as much molding and chiseling of my character as it is theirs.

But the answer, simply put, is just in being there. When a mother is there she knows her children and they know her. She doesn’t have to abide the pop-psychology of spending uninterrupted hours of time with each child in order to develop the proper relationships–that’s absurd! That’s our own concocted formula.

She needs mostly just to be there. Providing for basic life-needs–the language of love to a child.

Listening to stories, bandaging cuts, wiping noses (and hineys!), providing an excited response to a new discovery, feeding mouths, filling minds, training hearts–those are the relationship builders that God put into place.

Relax. Just be there.

Come sit with me, big brown-eyed girl, what’s on your mind today?
Butterflies or Buttercups? Let’s talk before you play!
My son, what’s that? Your newest fort? You want me to come and see?
Legos, logs then life-sized trees…your gift amazes me.

Arms to cuddle, ears to hear, eyes to see and savor,
A mother’s presence–just being here–the sweetest gift God gave her.



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15 Responses

  1. I agree completely! I guess just like everything else in pop-culture every area has it’s own “department”, not understanding that they are all so intertwined together. It shouldn’t be quality time vs. quantity time, they should be one in the same. Just living and working together as a family gives them all the relationship they need.

    If we feel like each child needs their “date night” with dad (and we do this once in a while, but it’s not a necessity), or each child needs this or that, doesn’t that develop the sense of “It’s all about ME” that has our society in a choke hold?

  2. Thank you so much for that commentary! I’m a part of cafemom and topics of the Duggar family come up all the time – I see so many saying “how can they all get enough attention…”

    Herein this post lies the answer. Attention, according to the world, is impossible to attain unless you have 1 or 2 but no more than 3 children. It’s based on pop (read:junk) psychology.

  3. Kelly, I love that poem. Did you write it???


    I liked what you said:

    “It shouldn’t be quality time vs. quantity time, they should be one in the same”

    That’s for sure!

    The answer *is* simple isn’t it? Mom… be there.

  4. Kelly,
    Great post. Thanks so much. I’m wondering if you or one of your readers could help me. Sometime in the last year I read a quote (I think by a president) about the important role of mothers in shaping future leaders. Does that ring any bells? Can anyone help me out?

  5. I agree too. The dynamic just kinda happens. love multiplies.

    Im sure many of you have read the five love languages series…..but of course, my ‘love language’ is quality time. I sense and interpret love best this way. Growing up my parents never spent quality time with us. Now, I dont put a ton of stock into the ‘love languages phonomena’, but at the same time, i think it can be helpful information in being aware of children being wired differently and having different needs. I someitmes wonder if my parents would have been more ‘active’ and ‘present’ with us kids, if I wouldnt have needed the quality time so much? Or, perhaps either way my parents raised us, I would have always felt a lack for quality time anyhbow, because that is just how I am wired.

    Because quality time is something I yearn for as a human being, I am not sure if I am quite objective about *their* need for it…or if i project my lost childhood onto them.

    Anyway, I do think it is important to spend time with children. Even if I have all 4 with me, which I usually do..I like to have down time where we can just play and relax or hit the beach together. I enjoy having craft time,etc. I enjoy reading just one of them a book, or taking one out to lunch alone on occassion. I connect best with people one-on-one.

  6. Thank you, Kelly, and all you other moms of several kids. My husband and I are both only children. Now, we have a 19-month-old daughter who we adore and a baby boy due in May. Sometimes I worry that I won’t be able to give each of them (let alone future children!) enough love and that they’ll feel neglected. Deep down, I know that’s not so; God doesn’t ask us to do the impossible–that doesn’t mean it won’t be difficult, but it does mean that it CAN be done. Hearing from all you more experienced mamas has really made me feel more at peace.

  7. Tina,

    I couldn’t come up with a quote like you described…I’m sure there are lots like it out there though (I love quotes!)

  8. Hi there!

    I've read bits from your blog off and on, and you seem like you have such a wonderful family. And I definitely saw your point in this post. I just wanted to chime in about this, I hope you don't mind, I know this is your space,

    "Certainly colleges can 'prepare' you for any vocation your heart desires…except that one of motherhood."

    My college education, at a Christian liberal arts college, and even my secular graduate school experience, prepared my heart and mind for the vocation of motherhood in so many valuable ways. I know everyone isn't called to college, and that's fine. But it taught me critical thinking skills that have helped me as I've assessed my children's illnesses, or evaulated parenting methods or decisions. It's given me a network of Christian women, many of them mothers, with whom I've stayed in touch with over the years, who have helped me along in this journey of mothering. Even before I was blessed with children, graduate school helped prepare me to be a mother, as many of the students I taught were craving a motherly hand, someone they could talk to about their struggles as they reached the brink of adulthood. It's also helped me in my vocation as a wife, as I have been able to build my husband up in his work as a scholar (and the reverse is true as well–we have worked together as a team on many projects).

    I've seen other mothers benefit from their college education as well. One of my friends has a child who was born deaf, and the love for languages she cultivated during her time in college and graduate school has been such a blessing in her son's life as she and her husband have had opportunities to become involved with the deaf community.

    I know this is long & straying away from the point of your post, but all that to say that if God has placed in your life the opportunity and calling towards higher education, He will bring good things out of it for you and your children.

  9. joannabug,

    I agree…”all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”

    But yes, my point was that there was not a formal “training for motherhood” program πŸ˜‰ and so many young women find it helpful/needful to train under other mothers.

    (Not to mention, college can greatly distract a woman from viewing motherhood as a profession, and encourage her, instead, to focus on career–that’s where I was for a long time.)

    (On a side note…years ago, training to be a mother DID include so many things like studying medecine/herbal remedies and nurse-type learning as well as a plethora of other trades. It was seen as a vast profession with many needful skills…we’ve lost that.)

    If you’ve ever had the privilege of spending time with one of these moms, it’s shocking the knowledge and training she possesses.

  10. Yes, I see your points, and respect what you are saying (even if I don’t agree fully with all of them). My best friend since childhood chose not to go to college, and I’ve seen how gifted she is in motherhood and learned a lot from her over the years (we were both homeschooled all the way through).

    At the same time, certain gifts I had were clear to my father and mother, elders, pastor, music teachers, and the godly women mentors in my life, and they all unanimously encouraged me to pursue my education. And it’s a long story, but my higher education led me to my husband as well. πŸ™‚ And through my education, I’ve been able (by God’s grace) to serve my church, family, husband, children, and many others who have come into my life. And it has not hindered my love of mothering, either, in fact the point of my earlier post is that it has strengthened me in my service of motherhood.

    Now that I’ve finished my second chapter as a response, lol, I’ll let everyone continue as usual. Thanks for letting me speak from my heart.

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