Mothering comes in all shapes and sizes, variations and relationships.

I’ve seen mother hens in my middle school teachers, my volleyball coaches, and the lady next door. My mentors, my youth pastors, my mom, and my mother-in-law. Because mothering is not necessarily biological; although very commonly, it is. But the overall definition of mothering means to nurture, tend to, protect, and treasure. It means to point you in the right direction, empower you in your gifts, rub your back when you feel sick or sad, and prize the man or woman God created you to be.

For some, mothering comes natural. Take my sister: Every kid on the block flocked to her the second she stepped out our front door, and every baby in sight spread out a huge ol’ grin whenever she walked by.

For others, mothering comes… not so natural. I’ve only babysat a few evenings in my life, and the times that I did, I’m afraid to admit I did my homework or snored on the couch while they played scot-free downstairs in the basement doing who knows what. So there’s that.

But when mothering comes, the instinct to protect and honor, to cherish and encourage, to mentor and teach, it comes like a full sweeping wave that cannot be hog-tied or encumbered. It picks up momentum, gathering experience and material along the way, and in full glory, is nothing short of a force to be reckoned with. This mama bear tendency is something worth celebrating! Whether the tidal wave is your mentor, friend, colleague, teacher, or sister.

Who are these women in your life? The ones that just exude motherly love and nurture your heart, soul, and mind out of instinct – because it’s just the way they’re wired, the way they are, and even if they tried, they couldn’t stop themselves. Who showers you with nurture, tending to, protection, and treasure?

“She is strong and is respected by the people.
She looks forward to the future with joy.

She speaks wise words and teaches others to be kind.
She watches over her family and never wastes her time.

Her children speak well of her.
Her husband also praises her, saying, ‘there are many fine women, but you are better than all of them.’

Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned; she should be praised in public for what she has done.” Proverbs 31:24-31

So this Mother’s Day, let’s act on this Proverb and praise our mother hens in public for all that they have done.

Thanks for raising us, believing in us, and putting up with our toddler tantrums, teenage mood swings, and request(s) to move back home in our twenty-somethings.

Thanks for coaching us when we had little to none ball-handling skills, teaching us when our tests were littered with red pen, and mentoring when the future seemed foggy and decisions were heavy.

Your mothering is what propelled us forward more times than we’ll ever be able to count, and we couldn’t do this thing called life without you.