Three encouragements for Mums

Photo Credit: Penumbra via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Penumbra via Compfight cc

As we approach Mother’s Day in the UK, I have been thinking about mothers, and the long journey of parenting. There are inumerable  blessings along the way, and it is truly a joy and a huge honour to be trusted with these little ones. But today, I want to think about encouragements for the times when we may feel a sense of hopelessness or even despair over our efforts and their apparent lack of results. Here are my three favourite encouragements, two old and one new.

1. An analogy that I read in a parenting book years ago, and I have always remembered and been consistently encouraged by, is of the bamboo plant. When you plant bamboo very little is seen above ground for about four years. But the plant is very busy, putting out strong, deep roots. Then suddenly in the fifth year it’s rate of growth is incredible, with some varieties able to grow 35 inches in 24 hours! In the same way it can feel as though we go on (and on, and on!) repeating the same trainings and prayers, day after day with apparently little effect. And then suddenly when we look back we realise that “it’s worked”, maturity has come in that area, almost overnight (apparently).

2. Beautiful, awesome and unarguable wisdom from Ann Voskamp, with apologies that I cannot find the precise quote. I think it is this: “God chose you to be the mother of these children, and He doesn’t make mistakes.” Profound, and true, and impossible to argue with.

3. It’s reassuring to know that our worries are nothing new and during the past few months, during my studies of the Saints, I have been struck twice by the role of their mothers, through long years of obedient, consistent, and continual prayer. St Augustine tells us, through his Confessions, about the effect of his eventual conversion upon his mother:

She was filled with triumphant delight and blessed you (God), who have power to do more than we ask or understand for she saw that you had granted her much more in my regard than she had been wont to beg of you in her wretched, tearful groaning. Many years earlier you had shown her a vision of me standing on the rule of faith; and now indeed I stood there, no longer seeking a wife or entertaining any worldly hope, for you have converted me to yourself. In so doing you had also converted her grief into joy far more abundantly than she had desired, and much more tender and chaste than she could ever have looked to find in grandchildren from my flesh.

(Quoted from  The Life and Wisdom of Augustine of Hippo by Lavinia Byrne)

That passage is so full of emotion isn’t it? I immediately scribbled it down in my journal, such beautiful encouraging words. Also in the book by Lavinia Byrne is this Collect for the Feast of St Monica, Augustine’s mother. This is a wonderful prayer for mothers:

Faithful God,
who strengthened Monica, the mother of Augustine, with wisdom,
and through her patient endurance encouraged him to seek after you:
give us the will to persist in prayer
that those who stray from you
may be brought to faith in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever. Amen.

This is my prayer this Mother’s Day, for myself, and all mothers, including all of you. Happy Mother’s Day!


If you have a favourite quote, story, or Bible verse that encourages you, please add it in the comments – we can never have too much encouragement!

About expectantlylistening

Writing about my contemplative journey to come closer to Jesus. I hope to inspire and equip others on their journey.
This entry was posted in Children, Contemplative life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Three encouragements for Mums

  1. Constance says:

    Thank you for the timely post Victoria,

    Just as I finished reading this wonderful post of encouragement, my oldest daughter who NEVER wakes up in a good mood :), came out of her room, with a smile on her face, kissed me on the cheek and said, “Good morning.” I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless. As I stared at her in disbelief, she simply said, “I know it’s weird.” 🙂

    Talk about prayers being answered suddenly that have been sent up almost daily for 18 years! Ha! Just like that bamboo plant!

    Truly in these moments, there’s nothing to say, except “Thank You Lord Jesus, I praise Your Holy Name for hearing my prayers and answering them in Your perfect time!” 🙂 Hallelujah! Amen.


  2. trishamugo says:

    I’m taking all three encouragements to heart. Thank you friend. God is doing what I cannot see. He’s not wasting a single circumstance. I’m trusting that even when I fail, God is working it together for the good of my children, for His glory.

  3. Although I am not a mum and longed to one, I appreciate the prayers and encouragements you have written for Mums. I think Mums often have a special kind of love for their children, almost like God’s love. in the Bible there are many maternal images; for example when Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and says: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” I remember the first time I saw a hen gather her chicks under her wings. Every little chick disappeared from sight and was completely covered by her feathers. I wouldn’t have known that they were there if I hadn’t seen them disappear. I just think it is a brilliant image of a protective mother’s love, like God’s love.
    Julia x

  4. betsydecruz says:

    You have some sweet encouragement for mothers here. Monica’s example is interesting because I believe Augustine led a very dissapated life as a university student. I love the verse in Isaiah that says, “He gently leads those that have young.”

  5. Yes, that’s a great verse – it was really precious to me when I had babies and toddlers especially. That’s exactly what’s struck me about the saints we’ve studied so far! Ignatius was concerned with being a grand knight; Francis with fortune and success, and so on. I sense that Francis’ mother too spend much time in prayer for him!

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