Encouragement For Moms: A Bird’s Eye View of Motherhood

The Pictures Tell the Story

Most of us heard about Hilary Rosen’s recent comments when she said Mitt Romney’s wife “has actually never worked a day in her life.” A firestorm erupted with those words, and stay-at-home moms perked up to disagree. I’m re-posting this blog from two years ago, because to me it’s a beautiful illustration that a woman’s work is never done.

While this is only a bird‘s eye view of motherhood, I hope this encouragement for mothers will remind every mom, whether a stay-at home or otherwise, how valuable her “work” truly is. If you are a mom, we applaud you and celebrate you today–and everyday! God does, too!

A Bird’s Eye View of Motherhood

Every year a robin, cardinal, or blue-jay builds its nest somewhere in our back yard. But this is the first time I’ve ever watched its “family” grow. This is the first time a bird has ever nested on top of one of our gutters, protected under the eaves of the house. And this is the first time I ever witnessed a baby robin–or any “baby” bird take its first flight, and see the nest empty before my eyes.

The Babies Are Born

I watched Mama robin as she hovered over her eggs, protecting them until they hatched. I saw her scratch around in the back yard hunting for worms and goodies. I watched Mama (and sometimes Papa) dip in and out of the nest several times a day, feeding themselves and their babies as eager beaks began to pop open and chirp frantically. Day after day, Mama repeated her work, knowing little lives depended on her. Several times a day, she returned to rest and cuddle the babies, keeping them warm and safe from predators.

The baby robins grew, and one day I saw three little bodies pop up. They were already half grown! Still, Mama Robin flew in and out daily, preparing “nutritious” meals. She never seemed to tire. The meals increased, and their cries grew louder. Her “kids” had voracious appetites! I marveled at the simplicity of this miracle of God’s nature, and at the love and sacrifice of that mother robin. Would her role ever change?

I found myself entering into their family dynamics, and dreaded what would soon follow. A cat or two had strolled through my back yard recently–and despite my knowledge of the “food chain,” I started praying, “Lord, you love sparrows, and robins–all creatures. Protect those little ones!”

The Nest Begins to Empty

Then one day I was working in the garden, and the inevitable happened. One of the baby robins had ventured out on the “ledge” of the gutter arm. Was it time to fly? What if it fell? The bird seemed frightened and uncertain and stood motionless for a long time. Suddenly a nearby weed-cutter clapped loudly against a metal object and startled the bird.  It began to flap its wings wildly. The robin landed on the ground below, then fluttered into the creeping ground cover along the fence.

I grabbed my camera and followed its journey as it hopped away. In a flash, Mother Robin flew down beside its struggling baby, making sure it was okay. Finally the little bird flew up to my back yard hammock and huddled there for hours. Was the bird’s flight premature? Would it survive? I watched, spellbound, then smiled as Mother Robin swooped down and comforted her baby again, bringing it food even as it rested in the hammock.

The next day the robin had disappeared, and I noticed that the other babies must have attempted their flights as well. The nest appeared empty–and sad. Or maybe it was me who was sad. My little robin family had moved on.

Flashes from the Past

For a moment I saw flashes from the past and a tear trickled down my cheek as I compared the stages of my own children to these little birds. I remembered the time we left our oldest child on a new college campus–miles away from home. I thought about all the “firsts” in my children’s lives: first day at school, first date, first day of driving, graduation, college, then marriage. My nest emptied. My children left to build nests of their own.

A few days passed, and I headed for my walk through the back yard garden again. Mother Robin was at it again! Puzzled, I watched her as she flew in and out of the nest. The babies were gone. What was she doing? As I drew closer, I discovered she was “redecorating.” With bits of string and leaves, she began weaving them into the top edges of the nest, building a home again.

A mother’s work is never done. (Proverbs 31:10-31)

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4 NIV

If You’d Like More Encouragement

If you are a mom or even a grandmother, or know someone who is, I’d love to have the opportunity to offer you more devotional encouragement. This time, I’ve prepared it as a permanent “special,” and you can take advantage of it now all year long. You can find that “special” here.

What’s Your Hardest Work as a Mom? Share Your Comments Below.

What do you think? What’s your hardest work as a mom? Would you share your comments below? Your words might encourage someone today! You will not be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you do so. Feel free to email this Christian blog to someone or to re-post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, using the buttons below, or to “like” it below or on my Facebook networked blog. If you’re reading this via newsletter you can always “share” my blogs from the large buttons at the end of each blog on my website here: If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first. And if you’d like to, you can sign up for my blog/newsletter and updates at the top of this website page/sidebar. Your e-mail address will never be sold or given to anyone!

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    2 Responses to “Encouragement For Moms: A Bird’s Eye View of Motherhood”

    1. Iris Wilson on April 16th, 2012 7:47 am

      Rebecca, I always receive good insights from your “encouragement”. This one today is especially pertinent to my life today. For many years we have had BARN SWALLOWS build their nests in the corner of our porch. When our grands were small I would scoot their high chair up to the kitchen window where they could watch the daily activities of the Swallow family. Well, last year we had our house painted about the same color as in your photos and when the Swallow family started building again I decided to sweep down the start up because as you probably know their nests are really nasty!! After about 8-10 attempts to discourage their building I gave up because Saturday morning they had PERSEVERED during the night and moved in!!
      Being a mom of 4 sons, 14 grands & 2 great-grands I KNOW it takes PERSEVERANCE to keep on task. Many times we would love for someone to put MOM/GRANDMOTHER in time-out but that doesn’t happen, so we just keep going to build Godly character into our family members.

    2. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on April 18th, 2012 9:35 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Iris. The work goes on and on and on….:-) Bless you as you keep working and praying to help build Godly character!

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