Motherhood is underrated. In honor of Mother’s Day approaching, I want to applaud mothers and the sweet tireless work they do. Here’s a simple parallel from nature that demonstrates so well the efforts of motherhood.
The Pictures Tell the Story
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).
My Personal Prayer for You
Lord Jesus, bless mothers everywhere no matter what age or stage they are mothering. Help them weather the child-rearing years with Your grace, wisdom, and protection. In difficult times, be their strength and comfort, and shower sweet times on them like falling spring rain. And when their children are grown and the nest has emptied, fill them with new joys in ways that only You can bless.
You might also enjoy this post I wrote, called, A Mother’s Day Tribute – How Can I Thank You, Mom.
It’s Your Turn
What’s your hardest work as a mom? What stage was the hardest for you? How has motherhood blessed your life? I’d love to hear from you anytime. You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the email will come to me. Your name or info will never be shared with anyone without your permission.
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