The Greatest Job

According to the Bible, God is the creator of Motherhood. He made Eve to be a helpmate for Adam, and designed her to become mother of all mankind. Genesis 1:27,28.; 2:24; 3:20. Many women can master the helpmate part, but the hardest by far, is the job of being a mother. In God’s eyes it is the most important job in the life of a woman.
There are some women who were prepared to be a mother, like girls in the famous Duggar family, but others, such as myself, were taught like some people teach kids to swim. I felt like I was thrown right into the water without a bit of preparation. I didn’t want any kids when Ralph and I got married. My mother was not fond of children, although she was a good mom to me. I grew up thinking the best thing was to not have any kids, and just enjoy our lives on earth. Well, God had another idea.
It seems that I caught on quickly and really enjoyed being a mother. After our four rambunctious kids were raised and on their own, I thought my job as mom raising kids was complete. But while I was out running in the mountains of Montana one day, God gave me the vision of our daughter Faith in China, and then told me to go get her! That vision of becoming a mother again really cut into my thoughts, plans and pursuits.
God uses situations and experiences that come into our lives to prepare us when He has something He wants done. I have enjoyed quite a few professions over the years, and all of them have added experience plus skills to enhance my true profession. Among those enjoyed were: Cosmetologist, a business owner, Christian newspaper editor, Morgan horse breeder, and Associate Pastor many times, and a mother. The last job is not the least, I have learned that it is actually the first and most important. Looking back, I know that each profession helped prepare me for the greatest job of my life; being mother to 19 kids, and perhaps more.
Our first 4 children came through natural birth, they gave us basic training in parenting skills, and many times through trial and error. The best part was the love that was developed in me as a mother.
We had a precious woman in one of our churches who was loved by everyone. I used to pray, “Lord make me more like Dorothy.” You need to be careful what you pray. I was praying for that kind of love to flow through me. Dorothy was the mother of 10 children. I learned much from Dorothy as I watched her interact with her children and their situations. When I asked her questions about how to handle a situation, she would always smile her lovely smile and say, “Just love them, honey.”
In preparation for my greatest job I have found those other professions came in handy. I am so thankful for all that hair-cutting training. Our first little boy, Nathan, was such a wiggle worm. It was a real challenge to get his hair cut without a nick on the ear. Some of our boys at home still worry that I might clip their ears. I have to say that I did a couple of times through the years. The girls’ hair is usually way past the ears so they are much easier to give hair cuts to. Even though I only worked a short time as a cosmetologist that training has come in handy, and saved us a lot of money.
Owning businesses was something that God led me into while we were pastoring one of our churches. At one point I had three branches of that business. It was quite a challenge to manage all three, and survive being a mom with three older teens still at home. I ended up training one of our daughters, who was being home schooled, to run one store. Another daughter, who was married, took over running one, and I ran the other one. Our son, Nathan, was our delivery boy. He liked the extra money and we all had fun working together. That experience taught me how to manage multiple situations under pressure and still have fun with our kids.
That business experience taught myself and our children how to interact with professional people. And to walk through working with some who were not so nice. It prepared me for the mission of being a Christian newspaper editor. The newspaper was birthed during one of my runs deep into the California mountains to pray. The area where we served as pastors was riddled with cult activity. It was an area that had a spiritual pipeline to San Francisco and was being affected deeply by that influence. All the churches were experiencing situations that were connected to cult activities. Twenty-six churches, including ours, joined hands in the mission. God brought knowledgeable people to help in the parts I was unable to do. He even opened the heart of the editor of the local newspaper to do our printing. It was conditional that I tell no one at that time.
The Trumpet was a newspaper that hit a subject through testimonies, facts, Scripture, and thoughts on one issue. One of the issues was on abortion. I interviewed an abortion nurse who had assisted abortions in a large hospital. She gave her life to Christ after realizing that she was committing murder. She saw those innocent little babies born dead at the hands of doctors who had sworn to save lives. The headline of that edition read “I Helped Murder Babies!” That caused quite a stir in the county and our lives were threatened. That job taught me how to protect my children in the midst of attack and how to still have fun with them. It taught our children that God does protect His followers. It taught them to be bold and trust in the Lord. Children learn from our reactions to adverse situations. It bonded us closer as we stood together.
When we answered the call to Montana to pioneer a new church we left with two of our older single kids, and a daughter and her husband who shortly followed. Our other daughter, who was married, stayed in California where her life was established. We also brought three foundation Morgan horses to begin my dream horse ranch. Over the span of our 10 years in Montana the ranch grew to house 32 Morgan horses, and produced 52 foals, I sold the foals all over the USA and exported them to other countries. Ralph was the Pastor of a church there and did construction on the side. My job was to run the farm.
After a few years our farm had 6 stallions that were stood for stud service. I have often thought how taking care of and handling those 6 stallions prepared me to interact with our 8 strong sons that came later. There are many things to learn about boys and God knew I desperately needed those lessons. Most important was learning those bonding threads that are so important for people to grow up healthy.
Bonding comes through true relationship that has displayed love. It includes taking care of basic needs, keeping firm boundaries with loving care in the heart. Many lessons that were learned came through a horse named Harry. Harry was the most abused Morgan horse that came to me. When I went to pick up Harry I didn’t know if he would make it home. God gave me insight on how to reach him and bring him back to health. A few years later he went on with another owner who brought him into his full bloom. That’s how it is with our kids. We are to help them grow up to be healthy loving people and then release them to become all that God has for them to be, yet still loving them, and being there for them when needed.
When God gave me the vision to go to China to find Faith, we had just raised our last child and were enjoying that empty nest. Faith was birthed in my heart and Ralph’s as we prayed about that vision. Over a 3 year period I traveled in China looking for the daughter in the vision. A heavenly connection joined me with the underground churches. We did a trade. I taught them the Bible at night and they took me into orphanages during the day so I could look for our daughter. I loved teaching them, for their hunger was great.
During a visit on the third year into a orphanage that we had previously visited, miraculously our daughter walked up to me and took my hand. She and others had just been brought to that orphanage. I dropped to my knees in front of her and there was the girl in the vision. God had already given me needed information so many helped to get things rolling so we could adopt Faith. It took 5 years to get her out and it truly was a miracle how she was birthed into our family.
Those things learned on the ranch would soon come into play because we had to learn new parenting skills. The methods we used on our biological children did not work on Faith. She had been through so much in China and the scars were deep. Slowly the principles learned on the ranch were implemented and actually worked better than our earlier parenting skills.
After Faith came home I thought that was the end and my mission. Little did I know just how many children we would adopt. We are in the middle of our 15th adoption right now. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world. It may come naturally to some, but not to me. Now I know that it is the greatest call upon any woman’s life. A mother is able to raise a child and be a friend, even one they don’t always want, for the rest of your life. You are the one they can call Mother, Mom, Mama, even if they are mad at you. Our prodigal son and I talked a while back after months of him not speaking to us, and the first word out of his mouth was “Mom”. I thought to myself, even though you are angry you still know I am your mom. I will always love you and be your mom.
The job of mother is assigned to you by God when you have children come to your family whether they come by natural birth or adoption. I can tell you this, There is no harder job, and no job that brings more sorrow and joy than being a mother. I never cried so many tears as I did when I walked with our son Nathan through ALS and going home to Heaven. I have a favorite saying that I believe the Lord put before me years ago. It says it all...
“One hundred years from now
It won’t matter
What kind of car I drove
What kind of house I lived in
How much money I had in the bank
Nor what my clothes looked like
The world may be a little better
Because I was important
In the life of a child.”