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Ria VanDyken is the mother of ten and grandmother of many. She wrote this exhortation for three mothers who were honored at a triple baby shower at our little church. Her words are so rich with godly encouragement that I asked if I could borrow them to share with Generational Womanhood readers. I know they will bless you. I have changed the names of the mothers who were honored at the shower.

“Are all these yours?”
“Are you Catholic or Mormon?”
“You must be a very patient person.”
“I love kids too, but, you know, I find I don’t have much patience. Besides, I have to work to make ends meet. ..so, really, I can’t afford more. Besides, I can’t handle the two I have!

Sound familiar? You might mumble a word or two, feeling somewhat irritated and maybe a little sheepish for yet, again, failing to have a good comeback. In the meantime, the other person walks away (probably feeling smug because she is in some way superior to you. After all, she has a “real” job and is a contributing member of society.

My dear sisters, never let these people get you down. I can think of no job harder, more fulfilling, more exhausting, more challenging than being a faithful, godly mom. It is an honor and a privilege. Do not be cowed by insensitive and ungodly people.

All three of you have large families by today’s standards. Both Sally and Maria deal with multiple ages; the infant, the in-between and the burgeoning adult. Nancy, you have four close together and all still very needy.

All of you are busy moms. As you struggle to homeschool, change diapers, prepare nutritious filling meals, counsel the older ones as they mature, counsel the younger ones, deal with squabbles and an endless array of dishes on the counter, don’t forget the man who won your heart in the first place.

I know, I know, you are probably groaning and thinking one more person to remember? However, a marriage that is healthy and full of love and respect conceives a home that is nurturing haven for your children. I am not suggesting you wait on him hand and foot. However, love him well.

Respect him.
Give him the largest piece of pie.
Serve him first at mealtimes. Yes, your teenage son is probably eying the food hungrily but he’ll survive (trust me) and he’ll, hopefully, one day will be a dad who gets served first!

Lastly, never ever complain about him to your children.

Secondly, enjoy your family, be content. And, yes, as older women tell you, the years fly by. And, trust me, they do!

I recall the days in Burlington when we had six kids under seven. We had a small eating nook in the kitchen with benches around two sides (by the way, benches are great, you can squeeze a lot of kids into them!).

One day while serving up food, spooning applesauce into the toddler’s mouth, juggling the baby on my hip and just, in general, fretting and micro managing…my husband quietly set me into my chair and said, “Just sit down and enjoy them.” And it was true. A mom is so busy keeping body and soul together we forget to enjoy their little conversations, jokes, their different personalities; just the blessing of who they are.

So, enjoy your life as a mom. Rejoice in the children the Lord has given to you. Be faithful to your husband. Above all, live in loving thankfulness to your Savior. He has blessing us with so much and, in spite of our short-comings, He will continue to uphold you and make you prosper.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:28