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Finding the Mother Inside

I’m a step-parent so Mother’s Day always holds some bittersweet moments for me. I’ve learned through 36 years how to step back, step-aside, step-away and even step-up to support my husband and to honor the mother of his children as well. Mothering didn’t appear the way I had always imagined it would — as a Hallmark Card.  It’s been more like the cards that make you laugh or even tear up with the honesty of sentiment. My step-children have always remembered me on mother’s day often giving me the greatest gift which is to share their father with me through the years.

Dorothea Dix, a social reformer of the 19th Century was never a mother nor was she a step-mother. Her own mother may well have been mentally ill. At least she was "unavailable."  Dorothea tried desperately to adopt a distant cousin when the girl’s mother died but other relatives intervened. Her students often became her family as she opened several schools for girls, something rare in the Boston area in the 1820s. She maintained relationships with these young women after they married and sometimes traveled with their families finding herself an honorary aunt or grandmother.

Yet she found a way to be a mother. Some of those she helped were children locked up with a mentally ill parent in a jail or a back room where so many suffered sitting against cold brick walls in the dead of winter without heat. Some of those for whom she worked were adults but whose ability to understand their plight was like that of a child. It’s said she had a soothing yet powerful voice that calmed the distressed. However she brought comfort, she mothered others, giving of herself and modeled the mother in each of us.

Original devotional from Jane Kirkpatrick, author of One Glorious Ambition


Daily Reflection: How can you help remind yourself to focus on trusting the Father instead of worring about others might think?

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