What Will You Give?

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My parents met in Las Vegas.  Both raised in conservative Christian homes, and both rebelling.

Both addicted to drugs.

Both criminals.

The day my mom began labor, my dad fell asleep, drunk on the couch, but not before telling my mom “You’d better only wake me up if it’s really time to go.”

Through the night, my mom labored quietly, tip toeing through the apartment, through his snoring, through the increasingly painful contractions.

Laboring me, her “rainbow” baby.  My older sister was born still.

Finally, in the darkest hours of morning, she woke him up.

Still recovering from an evening of drugs and alcohol, my dad started the motorcycle.

Nine months pregnant and laboring, my mom straddled the motorcycle behind him.

They pulled up to the front of the hospital.  He waited for her to get off.  Then he rode away to the bar to start his morning and wait for her call.  She walked into the hospital, alone.

I was born at 3 in the morning.

A few years later, a few abuses later, I was placed in foster care.

Because I wasn’t adoptable, I was relocated.  A lot.

“Relocated” means, some of my things were put in black trash bags.  Some of my things were forgotten.  Some were left behind.  Some were stolen.

“Relocated” means, new strangers to live with.  New rules to learn.  New people to call family.

“Relocated” means, new academic standards and lessons; things I hadn’t yet learned.  New bullies.

This week, a D.J. from my local Christian radio station asked, “What has your mother given you?”

And, I find the question gives me pause.

My mother, well, has always been a mother, even through the separation, the years, the families and the relocations.

She’s been a mother, without me.

And, my need for a mother, went on, without her.

Very special women were a part of my life, if even for a moment.

A girls group home took me to get my first training bra.

A foster mother bought my first tampons.

A special woman named Jan Evans, to think of her love, brings me to tears, even today.

And today, my mother-in-law has had such a big role in loving me.

My girlfriends, let me just blurt out my confusions, my fears and my frustrations.


Through what my mother wasn’t for me, what she hasn’t given me, I have learned more richly, what a mother is.


And if you have struggled with fertility, but you can only see your children in your dreams,

If you have given birth to one or more babies via miscarriage, elective abortion or stillbirth,

If any of your children have been cremated or buried or reabsorbed or flushed,

If your reality is overlooked this Mother’s day,

If you feel excluded, left out, ignored, trivialized,

If you feel your pain is hidden, misunderstood, silenced,

You are still a Mother.

So, you have a decision to make.

How are you going to Mother, particularly on this Mother’s day?

Are you anticipating feeling disappointed with how your motherhood won’t be acknowledged?

Or are you preparing your heart to submit to humility, to give grace, and to mother those around you by sharing your wisdom, that your role of motherhood has given you?  You have a truth, worthy to be heard and shared and given.

Instead of dreading what you won’t have, and what you won’t get, dare to enter into Mother’s day seeking what you will give.

3 John 1:4 (Amplified Bible) I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living their lives in the Truth.

The rumor behind this photo is that the mama tiger’s babies died,

and so the zookeepers wrapped piglets in tiger skin, and she took them as her own. 

This rumor isn’t true – but the photo is still darling. 




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  1. Thank you for this. My heart aches as I read the way your life began. And, the ways you were tossed about and tossed aside. As you well know, our God saw then and sees now, and would never toss you aside. I love what you shared…that you learned more richly what being a Mother is…even as your mother didn’t exemplify those qualities. And, yes…she remained a mother without you and you remained in need without her. Your words ring so true in my own heart…not so much about motherhood, but other ways that those who should’ve stayed, left. And, tossed me aside. I find healing truth in this post, dear friend. And, hope.

    Much love to you this Mother’s Day. Thank you, for tirelessly reaching out to all mothers everywhere…and for your beautiful heart.


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