Just like there's a womb behind every woman.
It's true for all of us.
But...... the contrast is vast.
The childhood experience can look so different from one life to another, can't it?
While some of those mamas and some of those wombs dealt out nothing much more than wounds.....
Some dealt out such high doses of lavish love - that there children couldn't help but become beautiful.
I'd like to be grouped in the latter, wouldn't you?
In last week's post - I invited you back to the blog spot here.... to take a peep at some people, some ladies....who have walked the mama road well...who have left a fine fragrance for us to pick up on and share ourselves.
Because Mama-ing.....it ain't for sissy's. And bringing up boys and girls in God - it's not a flippant endeavor.
It's heavy and real and it requires purpose. And motivation. And examples. And a whole lot of Jesus.
So I'm glad you've gathered around....
because I'd like to first introduce you to a lady named Susanna.
I ran into this woman in Richard Foster's book Streams of Living Water.
Right there...on page 238 - I found myself a mentor straight out of England's 1600s.
Foster introduces her with...." Susanna represents the millions of people who have learned to do ordinary things with a perception of their enormous value."
And then he quotes one of her prayers....
"Help me, Lord, to remember that religion is not to be confined to the church, or closet, nor exercised only in prayer and meditation, but that everywhere I am in Thy presence. So may my every word and action have a moral content.....May all the happenings of my life prove useful and beneficial to me. May all things instruct me and afford me an opportunity of exercising some virtue and daily learning and growing toward Thy likeness......Amen."
Now that's a woman I need to know.
Susanna birthed nineteen children - nine of which didn't make it past infancy. She did a crazy awesome type of homeschool with the ten kids that did. She met individually with each child every week and she even had a type of church service in her home where over 200 people came to her gatherings.
Susanna was also known for her incredible patience.
Quoting again....this time from Susanna's husband who had been observing her teach a lesson where he counted twenty times that she had to repeat a single piece of information....
"I wonder at your patience.....you have told that child twenty times that same thing."
And Susanna replied with....
"If I had satisfied myself by mentioning it only nineteen times I should have lost all my labour. It was the twentieth time that crowned it."
This teaches me.
Susanna loved learning. She put up with an occasionally rigid and stout husband. She stood her ground on numerous occasions. She endured huge house fires.....and managed her home with little money.
And so...after all that care and all that pouring in and pouring over....
She reaped some fruit for sure, my friends.....
Because our Susanna .....was John Wesley's mama.....
the evangelist who helped found the Methodist movement.
Day after day after day for some twenty years - Susanna taught and tended to. She passed on faith and know-how and resilience.
And her children couldn't help but be world-changers because of it.
Those of us who are in the thick of lessons and discipline and home maintenance and heart tending - we should nestle in under the wings of women who have wondered this path in years past.
They can show us the way!
Want more examples? More resources? I do to. I'll share what I've come across and you do the same.
Because yes....I need all.the.help.I.can.get.
May you feel spurred along in your mothering endeavors today, friends - by the fine example discussed here. And may your own research and study grant you much as you lean in to hear what other great mama's have done.
Love to you all.
*Check out Ann Voskamp's 'Good Reads' page. Especially those books found in the 'family' section. I've been mentored through page by many of the books listed there. And while you're over on her 'farm porch' - read some of her Holy Spirit inspired posts and drink deep. You'll be filled.
*Stop by Sally Clarkson's blog. And consider a few of her books, too. She has taught me much in the last few months.
*Take some time to watch the women around you...the ones at your disposal. The best way of learning - is to see things played out well. Pray for mentors and examples - and hone in on them. Take notes and take heed. Yes!
Foster, Richard J. Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith.
[San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998. Print.