Monday, May 14, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Mothers and the meaning of "nurture"

Nurture and Share with Those Around You
A devotional by Tammy Karasek

Not every woman, young or old, is a mother. Yet, God has designed women in general to be nurturers. But before we go any further, let’s see how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word nurture:

nurture (noun): the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing

nurture (verb): to help something or someone to grow, develop, or succeed

As we see by the definition, to nurture is to give care and attention to another person. Society always says that moms are our nurturers. But I believe that we, as women, are nurturers regardless if we have children or not.

Whether or not you’ve had a great relationship with your own mother, more than likely, somewhere along the way, someone has mothered or nurtured you in your life. Maybe it was your mom, grandmother, aunt or an older sister. It could have been a neighbor, Sunday school teacher, coach or an older friend.

Whoever it was, think back to some of the things that person taught you that you’ve carried through your life thus far. It could be a great recipe, kitchen technique or tip. Has someone shown you the ropes on gardening and how to have a green thumb? (And if you have this, I admire you as my thumb can only get as green as the color of celery!) Maybe it’s your love of decorating, singing, playing an instrument—has an older woman taught you the how-to on those?

I know I’ve had many nurturers in my life that have taught me so many gems. These gems—I’ve tumbled and polished from raw to shiny with their teaching, patience, and encouragement and I’ve seen my life change in wonderful ways. 

My love of cooking, sewing, and quilting come straight through the family line from my great grandma to me. While their expertise in these may have come from necessity, my passion for those came from working elbow to elbow watching and learning beside these three women I loved so dearly. My love of words—writing and reading—comes from my mom. 

My love of scripture grew from my mentor Helga, and my teacher-friend, Beth. My heart to always choose joy no matter how hard the circumstances, that comes from my dear sweet friend and birthday twin, Cathy. (She’s older by a few hours, and I often remind her she’s older!)

Here’s a fun little exercise for you: I’m going to help you see who had been your nurturers. Take out a pen and paper and jot things down that you love to do or even things you do well. Now go back and write down beside each item you’ve listed, the person who taught it to you or helped you get better at it. There are your nurturers my friend!

A challenge for you today: Be on the lookout for someone you may nurture. Keep your mind open to someone who casually mentions they’d like to learn something that you know how to do. Also, pray for God to show you who might need someone to come alongside of her for some care and attention to grow in a specific area. As the Scripture below says we are to share what we have. I feel it’s not just our material things but also our knowledge and expertise that we are to share

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God." ~Hebrews 13:16 (ESV)

Share with us in the comments below who has nurtured you and how. Also—are you nurturing someone currently? What are you doing?

Author Bio:

You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Tammy’s past filled with bullying and criticism is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and share with them the Reason to smile. 

She’s been blissfully wedded to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 36 years, mom to their grown daughter, Kristen and wrapped around the paw of a little puppy named Hattie.

She’s the President of Cross N Pens Christian Writers and a member of ACFW. She will be published in the 2018 Divine Moments book – Cool-nary Moments.
Connect with Tammy:
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  1. I have been blessed by many women who have nurtured me. From my Mama to my two sisters, to elder church ladies, to younger church ladies, to friends and neighbors. I pray that I am nurturing our daughter-in-love as she and our son are first time parents. Our grandson is 9 months old and full of love. :-)

    1. That's wonderful Melissa! It's amazing how many women God places in our lives that teach, encourage and love on us! Sounds like you are in a great position to nurture the next two generations!

  2. Thank you both Alexis & Tammy! Great post encouraging us to pause and think about nurturers/nurturing others.

    1. Thank you, too, Becky for the kind words. I hope you are encouraged!

  3. Thank you, Tammy! This made me think back on three older women and one older man who nurtured me. I thought how they were always glad to see the child me, and later, my own children. Their words were always kind, sometimes humorous, never critical. I miss them!

    1. Dana, you are definitely blessed to have that kind of nurturing in your life! I hope this post made you smile as you thought of those four people.


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