God(ly) Parents

My daughter Anna asked me a great question the other day. “Mom,” she said. “Are Uncle Robb and Aunt Jill like my God-parents?”

It dawned on me that yes, they are, and have been since my children were born. This couple, and others like them, have been spiritual parents to my children, filling gaps, supporting us, providing safe places for them when they needed it. And yes, I’m sure they have needed it from time to time!

It also dawned on me that I’m not in the least bit threatened by the presence of “spiritual moms” or “spiritual dads” in the life of my kids. In fact, I pray for folks like that. I know I’m far from perfect, and although I do my best, there are places in my children’s lives that need the nurture and admonition of others.

Having been raised in a more traditional religious setting, I had God-parents: people that stood with my parents when I was baptized as a baby (please, no theological discussions!), committing to help raise me in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” And they did. I have “other moms” and “other dads” from childhood that can still speak into my life, having provided much-needed input and support at various times in my life.

And as an adult, I’m recognizing that I still need this. I have wonderful biological parents who love the Lord, and I can’t imagine my life without them. But I’ve also realized that I’ve been blessed with some opportunities to be “spiritually parented” by others. I have spiritual dads, who have been strategically placed to call out not only my giftings and callings, but my femininity as well. These men have provided healing places, safe places, and some really spectacular hugs.

And I have spiritual mamas, too: women that have taught me about parenting, being a wife, and simply being a follower of Jesus. Some of them have done this through one-on-one time, and some have done it just by being a present example. Some have (and are still) mentoring me, teaching me the Word over coffee and yummy lunches. Some have mothered me by the books they’ve written or the sermons they’ve preached. Each one brings something different to my ability to grow as a woman who just sincerely wants to follow Jesus and love her family, and I’m grateful for them. They are my sheroes.

I love watching how the Lord is placing these kinds of folks in my kids’ lives, too. Of course, there are “framily,” those friends who are so close we’ve forgotten where friendship ends and family starts. The mom whose house is “boy heaven,” where my boy gets to live out all his “little boyness.” The “uncle” who changed my kids’ diapers (blessings on your head!!), and who will be a large part of the gauntlet that any young men who might come sniffing around will have to get through. The mom and dad who have just loved my kids from birth, and who my kids miss if we don’t get to see them often enough (not to mention the crazy camping memories!). Then there is the drama director, who has lovingly taken my girls under her wing, releasing gifts in them I didn’t know were there. I’m eternally grateful for this woman, who has done more than she knows in the lives of my girls.

So on this Mother’s Day, I honor my mother, who taught me about commitment, sacrifice, an abiding love for the written word, and how to make a mean lasagna. I love you, Mom, more than you know. I’m beyond grateful for your presence in my life and in my kids’ lives, and I can’t imagine life without you. (So please stick around a while, ok?) You are my original shero.

And I honor those other sheroes who have mothered me–whether they know it or not. Thank you.

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4 comments so far

  1. Julie Prickett on

    I love this . . . Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart and for being a shero yourself!

  2. bbillingsley on

    Yep…Like you! A sister who can speak changing life truth that cuts to the core, goes beyond the bullony and just gives it like it is…In the most loving way! I am so honored to have your friendship, sistering, mentoring and loving in my life and of course my boys, all four of them! I love you and all that you are!

  3. imnobetterthanu on

    I am going to begin praying now for these types of people to be in my son’s life…and mine.

  4. Amy on

    God is working on a “theme” (as my husband and I call those things that God shoots at you from every imaginable and unimaginable angle all of a sudden 😉 in my life right now … and this is another shot right at the heart of the matter. Thanks for sharing what He has shared with you!


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