May Is For Mothers

There is an attack on motherhood. However, May, the month of flowers, birds, and life, the month that reminds us of all that we are grateful for, brings our hearts back to the simple, yet powerful lessons of our mothers. Lessons of gratitude, strength, work, and love, that mothers teach, need to be honored. May, the time of light after the spring storms, is the perfect time to remember the light that mothers bring to our lives and our societies. So, this year, people all over the planet are using the hashtag #MayisforMothers as they post photos, videos, and notes of gratitude for the power of their mothers and being a mother. 

Since the 1970s, motherhood and the fundamental role of mothers has been philosophically, and socially attacked. The social messaging about motherhood is that it’s a drudgery, considered undesirable, lesser than any paid vocation, and even a sign of oppression or a mental condition. For example, when I was pregnant with my fourth child, I heard some female college students talking. They concluded their discussion with this assumption: “a person who chooses to become a mother must be mentally disturbed.” Thankfully, despite the negativity surrounding motherhood as a chosen life path, people still choose to become mothers, they love being mothers, and are empowered by their chosen role as a mother.

The Power of Mothers 

Why is motherhood under attack? Because it’s the most powerful social, spiritual, physical, psychological, biological, and political position a person could ever hold, and dedicated mothers who are “all in” know it. Mothers and grandmothers who don’t buy into the negative messaging about motherhood, but quietly accept the responsibility of raising the next generation of people to be good, honest, brave, hardworking, kind, loving, and true are given overwhelming proof of the power in honoring motherhood as they see the people that they’ve molded go against the negative cultural trends of the day. I like to think I’m one of those people. Thanks Mom!!! 

When motherhood came under attack by the feminist culture of the 1970s, suddenly women all over the planet felt that it was time to bring the power of motherhood to the discussion table. Women flocked to the United Nations and social events to articulate the power of motherhood while other women tried to gain public platforms to tear down motherhood and dishonor the impact a good mother has on all of our lives. Those battles continue to be waged in the same social arenas. However, mothers aren’t fighting back, because they truly don’t have the time or the stomach for battles. This battle against motherhood that has been waging for quite some time has now become more intense. Mothers are now considered to be obstacles to get around for those who desire the power to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation of children. 

The Greatest Threat

Currently, parents are presented in public forums as dangers to children. This idea then presents support for the assumption that children must be rescued from their parents. To gain perspective of what is happening, it is useful to look to the past. Historically, the act of stealing children or sacrificing children has been one way forces of evil have exercised dominion over families and nations. Think Hitler, Mao and the child sacrifice rituals to evil gods in ancient times. Parents, specifically mothers, were forced to give up their children for some perceived societal good or to a false god in order for the ruling powers to gain greater control over the hearts and minds of the people. To these rulers, children were considered materials, like money or animals, owned or transferred by adults for their purposes to control. If parents, specifically mothers, are continually marginalized, then who will protect the children and preserve their identities as valuable individuals? What will the future of society look like?

Mothers are the gate keepers for freedom, and virtue. They nurture these qualities in the hearts and minds of their children. If mothers stay close to their children and raise them well, then freedom and virtue, both in our society and in the lives of our children, can be maintained. A mother’s influence is too strong for a total societal takeover if she is allowed the power to maintain her place at the helm of society; raising her children. This is why motherhood, fertility, holy intimacy, family structure, identity, and the parent/child bonds are being attacked from every possible angle. All of the attacks are attempts to steal the hearts and minds of children from their mothers. 

Mothers are the greatest threat to those who design and scheme for ways to control or change society. Mothers, who hold the heart strings of all of her children and teach them who to trust and not trust, who to listen to or not, are the big stumbling block for the dark enemies of the family. 

Love Over Money

Motherhood is an unpaid position. That is precisely what gives it such power. A woman mothers her children because she wants to, not because she is getting paid. Payment to mothers would cheapen their role as a mother. And, even though people have tried to pay mothers off for their children and “service”, most women will not sell the hearts and minds of their children for money. Motherhood isn’t about gain. She doesn’t mother for herself directly, even though there are obvious indirect benefits to motherhood. Mothers do what they do because of love. Money is never going to be more valuable than love. Love is too strong. It’s that strength that gives mother such great power; a power that threatens would-be power-seekers and can’t be taken or fabricated. 

In a time when motherhood is more important and more attacked than ever, it’s time for a new motherhood movement. Women from around the world held a summit about this issue recently and determined that May is for mothers (#MayisforMothers.) No matter where we all are in the world, let’s post all the great things about mothers and grandmothers. Without mothers and grandmothers, we wouldn’t be who we have become. Let’s share stories of power and purpose and the impact for good that come from mothers. Motherhood is under attack because it’s powerful all by itself. Motherhood doesn’t have to fight back. A virtuous mother is moving the needle toward greater goodness just by doing what she does and as a nurturer and example of love to her children and grandchildren. There is nothing more powerful than a mother who knows how much power she has! 

Spread the word that #MayisforMothers 

And, if you or your organization is interested in being part of the next Woman Watch Network Summit, please contact here for information with the subject Woman Watch Network.  

WOW Africa Radio Speaker Series About Trafficking

WOW takes a hard stance against child trafficking!

WOW Africa has been doing a great job highlighting the trafficking problem in Nigeria and effectively educating the population about what to watch for as well as how to keep women and children safe from traffickers.

7 Lessons Aging Parents Teach Their Children & Grandchildren

Even though my mom and I differ in activity level and even in personality traits, that doesn’t stop me from being grateful for the many lessons that she unknowingly teaches me. Maybe I appreciate the lessons learned from Mom because I’m looking for them. It could certainly be possible to miss these lessons if a person were not looking for them. However, when we deliberately search for teaching from our parents, no matter how old we are or they are, there are always lessons that can be learned. Here are just seven of the lessons aging parents teach their families.

1. First, identity is born in the family setting. Aging parents, especially mothers, give their children increased identity. Mothers usually hold the heartstrings of their children and family members for life due to the nurturing role they’ve had in everyone’s existence. This forever tie to mother gives a child a sense of security as they go through life. Obviously, if the bond is not correct, this could also be detrimental to the child throughout life.

Aging parents, like my mom, are known for telling stories from days gone by. That is one of the best things they could do. I know some older people think that the younger generation will be bored with their stories, but that isn’t true. Stories from the past are always relevant to the identity of the next generation, even if they seem boring or not impressive. Stories about the past give us understanding about who we have become and why, and they remind us that the people we are talking to have had a profound life journey, just like we’re having.

Stories don’t just give us context for our lives, but they also give us vision of who we want to become. Aging parents show their posterity who they want to become. Even if the parent isn’t perfect, they still give their families inspiration to move in a productive direction.

2. Second, when life starts moving slower, priorities are much more obvious. The older generation offers the younger generation a view of what’s really important. When career and thrill seeking are no longer the top time takers in a person’s life, then what priorities come into view? Family, people, God, and condition of heart all seem to top the priority list of the aging person. Suddenly, time with family becomes the most important part of their lives. That is a great reminder to a busy father or young mother. Family time is actually the most fulfilling time of all.

3. Third, aging parents get the opportunity to empower the next generation by being an example of strength during adversity. When the body starts slowing down and even falling apart in some cases, this can seem like a burden or something to be afraid of to a young person. But, an older person that goes through that stage of life with confidence and courage destroys that fear and offers powerful perspective of the inner strength that never leaves us, no matter what is happening on the outside. When I’m with Mom, I see her do more each day than she thought she could. How does she do it? She keeps thinking that she can. She keeps telling herself that doing more is possible. Thank you, Mom, for this powerful perspective that undoubtably will help me in my future life.

4. Fourth, slowing down is good. Our fast-paced society uses words like ‘hustle’ and ‘multi-task’ to motivate and increase speed. But when we can’t hustle or multi-task as easily, does that mean life loses its impact? Nope. In fact, the impact is greater. When I’m with Mom, all the little things seem bigger. I recognize challenges more, but I also recognize the blessings that I might’ve otherwise taken for granted. Slowing down is a blessing to be grateful for. In Alaska I found myself grateful for things like alone time in an elevator, quiet time on a bench, and extra steps needed to go up a steep incline. Bonding happens best during the slow times.

5. Fifth, aging parents and grandparents create fun, unique memories that last. Silly memories with Mom in Alaska include things like spilling food on a shirt, getting hands stained purple on accident, having a car ticketed for finding a ‘closer spot,’ dipping her hands in the ocean off the side of a whale watching boat, and laughing in the middle of the night that we saw the Northern Lights even though we stayed at the car. These memories will stay with me forever. If I ever hear talk of the Northern Lights, I’ll think of that night with Mom.

6. Sixth, understand small things. Some small things, like aches and pains, don’t matter. But other small things, like a desired photo at the moose antler arch, free ice cream at night, and a road-side view of the tallest mountain in North America, do matter. The aches and pains are temporary and shouldn’t get the attention. The memories being made are forever, and, however small, need to be important.

7. Seventh, love is a choice that takes time to cultivate. Have I loved my mom since birth? Absolutely. Affection toward a mother is a very strong bond. But, being in love with Mom at any given moment is a choice. We both have to choose to love our time together in order to have a good time. We both sacrifice and do more so that we can spend quantity and quality time together, but it’s all worth it. We choose love again and again despite our different personality traits. My mom spends her days choosing to love people. These constant choices give everyone who knows her a feeling of importance.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

Often when we think of mothers, we think of the young women enduring sleepless nights and work-filled days to keep her babies happy, healthy, and morally strong. Mothering changes over time in some ways, but not in all ways. There are still sleepless nights born out of concern for others or physical difficulties. And days are still filled with work. Just like when her children were young, an aging mother has to mentally muscle through hardships as she serves and loves the people around her. She lifts society as she did before, but now she is the second witness for the moral upbringing being taught by her children. And, sometimes that second witness is just what the world needs to understand the truths that really lead to happiness, health, and freedom.

This Mother’s Day season, remember that the gift your mother or grandmother has worked her whole life for is you. Your presence in her life is the greatest gift of all. It is the fuel behind her work and provides the strength to keep her going and influencing for good. Your presence in her life is the greatest gift you could give. Give time this year. Visit or call, and when you do, learn lessons from her. Ask for stories and make memories that will keep you both going during the hard times that will certainly be ahead.

Read Nicholeen’s best selling book “Roles, The Secret To Family, Business, & Social Success.”

WOW Africa Debate For Girl Schools Was A Huge Success!

WOW Africa celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child by hosting a debate about women and girls. Vital discussion was had and lives were improved. WOW Africa is continuing to work with under-privileged schools to help them develop the skills they need to raise women out of poverty and to become leaders.

Raising Daughters Into Strong Women A Different Way

My views have changed. During my teen and young adult years, I thought that women needed to do everything men did, and women did, in order to be strong. But, now that I have seen every dimension of womanhood firsthand, I see that my views of women and myself lacked depth and understanding when I was young, and I was heavily influenced by socially-promoted assumptions. I was easily influenced by social conversations that put people into limiting boxes. Luckily time, example, and experience are great teachers of truth, and I was never one to allow someone else to put me in a box, stereotypical or otherwise.

Recently released movies and books are often portraying women as aggressors and uncaring in order to show female strength. Yet, every child knows that nowhere feels as safe as being in the protective embrace of their mommy. So, who is really stronger, a female super hero or a nurturing mother or grandmother? Who really overcomes the most intense hardships and has the greatest social influence? And, is it bad or good to be a girl who throws punches? How are our daughters doing at navigating our confusing social messages about what makes a strong woman?

A short time ago, I was visiting a university campus and saw a young woman with a shirt that said, “Be Rude.” This message was clearly meant to sound strong, but when I saw it, I didn’t see strength. I saw a woman who was giving up one of her greatest strengths, the strength that literally changes the world, the power to nurture others through kindness.

Raising daughters who embrace their full womanhood and nurturing power in a world of voices that limit women to extrinsic pursuits like popularity, fortune, and sex appeal can be difficult. However, parents can help their daughters safely navigate all the conflicting messages by focusing on the following four lessons.

5 Lessons To Teach

Fortunately, I was raised to be a hard worker and to not be afraid of getting my hands dirty. I played sports, danced, accessorized, mowed lawns, and chopped wood. I was just as likely to play basketball competitively with my dates as I was likely to teach them to tie a quilt. In fact, on a couple of occasions I got black eyes from basketball dating accidents.

Lesson 1 —Talents are varied between the sexes, and girls can try all the activities, including domestic ones.

True to the legacy of strong women in my family tree, my parents raised me to be strong in all ways. I was taught about the social, physical, intellectual, familial, and spiritual influence women have, and the ability they have to direct relationships, social circles, business outcomes, and global ideas.

Lesson 2 —Women need to keep a long view vision of what they want to create. Women often set the tone for society because of their ability to influence others. Men and children often follow cues from women. Teach your daughters the truth about their influence and that they will change lives and the world, whether they want to or not. So, they might as well plan for what they want the people around them to turn out like so that they can be more focused on their pursuits.

The other day I heard a great man talk about his recently departed wife. This man had received some of the greatest honors and status that his religious and business communities could give him. While speaking of these honors, he gave all the glory to his wife. With a humble heart he said that he hoped she could see from beyond the grave what he had become because of her influence, leadership, and work ethic. Their mutual service to and acceptance of each other had simultaneously lifted both of them up. They didn’t compete with each other or engage in the battle of the sexes, which always divides and creates discontentment in relationships. Instead, they each did what they were best suited to do and nurtured and appreciated each other and their differences all along the way.

Lesson 3 — Don’t teach girls to see boys as “the competition” or engage in the battle of the sexes. These battles create a pattern for selfishness in relationships. Teach them instead to lift and lead (which sometimes means follow) with love and understanding, even if they are competing in some event and working hard for a win.

Lesson 4 — Love motherhood! Motherhood is the most womanly act a woman ever engages in. Treat motherhood with the greatest respect. If you are the mother, learn to love what you are doing to serve your family. Complaining creates confusion and can give the impression that being a mother or woman isn’t wonderful or powerful. Don’t engage in seeking negative attention by whining or complaining. Celebrate all the good moments, and plan to be grateful for your power to literally script the life of another person. And if you aren’t a mother, talk respectfully of mothers so that girls learn to love who they are and will likely become.

My mother regularly told me that what she wanted more than anything in life was to be a mother to her children. She made diligent efforts to be happy and fun and make wonderful memories for me and my siblings. In fact, as a grandmother, she hasn’t stopped cooking up inspiring memories yet!

Additionally, my mother told me stories of her favorite memories with her mother and grandmothers. I saw and felt firsthand how their influences formed her into the person she was in my life. Tell stories of the power of mothers and women in your family tree or inspiring women in your life. Your love that is felt during those stories will show your daughters that womanhood truly does change lives.

Lesson 5 —Teach good communication and relationship-building skills. Women have an amazing ability to unify and motivate or to fracture relationships and create war. So, when we teach our daughters to calmly share differences of opinion by disagreeing appropriately with others, and how to openly and kindly solve problems as a family, then we are laying a foundation for future home, career, and social happiness.

My Views Have Changed

I used to think that I had to be more masculine, more rough, more uncaring, more like the many heroic women portrayed in the media today. That one-dimensional view of women and power is laughable to me now. A woman is so much more. Women hold society and families together by opening their hearts and taking people into it. Women can cause social ills or solve them simply by pointing their attention in a certain direction. Mothers and grandmothers are the hearts and hearthstones of society. They keep the people moral, or not, and are a constant reminder that sacrifice and love are stronger than any bully.

Let us raise our daughters into strong women in a different way so that they can find more confidence and power in their womanhood, instead of always feeling that they are not good enough because they are a woman. Those lies, sadly often perpetuated by other women, only hurt our daughters. They need the truth about womanhood, that all women really do change the world.

Join Nicholeen for her next Teaching Self-Government Intensive Training. Details here.

Ivanka Trump Speaks At The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Event

The United States State Department hosted a great live stream event for women on August 11, 2020. The State Department seems to have created a very productive program that they are referring to as WGDP [Women’s Global Development and Prosperity]. The program is working closely with USAID, the US foreign aid arm, to truly empower women globally. 

This well designed program focuses on how the barriers to women’s participation in the economy can be removed. The program expands entrepreneurial influence by giving skills building and training. They’re also giving leadership training so that women can better navigate their local business climates. 

The initiative is a great platform to build and strengthen women where they are while still respecting their unique cultures and environments. This cultural respect has always been important to WOW. 

Ivanka Trump, advisor to the president, talked about how they have worked diligently to form partnerships with private and business sectors to fund this initiative. They have raised millions of dollars and have helped over 12 million women better succeed economically in the first year alone. Some of the contributors to WGDP are Wal-Mart, Discover Card, WeConnect, and Microsoft Corp, as well as over 400 other contributors. 

This initiative shows that the solution to women’s empowerment and economic success and equality doesn’t need to be an issue that wars are waged on or sexual or abortion services are applied to. This initiative shows so eloquently and simply that solutions for the economic empowerment of women have nothing to do with reproductive rights or abortion, and that global battles don’t need to be fought over the issue. Instead, people around the globe with good intentions can just come together and do something about it. 

During the question section of the broadcast the head of WGDP was asked why the initiative doesn’t include “reproductive rights” and “maternal rights.” These terms both mean abortion services in legal documents. The WGDP replied perfectly stating that the initiative is designed to do the most good for the most women with the least amount of money expended, and is also designed to be a program that all people can unite behind. 

Another questioner asked why the initiative wasn’t being more publicly talked about. It was clear from the answer to the question that the WGDP isn’t an initiative about getting attention or participating in activism wars, but it is an initiative that is meant to get things done and help people. 

This approach is so wise of the State Department. How refreshing it was for me to watch this broadcast that wasn’t selling a perspective on the needs of women, but was instead saying that they have noticed the following problems, women not having the same ability to own land or start business or have internet services in certain parts of the world, and that they are doing something about it. 

WOW Africa and WOW have worked tirelessly over the years at the United Nations and in meetings with national and local officials to bring attention to the problem of inheritance rights issues in many countries, and it seems someone has heard us at last and is really doing something valuable to take steps toward actually doing something about the problem. 

This seemingly productive initiative runs counter to what WOW has seen in years past from NGOs and UN officials who claim to be for empowering women around the world but only push one agenda. Many NGOs say they want women’s empowerment, but only push abortion services and test medical gadgets and drugs on our African sisters. Many NGOs say they are going to help women in African and Asian nations earn more money and get better education, and only try to recruit women to wave their abortion or sexual rights flags for them on their home soils. 

Women have been badly used by NGOs and UN agencies with agendas to push sexual and political ideologies for far too long. It seems that the US State Department under the Trump administration has cut through the politics and agendas at last to finally just do something good for women. 

WOW has not reviewed the entire program yet, but was very impressed at the intent expressed during the latest WGDP broadcast. WOW will watch the WGDP initiative with interest in the coming months and years, and hopes it stays the course it was started upon.

Our Destiny and Daddies

Sick, horrified, disgusted, and worried are just some of the words that describe how I felt when an innocent search through the student portal of the Utah Online Library database pulled up graphic porn in a resource that was supposed to be for children about daddies. The resource said that daddies were adult men who engage in sexual relationships with children of either sex. My stomach churned as I wondered, “How are people allowing the destruction of the destiny of real daddies and the abuse of children like this?” I refuse to use such an endearing term as “daddy” to describe pedophiles on websites that exploit children. Daddies have great destinies that impact us all. 

Destiny means, “State or condition appointed or predetermined; ultimate fate.” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary) What is the destiny of a daddy? A daddy’s destiny is to provide for his family and protect them. That may sound too simplistic, or like something mommy could do too, but she can’t; at least not like a good daddy does it. I’m not endorsing stereotypes. Anyone can mow a lawn or cook a meal. Roles/destinies are so much more than task lists. 

The primary role and destiny of mother is to nurture. This may seem insignificant to some women, but her role is so significant that she’s irreplaceable. Mothers weave the moral fabric for society and lead each of us toward purposeful living through skill and heart training. Or, they don’t. Either way, they’re nurturing us all. Where do we end up without rock solid nurturing in our lives? The destiny of mothers is important, but often grossly under-appreciated, even by women themselves. What many mommies might not realize is that, without daddies, their destinies of nurturing their children’s hearts is not as effective. The destinies of mommies and daddies are intertwined. 

What does it really mean to provide and protect? I recently  spoke with a father who cares for the children at home while his wife makes the money for the family. He said, “I’ve come to understand that providing for my children doesn’t necessarily mean making money.” He’s right. And protecting the family doesn’t necessarily mean having big muscles and using weapons to stop bad guys either, even though historically daddies usually are the best prepared to fight off bad guys because they often learn about weapons and have big muscles. 

To provide means to do work or plan ahead of time for a future need. When I plant seeds in my garden, I’m providing for future nourishment needs. When I read books, I’m providing for the future teaching of my children. What does a daddy provide? What is more attractive than looks or money to a mommy? Security. When a daddy, who is usually the biggest and strongest, says something will be okay, everyone believes him. Daddies don’t allow themselves to worry too much. They keep pushing forward with faith that they can conquer the next hardship. This mental preparation makes them great leaders. Daddies also provide by preparing their hearts and characters to sacrifice, learn, have duty, be reverent and humble, show love and understanding, teach truth, impart wisdom, work hard, be loyal, be honest, and so much more. Yes, there is something about a strong man providing/preparing themselves to give their all for their families that no one else can ever adequately substitute for. The security from a really good daddy is felt for generations. 

To protect is “to cover,” or to put himself between the family and the threats against the family. There are many ways daddies can choose to do this. How does a daddy cover his family from these threats? 

1. Social, Political, or Familial war –  By making home a moral, peaceful, and strong place.

2. Sin – By eradicating sin within himself, seeking spiritual strength, and praying over his family regularly.

3. Famine or hardship –  He teaches the family, by example, the life skills and adaptability needed to live providently and wisely so that future needs can easily be met.

4. Manipulation and broken family bonds –  By taking the time to master his tongue, soften his impulses, and seek to understand his family members, he gently leads them toward peace. 

This list is just a beginning of how protector-daddies cover us. 

Since the destinies of mothers and fathers are intertwined, mommies also have an important part to play in protecting the family. If daddy is providing/preparing himself the way he should, then mommy trusts daddy, and allows him to cover the family. A man who masters himself earns the trust and respect of his wife. She endorses and appreciates daddy’s protection so that he knows his protection has been done right and is accepted. This moral influence upon daddy’s destiny, the destiny of herself, and the destiny of her children, is how mommy nurtures. And, daddy protects mommy, because to him, she embodies all that is right, good, and true; not because she demands special treatment. Daddies and mommies are constantly feeding the destinies/roles of each other. 

The destinies of mommies and daddies create functional, intact families, which are the families who weather the storms of life best. According to the Marri Research Institute, (who specializes in social science studies related to families), children who come from intact families have greater psychological stability, have better health and later deaths, earn higher grades, have higher high school graduation and college attendance rates, are less likely to behave disruptively or aggressively in classes, do their homework more, have more positive attitudes, and experience less abuse.    

Every family is different, and despite their best efforts, many families may not be intact any longer. The negative effects of this disruption in families is best countered by the attachment and help of loving extended family members or close friends. 

When daddies desire to live their destinies to provide for and protect their families, everyone is improved. Children see the need to turn their hearts toward goodness and strong character development, just like mom has been teaching them to do, when they see mommy’s heart turn toward daddy’s character/providing and protection. If daddy is the living example of mommy’s teachings, then the children believe the lessons are true. Children will turn out to be as virtuous as their fathers show them they should be. And fathers will be as virtuous as mothers teach/nurture them to be, so long as daddies stay teachable. Daddy’s destiny links to the destiny of us all.  

Let’s stop promoting so many lies about daddies. It hurts everyone. Daddies aren’t sex objects who prey on the smaller and younger. Daddies aren’t buffoons who have to be controlled by mommies. Daddies have power. Lots of power. So do mommies of course, but that is an article for another day. Happy Father’s Day!  

Order the newly improved and enhanced 2nd edition of Nicholeen’s bestselling book, “Parenting A House United” here.

Wildness and a Mother’s Historic Hold Upon Our Hearts

When I first started doing policy work for the WOW organization I was shocked to see radical feminist NGO groups having open hostility and disdain for motherhood, yet also declaring they were activists for creating strong women. How is a woman strong at all when she tears down other women? It’s weak, manipulative, immature social behavior to try to make yourself look important by tearing other people down or ripping people apart.

Yesterday, May 9, 2020, emotions about motherhood came to the forefront as a young Australian child was ripped from his mother’s arms kicking and screaming while his mother was getting detained. The footage of the treatment of this child and mother is heart-wrenching to watch because we all know a child needs their mother for security and mental well-being. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone was factoring in the trauma the child was facing and what the outcomes of that trauma might be fore that child. No one can replace a child’s mother. And, because of this fact, that we all personally know, we set aside a day each year to honor our mothers.

Since ancient times the importance of motherhood has been honored. Celebrations and festivals to honor Greek and Roman mother goddesses and the Christian celebration of “Mothering Sunday” during lent all happened long before the modern Mother’s Day we know today. So, how did Mother’s Day come about?

Ann Reeves Jarvis, from the US state of Virginia, started “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” prior to the Civil War to teach women how to better care for their children. After the Civil War, Jarvis and her “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” played an important role in unifying the most socially and politically divided state in the nation where she lived by hosting “Mother’s Friendship Day”. On these occasions the clubs would invite Union and Confederate soldiers to talk openly in order to promote reconciliation. It was this action by Jarvis that led the nation to make the second Sunday in May a national holiday dedicated to honoring the power and influence of Mothers in all of our lives.

Mothers, like Jarvis, have a history of not only mothering their children, but mothering communities and nations too. Even women who aren’t mothers yet, can be motherly influences upon the world when they promote high morals, values, and love of mankind. Jarvis’s groups helped bring a war-torn nation together by reaching out with love and creating a safe place for open communication to happen. That’s what mothers do. Jarvis’s clubs also taught mothers how to better care for their children. That’s what mothers do. They teach and lead, and even mother other mothers. The mothering I’ve received by other mothers has been a constant blessing in my life. Every time a mother or loving woman hugs me I think of the love and hugs from my mother.

My mother gives hugs and snuggles. She always has. I still remember crawling into bed with my mom as a child, and her wrapping her arms around me. I remember hugs while canning and cleaning together in the kitchen, and side-hugs while shopping with her. I can still feel those hugs after all these years. They are stamped in my body memory. Because of those memorable, loving embraces, I’ve always hugged and snuggled my children too. And now I have even more memories of truly loving embraces.

Thank you Mom, for showing me what love is, what it looks like, what it feels like, how it serves unselfishly, how it heals all the pains of life, and how it is blind to our imperfections. The example of your love for me helps me recognize God’s love for me. I can better understand how He cares because of how you care. ❤️ You are the heart and hearthstone of the our family. I owe my identity of my your deep and abiding love.

Happy Mother’s Day 2020!

The Power of Women! International Women’s Day 2020

March 8th is International Women’s Day. This is a day when we focus on what it really means to be a woman, and what sets women apart in this world of busy humans running through a rat-race of endless appointments and jobs that need to be done. To determine the true value of women, it’s worth putting the value of a woman in perspective. 

Disturbing Testimony!

This really happened. While sitting in a legislative committee meeting a few weeks ago, a woman commenting during the public comment section of an abortion bill presentation actually, in all seriousness said, “I wish my mother would have aborted me.” 

Never in all my years of working with women have I heard a woman disregard her own life in this way. I don’t know the mental condition or much of the life history of this woman, but I know that this type of sentiment is so rare, that the room was instantly shocked that a person could even suggest such a thing. 

No matter how hard or bad a life is, WOW believes that all life has value. Sure, some people who have been abused or mistreated may question the value of their life experiences. But, we know that survivors end up making strong contributions to society, and that sadness or sorrow leads to learning in its own way. Life isn’t perfect. But, that is actually the point. Despite the imperfectness of the life experiences, we still learn and live and grow and love and succeed in unique ways. 

Power of Women

Mothers start this journey for all of us. The birth process and life afterward won’t be easy for them or us, but they know there’s value in it anyway. They won’t be perfect. We won’t be perfect. But, they exercise their power to choose to bring us here regardless. 

The greatest power that women have is the power to choose to have children. There is no greater human power than the power to create another human being. No other talent, project, job, or activity a woman does can be compared to the ability women have to populate the world. 

When pro-choice advocates scream for more choice for women, WOW knows every woman does have a choice to engage her reproductive powers or not. She has the power to create children and the power to choose to engage in the beginning of the reproductive process (sexual intimacy) or not as well. (Except in cases of rape of course.) 

Women of Influence 

Not only do women have the power to get the people here, but they are the power that sculpts the ideas of the next generation too. While, TV, education, and media outlets have done a lot to capture the attention of the youngsters and have diligently tried to teach them what to think, some how mothers seem to still have more influence on the life of the child if she chooses to actively take the opportunity to use it. 

This power of influence is a power that literally transforms the world. I’m sure some power hungry companies and government officials have wondered how to get as much power as a woman has over her child. They have tried to simulate that power. But nothing really measures up. Wrapped in the arms and love of a mother who brought her child into the world resides the power to stop conflicts, defend truths, and teach nations. 

Unfortunately, the woman I mentioned at the beginning of this article wasn’t taught about her glory and power as a woman. I never thought I’d see the day when a woman would say she disregarded her own life. I know severe amounts of abuse can cause a person to become detached from basic realities. My woman heart reaches out to this woman. Please know that your pain has been felt, your story taught me a lesson. Even though you think your life is pointless, it still influences people. 

All women, whether they are mothers or not, have a motherly influence on the world. Plan today how you will influence the world for good. This is your international day to be grateful you are alive and that you are a woman! 

Happy International Women’s Day! 

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