These definitions of nurture might, at first glance, seem to be ordinary words that are held together by the strings of information and development. They seem to be good applications and suggestions on how to develop something into its fullness.
When placed in the context of raising up the next generation, the definitions become almost overwhelmingly terrifying in their weight.
The decision to become a stay at home mom was not made lightly. My main goal was to become more of a presence and influence in my children's lives. But when you really dig into the meaning of what a mother does, it becomes a scary weight that can become overwhelming when you look at it as a whole. Panic can set in if your focus is off, even the tiniest little bit.
Nurture. The definition is there in black and white. But how do I do it?
"Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind."
There is so much that my children need to know, to learn, to experience. If I forget, even for a moment, where my strengths, abilities and passions come from, I will not be able to do this thing. This thing of mothering. Every time I forget to turn to my Father for guidance, I will have dropped the ball.
God will never make fun of me for anything. No matter what it is, he will never think me stupid, or ill-equipped. He will never tell me to figure it out myself, although he may make me work it out myself. But, he will still be there every step of the way. He wants to help me and lead me through everything. He just wants me to be humble enough to ask. And have faith in Him to answer, every time.
Somehow the idea of blundering along, going my own way, loses its appeal when I consider what I am doing this for.
That makes this life-and-death serious. Eternity serious.
I will get enough things wrong along the way; my prayer is that pride will not add to the list because I didn't humble myself to ask for help and guidance first.