The wonderful thing about motherhood is that is can be found anywhere love is. On Mother’s Day we normally look for relationships between biological mothers and their children, like the relationship I have with my son. But there is beauty in unconventional motherhood as well. Not every woman will have the opportunity to carry children but we all have the capacity to love. Today I want to highlight the beauty in this often-overlooked form of motherhood.

Before I had Stellan, I organized a children’s ministry called JAM (Jesus And Me). I thought I was helping the children but they actually taught me about love and more about myself than anything. I remember walking door to door in our community telling the kids about JAM and inviting them to attend. The one day several of them tagged along with me to tell their neighbors about it and soon there was a tribe of us. I remember feeling like a kid myself as we walked from door to door.

J.A.M. Flyer

When I was a kid, I faced a lot of rejection. To be included, loved, and cherished was important to me. As I was walking through the park with these kids, the kid inside of me came alive. I really loved these kids. It was a love that was coming out of a lot of personal pain. It was real and we really connected. I poured into the kids with everything that I had. I believe the reason we connected so well was because we all had something in common.

Our common bond was the beautiful and natural desire to be included, appreciated and loved. There were times throughout my teen years that I really hated some of the desires of my heart. I carried a lot of shame and I often thought I was simply too much. It felt liberating to be in the presence of these kids. I didn’t feel alone anymore. We were family. I sensed in each one of them the deep desire that was inside of my own heart, and it brought a deep connection. Sometimes I wonder if they saw the hurting kid inside of me too. But nevertheless, we developed some sweet friendships and some great memories. Kids are so accepting and quick to believe in others. These kids showed me a clearer picture of the Father heart of God who is no respecter of persons. Full of grace and quick to forgive. Having the opportunity to nourish them changed me. It was a beautiful season of healing in my life.

Me and a child from J.A.M.

And while the kids of that ministry mended a lot of my childhood trauma it had awakened the mothering spirit in me as well. It was a ministry that was inspired from the part of my heart that had felt missed as a kid. Staying self-focused had the potential for me to become bitter, but instead I had the opportunity to pour my heart into the lives of others. It gave me renewed purpose. The opportunity to love on these kids brought to life a nurturing part of my heart. I learned that I have the gift to nurture and love. It’s a beautiful role He gave us women. I love that. What an incredible opportunity each one of us have to make a difference!

This all happened for me before I even had a child. So, it makes me think that there are other women that nurture children, other women that nurture adults that deserve to be mentioned on Mother’s Day.

So, if you are that woman, Happy Mother’s Day.

If you’re pregnant, Happy Mother’s Day.

If you take care of children that aren’t yours, Happy Mother’s Day.

And for all women that have a mother’s heart, if no one else told you, Happy Mother’s Day.

A few years after my work with the children’s ministry I gave birth to my son Stellan. The mother heart is a beautiful mystery. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a mother, and am so grateful that it’s not limited to just biological children. There is a world full of incredible humans out there. There is opportunity all around us to practice unconventional motherhood. Mothers, you are a gift to the world. Don’t underestimate the impact you have.