I’m a daughter. I have a mother. And one day, I hope I’ll be a mother, too.
My mom wrote me letters on my birthday every year from my very first until my 18th, and in them were her hopes for me, her reflections on my growing personality and character, her prayers for my life, and her thoughts on our relationship as mother and daughter. Those letters are some of my most cherished possessions, because of the heartfelt way my mom captured her love for me and showed me what motherhood looked like in action over the years.
Lisa-Jo Baker wrote a different kind of letter to her daughter in her recent post “What I Want to Tell My Daughter about Being a Mother,” and it’s equally as beautiful.
She tells the story of her preschool daughter taking care of her doll in a way as maternal as one can be at that age, and I remember years and years of doing the same thing myself. She tells of the questions her young daughter asks her, the ones where she wants to know if she’ll be a good mom.
“And then it hits me,” Baker writes. “I will get to watch my daughter become a mother. How does a heart even handle that kind of mysterious beauty?”
She tells her daughter: "I want you to know from the beginning that it was always intended as a gift. This incredible gift that we women get to unwrap in the wee hours. A gift that comes with as much exhaustion as it does passion."
I can’t quite imagine all that motherhood means, but I hope one day I’ll get to unwrap the gift of it. I know it’s not all sunshine, sparkles, and hairbows. As precious as it is to look at a tiny girl dressing and pretending to feed an even tinier doll, the truth is not all of motherhood is so sweet.
“I was always afraid to grow up to be someone’s mama. So if you and I can navigate this journey with your joy still burning strong,” Baker writes to her daughter, “we’ll have won a victory over the legacy of lies and pain that wove their ways throughout my DNA. I want to shield you from anything that whispers motherhood is bad or boring or a cop out.”
Like my mother before me, Baker is declaring and demonstrating a love for her daughter that is seeping deeply into her young spirit and building within it a dream and desire to love and nurture her own future children.
iBelieve.com contributor Cindi McMenamin shares six ways you can encourage your daughter to dream. A few examples include:
- “Let her explore.
- Look and listen for what makes her heart sing.
- Live it out in front of her.”
As mothers everywhere raise their daughters, their examples are paving paths forward into their own potential futures as mothers. Their little ones will look to them to model what it looks like to be a woman, a believer, a wife, and a mama.
“I can’t wait to bear witness to your days as a mother,” Baker continues to her daughter. “And I can’t wait to remind you how you always wanted to be one. And I can’t wait to see you grow up into all the glory of your calling -- kids and a hundred other ways you may change the world. I can’t believe I get to be here-- at the beginning.”
When I read words of mothers to daughters like the ones in Baker’s letter and my own mom’s letters to me, I see the sacrificial love they pour out on the ones they created and delivered. It feels holy. It is such a clear reflection of the sacrificial love of our Savior who created and delivered us all, and it reminds me that motherhood is an act of worship and a true calling.
I hope one day to show my own daughter how to be a mother just like my own mom showed me.
Moms, what’s one thing you would want to tell your daughter about being a mother?
Publication date: April 21, 2016
Rachel Dawson is the editor of BibleStudyTools.com