Spreading Arms

I love trees.

Their branched arms stretch out wide, becoming homes for countless birds and small mammals, and they give shade when the temperatures soar. Many produce fruit or sap that we enjoy.

We came across this tree while on a walk, and what appeared to be dead was actually alive. The branches were few, but new leaves were growing on them, reflecting life in something that had undergone hard, even tragic times. It showed a spirit of resilience and a heart to live.

We just celebrated Mother’s Day, a day honoring those who gave birth to us and those who have given birth to others. As a mom, I appreciate the sentiment.

But as a woman, I see all those around me who don’t have children, those who aren’t married, and those who, due to infertility, couldn’t conceive children of their own. There are those who have lost children through illness or accidents and those who, for their reasons, choose not to have kids. They need to be celebrated as well.

Women are more than moms. They spread their arms wide as the nurturers, the ones who give birth and care for home and heart. But women are also strong leaders, competent to provide direction to others, and not rigid and uncaring. They spread their arms for the wholeness they provide for all around them.

Women of all types need to be honored with a special day, for the work they do in and out of the home, and for the value they add to the world. Being a mother is not something you do; it’s who you are in how you treat others. Many who have never given birth are the most amazing mother-figures one could know. They’re compassionate and caring, having a heart of presence to be able to listen to others.

They know how to love well.

Mother is a verb as well as a noun. For many, it’s a choice to be involved in the lives of others, sharing tenderness and understanding with those who haven’t experienced them. As the apostle Peter said,

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Like the tree which looked barren but was still producing new leaves, women need to be honored for how they add life to every community they’re part of, and for the love they generously give to others. They need to be celebrated for the risks they take, whatever station they have in life.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water.” That’s the challenge to all women, not to quit, not to think less of themselves, and to celebrate the fact that God made them women. For His reasons.

It’s not just moms who produce life.

All women have the ability to bring life to all who are around them.

That’s worth at least a day of celebration.

8 responses to “Spreading Arms”

  1. Shawna Sharpe Avatar
    Shawna Sharpe

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! I had a friend message me on FB yesterday asking if I was a Mom. I said I am a furry Mom and a spiritual Mom. =) Love you friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Shawna! I really appreciate your kind words! Thanks for reading.


  2. I loved this post too, from start to finish and I love trees as well. No children for many valid, honest reasons and wind up feeling badly on Mother’s Day. So thank you, Dayle, for writing something inclusive about Mother’s day. Especially coming from you, who seems like a super Mom, for thinking of all of us!! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🌳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hardly a super mom–just someone who is related to others who are in the same boat you are for a variety of reasons. When we make holidays that exclude people, we miss the beauty of all people. That’s just wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said, Dayle! The qualities of a good mother can flow from any woman to another. I’m praising God right now for the women who mothered me when my own was miles away. They listened, shared their experience, advised, and offered encouragement. Now it’s my turn to do that for others. Lord, may I be an eager support-giver for the younger women around me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true, my friend. You’ve become a Titus woman through your blog–you mentor many!


  5. This is a lovely blog honoring women, Dayle. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks, sweet friend. I have so many women in my life who aren’t parents, will never be parents, but have hearts of such empathy and compassion that ignoring them–ignoring any women–is a disservice to how God has chosen to create us.


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