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I have had Other Praying Mothers, specifically a little dynamo of a woman in Pearl, Mississippi, by the name of Mrs. Maizie James. She has many children and grandchildren of her own. Yet she chose to adopt me as a daughter-in-prayer and prays for me every single day.
Other Mothers are a gift we give our daughters and ourselves. To have Other Mothers does not diminish your own mother.
There is a richness in the many women who can step in and care for us, impart life experience and wisdom to us, and give of themselves to another generation. We are the better for them. And so are our daughters.
I can't see that my mother or I would be the women we are without the lingering influence of Nana in our lives. She taught us about tenacity in tough times and the rewards of faithfulness in the life of a believer, and that a meal did not have to be elaborate to be wonderful.
So it is that Nana's presence is with us, in my mother and myself, as we look at Elyse and see the generational ripples in the pond. I can honestly say that I pray for Elyse to have a slew of Other Mothers in her life, women who can fill the gaps I might not even be able to see.
You may be a woman who needs an Other Mother. You might be a woman with Other Mothering to give.
Truth is, you're probably both. I hope that you will seek out the Other Mothers you need and give Other Mothering liberally to the girls coming up the path behind you. Maybe, in that case, if it's not one thing, it's your Other.
Anita Renfroe is the best-selling author of The Purse-Driven Life, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother and A Purse-Driven Christmas. Anita and her husband, John, are the parents of three children and live in Atlanta.
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