If you look at the pictures that are on my walls at my office or in my living room, you’ll see kids.  Lots of them.  I’ve always been drawn to kids – their laughter and care-free attitudes are contagious.  They remind me to let go of some of the more petty things I’ve been holding on to, and just have fun.  They show me what child-like faith really looks like.

And yet, none of the kids whose pictures you see on my walls are mine.  I’m not a mom.

I’m the “adopted aunt” to many, and the “babysitter” to many more, and the aunt by marriage to two nieces.  But I’m not a mom.

That’s a fact that’s been used against me a few times.
“You can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be a mom, because you’re not one.”
“You’re not a mom, so you’re not invited to this dinner.  Want to babysit though?”
“You’ve got a job and get days off, but I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I don’t get a day off ever.  You wouldn’t understand, you’re not a mom.”

These friends are right.  I’m not a mom.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t love their kids as if they were my own.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t want the best for them, to show them Jesus in my life.  My identity is not in being a mom – or in not being a mom.  It’s in being a child of God.

Even if you’re not a mom today, you are still loved by God.  You are still the one He died to save.  You still have a purpose.  It may not be the same as some of my mom-friends – in fact, it most certainly isn’t.  The purpose to which I have been called is unique – just as I am unique.

If you’re a mom today, remember to treat your non-mom friends as you would want to be treated.  As a unique person, a child of God who matters.  Not the non-mom who doesn’t understand.

If you’re not a mom today, remember to find your identity not in the fact that you’re not a mom, but the fact that you are a child of God.  And go ahead and babysit those kids, pouring your life into them because you can.  Love them like they were yours.  And love their moms and dads, too.  You may be the only image of Jesus they ever see.