Alumna Spotlight: Changing the narrative of motherhood

Posted by Julia Adams on 8/21/23 12:24 PM

Changing the Narrative of Motherhood: PHC Alumni shares her story

“On the one hand, what my culture says to me [about motherhood] is ‘strive, strive, strive, don’t rest,’ but on the other hand, what I’m offered is a boatload of complacency and grumbling. Neither of these seems good to me, which makes me wonder... is there a better way?” asked alumna Kira Nelson (Journalism, ’13) in the first episode of her bi-weekly podcast Delighted Motherhood.

As a young mother, Nelson found herself discouraged by the narrative the world presented her, but she also found that Christian narratives tended to focus on the same negative side, namely exhaustion. “I wanted to have a different narrative. I wanted to say, ‘yes, motherhood is very hard, yes, it’s exhausting, yes, it’s overwhelming,’ but that we can have a delighted motherhood.” Nelson’s desire to change the narrative led to the advent of her own podcast.

Delighted Motherhood, Nelson said, “is about delighting ourselves in the world and enjoying our kids to the glory of God.” Being a delighted mother doesn’t mean that the difficulties surrounding motherhood go away, instead, it means that mothers arewes-hicks-Xg_LGdZVPe0-unsplash constantly striving toward their first calling, namely to delight themselves in the Lord. Nelson pointed to Titus 2:4-5, 10 in which Paul calls the older women to teach the younger women as mentors. The word used for love in the passage is philandros. This type of love, Nelson pointed out, is "not like a diligent, 'I have to love you' kind of love, but rather, it's an affectionate, 'I like you' ... [and] 'I am passionately attached to you' sort of love. That is what Paul is calling older women to train young women to do. But that's rooted in the fact that they are Christian women."

In her first episode, Nelson described this foundational principle of Christianity further. She said that the basis of philandros is not her children, it is a call, first and foremost, to be marisa-howenstine-Cq9slNxV8YU-unsplashdelighted in the Lord. “Truthfully, if we don’t delight ourselves in the Lord, we cannot fully enjoy our kids the way we were intended to, because in motherhood, every mom knows, we’re going to sacrifice, but I think it’s really important for me to think about who I’m sacrificing for.” It is a sacrifice, Nelson said, unto the Lord. A Christian woman, and therefore a Christian mother, is called to lay down her life unto the Lord, and it is His work through her circumstances that sanctifies her.

Nelson has always had a heart for ministry, which is one of the reasons she found Patrick Henry College so appealing. “Our professors really fostered a desire to know [the Lord] more through our classes, and … they encouraged us to invest in one another.” IMG_7196She attributed her continued love for the Word and other people to her time at PHC. Nelson graduated in December 2013 with a Journalism major and married fellow alumnus James Nelson (GOV ’13). After graduation, Nelson worked for Gray Media, later freelancing for an overseas NGO before officially stopping work outside the home. Now, she is a full-time homemaker, seminary student, and a leader in women’s ministry events at her church. Recently, she started writing publicly again. So far, she has published two articles, one titled “Motherhood isn’t Martyrdom” and another entitled “The Praying Mom: Acknowledging We’re Not in Control.”

Nelson found that the Journalism program at PHC prepared her to write expediently. “I am a mom with three kids, very involved in my neighborhood, very involved in my church, and I want to do a podcast. …I think that the volume that Dr. Les Sillars had us writing really equipped me to able to write fast.” She also found that PHC inculcated in her an entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to figure things out for herself.

       Learn more about PHC's Journalism program! 

Nelson designed Delighted Motherhood to cover a variety of topics, from postpartum weakness to traveling with children to the more difficult conversations. “I have been really encouraged by thinking really deeply about some of the most challenging aspects of motherhood from our perspective of delighting in the Lord and seeking to find moments of joy,” Nelson said.

Nelson plans to continue her bi-weekly podcast. “Overall, I just want to continue to encourage my own heart towards the things that are most important. And if those things are also encouraging to other mothers, I'm thankful.”


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  Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is the foundation of America.


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