The Making of a Man
Part 1

Discouraged about your mothering accomplishments?
Feeling inadequate with what you have to give?
Wondering how to make a man out of the child you’ve been given?
Consider this mom.
Her mother was shunned when she was born, a baby out of wedlock.
She was raised by an aunt and uncle.
She had no schooling. Her “X” marked her name on any signed deed.
She lived deep in the wood, knowing few people, having no friends.
She married a drifter, who worked only when hunger drove him.
While she held her ragged dress together with wild thorns, her husband bought silk suspenders on credit and paid three dollars for a sword.
After attempting several town jobs, each failing, her husband took her deeper into the woods.
He purchased land on “the barrens.” Land the Indians burned for buffalo pastures.
Few people had the poor judgment to settle there.
On these lonely barrens, in the winter of 1809, this woman bore a son.
Snow blew through the cracks of their hunter’s hut, covering both mother and baby.
In 1816 when the boy was seven, her husband bartered the farm for four hundred gallons of corn whisky and moved his family farther west to the wild, desolate forests of Indiana.
When they arrived, the first snow of the season was falling.
He built a three-sided shed. (Today’s Indiana farmer wouldn’t even winter his cattle in such a shelter, but her husband felt it was good enough for his family.)
That winter, 1816-1817, was the severest, most violent in Indiana’s history.
This mom slept with her son and daughter like dogs, curled up in a heap of leaves and bearskins dumped on a damp, dirt floor huddled in a shed.
She had no butter, milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables, or bread to feed her children.
They ate only wild game and nuts.
When her husband tried to raise hogs, bears ate them.
Her husband finally built a cabin for his family in 1818.
It had four sides, no floor, no windows, no door.
A dirty bearskin hung over the doorway.
Inside was dark and foul.
She fell ill after nursing a neighbor a mile and half away with a malady known as “milk sick.”*
Her head swam, sharp pains in her abdomen brought severe vomiting.
Her hands and feet were cold.
Her vitals burned as if on fire.
She couldn’t drink enough water.
After two days, her husband, hearing a dog howl outside the cabin, said she’d die.
Calling her son and daughter to her, she begged them “to be good to each other, to live as she taught them, and to worship God.”
Those were her last words. She died seven days later, on October 5, 1818.
But these two motherless children remembered her words and cared for each other.
The girl cooked.
Having no knives or forks, they ate with their fingers.
The boy kept the fire going and carried water from the spring a mile away.
Since water was so scarce, they neither bathed nor washed their clothes.
Their beds were made of leaves and flea-infested skins.
The only light inside their dark home came from the fireplace or burning hog fat.

Did this mother live in vain?
No one remembers what she looked like. Not even the color of her hair or eyes.
Yet her son remembered her instruction. He honored truth. And was kind to all.
Who was this mother who instilled integrity in her son even at the cost of his own happiness?
Who, not only taught but lived, good will to all, regardless of how she was treated?
No one would remember even her name, except her son became our nation’s 16th president.
This mother’s name was Nancy Hanks Lincoln.

*Now known to be caused by livestock eating white snakeroot. The poison transfers to humans in milk.

Carnegie, Dale. 1932, 1959. Lincoln the Unknown. Garden City, NY: Dale Carnegie and Associates, Inc.

Klein, Christopher. 2014. "The Two Mothers Who Molded Lincoln." May 9. Accessed April 24, 2018. The Two Mothers Who Molded Lincoln.

What struggles do you face as you train your children to be men and women?

I knew enough about these two women to know the story was leading to Abraham Lincoln, but had no idea the terrible conditions that Nancy Hanks Lincoln lived with. Had not realized either that Lincoln's dad was rather a worthless bum. What incredible influences these women were on Abraham growing up, thank God for their love and training. A good lesson for us mothers, not only of the influence we have on our children, but also that we don't have to be perfect to turn them the right way. Thanks, Sonya, very good articles.

Beautiful essay above. Reading something like this is beyond humbling. And one knows, while reading, that the end will be stunning, as this was. Thank you.

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I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Women's Roles
Find other articles about women's roles here:
Marriage Is a Covenant before God
Are You Precious?
What's a Mother-In-Law To Do?
A Promise Is a Promise
Happily Ever After
Point Lobos, Monterrey
Where You Go, I Will Go
Protecting Our Men
What Makes a Marriage Work?
And the Two Shall Be One
Do You Let Your Husband Love You?
An Added Resource for You
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Can You Say, "No"?
Are You Losing Your Mind?
Expect Great Things from God
The Making of a Man part 4
The Making of a Man part 3
The Making of a Man part 2
The Making of a Man
What Kind of a Crown Are You?
Do You Like Your Husband?
Is Your Husband a Pushover?
Did You Marry a Crazy Man? 
Is Your Husband Crushing You?
Are You Dependent?
Male vs Female: Is It Equality We Seek?
Are You a Nag?
Do You Have a Picky Eater?
A Way to a Man's Heart Is through His Stomach
Are You Challenged by Your Man's Challenges?
Happily Ever After
Are You Appreciated?
Do You Feel Loved?
Valentine's Day: A Day for Love?
Valentine's Day: Help Your Husband Out

Created for Him
Do You Help Your Husband?
Made To Conquer

Women Working
How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Work?
How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Stay at Home?
Margaret Thatcher, She Changed the
    World, But What about Her 

Biblical Manhood
Find more articles about Biblical Manhood here:
What Is Man?
Where Are the Men?
What Should a Man Do?

Biblical Womanhood
Find more articles about Womanhood here:
What Is Your Choice?
Letting Him Protect
Are You a Friend?
Who Controls the Money?
The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving: How 
   To Make Your Husband Love You

The Power of a Smile: How To 
    Make Your Husband Love You

Superwoman: Is She Believable?

Find more articles about faith here:
Is Evil Overwhelming You?
Those Aha Moments
Is Your Soul Happy?
Are You Ignored?
Looking for the God Moment
Do You Know Truth from Almost Truth?
I Believe in Jesus—What Now?
Do You Have Your "Son"-Glasses On?
Less Is More
Singing His Praise
Are You Trying To Do It All?
What Do You Do with All These Prayer Requests?
Have a Problem?
Do You Know How to Pray?
Looking for God in Every Moment
Are You Receptive to God's Blessings?
Tell the Senate: Mothers Aren't Birthing People
Is Your Life Complicated?
How Do We Fight Evil?
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Giving Up or Taking Away
the Bible is simple
Are You a Dripping Faucet?
What's Your Testimony?
The Final Move
Be Careful What You Wish For!
Are Your Prayers Answered?
I Choose Joy
What Have You Learned from Your Hardship?
Who Are You Trying to Change?
What's Your Five-Year Plan?
The Danger of "Aloneness"
My Colors
Are You a Whiner?
Are Your Works Approved?
Do You Think You're Stressed?
Is Your Soul Feeling Ragged?
God Speaks to the Heart of the King
What about the Details?
Have You Felt the Long-Suffering of God?
How Does God Lead You?
Do You Have Enough?
Don't Carry More than You Need
Cast the Seed
God Is Faithful
Are You Deceived?
Are You Essential?
Are You Safe?
Are You Tired of the Same Old Thing?
Does the World Make Sense?
Have You Seen God's Majesty?
Do You Feel Judged?
If You Only Had One More Day To Live
Are You Understood?
Do You Long for the Word of God?
Slow Down and Smell the Dead Leaves
Are You Hospitable?
Our Heritage Is Bought by Blood
Are You Disturbed?
Are You Depressed?
I Did It My Way
Finding the Simple Life with Meaning
The Simple Life
Do You Have the Right Words?
Did Your Dream Die?
On the Other Side of the Fence
Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Confessions of a Desperate Mom
Saving for Tomorrow
A Wedding Remembered
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Are You a Protector or a Ruler?
Who Are You?
Are You an Image Bearer or a Wad of Cells?
Are You a Watchman?
Where Do You Find Meaning?
The Lamb of God as Told by a Scribe
What Love Is This?
Remember: The Symbols of Passover Explained
Tea and Rest
Do You Have Peace?
What Makes a Marriage Work?
When Life Is Awful
Are You Strong Enough?
Be Faithful through Suffering
Do You Know the Word?
Wake Up! Strengthen What Remains
Are You Spit in God's Mouth?
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Do You Stand Against Satan Himself?
Are You Tired of Being a Mom?
What in the World Is Happening?
It's Not My Story
How Would Your Faith Compare?
Are You Sinking?
Are You a Rule Follower?
Useful for Him
An Intimate Moment with Mary
The Worldview that Makes the

Thoughts to Ponder
What Does It Take To Know the
    Heart of God?

See the Story in the Stars
Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Special Days
Remember: The Symbols of 
   Passover Explained

Aug 12, 2017 The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
July 4th, Freedom
What Is an American Soldier?
Valentine's Day: A Day of Love?
Memorial Day-A Day To Remember
Veterans' Day-To Honor Our Men
Fall Colors
First Thanksgiving Day

Christmas: Stories behind the Songs
Christmas: Stories behind the Songs, part 2