The Lioness at the Gate

In the 2010 BYE Women’s Conference, Sister Julie Beck described mothers as the ‘lionesses at the gates’ of our homes. I love this imagery!

A few weeks ago we had an experience at home that emphasized this idea. Here’s the story:

Last summer we adopted a little make kitten and the grandkids named him Chewy.

About a month ago, Chewy started looking fat. First I thought through his diet and decided we weren’t over feeding him. He’s an outdoor cat and very active.

But he just kept getting bigger and bigger.

I then realized I had to think through the “he” part of Chewy. Could he be a she?

Time for embarrassment, because I used to be a zoo keeper and should know better than to accept someone else’s word for this.

Quick check – Chewy is a ‘she’ and we have kittens coming. Oops!

A few weeks later Chewy presented us with three darling kittens. We marveled at her ability to know just what was needed to protect and care for her kittens. We had to coax her into a box in our laundry room – she was determined the kittens needed to live on the sofa on our deck.

When the kittens were about two weeks old, we left town for a few days and left our 26 year old son in charge. He came over every day to check on them and one day invited some friends to come see the kittens. They took the darling babies out of the box and spent a few minutes holding them.

Chewy did not like this! She made her wishes knows, so Jamie put the kitties back in the box and shut them in the laundry room. Later that night he want to check on them.

No kittens in the box!

Our laundry room isn’t that big. Where could they be?

This is what he found:


Chewy is the lioness at the gate!

She had picked up each kitten, jumped from the floor up to the washer and carefully climbed in to settle her babies in a safe place – away from all those scary people.

Chewy knows what it means to be the lioness at the gate. She was NOT going to let anything hurt her babies.

I wonder if we are as vigilant. Our homes are so porous today. Scary messages and influences seep in through TV, internet, and music. Are we being careful enough?

Last week I gave a talk in BYU Women’s Conference on inner beauty. I focused on some of the negative messages women and girls receive through the media about their self worth and beauty. It’s a dangerous world out there! I’ll try to put up a post soon about some of my thoughts.

For now – Chewy is my inspiration.


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