Archive for October, 2010
I’ve just returned from Mom to Mom Ministry Board meetings out in the Boston area. What a great time we had working together, praying together, laughing together—even sharing a few tears from time to time, as we shared our hearts as well as our work.
But the dominant visual memory we will all have from our time together is this: S’Mores! Yes, S’Mores—those wonderful, gooey, gloriously caloric treats many of us remember from Girl Scouts or Christian camps or family vacations.
Why S’Mores? Well, because our chaplain, whom we affectionately call Pastor Kay, began our time together with a brief devotional in which she shared verses from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 in The Message about how much stronger we are as we work together: “A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” Much less a 7-stranded one! Kay told us,
“We, board sisters, are much like s’mores. Some of us tend to be like graham crackers: brittle at times, but ultimately sweet. Others of us are more like marshmallows: soft with passion and heart-felt emotion. Still others are more like dark chocolate: quiet, deep, yet so ‘just right’ at the moment needed.
But even though each board member offers individual treasures, when God put us together and added the ‘fire’ of the Holy Spirit, we became so much more than we would have ever been separately—we became s’mores.”
Kay’s devotional made me reflect back over the years since Mom to Mom began. It’s always been a team effort. From the three young moms who originally saw the need of such a ministry to the “Five Mommies” who first comprised the Mom to Mom Board to the “Seven Sisters” our board has grown to include, we’ve always shared the work.
And as we’ve shared the work, we’ve become, as Kay reminded us, so much more than any one of us could ever be by ourselves. Even as we worked together and prayed together—and yes, played together (oh yes, we do know how to have a good time between all those meetings!) S’Mores became a sort of theme for our last three days together.
But the S’mores theme actually extends way beyond our little board. I think it’s a picture of Mom to Mom groups throughout the country. On the leadership level, we Titus 2 leaders are so much more as we join hands around our circles and work together and pray together and love and encourage moms together. And our moms becomes so much more to their families as they share the joys and challenges of their work among their small groups.
Aren’t you glad God gave us each other? Of course ultimately HE is the One who makes us so much more. I’m reminded of Ephesians 4:16: “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (NIV)
In case you’re wondering, yes, we did actually have S’Mores to eat—even though, for some of us working down to the wire before leaving for the airport, we had to take them “to go” in the car so it did get a little messy!
So today I’m thanking God for our Mom to Mom Ministry Board, for all of you doing Mom to Mom throughout the country—and for S’mores!
I recently returned from a trip to Michigan in which I met lots of moms – moms from three different Mom to Mom groups. Some were young moms with their first new baby; others had a houseful of toddlers and preschoolers. Some were celebrating their kids going back to school, others bemoaning kids who’d left for college. Yet others were mentor moms comparing notes (and pictures, of course!) about grandchildren. We all had one thing in common. Actually, we all had a lot in common. But one thing that struck me particularly was that we all so desperately need to keep laughing!
I was speaking on the topic “Can You Really Love Your Kids and Your Life—at the Same Time?” As I looked out on these audiences of moms, two things were obvious: First, these moms really love their kids. They really, really do. But also, these moms desperately need to be able to laugh with other moms about the daily “mission impossible” challenges of being a mom. Sometimes it’s a matter of survival. At the very least, it makes being a mom more fun.
As I talked with moms after each session, we found ourselves laughing a lot. Not that we didn’t have serious conversations. Some very heavy things were shared, and I find myself still praying for some of the moms I met. But I also noticed how crucial it was for these moms to hold on to their sense of humor.
There was the one mom who came half an hour early for our Mom to Mom Dessert Night because it just felt so good to get out of the house and let her husband put the kids to bed. She wasn’t in any hurry to leave, either, when the party was over. Even though she spent a good bit of her time showing me pictures of her two adorable little girls. 🙂 And there was the mom who told me “Hey, we’re doing pretty well even though my kids are so close together in age. I haven’t put any up on Craig’s List yet!” Laughter really is one of the best medicines for a mom.
All this reminded me of an older woman I knew many years ago who influenced me more than she ever knew. She was the woman I wanted to be when I grew up. An older woman in our church that most people called Grammy Perkins, she was one of the funniest—and Godliest—women I ever knew. And that, I must say, is one fantastic combination!
She led the Tuesday morning women’s prayer group at our church. And what mighty prayer warriors those women were! I remember my dad often commenting that it was the prayers of those women that got him through the completion of a manuscript he was writing on the Old Testament—and even got it published with a big-name publisher.
Grammy Perkins was also one spunky lady. One of the best stories I heard about her was how she got her driver’s license. As an older woman (I don’t know how old she was. She seemed very old to me—but then I was in fifth grade at the time!), she had never learned to drive. She kept telling her husband she was going to learn. “Oh, Julia,” he’s say. “You know you’re never going to do that at your age. In fact if you got your license, I would buy you any car you want.” That was all Julia needed. Out she went and enrolled in driver training classes—right along with all those teenagers. And, unbeknownst to her husband, she got her license. Then one night he came home for dinner to find her brand new license hanging from the chandelier in the dining room—along with a note on the kind of car she wanted. And she got it!
But what I remember most about her was a little prayer she said she often had to pray: “Lord, fix me up, Lord, fix me up.”
Oh, how often I need to pray that prayer. “Lord, fix me up, Lord fix me up.” As a young mom with small children, as a mother of teens, even now as a grandmother. It’s a prayer I need regularly. And I notice, along with wonderful Grammy Perkins, that one of the ways God works in me, one of the way He fixes me up, is through laughter. Truly, it is good medicine. Often, it is God’s medicine.
I believe it was Charles Swindoll who said, “Of all the things God created, I am often most grateful He created laughter.” I think Grammy Perkins would agree. Especially for moms.
Praying and laughing—perhaps the two most crucial ingredients for a mom. My prayer for you is that you’re doing lots of both!