Did I ever have fun this last weekend! Mom to Mom had an exhibit at the Hearts at Home National Conference in Bloomington, IL, so two Mom to Mom friends and I got to spend two full days just listening and talking to moms. What a privilege. What a ride!
You know how I love moms. And to hang out with over 4500 of them over a period of two days—that’s what I call a little bit of Heaven. Of course we had fun talking about Mom to Mom. We met moms who had never heard of Mom to Mom, moms who are currently in a Mom to Mom, and moms who are thinking of starting Mom to Mom in their church or community.
We even had a little mini-reunion with four moms from Vermont who are now in their fifth year of Mom to Mom. They’re going through the curriculum a second time, with lots of new moms and some who’ve been there from the start. It has grown into a wonderful outreach in their community, as the vast majority of their moms are not from their church. I just love hearing Mom to Mom stories like theirs!
But in addition to talking Mom to Mom, we had wonderful opportunities just to listen to moms. To look into their eyes and listen—really listen. There were physician moms and farmer moms, single moms and blended family moms, biological moms and adoptive moms, moms of all sizes and shapes and ages and circumstances. Each has their own story. But they had one thing in common: They all needed encouragement. They all needed to know that “You mean I’m not the only one who...?”
Of course they got tons of encouragement from the conference speakers and singers and emcees and humorists. But I also watched them encouraging one another. And I watched my colleagues, Karen and Tonya, pour encouragement into moms with their big smile, bright eyes, and listening ears. It’s what Mom to Mom is all about, really. And Hearts at Home, too. (Check out their website for future conferences, and come see us again!)
So here’s my takeaway: Encouraging another mom is one of the best things you can do. And as much fun as it is to hang out with thousands of moms, you don’t have to be at a conference to encourage another mom. You can do it right in your own backyard. Or preschool. Or supermarket. Or via email, text, twitter, or Facebook.
It’s what Paul was talking about when he said “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
Encourage another mom today!