I’ve just returned from a fabulous weekend with over 6200 moms. What could be better? I was a speaker at the Hearts at Home National Conference in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. It was a wonderful two days, full of laughter and tears, great ideas and Godly encouragement, and heart-to-heart conversations with moms at all ages and stages of parenting. It was especially fun to connect with the Mom to Mom women who attended. The above photo is of a wonderful group of women who have been doing Mom to Mom in Northern Vermont for years—love these girls!
Now that I’m home and have some time to reflect, I’m realizing what God’s major message to me out of this weekend is. It’s the power of prayer. The absolutely astounding, takes-your-breath-away power of prayer.
I saw it in so many ways. First, in myself. I am easily traumatized by technology, and the prospect of doing five workshops in two days in various large lecture halls at a state university with varying technological hookups for my PowerPoint slides was enough to send me over the top on the worry scale. But I had many people praying. God brought along wonderful folks to help. And in the end, it all worked out just fine. Not only did the presentations work fine (despite many last-minute, down-to-the-wire glitches), but amazingly, my techno-trauma did not get in the way of the message. When I stood up there and looked in the eyes of the precious moms in each audience, it was just me and them—and above all, God. Truly an answer to prayer.
One of my talks, “Top Ten Messages You Want Your Kids To Get,” highlighted the crucial role of moms in praying for their kids. I shared with the women Woody’s way of signing each note and card and email to the kids with these three things: “We love you. We’re proud of you. We’re praying for you.” I told them that one day their prayers for their kids would come back to them as their kids would pray for them. And words from my daughter’s last phone call from Ireland ran through my mind: "Mom, I just called back because I forgot something in our last conversation. I wanted you to know how much I love you, how proud I am of you, and how I will be praying for you at the conference this weekend. I’m praying for you, Mom.”
And now that I’ve been home a few days, I find conversations I had with moms replaying through my mind. I remember a mom who needed to be released from guilt over something her kids and God have already forgiven. I think of the intense mama-love I heard in the voice of a mom wondering if her autistic son is getting the message of her unconditional love for him. And I see the tears in the eyes of so many moms in the audience as I reminded them that “There’s no place your kids can go that’s so far God’s love can’t find them.” And then I assured them by way of a story that God will carry us when we feel we can’t go one step farther in this mom-marathon.
I find myself praying for these moms—and for all the moms who attended the conference. I pray that God will call to mind just the encouragement they need at the moment they need it. I pray that they will remember they are prayed for. Not only by me. But—far more—by Jesus at the right hand of God (Hebrews 7:25) and by the Holy Spirit in “groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26 KJV).
I find myself praying for every one of you reading this post, whether you were at the conference or not. Prayer is the power which makes this mom-marathon possible. Not only possible, but joyful. “I’m praying for you, mom.”