Moms, Moms Everywhere

Moms, Moms Everywhere—that’s actually the title of a LifeWay webcast in which I participated recently  (to be aired today at noon (CDT),  Tuesday, September 18 and available at Lifeway Women Live).  But it’s also how I feel this time of year.

OK, so I see moms everywhere all year round.  But recently I’ve been particularly impressed by how much we moms need each other.  As the school year opens, I always hear (and sometimes see) the excitement of moms reconnecting at their Mom to Mom groups—or starting a new one.  This coming weekend I’ll be with hundreds of moms at the wonderful .Mom conference in Birmingham (I think you can still register!)  Then next month I’ll be in Colorado with loads of moms at the Hearts at Home conference in Colorado Springs.  And then in November with many more at Hearts at Home in Rochester, Minnesota.  Moms, Moms everywhere—and I love it!

But it’s not just at big conferences or even in Mom to Mom groups.  I see moms in our neighborhood, at the supermarket, at church, at the mall—really, everywhere I go.  They are old and young, biological moms and adoptive moms and foster moms and blended-family moms, grandmoms raising grandchildren—all kinds of moms.

But there’s a common theme.  I see it in their faces and body language and I hear it in their tone of voice.  Moms need encouragement.  Lots of encouragement.   Last week I spoke at a local Mom to Mom, and a conversation with one mom captured it.  It was this woman’s first time at Mom to Mom.  At the end, she stopped and talked with me.  She wanted to thank me for “doing this.”  She told me about her own mom, her husband and family, and how she was doing as a mom.  “I think I need spiritual mothering,” she said.  She went on to tell me why.  But she ended her conversation with this:  “Thank you. This has been so helpful.  I just feel so encouraged.”

Praise God!  Just want we want to do at Mom to Mom: encourage moms.  Just what the people who plan big mom-conferences want to do: encourage moms.  And just what every one of us can look to do in our own lives: encourage moms.  Whether you’re a new mom or an experienced mom with grown kids or grandkids, whether you are part of a moms’ group or not—wherever you live, whatever you do, there are moms everywhere around you that you can encourage.  With a smile.  With  a word of affirmation.  With a helping hand at the door of Walmart or the public  library.  With a meal to a sick mom.  Or, best of all, some spiritual encouragement: let a mom know you’ll pray for her (and DO it!), invite her into your moms’ group or Bible Study, or watch her kids when they’re sick so she can go to her Bible Study or moms’ group.

A challenge:  Look around you and look for a mom you can encourage—today.  It’s much-needed.  It’s fun.  And it’s Biblical: “So encourage one another daily…”  (Hebrews 3:13)   Do it!

And if any of you have some creative suggestions for encouraging moms, or can share an experience where you were encouraged by another mom—I’d love to hear from you!   Or,  if by chance you’re going to be in Birmingham September 21-22; in Colorado Springs October 12-13; or Rochester, Minnesota, November 9-10, come see me.  We can encourage each other!

Mommies: Heroes and Best Friends

Mamas are everywhere in my world. They always are. That’s just the way I like it.  But especially this time of year.  I spent a weekend recently with some 1400 mommies at LifeWay's .Mom conference in Birmingham.  Then I came home to a season of speaking to Mom to Mom groups every few days.  I love it! One of the things I love most about being with moms is hearing their stories.  You already know this, but let me remind you: moms are heroes.  Their stories stay with me.  Stories of traumatic births, difficult pregnancies, unexpected pregnancies, long periods of infertility, miracle adoptions, foster-mom God-moments.  And stories of life with 8 kids (or more!) as well as magnificent testimonies to single-mom survival—even joy.

One of my favorite moments at the .Mom conference was meeting the recipients of our blog give-away—Lauren and Carrie.  Lauren, I’m sorry we didn’t get a picture.  But I got to spend a few precious moments with Carrie as she shared about her life as a single mom.  Moms as heroes—yes.  God’s grace poured out on these heroes—you bet!

Recently I’ve been reminded of  heroic everyday mom lives in my own family.  One daughter-in-law spends hours each day in the car to get her son to a good school.  Another daughter-in-law recently took on painting a room in the basement after the kids went to bed each night during a weekend with Daddy gone for three days—only to have the tape rip off the paint when the project was done.  Yikes!

Then there’s my sleep-deprived daughter Erika with 6-week-old Judah.   He is adorable (you knew I’d say that!)—and gifted, of course . :-)   The problem is that his gifts seem to be eating and growing—but not sleeping!  His parents are working on that.  He has a ways to go.  In the meantime, you all know the drill:  Mama’s gift becomes surviving—somehow—amidst the kind of sleep deprivation that would make most terrorists spill their guts!  You remember these days—yes?

Baby days

But then there are other moments: mom-moments that make all the difference.  Moments that keep mom-heroes going even in the toughest places.  Erika had one of those moments recently.  One afternoon, on a very long day, Judah’s big sister, Gabriella, came down from her “rest time,” rushed into the living room, threw her arms around Erika, and said “Mommy, you’re my very best friend!”

You're my very best friend!

Just a reminder for all of you in case your kids haven’t told you lately: not only are you a hero, but you are building precious relationships with these kids even amidst the toughest times.

What keeps you going amidst long days and short nights?  I’d love to hear your stories!

A “Don’t Miss” Conference for Moms—and a giveaway!

I’m excited to invite you all to LifeWay’s first-ever conference just for moms!  It will be held September 23–24, 2011, in Birmingham. Alabama.  Featured keynoters will include women whom some of you may know as favorite Bible Study teachers.  They are also moms: Priscilla Shirer, Vicki Courtney, and Angela Thomas, among others.  There will be tons of breakouts to choose from, lots of laughs guaranteed, and a “Mom Squad” to answer questions you might have.

Mom to Mom will be there, too.  I’ll be doing two of the breakout sessions, and we’ll be exhibiting, so we hope you’ll stop by and see us!

We’re so excited about this that we’re planning to give away two tickets to winners we’ll draw from those who comment on either of my next two blog posts (First Post,  Second Post) by noon (EDT) on Thursday, July 28.  Winners will be announced on Friday, July 29.  Don’t miss this chance!  And for more details on the conference, check out this link.