The things we should be telling each other more often

We gathered around the dining room table, a tissue box set right in the middle. This group of women was her village, come to say goodbye as she prepared to move away, to affirm, to validate friendship, share hearts and love.

Taking turns, we reminisced of meeting, of fun times that brought rounds of laughter and joking, of moments of deep friendship forged in times of trial that brought tears.

 

13433[2983]We told her how much she was loved and valued and all the things we would miss in not being able to live life together as we had been used to. And even though goodbye was imminent, our hearts were full.

Listening as each woman shared, I thought…We need to do this more! To not get “used to having,” taking for granted the blessing of friendship and love in our lives. But to purposely take the time to tell our families and our friends the things we

value

love

are thankful for

and would miss if we didn’t have them.

 

 

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(our last official book club night of the 5 Mamas!)

 

Read about one part of my village and so many others in The Mom Village.

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Give the Weight (or Wait) Away

This is short and sweet.  It’s not just that it’s all I have time for, it’s that it’s all I need time for.  I’m burdened to pray for all you moms today, this special Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day beautiful, godly, moms!!!! I had a rough day on Friday.  So overwhelmed with the weight of grading, finals, illness, taxi-driving, grumpy kids, and grumpy me. The Lord clearly showed me that He would take the weight if I gave it to Him. I prayed out loud to give it all to Jesus, and He strengthened me. I discovered that I was attempting to carry other people’s burdens as well. Today is, of course, so much better. So continue to cast your cares on Him, beautiful moms! Because sometimes those burdens are heavy, and serious, and worrisome, but He will take them!  So whether you’re worried for yourself, or a friend, or waiting on a decent job, a baby, or a timely phone call, be encouraged!  May God get the glory as we give, give, give (isn’t that just what we do, ALL THE TIME?) and then remember to give it to Jesus.  Love you all so much.

If you or a mama in your life has loss this Mother’s Day…

I wrote this post last year remembering my first Mother’s Day on the other side of loss.  This year my Samuel’s day lands on Mother’s Day, and my heart is heavy for the mamas who are facing this day with fresh grief. I know from my own experiences and speaking to so many others who have gone through this, that what people say and do in these moments has such lasting impact.

When someone has a pregnancy loss, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. Many women suffer in silence because sometimes people don’t acknowledge that this mama has lost her child. Her child, whether at 6 weeks gestation or 6 months, a day after she found out she was expecting or the day after she gave birth, this is her baby.

What can we do to be a comfort to these mamas? These are just a few things I think are important to remember…

~say “I’m so sorry.” or

~”My heart breaks for you.”

That’s it. You do not need to explain it away for them, or give them a theological sermon on suffering, or a reason why. Just tell them how sorry you are.

I’ll never forget the well meaning woman who patted my arm and told me to try not to think about it. Or my dear friend, who was crying after the loss of her son, and someone said to her, “Oh, you’re still on that?”  But, of even MORE significance were all the sentiments of sympathy, validating my loss, valuing my grief, and showing me love during that time.

~Recognize that they have lost a child. Say “your baby”, or the name they had chosen. Value the life that was lost.

~Let her share…let her talk about it, feel, cry, whatever she needs. Listen. And keep doing this, because there is no time limit on grief.

loved

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~Do something. Drop off a meal, bring flowers, give her a gift to remember the baby by. If she has other children, take them for her or help her in the house. Saying, “let me know if you need anything,” doesn’t help. Find something to do and fill the need without being asked. Remember that she is suffering emotionally and physically. It is very difficult to recover from a pregnancy cut short by loss.

When I was in the hospital, two of my dear friends came into the room with my most treasured gift of that time, a beautiful memory box and a soft, brown bear. Still they sit on my dresser- the box filled with cards and memories of the love I received during that time. I can still picture the flowers and cards, the meals, the precious faces of the visitors who came and loved on me and barely said a word. The people who cared for my littles and cleaned my house and did my laundry. The cards and calls that came randomly throughout the years of those who reached out to let me know…I remember.  You don’t know how something you do could comfort so much.

And if that mama is YOU this year, remember…

Your loss is real. Let yourself grieve. Give yourself grace and rest and time. It does get easier.

You are not alone. There are so many who have gone through what you are experiencing. Don’t be afraid to share your pain with others.

You are loved and valued. Our Father longs to comfort you and strengthen your heart. Ps. 73:26 ‘My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the rock and firm strength of my heart and my portion forever.’

This year, as I celebrate my very full, very loud life with my boys, I still feel the loss of what could’ve been. I don’t know if that ever goes away. So, I’ll be thinking of all you mamas who know that feeling, too, and praying for comfort and peace in the midst of it.

 

Resources available for healing and help

Dream Dreams, and THRIVE!

Setbacks fuel new dreams.  This was said by American swimmer Dara Torres.  What is your dream?  Have you given up?  Is there a new dream?  Is our life exciting, or are we bored?

My kids often say in the summer time that they are “bored.”  Well, my sons and daughter, boredom is an emotion, and I’m more and more convinced that we have choices about our emotions.  We can wallow in our poor selves and claim “boredom,” or we can take captive those thoughts and choose to THRIVE.  If we think we are bored, then we are.  If we choose not to be bored, then we are NOT BORED!  This Christian life is so exciting.  There are endless opportunities to explore God’s creation, encourage a friend or stranger, serve someone in the community, or make a phone call.  Remember phone calls?  Not a text…a personal phone call. Even if the person doesn’t answer it.

The next step to a closer relationship with God may be to claim our lives for Christ and really live the excitement.  He calls us to follow in his footsteps as ambassadors of the Gospel.  There are so many hurting that can be cheered by the hope we have in Christ.  The word of God speaks for itself, so no need to worry about what to say.  Memorize 5 hopeful scriptures.  These are your truths.  Spread these wherever you go and you will NEVER be bored.

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