The Truth Is, We Need Each Other
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” Washington Irving
Not too many years ago I sat with a dear friend in a coffee shop in Italy. Chit chatting about the cares of our own hearts we continually came back to a singular thought, “how is it that God has given us the capacity to love our children with a hurricane type of force?” She went on to describe her awe of women in general. We can potty train a two-year-old, make homemade bread, nurse a two-month-old baby, walk a dog, console a hurting neighbor, do two loads of laundry, call our moms and exercise all in one afternoon! Mothers are amazing.
Having a ministry in my neighborhood means doing a lot of life together. A couple of years ago I wanted to reach out to my neighbors and celebrate Mother’s Day. I wanted to have a time to honor my neighbors and friends for the “village” that they had created in my life. So much of the way I parent has come to me by way of influence from mentors and friends who live right next door. What I realize is how much I enjoy gathering women together to learn from one another and encourage each other.
I started our time together with a short story. “I miss the village I never had. The one with mothers doing the washing side by side, clucking and laughing hysterically, tired in body but quick in spirit. We’d know each other so well: annoying one another from time to time, but never staying mad long because the truth is, we need each other.” The Village I Never Had by Bunmi Laditan
Hosting a Mother’s day gathering is really special. It need not be fancy or overdone. There are, in general, three simple components to any gathering.
1. The food. We decided to have a lunch. The women attending the neighborhood weekly Bible study all brought large salads. Click here for a more detailed planning guide.
2. The people. We gave out invitations to all of our neighbors. Click here for an example of a Mother’s day invitation.
3. The purpose. I had invited an “older” mother to share her thoughts (15 minute talk) on Mother’s day.
What an incredible day it was! These weary moms were treated to a soul nurturing time and pampered with great love. The sharing and the laughter was abundant. The village was certainly gathered as we listened and cared for one another, relationships and friendships deepened, and encouragement cascaded into our lives.
Creating moments like this provides opportunity for the Lord to work. What a privilege we have to gather the people around us, to welcome them in our homes and to minister God’s love right where we live.
Click here for more ideas on soul-care for mothers!
How have you reached out to your neighbor’s recently? How do you honor the mothers in your life?