So, I’m thinkin’ about starting a group in my new neighborhood. I think I’ll call it aptly, “Mommies R Us”...
What’s a group for, if it’s not for ‘support’? I’ve already written about the many parallels of ‘good bras and good friends’. And I’m serious, y’all! True dat.
Ya see, our backyard is THE meeting place in our new hood. It used to be my lovely neighbor across the street (with all their fancy ridin’ machines...that was until we got our trampoline put up (and staked down to avoid finding it crashed into some poor, unfortunate soul’s back door due to caa-razily excessive Kansas wind gusts).
You should see all the Mommies and their wee monkeys congregate in and around the Schroeder trampoline....or ’bounce-a-line’ as one little Chica likes to refer to it. There’s such a plentiful harvest when I look around my hood. I went from being the youngest (o.k., o.k., one of the youngest) to pretty darn near the oldest Mom when we moved back to this new Kansas neighborhood.
And I often wonder, ‘Hmmmm, LORD, why here? Why now?’. Well, I’m still not completely sure of all that...
One thing I am aware of as I ponder these young mothers’ lives, I’m reminded of how hard it was for me in the early years of my children’s lives and having no family close by to contribute to a sane mind. Dating goes out the window, for sure! Resentment sometimes set in and not because I didn’t love mothering my four BLESSINGS...it was because I felt I never had a break or relief from my duties as Mommy. Really, I think it was because I saw that many of my friend’s had a strong family support system around them. And I was completely and utterly jealous, as the nearest help I had was eight hours to the South. Can you hear my tiny violin?
Today, I believe that the strongest kind of ministry grows out of the strongest kind of need. I needed prayer. I needed closeness to another who identified with my struggles. I needed the acknowledgement that though my job was EXTREMELY tough at times, often unappreciated, and left me wondering where in the sam-hill was the fruit of all that labor was hiding itself - it was indeed, all on purpose...it was altogether an integral part of Kingdom building. It was my calling.
I needed to hear that no, I wasn’t completely insane, I was just journeying the well-worn path of motherhood that many insecure, but effective feminine Troopers had traveled before me...and survived to tell about it! I needed to hear, ‘GREAT JOB, Mom!! Yep, I understand you don’t feel accomplished, but YOU ARE BABY!!!”. I needed the unconditional love from another older Mother who had survived the ‘young years of small children under her feet’...because I always found hope when I was graced with the presence of a SANE, loving Mother who had grown into something I wanted to see in myself.
I needed someone to call me and ask how I was doing. Even though I probably would’ve said, ‘I’m fine!’ (which would’ve been a tall tale!), nonetheless, I would’ve cherished a phone call, email, or card from a sister who had walked the path I was then on.
Not that I didn’t get that from time to time. I just needed more...more closeness and a link to the thriving, teeming world happening outside my confined walls of endless cries, demands, dried milk smells, crushed cheerios under my toes, and ‘Mommy, I need this or thats’. I needed a link to the LIVING in the form of SANITY!
Isn’t it so wonderful that Scripture instructs us that us older women are to
‘wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children)? ~ Titus 2:4
That means, young mothers, we have to be taught these things by other godly women. When we’re not being taught these things, it makes our struggles that much greater than they should be. This is why we believe that we are loco en la cabeza! And sometimes act like it! And we would be partially right, as proper instruction and hands on training from an older woman who has invited us into her life is what promotes a sane and sober-minded young mother, capable of loving her husband and children.
While I won’t be aware of all these mothers’ many needs, by His Ruach, I can be aware of some of them. I can pray for them as HE prompts. I can tell them I have done so. I can invite them into my life by inviting them into my home (or backyard). I can tell them, ‘GREAT JOB, Mom!! Hang in there, Girl...it’ll bear fruit one day soon!’. I can help them to see that we’re all walking together in this great, adventurous journey of godly Mothering. I can let them see I ‘fa sho’ don’t have it all together, but I’m on my way to a great place by His superior GRACE...wanna come??!!
Oh yeah, and if you so care to strike out in this daring fulfillment of transparent, Seed-Sowing Titus 2 Call on your life, then you have to care about what they think about you without fearing possible judgement. Comprende? Sometimes, HE calls us to step outside all comfort zones to effective ministry.
So, as I look out of my kitchen window and watch Mommies with newborns tightly snuggled in their slings as their older siblings bounce with glee, I ask the LORD, “How can I help these young mothers be better Mothers, better wives, sane sisters and loving, fruitful, productive, joyful women?”
And then I think...by first being one myself. This is the way to NOT waste those years of what seemed like perpetual struggling.
What does this ‘training’ look like in your life, practically speaking?