A Mother's Day Adventure

Friday night we hit the road for a Mother's Day Adventure. The shuttle pulled up around 6 and the squeals began, or should I say continued? Having no idea what surprises we had in store for them, the mamas piled onto the bus and the excitement grew. Where are we going? What are we doing? We guessed, we snapped pics, and the questions continued.

Before our first stop each mom was handed a little note to tell her what was in store at this location.

Some friends got started with a pedicure, others ate dinner and visited, and the tired ones settled into the couch and dozed off a bit after a very long week of work, school, and family life.

After some fun at the salon, we got back on the bus and continued heading north. Where were we going? There's nothing out this far. We giggled about a nature adventure, and the moans and groans began. We arrived at the destination and the girls were relieved to see this is where we would have dessert and commence our evening. Luckily for us there was a beautiful natural area behind the parking lot and we did end up incorporating a little nature into the night. With pretty toes some frolicked right into the wooded area and some had to be strongly encourage LOL

As we gathered for dessert we talked about the importance of gathering together and extending community. 

Mamas talked with one another about their Mother's Day experiences. There was boisterous laugher over the fun filled days, and tears streaming down as we recounted the loss of children gone to soon.

These precious ones know great joy and some even greater pain. Dear Mamas, on this Mother's Day we want you to know we celebrate YOU and the life you have carried, the ones you never met, the ones you've held and had to let go, the ones you raised and had to place in Jesus' arms too soon, and the ones who keep you up all night. We see you, Sweet Sister. Today we celebrate you and remember all the babies <3

Here are some of the moms opening the last part of their gifts:  When God Made You is a beautiful story that will not only speak truth to her child, but also to her heart. They also received a coffee mug, because parenting needs fuel and sometimes that comes in the form of coffee after a sleepless night. Lastly, a gift card to take a friend for coffee. We continue to encourage moms to extend their community and find hope together.

We ended our evening on sparkly, sweet note. No, seriously! Do you see all the edible glitter on those sweet treats? Thank you Chef Jenna for adding even more glam to the night! 

A little rest, a little self care, rich conversations, sweet treats, and the dearest friends made for one memorable adventure. Are you tired of all the pics yet? Neither are we! Just a few more... 

Thank you to everyone who made this Mother's Day Adventure so special!

We could not have asked for better weather and a better backdrop to enjoy our time together. Reese & Renee are responsible for capturing all of these beautiful moments. THANK YOU! The pics are amazing, but that is reflective of the people they are, so it makes perfect sense. Thank you for engaging in every part of this night with us!

Now, back to the magic of motherhood. There were some bright eyed littles waiting for us, and some who had already crashed. I could not think of a better way to end the evening than wrapping our arms around our kiddos. Thank you for making us mamas!

We just have to say it again, THANK YOU to everyone who made this night possible!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

 

You are Enough! a mentor's reflection (Part 2)

As meals were done being snapchatted and enjoyed that evening, slowly mom after mom began gathering together in a semi-circle and together we found ourselves speaking words of affirmations to one another, words of being enough. 

Initial affirmations of the everyday from their community. Words, phrases spoken that were strong enough, as one mama shared, "to carry us through".

As each and every young woman received their blessing from each and every one of their friends, so was an affirmation of enoughness offered to the group as a whole.

This affirmation, an edited work of Sarah Bessey, was spoken out loud, with belief and trust in the message being offered,

Stop waiting for someone to say that you count, that you matter, that you have worth, that you have a voice, that you have a place, that you are important. Stop waiting for someone else to validate the person that you already know you were made to be.  Stop holding your breath, working to earn others approval, waiting for someone else to tell you that you are worthy, that you are loved, that you are free.

Because, darling, you are valuable. You have worth, not because of your gender or who people think you are or your marital status or your labels or who you know or your checked-off boxes of accomplishments.

You have value beyond all of that. You abide in love, you can rest in your God-breathed worth.

Let me remind you: you are loved. And you are free

As you take small moments to reflect into the coming season of celebration and a new year, will you show her she is enough?

Will you please consider being a voice that speaks of enough?

Will you be a voice to speak favor and acknowledgement for a young woman of Grace's Table. A young woman who just needs to hear that she is enough as a woman, a child of God, and a mother every once in awhile?

Will you take some time to walk alongside her, to recognize her with the greatness and significance they already offer the world and their children?

Will you be the voice that speaks those words into her life each and every week, "You are enough"?

We have an incredible opportunity to show the love of Jesus to young mothers and their tinies, and we want to invite YOU to do that with us! Please take a moment and consider these words, will you?

 

You are Enough! a mentor's reflection (Part 1)

I have this thing for words.

Often I'm too quick to speak them & I repeatedly misuse them. I cheapen them with excess and anger and spill the phrase, "I love you" far too regularly. 

There are times though, when a word or a phrase that I didn't expect to hear catches me so off guard I find myself thinking about it, meditating on it without ceasing.  Often times they are everyday words, words used in grocery stores when speaking of broccoli or chips. While other words are weighted with such significance that they are worthy of being stitched together with photography or a story for our children. 

So in the midst of our evening of gift giving, meal consuming, child caring, photo taking, conversation making I heard such a word is a miracle. Yet, there they were, two young moms, speaking truth to one another, "Girl, you are enough."

Girl, you are enough.

And girl, you are.

You are enough for people to honor and observe.

You are enough, just as you are, to be celebrated through a soul nourishing meal.

You are enough to be photographed, acknowledged, given significance through the lens that captures you just as you are, with all your beauty and scars.

You are enough for your tinies, those little ones that call you mom, who exhaust your mind but cultivate the depths of your heart.

You are enough and yes, this evening is all for you. You are worthy of celebration.

You are enough, you are adequately prepared for your life, you are sufficient for the purpose of mothering and growing and being loved.

In less than 30 days, we will be gathering together to celebrate Christmas 2016 and reflect on a year of journeying life together. Some of the journey has been celebrated on the mountain tops, some in the struggle of the everyday, and some has been wept over in the depths of the valley.

One thing remains true...

YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Sons & Daughters: A Thirst for Belonging

Are you looking to explore hope and belonging in the midst of uncertainty?

Maybe you are trying to make sense of this life and your story.

It is our pleasure to invite YOU to the Our Daily Bread Ministries film premiere of Sons & Daughters: A Thirst for Belonging on Monday, November 14, at 7 p.m. at Celebration! Cinema Nort

This story features three different individuals who have faced very different trials in life, and found themselves asking questions that cause them to explore belonging.  

Join us by securing your FREE ticket at sonsanddaughterspremiere.eventbrite.com

For months I prayed over this day...

The day had come, it was the Grace's Table Christmas Celebration.

Volunteers gathered and we prayed that Jesus would be known and that the girls would walk away from this night knowing more about their value, and we left it in His hands.

We took family pictures and checked little ones into childcare, and then the mamas gathered in front of a special door. A door that led to a fine dining experience and so much more.

The door was opened, and there were squeals of delight, gasps for air, and hands flung to cover their faces, because it really was a site to behold. And then she asked...

"Is this really for us?"

Yes, sweet girl, this is all for you. 

And the tone for the evening was set. From family pictures and amazing childcare, to a 4-course meals that is still being talked about, to a portion of the night where we affirmed value - these mamas know they are loved!

Later in the evening each of the girls were given a gift of a mirror. Ms. Karla, one of our volunteers shares the following...

"My favorite part was when we gave each girl, one-by-one, a mirror to look into and then told them all the magnificent things about them and their unlimited potential."

Many of the words they heard that night had been shared by their peers. We collected them and added some affirmations and then had the privilege of speaking truth into their lives.

How did the moms feel about this? One mama shares...

“I’ve never felt so loved and appreciated before in my life until last night”

Thank you to our Christmas Angels, Partners, Sponsors, and Volunteers. You made this night possible and our hearts are filled with gratitude!

Merry Christmas!

Lisa E. Anderson
Founder of Grace's Table

P.S. If you are celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with us - You have helped us raise One Partridge in a Pear Tree, Two Turtle Doves, and Three French Hens. THANK YOU! Today is Four Calling Birds ($600), almost the equivalent of a month of Life Skills Courses. Grab some friends and see if you can help us reach today's goal.