Parenting

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!

Sometimes you just have to praise Him...

We took our picture on the front steps and I could see a bit of hesitation in her eyes. As everyone hugged and said our goodbyes she asked, "Lisa, will you pray for baby J? He failed both of his hearing tests and it will be one month before we retest." I asked Baby J's Mama if it was okay for some of us to lay hands on him and pray right then and there. She welcomed that and myself, my Mom, and another young Mama began to pray over this little stinker that has stolen our hearts in just a few short weeks. 

You see this space that you all have helped us cultivate, the one where mamas from all over Kent County come to by foot, car, and bus. It is this space that you have and continue to help transform into a safe haven with loving and caring adults where mamas know they can share life, ask questions and ask for prayer. 

This space is open to anyone of any belief who is a teen mom between the ages of 13-24 who is seeks community. We do pray over our meals, and each week I make an offer to the mamas that goes like this,  "If you would like me to pray for you in the week to come please let me know and I will gladly do just that".  This is simply an offer, we do not push anything on anyone. There is just an invitation.

Not everyone in this space is a Jesus follower and I love that! I do not want to only surround myself with people of my own beliefs. I want my life, words, and home to shine and reflect Jesus to all. It is not only through the adults that Jesus shines here, but through mamas who will pray for mamas and those who give good report. It makes an impact when adults share of His goodness, but when another mama is the one to share of His goodness...WHOAAA! Brace yourself! 

Now back to the story. Fast forward one month...Last night as I asked if I could pray for anyone in the week to come this mama said, "Well, I have a praise! Baby J passed his hearing test!" Come on you guys! Talk about the power of Jesus. The mamas all celebrated together and it was a great way to start off that part of the evening. My soul is blessed by these sweet families!

It is with sincerest gratitude that I thank you for partnering with us to make Grace's Table happen each week ❤️

 

It Takes A Village

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If you would have been in this space tonight you would have heard and seen so much and I am convinced your heart would have burst from the beauty. It's impossible to contain the joy and love and sadness and joy that all exist within this space. 

The sounds alone are incredible. The squealing delight of little girls that is so high pitched your ears might just bleed a little. Or the cooing of a two month old little boy who has so much to say he can't possibly get it all out. A mama speaking in Spanish to her son and he responds and their conversation is seriously music to my ears, but then it is what I see that moves me to tears. 

A mama who gets down on her daughter's level to provide guidance and when she doesn't listen she redirects her out of the room to sit in another room and take a break. Not only did this mama do this one time, but three times and when patience was wearing thin, this mama chose to walk away because she needed a break and what happened next is more than I could have asked for. 

A mama follows the mama to encourage her and cheer her on. Another mama steps in to take over where one had left off and every mama in this house shifted to a new space. The space where she now needed to be. It was like everyone knew exactly what their part was in this village. In this tribe where mamas love one another and each other's children. Where nobody was threatened by anyone else helping them or their children. This was a beautiful picture of not just community, but FAMILY. 

Where encouragement amongst mamas ended in prayers for strength right there on the porch and love and community was not only sensed, but experienced. This is what we are about. This space is a foundation in the lives of many. This place represents stability. This space is love. 

 

Something Holy

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This morning a friend posted a blog entry from A Holy Experience and the words on family gripped my heart. Somehow they put pen to paper and described my heartbeat for this family we are building Around the Table. 

And we aren’t merely born into families, families are born out of our reaching out and holding on and serving anyways and giving always. Giving always.

That’s what family means: People love you & keep on holding on to you especially when you’re not lovable.

It’s not only the blood in our veins that make us family — it’s the blood and sacrifice in our days that makes us a family.

Every time we make time for each other, we make family.

Family is a verb. Family is not just what we are, it’s something that we actively keep on making.

Something holy is happening in this space at 835. Family is being built and when we talk about putting other's needs before our own it is happening: you to teen mom, me to you, teen mom to teen mom, and teen mom to me. This beautiful family is learning what it means to be family. It is not easy, it is not always fun, but oh to be known and come home to a space where you know your family is waiting for you and welcoming you with great anticipation. I pray that you would know this love, this family that breaks our heart and also makes it beat strong. There is so much beauty here.