Around the Table

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 ❤️

 

This is about family

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This is about family, a tribe, a little band of people who walk through it all together, up close and in the mess, real time and unvarnished.

And it all started around the table...
— Shauna Niequist

 

In December 2013, we began gathering for dinner and we called these gatherings Around the Table. It was in this space that we would break bread and share life with teen mothers. These words taken from Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist perfectly describe what is happening Around the Table in Grand Rapids. ‪

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.