Three days with a group of young moms – it was marvelous. A friend of mine asked if I could come and speak at a retreat with this special group of women and I was delighted to come along side and help. The assumption is that the speaker wil speak and the “audience’ will learn. Well, I am very thankful that these women were encouraged and felt cared for but I learned so much from them.
There were so many good moments but let me tell you about the one that touched me the most.
We were all having lunch together and one of the mothers came back to the table with a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies. She sat down quietly and began to enjoy her dessert. I was sitting across the table, she caught my attention and I began to watch her.
She didn’t just eat a cookie – she savored the taste, she basked in this time away from the enormous amount of responsibility at home and she felt deeply about soaking up every giggle, every nugget of wisdom and every moment of connection with these other young moms. Her eyes began to fill up with tears and she became overwhelmed with joy. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“It’s just so good. I just don’t want this to end.”
…all those emotions, wrapped up in a simple cookie.
I was so deeply moved by the commitment of each young mom who came to this retreat. These are women who missed a big chunk of their youth because they chose to have babies at a young age. They had to grow up much too quickly. They have faced painful truths, dealt with difficult consequences and learned many tough life lessons…
…yet they persevere. Oh, how they persevere. I saw and heard such moving testimonies of the gentleness and the strength of these women.
They have become masters of price matching and feeding big families with small budgets. They’ve learned to sleep with one eye closed and one ear open to the cry of their babies. They rock when they talk and they instinctively comfort and protect. They are honest and vulnerable when they reflect on their daily lives and passionately communicate that they want to give their children more than they have had. When asked about the realities of mothering and finding balance in their lives, they quickly admit that,”it’s hard…it’s so hard.”
I enjoyed every conversation, every baby-holding and mother hugging moment, every verse of “Black Socks,” sung at the campfire, every baby shriek and smile, the crafts, the shoulder massage, the stories, the peppermint tea and the new friendships.
Thank you – each of you – for the privilege of sharing His Word and my stories with you – and for such grace and openness to receive.