For this Wednesday’s What Not let’s talk a bit about motherhood. It is a richly rewarding experience as well as a challenging call. Make no mistake. Moms matter.
The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.—Henry Ward Beecher
As moms we have a huge responsibility to raise our children well. Scripture is peppered with instruction as it pertains to the significance of pouring love into the next generation. We must invest wisely. Outcomes are imperative. When loved well, children possess great potential and promise.
Children have fewer obstacles to overcome when they’ve been taught in the classroom of a mother’s heart.
Before we get too far into this post, I want to be up front. I’m going to ask for your help. I hope you will prayerfully consider.
Moms unite around the world in the camaraderie that it is, to borrow a slogan from the military, the toughest job you’ll ever love. We are entrusted with little hands and hearts. When nourished and watered well, no telling what those precious hands will build. No telling who they will become.
Remember, our children carry the candle that will light future generations well.
All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.—Abraham Lincoln
Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.—Stevie Wonder
My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.—George Washington
Wow! That’s passing the torch well. (No pressure.) But you never know. Your child or a child you impact may just change the world. A future president. A singer, song-writer. A world-changing Christ-follower.
We don’t know what the future holds for the generation we are charged to nourish.
Nourish so they can flourish.
As important as the job is, being a mom can be exhausting. There are stages and seasons, those when we are elbow deep in diapers. We may wonder if our duty to deal with doodie will ever disappear.
We can’t wait for the door to fly open, with the welcome greeting “Honey, I’m home.” Secretly, our heart skips a beat. Yay! The relief pitcher has come to relieve me – even if it’s just so I can get a shower.
Wait. What’s that?
Dad’s done disappeared? You’ve got diaper doodie on your own? Among other things, this is the life of a single mom. Often, she is left to fend for herself and her children without family support. No relief pitcher stepping in. She’s got all the innings, even if the game goes over.
Flu. Teething. Working extra shifts to afford all that diaper doodie dealing. Sometimes, operating on fumes, sheer exhaustion desires to set in but sleep escapes.
I was a single mom, so I understand their plight. I also have been in the trenches helping single moms. There are some practical issues. Things we can help with.
Regardless of whether you were a single mom, you likely are a mom or a spiritual mom to someone. It is a challenging job even when we have help. Couple the traditional tasks of loving a child well with:
- Housing Challenges
- Financial Issues
- General Life Skills Gaps
- Counseling / Advocacy Needs
- Need For Supportive, Shared Culture
and our next generations’ kids have some serious challenges ahead of them if we don’t help.
When dad disappears due to a divorce or perhaps an untimely death, or maybe was never in the picture at all, that puts a bigger burden on mommy’s shoulders.
That’s a lot of weight to be carrying all by oneself.
But we can help. We don’t have to figure it all out. Someone else is already driving results. They just need support. It’s easy. And it’s healthy too.
Here’s the ‘ask’ and then I’ll share the results being driven.
Fellowship Housing holds a 5K fun run (which means you can walk – easy peasy) to raise funds to help single moms and their children. Please consider participating. We’ve been cooped up all winter long. This is a great opportunity to get outside and get moving.
If you click the picture, you’ll go straight to Fellowship Housing’s events page.
The event is Saturday, May 17, 2014. Starts at 9 am.
Event located in Elk Grove Village, Illinois (Busse Woods).
If we can get a group together, we can all gather and put together a little “fun run team” for fellowship. ANYONE is welcome to join us. Let me know if you register.
At the bottom of this post is a link to a running plan my most awesome husband put together for this event. (Because he loves me. Thanks, Coach!) If you are a beginner, check it out. Coach Sam has everything all laid out – perfect for your feet to hit the pavement running day – May 17th.
Running plan starts next week. Plenty of time to mentally prepare.
I know several of you ARE runners. Hope you will join me in running for a GREAT CAUSE!
What are these difference makers doing?
Fellowship Housing has been in operation for 20 years. They dive deep over a two year period with 18 families per year.
Their tagline sums it up: From homelessness to hope, one family at a time
- Safe Shelter
- Stability In A Crisis
- Financial Literacy Training
Many Fellowship Housing residents have been awarded permanent homes through Habitat for Humanity. In large part, this is based on the Financial Literacy program Fellowship Housing offers. They help single-mother families establish budgets and guide them toward financial freedom (including savings for financial stability!).
Average Family Financial Outcomes
- Increases income by $7,400
- Increases credit score 121 points
- Decreases debt by $8,722
- Increases savings by $2,141
Women obtain housing of their choice for their children, possibly for the first time.
When financial pressure is lifted and housing issues are stabilized, women have a better chance to teach their children well in the classroom of a mother’s heart. Think about it. If you don’t know where your children are going to lay their head at night, it’s difficult to focus on little else beyond meeting basic needs.
Fellowship Housing is a bridge helping moms walk in financial freedom. In my experience, most moms would prefer not to be on public assistance. But they need help. When we give moms the skills and experience, they are equipped for future independent living.
How real is the issue? I’ve got a plethora of single moms in my life struggling to make it. Most are working and still stretching to make ends meet.
One of my friends had to cook dinner on her charcoal grill. She couldn’t afford to pay her gas bill. It came down to a choice: food for the grill or pay the gas bill. Not only was dinner cooked on the grill, no gas meant cold showers. She is a very hard working single mom.
My son is now 26, but there were many times of struggle. I worked, but it was difficult in the early years to make ends meet. I remember one night my electricity got shut off. I couldn’t pay the bill. I was working hard and was too proud to get help through public assistance. My son and I sat on our couch. He was a little guy. I sat rocking him (because he was afraid of the dark) and I cried. I felt like I was a bad mom because I couldn’t provide for him. I did not get child support. I had a “good job”. I couldn’t make ends meet.
Another time, I received a gift in the mail from my grandparents. I would NEVER have told them I needed help. At the time, I couldn’t utter the words “I need help”. Out of the blue, they sent me a financial gift. I sat on my kitchen floor and sobbed relief because we could afford groceries. My grandparents didn’t live close by, so I have no idea how they even knew I needed help. I have to believe it was God who saw my struggle and sent help.
It’s organizations like Fellowship Housing, out there making a difference each day, that get these women and their children back on track.
The other beautiful thing I love about what they are doing is a form of math I like when I see it. Addition and then perhaps multiplication. If the mammas are helped, their children are too. Healthy families intact and on the right track.
We can be God’s answer. We can see the struggle and help. Heck, how hard is it really to run (or walk) in order to lend someone a hand up?
Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.—Billy Graham
The love of a mother is the veil of a softer light between the heart and the heavenly Father.—Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thanks Coach Sam!
I love that Coach Sam!
QUESTIONS & ACTIONS
Register for Fellowship Housing’s 5K Fun Run / Walk. Let me know if you register. We want to put together a little fellowship team if enough people are interested.