Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dear Mama,

"It takes a village to raise a child" has always been one of my most hated quotes. I've seen the village and I don't want them coming near my children. But there is some truth to the quote. We need women who have gone before us to come along side us and offer suggestions, guidance and prayer, lots of prayer. I guess I have been so opposed to the village idea from early on in my motherhood journey. Before I had kids I knew exactly how I would raise my kids and how they would turn out. I was a Nanny after all, how different could it be (hardy har har). After I had little babies I was still resistant to all the advice, much of it was so overwhelming. As my gals have gotten older and I have been able to hear things a little better, hopefully my pride has waned a bit.

Last Tuesday we were blessed to hear from our mentor Mamas. If we should listen to anyone it should most definitely be them, godly women who have been in the trenches. They had many excellent tidbits for training and raising our precious babes.The two that stuck with me and convicted me the most were the advice to cherish our kiddos, and Erin's advice on staying in the Word.

It is so hard to cherish these times. Yet all the Mentor Mamas echoed that we do just that. My motherhood pendulum can swing back and forth daily from feeling head over heels in love with my kids to anger, frustration and planning my escape to Mexico at any moment. But it is so true that it happens so fast. Isn't that the number one thing we hear after we have babies from fellow Mamas...'it will go by so fast.' I have a 9 year old you guys, and she has her nose in a book almost all day and an eye roll at the ready. But those moments that she lets me cuddle her, I take those in. Breathe them in, Mamas breathe in that baby sleeping on your chest. That toddler running towards you with arms up...breathe it all in. It truly is like the blink of an eye.

And the most convicting part of the panel last week was Erin's Pitcher, Cup & Saucer analogy. God is the pitcher pouring into us as we draw near to Him. Only after we have been filled by Him can our overflow spill out onto those around us. Eeekk, knife through the heart. Lately my time alone with God has been pretty dry. Then I went to church on Sunday and the sermon was on parenting. Our Pastor was going over and over again on the importance of our relationship with God and how it affects our parenting. (Okay Lord, I hear ya). And isn't that so true? We can't do this parenting thing alone. Yes, we need advice from Mamas who have gone before us, but most importantly we need the Lord. We need to be seeking Him daily so we can pour out kindness, goodness, patience, self-control and love on our babies.

So yes I fail daily, no one is a perfect person or Mama. But thankfully today is a new day. A day to spend time with God, even if it's just 10 minutes. A day to cherish these babies and show them how much we love them. Breathe it in Mamas, as you hustle and bustle around with your busy day. Stop and take in these moments. Because those are the most important things we will do all day. Talking to God and loving our babies is our most important work.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Hospitality. I love it. It’s my jam, as it is my mom’s, my grandmother’s and so on. I was raised in a very hospitable family. But, we tended to be more of the Martha’s than the Mary’s, always being busy little bees with some impertinent detail that just couldn’t wait. My dear grandmother will still miss half of a party because she’s too busy cleaning up the kitchen! I would work myself into a tizzy trying to make sure every area of my house was picked up and everything laid out just so….I had an impression to make ya know!

Then I had children. Three of the most spirited, adventurous whirlwind kids came into my life and hospitality took on a whole new look. I still love to have people over, and throwing a good party with detailed decorations is still so much fun, but I’ve also learned to let go and let em’ in!

Hospitality in this stage in my life has become “Come on in! Have some coffee, kick off your shoes and let the kids make a mess!” There will probably be dishes in my sink, and a whole weeks worth of laundry piled on my bed. My kids will most likely only be half dressed, but
welcome to our home! This is us doing life and we’d love to do it with you!

Now, I know I may sound carefree and crazy, not caring that your sock just got stuck to some sticky substance on my kitchen floor, but I’m only human. I still struggle with the need to perform, to seem like I have it all together. Pinterest oozes from my home. (I just spent the
last 30 minutes picking up my house before our Heating guy shows up. For the love.) But over the past few years hospitality has evolved into moments of being genuine, making the connection and making sure everyone feels at home. It no longer means an immaculate house, perfectly obedient children and a face with makeup...It means opening my home and my heart to whomever walks through my door with whatever condition myself or my home may be in. Truly listening, wanting to understand and being there for that person who has taken a seat on our well loved couch.

I have a dear friend who I treasure doing life with. We can both look/smell atrocious, our house a health hazard and our kids complete disasters, but if the other one needs some company, a word of encouragement or a safe place to regroup/gather themselves, our door is
always open. It has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.

The “image” and obsession over details that don’t truly matter has always been a
struggle for me, which is why I think it’s funny that God called me to help lead our MOPS Hospitality! As soon as I was asked, I immediately started thinking about all the decorations and fun little details we could do, but then God grabbed me lovingly by the heart and reminded me
that it’s not about the frills and the fancy and the matching tablecloths...it’s about you, the women who walk through our doors, each with a beautiful and unique story. I know I still have a lot to learn, and there will still be days I struggle with giving my heart to the things that really
matter, but it is my prayer that each and every woman that comes into our MOPS family feels welcomed, safe and loved. There may not be a pinterest worthy decoration or game, but I will always have open arms and a cup of coffee waiting for you!

- Mallory