I am a mother & so are you

by Cheryl Moses

For all my single girls, marrieds without kids and for your precious sisters whose wombs will forever be empty….

As Mother’s Day approaches I often find myself a bit nostalgic. Everyone is making plans for the day – celebrations, surprises, and family gathering, but not me, and I’m okay with that.

My mother passed away when I was 28. I’m almost a couple of decades past that now, but I still miss her. I don’t despise the plans others are making, nor do I wish the day away. Life and death are part of our experience and we shouldn’t let the latter overshadow the first.

 Yet this Mother’s Day I’ve been thinking about you – your hearts, your longings, your pain and disappointments. Mostly, I’ve been thinking how lonely many of you must feel on Mother’s Day. This is that day when the sting of words, glaring stares, confused looks and inconsiderate words come back to haunt you. You know the ones I’m talking about because they’re etched in your mind and some still prick your heart.

 “Why haven’t you had kids yet? Don’t you want them?” Or in my case, “You’ve NEVER had kids? Wow!”

Here are a few others that I especially abhor, “You wouldn’t understand because you don’t have kids,” and my least favorite, “Well that’s because you don’t have kids.”

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No one sees the tears you cry in secret because of the pain in your heart to bear children. No one understands the choices you’ve made that have lead you to where you are. No one but you know what God has called you to, and sometimes even you wonder about that.

Whether you are single by choice or like me, still waiting, or whether you’re childless by choice or still praying, barren or awaiting the call that will fill your arms with a child, please hear me today. You are significant. Your life matters! THERE IS GREAT VALUE IN YOU TODAY.

 Embrace your own unique journey. You will never have the freedom and opportunities you do now. Enjoy them! Cherish them! Honor the Lord through them. 

Good moms are not born. They’re taught. Whether you were privileged to be raised by one or not, start mothering right where you are. Take a younger woman under your wing. Pour into her. Love on a few babies. Help a young mom out. Do for others what you’d want if you were in their shoes. Use your life to bless them while you wait for your own blessing to arrive. 

Do not lament what you don’t have. Rejoice in God’s goodness to you today! He gives in abundance where gratefulness abides. As you give thanks for what is good in your life, your desire may not fade but your spirit will find peace with you today. God is not punishing you with barrenness or singleness. You are not suffering the plight and stigma of empty arms. You are simply holding out for God’s goodness while your arms find their way around another daughter or son to love. 

 

Do what many busy moms cannot. Give yourself away, mothering the motherless, or whomever the Lord puts in your path. Oh, the power of your voice and the impact of your influence. You don’t have to bear children to be a mother.

Allow your current circumstance to groom you for the person you wish to become. Don’t allow the enemy’s lies to keep your heart filled with sorrow. Step into the innate desire within us all – every woman, to nurture and to care for someone. It’s embedded within you. So it has to spill out somewhere or else your heart will become sick.

 I received a gift this week from an anonymous giver. It was this beautiful purple rose, a real one that had been dipped in 24 kt gold. Whoever sent it knows I love purple, but it was the enclosed note that got me. I’ve reread it multiple times this week because it touched me so deeply.

It simply said, “Cheryl Moses, thank you for being a spiritual Mom to so many. You are loved, greatly!”

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Your words can touch where a mother’s cannot, even though they’ve said the same thing over and over to their children. Your life makes a difference. Your words matter. You are not broken because you’re not a mom. Your life is a beautiful gift waiting to be poured out. Please share it today.

 Love Cheryl.

 

CHERYL MOSES. (1)

A Mother’s Day Reflection for ALL Women

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by Miriam Jessie

A reflection that is for all women as we approach Mother’s Day.

As a mother the idea of Mother’s Day delights me, but in a church context I both love and tremble at bringing this celebration through the doors and into the church.

In every ‘Happy Mother’s Day’, I am reminded of a time I sat with a friend who cried at another period announcing her hope for motherhood was dashed again.

I think of the single friend who has such a great capacity for love, who longs for motherhood and sees no answer to that longing.

I think of the women who fill pews and live silent about abortions they have had because they already feel condemnation and no space to be loved and grieve their loss.

I weep for the women who have been rejected and hurt by the adults they once rose to tend in the midnight hours.

I feel the silent crushing weight of the myriad of women who feel they are failing to mother ‘as they ought to’. Continue reading “A Mother’s Day Reflection for ALL Women”

to love and to feed them

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By EMMA CRAUFORD

It has occurred to me that when it comes to raising children, nothing can actually prepare you for each new season.

I don’t like this.

If at all possible, I would prefer 12 months notice on All Issues That Will Arise with each of my children. Then I could plan, research, study, hold focus groups and interrogate All Those Who Have Gone Before and demand their wisdom and insights. I could search for the people who have experienced the exact same thing that my kids will and ask them “What do I do?” Continue reading “to love and to feed them”

Live simply, love deeply and the principle of the oxygen mask

by Emma Crauford

I have recently said “No” to a few things.

Good, worthy and lovely things.
“No” isn’t my normal default position and it tastes a bit gritty in my mouth when I say it. But with it only being February and a couple of my warning lights already flashing, I knew I needed my answer to be “No” this time.

A good old-fashioned breakdown 9 years ago taught me how to recognize my warning lights before I was at the point of a full CODE RED. Continue reading “Live simply, love deeply and the principle of the oxygen mask”

The Year That Was

by EMMA CRAUFORD

It’s 6am and I can’t sleep.

My mind is a jumbled mess of Christmas to do lists and random thoughts and although I feel bone weary, I decide to get up. Maybe if I start writing my mind will quieten down?

It’s rare I am up before one of my sons, so there is something special about a quiet house, where everyone else is snug and sleeping and I have the lounge and the peace all to myself.

Staring at my Christmas tree and watching the rain outside I can’t help but wonder what next year holds? What’s around the corner that I can’t see or plan for yet? Continue reading “The Year That Was”

My Guide to an Un-stressy Christmas

by SIMONE GRAHAM

In the past, as Christmas approached, you may have found me madly rushing around buying presents/baking gingerbread/mulling wine/decking the halls/recreating endless stuff I found on Pinterest and through all this trying to get into the holiday spirit.

In years gone by I would have been Advent Calendar-ing and Elf-on-the-Shelfing with the best of them. My teeth would be nearly ground to nubs from the sheer effort of trying to drag my family kicking and screaming into the Spirit of Christmas. Whether they liked it or not. Continue reading “My Guide to an Un-stressy Christmas”

Celebrating is Important

The news is heavy today.  Despite the uncertainty or perhaps because of it,  this post of Simone’s couldn’t be timed better.   My heart felt lighter and my soul felt ready to face the world again when I’d finished reading it.  Celebrations are important.  Now more than ever.  Can I encourage you to set aside the news cycle for a moment and read this instead.  Live brave, sister! Meredith xo

BY SIMONE GRAHAM

With Christmas looming and BBQ season cranking up, it can feel a bit overwhelming if you find yourself having to play host when it’s not really your thing. I write a blog called Great Fun etc which is known for its party posts, but can I let you in on a little secret? I’m not naturally a party person. I’m not an extrovert, I don’t like crowds and I struggle day-to-day with organisation. Yet somehow we have managed to create a family culture where we love to celebrate.

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Every birthday, anniversary, and special occasion will see us hosting a party of some kind.  (Which is kind of odd because I am actually a bookworm introvert). This started out slowly. In the early years birthday parties were at Chipmunks Indoor playground, and I’d attempt a cake. But somehow over the years I discovered that I enjoyed making people feel special. And welcome. And I loved creating an atmosphere, using my imagination, using what I have to create a bit of magic… Long before I blogged I began loving creating parties – because of the memories and the warm fuzzy feeling that came when I made my kid or my friends or my hubby feel important.

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Nowadays, we love to have people over and spend time with special people enjoying an occasion together. I can whip up a mean party in half a day. I’ve learnt some tricks (mainly how to stay calm, how to minimise the workload and to always, always have a rain plan).

If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, you’ll know it can be a little bit overwhelming – all that cleverness. If we start to compare our efforts with just a fraction of what we see there we can start to feel terribly inadequate and awfully overwhelmed. So don’t bother comparing. Stop looking at Pinterest, if it’s making you feel that way.

What matters is not that everything at your celebration is themed and Picture perfect – what matters is that you celebrate.

It matters that your guests feel welcomed and that the birthday person feels special. What matters is that you enjoy yourself too, and that memories are made because you’ve spent time with people who matter to you, not that you got hung up on hosting the perfect Pinnable Party.

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Even though I delight in coming up with creative ideas for the celebrations we host, I’m more into making memories and a little bit of magic, not starring on Pinterest with big budget professional parties. I love at-home parties that don’t just look pretty but are fun to be at.

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Round here, we’re fans of the deceptively-simple, we like to re-use, upcycle and get creative. We involve our kids in the planning and preparation, we get a kick out of being clever and focus on having fun.  All our parties are home-made, on a budget and absolutely enjoyed by all (kids and adults alike).

When it comes to birthdays, we believe celebrating each other is a way of showing appreciation and letting each person know that they’re valued and special. At Christmas, we’ve learnt that less is more and magic moments are more likely when you’re not stressed by trying to do too much (but that’s a whole other story).

Celebration is such a part of our family culture now. For us, Celebrations are a must.  They are a highlight. A bright spot. A peak in what can sometimes feel like a year of valleys. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” the Proverb says. And so it does.

When things are feeling grim and heavy, throw a party – even if it’s just you and your kids. Celebrations don’t have to involve crowds of people or weeks of planning. Sometimes an impromptu “party for no reason” can brighten up a dull or disastrous week.

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To help with impromptu parties we have:

  •  a pretty impressive dress-up collection which has been added to over nine years
  •  a crafty box, filled with bits and bobs, a glue gun and leftover party bits, like balloons
  •  a cake decorating drawer, filled with food colouring, squeezy tubes of gel icing, sprinkles,
  • cachous and candles (again, collected and added to over the years)
  •  jar lanterns, candles, Christmas lights,  fabric bits,  mosquito nets and tablecloths, for
  • decoration
  •  a collection of face paints and glitter, added to over time, from the good old dollar store
  •  a brazier that we light and sit around – cooking sausages, toasting marshmallows and playing games

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It takes half an hour to whip up a batch of Cupcakes, and set up a pretty table. We raid the cupboards for fruit to chop, popcorn to pop and marshmallows to make it a bit festive. Sometimes we call the neighbours and invite them to share the goodies; sometimes we party on our own. We turn on some music and dance (or ride bikes or have a water fight). Instant party. Impromptu parties are so enjoyable, truly.

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We often throw one during the school holidays. I make sure to invite mums I want to hang out with who have children my kids will enjoy playing with. Everyone brings food to share (“something festive”). I call it a party, and once you call it a party, it is one. 

Throwing the odd party for no reason might be the very thing you need to boost your spirits, every now and then! You may be surprised at how easy it is. All you need is some bunting, a few friends and some cake.  If you don’t have bunting, just friends and cake.  If you can’t find friends at short notice, just cake and bunting and your kids.

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There should always be cake (but you can always train your kids to bake it). A birthday party need take no more work than this, really. When it comes to birthdays, the crucial thing is not the decor, it’s the celebration. Taking a day to let someone know they are a special and valued member of the family. That they are loved and appreciated. King or Queen for a day. Celebrated.

That’s why we party.

A full list of all our parties, including photos can be found here {click}

simone

 Simone Graham blogs at Great Fun etc  she is a Party Nut, Mother, Wife, Book Lover, Blogger, Human Being.  She’s coming to you from Auckland, New Zealand, where she lives with her crazy family in a 1920’s bungalow which she loves to DIY.