So often I hear moms talk about wanting to serve the poor and being frustrated that they cannot practically serve with young children. There are many local organizations that do not allow children to volunteer or even be present at their facilities due to liability issues. And it can be difficult to feel that you are living the Gospel even if you do intentionally serve your family as a way to live the Good News.
But I guarantee you there are moms around you that are in need. They are just like you. They might be you. Just today I have been texting two friends who are significantly suffering emotionally this weekend, pledged to pray for a friend of a friend with a terribly difficult pregnancy situation, chatted with two moms facing the challenges of live-in mothers-in-law, shared my own struggles with uncertainties in the near future, and listened to a couple of other women share about family members whom they struggle to love.
I have had two mom friends share with me they have had a panic attack in the past two months. Two moms told me last month about the real challenges to cut back on their families' extracurricular activities to reduce their stress levels. Three mothers I know are enduring the hassle of moving across the country, as well. And two other friends bear the cross of a spouse who doesn't practice the faith.
That's eight of us today and another nine in the past two months, and those are just the ones I can remember at the moment. All these women are in need of mercy. We are, at the moment, the poor in spirit. What can we do to lift them up even if they don't ask for help?
- Pray! I would hope this goes without saying, but I know it needs said. We say "I'll pray for you," but how often do we remember to pray for those intentions? Do you have a book of intentions or another place to record those needs? I use the Echo app to keep track of who needs my prayers, because in my life, if it's not written down, it doesn't exist!
- Text! This a very easy way to say hello and check in on friends. Send them a Scripture verse or just a smiley to brighten their day. Checking in to see how they're doing allows them the freedom to respond or to hold things in their heart, as needed.
- Drop off a meal/flowers/chocolate/wine! If you are at the store and see something that might lift the spirits of a fellow mom, grab it and leave it on their doorstep. Or make a meal that can be easily frozen and call to ask when would be a good time to deliver it (rather than ask if you can bring a meal).
- Call! Make a commitment to call a friend once a week. You don't have to call the same friend every week, but nourishing friendships by making the personal connection of a phone call can dramatically impact those who are suffering. Not only do you give them the chance to vent if they wish, you make it clear that you are there when they need you.
- Meet for coffee or a margarita! There's nothing quite like one on one face to face time to build relationship. I have been trying to make this a priority with several of my friends, and I can't tell you how beneficial the quality time is to our weary souls. Sometimes it's with kids, and sometimes it's just us. But seeing the face of a friend always fills my cup!
One essential note: If you are the one in need, please ask for and accept offers of help from others. You are actually extending grace by allowing them to serve you. You are giving them the opportunity to witness to the mercy of Christ. Both the giver and the receiver are blessed, so do not feel embarrassed or weak by asking for assistance!
Has there been a time that someone unexpectedly reached out to you when you were in need? How did that impact your suffering?