Friday, November 4, 2011

The Value of Encouragement

For the last four weeks now, the little dude and I have been taking Addie to Awana.  Usually as we are driving down the last dirt road before hitting the main road, we pass Brian who is just getting home from work.  Because right now we are a one vehicle family, Brian ends up having to stay home.  We usually stop our vehicles (Brian drives a work truck) in the middle of the road, roll down the windows, call "I love yous" back and forth to each other, Brian gives Addie a little pep talk about saying her verses to her teachers, and we head off in our respective directions. 

The first night I took the kids (I really do like saying "the kids"!), I thought I didn't have enough hands.  Our pastor saw me, came running across the parking lot, took my diaper bag and Addie's hand, and walked us to Addie's class.  I already loved our pastor for being such a sweet and humble man, but now I loved him even more.  He didn't view himself as being above helping a mother with two kids.  As we walked he said, "I remember those days."

Addie went to her class (which she absolutely loves) and Buddy Boy and I sat in the lobby of the pre-school building.  I'm not ready to leave him yet, and I don't think it would be a good idea to try to sit in on a class right now.  I would end up missing at least 30 minutes of the session due to Ian's feeding. 

While we were sitting there, the pre-school coordinator came up and sat with us and began sharing Mommy tips, advice and experiences.  Her two are now teenagers, but it was so nice to hear what she had to say, especially since she was such an encouragement to me. 

A few minutes later, another mom of two teens and a 3 year old came up and began sharing motherhood moments and tips also.  (Have any of you nursing mothers out there ever heard of tea bags and how they relieve soreness? I never had either!)

After some time, our children's minister came in, saw Ian, took him, and began cooing all over him.  Her two are now married.  Again the encouragement, mommy tips, motherhood stories, and advice was priceless.  For about 15 minutes the 4 four of us (plus Ian) sat or stood there chatting, laughing, exchanging stories,  ideas and tips, and loving every bit of motherhood- even the middle of the night feedings.

When we arrived home to my hubby who had kept himself busy helping me finish up the loose ends that I had not gotten around to that day, I told him that I felt like I had had church that evening.  No, I hadn't been in an actual service.  No, there had not been a time of singing or testimony. 

However, I had been flooded with encouragement. 

I was encouraged by other moms whose children spanned across the age groups.  By other moms who viewed their children as gifts to be treasured.  By women who balance multiple roles on their plates and still manage to smile brightly. 

And that night, after Brian made the two of us a cup of hot tea, I smiled to myself as I remembered what I had learned from these other moms.

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