Can you see it in their faces, in their mannerisms toward each other? These women have found community.
(Photo from September 1918)
I think a movement is shaping up! Thrilled about it, hardly defines the way I feel about the life I see happening around mom heart groups--new friends being made, groups being forged, hope being given, confidence being built as women step out to invite others into their homes and are finding inspiration as they share life together!
Sweet Jennie Nelson is heading up our groups and organizing women all over the world! We are partners in Mom Heart Ministries and I am soo grateful for the ways God is using her through our ministry. I think you should become a part of this movement! Her words ring so true to my own life! See what she says! Sally--(off writing my next book! )
Sometimes, we feel so lonely that we cannot see that we are surrounded by other lonely people. Someone must take the initiative. It might be a smile, a friendly question or an invitation to attend an event together. Sally often says that, “Every group I’ve ever been a part of, I’ve had to start myself.” Her words were ringing loudly in my ears when I moved to Idaho where I did not know a soul. Idaho? Do people even live there? They do indeed! In order to find community for myself, I had to invite individuals into my life.
Whenever I met a friendly mother on a playground or at the grocery store or buying items on craigslist (!), with heart pounding and hands shaking, I would invite that woman to join me in reading through one of Sally’s books together. After several attempts, one woman said that she’d join me! That’s all it takes to start community: one other person. You can meet together in a home while your children play around you, in a coffee shop, at a park. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you are friendly and welcoming and you keep the focus on Jesus in your conversations.
Reading through a book together gives your conversation focus and challenges you to think differently. It stimulates your mind and engages your heart. It gives you ideas and ideals to pursue in your daily life. Currently, many groups are reading through Own Your Life together. Women are maturing in their faith and in their mothering together. Gradually, God may then bring other women to join you in this community that you built together, beginning with just one other person.
Gretchen Roberts' Group
Here is Gretchen Roberts' experience leading a Mom Heart Group in Wilmington, North Carolina.
"Our Mom Heart group began after a friend and I prayed throughout the summer. Our group meets once a month in the evening from 8-10 pm. We share tea and goodies and then read aloud a chapter from one of Sally and Clay’s books, discuss it and pray together. Reading aloud the chapter together has led to great discussion since the content is fresh on everyone’s mind. It has also been a great reminder as moms for how wonderful it is for someone to read aloud to you, which is a gift we can give our children every day. We created Mom Heart cards for moms to give to other moms they meet at the park, church, or sports activities to invite them to our gatherings. Our heart is to truly give moms a refreshing time where they can come as they are, be encouraged, prayed for, listened to, and fed physically and spiritually. God meets us there as we pray, read and seek to learn how to love our families."
Tea Party by Louis Moeller (1905)
Sally and Clay have provided many resources to make the process of facilitating a Mom Heart Group easier. Most of their books include discussion questions at the end of each chapter or in the back. The newest book, Taking Motherhood to Hearts, is a complete manual of WHAT makes a Mom Heart Group, HOW to start a group, and even WHO to invite. It includes chapters on how to nurture a group once formed. There are some planning forms included to make the process even simpler. I highly recommend this resource to anyone who would like to lead a group and is nervous about taking the first step. I also recommend it to women already leading a group that would like some fresh insight or ideas for nurturing their group.
Do you lead a Mom Heart Group? We’d love to have you join our community on Facebook called “Mom Heart Groups.” This is a place for you to find fellowship amongst other Mom Heart Group leaders. It is also a place to post about your group so that lonely or unconnected women can find an existing community to join. (Note: if you are not on FB and would like to find a group or let women know about your group, please ask a friend to post that information for you. She can then leave the group anytime.) There are also plans being made for other ways to connect leaders to one another. We will let you know here when those come to fruition. We are excited as over 600 women have joined us already and connections are actively being made all over the country and even the world!
I'd love to meet you there!