Mamas Need Friends, Too!


We gathered at an old retreat center at the salty water's edge, historic buildings nestled under ancient oaks.


It had been years since we'd all been together in one place, and there was plenty of giggling and hugging and sharing of chocolate as we hauled our luggage up the stairs to rooms dingy with age but bright with the promise of a weekend dedicated to God and girlfriends. As we pulled couches and chairs together around tables laden with notebooks, Bibles, candles, and flowers, the stories began to spill out. One mama was worried about a son who just couldn't seem to make friends and was often misunderstood and hurt. Another shared the impact a mission trip had made on her heart, turning her plans upside down as she spent several days "useless" in her room with an awful stomach bug, and God reminded her she needed to rest. We prayed over two more who longed for new babies to join their family, and lamented with another whose prodigal son's actions had left her heart bruised. We also enjoyed much rejoicing over new ventures, growth long awaited, and the goodness of God we could see throughout.

"Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God ..."

Acts 2:46-47

Somehow, over the course of those three days, each of our loads was lightened and our hearts were built up as we laid them bare in a safe place, together.

But this wonderful weekend didn't just happen.

Many years ago, I began opening my doors to friends on a pretty regular basis. In the beginning it was two or three of us and several babies crawling around the floor as the moms drank tea and ate cookies and talked, laughed and cried around the living room. We talked about walking with God and potty training, getting the dishes done and the mysteries of Daniel. We walked through marriage difficulties and financial stress, health complications and in-law issues, always reminding one another of God's goodness and love and His willingness to guide and direct and help in every situation.

The gatherings morphed over time, between cross-country moves and the births of new babies, children reaching school age, summer and holidays. Still, the best way to make friends proved to be opening my home--whether it was a casual playtime including children or a monthly book club dinner night when we left them at home. Sometimes we argued. Sometimes, someone misunderstood someone else and we had to work that out. Sometimes a child banged another over the head with the plastic hammer. Sometimes someone couldn't make it for weeks at a time. Still, we kept at it. Because relationships are worth it.

In the midst of a world bent on constant virtual connection, the paradox seems to be that the thing we are most in danger of losing is *actual* connection. As we move forward as a culture where the bulk of our communication and input is what's been typed out on small and large screens, we seem to be rushing toward what I can't help but see as a cliff.

Moments like this don't happen in a text message.

Today, if you're in need of friends, might I suggest something wild and crazy? Consider opening your own doors. Call a friend or two and invite them over. Have them bring their children--or wait for an evening they can come alone, if that suits you better. Choose a good book, read some and get together to talk about it. One year, we gathered in my living room once a month and I read a chapter to my sweet friends as we sat there together! There are several MomHeart groups around the country and even around the world doing just that. It doesn't matter if there are two of you or twelve or twenty or two hundred; if you've known one another for ten minutes or ten years; everyone needs friends and the best way to find like-minded ones is to build your minds around great ideas together.

Thinking of starting a MomHeart group? Want some practical guidance? Check out Sally and Clay's wonderful resource: Taking Motherhood to Hearts!

We also have a MomHeart Group Facebook page where you can share your group if you'd like to open your doors a bit wider--or, If you're not quite ready to start a group of your own, you can use the search feature to see if there's one already meeting in your area!  The Momheart site is another lovely place where those leading groups can receive encouragement.

Oh--those two sweet mamas we prayed for who were longing for new babies? Both expecting, one any day now! Such a joy to be part of one another's lives. 

With summer approaching and the busy-ness of the school year winding down, this may be just the time to consider something new. Friendship is one of the most worthwhile of things to pour some effort into! I pray your own friendships are strengthened as you seek ways to build true, caring relationships into your own busy life. Trust me, it's one of the best decisions you can ever make.

Oh--those two sweet mamas we prayed for who were longing for new babies? Both expecting, one any day now! Such a joy to be part of one another's lives. 

Happy gathering!

Thanks to my wonderful friend, sweet assistant in so many areas, lovely Misty Krasawski, for this great article.