to the full
since we moved into our house three years ago i have been praying for young families to move in around us. i asked for families of color too since we were on the domestic infant adoption journey anticipating a transracial adoption. i did not get families of color, but i did get two additional young families with kids around my kids ages in addition to the family we met who had moved down the street before we arrived.
this past may and june the two families we were closest with from our old church moved away. we had known for six months that they would be moving. i was so sad as the mamas were my closest friends and mentors that i had prayed for and felt god provided. but i trusted that even thought it felt so sad and i did not understand why he would take them away so soon, god would provide again as he moved them to a different location and season and me into a new season myself.
since juniper was born i started a friday morning mamas group that meets in the lobby at our church, ward, and developed closer relationships with two other mamas in the group that i had known previously. now one of them is moving in a month (seriously god?? ha) but that group has been a cool turn of events from me seeking mentoring (something i will always need and desire!) to being a mentor mama of sorts myself as most of the mamas have one baby nine months old or younger.
i was so honored to be asked to consider joining the leadership team of my mother's of preschoolers (MOPS) group at ward after juniper was born. i submitted what i hoped was a somewhat coherent application to be a discussion group leader in the sleep deprived first few weeks post-partum with juniper. i knew the leadership team would be a new group of mamas i would meet with regularly and get to know on a deeper level, as well as have the chance to serve the mamas of our group. i was hesitant to apply for a position on the leadership team as i had only been part of the group for a year and worried that maybe the higher level commitment would be too much. but i wanted to do something! discussion group leader seemed like a good entry point with maybe a leadership team position down the road. when i got a text from the co-coordinator to talk more about joining the leadership team, in lieu of being a discussion leader, i was so humbled and full of gratitude. and so excited to be part of this core group of mamas! oh the kindness of god. now i am serving in the publicity role running the facebook page and getting the opportunity to exercise my creativity designing the newsletter and other items. what fun!
tonight my girls and i went to our neighbor’s house two doors down to play in their backyard. these neighbors know and love jesus, and the mama had prayed for another jesus loving mama to be friends with. i was her answer to prayer, and she was mine! our kids played so well together and i got to talk to the mama for FOUR hours! we have so much in common (for instance, we are BOTH enneagram ones) and have faced similar struggles. i was able to encourage her and send some resources that have helped me. watching our children play and laugh and enjoy being outside just made my heart burst with gratitude. what a sweet gift from god. THIS is childhood, THESE are the moments i live for as a mama. also, bina's face. dying.
we started a supper club with our three young family neighbors near us that launched after we invited everyone over for a good friday easter egg hunt and dinner back in april. (side note: the two families from our old church that moved away in may and june were part of our supper club that disbanded shortly before we started this new one. look at god providing!) the adults meet once a month for dinner and we rotate hosting. it has been this really beautiful fun group and i am just blessed beyond what i ever anticipated when i asked for young family neighbors, and for god to provide after taking away my two closest friends. between all of us young family neighbors we have nine kiddos (so far! ha) that play well together and it is just amazing. last weekend we had a summer family get together with our four families and also the couple that lives next door to us. the neighbors two doors down hosted and it was so. much. FUN! the kids all played and the adults got to talk. the couple next door to us is basically the mentor couple of the group. they are so kind and full of wisdom and i am so thankful to have them as neighbors.
all that to say i was reflecting on how god went beyond my prayers and expectations TO THE FULL, which happens to be the theme for MOPS this year, and then how incredibly appropriate and relevant the theme of this year is. i am so excited to see what else god has up his sleeve. it usually does not go the way i think it will go, but it is always much MUCH better. here's to this new season and living TO THE FULL: having fun, fearing less, and finding my people. with the most grateful heart humbled by the kind and gracious heart of my father god.