Village Moms

They say it takes a village to raise a child. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot since our beloved Mrs. Mary Helen passed away this year. I believe with every fiber of my being that I have the world’s greatest mom. Melissa and I didn’t have any reason to go looking for extra women to mother us, but God surrounded our little family with a handful of Jesus-loving women who were like colorful sprinkles on the incredible homemade iced sugar cookies that our mom made.

I’m thinking of Johnnie Haines, who was my mom’s best friend and running buddy for as long as I can remember. We spent more time playing at her house than anywhere else, except for church. Maybe. She’s always  kept us laughing with her wit and sass and she’s taught me a thing or two about raising a son. God bless her for not knocking my head off when I reveled in tattling on her boys.

I’m thinking of Kathy Kolkhorst, whose daughter was my very first friend in kindergarten. She displays Jesus in her joy and she never stops serving others. She was always an outspoken lover of Christ and she helped influence me to follow Him. (She gave me my first Psalty tape!) God bless Mrs. Kolkhorst for all the carpooling and for leading our Brownie troop for years.

Then there’s our dear Mrs. Mary Helen. What a precious saint of God. That woman would bring sacks of groceries, boxes of baked treasures from Three Brothers Bakery, and huge Ziplock bags of homemade cookies to our house when Mom was out of town speaking. Normally she would only be gone one night, but Mrs. Mary Helen wanted to spoil us. And that she did. Her kindness and love were warm and comfy like a perfectly worn-in blanket. She was beautiful on the outside with her pretty white hair and her sweet smile and oh- so-stunning on the inside with her generous spirit.

Women like Aunt Johnnie, Mrs. Kolkhorst, and Mrs. Mary Helen made up our village. Melissa and I were shaped, in part, by the small and large deposits they made in our lives.

I think Village Moms have two important roles – to hold up the arms of other women as they do the work God has given them, and to collectively teach Village Children about the love of Jesus. (As Lindsee said so well, Village Moms don’t have to be called “Mom” to be a mother.)  I can hardly put into words how my Village Relationships have blessed me.  Experiencing life in community with church members in our neighborhood has been rich. This year I’ve learned how to support other moms and how to let myself be supported. It’s a beautiful thing!

I love that several times a week, my kids get to see how my girlfriends love and serve Jesus. Yesterday some of us Village Moms had a semi-spontaneous prayer session (not because we were that spiritual but because we were that needy for Jesus). Three little preschool girls ran circles around us while we prayed and one precious 9-month-old foster daughter sat, bounced, and rolled right in the middle of us. Some of our praying was done with eyes open and there were no few distractions, but my heart was so full.  I know one day Jackson and Annabeth will talk about how Mrs. Crista, Mrs. Lisa, Mrs. Debra and so many other godly friends lived out their faith in front of them.

It is good to be a mother. It is good to bless children, whether they’re yours or they’re in your village. It is good for children to be surrounded, protected, loved and taught by a community of God-fearing women.

There is a Village in India where young girls are being rescued from a future of certain enslavement and exploitation in brothels. As Our Own, a Christ-centered adoptive care ministry, is working tirelessly to provide rescue and lifelong after-care for these precious children. These girls don’t age out of a program and get launched out on their own – they are daughters for life. The girls are living, breathing evidence of God’s power to redeem. Their destiny is changed from one of destruction and misery to a life of love, security, education, and hope in Christ.

In honor of the Village Moms who loved me, carpooled me, coached me, cooked for me, prayed for me, bought Girl Scout cookies from me, gave thousands of hugs, listened to prayer requests on behalf of my pets, taught me in VBS, and celebrated birthdays with me, I am making a Mother’s Day donation to As Our Own. In honor of the Village Moms who are now walking beside me as I mother my children, I am giving sacrificially to see my beautiful little sisters in India thrive and flourish.

Siestas, will you be a Village Mom for our girls in India? They may never see our faces, but they will know our love and concern. It takes a significant amount of financial resources to provide the level of adoptive care that As Our Own gives. Will you make a donation in honor of your mom or of a Village Mom who made a difference in your life? Doing so will make a dramatic difference in the lives of these young girls who are so loved by God.

Happy Mother’s Day, Siestas. Thank you so much for your support.

All my love,

Amanda

 

 

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30 Responses to “Village Moms”

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Leila Hollingsworth says:

    Amanda,
    Just want you to know how God used you to answer my prayer this morn. He’s SO amazing!!
    I was praying “Please help me to know what to do about a Mother’s Day gift for my mom, Lord”. You see, she’s one of those people who has what she needs and doesn’t talk about what she might want, so she’s really hard to shop for. I hadn’t been able to look at the blog for a couple of days (been crazy busy) and thought I’d take a quick look this morning. Having missed Lindsee’s post from a couple of days ago, yours was the first thing I saw. And, of course, I knew immediately that my Oh-so-very-wonderful God had answered me, within just a few minutes of my prayer!!
    So I went to the As Our Own website through your link and made a donation in honor of my fantastic mother, printed the card and now I’m ready for Sunday!
    Thanks so much for keeping this in front of us. You’re a blessing!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you and your own Siesta Mama,
    Leila

  2. 2
    Ashley says:

    “It is good for children to be surrounded, protected, loved and taught by a community of God-fearing women.”

    There is nothing I want more. I grew up without my mother, let alone a strong spiritual force in my life and I crave that for my own two.

    Praying for my own group of women to form…I know it’s all in His good time. In the mean time, I love tapping into the wonderful “Moore pool” of love & wisdom from all of your wonderful women.

    Thank you for sharing & thank you for again presenting us with this wonderful opportunity to give.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  3. 3
    Jill says:

    My mother and her friends taught VBS when we were in grade school. In third grade VBS, we went outside to have our lunch. One mother, Mrs. Laura, read about the loaves and fishes. With great flourish she broke a loaf of french bread and in a very distinct voice ( think the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey) said,
    “And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.”

    With that, the mothers came out from the church with baskets filled with tuna fish sandwiches and jugs of Welch’s grape juice. I never eat a tuna fish sandwich or hear that story that I don’t think of all of them.

    I am formed and shaped and better for women that werent’ too busy to minister to a group of little kids.

  4. 4
    Kelly Minter says:

    Thanks for exposing us to these opportunities Amanda. We have a chance to be part of a gift that’s eternal when we’re involved in pouring into other people’s lives. My Mom did this for me and my siblings – thank you for reminding us we can impact others in similar ways, even if we’ve never met them.

  5. 5
    Jamison says:

    Happy Mothers Day to all of you!

    Jamison

  6. 6
    Joyce Watson says:

    Who takes care of the little children
    When starvation of love is written on each face
    Yet no one is reaching out to them
    And their eyes stare at us in every place.

    Who takes care of the little children
    When they see violence and war everyday
    And wonder around in their own little world
    On the street corners where they play.

    Who takes care of the little children
    When they suffer from abuse
    And there is no one to care for them
    Then their outlook on life seems of little use.

    Who takes care of the little children
    When they are hungry and need to be fed
    And they need to have warm clothing
    Or a place to lay their sweet head.

    Who takes care of the little children
    When they suffer with pain and disease everyday
    And sometimes they can no longer hold on to life
    Then they slowly pass away.

    Who takes care of the little children
    When their hopes and dreams are shattered
    And their little lives are just beginning
    Yet there seems nothing seems to matter.

    Who takes care of the little children
    When broken homes do not mend their broken hearts
    And their lives are so confused, by the love they once knew
    Then their families are split apart.

    Who takes care of the little children
    When they hurt deep inside
    Yet they are so sweet and innocent
    And seem to touch our hearts and lives.

    Who takes care of the little children
    When broken hearts will not mend
    Let love pick up all the pieces
    And let Jesus be their friend.~joyce

  7. 7
    Kathy says:

    Wonderful Post, thank you- I have had a few special “moms” along the way- the ones who stepped into your life are truly “divine”-

    I have had one wonderful lady step into my life during the past 14 years(I’m an old girl and never dreamed the past 14 years could be the most challenging of my life) who has been an example of how a “healthy” mother might be in her 70s and 80s-

    I pray I can be such a model in my last years, regretfully my mother cannot be that person- Lots of blessings to you and yours

  8. 8
    Vanessa szanto says:

    This is an amazing organization. Thank you for bringing to light what so many of us try to hide from. Praise God that He is rescuing these girls. Have a wonderful mothers day!

  9. 9
    Melany says:

    Great post and a good reminder of how those of us who aren’t moms can still play a major and needed role in the lives of kids here and halfway around the world!

  10. 10
    Vickie says:

    My Dear Sister,
    I am in prayer for sweet Gay and you too! The only thing that matters is that the Holy Spirit of our Living God knows the plan, purpose and direction He has for Gay…and you…and me!!!! I love you so much! Please let Gay know that God has used her installments and the study, Breaking Free to do a healing work in my cousin’s life!!! Praise His name! We will not give up! Bless you!
    Vickie Rankins-Anderson
    Hadassah Ministries, Inc.
    Toledo, Ohio

  11. 11
    Kay Martin says:

    Great post, Amanda! (I have had the pleasure of Johnnie’s sense of humor myself.) Your mom and your “village” certainly should be proud of you two girls!

  12. 12
    Suey Caldwell says:

    Amanda Sherice or Cherice(sp?)

    what a greaat post thank you.
    may i share about my history of Moms day with you for a second? thx
    I feel i have been a mentor to you and MMF too. haha
    My own mother Mary Georgia died on mothers day 13 years ago and my dad Robert died 14 years ago on moms day.
    Jim and I got married 30 years ago on moms day. ha
    Jesus is so amazing and has perfect timing.
    love
    Suey Caldwell

  13. 13
    Sonja Wood says:

    Beth, I have just watched sessions 1& 2 of “Loving Well Retreat in a Box.” I live here in Knoxville,TN and enjoyed attending the event live. Since then, we have used it as a retreat at our church and now 10 of our ladies are traveling to Boulder, Montana (June 7-14) to present it to 20 precious sisters in a small church there who could use some encouragement. Pray for us as we lead others to experience the deep love of God so fully that it cannot help but pour out of us all and spill onto others. By the way, I still cry like a baby every time you announce that you were going to be a grandma. Just precious! And of course, following the blog and twitter, I can keep up with Jackson and little Anna Beth. God uses you to bless my life. Thank you for your servant heart. One day, let’s have lunch. ;)

  14. 14

    Amanda,

    I’m so glad you had that kind of support growing up and now as a momma yourself. I want to say happy Mother’s Day to you and all the momma’s at LPM and on this blog:) As Our Own is an amazing ministry…praying for you all.

  15. 15

    Amanda:

    Mrs. Savage, Mrs. Moorefield, Ms. Turner, Mrs. Betty, Mrs. Mendenhall, Mrs. McCombs, Mrs. Chambers.

    And a host of other Village Moms who loved me to Jesus.

    Sadly not every child has the community of faith raising them up.

    We need to be watching for ways to embrace those children, lest they never know the love of Christ.

    Happy Mother’s Day, ladies.

    Spending my day with my pregnant daughter on this her first Mother’s Day.

  16. 16
    janie says:

    Beautiful!

  17. 17
    Amy Storms says:

    Beautiful post, as usual, Amanda. I’m afraid I need to be way off-topic (but not really, because I’m looking for some siesta-village moms to help me, I suppose…). I’m going to make Keith Moore’s King Ranch Chicken recipe, that you guys posted on here a long time ago. But my problem is, on the “2 cups cubed cooked chicken,” I don’t know how to do that. :) How do I cube it? How do I boil it? Do I buy a whole entire chicken? I usually only ever get boneless and skinless breasts to grill, I’m afraid.

    This is a highly ridiculous request, but can anyone help a siesta out? :) And, obviously, be VERY SPECIFIC, because I really am THAT clueless.

    Love you all!

    • 17.1
      Cindy says:

      Amy,

      You may already have your answer, but just in case…this is what I would do. I would boil boneless, skinless breasts and thighs. Put them in a pot, cover with water, add a little salt, bring to a boil until done. Let them cool some, then use regular chef’s knife to cut into strips and then into cubes.

      Good Luck! I’m sure you will do great!

      • Amy Storms says:

        Thanks so much, Cindy!! How many do you think it will take for two cups? THANK YOU!

        • Leila says:

          Amy,
          Try 2 or 3 boneless skinless breasts and 4 thighs. That’ll make well over 2 cups but whatever’s left will make chicken salad or B-B-Q sandwiches. Might as well fill the pot while you’re cookin’! You might also try a rotisserie chicken if your market carries them, just take it home, de-bone the meat and cut into cubes. You’ll be ready in a flash! Happy cooking!

          • Amy Storms says:

            Thank you SO much! I just watched a youtube video on how to chop bell peppers, so I think I’m all set now…LOL! Where would I be without my siestas?! :) Thanks a ton!

          • Amy Storms says:

            I made it tonight and it was a HIT! Thanks so much for all the help, Leila and Cindy! (And, of course for the recipe, Mr. Moore. :) ) YUM!

  18. 18
    Dagmar Mullins says:

    Dea sweetBeth, I have lung cancer, but I’m being held up by our Abba in a way that’s indescribable. I have friends and family and you to pray for me. You’ll never know how much your words meant to me in the book. Don’t stop praying for me. Love you so much. My
    scripture for this is 1 Samuel 7:12, I learned that from one of your studies, and I’m hanging on to it. Love always

  19. 19
    Diane says:

    I’m sorry to be off-topic too, but wanted to re-confirm that the Boise LPL is still happening and to ask if there are any siestas anywhere in Utah that are travelling there that might be willing to let my daughter & I carpool with if I pay for half the gas up & half the gas back?
    Thanks,
    Diane

  20. 20
    Billie Galyen says:

    Yay! Can’t wait!!!!

  21. 21
    Janine says:

    I just loved this post so much, Amanda!! Thank you for posting it.

  22. 22
    Sherry Jones says:

    I really want to do this study with a group of ladies but haven’t found any friends willing to participate. How could I go about finding a group in my area or even volunteering to host a group?

  23. 23
    Linda in Chester, VA says:

    Amanda,
    I enjoyed following your old posts on your “Baby Bangs” blog previously, but due to a heavy work schedule, was unable to do so for the past few months. When I tried to locate the blog again via a Google search, I could not find it. Hope you haven’t decided to stop posting. Your honest sharing of your adventures and challenges brought back memories of my own when my boys were younger. Any info on how to access the blog again?

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