- If you do your part and take one step – you have NO IDEA what God will do with it. All the way across the pond!
- I think her idea is GENIUS and I would love to see others copy her and pass on this beautiful spark.
- Mother’s Day is coming up for us – what if? What if a few of you took Sharon’s idea and made some moms feel really special?
I have been in touch with you before, but I just wanted to share with you (again) how reading your blog has been such an encouragement.
I found you on Pinterest I think and I’ve been reading along the past coming up three years. Finding Lil Light O Mine was like breathing a big sigh of relief for me. When you say that you just want to reach one mom – many times I have commented because I wanted you to know, yeah, today you did that.
You also lit a little spark in my heart. Inspired me to realise that the yearning in my heart during this season of my life not only to be the best mom I can and bring up kids with their own solid faith, but to also build a community of moms who encourage and support and appreciate each other’s journeys.
I can do that – as you say – one mom at a time. I figured, well, if she can do it, so can I.
My friend Sharon and I run a Parent and Toddler Group out of our church in South London. It’s a great group – set up by a group of godly women coming up 17 years ago – and we took it over 2 years ago. Most of our parents who come along aren’t churchgoing, most don’t have a Christian faith, many don’t even have English as a first language. Last year for Mother’s Day we held a special surprise pamper morning for our moms and grannies, with free massages while the kids played and photographs with their children and more. As one mum left she said: “that was just amazing – I have never felt so valued as a mother.”
That stuck with me. “I have never felt so valued as a mother.” Why? Why do moms not feel valued? Why in our society do we never say “thank you” to moms and tell them that however they are doing it, whether it is how they imagined or not, whether they find it easy or not, whether their kids are natural or adopted, whether they work or stay home, whether they feel like it – they are doing a great job, a God-given job, and that they are amazing? And if they aren’t hearing that, how could we tell them?
So, I pitched an idea to my friend Sharon. And we went for it!
We have Mother’s Day in March here in the UK and just celebrated it the past weekend. This time last week that idea inspired by that comment was just coming to an end.
Last Thursday night, the Thursday before Mother’s Day here, we held our very first Bromley Mums’ Awards. The idea simply was to give people the opportunity to celebrate local mums. They didn’t have to have dramatic stories, they just had to be mums who maybe didn’t realise just how special they were. We started working with a local charity who helps out moms in dire financial need. We got sponsors from the local business community and we put out flyers to local preschools, toddler groups and primary schools. We asked people to nominate moms in six different categories and received nominations from friends, family, children, husbands – from sisters, mothers, daughters.
We met as a panel of representatives and read stories that made us laugh, cheer and weep. We picked six winners for the following awards:
- a community mum who makes a difference to her world
- an entrepreneurial mum who brought a new idea to life
- an inspiring mum who makes you dream a little bigger
- a mum’s mum who goes above and beyond for her children and grandchildren
- an overcoming mum who made it through a tough time
- a special mum who is a wonderful mum of children with additional needs.
We had a truly phenomenal and blessed evening – presenting the awards, honouring each one of the nominated mums who could join us, pampering them with hand massages, treating them with desserts, taking their photographs and celebrating their friendships with a fun friendship wall. Over one hundred moms and their friends and supporters joined us. The community really came together and just appreciated each other – journeys are different, challenges are different, children and moms and friends are different – but we are all moms and we are in this together. We had an encouraging word from our pastor’s wife and enjoyed the “Surprised by Motherhood: because every day is Mother’s Day” clip from youtube (still makes me cry).
One of the moms from my son’s school texted me the next day:
I feel uplifted totally lucky and blessed for what and who I have in my life! Just what I needed to pick me up and appreciate life.”
Obviously not everyone is supposed to do something on this scale, but having a local mom’s awards – or a chance to celebrate the stories of normal everyday women who love their kids and make a difference to their world in some way – it was just a privilege.
I am thankful to God that your story impacted my story and I got to celebrate their stories.
I hope you have a blessed day.