At Faith UMC we have a group calls Moms Aiming Toward Teen Success (MAttS as we like to call ourselves). We gather once a month to share our experiences, successes, failures, hopes and encouragement. However, December and January were obviously busy months for our families, because we couldn’t find a time to gather when everyone (or even just a few!) were available.
As moms of teens, we pour ourselves into our families. We are busy women, making sure our families make it to all their events – work, practices, rehearsals, study groups, school, plays, concerts, games, tryouts – on time and fed, and hopefully in clean clothes with the right shoes. It’s not easy keeping it all together for our families in the suburbs these days, and most of our MAttS group also works outside the home, making time even more precious and limited.
So to begin the new year, I’ve gathered a few thoughts for moms.
Make time for yourself.
Be intentional about setting aside some time each week for YOU. Moms consistently pour themselves into their families, their relationships, into caring for others. Women often put everyone and everything as a priority before themselves. And our souls will carry on, barely being fed, catching a bit of a worship service here, an uplifting song on the radio there, a glance through an inspirational story or video online there – but they won’t really be fed. We women are so good at putting our children and families first that we neglect our own spirits – and this will catch up to us.
We need Sabbath time. Sarah Ban Breathnach says that Sabbath is for “reverence, rest, renewal, rejuvenation, reassuring rituals, recreation, rejoicing, revelation, remembering how much you have to be grateful for, and saying ‘thank you!'” As this new year really gets underway, make time for Sabbath – your soul requires it.
Gather resources around you. A journal, a Bible, a sketch pad, watercolors. Light a candle. Put a single blossom in a bud vase, or a cutting of a fragrant herb like rosemary. Delight in your senses, gifts of God for us to rejoice in this good earth.
Sit quietly for a few moments and then click over to this Cup of Blessing ritual for the new year. There are questions to ponder, to write about in your journal or to draw about in your sketch pad. Sit for a while with the Spirit and drink deeply for your thirsty soul.
In the comments below, share your favorite resources for devotionals or meditation readings. Here’s my list: Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro; Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach; Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much by Ann Wilson Schaef; The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie