My high school French teacher had these Friday round table discussions he called Socratic Seminars. Every week he would pose these questions that made us think and talk and sometimes we cried.
One Friday he asked us who we would call if we knew we would die in one hour. As the tears flowed and everyone talked through their lists, Mr. Henderson challenged us to not wait to share what we had shared in that room. He challenged us to go home and start talking to our list right away.
When I was a teacher, I hosted our conversations in French and tweaked it a little bit to encourage them to reflect every year on who had influenced them and then send that person a little note or email and tell them. All five of those girls sent emails that evening.
Last night I was geeking over a possible mom-date situation and missing my friends from home and I started thinking of ways I could reach out to those friends.
Encouragement and affirmation are powerful tools in our arsenal. And moms are so quick to offer help or advice to other moms and even in the most well-meaning of situations, sometimes all the receiving mom hears is thinly veiled judgment on her perceived lack – lack of discipline, lack of love, lack of whatever the advice is about.
What if we were quicker to offer encouragement or affirmation?
So just like my teacher challenged me, and just like I challenged my students, now I challenge you. Actually two challenges.
1. Send a text, email, or card to a mom who is like you. Think of what you would love for someone to say to you on a hard day and send it to her. Chances are she’d like to hear it too.
2. Send a text, email, or card to a mom who is willing to walk alongside younger moms – like a mentor mom. Thank her for what she is willing to do and what it means to you. It doesn’t have to be fancy or mushy gushy, just let her know that you appreciate how she shares her time.
And that’s it. I bet you’ve already thought of a couple of people who you would love to send some encouragement to.
I’d love to hear how this went for all of you or what you thought about do this. Leave them in the comments!
Want to take this up a notch? Tell a mom to her a face. A mom who needs it – whose kid is throwing a gigantic tantrum in the grocery store, or whose kid just ran into the parking lot, or whose kid just ate sand out of the playground sandbox. Tell her she’s doing a great job. 🙂
Want to take it up another notch? After you send the text, email, or card, say a prayer for that mom. Pray that she be filled with the grace and patience she needs to make it through the day. 🙂
I appreciate that you are considering your friend for “Operation: Clean. It. Out”. Good for you for considering this. It gives you a break, and your friend a chance to share her experience. Really, I think that’s how it works best! Plus, it is “God sent” at the moment.
Also, I understand about moving and having to make new friends. That’s why I do not want to move. So, I hope God puts some really nice new friends in your path. Give it some time.
I suppose moving is sometimes Gods’ way of letting us know that He is our first and foremost friend always. I know the transition is hard. So. I’m with you on this.
Yes, it does give me a break! And she’s awesome for being willing to give me a bit of one. Plus she’s a real writer so it’ll be so good to read!
To share pride of you is so easy. Do you realize how talented you are – ‘extremely’ in my eyes! Do you know how much many of us appreciate hearing from you, learning some of what you know?! I hope to know you much better over the years! starting SOON!
FYI: I personally was moved/moved 27 times before I quit counting……….. It is not easy but you end up with such a pocketful of awareness and experience. Love yourself
Thanks so much for your kind words. I hope my motivation always remains that I want to encourage and love on other moms in their journeys, kind of like we’re sitting in my house drinking coffee and doing life together.