Is it selfish of me to want someone to encourage me? As I am a mom, I am often found in the role of the encourager. Through the years, I’ve encouraged little ones to try a new food, to try to ride their bike without training wheels, to try a new skill, a new sport or activity. A mama’s “well” can get pretty low sometimes. Every mom needs a chance to get filled back up so she can pour back out.
So how do you get filled up? It’s different for everyone. One of the things that I am thankful for has been a supportive group of women whom I met through a MOPS group at the church I previously attended. I joined MOPS when my oldest was just 2 years old and I’ve never regretted it. MOPS grew friendships that I might not have ever had; it grew friendships that continue to this day.
With our culture warping our thinking, I was a young woman who thought I had to be the one to conquer all. I vividly remember a Enjoli Perfume commercial (circa 1980) when I was growing up where the woman sang about “bringing home the bacon”. It was a commercial that set in my brain that women can do it all! I grew up with Barbie and she could be anything she wanted to be. And yes, my favorite super-hero was Wonder Woman. So, when I had my first child, in my mind, I was supposed to be a woman who worked my full-time job, came home, cooked a good nutritious meal, kept my house clean: dishes washed, clothes clean and put away, and kids fed, washed and cared for, kept the hubby happy and cared for him, kept the bills paid and on and on. I had this naive idea that somehow I could do it ALL and do it well. After all, I am a Gen X’er and that commercial told me women could do it all and with ease.
When I struggled with babies who were fussy… my “well” got depleted quickly. I felt like a failure. My MOPS group provided support to me that assured me I was “normal”, that I was NOT failing and just like them, was doing the very best each of us could. It was REFRESHING to find other women just like me. It was a loving environment where women helped each other and prayed for one another. When one mom’s dad passed away, we rallied around her and provided meals for her for a few days as she dealt with funeral arrangements and details.
As I said, those friendships started back then continue to this day. When I had a scary phone call from my doctor, I went to those women to seek prayer and they came through for me. Through the years, they’ve offered support. They’ve offered encouragement. Sometimes that encouragement comes in the form of a hand-written note, a text or a phone call. Sometimes it comes as a silent, but “be there” presence. One thing is for certain, there’s not a woman I know that doesn’t need encouragement in one way or another.
My environment cultivated me to believe I could do anything and everything. And yes, I STILL believe that you can do just about anything you set your mind to… BUT… with each year comes more knowledge and maturity, and I now know that you CAN’T do it ALL BY YOURSELF! You need encouragement and support, and yes, help from gracious friends and family. You also need to have a relationship with our Savior, because in the quiet, and in the stillness, you can receive encouragement and support from our Heavenly Father. Dedicating time to reading the scripture and mediating on it allows Him to bring peace over a frazzled soul.
I hope that this post encourages you today, and I also hope that you might take a moment and think about those around you. I’m sure if you think for just a moment, there is a likely a woman who will pop into your mind that could use some encouragement. Why don’t you Seize the Moment? Think about them, say a quick prayer, and ask God for the words to say. Then text them or call them. I guarantee that you will MAKE.HER.DAY!