In Part 1, our Isanti Coordinator and veteran host mom Courtney Eastlund shared what God has taught her about loving moms well. Here she shares some more practical wisdom about how we can demonstrate love to the moms we come alongside.
3. Keep Mom Involved
When I am not with my kids, because of work or just because I am gone, I love to hear how they are doing or get a cute picture. This helps me feel connected to my kids and it gives me peace when I need to be apart from them. I can’t imagine trying to deal with a crisis and then not have my kids with me.
It is important to encourage the relationship between the mom you are serving and her children. Together for Good is a program that is here to help keep families together. There are many ways we can help them stay connected with their children: phone calls, text messages, picture messages, or scheduled times to see each other.
I started forming a close relationship with one of the moms we work with and realized she needed some time with both her girls, so we planned a day trip. We went to church, went horseback riding, enjoyed boating and grilled out. It was a long day but there was nothing like seeing a family reunited and enjoying a day together.
Sometimes when serving, you have to give up your time because it isn’t about you – it is about a greater purpose, one that will reflect Jesus! Just keep asking yourself, if you were in this situation, what would you appreciate someone doing for you? Keep in mind that at the end of the day, the beautiful children who you are loving on and who are probably having the time of their life, still have a mother who they love and want to be with.
No matter how hard their situation is, kids love their mom/dad and they want to be with them. Think about the connection God gave you with your children. It’s a bond that isn’t meant to be broken and you play a special role in strengthening that bond in the family you serve.
4. Be ready to LOVE
When I say that my heart just bursts – because we are called to love! Love is our best reflection of the heart of God. Not judgment or opinions or our attitude about someone’s circumstance, but LOVE!
Love covers a multitude of sin, love heals, love supports, love speaks loudly, love reflects Jesus living in us, and love is what we all need and long for!
“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” – Thomas Merton
Oh how I love those words……it is not for us to decide if someone is worthy or not because if we stopped to dissect that issue, none of us would be worthy. We are all sinners.
Our job is to love. Will it be easy? No! Do I find myself worn out and exhausted from developing these relationships? Yes. Is it worth it? YES! I am someone who believes building relationships is what brings people to Christ. Doing life with others and living out your faith are what draw people to the Lord and keep them connected. Love is what attracts people to Jesus, judgment is what turns them away.
Pray for a heart to be full of love and seek God’s truth when the judgments start to seep in.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:16-19
This series is a small part of what God has been teaching me through hosting. I hope it was an encouragement and reminder of what our role can be and look like in the lives of the beautiful people God has brought into our lives and families to serve!
Thanks for serving! You make a difference!