Monday, May 12, 2014

Thankful for a God who Walks WITH Us

I'm sorry that I haven't been able to check in and read your blogs the past week.  I will be home on Wednesday to catch up.

I attended the most beautiful service yesterday at Providence Community Church in Mt. Juliet, TN. The United Methodist Pastor,  Jacob Armstrong is very personable and intentional about reaching out to those who are hurting.

I'll be honest, it's not been easy for me to attend a Mother's Day service since my mama passed away 4 years ago.  I am usually with my children at the beach.  I've tried to concentrate on the blessings of being a mom myself and enjoying my children and pushed away any thoughts of my mama.  It was just too hard.  The only reason that I went to the service was to stand beside my daughter who sat with an empty heart and hands and nervous anticipation of what was just around the corner.

The message was not the typical Mother's Day sermon.  After all, who are we really there to worship? It bothers me today how so much emphasis is put on everything else, from the worship team to the pastor, to the children, to the youth and to the recipients of those for whom we celebrate.
(I will share his message at a later day which was very timely for me.)

My daughter saw the carnations and thought, "Oh, no not another one!"  However, his approach was different.  He honored all women at the end of the service with first a reading by Amy Young. Two girls on the praise team read the following:

To those who gave birth this year to your first child-we celebrate with you.
To those who lost a child this year-we mourn with you.
To those who are in the trenches with little ones everyday and wear the badge of food stains, we appreciate you.
To those who experienced loss by miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away, we mourn with you.
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears and disappointment, we walk with you.  Forgive us when we say foolish things.  We don't mean to make this harder than it is. 
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, or spiritual moms, we need you.
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children, we celebrate with you.
To those who have disappointment, heartache and distance with your children, we sit with you.
To those who lost their mothers this year, we grieve with you.
To those who encountered abuse at the hands of your mother, we acknowledge your experience.
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood, we are better for having you in our midst.
To those of you who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children, we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be. 
To those who step parent, we walk with you on this complex path.
To those who envisioned lavishing love on your grandchildren yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you.
To those who will have emptier nests in the coming year, we grieve and REJOICE with you.
To those who placed children up for adoption, we commend you for your selflessness and remember now that you hold that child in your heart.
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expecting or surprising, we anticipate with you.
This Mother's Day, we walk with you.  Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst.  We remember you.

Read more of Amy Young's blog at

At the end of the service, Pastor Jacob asked the ladies to come up and pick a carnation-red for those who still had their mothers and white for those whose mothers are no longer with us.  Those flowers were placed on the altar.  Afterwards, we were given the bread and the wine remembering the ONE for whom we derive our name, Jesus.  Pastor Jacob then prayed.  It was moving.  I looked at my daughter. Tears of comfort were streaming down her face as I looked with blinded, flood filled eyes.

My heart rejoices in a God who sees, who understands, who cares and a community who is willing to walk WITH us on whatever journey life may bring.

My son't birthday was yesterday,  We was my favorite Mother's Day present of all time.

I can still smell my mama's signature scent, White Shoulders.



  1. I'm not a mother but I can see that "Mothering is not for the faint of heart". Neither is being a father, especially in our current anti-male environment. I wish the best to both parents in their quest for raising responsible citizens.
    God bless. ~:)

  2. Touching post! I really love the reading but was especially touched by asking for forgiveness when we say stupid things...I know I am in need!
    Glad you were blessed on Sunday!

  3. What a beautiful service and I like the red and white carnation choices. That reading was insightful too, we moms are warriors aren't we?

  4. I'll tell you what..being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had..we feel every up and every down and in between..we cry for/with the them, we pray for/with them, etc..Very sweet post, Bonnie..Blessings

  5. Hello, We have missed you, but so glad you were able to get away! My Mother passed away 10 years ago and this was the 1st Mothers day I did not cry all day long.
    I wear White Shoulders perfume and have for over 30 years, I love the scent and I know my children and grandchildren will remember what I wore! So glad you had a different and a heart changing sermon. We need these to help us get on!
    Love, Roxy

  6. I'm so glad you were able to be with her yesterday. What a wonderful service! They really did a good job of honoring moms while not making those with no children, or those who are mourning feel more hurt or pain.

  7. What a day filled with BIG emotions. My SIL went through similar situation. Ended up having her first child at age 40, then 14 mo. later had a set of twins. I have a good feeling that your daughter is gonna be a Mom. Keep us posted.

  8. Hi Bonnie, Sounds like you all had a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend --with those awesome grandchildren.

    Prayers for your daughter. Glad you have been there with her and for her... That worship service sounded perfect for both of you...

    I am still recouping from my surgery. Everyday gets a little better... BUT--It's been slow!!!!


  9. I love that the list included everyone's needs.

    Sounds like a precious service.


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