I am no beginner in answering the question Why. Because trust me when I say it's come up a time or two ;)
And, I would be lying if I said I hadn't asked myself if what we really do matters more often then not.
The Mother's Nest is smack dab in the middle of two worlds, for a reason.
The Christians ask Why start something for moms, when there are already moms groups at churches?
Those who don't believe in God ask, why do you have christian values? and how can those world's mix? Will I fit in? Are you okay with me not believing?
The tension is real, and we haven't got it ALL figured out yet. but Let me answer a few of your WHY's Right here, right now with first asking you a question...
Now don't send your darts of flaming eyes through your cell phone at me.. but I really genuinely ask you this question.. WHY NOT. because I think there-in lies the answer to all of your questions if you search hard enough.
In regards to who we serve at The Mother's Nest, we are just about 95% middle class moms. About 50% of our moms are stay at home mothers, and the other 50% are either working full time, part time in home or part time out of home. We have an across the board 1/2 and 1/2 ratio of moms that are coming from a christian perspective, and a those who don't believe in God perspective.
Why in the world to middle class, stay at home & working non christian/ christian moms need supported?
We (and I say WE because I also fit into this category) are not a cause.
Now, before I say this, hear my grace in my tone of voice (writing?) that I am meaning this in. But also my sincerity in conviction that I hold myself in WHY we do what we do.
We are not a cause that has pictures that make you feel immediate sense of pain tagged with it. AFTER ALL, look at ALL the joy this new momma has as she posts a picture of her little one on instagram with all the smiley emoticons in the world! We're not starving, we're not emaciated, we're not in physical pain.
We are not a cause that has millions of dollars tagged along with it, with an established name of Red Cross, Salvation Army, Homeless Shelters, Feeding the poor in Africa.
We are not a cause that most middle class american CHRISTIAN or not... people even assume IS a cause, or a mission.
Because we LOOK put together. (and sometimes we are!)
Because we don't LOOK broken. (and sometimes we're not!)
We don't LOOK like we have needs. (but oh my lands we do!)
and most of you sit there saying... well, all the generations before you figured it out.. so why don't you?
I didn't have a "mothers nest" when I had my kids and they turned out fine...
But my challenge to that.. Did THEY?
Moms are a cause.
Because there is strategy there.
If you can reach a mom, you can reach a family.
And whether you are about a social cause of the mothers nest, giving resources, relationship & community.. or a Christian cause of the mothers nest in line with our values.. living life together as believers and those who don't believe in hopes to show Jesus and who he REALLY is. THERE IS A CAUSE HERE.
Moms hold the social calendar.
Reaching a mom, you have the potential to reach a family, and bringing the dad AND kids into that picture.. you have the potential to literally change the world.
Did you just laugh to yourself when I said that?
Here, let me say it again.
Change the world.
I mean it.
with all of my heart.
We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think that a true reflection of brokenness of our world is in the broken family unit.
Give me a problem in the world.. and I want to challenge you that it COULD be fixed in some regard whether proactively or reactively by investing time, resources, compassion & care into moms & families.
Invest in our families , who will then open up their homes and hearts to bring in our orphans (and while I'm on that note.. come and learn more about foster care at our saturday special this week).
Invest in a mom and dad by engaging their marriage, investing in them as individuals, taking burdens where you can, and give tools and resources to help their marriages thrive. and see the ripple effect.
Teen Crime/ Pregnancy/ Rebellion?
"its just a part of it" really.. is it? Because if we are investing in families... we are starting at the CAUSE of the problem. not the EFFECT of it. If we aren't investing in the parents.. but ONLY investing in the kids. are we truly making change that will last for generations to come? and vice versa, if we are investing in the marriages, the relationships, and the kids. Are we changing culture?
Here is the thing.
The Mother's Nest exists to support and serve moms.
But we also exist to support and serve families through serving those mommas.
We have a vision of changing culture, the way that we view motherhood, the family unit and children.
And, we also have a vision of changing the culture that you can do that in a setting that both makes a Christian, and someone who doesn't believe comfortable.
We have a vision to live life genuinely along side of each other.
A place where people aren't afraid or judged coming into our doors.
We have a vision in empowering others.
We have a vision to help heal the family unit in places where it is broken.
After all... Isn't that famous saying "the Best thing you might ever do for the kingdom of God might not be something that you do.. but someone you RAISE."
So at the end of the day, when I close my eyes at night.
Its more than just a program.
Or a play group.
Its about shifting culture, and giving value, where value belongs.
Giving Value, where VALUE is missing.
And for those of you who are involved in Christian church, wondering.. is there really a de-value on family? I see them at my church hosting date nights, and play times, and child care, and marriage classes.
Take a moment, and ask yourself what it is that you do with your time and kids.
How many non believing families do you interact with.. and how many times have you gone home at night praying for their family, praying to the point where it actually CHANGES a rythm in your life in regards to investing in that family.
How many times have you sacrificed for your neighbor? Or for the other family at the soccer game sitting next to you each week?
How many times have you ventured outside of your comfortable group of bible study friends, to start a weekly hang out with those who dont have the same beliefs and views as you?
Here's the thing about the awkwardness of that.
Its not a cause to our society.
Moms are not a cause in the church, OR in the culture in which we live.
Thats why not.
It doesn't feel as warm and fuzzy to support a organization supporting and serving middle class moms as it does to support a starving child in Africa once a month.
It doesn't look as good to take new moms meals and spend hours in conversation with a hurting mom with children running around, where NO ONE will ever see, as it does to take your family on a group missions trip to an orphanage in a foreign country.
You tell me that you want your children to see poor people, or to understand mission, or to get that we are put here to advance God's kingdom.
Yet, you aren't taking the opportunities that are RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.
you aren't living it out where you are.
You aren't engaging NATURAL relationships.
Because you don't care.
Because your eyes haven't been opened.
And that was okay, because no one ever told you.
that moms matter. That those families matter. That those hearts MATTER to God. That he CARES about the broken family units, and that he CARES about the mom with post partum depression. He CARES about the family that seemingly has it all together. And he CARES about the fighting in the marriage after the kids are put to bed.
He sees them... But do WE?
To the need that is right among us.
To empower, encourage, and sustain families
So that they can live out their call to not only love and support their own families.. but to live out whatever it looks like for them to serve in their communities, churches, and neighborhoods.
I am going to ahead and say it... so someone put it on my tombstone when I die.. so I repeat myself even after I am gone. (kidding... kinda)
"The number one problem in this broken world is the lack of God's heart we carry for the families in our communities. If families, marriages, moms, dads, and children were nurtured and on mission together... we would see the very world in which we live in change drastically"
So ... to get back to your original question, why moms?
This is why.
We want to change a culture.
We want to change the world.
And it has to start somewhere.
I can PROMISE you it will not be glamorous. And I can PROMISE you that we will fail at times. I can PROMISE you that We are all learning as we go... but I can also PROMISE you that God is doing something beautiful in the meshing of two worlds. Christian & not.. and the love of family. The belief in the family unit.