Moms Helping Moms
by Dale Reeves
Being a mom or a dad these days is not for the faint of heart as parents try to navigate all the challenges society throws at them as they raise their kids. A good number of women in our church and our community have found a great support network through the Mom’s Group ministry that is a part of Christ’s Church. Terra Koch first joined this Mom’s Group six years ago. I asked her to talk with me about her experience with this ministry, first as a member of the group, then as one of the facilitators.
Terra begins, “When my first son was born, my husband and I decided I that I would stay home with him. That’s when I found myself feeling very lonely because I didn’t really know a lot of other moms with young kids in our area. In my search for a church near our home, I noticed a playdate for young kids posted on Christ’s Church’s website and decided I would just show up—which is totally out of my comfort zone. When I arrived, I walked up to a group of moms with babies, toddlers, and strollers and asked if they were with the CC Mom’s Group. The moms were so welcoming as we chatted about mom stuff—the kind of thing I was really craving and needing. They filled me in about the small groups that Christ’s Church offered. I went home and shared that with my husband and we decided to come to this church.”
Honesty and Vulnerability
Terra continues, “This group consists of about fifty moms at any given time, and we break it down for more honest conversation by having table groups of ten moms or so. After a couple years of participating in Mom’s Group and our activities, I became a table leader. Because the group had been so helpful to me, I felt a desire to help other moms who are in similar situations as me.”
After a yearlong break due to a teaching job Terra had taken, she and her husband were praying about what opportunities for community she should be involved in. Terra says, “As I was praying for guidance from God regarding next steps, and couldn’t get Mom’s Group out of my mind, our women’s minister at the time, Shawna Goldstein, called and asked if I planned to come back to Mom’s Group and if I would be willing to serve as a facilitator. God’s timing is always perfect. After prayer and discussion with my husband I let Shawna know I would love to serve in this role.”
Terra reflects, “Stepping into this role of facilitator has challenged me to dig even deeper into what it means to be a mom and a believer. Beyond the pragmatic questions of parenting, how am I portraying what it means to be a believer in this current world? How am I communicating these beliefs to my children in a meaningful way? How can I make my home a bit of Heaven on earth? How do I love my kids in a way that allows them to more readily understand Christ’s love? My biggest role as a disciple right now is within my own family. This is where God has been leading me as I do my best to facilitate this group. I am challenged to be obedient, to pray, to study God’s Word more thoroughly, and to communicate it with great intentionality as I am led.”
Terra remarks how after every meeting with the other women she leaves consistently hungry to get back in the Word and prayer for deeper understanding. She says, “I am continually inspired by the authenticity and vulnerability I see in these women. For instance, one of our moms recently published a book about postpartum depression. Reading her honest story gives others a glimpse of the kind of transparency we share in our community.”
Unity Among Diversity
The Mom’s Group is comprised of moms with young children, birth to preteen, moms who work full-time, part-time, or those who are home full-time. And they are also in different stages of their faith journeys including some women with degrees from Christian colleges, those who have studied the Bible their whole lives, some who are new to the faith, and others who have never been to church. But the thing that unites them is their desire to intentionally raise children as God would have them do so.
Terra shares, “Being a mom is legitimately tough, and the struggles we face are very real. The issues we walk through together can cover anything from kids who are picky eaters to anxiety and depression. No one in the room is an expert on every topic, but you might discover that the mom across the table from you also can’t get her toddler to eat peas, or that more moms than you thought struggled with infertility and infant loss. Sometimes another mom will share how she got through a particular struggle, and offer some great advice. And sometimes you just put your arm around another mom and say, ‘I’m sorry, I’m here for you.’”
Terra continues, “Last year, we all were blindsided by the pandemic. The reactions, responses, frustrations, and fears were as unique as each woman in our community. What we shared was a willingness to talk it out and help one another, if for nothing else than to say, ‘This is really hard, how can we walk through this together?’—even without knowing the answer. As the months passed by, we found new ways to connect with each other—through online meetings, a chair circle, or meeting on the lawn at Twist. We were determined to keep the group going strong—come what may, and in spite of the challenges of the coronavirus, we have continued to welcome new moms to our community.”
Discipleship and Discipline
Terra observes, “The way we raise our children sets them up in the future for their relationship with Jesus. As we have studied different characters in the Bible, often we see those people as being very different from us. But, really they aren’t. As we study the Bible we ask ourselves what God’s words mean to us today in our 5G lives, and in our homes. We are currently looking at the apostle Paul’s writings, especially those that were written to Timothy, as Paul mentored him to be part of the next generation of leaders in the church. We are essentially doing the same thing in our homes. The moms in our group share very practical helps and resources such as our kids’ favorite children’s Bibles and books.”
The words “disciple” and “discipline” derive from the same root word in Latin that means “to learn.” According to the Bible, part of a mom’s job is to bring her children up in the learning and discipline of the Lord. Terra points out, “In Ephesians 6:1-4, there is a reciprocal responsibility. Children are to obey their parents, and parents should train up their children. When either slacks in their responsibility, the relationship is out of balance. As a group, we discuss the things that are actually in our control, as wives and as moms. We know that our children need discipline, but it is often hard to know how to do it. We walk through this together along with the other issues that we face.”
Terra concludes, “You could walk into our Mom’s Group and see a group of moms crying together with their arms around each other one moment and then they’re breaking out in laughter the next. That’s just the nature of doing life together as moms.”
“Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck” (Proverbs 6:20, 21, NLT).
If you’re interested in knowing more about all of the groups we have to offer, click here.