A night to remember

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Twelve years ago, when Will was a newborn, Dave and I would go to Mass and look around not knowing anyone in our church community. Then we would go to the parish hall for coffee and doughnuts and still feel like outsiders. I am not a shy person but people seemed to have their own groups of friends and no one talked to us. Every week, I would complain to Dave as I read the church bulletin that there were no activities for new Moms. My Baptist friends had MOPS (Mothers of pre-schoolers) and it fulfilled such a need for them. Week after week, Dave would simply turn to me and say, "Well, then start something!"

I was a new Mom and staying home for the first time. I had been a professor at a university before having Will. I was overwhelmed. I laugh at this now because one child seems so easy but at the time, I felt like my hands were very full. I certainly did not think I could "start" anything.

Then one day I met a woman at Gymboree (I was on the hunt for other SAHM's). We clicked immediately and I found out that she also belonged to my church. We both started talking about how there was no community at our extremely large church for young families. There were groups for singles, elderly, school families but nothing for us. I asked for her phone number. That night I remember telling my husband how nervous I was to call her. I felt like I was asking someone out on a date. And then when I did ask her to meet Will and I at the park with her son, she was busy!

We eventually got together and through a woman at our church found other Moms who felt the same way as we did. One wanted to start a Bible study. One was interested in a play group. So, over a matter of about a year we met several days a week and started an organization of Moms. I researched various organizations at other churches and developed a framework for ours. Our mission is to support Moms spiritually, socially and through service. I was the founding president of this organization for the first 2 years and continued to be extremely involved until we moved to Virginia 5 years ago. It is so wonderful to be back at our church and see this group thriving now!

The group that we founded is amazing. We have Bible study, Mom's journal, Power of a Praying Parent. We have amazing speakers each month. We do a service project every month and have raised money for so many organizations over the years. We give handmade crosses to each Mom in our church as her baby is baptized. We provide meals for all Moms in our group when they have a baby. We champion one another through cancer and divorce and post-partum depression and miscarriages. We have Mom's night out and book club, playdates and Halloween parties. We sing carols to the home bound at Christmas time. We do more than I could ever mention here.

The women I started this group with have become some of my closest friends. In fact, the woman I met at Gymboree is my friend, Staci, who I always talk about here (and she is Kate's Godmother). When my son Harry was born, I suffered a huge health crisis. I could barely walk up my stairs. I had been diagnosed as having MS (a misdiagnosis) and was very ill. This group swooped in and brought us dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for 2 months! They surrounded me with love and prayers and good deeds.

So, this week we celebrated 10 years of our Moms group. There are now over 120 members. I think there were 5 of us at the first meeting. We had a beautiful Mass just for our group that really celebrated woman as wives and Mothers. Then we headed to a lovely restaurant downtown where we had wine, a delicious three course meal and laughter and friendship. We also presented a large donation to a Sister who helped us get started for an elementary school she founded in a poverty stricken area of Costa Rica. We wanted our celebration to reflect our three missions: spiritual (the Mass), Service (giving to the school) and social (our dinner).

The night was so special to me and so emotional. When we started this group we hoped but never really imagined it would grow into what it has become. It was amazing to look back over the last ten years and to see the plans God had for us and how he orchestrated bringing these women together to glorify Him. I was asked to speak about our humble beginnings and I so enjoyed doing so.


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One of our officers presenting Sister Virginia with the check.

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She was thrilled and surprised.

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The original board members now....

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and ten years ago at our first general meeting April, 1999.
We had been meeting and planning and writing by-laws for several months prior to this.

I do not usually write about the personal things like this that I do on the blog but I really want my children to know what else I did in life aside taking care of them.

P.S. Everyone is well here. Several people e-mailed asking since I had not posted all week. We were just busy. Kate did have a set-back with her tonsils last Friday. They started bleeding and I had to rush her into the doctor who thought they would have to operate again. But they miraculously stopped bleeding on their own. Thank you, Lord. Thank you all for the prayers.

33 comments:

  1. Glad to hear everybody is doing good. We travel so much that it sounds really wonderful to be part of a group like the one you started up 10 years ago. We have a lot of support in our 'community' but it is definitely not the same. I am looking forward to settling down somewhere one day :-) I do my part trying to help out giving out meals when families have a new baby or have somebody sick. It is tough because we are so far away from our families...
    Happy Anniversary to your group and many many more years :-) !

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  2. What an incredible group!! That is such a neat story- thanks for sharing. BTW- you look fabulous on your night out with your white shirt, black skirt, and classic pearls!!!

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  3. What a wonderful story. I am glad to hear everyone is feeling better in your houeshold.

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  4. What an amazing legacy you have left at your church. There is nothing more important to a SAHM than a support group!

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  5. kim, what an amazing ministry you started. thank you for sharing. (you look stunning, too!) i just started my rcia classes this month ... come easter i'll be confirmed! having been raised protestant, this is a huge step for me and is something daniel and i are doing together (he is my sponsor). anyhow ... i read your post at just the right time, for me. thank you for sharing. xoxo

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  6. It doesn't surprise me a bit that you would start something so fabulous! What a blessing you are to your church and community and to other moms!

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  7. What a wonderful group to start, and to see 10 years later, how it's blossomed. You saw a need and made it happen - how fulfilling!

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  8. you look wonderful:)
    I am so thankful you don't have MS symptoms anymore.
    I am so glad Kate's tonsils stopeed bleeding, I know that had to be scary.
    Hope this week is even better!
    Love
    C

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  9. Glad to hear that Kate is okay and that the bleeding stopped...thank you JESUS!! <><

    And KIM!...what a wonderful organization that you put together and helped to get started! How wonderful to see it blossom into just a wonderful ministry!! I'm sure there are SO many grateful moms because of it!

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  10. That is so awesome! Women definately need each other. I love your outfit too.

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  11. What a blessing you are to women everywhere. if you don't find what you're looking for...start it yourself. Now that to me is so "Kimmy" :) Thanks for the inspiration.

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  12. What a wonderful ministry you started that is still thriving and you get to be a part of again! So glad to hear everyone is on the mend at your house!

    I ordered Lucy's tea set from Amazon...it is make by KidKraft...it is such great quality...all wood!!

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  13. Kim,

    I say a bunch of us mom bloggers meet in Paris someday ;), with our girls, of course!

    I admire what you did with the moms in your church so much! I have felt the same way before a church. Now as we are considering a big move, I may be in the same out of place position once again. I am inspired by what you did!

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  14. Kim,

    That is a great ministry you started!! It is so needed...maybe I need to start something like that in our area....we have nothing like that.

    I got Vivi Jo's dress on Etsy. Below is the address. She has so many adorable dresses. I also got Viv the 1960's STYLE GREEN CHRISTMAS LAYLA DRESS. I want one of everything she has...lol. I ordered 2 dresses and she email me saying she got the order and would start making them....I had them in less than a week. I could not believe it! If the link happens not to work her shop name is FaithWorks4U.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5585996

    Blessings,
    Kim

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  15. Glad Kate is ok.
    This is so neat, what you shared! I love the capture on Sister's face when she is presented with the check! Worth every cent put into it! And the children in Costa Rica who benefit - wow!

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  16. What a wonderful group! So nice that you all made that effort 10 years ago and look how it has blossomed! You look fabulous! Glad to hear that all are doing well at your house. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

    Janet

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  17. Kim, How wonderful! You all have done some good works. How wonderful that you were all together (and you back with the group)
    You by the way, look great in your crisp white and black! (love the candlesticks as well).

    Sorry to hear about Kate's set back..hope she is on the mend for good now. Hope the boys are feeling better too!
    Norah

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  18. When I had Clark I was new to our town and had a very similar experience as you. The group that we started was MOPS. I was extremely active for a long time and the girls that were the original officers are three of my closest friends still. Thanks for sharing!!!
    Hugs,
    Chesnye

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  19. I think it is SO important for our children to see all that do to serve God and others. It's an important piece of your (and their) life. And one of my dear friends has MS... I'm so glad yours was a misdiagnosis.

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  20. what an amazing ministry & outreach for you!!!
    i loved hearing about this personal side of you sweet kim.
    glad kate is well
    xo

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  21. What a great group and you look fabulous!

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  22. That's awesome! You ladies have built something of such lasting value... on so many levels!
    Way to go!! Looks like a fantastic evening and an incredible group of ladies :)

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  23. what a beautiful post kim, you should be so proud!! i think it is wonderful, and the group sounds amazing!! congrats!

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  24. That was a great post! I especially loved the expression on Sister Virginia's face- come on- she is just darling!! And I just think it would be sooo cool to return to your church to see the group as active as ever and to know you were there at conception. Our MOPS group is growing every year, and I hope we can continue to grow as your group has.

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  25. Wonderful post - gosh we look young in that first picture - sorry I wasn't there but I love the new original board member pic - everyone looks great - makes me miss you and all our buddies even more - sigh.... love you, S

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  26. Kim, Sounds like a wonderful group. Congrautulations on 10 years:)

    Blessings!

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  27. You look beautiful then and NOW!

    Thank you for sharing your special evening with me!

    Hugs,
    DI

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  28. Kim
    You do look great then and NOW!
    What a wonderful service, to give to the community,and you need that
    closeness with your other friends too.
    I know that it had to be great to go back in time!
    SO SO glad you did not have MS at all!! and SO SO very thankful that you also did not have to face another surgery!

    Believe me your children will grow up and know that you did more than just take care of them!

    Blessings blessings blessings!
    Cindy

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  29. Wow! I know ive told you before, but ill say it again...you are a super mom! What an inspirational story. I love the idea of this and I am so happy to hear that it worked out so well for you.
    I am also happy to hear that the MS was just a misdiagnosis, that must have been pretty scary. My mother has had MS since 1999 and it is a very sad sad disease. I am so glad that you are happy and healthy! Enjoy the week! Hopefully, the family is feeling better!:)

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  30. Such a wonderful,inspiring story, Kim.
    You look just fabulous - love your skirt and blouse. A favorite look of mine ... sure that doesn't surprise you! ;)

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  31. Such an inspiring story! Each week I go to our service and feel the same way! It's time for me to do something about it--thank you for sharing! You are proof that things can change!

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  32. Such a wonderful group that is important and meaningful to your parish community.

    Our parish has a very similar group and they are so welcoming. It is so nice to feel like you belong to a friendly church community.

    How great that you got to come back to what you had a hand in starting ten years ago.

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  33. I love then and now pictures!

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Thank you for your kindness.