On this Sunday, we are bringing you a post inspired by a comment from a reader and answered by a reader. When you are faced with running a blog/website like Smarty Pants there are many things that you have to take into consideration when writing for an audience. Faith is one of many. It is not just the idea of faith but how to approach it. Let’s get down to it – we don’t all worship or believe in the same things. But as a mom, I find that it is not so much what or how we believe, but how we support each other in our beliefs. Let’s face it, after a long day with the kids and maybe even the hubby, we are all calling on a higher power to see us through. The question we need answered is how to carry that higher power into our families. My daughter was mad at me the other day and said “You are not my boss, God is!” I replied, “You are right but I rule this roost!” At the end of many long mommy days we need to know while we rule our roost and take care of our chicks, we all rely on that higher power to keep us going. So in that spirit we are proud to bring a very Smarty Mom’s answer to a very Smarty question. Here is Jessica W!
Hello fellow Smarty Pants! I am so excited and honored to have the opportunity to share with you something I am truly passionate about…being a member of a women’s church group. The idea for this blog entry was inspired by a comment previously made this summer. It reads:
“A story or stories about different faith based women’s groups would be useful. In fact more topics on how we moms can foster the importance of religion in our homes would be great. My husband is not supportive of my efforts and it is one of my greatest mommy struggles. Help!”
I hear and can relate to the three different inquiries made in this post: 1) What are the benefits of belonging to a women’s church group; 2) How can I foster the importance of religion (faith) in my home; 3) What do I do if my husband and I are at different places in our faith walk?
Believe me, I have been there and am still continuing to challenge myself/be challenged in all three of these areas! But, let’s start with what you can do right now and will benefit from for the rest of your life. I would highly encourage you to find a women’s group in your church (if you don’t have a church of your own yet, find a friend who attends a group and tag along). This is a choice you have control over and it will help you accomplish your desire to make your faith a central place in your home.
When I stepped foot in my first LIFE Group for moms with young children, I did not know a soul in the room, or the church for that matter! (The purpose of a LIFE Group is to help connect people so they will experience a sense of belonging while involved in Learning, Intercession, Fellowship, and Encouragement.) My children were attending Weddington United Methodist Church (WUMC)’s preschool and even though I was in and out of the church daily, I hadn’t connected with any moms yet. We were all so busy coming and going that there was no time to really meet anyone. But, I decided it was something I needed…to connect, to belong to something, to study with some Godly women! So, when a flyer came home in the backpacks about this LIFE Group, I decided to take a leap of faith and check it out!
And, let me tell you, it was a great fit! As a group, we practiced intercessory prayer (praying for one another’s needs), studied books on being better mommies, wives, women (written by Christian authors with scriptural support) and became great sisters in Christ. It is a unique friendship. One that allows the freedom of bringing your faith into every conversation you have with a member of the group without feeling “strange”. This, in turn, has opened me up to sharing my faith with really just about anyone because I have grown so much over the past years and now see this as just being the “real me”. I seek opportunities to witness to others about my faith, of course in as natural a way as I can possibly do it, not a “pushy or preachy” way!
There are groups out there for every kind of stage of life or interest (see http://www.weddingtonchurch.org/smallgroups_lifegroupsfor some examples). I have a dear friend who leads a scrap-booking LIFE Group. Our church has groups that worship and play sports together. For me personally, I felt lead to make another leap of faith by joining a new Bible study at WUMC called Disciples 1 this Fall. I am in a group of over 20 women who will be reading and studying the Bible over the next school year. I can only imagine how I will grow over the next months during this study! I promise you, you cannot do this alone. The Bible says “…Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” (2 Tim. 2:22). We are encouraged to study and worship together to grow in our faith and support each other!
To touch on the second point, how can I foster the importance of faith in my own home…if you study it, learn it, become passionate about it, surround yourself with similarly committed women, you will inevitably bring it home and share it with your family and eventually start sharing with everyone around you! It’s only natural! Some personal examples are praying with my children in the car if one of my boys has a concern, praying with many a friend who is going through a devastating divorce, having quiet time and reading daily devotionals and my Bible. My family sees me doing this and they understand I am working on my personal relationship with God. We have bought a children’s devotional as well to share with our children (I will admit, we need to make a stronger commitment to this though). I credit all of this to God’s work on and in me over the recent years.
And, finally, what do I do if my husband and I are at different places in our faith walk? This is much more common than you might think. In each of my LIFE groups, prayer for husbands and their “faith walk” is a frequent prayer request. I think once we, as women, know how great it is to have a close walk with Jesus…we, of course, want this for our spouses! God calls us to lead by example. In 1 Peter 3 God speaks to his expectations of wives. It has given me a lot of comfort knowing that I am to live a godly life and that in turn will speak to my husband without any words necessary. God promises we will win over our husband to faith when they observe our Christian ways. As the years pass, I can see God’s faithfulness to my family and know that He is working on each of us in His perfect way. I do remind myself frequently that God works in His time, not mine!
Please tell us about the small groups at your church/place of worship and how you’ve been touched by your personal experiences within them!
Love this post! My family attends a church about 25 minutes away from our home that we love, but I have gone to a women's group at my daughters preschool church for almost 2 years now and LOVE these women. If you live in the University area, might I recommend the Moms Time Out (MTO) groups at University City United Methodist. I started going before my daughter started preschool there and, like I said, I don't even attend church there. I love connecting with these other women with similar faith in my surrounding community!!http://www.ucumc.org/templates/cusucumc/details.asp?id=29096&PID=221754
What a wonderfully encouraging post. Taking the time to nourish your own soul with the food of the Lord not only makes us better people, but better mommies. Thanks Jessica for sharing part of your journey with us.
If anyone would like to share some of the favorite books you've read or studied in women's groups similar to the one described in this post, I'd greatly appreciate the input. I'm a part of a women's circle in my church and love it – we're reading "Eat, Love Pray" right now and need to decide on our next book soon.Thanks!Nan
Great post! Such a vital part of our jobs as mothers is to help our children grow in their faith. As I look back on the moments of doubt and worry I've experienced as a mom, it was my faith that helped me the most. I too would love some book titles. The women in my group at church have become like family. We too have a book club and would appreciate some good Christian titles. We just finished the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It was great!Sarah
sorry, you might have just lost a piece of me with this one. very important but a little more religious than i wish this site would be.
A couple books we've read in our group: Managing Your Moods, a Women of Faith Study Guide Series; The Mom You're Meant to Be by Cheri Fuller, a Focus on the Family book; The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell; Blessing Your Husband by Debra Evans, a Focus on the Family book. I have also studied The Shack with a group from my church lead by our pastor — that was an amazing study! I would suggest doing a "survey" to know what your group's needs are (self, parenting, relationship) and go from there! I hope others post their book titles too…there are so many out there! J.W.
Great post! I think we all need encouragement in our roles as wives and mothers! A Christian-based support group will hopefully give that encouragement and sometimes tell you what you don't want to hear – that you are wrong in a disagreement with your husband, that you should forgive that person who doesn't 'deserve' it, that the approval of others should not be so important in your life, etc. One thing that scares me is being in women's groups and hearing how many women have life-long hurts from something that happened to them as a child, frequently words or actions from a parent. It helps keep me on my toes more as a mother when I have had enough of my own kids and feel like snapping at them.
To the person who got lost-C'mon, we could all use a little encouragement here and there. Be it from a higher power or from your girlfriend next door. Relax and take it all in!
Please don't go all religious on us! I have appreciated this site for leaving religion & politics alone. Plenty of other sites for that…
I really enjoyed this post. My faith plays such a vital role in how I choose to live my life as a wife, mother and friend. I appreciate that you all are not afraid to reach out to those of us who feel this way. Surely, there have been posts written on various topics that some readers cannot relate to. For some reason, it's the religious ones that people feel the need to compain about. Thank you Jessica, my dear friend, for writing from the heart and leading such a great example.-KR
I've been reading CSP since the beginning and there have been somedays that the topics didn't appeal to me but I didn't feel the need to complain or write a negative comment. Why is one Sunday's post on mothering and faith such a big deal? Really that troublesome? I think its sad. Is the subject of faith (the piece was well done and respectful of all faiths…not just Christianity) so controversial or taboo? I'm Jewish and love the support I receive from my faith community in regards to parenting. I commend CSP for including this topic and would welcome more. Faith like dieting, potty-training, going green and shopping is a essential part of many mother's lives. If it's not for you, don't read it.Thanks CSP for yet again providing an interesting post! Deborah
A great book on parenting is "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. A great book on marriage is "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerichs.
Any ideas for a Women's Group in the SouthPark area?
Thank you for this post. I cannot believe you decide to write one blog about religion and someone says "don't go all religious on us". Give me a break. Each day is a different topic. Some are good for one group of moms, while some are good for a different group of moms. I am proud of you for running this post and think it is perfectly fine to do so. If you wrote one like this every day, I would understand the complaint from anonymous. Nice job, CSP ladies.
I needed this post. Thank you!
To the anonymous who read the Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman, check out the Smarty Mom on Triad Smarty Pants today. She recently co-authored a book with Chapman – both live in Winston-Salem!