JAMES CRUISE Ministries Blog

God chooses what we go through. We choose how we go through it.

Archive for the category “Motherhood”

An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day)

An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day)

 “I’ve asked Amy Young to share her “Open Letter to Pastors,” with us. I came across this article a few years ago and it really spoke to my heart. I hope it serves to encourage you as it does me.”

Pastor,

Tone can be tricky in writing. Picture me popping my head in your office door, smiling and asking if we could talk for five minutes. I’m sipping on my diet coke as I sit down.

You know that I’m not one to shy away from speaking my mind, part of the reason you love me (mostly!), so I’m guessing that internally you brace yourself wondering what might be next.

I set my can down and this is what I’d say.

A few years ago I sat across from a woman who told me she doesn’t go to church on Mother’s Day because it is too hurtful.  I’m not a mother, but I had never seen the day as hurtful. She had been married, had numerous miscarriages, divorced and was beyond child bearing years. It was like salt in mostly healed wounds to go to church on that day. This made me sad, but I understood.

Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day.  A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I don’t know how others saw me, but I felt dehumanized, gutted as a woman. Real women stood, empty shells sat. I do not normally feel this way. I do not like feeling this way. I want no woman to ever feel this way in church again.

Last year a friend from the States happened to visit on Mother’s Day and again the pastor (a different one) asked all mothers to stand. As a mother, she stood and I whispered to her, “I can’t take it, I’m standing.” She knows I’m not a mother yet she understood my standing / lie.

Here’s the thing, I believe we can honor mothers without alienating others. I want women to feel welcome, appreciated, seen, and needed here in our little neck of the body of Christ.

  1. Do away with the standing.

You mean well, but it’s just awkward. Does the woman who had a miscarriage stand? Does the mom whose children ran away stand? Does the single woman who is pregnant stand? A.w.k.w.a.r.d.

  1. Acknowledge the wide continuum of mothering.

To those who gave birth this year to their 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 every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through 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, and 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, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own 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 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 these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and 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.

  1. Commend mothering for the ways it reflects the Imago Dei (Image of God)

by bringing forth new life, nurturing those on her path, and living with the tension of providing both freedom and a safety net.

I know I might be an unusual one to be speaking about Mother’s Day; but maybe that’s why so many talk to me about mothering, I’ve got the parts, just not the goods.  Thanks for listening and for continuing to mother us in a shepherding way. Even though I’m a bit nervous to come on Sunday, I will be here. But if you make us stand, I might just walk out.

Warmly and in your corner,

Amy

SLIDE - An open letter to pastors mother's day

On the Road to Baton Rouge

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Headed to The National Single Moms Conference in Baton Rouge today. Going to be a great event for single moms from over 40 states. Pray for single moms this weekend. Visit us at our Booth if you are in attendance at the conference.

Super Single Parent Conference

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Super Single Parent Conference

Olive Baptist Church – Pensacola, FL

Friday & Saturday, May 1-2

It’s tough being a single parent. James Cruise knows this all too well. Many years ago James lost his wife to a car accident, leaving him solely responsible for three young children. You have the opportunity to hear his story and learn from his struggles.

How can you take care of your children, take care of yourself and still find time to follow Christ’s leading in your life? Find out by joining us May 1-2 to hear from James Cruise, our guest speaker, at the Become A Super Single Parent Conference. The cost for the conference is $10. Payment envelopes can be picked up at the registration table in the foyer, all singles classes, the Singles office and the Main office. Scholarships are available by contacting the Singles office at 850-475-1147.

The Friday evening session begins at 7:00pm with heavy hors d’oeuvres. Saturday morning begins at 8:30am with a continental breakfast being offered. The event will be held in the Blue Room (#4100).

Free childcare will be provided for birth through fifth grade, but only for those registered by April 22. Pre-registered children can be checked in at the Simmons Building 15 minutes before the event starts and picked up immediately at the close of both sessions.

http://olivebaptist.org/singles

Mom – You’re the Real MVP

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. Especially all you single parent Moms. You really are your kid’s MVP (Most Valuable Person).
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Happy Mother’s Day

Proverbs says, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue… Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.'” (Proverbs 31:10, 25-26, 28-29)

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1 in 2 Babies

Did you know:

  • 1 in 2 babies are born outside marriage today in the U.S?
  • Every day, 1,000 teenagers become single moms?
  • 78% of our current prison population was raised by a single mom?
  • 2 out of 3 single moms do not attend church?
  • A single mom is 4 times more likely to attend church when a single moms’ program already exists?

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Single Mothers in Prison

Did you know that 77% of women in prisons or jails are single mothers?

64% of mothers in state prisons report living with their children before prison.  One-third of mothers lived alone with their children in the month prior to arrest.  One in 5 children of incarcerated mothers witnessed their mother’s arrest.

78% of the nation’s jail and prison inmates grew up in a fatherless household.

Nationally, nearly 8.7 million children have parents under correctional supervision.

More than 65% of women in state prisons report being parents of children under 18.

More than 74% of incarcerated mothers report that their children live with a grandparent or other relative and 18% report that their children live in foster homes or agencies.

Prison

Mothers – Raising Sons

You must understand that boys and girls express themselves differently.

Gender can make a difference in your relationship with your children.

Raising a son is different than raising a daughter.

Children tend to get along better with the same sex parent.

Boys tend to adjust worse than girls to becoming a child of a single parent.

Girls adjust better because they mature faster than boys.

Communicating with your son and daughter will be quite different.

Your son will think in terms of logic and solving problems because a male has a more active left brain.

A son tends to take divorce harder.

Most moms feel it is much harder raising a teenage son than a daughter.

Your older son may feel like he must substitute for the father/husband.  Don’t let him.  Remember, he is your son, not your husband.

“For a single mother the project of raising a boy is the most fulfilling project she can hope for. She can watch him, as a child, play the games she was not allowed to play; she can invest in him her ideas, aspirations, ambitions and values – or whatever she has left of them; she can watch her son, who came from her flesh and whose life was sustained by her work and devotion, embody her in the world. So while the project of raising a boy is fraught with ambivalence and leads inevitably to bitterness, it is the only project that allows a woman to be -to be through her son, to live through her son.” Andrea Dworkin

Mother Raising Sons

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