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IBC Women’s Blog May 17, 2019

IBC Women’s Blog May 17, 2019

Heartfelt Homes By Jodie Montgomery

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Romans 12:9-13

I and two other ladies (Sherry and Terri) hosted a Heartfelt Moms group at my house this year. (There were also other Idlewild Heartfelt homes for the ministry but they should not be lumped in with any confessions I make about our group…) This means that we three “hostesses” planned a meal, an activity, a little gift, and a devotional monthly from September to May for a group of moms with children still at home. I felt incredibly biblically hospitable in hosting the group at my home. I had finally arrived at a new spiritual level of more openness…

An excellent Heartfelt leadership team joyfully meets at the first of the year, sets up wonderfully creative ideas for the meals and activities, unites in prayer, and organizes who will be the spiritual leader in devotional thought for each gathering. They also gather throughout the year to celebrate and update planning, preferably around tea served in floral containers. I will not say our leadership team was less than excellent but this was not our way and our group may have noticed. We planned at the first through texts and emails and then readjusted all as things didn’t come quite together as planned. We texted A LOT the day before Heartfelt gatherings. Some might say we flew by the seat of our pants. Sherry lives an hour from me and so she was already pushing it each month to travel the distance. Regardless, she was the food lead. That woman is amazing in her ability to cook for minimal cost and package all for travel. Terri had a busy year of health concerns with family and so she had to miss a few months. Thankfully, she hung in as much as she could and we all realize life happens so you just go with it. I was blessed to have the group at my home as that meant I made it to group.

Turns out the meals, devotionals, parting gifts, and activities were not the heart of the gathering. The ladies in our group brought the heart. They encouraged us as leaders. These moms inspired us by their thankfulness, humor, patience, and commitment to loving their families as great wives and moms. They were open about fears, financial struggles, infertility, and boredom. They appreciated anything and everything we prepared- even when it didn’t work with their food needs. They felt awkward not bringing anything and relaxing. We had to keep reminding them to let us cleanup for them. They seem to be on automatic regarding cleaning and taking care of others. It took them a couple months to get use to the idea of being served.

The Heartfelt season for this group is ending. That is bittersweet to me. I will miss connecting with Sherry and Terri in the planning. I will miss regularly seeing these amazing young moms. Time with women, sharing similar values and goals, celebrating even the mundane, knowing we will pray for one another, knowing we all struggle has refreshed me.

Heartfelt will officially start back again in September. I’ve learned a lot about hostessing and hopefully will be more “organized” next year. But what really matters is I have been reminded that it is very important to take time to encourage one another on our life journeys. A friend makes a difference. Shouldn’t the family of God provide the best “Heartfelt” friends?