A few weeks ago I wrote briefly about the cry room at my church. The cry room is a small room adjacent to the main sanctuary that is reserved for nursing moms or moms with infants and/or small children who struggle to sit through service.
My two-year-old Tenley and I fall into category number two. Week after week Tenley and I head to the cry room whenever she gets too loud and wiggly.
Tenley loves the cry room. She loves seeing the other babies and emptying the contents of my purse to her heart’s delight.
To be honest, I don’t really mind our trips to the cry room either. I love how it’s quiet and cozy, and I love getting a chance to see other moms even if it’s just to say, “hi.”
Throughout my time in the cry room I’ve had plenty of opportunities to observe the moms around me. Many of them are first time moms or moms with tiny newborns. I can’t help but notice the look of supreme joy mixed with supreme stress and fatigue written across their faces.
There are also moms with toddlers who come in exasperated when their child has chosen the middle of service as the best possible time for a meltdown. On their faces I see signs of physical and emotional exhaustion mixed with assuring smiles and gentle eyes.
My heart goes out to these moms because I’ve been there; I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to be needed by a newborn or small child every hour of the day. I know what it’s like to feel like motherhood is an endless, sometimes thankless job. I know what it’s like to feel as though no one sees, no one knows, no one understands just how much you love, just how hard you work, just how much you pour into your children.
And more than anything I want these moms to know that they are not alone. I want them to know that someone does see, that someone does know, that someone does understand. I want to encourage them, build them up, refresh their hearts, infuse them with strength.
I want to point them to God, remind them of His love, and help them know we have an ally, an intimate friend, who is always with us as we mother and grow our families.
But how? How do I nurture these moms who nurture their children so faithfully?
With this question in mind I recently came across a book titled, I like Giving by Brad Formsma. Full of stories and creative ideas, Formsma’s book has launched a movement that encourages people to give in all kinds of ways.
I Like Giving is a fun, entertaining, and helpful book that inspires its readers to give generously and effectively, not just occasionally but as an ongoing and world changing lifestyle.
Within the first few pages of Formsma’s book I knew I had my answer: books! Free books, in the cry room, for moms.
Books are a huge encourager for me. Books like Ann Voskamp’s, One Thousand Gifts, or Stasi Eldredge’s, Captivating, or Lysa TerKeurst’s, Made to Crave don’t just bolster my heart, they change my life.
So what if I took all those books sitting on my shelf, books I’ve read, and loved, and cried over because they spoke so deeply to my heart and gave them away to fellow moms with hearts just like mine?
Armed with newfound passion, excitement, and my husband’s blessing to scour bookstores, garage sales, and our house, I grabbed a wooden crate and went to work collecting books. In no time I had a crateful of titles ready to give away.
I placed the crate in the cry room, with the message: A free gift for you. I said a quick prayer and trusted God to get these books into the hands and hearts that need them most.
As Tenley grows and gets better at sitting through service, I find myself visiting the cry room for a completely different reason: to give to moms who never stop giving.
To fill and refill my box of books.
To join with God in filling and refilling the hearts of moms.
I like books. I like giving. I like taking one of my passions and using what I have to be a blessing, to make a difference, to lift a fellow mama’s heart, one book, one gift, at a time.
The giving doesn’t stop here…True to his word and the message of his book, Brad Formsma has generously given me three copies of, I Like Giving, to share with you, my wonderful readers! (Thanks so much, Brad!)
Simply leave a comment below, post to my Facebook link or share this post with your friends and your name will be entered in a drawing for a free copy of I like Giving by Brad Formsma. (If you share this post from my website, be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org /Subject:Giveaway/ so I can enter your name in the drawing.)
The drawing will be held next Sunday, June 15, and winners will be announced on Wednesday June, 18th.
I hope you’ll enter, check out Brad’s book, and join the I Like Giving movement to change our world one gift at a time.
For more information on Brad Formsma and his book, I Like Giving, please visit www.Ilikegiving.com.