building a house home where love can dwell

I was chatting with a friend the other day who is really busy…being a wife to a soldier (Memorial Day hat tip!)…moving their family literally across the country…being mom and teacher to their children…AND growing a baby. She sent me the sweetest video of their soon-to-be-not-youngest dancing, and laughing, and toddling, and I gushed a little and said that I have baby fever. She “lol’d” and asked, “When don’t you?”

And that’s true. I pretty much always have baby fever. Even when I have one of those kinds of days, I’m nearly always asking God to let a little more love spill over into and then overflow out of our home.  I get more than a little goofy over babies: Hold all the babies! Love all the babies! And if you tell me you are having a baby, whether your first or 12th or somewhere in between, I am going to be excited for you.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I know that baby-having is hard, hard work. Preparing a place in your life for a little one is one of the most daunting tasks in life, and this daunting thing becomes exponentially more difficult with each curveball that life throws.   Being a mother, takes a whole lot of support, and encouragement, and help, of all kinds (material, mental, emotional, and spiritual). If you know a mom who denies this fact she is probably hiring a maid and a therapist under the cloak of darkness.

I get a little goofy over moms, too: Love all the mommas! Encourage all the mommas!

Enter the topic at hand:

Mary's Mantle

My friend, Rahki from The Pitter Patter Diaries works for a little place called Mary’s Mantle. I use the word “little” here lightly. Because the work that is happening is something amazing:

The founders of Mary’s Mantle, a Catholic residential program for homeless, pregnant women, felt that no woman should have to choose abortion because they had no place to lay their head. The doors of the metro-Detroit home opened in June of 2010. Since then, 44 women and their children have called it home. The mothers who come to reside at Mary’s Mantle come from all walks of life. Some are recovering addicts, some are recovering from the scars of past abortion, some have been prostitutes, some have been in pornography, some have been victims of domestic violence, many have extremely damaged relationships with their families, and all have been broken by abuse, whether emotional or physical. The time they spend in residence is designed to heal and restore them. While staff work with them to address the causes and symptoms of their homelessness (job training, housing searches, etc.), the greatest work done is to teach them about the love of God, help them to begin healing, and learn how to be faithful mothers so they can break the cycle of abuse.

Being mother can be rough, and messy, and discouraging even when you are surrounded by love and support and encouragement, by food and shelter and basic necessities and not-so-basic luxuries. Take away one of these, some of these, or all of these, and we should not be at all surprised at choices that women make out of desperation.  If we want to live in a culture of life, we have to build homes where love can dwell.

And this is precisely what Mary’s Mantle is doing.  Well, for the past five years they have been renting a house where love can dwell. So now…NOW…Mary’s Mantle is buying a house where love can dwell. The house has been bought; the renovations have been underway; the move date has been set. But Mary’s Mantle needs a little boost for the “final” touches, “from furniture for the formal living room and workshop area, to computers where the moms can look for jobs and take classes online“.

Let’s help provide some hospitality for this home!

I’m going to be all done talking now so that YOU can click*click and go help.  Rahki sent along the GoFundMe link for Mary’s Mantle, but she did mention that some people have been experiencing difficulties with it. I checked it out prior to posting, and it was working, but JUST in case, you can do what I did and go donate through the Mary’s Mantle website.

Love always wins, you guys. Always. So whether it’s a little or a lot, let’s go shower some love on this home!

MEALS!!!

Do I have your attention? Oh, good, I was hoping all caps would do that.

So here is my thought:

Remember when Auntie Leila wrote about (and talked about for those lucky D.C.ers!) forming community and bringing meals? (Julie did a write up here.) Well, I’ve had this on the brain since then. I discovered how food speaks a few years ago when we were in Korea and miscarried and then, again, a few months ago when little A was born. We were on the receiving end of some amazing generosity and delicious meals. It’s really powerful how feeding the hungry helps to form tight bonds in a community. The fact that acts of charity end up feeding the chef as much (if not more) than the eater is a beautiful testament to how God’s mandates are for freedom and happiness instead of restriction and suffering.

At any rate, I’ve got food and putting down roots/forming community on the brain since we moved. Between Julie mentioning meal she took , and the mom of an old friend mentioning how her daughter has an awesome community that pulled together to make meals in a time of need, and remembering the delicious meals WE received, and remembering the eeetsy-beetsy problem that I cook kinda weird….

…I hatched a plan. And, so, I have a question for you:

If I were to put up an on-going link-up (or maybe continually updated post with links?) for meals we take and meals we receive, would you play along?

See, I love to take meals, but I’m also kinda clueless most of the time in addition to cooking kinda weird AND am self-conscious about inflicting weird meals on others.

You know how want to Bring A Meal, and so you ask the recipient, “What do you like to eat?!” And they say, “oh whatever…” Or you log into the mealtrain (or similar service) account and they don’t even have any allergies or likes or dislikes listed? These things cause terror in my soul and crickets chirping where inspiration ought to be.

I loved when we got meals from people who thought out plastic utensils, breakfasts, snacks, other little details that made the meal even more valuable. These little details add such love! It’s awesome (to me) when you smarties share your wisdoms with me, of the slows population.

What I would love to have, in one place, are ideas for these deliverable meals. Now, if this was all I really wanted, I could just start a Pinterest board (and that’s not a half bad idea…think I’ll go do that…), but I want to take that meal idea the step further and see how YOUR communities are being fed.

SO…if I built it (the post), would you come? Would you take pictures and link to recipes? Would you share meals you take? Would you include the details? (I love how Kathryn shared her meal idea here.) Would you do a write up (when you are able) of meals you received and loved?

Would you? Could you?
In a post?
Eat them! Write them!
Just like toast!

I’ll leave you on that Green Eggs and Ham-inspired rambling. Talk to me, though. Would you be interested?