The class was over, but Anna lingered. As other couples made their way out the door, Anna approached Meredith, the class instructor, and pulled her into a hug. When Anna pulled back, there were tears in her eyes.
“Thank you,” Anna said as she smiled through her tears. “You have no idea how much this has meant to me.”
Anna shared with Meredith how grateful she was to have this community of people to learn and grow with over the past several weeks. She had no family close by and her boyfriend worked 12-15 hour days throughout the week. Being a part of the Pregnancy & Parenting Class had, in a way, given her a family—a support system.
“And in the diaper bag you gave me,” Anna said, “there was a note.”
The Power of Words
Often, when community groups come to the Care Center to volunteer, they will spend a portion of their time writing encouraging notes to the moms and dads we serve. The notes are placed inside the diaper bags we give to each couple at the end of every series of classes.
This one particular note meant the world to Anna.
Anna shared that when she first read it, the words of love, compassion, and encouragement made her cry. She’s since taped it to her mirror and reads it over and over again, to remind her that even in the difficulty of an unplanned pregnancy, she has others praying for her, loving her, and supporting her. She knows she is not alone.
Sweetness to the Soul
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Isn’t it interesting that Anna didn’t tape her new diaper bag onto her mirror? The material things she received in class were practical and needed. She was so grateful for these blessings. But the thing that brought her to tears and made her feel most loved and cared for was a note. Words.
It was genuine words of encouragement that breathed life into her spirit in the midst of a difficult and sometimes lonely season of life.
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As we approach Christmas, we are often overwhelmed with lists of things to buy, order, or deliver. There is so much joy in giving gifts and providing for material needs.
But this time of year is difficult for many. Loss, loneliness, depression, and fear are the close companions of women and men we cross paths with every day. And sometimes, the greatest gift we can give to anyone is the knowledge that they are seen, loved, and valued.
The gift of words.
Give the Gift of Gracious Words
If you are looking for a practical way to provide encouragement to the moms we serve, we invite you to write some notes for the clients who participate in our Pregnancy & Parenting Class. This is a great project you can do on your own, as a family, or as a small group. You can drop off the notes at your convenience during any of our regular office hours.
Here are a few guidelines/ideas to help you get started:
- Write as if you’re talking with a friend.
- Encourage the client about motherhood and the joys that come with it.
- Remind her that even in the unknown and on the hard days, she is not alone.
- Share a personal story of how your mom has impacted your life. Encourage this new mom about who she is and the impact she will have on her own children.
- Share an uplifting scripture verse or passage.
Mary Holloman is the Communications Coordinator at the Care Center. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her husband and two sweet kiddos. You can find more of her work at www.maryholloman.com and follow her on Instagram at @marytholloman.