This week, several of my "sisters" have offered up their time and their blogs to share with you their thoughts on motherhood. These women have made me laugh, made me cry, touched my soul, and lifted my spirit time and time again. Please visit them as they join me in sharing with you the work of Mary's Mantle and their own experience of this blessed and sacred sisterhood. Here is the current line-up (check back for updates through the week!):
Monday, May 25: From Little Hands, by Maia Jarvis
Tuesday, May 26: Call Her Happy, by Jenna Hines
Wednesday, May 27: A Blog for My Mom, by Rosie Hill
Thursday, May 28: Reconciled to You, by Allison Gingras
Friday, May 29: Annery At Home, by Annie Tillberg
Think back to the moment you found out you were expecting. I know for me, it was a mixture of joy, nervousness, and excitement. Never for a moment did I question whether I would be bringing a child into the world alone. Never for a moment did I question whether our family and friends would joyously welcome our child.
Not all women face pregnancy with the support and love of family and friends. Many women who contemplate abortion do so because they feel they have no other choice. There is no one to support them, protect them, or nurture them as they bring new life into the world. Mary’s Mantle was born from the experience of one such young woman. Young, alone, and finding herself kicked out of her family home when they found out she was pregnant, this mother had nowhere to go. Worse yet, those who tried to help her could find nowhere for her to go – there were little to no resources for her as she thought about bringing this new life into the world. Sadly, feeling she had no options and not finding anywhere to live, this young woman turned to abortion, though that was not an avenue she had initially considered at all.
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, over 40 women and their children have called it home. For the first five years of the ministry, Mary’s Mantle has been renting a house for their program. This past December, they were finally able to purchase a home to call their own. Those of you who have bought homes know the peripheral costs that come along with home ownership. In order to fit the home to the needs of the residents, renovations have been underway over the past few months. Now that the move date is set, the ministry has experienced some setbacks. This is your chance to do a work of mercy and help this ministry to fully equip their new home. (We appreciate the generosity of our donors who have faithfully supplied us used furniture and items in the past. With the wear and tear the home experiences with a revolving population, it would be a huge help to begin with new items.) Enter the current GoFundMe campaign.Whether it is $5 or $500, you can be a part of the work that is done by the ministry of Mary’s Mantle. Help a homeless mother find refuge from the storm. Please consider donating today. (We have been experiencing occasional technical difficulties with the GoFundMe page. If the site is down, please go to the main donation page and reference the campaign in the comments so we can properly thank you!)
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, some come from the churches in our neighborhoods, most have 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 our staff work with them to address the causes and symptoms of their homelessness (job training, housing searches, education, therapy, etc.), the greatest work done is to teach them about the love of God, help them to begin healing, and provide an example of how to be faithful mothers so they can break the cycle of abuse.
While you won’t find me quoting Hillary Clinton often, she was absolutely right when she said many moons ago that it takes a village to raise a child. There have been so many lessons of motherhood, (some learned reluctantly, some offered unsolicited) that have come from the community of women and mothers in my life, whether down the street or across the world. This "sisterhood of motherhood" helps to get us through the days, which can sometimes be long. Just knowing that we are not alone in our struggles, that there are women who have walked (and survived) the journey before us, can be a great consolation. Having someone to turn to that can affirm that we aren't crazy when we are struggling, that our children are normal when they're not model citizens, that we are in fact not failing can be a balm to the soul. Mary's Mantle is in the business of creating this sisterhood in the name of Christ under the mantle of our Blessed Mother.
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