MFL office responded to the invitation from the Mother & Toddler group in Holy Family - Southampton.
The group meet over tea/coffee & home-made cake (baked by one of the mums) to support each other, whilst their Tots play.
Sometimes they invite speakers to share their testimony. They chat, sing together with their Tots at the end and finish with prayer. They meet after the 9h15am mass on a Friday.
My presentation begun with the work of the MFL office : Sacramental Marriage Preparation, Natural Fertility Awareness/Planning & Catholic Grandparent’s Prayer group.
We swiftly delved into the joys and challenges of being a Catholic Christian Mother in our contemporary culture.
As young mums, making a gift of ourselves on a moment by moment basis, underpinned our conversation. I shared my testimony of being a stay at home mum for 15 years - the loneliness, challenges, tears & joys. I made reference to amazing Kimberly Hahn's 'Life- giving Love' in which she says ' mums can change the world one diaper at a time'.
The best part was the gift of being surrounded by joyful toddlers and being 'interrupted' by their happy squeals , reading to a bright little girl and getting to cuddle baby Tobias!
On another visit, one of the mums' read extracts from the uplifting author Sally Clarkson's 'Motherhood -a Mission'. A beautiful expression which I retained was the author's encouragement to mums. I paraphrase - 'As mums we can perceive our children's demands, [be it nappy changing or – my own words- picking up/dropping a teenager off at a party] - as 'divine appointments'.
I consider my time with these spirit -filled mums as Divine Appointments - my time with them, is always a blessing.
Feedback from Mums
'it was wonderful having aba at our mum's group for a morning, chatting together and drinking tea as we heard about her journey into motherhood. It was useful to get some information and contact details for marriage courses and NFP as well. Come back soon!' (ML)
'it was so good to see you and your presence at the Toddler group was wonderful!' (AW)
'wanted to reiterate my thanks for bringing aba...she was lots of fun and made such a refreshing change and some super important points in her talk...please remind her to pass on her book recommendations...'(KH)