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Thankful Thursday: Hosting A Spring Brunch To Encourage Moms

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Faith's Firm Foundation: Thankful Thursday: Hosting A Spring Brunch To Encourage Moms

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Hosting A Spring Brunch To Encourage Moms

(Just a few photos, but lots of links to check out in this post!
Come back for Recipes later today on Food Friday!)
Planning and hosting a Spring Brunch to encourage young moms--an elegant, beautiful, sumptuous, and spiritually encouraging event--turned out to be a physical and spiritual undertaking of a magnitude requiring nothing short of a miracle!  Having planned events much larger, and much more complicated, I became, from the very beginning stages of this event, acutely aware of a strong spiritual battle over this simple little brunch!  Satan got involved right away.  God, however, is much stronger, and an answerer of prayer, mighty to save, and a helper of the needy.  I was definitely needy.  It became obvious very quickly that this would not be attemptable in my own strength, without God orchestrating it, and without help from "God with skin on."

After the special celebration last Saturday, I know that God did something way bigger than can be described, in the hearts and lives of all who attended, which I probably will not fully know or understand in this lifetime.  Fourteen of us:  nine young moms, my friend Becca and her 15-year-old daughter, Rachel--who were my helpers extraordinaire for the day--my friend, Luann--who gave a meaningful and challenging message to the group--and Kelsey and I, were all touched by His presence and spoken to in our hearts.  We enjoyed warm fellowship and the joy of being with sisters in the Lord who are in similar places on the battlefield.  The event went off almost without a hitch (I did completely forget that I had promised to take a picture of the group!  My forgetfulness extended to photographing the event at all, which has caused me great regrets this week, and causes me now to have to apologize that I have no pictures for you to go along with this post)!  But, this is an inconvenience not to be dwelt upon in light of all the Lord did.)  I thank Him today, on Thankful Thursday for all His wonderful works, as I recap the day for you.

A choice-list with her name on it was handed out to each woman as she arrived. Each guest was invited into the family room, and offered punch served from Grandma's beautiful punch bowl.  When all of the guests had arrived, by 12:15, each one introduced themself, and told about their family "statistics":  married to whom, how many children, due when (if pregnant), where they live, etc.  Everyone was able to meet someone new.

The Choice-list options:
Quiches:  (choose 1)
Bacon and Broccoli
Ham and Broccoli

Sausages:  (check 1)
2 sausages
1 sausage
No sausages

I set up two tables, one in the living room, and the other, the table our family eats at in the eating area off of our kitchen.  In the living room, the table was set with the antique china which I found at a garage sale for $25 and thoroughly adore.  I love the colorful pansies in pinks and purples, and the gold-plated silverware borrowed from a friend looked stunning next to the gold-rimmed plates.  That's probably why they sold it! They didn't have gold silverware! Green paper napkins poofed in each glass were my attempt to imitate a flower.  The table in the eating area which overlooks the lake (though the ice wasn't out yet) was set with my green square Sorrento plates, and the silverware my husband bought for his future bride years before he met me.  Party America had some gorgeous floral napkins which looked fantastic and fit perfectly in the center square of each green plate, reminding us that spring was indeed around the corner.

After everyone was seated in their place, marked by a placecard with their name calligraphied on it, Kelsey and Rachel received each person's checked off choice-list, took their plate, and Becca and the girls placed their quiche and sausage choices on their plate with a sprig of parsley garnish, and the girls served each guest.  They were instructed to hang on to their sheet, which would be used in the giveaway later.  On the tables they helped themselves from a beautiful platter of fresh fruit (strawberries, pineapple, grapes and oranges), lemon cream scones (so beautifully and generously baked by my friend, Becca), with three toppings: lemon curd, strawberry jam and whipped cream, served in matching small bowls.  Beverages were available on the tables:  a lovely teapot sitting atop a teawarmer with the candle lit sat in the middle of each table filled with tea (one herbal for the pregnant moms).  Other beverages:  coffee, orange juice, and water, with lemons, were other options.

One thing you don't have to encourage moms of small children to do when you bring them together is talk.  Lively conversation and laughter was popping like popcorn as the women sipped and ate.  One woman said she felt so pampered.  Thank you, Kelsey, for searching for just the right quiche recipe, and tweaking it to make it even better!  And for making all five of the quiches; they were so delicious!  Thank you, Becca, for the scrumptious scones, so moist, yet flaky, risen to perfection.  I enjoyed the leftovers for days!

Following the food part of the brunch, we adjourned to the family room for a time of inspiration and encouragement.  There was a "library" of resources on a table at the end of the room for the ladies to check out, figuratively and literally. I highlighted a couple of the books, including "Raising Real Men," by Hal and Melanie Young, one of the two books which each mom would take home, as a gift, along with a dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe's.  These we had wrapped around in colorful raffia with a bow.  I was able to purchase these books because of the gracious provision of my church.  The other book they received was "Let Me Be a Woman", by Elisabeth Elliot.

We sang the hymn, "Take Time to Be Holy," and I read the words to a hymn, while encouraging them to believe that God had brought them to this brunch, and had a specific purpose for them being there. I urged them to listen to hear what the Lord had to say to them.  I shared a devotional, of sorts--an analogy of the disciples, when Jesus sent them on ahead in the boat out on the sea, and then came to them, when they were experiencing high winds and boisterous waters.  That full analogy will have to wait for another time.  The devotional nugget within was that God was there with them, knew what they were going through, and was fully able to help them--if they will only keep their eyes fixed on Him.  He is infinitely capable and able to help them.  My friend Luann shared a testimony and encouragement with them, from her experience of God giving her and her husband the faith to trust Him to determine how many children they would have, going through the cancer of her 1-1/2 year old son (he's now 13), the stillbirth of their 8th child, days before the baby was due, and the miraculous healing of their 12-year old daughter a few years after losing their baby, when this daughter suddenly collapsed one day, and had to be air-lifted to a hospital where she immediately underwent brain surgery and doctors removed a life-threatening tumor.  She has regained virtually all her mental and physical functions, and lives a very normal life at this time.  Through all these experiences, they have found God faithful, and she encouraged us to trust God with every part of our lives, realizing that He is our Loving Lord, and deserves and has the right to decide what happens to us, but especially the size of their family right now.  She encouraged us all in our faith in a Loving, Trustworthy, Mighty and Powerful, and Faithful God.

Our day ended with dessert (Strawberry Custard Torte) and giveaways, using their choice-list sheets to draw from, first of the book "A Full Quiver," by Rick and Jan Hess.  Then we drew names for the winners of a Ham and Broccoli Quiche, a Spinach Quiche, and a bucket of fruit.  (This was unplanned at the beginning, but a great use of the overabundance of food!)  Who doesn't like a giveaway?!  We also were able to bless one mom with some of the large amount of punch which we had left over.  Continued conversation was enjoyed immensely until the last guest left about 2:00.  My helpers, Becca, and her daughter, Rachel, had washed up almost all the dishes, with Kelsey's help--what a gift!  I had only a small bit of cleaning up, and putting away, through the next hour or so.      

What a joy to be a part of this group of lovely women, all serving God in their homes, loving their husbands and children, and raising them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!

To participate in Thankful Thursday, and read other thankful hearts, visit Lynn, at Spiritually Unequal Marriage--thank you, Lynn, for hosting this month!
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