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Posts Tagged "mom"

MDO or MD-No What would you do?

Posted by on Jul 27, 2010 in Leadership, Ministry

I received an email yesterday from a friend asking my thoughts on Mother’s Day Out.  How would I respond to my leadership if asked to start an MDO ministry.

Great question.  Here was my response…

First, I’d want to know what the objective is.  The request for such a ministry is in response to a ‘felt need’.  Maybe to provide a much needed break to the mom’s attending our church… or to reach out to families in the community that do not have a church home… or to generate some revenue in order to subsidize other ministry endeavors… or simply b/c  this is what churches do… whatever it is, the request is made because someone believes MDO to be a means to an end.  What is that end?

With the end in mind, then I’d want to structure a plan so that the ministry actually meets the defined objectives.  Just like any other area of ministry, it must be evaluated on an annual basis to determine whether or not it is advancing the vision for which it was set in place.  In other words, is the MDO program doing what we want it to do?

  • If we started it to bring in unchurched families, what percentage of our new families that year directly resulted from the MDO program?
  • If we started it to provide a break for mom’s in our church, what ministry are we partnering with to maximize that time for mom?
  • If we started it to subsidize other ministry endeavors, how much dollars are we generating (less the cost of running MDO… facilities use, resources, staffing, training, etc)?
  • If we started it because it’s what churches do… then I’d want to know why that’s a solid reason for such a costly endeavor.

I’m not opposed to Mother’s Day Out.  In some contexts I think it’s an outstanding ministry to host.  For example, consider an MDO program where participating parents are…

  • offered professional training that better equips them to provide for their family (great for inner-city ministry)
  • are given opportunity to serve in their community in ways they cannot with a young child
  • mentored in a next-gen ministry where godly parents from the previous generation pour into them as Christ-followers and parents

I believe Mother’s Day Out can be a great ministry if you view as that exactly… a ministry that requires financial and spiritual investment.

So there you go.  Those are my thoughts based upon my experience with MDO.  Yours?

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Making Room

Posted by on Feb 26, 2010 in My Life

The past 3 weeks I’ve been living as a single mom.

It’s a new experience.  And I have a fresh appreciation for those that raise kids on their own.

Hats off to you.

Tomorrow night Kyle arrives in Knoxville.  praiseJesusthanktheLordcanIgetawitness

But as I scan the bedroom tonight I realize that I need to make room for my hubs.

Over the past few weeks I’ve grown used to having the master bedroom to myself.  From the bathroom counters to the dresser top to the desk… it seems I’ve consumed this living space without struggle.

I may need to open some space for the hubs to live here too… seeing as how he’s on his way.

And I’m excited about that.  🙂

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Confessions of a Mom: The Shiny Red Folder

Posted by on Feb 17, 2010 in My Life

It was his first day of daycare.  He had a great time.





As we left his teacher pointed out his folder.

A shiny, red folder.




Inside the folder held his work for the day and a note from his teacher.

He didn’t care what was inside.  He only cared about the folder.  He wanted to take the folder home with him.

But the folder is supposed to remain.  He didn’t like that.

And he made sure everyone in the building knew of his disagreement.  Everyone.

The next day the first thing he checked upon entering his classroom was his shiny red folder.  There it sat.



We talked about how the folder was here waiting for him.  And how it will stay here again when he leaves.  We agreed that we will take the papers within home with us, but the folder will sleep here again.  In his classroom.  He consented.

Departure was a breeze that afternoon.  He exited the building with a broad smile on his face.

Clutching his shiny red folder.

Dangling from mom’s back pocket hangs a white flag of surrender.

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The Value of Integrity

Posted by on Feb 8, 2010 in My Life

Integrity was a core value of my family growing up. 

I never saw it in writing.  It was never a formal announcement.  They didn’t give it lip-service and they certainly didn’t have it screen-printed on a t-shirt.

They just lived it out.  To the smallest detail.

I think I was 10 years old when I learned what it meant to live out integrity.  A life lesson I will never forget.

I went shopping with my mom and younger sister.  Walking out of the store with our things, I noticed something dangling from the back of my sisters long hair.  Snatching the mysterious item off her head, I found it to be a 13cent gift bow.  Must have latched on when we were horsing around in the gift aisle.  Reporting the stow-away bow to my mother, I expected her to dismissingly tell me to throw it away.  But she didn’t.  She stopped dead in her tracks, looked me square in the eyes and said,

You have to return it.  We didn’t pay for it so it doesn’t belong to us.  Take it back.

I thought I was dreaming.  Take it back??  Really?  It’s a 13cent bow.  Even at 10 years old I knew they’re likely not to care about the lost revenue on a 13cent bow.  But my mom wasn’t going to budge.  That was clear.

So I walked back into that store with their 13cent bow, went straight to the customer service desk and told them…

Excuse me, sir, but I need to return this bow.  You see, it stuck to my sisters hair while we were shopping and we walked out with it but we didn’t pay for it so we can’t keep it. 

The customer service man’s response to me was the same as my response to my mom.  Looking me over from head to toe trying to determine if I was being serious or if he was on an bad episode of Candid Camera  Finally he took the bow from me and said Thank You.

I entered that store confused as to why I would waste my time returning a 13cent bow. 

I exited that store understanding the value of integrity.  Adhering to truth in any circumstance… no matter how minor.

I don’t know if my mother even remembers that incident.  But those 5 minutes of my life were defining for me.  They served to shape my character.

As an individual, I learned that integrity is more valuable than convenience.

As a parent, I’ve learned the life-long impact of a right response.

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The Firestarter

Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in My Life

There’s a story I’ve heard all my life about how my big brother single-handedly saved me from a fire.

At 3 years old he woke up from his nap to the smell of something strange. He discovered the KFC bucket sitting on the stove was engulfed in flames. Racing back to my room, he pulled me out of my bed and ran out of the house dragging me behind. Our mother was in the front yard talking to the neighbor when she heard he toddler son yelling, “Fire! Fire! The house is on Fire!”

When the fire was out and the chaos cleared the damage was minimal. But it made for a great story in the aftermath. And parents love to tell stories.

Visiting my grandparents last Saturday I realized that after 15 years of marriage Kyle had never heard this tale of my brother’s heroism. So I asked my mom to share. Only this time I heard a detail I don’t recall ever hearing before. Maybe it’s selective hearing… maybe it’s selective memory… I don’t know. It’s a detail I managed to overlook all these years.

I was the one that started the fire.

Isn’t that sobering.

We had a stove top with knobs on the front. Within reach of any toddler. Back in the 70’s they didn’t have Safety 1st knob covers to prevent kids from turning them. There were 4 knobs begging to be turned. And so I did.

Who knew the KFC bucket on the burner could be so flammable.

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