Categories: Community, Family, Holiday

Amy

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I love hearing back stories. I wrote an open letter to pastors {A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day} on a Thursday morning. At that time I worked in a shared work space where six people shared five desks. Not everyone came in to the office every day and on that day three of us were in the office: Dan, Matt, and me. Truth be told, Mother’s Day wasn’t the strongest thing on my mind. Instead, it was green beans.

The back story

I was living in Beijing and a local restaurant, named—in our circle—as “The Green Umbrella” was going to be torn down and the land it was located on redeveloped. The Green Umbrella had the best Chinese food ever. Ever. And the green bean dish? To die for. I think it was laced with drugs, it was that addicting.

Our entire staff, both American and Chinese, had planned a staff outing to eat together one last time at the GU. That’s how tragic the closing was going to be! We had to eat green beans together and mourn in community.

In my post, I wanted to say, “Dear Pastor, don’t make me stand, it is unnecessarily awkward. Let’s save the awkwardness for situations we can’t avoid. Love, Amy.” But I knew that wasn’t really a helpful message. It was what I felt, but it didn’t get at the reason behind my annoyance. It didn’t get at the heart, it stayed in the head. So, I asked myself what I wished a pastor would do. What would have ministered to me and those around me? How could we still honor the mothers around us without creating more hurt? There had to be a better way.

I wrote the letter in, maybe 30 minutes, looked for an image on line that caught the heart of mothering without stereotyping. As I hit send I asked Dan and Matt if they were ready for green beans.

Who wouldn’t be?!

Every Mother’s Day now I think of Dan, Matt, and green beans. I also marvel at how God has taken this message and way of approaching holidays and grown it into a movement that has absolutely nothing to do with me. Which is how it should be. This time of year is a bit nuts-o on my blog, but the best part is hearing how this message is being adapted and used. I just heard from a DJ wanting to read it on Sunday across the airwaves. It’s been translated into many languages and multiple videos have been made.

Several ministries have used it to help launch their own ministries. What?! I know. This letter has become  one of the most tangible gifts to steward I have been given by God. Below is one of the ways the message is being used this year, in litany. I nearly swooned. Litany. It’s a Christian girls dream come true.

What I love about you, reader, is that you have been given gifts to steward too. You have been given a message and means to share it. The messages are important and can impact change. But lest we make it all big and world changing, what I love about God, is that he laces these stories with private humor.

On a holiday about mothers, I think about my male co-workers and green beans.

A Litany for Mother’s Day 
from Amy Young adapted by Pastor Bree Truax

A litany for mother's day

Leader: This is the day the Lord has made!
Congregation: We will rejoice and be glad in it!

Leader: To those who are pregnant with new life,
Congregation: we anticipate with you and pray that God will knit together the child in your womb.

Leader: To those who gave birth this year to their first child
Congregation: we celebrate with you!

Leader: To those who lost a child this year. To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or accidents
Congregation: we mourn with you.

Leader: To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, hopes that are dashed and disappointment
Congregation: we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

Leader: To those who are moms, foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms
Congregation: thank you! We need you. We appreciate you!

Leader:  To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother
Congregation: we acknowledge your experience. We are sad with you. We hope for your healing.

Leader:  To those who are caring for their mothers in the midst of medical needs
Congregation: God sustain you.

Leader: To those who whose mother died this year or in years past
Congregation: we grieve with you. Peace to you.

Leader:  This Mother’s Day, everyday, we all walk together as the family of God. All are valued. All make a difference. For the mothers present and represented among us, we give extra thanksgiving today.
Congregation: For their love, encouragement and strength, we thank the Lord.

Leader:  Drawn together by the Spirit, we join with others as one family in worship, in prayer, in praise, in company.  We come to worship God and to grow in faith together.
Congregation: Let us love one another as God first loved us.

Leave A Comment

  1. LeAnne P May 6, 2016 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Beautiful!!

    • Avatar photo
      Amy May 6, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

      Thank you friend :). Remember four years ago? and the connections we made? So fun :)

  2. Patricia Pous May 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Wow, that really inspired me, Thank you… We should bring more light to those who needed, as you said it’s easy to stretch out our hand to those in are circle, in our comfort zone, but what about the ones in the darkness?…

    • Avatar photo
      Amy May 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Good question Patricia!

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