Mom's Night Out - what a beautiful phrase! It always sounds great ahead of time, and then right before time to leave, this once in a blue moon opportunity sounds like the worst idea possible. There is a lot that goes into a night off, but I am always delighted that I didn't give in to that little mean voice that says "it's just easier to stay home."
Last night I had the joy and privilege of sharing dinner with some of my friends. Between the 5 of us, we have 22 kids born and 1 pre-born. We were celebrating our sweet friend's 6th baby. You would never know that this girl already has 5 kids. She looks like you might dream of looking during a pregnancy, just adorable. And she is just as beautiful on the inside, so you can't even be mad at her for looking so good. She is of "advanced maternal age" though, so we helped her with her cane, helped her remember the names of her other kids, and enjoyed her senior citizen discount. ;)
When I first got married and 11 months later had my first child, I felt a little alone. We were in a new town as a newly married couple, and not many of my old friends had jumped into their vocations quite so early. God heard my cries and He slowly and steadily sent sisters to me that were in the same season to share my journey. He didn't say that the journey would be easy, but I wouldn't have to walk it alone. These sisters encourage me, teach me, guide me, listen to me, and crack me up.
We don't agree on everything, I mean I let Josh and Katie watch Harry Potter and Josh read that Golden Compass book before I got 50,000 emails about how dreadful it was, so I'm already the black sheep! We all entered our vocations at different times in our lives and all had different struggles along the way. Some of us struggled with infertility, and some of us struggled with...not infertility. Some of us home school, some of us go to Catholic School, and some of us go to public school. Some of us used Attachment Parenting and some of us Ferberized our kids. Some of us sometimes give a little swat, some of us don't. Some of us that thought we never would, do now. Some of us celebrate Halloween and Santa, some of us pray for those that do. Yet, we all share a common bond of wanting to raise our kids to be who God wants them to be. We want to protect them, yet give them wings to fly where God wills. We don't know how to handle every situation that comes up, but just having the solidarity with one another, gives us courage and strength to rise to the occasion and seek the Will of God.
I thank God for my MNO friends and I thank God for those MNO friends that couldn't be there last night. I also encourage those of you who are still praying for those MNO gals to keep searching, take a risk and ask that girl you've seen a few times at the library or church, to meet you at the park. You never know, that may be the girl that is laughing and crying with you 12 years later over chips and salsa.