Closing in on the one year anniversary of its kickoff, exciting changes are ahead for the La Grange, Texas Feed the Need Missions site. Beginning January 31, weekly gatherings will take place at the southeast corner of the Fayette County Courthouse Square. The meeting time and day will remain Mondays at 6:30 p.m.

Why a New Location for the La Grange Feed the Need Missions Site?

The La Grange team has experienced incredible participation and growth at the lot near White Rock Park. But the change in location comes in response to a few factors. Certainly the comfort and safety of guests and volunteers in hot summer months is important. “Shade has been an issue at this location,” shares site coordinator Jeremy Finch.

 

Another consideration in moving is the accessibility of the site to the community at large. “When we started the site, we settled on a spot near a community food pantry,” shares Jeremy. This created convenience and awareness of the site to those in dire need. “The White Rock Park site was not a centralized location, but it was a great starting point. Being here has allowed us time to learn and refine our process, and to get very comfortable with running the site. Now we are really ready to stretch out, and to be in a place that is more central,” shares Jeremy. “We want to reach out more and make it clear that Feed the Need Missions is here to meet physical needs, yes—but also social, emotional and spiritual needs. It really is for everyone.”

 

La Grange Site to Meet At the Square in La Grange, Texas

Over the last several months, volunteers have been discussing, praying over and visiting potential site locations. While considering options, Jeremy vistited a county judge to discuss the possibility of meeting at the Square. “It was a great conversation he actually granted us permission to meet there,” he shares. “We were still praying about it, asking the Lord to make our next steps clear, when a reporter attending a commissioners court meeting heard about the possible move, and reported it in the paper. We decided that was God answering our prayer; so we made it official. We are very excited about our new home!”

 

Be sure to visit the Jeremy and the La Grange team beginning Monday, January 31 at the southeast corner of The Square at the Fayette County Courthouse. The physical address is 151 N Washington Street. For more information about the La Grange site, or the Feed the Need Missions organization, visit our website.

Putting the GIVING in Thanksgiving Dinner

Four years ago, Feed the Need Missions had the opportunity to partner with a local church distributing Thanksgiving meals to families in need in the Bastrop area. Witnessing the incredible need and missional opportunity for such an effort in the community, the annual Thanksgiving Gobble Kits campaign was born in 2018. In its inaugural year, 
  • 467 families received a meal kit
  • 14 churches and local businesses partnered with us
  • 177 donors provided to make the kits
  • 190 volunteers helped assemble and distribute kits
  • 1,500 meals were served that week across all of our sites

Since that time, Feed the Need Missions has been partnering with churches, businesses, and communities to provide Thanksgiving meal kits to families in need across several communities across Texas. The program has continued to grow each year. Last year, over the course of four Gobble Kit distribution days in November, we served Thanksgiving meal kits to eight Texas communities, with the help of more than 250 volunteers, made possible by financial support from more than 350 donors. We distributed a record 764 Gobble Kits, praying over every single guest. With this growth of reach has come a wide array of ways to get involved, making Gobble Kits an annual favorite of many volunteers. Check out the variety of fun and meaningful opportunities for you to serve others this Thanksgiving below.

Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunities with Feed the Need Missions

We are already hard at work signing guests up and collecting supplies to receive Gobble Kits this year. There are so many ways to get involved. If you are looking for a fun, meaningful, and family-friendly way to give back this holiday season, read on! 


Donate a Gobble Kit

Hundreds of families have already signed up to receive a meal this November. One of the most impactful ways to help out is to donate a Gobble Kit. You can pick up a shopping bag and a list of supplies at our participating locations throughout Texas. Simply take the list to your local grocery store, select the items on the list, and bring the filled back to one of our drop off locations. The best time to drop off is on our Collection Day event on Saturday November 13. On that day, bring the whole family to drop off your kit supplies and donations. Let us thank you in person as you enjoy live music, make s’mores and meet our staff team. If you’re not located near one of our collection sites or you can’t make it to Collection day, you can also donate $25 online and we can do all the shopping for you. The deadline for collections this year is Monday, November 15!

Serve at Assembly Day

Distributing Gobble Kits to hundreds of families takes preparation and organization! If you’re in the Bastrop area, we would love for you to join us for Gobble Kit Assembly Day on Saturday, November 20 at Community Gardens. Help us sort, assemble, and pack our Gobble Kits. You can even help us write meaningful notes of encouragement for those who will receive the Gobble Kits. Lunch will be provided for everyone who attends.

Volunteer During Distribution Week

There are eight opportunities to join us as we distribute the Gobble Kits to families from November 18-23rd. Visit our Facebook events tab to find dates, times and locations for each of our sites and feel free to join us for as many as you’d like. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel message and pray over people as they receive a very practical blessing.

Last month, Feed the Need Missions welcomed Sean Tangen as our new Program Director. Sean’s overwhelming drive is for people to find and serve in their purpose. With 29 years of vocational, leadership and volunteer ministry experience, we know he will be an incredible asset to our mission. Recently, we sat down with Sean to get a sense of his vision as he dives into his new position here. Check out the inspirational events that led him to our team.

Q: How did you discover Feed the Need Missions?

A: Four years ago, we served as a family on a missions trip in the dumps of Tijuana. That adventure jumpstarted my search for how to live a missional life. For two years I prayed for the Lord to direct our family in how to live that trust-filled life while sharing His hope as a family. I came across a video of Feed the Need Missions late one night in my prayer and research. In that video, I witnessed someone share the impact the mission had in their life. It wasn’t about the burger, it was about the relationship! It was so obvious that he found it in the Feed the Need Missions community. His story was not unlike so many others all around us. People hungry to discover their belonging and purpose. It was then I knew I had to get involved.

Q: Tell us about your previous work/ministry experience.

A: It is said, “Do what you love and you will never work a day of your life.” That has never been more true for me. I have always had a heart to serve others. It began when someone took time to invest in me at 15 years old when no one else would. During that time of mentorship, I learned the value of Scripture. I committed to live out 1 John 4:19 – “We love because He first loved us!” That has led me to some of the greatest “jobs” you could hope for.

I have worked/volunteered with various ministries for almost 30 years. Most recently I worked for a ministry called Young Life. I served as an Area Director in four communities in three states over 20 years. I have also served as Program Director in a ministry focused on kids in the juvenile justice system. I have owned two businesses, helped start four others and currently help coach other non-profits in various ways.

Q: Tell us about you – your family, things you enjoy.

A: I have been married to my high school love, Erin, for 25 years. We have served together in life and ministry and believe that has been God’s plan for us since the beginning of our relationship. He has always showed us how to love each other well. This has be the catalyst in every aspect of our lives. 

I have two exceptional kids. Shayla is 15 and Asher is 13. Shayla is an incredible artist and writer. Her compassion for others is rarely seen in teens today. She has a heart for those in need and one day plans to “serve the least of these” through missions work. Asher is my son through and through. He loves being the center of attention and making people laugh. He also has an extremely sensitive side and goes out of his way to include everyone.

Q: Tell us what excites you about this new season.

A: I am so thankful that the Lord has led me and my family to Feed the Need Missions! The first part of my role is to help solidify and support the existing ministries that are currently happening. We have incredible volunteers that give so faithfully and I plan to support them in every way I can.

It is also part of my vision and role to grow Feed the Need Missions in 2022. We are looking to expand into three to six additional communities over my first year on staff, Lord willing. It is clear that this ministry can impact multitudes of people. I have seen a number of ministries with a similar design, but none have had the impact that Feed the Need Missions does regularly. I know firsthand the desire of wanting to be known. Feed the Need Missions offers that missing piece in our society today. I can’t wait to see what Jesus has in mind in the near future.

On average, nearly 7,000 natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis or fires— occur worldwide each year. That isn’t including those caused by humans, like explosions, chemical fires or terrorism. Though unpleasant to think about, the reality is that disaster could strike at any moment. And because of the unpredictable nature of such events, preparedness is key. Yet in a recent survey of the American public, only 41% felt that they were adequately prepared for an unexpected crisis.

What is Disaster Preparedness Month?

Solving this problem was the impetus behind the institution of Disaster Preparedness Month, a government observance sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The campaign takes place each September. During this time, the government works to raise awareness about the importance of disaster preparation, and shares helpful resources to the public.

Disaster Preparedness Tips

In light of Disaster Preparedness Month, and because disaster relief is an important part of what we do at Feed the Need Missions, we’ve provided a short list of tips and resources for preparing your home and family for the unthinkable.

Be in the Know

Not all disasters require the same preparation. Arm yourself with information and be sure you understand the different types of disasters to which you might be vulnerable, so you can best prepare for anything that comes your way. You can check out the Red Cross’s helpful guide for more information.

Make a Plan

Discuss evacuation plans, meeting locations, preferred hospitals and emergency contacts as a family. If you’re not sure where to start, check out FEMA’s helpful Basic Preparedness guide. It will guide you in creating your own customized plan.

Build Up Your Stockpile of Supplies

Instead of making a mad dash when a disaster is imminent, work to make a stockpile of necessities in advance. Batteries, gas, flashlights, sandbags, chargers, bottled water, plywood for windows, non-perishable foods and gas are just a few items you can get little by little at your weekly grocery store visit. For essentials and ideas, check out this helpful video.

Get the Kids Involved

Talk to you children about preparing for disaster. Make sure you do drills to help allay any fear or panic if you find yourself responding to an emergency. You can also access the CDC’s kid-friendly guide to disaster preparedness for more ideas.

Feed the Need Missions Disaster Relief

Feed the Need Missions is a faith-based 501 (c)3 non-profit organization based in Bastrop, Texas. Operating since 2010, we serve weekly, free hot meals in communities across Texas each week. We also dispatch volunteer teams equipped with trailers full of supplies to help respond to communities nationwide in the wake of disasters. Our goal is to help bring order to the chaos that disasters create by providing a hot meal, listening ear, and by sharing the hope of Jesus. To request disaster relief assistance for your community, contact us here. To help Feed the Need Missions stay ready to serve when disaster strikes, visit our Disaster Relief page.


More Than a Meal: Feeding Hungry People


“We’ve never been so hungry in our life, “ Peter said.

The first time Peter and Dana came to a Feed the Need Missions site, they had both 
been struggling with illnesses which took them out of work for some time. During the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, they lost their jobs. They were in a desperate place. “It’s embarrassing to struggle this much. I could possibly lose my car, and I have to move out of my rental place—I have never been this poor my entire life,” Peter shared.  
The pair had a lot of questions about what Feed the Need Missions is all about. “We stopped because we heard about it from a friend and we are so hungry. Being out here, serving anyone, that just blows my mind,” they confessed. What they didn’t anticipate, however, was the spiritual fueling and filling they would receive.

While Peter was raised in church, he had developed a pattern of running from God, returning to God, and then running again. The simple act of receiving a free, no-strings-attached meal and being offered prayer, led to a watershed moment in his faith. It also transformed their outlook on their situation. “You don’t know how much your prayer meant to us,” Dana said. I didn’t even have to ask for prayer you asked me. You brought us hope…and we thank you.”  


Do Free Handouts Really Help Needy Families?

You’ll often hear Feed the Need Missions team members say that what we offer is more than “a free handout.” Occasionally, we are asked if we believe this free meal is truly helping, or if it isn’t just enabling certain folks to take advantage. Our response is two-fold.

First, we believe there is more than one type of hunger. Often this has nothing to do with wealth. Some people may have all the financial comfort they could need, but lack community and support. As they gather surrounded by loving volunteers, the meal helps. Some may be carrying significant emotional burdens. As they are prayed over and connected to resources, the meal helps. And the most urgent, some are experiencing a total starvation of the spirit. They may be completely ensnared in hopelessness or a destructive lifestyle from which they have no idea how to break free. As they discover the truth that freedom is found in Jesus, the meal helps. At Feed the Need Missions, we welcome every king of hungry soul. There is no requirement, and no need to deserve it. There is no taking advantage here, because the truth is, we all need what lies beyond the burger.

Second, regardless of deservedness, we believe that we have a biblical directive to feed and fill others in every sense. Countless scriptures speak to our call as God’s image bearers to be burden sharers. Bridge buildings. A people of reconciliation. To meet every kind of need, regardless (even in spite of) deservedness. Check out a few of those here:

I, the LORD, have called you
for a righteous purpose,
and I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and appoint yo
to be a covenant for the people
and a light to the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring prisoners out of the dungeon
and those sitting in darkness
out from the prison house.

Isaiah 42:6-7

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

2 Corinthians 5:18

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Matthew 25:35-36, 40

 

Volunteer Opportunities to Feed the Hungry


If reading these scriptures and hearing these stories of real life change inspires you, Feed the Need Missions would love to meet you and give you the opportunity to start filling up every kind of hunger in Jesus’ name. Check out our site locations, choose one hear you, and simply show up! Everyone is welcome to eat, and everyone is invited to serve.

 

July is a month when, as a nation, we turn our thoughts to the freedom we enjoy. As a Christian, I cannot think of freedom without thinking of Jesus. Only through Jesus Christ can we experience true freedom.

What does freedom in Christ look like?

Christian freedom is one of many paradoxes of the Christian faith, because being liberated from sin and death means becoming a willing servant of Christ through relationship with Him. In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul explains how we enter this world as unwilling slaves to sin. When a person accepts Christ, he or she ceases to be enslaved by sin and death and is transformed, covered in the innocence and holiness of Jesus. But the transformation doesn’t end there:

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).


Notice that liberation leads to obedience and voluntary service. Though this freedom is made available through our faith in Jesus, we become obedient, our behavior becoming a reflection of the One who made us free.
You may notice that many Christians are not truly living with a sense of freedom. They feel burdened, oppressed, addicted and powerless. How does this happen?

 

Often, it is because we embrace the release from condemnation without becoming obedient to the teaching. Often we think of freedom as the unrestricted ability to do or be something. But what Christ offers is a freedom from something. And we are free. From condemnation. From death. From the power sin holds over us. But don’t miss that with that comes the directive in the Bible to “be holy,” to be set apart, to behave in a way that honors our God. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that there are no longer limitations or consequences for what we do. In fact, the decisions we make about what we watch on TV, what (or how much) we eat and drink, what can wear to the beach, or what we are smoking and drinking, for example, all impact whether or not we are experiencing the freedom Christ offers. 

 

Accessing freedom is made possible through Jesus, but experiencing freedom is all about the decisions we make each day. “Everything is permissible,” was the motto of the Corinthian church. And Paul affirms that this is true, Christians are free to choose how they live. However, he explains that not everything is beneficial or constructive. Sometimes, in choosing a “freedom to” rather than a “freedom from” mindset, we continue in sin, prolonging our connection the very thing that Christ has freed us from. Some people view this Christian discipline of holy behavior as restrictive. But the truth is, freedom is hidden in the choices we make to be holy. When we model our lives after what God values and promotes, we truly begin to experience the freedom Christ made available to us. We experience abundance, joy, and peace. And what’s more, it also builds up and benefits others.


Thank God for Freedom

I am so thankful to live in a country where we can openly share the Gospel and have freedom of religion. And I am so thankful for the freedom I can experience because of Jesus! As the month of July comes to a close, continue to pray for our country and religious leaders. But let’s also pray for the Church to have the courage and commitment to truly experience the freedom Jesus offers to us. 

Gratitude for Dad

All my dad ever wanted was for us to grow up to be good, honest God-fearing people.

He worked hard to put food on the table, clothes on my body, a roof over my head and provide my education. He never asked for a special thanks for those things. We all tried our best in our own ways to be fine, upstanding human beings, which I think was our a way of indirectly saying “thank you” to him. 

As I think about Father’s Day, my thoughts turn to my Heavenly Father. Just like my dad never needed special thanks to be our provider and protector, God’s goodness toward us is not dependent on our acknowledgement and gratitude. But is it enough to just be be fine upstanding human beings for God? The Scriptures indicate that God desires to hear our praise, our gratitude for who He is and what He does (see Hebrews 12:28, Ephesians 5:20, Psalm 107:1). That this is the appropriate response of someone who understands the gift, and the Giver, of life and blessing (see Luke 17:11-19).

There’s also hidden blessing in a lifestyle of gratitude. When I became a mother, I had a profound realization that showing appreciation and gratitude don’t just benefit the recipient— the act of expressing gratitude actually strengthens our own character and well being.

A posture of thankfulness means not taking things for granted, or feeling entitled, understanding that everything that comes their way is in large part due the effort of many individuals coupled with the grace of God. Mental health professionals actually agree that gratitude improves physical health, psychological health, improves sleep and increases self esteem.

So, on Father’s Day, I want to publicly thank my dad, who is now in heaven, and my husband. Thank you for loving me like our Heavenly Father loves us. I wouldn’t be the God-fearing person I am today without the lessons you’ve taught me.

A Prayer for Fathers

Heavenly Father,

Today we ask You to bless our earthly fathers for the many times they reflected the love, strength, generosity, wisdom and mercy that You exemplify in Your relationship with us, Your children. We honor our fathers for putting our needs above their own convenience and comfort; for teaching us to show courage and determination in the face of adversity; for challenging us to move beyond self-limiting boundaries; for modeling the qualities that would turn us into responsible, principled, caring adults.

Not all our fathers lived up to these ideals. Give them the grace to acknowledge and learn from their mistakes. Give us the grace to extend to them the same forgiveness that you offer us all. Help us to resist the urge to stay stuck in past bitterness, instead, moving forward with humility and peace of heart.
Give new and future fathers the guidance they need to raise happy and holy children, grounded in a love for God and other people –and remind these fathers that treating their wiveswith dignity, compassion and respect is one of the greatest gifts they can give their children.
We pray that our fathers who have passed into the next life have been welcomed into Your loving embrace, and that our family will one be day be reunited in your heavenly kingdom.

Playing to Your Strengths

“Invariably, when I go through the line at the grocery store, someone looks at my cart stuffed full of grill-out supplies and says,  ‘You must be throwing a party.’ And every time, my response is the same. ‘Yep, we are! And you’re invited!'”

Larry serves Feed the Need Missions as a purchasing volunteer, shopping prior to the site meeting each week to ensure all supplies and ingredients are up to par and ready to go for serving the community.

Larry’s commanding voice earns him attention from other shoppers and staff in the grocery store. “Other people can hear me two or three aisles down, giving out the details about what I’m doing and why.”

The platform he has been given via the volume of his voice (and the groceries in the cart) is something he uses to his advantage. Capitalizing on the curiosity around him, Larry takes the opportunity to be invitational and informational. And the impact is incredible.

A “Chance” Encounter

“About a month ago, standing in line, I was checking out, explaining Feed the Need mission and vision to the cashier. I was explaining that we simply feed our community, and share the love of Christ. A gentleman behind me blurted out, ‘I want to come!’ I replied that at our sites, everyone is welcome. We do meet physical needs, sure, but our hope is to relieve all kinds of hunger, from empty bellies to a need for companionship, purpose and prayer. Seconds later he shoved a $20 bill in to my hand and said, ‘Let me help you buys your groceries tonight.'”

“The story didn’t end there. Not long after, the same gentleman showed up at the site. ‘Do you remember me?’ he asked. I grinned. Of course I did. ‘I decided I want to come help, if you could use me.’ It was incredible how the Lord used a chance encounter at the grocery to connect us and mobilize this man to give and serve with me.”

“We visited, talked about Jesus, and I shared more about what we do at Feed the Need Missions. I learned a precious lesson that day. You just never know who’s listening.”

We love how Larry is embracing his role, and his unique personality, making himself available to be used by the Lord and draw people to the sites.

An Open Invitation

Our challenge for you today is to think about how God has uniquely equipped YOU to serve, to give. Maybe you could help support our mission through a twenty dollar donation, like the man in the grocery store. Maybe it’s time to visit a site and find out what we’re all about. If you’re ready to put feet to your faith, activate your own unique skills for the Kingdom of God and serve your community, we want you to know you’re invited to the Feed the Need family! We would love to meet you, pray for you, and help you find the perfect place to plug in! Check out our locations, find one near you—we can’t wait to meet you!

What is Emotional Poverty?

The term “poverty” is most often associated with a lack of financial and material resources, and for good reason. When it comes to sustaining life, food and shelter are certainly the most essential needs. But survival is about more than having these basic needs met. Poverty can actually be experienced in a ways having nothing to do with a lack of money, food or shelter. Another type of poverty a person might experience is emotional poverty.

Emotional poverty is a deprivation of essential needs that are connected to emotional and mental health. Counseling professionals have identified several crucial needs for human beings. A few of these include:

  • the security of a stable home life
  • the giving and receiving of attention
  • a sense of control over one’s environment
  • a sense of belonging and connection with a wider community
  • meaning and purpose
  • a sense of achivement
  • a sense of emotional connection, friendship and intimacy with others

A lack of these emotional resources, interestingly, is not limited to any particular demographic or set of circumstances. It may be a result of the stigmatization of financial poverty. But it could result from a loss of a job or a tough home environment, strained relationships or undiagnosed or addressed mental health issues. So really, anyone can experience it.

And while emotional poverty is not a clinical disorder, it can lead to problematic responses such as anger, anxiety, isolation and a host of additional negative behaviors. This type of poverty often manifests itself through loneliness, mental challenges, relational issues or difficulty with life or coping skills.

A Biblical Understanding of Emotional Poverty

The Christian’s response to emotional poverty comes from the imperative given by Jesus himself: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” When we see others experiencing any kind of lack, it is our responsibility to respond. Jesus modeled this with unrelenting action-based compassion for others. His service was not limited to those who were poor. We often find him associating with people who are rejected, isolated, mentally unique or challenged, and grieving. He embraces them, does life alongside them, and commissions them for Kingdom Work.

How can we proactively meet emotional needs for our neighbors? Paul the Apostle gives a helpful model for as he ministers to his young protege Timothy:

Everybody needs to be loved.

Paul calls Timothy his beloved son (2 Timothy 1:2). He doesn’t just love him inwardly. He expresses it. People around us need to know we love them. We need to tell them they are precious.

Everybody needs someone to pray for them.

Paul prays for Timothy consistently (2 Timothy 1:3). Not only is prayer a powerful tool for accessing physical and spiritual resources, it also lets a person know they are regarded. It gives them dignity as they feel a sense of importance to others, and to God. Regular intercessory prayer offered to a person absolutely fills up a person’s emotional bank.

Everybody needs somebody to believe in them.

Paul reassures Timothy that he is capable of great things (2 Timothy 1:5). Like Paul, we must speak life into others. We must encourage potential and affirm in a way that builds up confidence and boldness.  People need a cheerleader when they are emotionally downcast. They need to know that someone sees them, and is proud of them.

Everybody needs somebody that will help them.

Finally, Paul challenges Timothy with advice to help him succeed (2 Timothy 1:6). As Christ- followers, we need to be assertive and available as a resource to others. We can provide biblical truth, wise counsel, accountability and support. As God’s ambassadors, we should give it freely. It is our highest duty to connect people to the ultimate resource—Jesus.

A Missional Solution for Relieving Emotional Poverty

At Feed the Need Missions, it is one of our missional objectives to relieve emotional poverty. Each week, in communities across Texas, Feed the Need Missions trailers roll up, and volunteers assemble to prepare and serve free hot meals for anyone in the community. While the meal does relieve hunger and meet practical, tangible needs, we often say this is just the tool that opens the door to providing emotional, social and spiritual filling that is also a desperate need.

The meals we serve and the consistency of our presence creates intimacy. We are actively working to build a sense of community and belonging, of acceptance. We are creating security, giving attention, and building relationships that allow us to minister to people in their emotional need. Our guests are also invited to serve alongside us, providing them an opportunity to feel a sense of achievement and purpose.

At Feed the Need Missions, we are about meeting people in every type of poverty. If you are lonely, isolated, or hurting, we invite you to come and let us serve you. If you are ready to step in to a mission field where you can practically meet the emotional needs of others as a Christ-follower, Feed the Need Missions has a place for you to serve and help. Everyone is welcome. You are welcome.

I love mother’s day, and here’s why –

For a long time, I didn’t know if I would ever have the privilege of being a mother. It was after a long, hard road that I stepped into it as a newly-licensed foster mama. I’ll never forget the late March evening my precious daughter was placed in my arms. I had waited so long and prayed so hard for her, I knew that moment I would never, ever, take it for granted. And I can honestly say, many years (and messy adventures) later, I am still so full of gratitude every single day for the precious gift that motherhood is in my life.

I remember as a new mom I stole away one morning to process this new season. I drove myself to the Starbucks just down the street from my house, asked God for wisdom, and dove in to the scriptures for what it means to be a mom, by God’s design. As Mother’s Day approaches, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few things I learned with all of you out there. 


Prepare to Launch

A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
-Genesis 2:24
To my dismay in that moment, I discovered that parenthood is about preparing your children to leave you, so that they can be fruitful independently of you. This was hard for me to grapple with as a foster mom. The vulnerable position I was in felt heavy on my heart every day. I knew our time together, our forever, was not guaranteed. I could lose her. I was terrified of that. I didn’t know how long I would have her. I’m not unique in that, really – the truth is none of us ever do. But God’s Word reassured me. The fact is, one way or another, our kids will leave our care…
So for as long as God entrusts his precious children to us, that is our mission, our privilege. Prepare them for launch, for flight, for separation from us. And so that day, I began to look at parenthood God’s way. Even as a tiny little person, my goal each day was to pour in to her what she needed in order to strengthen her for whatever was going to come next.


“Mama”

The Hebrew words for mother and father are very fascinating. It probably isn’t surprising that Ab, father, is a picture of an ox (symbolic of leadership or strength) and a house. The father’s role is as the leader of the home.

But what about a mother’s role in parenting?

The word for Mother is pronounced “em.” Same beginning letter for leader or strength, but the second letter means water. Mother means “strong water” in picture form.

The implications for that are pretty amazing. Ancient Hebrews made glue by boiling animal skins in water. As the skin broke down, a sticky thick liquid formed at the surface of the water. This thick liquid was removed and used as a binding agent—and they called it “strong water.” So, linguistically, the Bible shows us that a mother holds it all together, and boy doesn’t that resonate?!

Another way to translate these word pictures is “headwaters.” Headwaters are a molding force, the source and head of the way elsewhere. This certainly speaks to the influence of the mother in guiding and shaping a young life, of her instruction and her example. A mother leads by modeling as she yields to the authority of the father in godly submission. Her force, like water, is gentle, and repetitive, powerful enough to carve pathways out of hardened mountains and stone.
Interestingly, there are so many properties and effects of water that are so crucial to life and health: it elevates mood, increases cognitive function, regulates, protects, removes waste, helps with nutrient absorption, fights illness, increases energy –

It’s gentle yet powerful, it is cleansing and healing, it sustains life. I would say that’s exactly what mamas do and are on the daily.


A Greater and More Perfect Love

You may be wondering, what does all this have to do with God?
A mother’s love – known for its special intuition, its fierce protectiveness, and refusal to give up on even the lost causes, is all just a mere reflection of a greater and more perfect love of Jesus Christ. Just look at how Colossians confirms that He is the bonding agent and the headwater for us:

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Colossians 1:17-18
Here are three more of those maternal allusions, nestled in the psalms, that are used to describe Gods love for us: 

  • A Safe Place

God wants to shield us more desperately from our enemy than any mother in nature. And He gave His very body, His life to do so. The wings are the grace. And this undeserved, covenant favor preserves us just like those helpless, baby chicks. All we have to do is run to Him. 
Read: Psalm 17: 8-9 | Psalm 57:1 | Psalm 91: ALL

  • Sustainer

As I read this passage, there are three elements to what is described of the Lord. It starts with sustaining someone who falls. A physical misstep. Next it says He raises up those who are about down. An emotional pit. Finally it says He feeds them appropriately. A filling of food. When I read about all these things I see a common thread. And the thread is comfort and nurture, all met with appropriate filling. If there is a void or an emptiness, He can fill it.        
Read: Psalm 145:8-9, 14-16

  • Sacrifice

There really is not a better word to describe motherhood. From pregnancy to nursing and on, a mother must give of herself, nearly constantly, to her own exhaustion, depletion, to nurture and prepare another life. Often there is almost a complete surrender of identity – there is who you were before kids, and then there was you as a mother. It changes everything.
He will love us despite our undeservedness, because He sees the potential for life. As a mother protect her unborn child, so He will protect us, He will never let go of the promise of one day holding us in his arms. And He will pay any cost, even sacrifice His own life, for that to happen. We can trust in Him.
Read: Psalm 103:1-13

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Moms are definitely wonderful, and worthy of gratitude, and I sure am thankful there is a set aside time to be thought of. But I hope we all remember every day that as moms, we are entrusted with the privilege of reflecting the incomparable love of our God. So let’s not forget today, and every day, to give thanks and honor to the one from whom all these wonderful mothers with their wonderful qualities have come. He is our sealant, he is our source, he is our our safe place, our sustainer, our sacrifice. Thank you thank you God for showing us your love for us through mothers.

From all of us at Feed the Need Missions, we’d like to thank all you moms out there! You are appreciated and so loved!


About the Writer

Amanda joined our staff in September of 2020 as the Marketing Director. She is a pastor’s wife, Bible teacher and public speaker, and former church staffer. In her 10 years of adult ministry experience at one of the largest churches in the U.S., she fostered a passion and proficiency for church program development, discipleship and sharing the love of Christ.