This week, several women gathered in my home to begin a new season of Mom Heart ministry. We are meeting to read Different together, discuss it and encourage one another in our faith and in our mothering. I wanted to let you know the simple things that we did to help spark your own ideas of how you might begin studying the book with a few other women.First of all, I let people know that we would be starting this new book study together. For me, this meant finding some Facebook pages of local mothering groups and letting them know that they are welcome to join us. I always ask women to contact me via email (rather than through FB) so that I am sure to receive their message. I then send out an informational email with details of our meeting and what women can expect when they arrive.We meet once per month which is the amount that I can sustain as hostess and leader. Ideally, we'd meet more often, but that is not possible in my current season of life. I'd rather meet less frequently than have to quit the group due to burnout. Since our group only meets once per month, we do a potluck dinner together and spend some extra time in fellowship and getting to know one another. This usually includes a time of "show and tell" during which we share resources that are fun or inspirational for our parenting or household management. At our most recent meeting, a group member shared some fabulous picture books about art that she'd found at the library.After our time of fellowship, we move into our book discussion time. Since we haven't started reading the book yet, we watched a few videos about the book together.Sally and Nathan together on the Today Show.Sally and Nathan answering questions on FB Live for the launch of the book.Nathan's spoken word poem about OCD.It was a powerful time hearing directly from the authors about their experiences.
Once that was done, I reminded the group about some basic ground rules- confidentiality, not to give advice unless expressly asked for, and to tread very carefully in speaking about our own and other's out-of-the-box kids. Mom Heart groups gather to encourage each other and point each other to a closer walk with Jesus and we want to keep that the main goal of our meetings.Lastly, I opened it up for people to share how the videos made them feel and how they felt about reading the book together. More than one women shared that they are nervous and very vulnerable because they are in the midst of living with a child that pushes their buttons and/or has issues that make daily life a struggle. There were lots of tears.I am so grateful that Sally and Nathan have written such a vulnerable book about their own journey so that those that are struggling every day can find hope and encouragement. I am grateful to be a part of a Mom Heart group in which it's safe to share those hard things together.How will you use Different in your Mom Heart groups?