Friday, April 23, 2010

Manna Mamma

Those who have been following my blog for long, know of my struggles with my mom. Growing up with a mentally ill, alcoholic mom is no fun. Because of that I have always yearned for a "real" mom in my life. I have prayed for a "mentor mom," a godly woman to come into my life to serve as my mom.

God knows that I would idolize any woman who took that role in my life. He knows I am desperate for a mom. So he held back that one thing from me. He wants me to idolize only him, my perfect parent. But this weekend I came to see something else.

Saturday morning as I came downstairs to have breakfast at the hotel in NC, where I was speaking at a retreat, I ran into a woman. She didn't know me really. She was published author, and speaker, Vonda Skelton. She was one of the featured speakers at the writers retreat I attended last August, so I introduced myself and reminded her of our past meeting. She asked what brought me to NC, and I shared I was speaking, my first real speaking engagement. She immediately asked me to come aside with her and she prayed over me. Her words were so encouraging, her prayer so nurturing. I was so thankful.

After I got home, I realized that she acted the way I'd want my mom to act. Happy and excited for me. Praying for me. She was my manna mamma. My mamma for the day, my just enough, not too much mom for the moment.

I reflected back on my life, and I was able to see other manna moms in my life. My aunt and grandmother, one or the other always came to stay with us when my mom was hospitalized for her mental illness. Mrs. Othmere, an old woman from church who faithfully came to take us to church. Mrs. Mueller, my beloved 1st grade teacher. Jean, my friend Sonya's mom. Ellie, a trusted confidant. JoAnn, a Bible study leader. I'm sure there are more.

Each woman may have only drifted into and out of my life at a certain time. Yet, each gave me something I needed whether it be encouragement, nurture, advice or prayer from an older woman. A manna mamma. A mother for a day.

Exodus 16:4,31 -- Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. The people of Israel called the bread manna.

Chatty Kelly

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where are You Sitting?

My 10 yr old doesn't use a car-seat. Legally, she doesn't have to, but my 6 yr old has to sit in a booster seat. Meanwhile, a toddler has to sit in a harness car seat, and a baby in a special infant seat. They all get different seats based on the ages. And none of them can sit in the front seat like an adult can. Everyone has an appropriate seat based on their age.

Sometimes as Christians we can judge other Christians on where they are "sitting."

To find out how, meet me over at Titus 2 in Action, where I am a featured contributor today.

Titus 2 in Action

Chatty Kelly

Monday, April 19, 2010

Moving Ahead: Retreat

The retreat went great! Thank you for your prayers. Friday night started great. I shared with the ladies that I had been writing for a while and had only recently begun my speaking ministry. I said many ministries have a "key verse," such as "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Or "There is no fear for those in Christ Jesus." I told them my key verse is from 1 Corinthians 2:3, "I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling." Boy did that get some laughs!

(Thanks to Sharon Sloan, who actually sent me the very encouraging verses 1-5, which I'll post at the end of this post. It was awesome.)

I also shared the importance of prayer and the benefit of a prayer partner. I said "If you are praying with your BFF, it's important to set down guidelines or else a 15 minute prayer call, can turn into an hour and a half social call." Well evidently not everyone is familiar with the phrase BFF. Who knew? (BFF stands for Best Friend Forever).

Well, after the ladies found out what BFF stood for, they just loved the phrase. After I was done speaking, many ladies approached me in pairs to share with me that they were there with their BFF. On Saturday, they actually had my friend Sonya (who traveled to the event with me) introduce me since she was my resident BFF and the prayer partner I'd referred to. And when the singing group came out to lead the singing they shared they'd been singing together for 5 years and were in fact (you guessed it) BFFs. It was a hoot, and became the catch phrase of the event!

Thank you to all my BFFs for your prayer support over this event! It was fabulous! Here are the verses I promised, and some photos.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 -- When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

The Activity Center where the retreat was held. 200 ladies were in attendance.

Making a key point on Friday night.

Inspiring women on Saturday morning.
Conference President, Georgette, thanking me and handing me a gift basket. She was very sweet and wonderful to work with.

The "BFFs" - Kelly & Sonya

Chatty Kelly