A Poem for Mom

Okay, well now that I've shown my true colors declaring I want to spend Mother's Day ALONE, I figured I'd share with you something sweet...that makes celebrating Mother's Day WITH your kids and husband special. But as usual, my storytelling sometimes rambling self has to give you a little background info first.

Let's go back to December of 2004. My hubby and I were scrambling one Sunday morning trying to get our 7 month old daughter ready before we left for the 30 minute drive to church. We were running late...and it was snowing. As we drove out of our driveway, the stress level in the car was ridiculous. There was no way we'd get to church on time...or even close to on time. As we pulled to the stop sign heading out of our neighborhood, we saw a sign that read "NorthRidge Fellowship - Rogers, MN • Sundays @ 9am". Rogers is like 10 minutes from our house. Chad and I both looked at each other and said, "Let's give it a try". We'd been talking for quite some time about finding a church closer to home once we had kids so that they could have friends from church in the neighborhood and so the kids could be a part of the children and youth programs during the week once they were older. But we weren't expecting anything super fantastic this Sunday morning - other than being able to make it to church {somewhere} on time.

As we pulled in to the parking lot, we quickly got Peyton out of the car and went in. We were the first ones in the sanctuary {which we soon learned was normal for NorthRidge :)}. All of the sudden we hear a voice say, "MR. LIBBY?!". We turned around and here was a girl from the 4th grade class Chad had long-term subbed in when he was first out of college prior to getting his first teaching job. As we talked with her, we found out her dad was the pastor. Craziness. The service started and in between the worship time and the sermon there was a quick meet & greet time. A couple about our age who were sitting in front of us turned around and introduced themselves – Shane and Emily...and their 9 month old daughter, Maren. They seemed very nice, but we only had a couple quick minutes to chat. The sermon was incredible, and after church we met a few more people. Then that young couple came back over and talked with us again. We had an instant connection with them...so much so, that as we shared with them that we were looking for a church closer to home and they mentioned they were having small group that evening, we said, "Awesome, we'll be there!". On the FIRST DAY we'd met them. That's right. We went to their house...with strangers. Oddly enough, though, we felt right at home – and after that night, it was clear that God had placed that sign right outside our neighborhood because that's right where He had wanted us...at NorthRidge Fellowship.

Fast forward about a year, we were dropping off our daughter at church for the youth babysitting night and were planning to double-date with Shane and Emily. We'd planned to carpool, so as Shane pulled the carseat out of their back seat to make room for Emily and I, he said, "Pretty soon we'll need TWO of these things". Chad and I looked at each other and said, "No way, us too!". We were both expecting baby #2 within a few weeks of each other. They ended up both being boys...born 8 days apart. Perfect. Our families were so closely-knit, it was wonderful.

Now fast forward to a couple years later, Emily was expecting baby #3 any day {and no, sorry - 2 was good for me!}. I remember the evening very vividly. We were at my inlaws just getting ready to sit down to dinner when Chad's cell phone rang. It was Shane. He was in a panic and asked Chad to come to the hospital IMMEDIATELY. All I got from Chad before he ran out the door was that Emily was in labor and something was wrong. So as he frantically drove to be with Shane, we prayed at the dinner table that God would protect Emily and the baby...then I sat anxiously waiting to hear from Chad. Turned out Emily's water had broken and they ran in to every possible delay on their way to the hospital {traffic lights, TRAINS, you name it - they ran in to it}. By the time they got to the hospital, Shane pulled in to the ER bay, left his truck there and ran in to get someone to help Emily. When they got Em to a room and checked her out they suddenly yanked all of the tubes and cords out of the wall and rushed Emily out of the room, telling Shane, "You probably want to call someone to be with you". And the person he chose to call was Chad. Sweet Jesse was born after an emergency c-section and everyone ended up being ok, but boy, what an entry into the world this little man had!

As you can see, we've got quite the history with Shane, Emily, Maren, Hunter and Jesse! Spending time together as families is so easy...and fun, with lots of laughs. So when Shane contacted me a couple weeks back asking if I'd help him put together a special birthday/Mother's Day gift for Emily I was SUPER excited. He said their daughter Maren had written a poem about moms and he wanted to find a nice way to display it and frame it. What a sweet, sweet poem Maren wrote...heck, I teared up reading it! I put together a print using Maren's poem as the focal point, and I decided that I'd make it more of a "family" print for them. So I put a monogram on it and then incorporated photos of the kids that Shane had provided. When the design was done I was so excited to send it over to show Shane! He loved it and said he was taking the kids frame shopping the next day. I'm sure it was a special moment for their family when Emily opened her present and the kids {and Shane} were able to watch the look on her face! What a privilege to be able to put something together that will now hang prominently on the wall in their home. I hope you enjoyed your gift, Em, and I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day – you're amazing! Thank you for being a sweet friend, and for not being afraid to invite the strangers in the pew behind you into your home that Sunday morning – love you guys and we're so thankful that God has brought our families together!

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.
• Psalm 127:3 •



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