We begin to take root the day we’re born. Each day, we grow, we dig in deeper and become even more established within our homes, as members of our families and in relationships with friends. The roots that we lay down keep us strong and sturdy for when a storm rolls in and these roots ensure that we will rise, stronger than before, once the storm has passed.
Naomi Bakker was born 15 weeks early, one of the smallest premature babies ever born in Reno, Nevada. Only the size of the palm of your hand, this tiny baby overwhelmed and rocked her parents’ foundations. A mother’s instinct is to be the provider and problem solver; it is a mother’s worst nightmare to have a sick child. After Naomi was born, Angela Bakker did the bravest thing she could do: let others take care of her.
The Bakker family spent five month stretched between time spent at home with their son and time with their daughter in the NICU. Uprooted from every aspect of normalcy, the Bakker’s lives felt out of control, full of worry and unstable. Their countless friends and family members rallied to help in every way possible, but Angela soon discovered that some of the best support came from fellow MOPS moms: “Mothers just get it. There is a thread connecting mothers that gives them the willingness to reach out, to talk and to understand when no one else can.”
Angela found herself surrounded by a tribe of women, a community of moms standing by each other, sending their prayers, offering to babysit and never underestimating the power of checking in. But the most incredible gift was simply a home cooked meal. For months on end, the Bakker’s came home from the hospital and were greeted with a dinnertime meal that had already been prepared for them.
Every day, we must regularly stop whatever it is that we are doing and devote our attention to eating. There is something truly beautiful in having the basic necessity of a meal provided for you. This nightly meal became one less stress in the Bakker’s schedules that already seemed so out of control. Dinner became a tiny window of time that the family was able to spend together – a time to receive nourishment, not only for the body but for the spirit also. Mealtime became a time or the Bakkers to enjoy each other, even if just for a moment, and take a break from the storm of constant worry for their daughter in the hospital. It was during this time around the table that the Bakkers started to take root again as a family, and as parents.
Too often, it is the storms that we encounter in our lives that force us to take deeper roots and rely on others to support us. The mothers in Angela’s life came together to hold her up and to provide constant prayer that Naomi would flourish (and she has indeed!). MOPS, being rooted and established in love, was one of the many things that kept the Bakkers grounded during this daunting season of life. There are deep roots in motherhood and when the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind. It was the support and understanding from fellow mothers that helped Angela and her family not only stand, but thrive again the fiercest storm.
Friend, there are groups of like-minded moms in your community who meet regularly to celebrate and encourage one another. Hello, Dearest lives under the wing of MOPS International, an organization creating communities of moms because moms are world influencers. Find a group near you. We connect moms all of the world to a community of women, in their own neighborhoods, who meet together to laugh, cry and embrace the journey of motherhood.
Hannah Littlefield is a native New Mexican transplanted to Denver, Colorado. She loves writing, a good DIY project, and Earl Grey tea. She keeps a list of all her favorite coffee shops and is always looking for new suggestions!
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Hello, Dearest. If you didn’t get a copy and would like your own, you can subscribe to get Hello, Dearest in your mailbox every season. If you subscribe, forward your receipt to email@example.com and we’ll shoot a copy of the current issue in the mail to you for free … just because we like you.