Today is my Mom’s birthday—my actual mom, not one of the moms I live with at The Michael House who I continually refer to as “my moms.”  Today my mom turns one year older (Happy 29th Mom!) and it gets me thinking about how lucky I am to have such an amazing person to call Mom, and how lucky I am to have so many other amazing women in my life to call “my moms.”

Mom has always done everything she can for me and my siblings.  I have three brothers and one sister, as well as two foster sisters who lived with us back in the 90’s that still call my parents mom and dad.  That’s a lot of mouths to feed, a lot of diapers to change, and a lot of time-outs, but she put 24/7 time and effort in to raising us. I don’t think anyone ever really understands quite what that means until they are faced with their own little mouths to feed, and diapers to change, and time-outs to give.

I don’t think I quite understand it either, but serving at Maggie’s Place has certainly given me a little window into motherhood.  In fact, my fellow MissionCorps and I often talk about how much we feel like moms, and more than once I have said that I’m raising my seven adult children, with about 30 others who’ve moved out of the house in the past year and a half that I have been here.

I get to do all the regular parenting stuff: I check their chores, I give them consequences for bad behavior, and I remind them to clean up their dishes.  I also have to do some really hard things, like watch a mom come home from the hospital in tears while her baby goes to foster care, or take a mom drug testing when I suspect a relapse.  But then there are the times I get to hold her hand in the delivery room and tell her, “You can do this. You are so strong!”  I get to be a shoulder to cry on when things get to be just too much.

Every day in our chapel, we pray “Divine Providence can provide, Divine Providence did provide, Divine Providence will provide,” and I recently watched a mom repeat the same prayer at a Candlelight ceremony to wish another mom good luck on her transition out of The Michael House. I get to talk about sex and abstinence, birth control and boyfriends, the sanctity of marriage and the power of prayer—I’m astounded every single day with the amount of knowledge I have to pull from conversations I’ve had with my own mom that I now pass on to my seven adult children.  I watch these moms make the same mistakes I’ve made or mistakes of their own and it doesn’t matter because either way I’m here to help them get back up. I’m here no matter what to walk beside them, for as long as they want and as long as they need.

I see my Mom reflected in myself and the other MissionCorps, and I see her in my moms at Maggie’s Place who show me every day that love is hard but so worth it.

Happy Birthday to my Mom today, and thank you for everything you teach me every day!


Lucy Miller, A MissionCorps member at The Michael House