Welcome to our home. We are so glad to have you over, as tonight is the best night of the week. It’s Monday night, which means we get to have a meal around our 10-seater dining room table.

Come join us as we circle around the island. We’ll start with the mom on my left and go around and say what we are thankful for this week. The gratitude will be abundant. Some of it will inspire you, “I’m thankful for second chances,” and some will make you chuckle, “I’m thankful for the ice machine” (aren’t we all some days). Don’t worry; you’ll think of something to say. There is always something to be thankful for! As I finish up with my thank-fuls, we’ll say a prayer of blessing and gratitude over our food, the food provided for us only because others chose to give it to us. “Bless us, oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”

And now, to satisfy our hungry stomachs, I’ll ask the mom stirring at the stove, “What do we have for dinner?” Tonight was her turn to cook. She will present the meal before us that she has beautifully made. You should get excited, our moms are really good cooks. “Pregnant moms eat first!”

Grab a seat, and eat. If there aren’t enough, I’ll grab a chair from the back, we’ll make room. We’ll start to eat, compliment the chef, entertain the babies if they haven’t fallen asleep yet, and go around saying our Rose, Bud, and Thorn of the week. If you’re not familiar, Roses are your high for the week, Buds are something you’re looking forward to, and Thorns are your lows. It’s a fun way to catch up.

In about a half hour we’ll start with our announcements “There will be a group coming to cook for us this Wednesday. Don’t forget to sign up for Job Clinic if you want to go…” I’ll give the moms an opportunity to voice anything for “Good of the Whole,” so they can raise any concerns or notes concerning the community. And a drum roll please, it’s time to present the bubbles! This is how we mark our moms’ accomplishments for the week. Each mom receives a “goal” fish when she moves in and is awarded bubbles for every accomplishment she makes along the way! “A bubble for the mom on my left for ‘Getting a job.’ A bubble to the mom two chairs down for ‘Setting up emotional boundaries.’ A bubble for the mom across from me for ‘graduating IOP!’ And a bubble for our youngest baby for ‘Rolling over,’” clapping ensues.

Oh, but before this last bit we need to get to know you first. It’s sort of our unofficial initiation for first timers to our community nights, moms, MissionCorps, and guests alike. We veterans will be asking you some questions. I’ll start us off with something simple, “If you were a plant or an animal which one would you be and why?” “Hmm, cool answer. I’d be a penguin, myself.” The mom sitting across from you asks a newer favorite of ours, “If you were a Disney princess, who would you be?” “Agreed, Elsa is probably the coolest (pun intended).” I’m sure some of the moms will delightfully share their answer with you, because really, who doesn’t think about being a Disney princess.

So, now you have a feel for what our Monday nights are like. If you stop by sometime you’ll get to enjoy one of the great parts of our community, come with an appetite, an open heart, and be prepared to answer:

“If you met your perfect man, but he has 6 legs and 1 big toe (to balance of course), would you marry him?”



By Alicia Gardner, a MissionCorps member