Monday, July 7, 2014

Safe Haven

By Melodi Leih
I watched a small bird from the couch in my living room. I was captivated by it over several days. I have no idea what kind of bird it was but it was quite small. I saw it repeatedly fly from the wooded area in our yard to the fence post outside my window. I was in awe of how this little bird carried such large twigs, moss and other foliage from one place to the next. I wasn't sure why it kept coming to the same spot on the fence until I discovered where it had built its nest. It had meticulously placed twig after twig, branch after branch in the wreath on my front door.
Like many moms I know, this bird took her time creating an environment where her little ones were protected and could thrive. On occasion I saw a few other birds appear to be watching as she created this safe haven. It reminded me of moms I have seen critique other moms on their mothering or how they keep their home.
As I watched this little mommy bird I thought of the many times as a mentor I have been able to add to the environment moms around me are creating. The interesting thing I discovered is it really hasn't required much of me except my time. Being present is what they have needed. Being there to listen, pray, share coffee or an encouraging word has been enough for the women in my small circle to continue to gather what's needed for the safe haven they are creating for their families.  
Have you read our issue Influence?
One of the most impactful gifts I have received was the gift of time. It was a gift I had not asked for nor did I realize I desperately needed. However, that gift has helped me learn to be more mindful and invested in others. Whether you formally mentor or just invest in other women in your life, it is simple to live out this gift. Recently I sent hand written notes to some women and the impact from this small act was more than I could have imagined. Other ways to invest time might be sharing wisdom from scripture or inviting a few women in for coffee and Bible study. Helping with practical needs such as child care for mom friends is another way to invest in healthy families.
What I have learned from the little bird out my window is women work hard to protect, provide, nourish and love those in their nest. They also need a place to stop and rest to be able to continue that work. You can be a place of rest for women by investing and being present in their lives.

Melodi Leih is a MOPS Mentor at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church in Hermitage, TN and Regional Developer for MOPS International. She is married to Mike and has 3 beautiful children and an amazing son-in-law. She enjoys music, reading and time with her family.
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