Mother’s Day Testimonial

I was asked by the Stewardship Committee to say a few words about our church. That is an easy thing for me to do and I am honored to be standing here this morning in front of my extended family.

Since it is Mothers Day, I wanted to talk a little about how this church has molded me into the daughter, sister, wife and mother I am today.

As a girl, coming to church was fun. My friends were here, and it was always a joy to be with our special group. It was like a club. We were a group of kids that were close, but did not all hang out together at school. It was a safe place and a place where we knew we were accepted, welcome and supported. As a teen, the youth group, which was lead by our wonderful Ed Forbush, was an extension of who I was. Our frequent trips we took to the Mountains to ski, or the Cape to swim hold such warm memories. That group of teens are all still in touch, friends, and are tied together by the bond that we all shared while growing up in this church. I was confirmed here with that group and I am so proud to have my son, Griffin, be a part of the confirmation group this year; with my Mother (his Grandmother) as his mentor…and, I have to mention that his best friend’s mentor is my father. The four of them have worked together through this mentorship and I believe their relationship has grown as a result.

My sister and I were always close and are even closer today. She is my best friend. We came to this church together and would sometimes fight over clothes to wear on Sunday. Even though she was older than me…I was always taller, so could wear a lot of her clothes! I remember Julie and I lighting the candles on Sunday, helping to cut up bread for communion and sometimes fighting over which one could ring the bell. It was fun for me to ride on the rope as it would pull me up every time. Julie took the job more seriously and would not allow herself to be pulled. Coffee hour was downstairs and it was always fun to listen to the conversations the adults were having. I remember one year, around Christmas time, a woman walked into the coffee area and announced “The Fruitcakes are here!”…I did not think she was being kind as I thought she was referring to all of us being Loony-Tune! I learned otherwise, when a heavy, frightening fruitcake was placed into my lap on the way home. No one ate it, but when I asked my Dad why he purchased the cake, he simply said, “It was for a good cause."

I went off to college and would come home occasionally for breaks, or a long weekend, and would always return to church with my parents on Sunday. I remember how fun it was to see friends, reconnect and to "just be." I remember feeling at ease here. No stress, no pressure, no need to think about the outside world or classes. I would “just be”. Even after I graduated from college and moved to Rhode Island, I always tried to make it back now and then to, I guess, regenerate. Remember who I am and be with my church family. It was and still is so very comforting.

I met my husband in Rhode Island and I remember Steve asking me where I wanted to get married. I told him First Parish and he willingly complied. We met with the Pastor several times and I knew Steve had an instant connection with him and the church. Our families and friends filled this space on our wedding day and I have never felt so much love as I did that day. They all came here and helped create the next chapter in Steve’s and my life.

Well, the next few chapters came alone three years later. My son Griffin was born, followed 18 months later by Garrett and last but not least, our youngest, Jeffrey. They were all baptized in this church and are growing up here as I did. They help light the candles on Sunday morning, they help ring the bell and they listen to conversations at coffee hour (and, eat lots of snacks!). Vacation Bible School has become a week that they all look forward to and the confirmation class is a great group of kids that will have a special bond of their own. My parents always said things will come full circle and at a great speed after the boys came along and that my life would change. They were right.

I am constantly growing and changing -- challenging myself to new ways of thinking and being. Motherhood has been one of those constants. It changes the way you think about yourself, your family, your friends, and the world at large. It changes the way you look at life, the way you reflect, and the way you act and react. It teaches you to examine things you never gave a second thought to before delivery, and to question the things you always thought were right and true. Motherhood is a beautiful ride, a wild ride, and the most incredible journey you will ever take, beginning the day the “plus sign” appears in the window and ending, well, never. I knew my life as a mother would change drastically; and yet, I had no idea at all.

What is most amazing to me about being a mother is how often the role changes. Being the mother of an infant is not at all the same as being the mother of a toddler. And being the mother of a first-grader is nothing like being the mother of a middle-schooler. Just when you think you have the role down, it changes suddenly, sometimes with no warning. Our family is so dynamic as we press and pull on each other. There is no time for stagnancy. Sometimes it feels as if there is no time to breathe. Then, suddenly, Sunday comes and there is time to breathe. And so we breathe. We take it all in. We admire everyone's present state of life. We are reminded why we are here and what we are doing. We are reminded of what is important and that God is holding us up. We get rejuvenated and refueled. We “just be.”

This building and the people in it have been a huge part of my life. This church and you have provided love, guidance, comfort and strength. This church and you have taught me to forgive, taught me that God is always with me, taught me to be kind to others and to give back. This church and you have helped me heal through the sorrow of death and have celebrated new life. This church and you are helping my children be better people and my husband and I be better parents and spouses. This church, you and God have and always will be who makes me, me!