Passing The Baton

When I was in high school I was required to take PE, required to run around a track, and required to run the last leg of a relay. The baton pass was a success! But as I sprinted closer and closer to the end, I turned my head, looking to my left—toward the inside of the track—instead of toward the finish line. Why? Because I didn’t want any onlookers to see my red cheeks wobbling and facial muscles straining as I exerted myself. My PE teacher said I looked ridiculous. Not to mention that it slowed down my team. (Oh the foolishness of vanity!)

Looking back (or to the side) isn’t a good idea for those running in a race, but if you’re “the coach,” rewinding the reel can be helpful to all interested parties. And looking back is a discipline that reminds us how faithful God has been; it reminds us of our teammates in ministry and how they have been used by God in our lives and so many others.

Let me tell you about two of our MomsHooPray superstars:

Judy Mahony, with three Hoos, Class of 2014, 2018 and 2021, joined in the fall of 2010. We were new to each other but over the next four years as she prayed her oldest daughter through UVA, I noticed not only her wicked sense of humor but her kind heart, mature faith and winsome relational skills. She became one of my closest friends and confidants. (oh the tales we could tell on each other…)

When both of our Hoos graduated in 2014, Judy’s second Hoo matriculated at UVA. I sensed it was time for me to step down so that an undergraduate MomHoo’ could lead. Judy took the baton in facilitating the twice monthly meetings (in addition to all the admin minutia) and I—face forward with no cheek wobbles—raced on. Hence the creation of this website and our logo, writing the occasional blog, compiling our growing roster, planning end of year dinners, facilitating our new Zoom Moms, and a host of other fun things that keep me busy and involved!

In 2017, Judy’s youngest was accepted! And so was current MomHoo,’ Heidi Veldman’s youngest! So Judy invited this equally skilled and wonderfully faith-filled friend to partner with her and shepherd old and new moms. Heidi’s many gifts dovetailed so well with Judy’s; the NoVA group continued to grow wider and deeper.

After many years of service as the NoVA leaders, both Judy’s and Heidi’s youngest Hoos finally walked the lawn in May with the Class of 2021!  I am ever so grateful for these two who have run this MomsHooPray race so well. Rumor has it that Judy plans to resurrect the Grad MomsHooPray for anyone with UVA graduates who want to keep praying together. (To read “MomHoo’ Mahony’s” parting message, scroll down to the link. It’s well worth your time!)

Judy, Heidi and Kathy

It’s now officially time to pass the baton again! They are…drumroll, please—double MomHoo,’ Wendy Vendt (Class of 2023 and 2021) in the bright orange jacket—and triple MomHoo,’ Jenna Mead! (Class of 2025, 2024 and 2022)

Jenna and Wendy

Please welcome our wonderful new NoVA MomsHooPray leaders, and be patient as they slip on some very big shoes! I am confident the Lord will help them take up the baton and run—facing forward, not looking behind. And because they are such mature women who trust God to help them, they won’t be worried if their faces wobble from time to time 🙂


“Judy’s Reflections of MomsHooPray” 

Read Judy’s parting words as she “retires.”

GradHOOation Pics

Click on the gallery to view larger and to read captions.


The posts below are important to read now—while there’s still time

before you send off your HOO in the fall.

Before They Fly The Nest

(includes a link to a list of counselors in NoVA and C’Ville)

The Red Folder

(start gathering this essential information)


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