Last week I made the drive up to NoVA MomsHooPray to celebrate—in person—the start of our 13th year in prayer!
As much as I love getting to know Moms from all over Virginia and the USA via our Zoom group, I envy those NoVA MomsHooPray. They get to meet in person every other week! Granted, a two hour drive is too far for me to join them more than a few times a year, but I’d be ecstatic if it only took half of that. There’s just something really special about interacting face to face.
What a lively, loving group.
Ever since that day, I pondered how to share the high value of cultivating real local community whenever possible—which for a believing mom of a UVA student—is by being with other believing moms of UVA students.
Then THIS landed in my inbox:
What’s at the Root of Your Loneliness and What Can You Do About it? (by my TCU alum friend, Laura Crosby)
It hit home. Not because I am lonely. BUT because I’m guilty of the attitudes and actions Laura listed which have disconnected many of us from investing in and experiencing local community.
We/I have become addicted to doing whatever is easiest. (I’ve gotten lazy to tell you the truth)
But it’s at a cost. (Be sure to read in Laura’s story why the trees in Biosphere 2 fell over)
We ask our Hoos to put themselves out there to “find their people.” We expect them to venture offline and out of their dorms or apartments and make meaningful connections.
Yet habits formed during the pandemic have carried over even though they/we can now freely interact with others—in person.
It’s so easy NOT to go out of our comfort zone, NOT to go out of our way.
If we don’t want to be inconvenienced—there’s an app for that! (Here are a few of mine)
BUT if we want to make the most meaningful connections—if we want to “find our people” like we pray our kids will do, if we want to build local community, there’s an app for that, too—appearing IN PERSON!** (get showered, get dressed, get in the car, and GO)
Making the effort is SO worth it!
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
** If you live in Fairfax CTY, Arlington CTY or Alexandria, Virginia, you’re encouraged to be a part of the NoVA group, coming in person as often as possible or connecting via email with Jenna or Wendy so they and the local moms can support you and your Hoo in prayer and practical ways. If you live out of state or out of Northern Virginia, you are welcome to join the next best thing, Zoom MomsHooPray! Register HERE.
Read how these NoVA moms “found their people” at NoVA MomsHooPray:
Can I just say that the extended moms showering my kids with love and the love they’ve shown me and the friendships I’ve made….. make being a Mom of a Hoo the best kind of mom I could be. I’m not from Virginia and I didn’t even know the various colleges and universities, but God did and He knew where my girls should go. But what I didn’t know was that He knew what I needed, too. How many college moms can say that they have super close friends in their college coeds’ mothers? I feel a connection to the University, to the moms, their husbands, their children, and to GOD because of Moms Hoo Pray…I feel so blessed to have a group of moms to pray with twice a month. Then later when I hear my daughter mention these moms’ kids’ names, I feel connected in prayer and UVA life. I can see the difference prayer has made in all of our lives. There have been specific answers and joys and fellowship that make the 40-minute drive to McLean a blessing.
Ann Stewart/Mom of Christine/’19 and Julia/’21 NoVA
I thank God for our faithful leaders who provided the structure for us to gather, share prayer needs, and be blessed by the fellowship – thank you!!
Kelly White/Mom of Tyler/’19, Tristan/’21 and Julia/’24
I can’t say enough about MomsHooPray. I felt more connected to the goings on with the students, housing issues, roommates, you name it as I attended the bi-monthly prayer meetings and stayed in the loop of the email updates.
As a result of my involvement in MomsHooPray, I was more deliberate about asking my son about how I could pray for him – he always had something.
My involvement in this group of praying women enhanced my experience as a UVA Mom, I learned more about leaning on God and was continually reminded that nothing is in my control, and I made some very special friends.
Mary Kesting/Mom of Sam Kesting (Class of 2018) NoVA