I hope you had a wonderful mother’s day weekend. I enjoyed mine thoroughly. My sweet husband granted my one and only mother’s day wish – a root beer float, homemade of course so I can enjoy seconds. My little Abe also gave me a great gift…he took his first steps!

But, while I enjoyed my kids greatly, the highlight of my weekend was spending time with a handful of women through an outreach with Spero Project – a local ministry that helps many people in my community. I blogged about a few weeks ago about a Craft Night that I wanted to organize to make gifts for the mother’s in Spero’s international refugee program. So last week, a group of girls gathered together for one evening at Cafe Evoke, fabric and glue guns flying through the air as we made gifts for precious women we had never met.

It was a fun night with several friends, including Mandy Steward of Messy Canvas (who I interviewed last year), Kasie, a new friend and artist, and Kelly Beall of Design Crush. I was super excited to meet Kelly since I made her acquaintance years ago in the blog world, and she was so fun AND funny, and totally excited about the cause.

I decided on a pretty simple fabric flower with a button in the middle. Very easy to make, following this tutorial, but instead of sewing everything together, we took the easy route and hot glued em all. I think they turned out beautifully, the girls did such a great job.

My little family and 4 others arrived to be a part of the event. Beforehand, I learned that the majority of the refugees in the program are from Burma, Iraq and Africa. They’ve fled their homes due to well-founded fears of persecution for their race, political opinions or religion. For most refugees, the only hope for a life free of persecution is resettlement in another country. So these families have been placed here by Catholic Charities to begin a new life in the United States. Spero helps in many ways by providing for basic needs, teaching English classes, job skills, and giving them lots of social interaction and help adjusting to a new way of life.

The event was simple and beautiful. We enjoyed brunch together and letting them pick out their gifts. Most of them had never celebrated a Mother’s Day before, so the idea of having an entire day to honor their role was a very new concept.

Looking at these brave women, you would never guess the hardships or treacherous situations they’ve had to endure. They were nurturing, happy and strong. One woman in particular I got to talk to was from war-torn Sudan. She’s been here in the U.S. for 6 years with her husband and three children. I asked her if it’s gotten any easier. She said, yes it had gotten easier, that she’d finally learned English well in order to communicate, but it’s still very hard. I could see it in her eyes, even through the smile she warmly shared. It didn’t take me long to realize these women probably had more of a gift to offer to me – I realized that the gift was perspective. Perspective, and an opportunity to grow and learn.

So thank you ladies, for the gift you gave me. Thank you for being inspiring and strong. Thank you for letting us be a part of your very first Mother’s Day.