I’ve been joking this fall that my Friday mornings are like group therapy for home school moms. Honestly, Friday mornings have become the highlight of my week.

The three big kids take their enrichment classes at co-op. I sit around with two of my favorite friends in the cafe area upstairs, sipping hot tea and talking about life. We discuss important topics like shopping, shoes and travel, as well as curriculum, teaching strategies and the challenges of being both mom and teacher.

Throughout the morning, we have several other friends who come and go. We’ve gotten to know everyone’s schedule. A few people join our group at 10 a.m., and then a couple more jump in at 11. By Noon, we have a full table for lunch. I know the kids enjoy their classes at co-op and the chance to hang out with friends, but I don’t think they could possibly be having half as much fun as the moms upstairs.

Today, the topics of discussion were a bit more intense. This whole week has been full of challenges and struggles, not just for me, but for several of us. I know it’s no coincidence that we also are going through a sermon series at church focused on finding joy in the midst of trials. Several of the moms from Friday morning therapy go to my church and two of them are in my small group.

This week at small group, we had to complete the following sentence: “When I face a trial, I…”

That was a tough question. I had to think about it long and hard. I think we all agreed that the big trials are the ones that force you to your knees. When the problems are larger than anything we could possibly handle on our own, we have no choice but to trust God for the answer.

But what about those small struggles we face everyday? Those little irritations? The frustrations? The smaller decisions?

My week has been full of those. So, I answered honestly: “First I get a drink — hot, carbonated or caffeinated. Then I get some chocolate. And if it’s really bad, I go shopping.” (I realize this wasn’t the best answer, but I believe in honesty.)

Well, back to Friday morning co-op. Have you ever had one of those moments when someone asks you a simple question and it triggers a flood of emotion? I guess that’s what happened this morning during Friday morning group therapy. All of those tiny frustrations, challenges and trials had built up to a point that they all came rushing out in one unexpected deluge.

I’m so thankful for this group of moms who care enough about me to talk me through it, pray for me and just listen in moments like those.

A few hours ago, one of them showed up at my front door. She handed me a bag with a drink and some chocolate. (We both wished there was time for shopping.) She sat in my messy kitchen and listened while we munched on chocolate covered bananas.

What a gift. I’m not sure what I would do without these women to go through life with me. Through the good and the bad. And to be there when life requires a nice warm drink and some deep, dark chocolate.


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