Moms and their children discover new life at Shepherd’s Door

Naomi: “I held her and she just told me everything … We are building strong relationships.”

Our women at Shepherd’s Door are courageous, especially our moms. It’s one thing to spend a year investing in your health, life and recovery as a single person, but it can take even more work and determination to come with your children and to seek hope and a restored life for your family.

We at Portland Rescue Mission love families. We love kids. We love moms.

At Shepherd’s Door, moms and their children are growing closer, expressing love in healthy ways and discovering together who God is.

And it’s because of your support that moms and children are finding hope and a new start in life.

We asked a few of our moms about what they’ve learned and what they love doing with their kids.

What’s the most import thing you’ve learned about parenting?

The best parenting advice I’ve received from here is learning your kids’ love language and how to show them love the way that they receive it,” said Vanessa.

“It’s made a huge difference because if you don’t learn that kind of stuff from your own parents, then you don’t know how to pass it on,” she said. Vanessa has two sons. “It’s really opening me up to give them more affection and they really respond to it,” she said.

Naomi, another mother at Shepherd’s Door, feels that way too. She is learning how her daughters feel loved.

The other day at school was a hard day for her oldest. “I held her and she just told me everything. So I think that we are building strong relationships as far as communication. And I know what their love languages are, its spending time together and touch,” she said.

“I love being with my mom because she snuggles me,” said Kaylee, one of the children at Shepherd’s Door. “Being with my mom makes me feel good.”

Watch our YouTube video “We Love Moms.”

What’s your favorite thing to do together?

“My favorite thing to do with my mom is play. We like to play Shopkins,” said Kaylee. “They’re these little tiny dolls that are food and they have eyes and mouths and noses!”

For Vanessa and her boys she said, “Our favorite thing to do with each other for quality time is probably art projects.” Each of her boys will pick out a Bible verse and everyone will paint, color or draw something to illustrate the verse. “Or sometimes we’ll do clay or play dough or make a figurine.”

“My favorite way to spend quality time with my kids is swimming at the lake, water gun fights, running through the sprinklers, eating popsicles and just being in the sunshine and having picnics,” said Naomi, “Anything that involves water and good food.”

Every night before bed, Naomi and her girls pray together. “I just tell them how much God loves them. He loves them. He loves them so much. I think they’re both going to be really great prayer warriors.”

“God is working in my kids life so much, and you can see it in them everyday. It’s beautiful. Its amazing,” said Vanessa. Her boys also love to pray and talk about God. Vanessa said that sometimes they have dreams about God and will talk to her about what he is like.

“I always thought that I would just never be happy because I’ve made so many mistakes and that I would never be a good parent because I’d messed up so much before,” said Vanessa.

That was before she knew about grace and forgiveness.

That was before she knew about God.

“The one biggest thing that I’ve learned here is that God is for me, he’s not against me,’ said Vanessa.

Because of this place, my daughter and I don’t have to worry about how we’re going to get away from drugs anymore,” said Kaylee’s mom Tara.

“It’s a life-changing program,” said Naomi

To our moms at Shepherd’s Door, we love you. We are for you. Thank you for inspiring us. Happy Mother’s Day!

(Your support this month for moms like Naomi and Vanessa will go twice as far! Read about Brianne, another mom from Shepherd’s Door, and find out more about our Matching Challenge at PortlandRescueMission.org/Double).