After talking with someone today I was reminded anew of what MOPS means to me. I am passionate about MOPS. It has been my saving grace at times. For those who do not know what MOPS is, it is Mothers of Preschoolers. And let me tell you, I am a MOPS!
So, what all has MOPS meant to me over the years? At different stages it has been different things for me.
When I first became a stay at home mom it was a place where I could be with other moms. I could have a break from my children, and have adult conversation. That was probably what saved me from going over the edge. I became a better mom by having that down time away from my kids. And, I was able to relax because I knew my kids were close to me, having fun, and safe.
As I grew in my walk with the Lord, He showed me that He could use me. Becoming a mom when I was 18 and not married, I had this mentality that I wasn't usable by God. My choices had benched me from serving the Lord in any public way. After all I had done in my past, who was I to help lead other women? MOPS was the place that God showed me He wanted to use me. I became a discussion group leader. Pretty simple...call the girls and remind them about MOPS, and during discussion time pose the questions that were on a piece of paper in front of me. Simple, but this was a big step for me.
MOPS then became where I learned to trust God with my time. I became more involved in a leadership role. I learned that I do have what it takes. I really can be used by God in a larger way that I thought I could. I also made lasting friendships here. You really do bond with people that you serve side by side with.
Now MOPS has become a place where I can meet people. I am in a new town. I'm three hours from a familiar face. We are involved in a church now, but when we first got here seven months ago I didn't know anyone. We were still searching for a church home. I was lonely, with an capital L. I knew when we got here that I had to find a MOPS group. Through MOPS I have found a friend that I can call and meet at the park, or just hang out with. Some connection. I need that desperately. When I had to take my daughter to get her cast on, it was a MOPS mom that stepped up and watched my two youngest kids for me.
What a blessing other MOPS moms have been to me. I have laughed with these women over the funny things that happen during this stage in our kids lives. I have cried with them, when they lost a pregnancy or we were just struggling with raising our kids. I have found acceptance, not judgment. I have found encouragement when I needed it the most. Overall, I have been fed. Fed physically (us women like to eat!), fed emotionally, and fed spiritually. I pray that I have given something to some mom along the way. I know that I have been given much by my fellow MOPS moms.
On top of all of this, I cannot forget all the wisdom that I have gained from the speakers over the years. I have learned everything from freezer cooking to making bows. I've learned about postpartum depression and how to get my child ready for reading. We have covered topics from photography to disciplining children to keeping the romance alive in your marriage.
I could go on and on about everything I have gained from being in MOPS groups over the last five years...but I will stop here. I hope that you get my point about how important MOPS is. It is a ministry that reaches out into the community and connects women. I have seen women come to know the Lord through MOPS. Please, please, please support your local MOPS groups or start one up today!
To learn more about MOPS International visit http://www.mops.org/