Monday, December 19, 2016

December Meeting Recap

Some of the goodies available
This month we held a decadent celebration of motherhood and friendship. We indulged in some amazing holiday treats, enjoyed relaxed conversation, and allowed ourselves a break from the stress that often accompanies the Christmas season. We hope that those who were able to attend left rejuvenated and joyful. 

Service Project

Tables assembled "Blessing Baskets" to give to families at Anmed whose children are hospitalized during the holidays. These included care items for parents spending long hours in the hospital with their child. 

28-Day Challenge

Anita introduced an upcoming activity in which we hope that all MOPS moms will participate. Details are contained in the "Becoming Starry-Eyed" book that was included in this year's membership kit. If you have a chance before our January meeting, when we will kick off the challenge, find your book and give yourself a preview!


Margaret spoke about the difficulty of making room for God, particularly during this busy time of year. Here is a small portion of the excerpt she shared from Christian blogger Chrystal Evans Hurst:
Margaret speaks candidly about making room for God
"I ... often find myself in life situations that feel like a bad dream. I might be uncomfortable … stuck … in emotional or physical pain. Sometimes I find myself stressed out, overwhelmed, without peace, lonely, worried or unhappy.
Do I believe this? “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18, NASB). Absolutely.
Do I believe “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, NASB)? Sure I do. But I have to admit many times I settle for the ache in my heart or the anxiety in my head. I don’t immediately reach out for the Presence available to me.

...While we can desire more of God’s presence, knowing He desires the same, we have to make room for Him."
To read more, visit Ms. Hurst's blog here.

New Mentor Mom

Joining Ms. Jan and Ms. Mandy as a mentor mom for our group is Dianne Pray. Hailing from Indiana, she spent 30+ years as a special education teacher in a suburb of Chicago. She currently lives in Seneca, where she spends her free time quilting, crafting, singing in the church choir, and stepping in to help out with her granddaughters whenever she can!
Dianne with her husband and grandchildren

All of us at MOPS look forward to seeing you in the New Year! 
Peace and blessings as you celebrate His birth 😇

Monday, December 12, 2016

To My Fellow Moms at Christmas

Dear MOPS Mamas,

In the past, Mondays on the blog have been used to record our mom fails - those ridiculous moments when we find ourselves in over our heads, when all we can do is throw up our hands and admit defeat. You may wonder: Why glorify mom fails? Why not celebrate all of those small, rarely acknowledged tasks that we do well? I have an answer, but the answer is sad. The answer is this: because our successes feel, to us, unspectacular. They are, after all, just duties: feeding children, wiping bottoms, folding laundry, providing transportation to school and activities.

Our days, in fact, are filled with work well done, if only we could see it that way. Have you, today, wrapped your child in a loving embrace, kissed their soft cheeks, looked at them with a gaze dripping with a love as heavy and sweet as syrup? I call this a mom win.

In the past 24 hours, have you had cause to correct your child and straighten his path to walk more like Jesus? Have you prayed with her? Have your words modeled kindness? Have your hands and heart put others first? Then you are doing precisely what you were made to do.

If you have prepared a meal, cleaned a spill, wiped a tear, each of these is a success. If you have found a moment, in the midst of all the demands placed on you, to care for yourself, you are doing well.

Take heart, mamas. Your successes far outweigh your failures. Even when you feel low and unappreciated, too soft in the middle, too frustrated by your kids, too short with your spouse, too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, you are enough. You are the person your children need. You are the person they love - not the version of yourself you dream of becoming, if only you had more time or more resolve. The you you are right now. 

Take a breath. Love in, self-judgment out. Smile. We are on this journey together, thank God, and we will hold one another up and remind one another that life really is filled with joy. This is what MOPS is for, and I am so, so grateful to have this community.

Merry Christmas, all you remarkable women. My wish for you is that you see yourselves that way.