All these beautiful ladies are in various leadership positions in the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group I belong to. I had the privilege of getting to know each of them better last weekend when I was able to go to the "big city" for a MOPS Leadership Training. Our first stop was PF Changs. It was seriously the best Chinese food I've ever had. We each ordered a different dish and shared family style. There were eight of us, so we got to try eight different dishes. Super yummy!
The leadership training was wonderful. I walked away even more excited and motivated to be a good Discussion Group Leader. The focus of the training was identifying a fear and then figuring out what steps you are going to take to conquer that fear. The thing I fear the most is: after all this effort to raise up Godly children, they will not live out their faith when they are adults. It honestly terrifies me because I know I have no control over their decision to follow Christ. However, after praying and meditating on it, I realized that the key to overcoming this fear is "relationship". While homeschooling, church, AWANAS, etc, and even home discussions about God are all good things, it is the relationship with my children that will have the most impact on their decision to walk with Christ. I came away even more determined to be intentional in developing a good, positive relationship with my kids. The other thing that struck me was when a speaker who had gone through some extremely difficult circumstances said that he stopped praying that God would keep his children safe, because in his own life, it was the times when he felt the most unsafe, that he felt the closest to God and his relationship with our Savior was deepened. I thought that was profound when this concept was applied to our children. When we embrace the pain, even in regards to our children, it gives us a chance to direct them to the Savior. He is able! On Friday night, we met at the church with all the other MOPS groups in our area and had a relaxing evening of pampering ourselves, crafting, eating from a dessert bar, etc, and just getting know other moms in MOPS leadership in a relaxed setting. They even had massages. Here are my friends, Beth, Stephanie and Cora showing off their newly painted toenails. Trust me it is a treat for a mother of preschoolers to paint her toenails without "help".Here are some more friends, Laurie, Sarah, Diane and Amanda, who were partaking of the craft center. I never liked crafts until I joined MOPS. Their crafts are always easy, fun and something you would be proud to take home to show your family or give as a gift.Cora and I are making the cutest decorated mini-first aid kits that will fit in your purse. A must for every MOPS. This is Cora's first year in leadership and I'm so excited to have her on the MOPS team. I just love this lady!Now for some humor. How many Mothers of Preschoolers does it take to pack, shut and latch the cargo carrier? I believe it took 4 of us. Sarah got to show off her rock climbing skills as she scaled Beth's Yukon to try to get all of our stuff arranged in it so that we could shut it. It took three MOPS to actually get it latched. We wanted to get all our luggage in the carrier so we could have more room for the shopping we did after the conference. We also hit the Olive Garden on the way home. Yum!
It was kind of funny because before the conference, we were discussing how easily we all cry since having babies. Sure enough, we were probably known as the "crying table". We laughed, we cried, we had a wonderful time.
One of the highlights of my weekend was when we were registering for the conference, the gal kept looking at me. She asked me if I a blog. I said yes. She said she follows my sister's blog, but has been checking mine out too, and is using all the cleaning recipes I'd posted. How cool to actually get recognized by someone! Anyway, thanks, Sarah, for making my day. It was wonderful to talk with you!
If you're a mother of preschooler(s), I would highly encourage you to get involved with your local MOPS group. They are spreading like wildfire all over the country. If your kids are older than preschool age, MOPS International just launched a program called Moms Next to keep the support going. So excited about this! We all need Godly support and encouragement on this journey called Motherhood.
Have a Blessed Day,