Thursday, April 22, 2010

MOPS Leadership Summit - 2010

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,
Jackie

20 comments:

Stacey said...

Jackie...I LOVE MOPS. I have met the most amazing women and it is such a support and a blessing to me. I wasn't able to attend the leadership summit this year (I do outreach and next year will also be helping with publicity in our group). It looks like you had an amazing time. :)
Thanks for following. :)

-Peace

Catherine said...

Well, darlin', it seems that a good time was had by all! You showed us and told us well! I pray your year in leadership will be beneficial to others as well as yourself and family. Go, girl!

Amy said...

Loved MOPS back in Ohio. But we pulled out because we all paid for our memberships and didn't get anything. No books, nothing. So we made our own group.

That was our biggest beef, what do you do when your kids are out of Kindergarder?? I am glad to see that it is being addressed.

Can't find a group around me. I called one group and they never called me back for MOPS or Awanna. So much for that.

Watch for an e-mail.

Have a wonderful day.

Rachel and Family said...

I loved reading that!
We have the same fear, but I am trusting the Lord to do work in their hearts like He does mine. I get so scared when I hear older, respected women, say that one of their children are not following the Lord. It freaks me out and makes me want to say "what did you do wrong? so I don't do it?"" (not that I actually ask that) But I try so hard not to think that way because it is so very arrogant for me to blame a mother like that. I know for sure I'm not perfect! why would I expect them to be!? Two women who I love dearly and are such Godly persons, each has one of their grown children astray. We pray for them constantly.

I also agree and know from experience my children are at their heart's best when we are in a good place with eachother. Talking, listening, laughing, connecting on a project together.

You're naturally that way it seems like. I can tell you love your babies!

I know several Salvation Army Officer women who have been or are very involved in MOPS leadership also. Go MOPS!!

Andrea said...

I wish I had been involved in something like this when my kids were little (all grown, now). Having mommie time with adults is very important.
Blessings,
andrea

Deborah Ann said...

Wow, that looks like a blast! Especially since God was involved. Think I need some girl time one of these days...

Jessica said...

Wow, that sounds incredible! Glad you had a good time! I've never been to MOPS, as it's never worked out with our schedules to go on the days they meet locally (either appts or other Bible study or something goin' on), but I hope to get it worked out to visit one for sure--very encouraged by your post! (*And thanks a heap for the reminder about relationships with our children, I'm going to be keeping that in mind among all I worry about teaching them!)

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Stacey,
Thanks so much for your service to your local MOPS group!

Amy,
I'm so sorry you had a bad MOPS experience. When we pay our dues to MOPS International, we get the MomSense magazine, plus a book at the end of the year. Our group doesn't follow MOPS curriculum, we do our own thing. We typically switch between a craft and a speaker every other time we meet. You should look into the Moms Next group if you are interested. However, it is a brand new program and so I don't know if they will have one in your area. If you are interested, you could probably help start one. We don't have one in our area, but a bunch off us MOPS will be graduating around the same time and I'm hoping we will be able to get a group going here.

RaD said...

Oh I know the same fear, but.... It's all in God's hands. I pray that Yohn and I are the parents that our children need and that we point them to Jesus everyday.

Mich said...

Looks like a fun time!

I don't have any preschoolers at home anymore, but I am envious of your pampering.

Heart2Heart said...

Jackie,

I had to come by and let you know, I love your site and love the atmosphere here. I came by after getting your comment on my blog, and you became a follower of mine.

So I had to stop on over and see who you are and I loved it here so I too, decided to follow you as well and hope we become BFF's!

Don't forget to sign up for all my giveaways that are ending this weekend. They are on the side bar on the right. Just click any of them and enter.

Stop by when you can, I miss seeing you.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Jenn said...

Jackie, It sounds like you had the most wonderful weekend! Lots of fun! Is your family feeling better?

Camille said...

What a blessing you were able to attend! How precious that you all point one another to the LORD! And you are right...we cannot save our children, but we can pray for them and teach them in the way they should go...how powerful that is! :)

Have a lovely weekend!
Love,
Camille

A said...

PF Chang is indeed good food. Glad to see activity around your world. Appears same to ours.

home making said...

I really liked reading this story. I am a grandma now, and my pre-schooler Mom days are far behind me, but I would have really enjoyed having something like that when my kids were young.

christy rose said...

I never did ever get involved witha MOPS group but this post makes me want to look it up around here and check it out next year when Jacob becomes a preschooler. You all look like you had so much fun!

Sarah said...

Jackie...looks like you had a fantastic weekend with all the ladies at your MOPS leadership summit! The restuarants that you dined in sound lovely...we love all love dining out, often we will go out to a fancy breakfast as a family!

Glad you had such a wonderful time!

God Bless

His bondservant said...

Jackie,

So glad you had a wonderful time! It looks like it was both spiritually edifying and just plain fun too. The pictures of packing the van are hilarious!! I can so relate to that! So glad you were able to attend and didn't get sick. I am also glad your the rest of your family is better. It is so hard when little ones are sick.

Blessings,

Jackie

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Jenn,
Thank you for asking about our family's health. Yes, they are all doing better and I never did get (I'm sure it was everybody praying for me :)

Hugs,
Jackie

OurLilFullFam said...

I loved my MOPS group too! Look slike such a neat time.

Yes, it is hard to let go and believe that our kids will choose to follow Christ. It is hard to think of them not doing so. Relationship is key, and letting them see our relationship with Him!

Stephanie

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