Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Other Stuff I Do--MOPS

As we have gotten back into routine after all of the Christmas and holiday hullabaloo, I realize that I rarely talk about the other stuff that I do OTHER than being a mom.  I thought I would make a few posts about the other things that I am involved in.  Right now I am in MOPS at our church, sing in the group Alive, workout in Body and Soul, and volunteer in various roles at our church.  So, my next few posts are just going to be explaining the other things I am involved in that you may not already know :-)  Today,  I am going to tell you about the fabulousness of MOPS :-)

I have heard all about MOPS when I was pregnant from my sisters.  They had told me it was the greatest ever and that once I had Belle I NEEDED to find one.  During this time, Paul and I were between churches.  We were searching for our church home, and started attending Cornerstone Church.  At that time it was right next door to our neighborhood, and we could actually walk there! 
I can honestly say that MOPS is what sealed the deal for me on attending Cornerstone Church.  Paul was certain he wanted to go to the church, but I still wasn't quite sold on it.  MOPS made me feel connected and allowed me to get to know many of the other women in my church. 

We had probably been going a couple of months when I was approached by Cheryle.  Cheryle was the MOPS Coordinator at the time.  I was probably a few weeks out from my due date.  She introduced herself and encouraged me to consider joining MOPS.  I knew that MOPS was supposed to be all sorts of amazing per my sisters, but I wasn't sure about joining a group where I didn't know a single person.  Eventually, I contacted Cheryle and took the plunge.

I always laugh because my first ever MOPS meeting I was HUGE pregnant and overdue.  My second ever MOPS meeting I brought Belle with me and she was just over a week old.  It was the first place I ever brought Belle to on my own, and I was SO nervous.  I look back now and realize I had no clue that MOPS was actually the IDEAL place to go to my first time out with Belle on my own. 

So, what is MOPS?  Many groups might do it differently, so this is my experience with MOPS at Cornerstone Church.  Our MOPS group meets every other Monday for a couple of hours in the morning.  We have amazing people who watch our children, while all of us women eat breakfast (and it is always delicious), talk, play games, listen to speakers, and share life.  It gives us the opportunity to socialize with other women going through the same stage of life.  Other than meeting every other week, we have table play dates, we do group outings, we have Mom Nights Out, and stay connected via Facebook.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have leaned on the support and advice of my fellow MOPS women. Just recently I received at text while at a MOPS meeting about my nephew, Kahsay, and some serious health issues he faced.  At the end of each meeting we get in a circle and pray.  I cried as I lifted him up.  I could hear the other women begin to sniffle.  I had women put their hands on me, and when the prayer was done I was given hugs and the promise of so many more prayers.  In the weeks after those same women would ask me how he was and how my sister and her family were doing.  The women in my MOPS group hurt for my family when they saw me hurt, and they all rejoiced when I was able to share good news with him when things were looking good for Kahsay. 

I think there is something powerful that happens when women get together.  I find that in our group we are able to open up, let down our walls, and see each other in the same way we want to be seen.  We are all raising children and hoping we don't screw up!  We are all trying to live up to the all new perfect "Pinterest Woman" who has it all together.  In actuality we head to meetings with laundry on the floor, jelly in our kid's hair, and feeling rather surprised our hair looks halfway decent for not washing it in two days. 

MOPS has become my support group in more ways than one.  It is an opportunity for me to get out of the house and socialize with adults more than just on Facebook.  It is the place I know I can go to with all of my junk and find women who won't judge me, but nod their head in understanding because they remember when they were dealing with something similar.  It is also something that has given me some purpose that is outside of my home, which I think can be very important for many SAHMs.  I am part of our MOPS leadership team and I am putting my social work degree to work by helping plan our service and outreach.

If you aren't in a MOPS group, I HIGHLY encourage you to find one.  I'd LOVE to invite you to ours at Cornerstone, but we currently have a waiting list and need to find more workers to help with childcare so we can bring in more moms.  I hate that we have to tell women "no" because we don't have enough volunteers to support more growth in this ministry.  If you have a desire to spend time with children a couple of times a week we can totally use you.  It would allow so many more women the opportunity to have the experiences that I mention above.

To all the women in my MOPS group, thank you to each an every one of you!  You are my support group, my friends, and often my sanity!


Jackie Koll said...

I wish I could join MOPS - even tried to join with a friend last fall but . . since I babysit for a friend, I'm not able to bring "extra" kids with me - they have to have their own parent. BUT I think it is a great group and would go if I could!

Rachel Jaquish said...

I feel quite similar to you with all that you've written about MOPS. I felt more connected and not lost in the crowd at church.