Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why I Am Going To MOPS Convention

It might seem obvious that a stay at home mom to a preschooler and a toddler would do just about anything to get away from her life to spend a few days of hanging out with some of her best girl friends. Especially after spending a good chunk of the summer solo parenting because her husband was out of town at work.

And I suppose for some moms, that would be enough of a reason to pack up the mini van and get as far away as possible. But in less than a week, I have an even better reason to round up those girl friends and go on a 10-hour road trip to Tennessee - MOPS Convention!

MOPS Convention is a crazy, jam-packed weekend full of learning ways to be a better mom, wife and MOPS leader. Last year I learned so much - about leading large groups of women in creative activities (i.e. crafts),  how grace is essential to mothering, why my room mate saved her first kiss for her husband, what happens when I don't get enough sleep and I can't blame a restless baby, and that I really do miss my family when I'm away from them for more than a day. (Oh, and that the resource fair is dangerous to my checking account!)

But most of all, I truly caught a vision for MOPS. I saw that my weekly MOPS meeting was about more than just making new friends, eating food with out little fingers trying to get a bite, or listening to awesome local leaders share their various areas of expertise. MOPS is about finding ways to bring moms into a closer relationship with God.

The technical term for this is 'lifestyle evangelism.' I like to think about it as meeting moms where they are at and showing them they don't have to mother alone. That I, yes *I*, want to come along side them for this radical journey called motherhood so that we can walk together closer towards God, who is the real source for ending that alone feeling that can come when you are tired of changing diapers, sweeping up Cheerios, folding teeny tiny baby clothes, and dealing with yet another unprovoked tantrum.

What God does at MOPS through me is to call women into relationship with him. He doesn't use me to beat up moms for having a bad day and losing their temper with their toddler. He doesn't want me to shove a Bible in their diaper bag as they walk out the door. He wants me to let that mom know that I too lose my temper sometimes and that we aren't horrible moms because of it. He wants me to share His word in a relevant way that the mom can digest in between the demands our children place on us. Really, he wants me to let her know that she doesnt' have to mother alone.

And that is the real reason I am leaving my family for 4 days to go to Nashville next week. Because if I'm going to be God's missionary to moms in my city, then I need to make sure I have a strong hold of His vision for MOPS tucked into the depths of my heart so I can be the best servant that He deserves. I am branching off this year and starting a new MOPS group at my own church and I am looking forward to this time of refreshing at convention to be just the thing I need to help us get off to a great start.

If you are the mom of a child under 5 years old, do you go to your local MOPS group? Why or why not? Are you going to convention too? 

8 comments:

  1. I'm going to Convention next week. It will be my 3rd convention, and honestly, you nailed it on why we go. I did steering a year before my first convention and enjoyed it, but it was at convention in 09 that it all came together - the overall mission of MOPS, how it can change lives, how it has impacted mine, everything. I left with a mission. Now I am getting ready to start year 2 as coordinator of our group!

    We are really making Lifestyle Evangelism a focus of our group this year as far as our steering team goes. That is what MOPS is all about. Meeting moms where they are in life, doing life with them... being real.

    Best wishes as you start a new group! Will keep you in prayer!

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  2. @Mandi - Thanks so much for sharing. I'm looking forward to meeting you at convention!

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  3. Loved your blog. I will be miss being at Convention this year, but coming from Germany just wasn't in the budget this year. I will be praying for all the moms at Convention. I have always believed that Convention is a great avenue to bring the big picture and mission together for many moms. Have a Blessed convention

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  4. @The Schauble Family - I was just telling someone how great I thought it was that MOPS reaches out to military moms. That life is hard enough I imagine and having MOPS has got to make it easier. Thanks for your prayers and maybe you can live vicariously through our #mopscv tweets!

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  5. I've been involved in my local MOPS group now for a few years, it's pretty great. Have a fantastic time!

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  6. Thanks Emily! I think I remember you mentioning it at one point. MOPS has been a lifeline for me these past 2 years.

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  7. Thank you, Jennifer. Well said. Every Convention brings something new to the top personally and a stronger foundation to my MOPS outreach.

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  8. Jennifer, LOVE your blog. I'm getting ready to have dinner with a few of the speakers at the MOPS convention. I will be Tweeting your post to help get the moms excited to be here this weekend. Great job girl!

    I'd love to meet you in person. Come find me. I'll be selling my book "Just Too Busy" at a booth by authors Kathi Lipp & Erin MacPherson!! Praying God fills you to the brim this weekend!

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