For the past 6 years, I served on leadership in my local MOPS group, including a 4 year stint as Coordinator. This was my “goodbye” devotional as I ended my time as a MOPS leader. It was published in our MOPS newsletter May 2014.
This is it. My last MOPS meeting as Coordinator. I can’t begin to tell you the many lessons God has shown me since I’ve been part of MOPS. All I know is MOPS, & especially being part of leadership, has impacted this chapter of my story more than anything.
I was at a session a few months back with my “Life Coach” & I talked about the anger & anxiety I struggle with. I told her that the anger isn’t always there but that it comes in waves. She had me visualize the ocean. Sometimes it is calm, yet other times stormy. I told her the waves are so strong sometimes, I lose footing & get knocked over. So, recently, when I was at the beach, I stood in the surf while my kids played in the waves. You know how the sand under your feet washes away? I thought about the waves of anger. I thought what can I do to stand firm?
It hit me – Dig deep. I dug my feet into the sand, & when the water came, I didn’t move. I dug deep. When my life is stormy & the waves start to beat against me, I need to dig deep into God’s word. It’s hard to yell at your kids when you are staring at a verse on the wall that says, “Let the words of my mouth be acceptable in your sight, O Lord.” Anxiety won’t eat away at me if I remember, “Cast all my cares upon Him.”
MOPS has given me tools to dig deep. I joined MOPS at Crossroads when my oldest was less than a year old. In my time since, I’ve had two more beautiful children & suffered two pregnancy losses. Between having three children in four years & losing two sweet babies, my world at times has been turned upside down. Suffice it to say, life has been a bit of a roller coaster.
Here’s where MOPS helps me – the “themes” we present each year – they’ve meant something to me. Each one has stuck in my mind. My life is a roller coaster? Well, think of a roller coaster – high peaks, deep dips, long tracks. In this Adventure in Mothering (2008) what I need to remember is Ephesians 3:18. “How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Dig deep.
My life coach told me if I can’t dig deep on my own, grab someone’s hand. Life on Planet Mom (2009) taught me “No mom alone” – Matthew 18:20 says, “Where two or three come together in my name there I am with them.” MOPS has given me friends with hands to hold. Dig deep.
When my life coach once asked me how I pictured God, I immediately thought of the theme verse from Momology: The Art & Science of Mothering (2010). Psalm 139:10 says, “Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” I picture God like a parent guiding a child across a busy intersection. And it’s because of that verse, a verse I learned in MOPS. Dig deep.
I struggle sometimes feeling confident. My fear of failure holds me back. As a mom, I’m not sure I can handle the pressure of raising my children. But then I remember God’s instilled in me “Momsense” (2011) and 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but to be bold & loving & sensible.” What a great way to parent – Bold, loving, sensible. Dig deep.
When life gets busy & I’m irritated at my husband or loved ones, you know what? Plunge (2012) taught me “Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.” (I Peter 4:8-11). Dig deep.
When I look around my house, I try to not see a toy store on my living room floor. When I look in the mirror, I try not to see someone in desperate need of an extreme makeover & a diet plan. I instead see A Beautiful Mess (2013). “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10). I will embrace my story! I will dig deep.