Our Mops Mission

To provide a place where MOMS feel connected and supported as part of a community where we are encouraged and equipped to be the best moms we can be. We want moms to thrive in relationships with their families, friends, and Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 27, 2014

We've Moved Blog Addresses!

Due to a number of issues with mobile comments last semester on our old blogger host, we've moved to a new website and gotten a little springtime facelift! Check us out now at:

www.mopsatgbc.wordpress.com

If you're currently subscribed to our email alert system, your email will be transferred over to the new site and you'll continue getting alerts as before. You will get a confirmation of that subscription when your address is moved over.

If you're a new MOPS mom and you want to start getting alerts, make sure you follow the new blog!

Happy Spring and we'll see you all in a little over a WEEK!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Spring 2014 Registration Form

This semester is coming to a close but we hope to see you back next spring! Here's the registration form for anyone who wants to fill it out before Thursday's meeting. Your table leaders will also have copies on Thursday. 

Click here: Download Spring 2014 Registration form

Friday, November 29, 2013

Guest Post | On the Same Team

Here's another one from Cara, one of our fellow Mops mommas. She also blogs over at The Crunchy Conservative

My husband and I are driving to Oregon to see his family for Thanksgiving. We journey for the turkey this way every year and every year goes about the same. I pack for me, the kid and the dogs. I cook beforehand so we don't show up empty-handed and I buy early Christmas presents for all the nieces and nephews. I make sure the laundry is done and the house is clean before we leave so we come home to calm at the end of the week. I gas up the car and remember to grab extra little luxuries like our own pillows from home and just enough DVDs to entertain the baby along the way. I even make food for the drive so we don't have to eat at McDonalds three times. I am always exhausted before we even hit the road. As we all know exhausted mothers don't make for very nice travel companions!

Thankfully the talk this week at MOPS was very timely! I was struck how personal the topic was to me. I was convicted by her story of her friend who was this lioness married to a golden retriever. That reflects my husband and me so clearly! When we were first married I was working regularly as an actress and bringing in a descent income. I felt so much of my worth was tied to my career and my confidence sometimes came out as arrogance. I was bossy to my sweet husband and pouty when I didn't get my way. I picked fights over silly things because they weren't done the way I would do them. It wore on him and I know it broke little pieces of his heart every time. Eventually, as the jobs stopped coming in and then when I quit working altogether to stay home with our daughter, I felt God was pruning this ugly piece of my personality by taking the thing that fed my haughtiness. I struggled with finding my new place and worth in this marriage. We had new arguments because I was grasping for a little bit of the accomplished person I felt I was before. Slowly, though, I started to understand that my worth was not tied to a career choice. It was tied to my Heavenly Father and being the beautiful person He called me to be. And that person was a wonderful wife and mother. As I stopped focusing on what I didn't have in the way of a paid job, I started to see the positive turn-around in my marriage. 

First, I made a point to pick up the house everyday before my husband got home from work. And he said THANK YOU! What affirmation! Then, we decided to eat dinner every night together at the dinner table instead of in front of the tv. This encouraged me to cook. Which prompted more thank you's! He complimented me more and I showed him more affection. Now we hold hands and kiss more than ever and have promised each other that we will continue this at least long enough to thoroughly embarrass our daughter when she is a teenager! It has been really amazing to see big improvements spring from small changes. Ignored irritations and intentional acts of kindness toward my sweetheart and life-mate have helped each of us to be less irritated and more kind! 

We are 6 hours into this 14 hour road trip and so far we have only had one almost potty accident. The turkey wraps I made are already gone and we have finished all the coffee. The kid and the dogs are all napping peacefully in the back and my sweetheart is holding my hand as he drives. What a change this is from years past where the stresses of travel would have me in tears by this point. The difference now is that I get it. We are on the same team, him and me. So, even if I like the car packed a certain way and he does it differently or I hint that I don't like a song on the radio and he doesn't change it because he can't READ MY MIND, it isn't really important. What's important is that I am by his side and I like it like that.


---

We want to hear from YOU, too! What is one thing you learned at last week's meeting that you can use/have begun to use to better your marriage?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guest Post | My Ribbon Drawer

Today's guest reflection comes from Lisa, one of our Table Leaders. Lisa says, "I'm blessed to be a part of the world of motherhood! Staying at home with my two little ones, Hunter and McKenna, is the best job I could imagine! I share my life with my best friend, Brian, and we are excited to celebrate our 10 year anniversary this coming June!"


---

For those of you who know the show Friends, you know about Monica, her obsessive compulsive cleaning disorder, and her ribbon drawer. My life was like Monica’s ribbon drawer. Everything had its place, it was organized by color, size, and design, anything that gave it a sense of organization. My house was like this too…until 29 months ago when we were blessed with a little man named Hunter. I did pretty well for being such a neat freak! There were toys on the floor, diapers to take out, and oh my goodness, the laundry! But for our family of three, this was totally doable! I could clean while he slept and have that house back in ribbon drawer condition in no time at all.

And then December 12, 2012 came along and McKenna joined our family, growing it to four. One little tiny body that couldn’t walk or move, but managed quite the mess. However, it too was manageable! Here I sit, awaiting McKenna’s first birthday, and I look around the house and realize that my ribbon drawer has been completely destroyed. With it has gone some of my pride and, yes, I will admit, a little of my self-worth. Can I ever do laundry again without one sock hanging out by itself in the drawer? When will that massive object, the jumper, leave my living room so that it once again look like a warm and inviting place for adults to come together and talk? All of these thoughts have left trails through my mind over the past three months, and unfortunately, my mind continually ventures back for a hike on those dangerous trails. Why can’t I get a grip on this? The cleanliness of my house?

I know all of the right things to think and say…”Cherish every moment, it goes by so quickly.” “I love the mess because I love my children, and they come together.” “No one cares what your house looks like. It’s the companionship and conversation that matter.” I get it. I know it, but it doesn’t make this any easier.

Sure, this mess is beautiful, if I look past the actual mess and see what it represents. However, what is even more beautiful is the mess that is being cleaned up in my heart. As I have battled with this messiness, unlike anything I have battled with before, I am amazed at what the Lord has been doing in my heart. He is cleaning out my soul and making it long for things it hasn’t longed for in a long time. The ribbons are getting tugged, cut, and some are even being removed all together. This drawer, my heart, is being completely reorganized. It’s painful; things are being removed that I loved, or at least thought I loved. But those ribbons are being replaced by new ones; bright and vibrant ones full of life and love.

You know, my biggest frustration has been that my entire house is never all clean at the same time. But neither is my heart. However, the messes that are there get smaller and easier to clean up as I let the Lord do more and more reorganizing. Someday, a day that I can’t ever know, I will see my perfect clean house and be in possession of my perfectly organized and kept heart, but it won’t matter because I will be so focused on the face of my beautiful Lord Jesus. Because of the mess in my life now, I have hope. Because of the mess in my heart right now, I have hope. Only when we have these messes, this discordance in our lives do we possess the hope and promise of the greatness that is to come.

So even though it pains me to say this and physically hurts me even more to do it, I am going to live with this mess. Some days I will be grateful, and others, I will have to truly struggle to see the work that God is doing through this. It won’t be easy, but I rest in the knowledge that the Lord does not give me more than I can handle. I just have to rely on Him for the strength to handle it. And back to Monica’s ribbon drawer, at least I have one! At least I have a life to walk through that is full…full to bursting. Someday I will get to reorganize this drawer again, and I know that it will be just as hard, but until then I will hold to the joy I find in remembering Monica’s organized ribbon drawer, and the true reality that is life.

--

What are some of the ribbons in your life that are being cut, moved, or used?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Guest Post | To Heal and not to Hurt

Today's blog comes from our coordinator, Jaime! Jaime is a crafty mom of three. She has been married for eight years. This is her fifth year in Mops.

---
Talk about conviction. That was the second time I had heard Lisa TerKeurst talk on conflict. Listening to her talk twice was good for me. No. Strike that. It was great for me. Hi, my name is Jaime, and I am an exploding stuffer. But what struck me was which one I am with which people in my life. With my children, I am an exploder and with my husband I am a stuffer. 

I am normally a say-it-like-it-is kind of girl. My parent's mantra for me growing up was, "it may be the truth, but is it said in love?" So you can guess my surprise when according to Lisa I am a stuffer. 

After thinking through her talk, I realize why I am the way I am. As Lisa put it "Conflict usually has feelings all wrapped up in it". My children oppose me when they disobey me (insert my sin of pride) and my husband exposes my sin that I've so desperately tried to hide (which is never comfortable).  As I look at both scenarios, I see a common thread in the equation: ME. 

I'm the issue. I let myself ruin my own communication by either exploding (which is not communicating) and stuffing (which is not communicating). Who suffers? Who suffers the most? I DO!!! On both counts. 

The night of the DVD, I spoke to my husband and let it out. No more stuffing. Did I explode? Nope. Was there communication? Yup! Did I discover things that I don't like about myself and areas that need work? ABSOLUTELY! But was it good? Was it beneficial to my marriage relationship with my husband? You bet! Actual communication took place and that was so nice. So. Nice. We were able to talk through a lot of things that I had been stuffing and we learned and grew from it. Together. 

I've realized, because of Lisa's talk, that if I have better reactions in conflict, I will have better relationships. This works for both my kids and my husband. I need to explode less and communicate more with my children. I need to stuff less and communicate more with my husband. And in reality, it will be a win-win for all parties involved. What I need to do is keep my eyes on The Lord, pause, and take perspective. And with that perspective I will see that my feelings are indicators and not dictators. I don't have to embrace my conflict indicators. I can overcome them with prayer, a relationship with The Lord, and perspective of what He would want from me. Proverbs 12:18 says: There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing.   

I want to do that for my family. I want to bring healing not hurt. So I am going to work on it. Daily. Hourly. By the minute if the situation calls for it. Because my family deserves it. 

What are some ways you can pause and take perspective?