Thursday, April 17, 2008

MOPS Memories

After years of hearing about this organization, I finally joined MOPS this year. It's a mommy support group for those with small children. I never really had a good reason for not joining, but the opportunity came up this time in November, as I was just starting to feel the pang of leaving so many friends in Utah. There was room for my 2 year old in the childcare area, something that had always been a limiting factor for me in the past. On top of that, the church sponsoring this chapter pays for the childcare out of its own budget, not mine. How cool is that! So I had no more reasons to sit on the outside looking in.

It took about 5 meetings to start feeling like I belonged there, but even during that time it was nice to just have a place to go, that offered a hot breakfast and door prizes. I totally underestimated the effect such simple pleasures could have on me. From the first time I showed up, there was a sweet lady who offered me coffee. You remember the quote about men, that the way to their heart is through their stomach? Well anyone who offers me coffee as if she understands just how much effort it took to pull myself together and walk into a strange building, has a special place in my heart for life.

After a couple of months, I had the opportunity to meet some of the girls from my small group for dinner. After an hour we were all done and ready to go home, with our take home boxes at the ready. But there kept being one more comment, and one more conversation, and by the end of another two hours I realized these women are just as starved for meaningful girl time as I have been.

Then I learned about mentors. Our table had not had one the first several times I attended, but in February we got one. She showed us a notebook with several tabs; one of our names on each tab. She told us to write in our tabbed area, whatever we wanted to tell her. Prayers, or whatever was on our hearts. I immediately grabbed it and poured my heart out. Later in the week I received a call from her, and I had another chance to just talk to a safe person who knows nothing of the rest of my life. The simple act of listening holds so much power, doesn't it? I feel so blessed by her sensitivity, and hope to continue my relationship with her past this spring.

One week, the entire session (after breakfast, of course) consisted of gifts. Every woman in attendance went home with a bagful of prizes. Justin especially loved that, because I was soooo happy afterward for days.

MOPS is over for this year, but next year is not so far away. And I am moving into leadership for the next go-around, so I will get to be in contact with these wonderful women various times throughout the summer, as well. I cannot express enough how this organization was there for me at the time when I most needed it.

Thank you, MOPS, from the bottom of my heart. May you endure successfully as an organization, and inspire mommies of young ones for many years to come.

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