We all have groups to which we belong. It may be a work group, a work-out group, a tennis team or a book club. Perhaps you are part of a connect group, community group or ministry within your church. If you have young children, you may be involved with a play group with other moms and their children. Your group could be based on a hobby such as scrap booking, stamping, sewing or knitting. There are so many different options and we are usually a part of more than one group! I want to share with you one of my favorite groups . . . MOPS Mentor Moms!
While many of you were experiencing the first days of “back-to-school” season, this lovely group of ladies spent two days at the beach preparing for the first day of MOPS after the summer break. In case you are wondering, MOPS is an acronym for Mothers of Pre-Schoolers. It is an international organization with groups meeting all over the world! (Check them out at mops.org). We clearly do not have children that young. We are mentors to the mothers that attend our MOPS group. Does that mean that we are some special breed of super mom with all the answers, ready to impart our knowledge to these younger moms? Absolutely not! We love Jesus and love these young moms and simply desire to share with them the things we did or did not do when we raised our children. Our successes and our failures. The wisdom we have been given by God on our own adventures in child-rearing. Our purpose is to minister to them but in the process, we have become close and often minister to each other!
This group of women is so special to me. They helped me feel a sense of purpose at a time in my life when my role as a mom was changing. I experienced such a sweet feeling as we sat around the table at our planning meeting with a beautiful sunset as the backdrop. I looked at the faces around me thanking God for them and thinking about how we are connected. I have known some of my fellow mentors for a very long time and some I’ve met only in the past few years by being a part of MOPS. I have been in a scrapbooking group for many years with a couple of them. Four of us served together in the youth group at our church. I have traveled with some of them. Some I know very well and some not as well. One is my sister-in-law, or as we like to say, “sister-in-love”. She has known me since I was a child. Another is as close as a sister . . . she knows all of my secrets. She is the one who truly sharpens me. We range in age from 40-something to 70-something. Some are Grandmothers and some are about to become Grandmothers. We have each had life experiences that we know God will use as we get ready to mentor another group of young mothers.
We did much more than meet and plan. We shared meals. We laughed and talked, often with a mixture of several conversations going on at the same time. We prayed. We sat on the beach. We swam and watched America’s Got Talent from the pool. We pulled our chairs out into the backyard and gazed up at a magnificent night sky full of stars and sang praises to the One who made them! (It helped that one of the mentors is in the choir)! We played games and laughed some more. For a short moment in time, we had fellowship and we had fun! A comment that I heard as we were leaving a local restaurant really stuck with me. There were 11 of us dining together so we drew some attention. As we were leaving, the hostess asked about our group. She wanted to know if we worked together. As we were laughing and talking and heading out of the restaurant, one of the mentor moms turned and said “no, we serve together”. That’s what it’s all about!
If you are a mother with older children and you are looking for a place to serve, consider becoming a MOPS Mentor Mom. If you are a mother with pre-school children, find a MOPS group to join. You won’t be sorry! If you have any questions, email me. For more information go to mops.org.