Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Featured Article: "Savior Please"

"Savior Please"
By Jenni B.

During this Fall break I've enjoyed spending time with my family, attempting to savor every moment and lock it away in my internal picture file. But unfortunately since it's been extremely cold and snowy which means limited energy burning sessions outside, the kids are getting a bad case of cabin fever.

I finally had reached my last straw and my cup was on empty. As I was standing there I heard a song on the radio. And at that moment, I lost it. Standing in my kitchen bawling my eyes out. Those lyrics that touched me so I'd like to share with you. The song is by Josh Wilson called "Savior Please". 

"Savior, please take my hand. 
I work so hard, I live so fast. 
This life begins, then it ends. 
And then I do the best that I can,
but I don't know how long I'll last.
I try to be so tough,
but I'm just not strong enough.
I can't do this alone,
god I need you to hold on to me.
I try to be good enough,
but I'm nothing without your love.
Savior, please keep saving me.
Savior, please help me stand
I fall so hard, I fade so fast.
Will you begin right where I end?
And be the God of all I am because you're all I have.
Hallelujah! Everything you are to me is everything I'll ever need.
And I am learning to believe
'casue you're the one who's saving me"

Isn't this the ultimate "mom song"? As a mom, I try to be everything to everyone and do everything I can for the. Sometimes I push myself so hard so fast that I am left with nothing. This song reminds me that no matter how depleted , stressed out or unappreciated I may feel, our Savior never shifts.

Originally published in the October 2012 Indian Creek MOPS newsletter.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Favorite Things: Books

Want to try a new restaurant but not sure where to go?
Are you pregnant and not sure what baby products you really need?
Are you unsure of what to cook on a busy weeknight?

What better place to turn than your fellow MOPS moms for ideas?

Our new feature My Favorite Things - will give you some ideas of where to start.
Each month we will feature a different question and recommendations will be listed by other MOPS moms in the group.

At the start of a new MOPS year, this month's feature is:
What is your favorite book?

  • Teacher by Sylvia Ashton Warner - Melony S.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Elynn - Alisha D.
  • Anything by Nicholas Sparks - Ashley C.
  • Anything by Jodi Picoult - Jessica F.
  • Anne of Green Gables, Narnia Series - Jane H.
  • Beautiful Creatures - Stephanie H.
  • Linwood Barclay books - Katie H.
  • The Praying Life - Heather J.
  • Eat Love Pray - Stephanie L.
  • Hunger Games - Alicia P.
  • Jesus Calling devotional - Lindsay R.
  • Davinci Code - Amy S.
  • Twilight, Hunger Games - Raychel V.
  • The Fountainhead - Laura W.
  • The Bible - Kelly R
  • Too many! But just read Gone Girl - awesome! - Erin B.
  • How to Beahve so your Preschoolers Will Too - Karla T.
  • The Rid Tent - Angela Allen
  • Love and War - Sara B.
  • The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks - Sara K.
  • The Bible - Carrie M.
  • I could never choose! - Jessi C.
  • The Time Traveler's Wife, Atonement Child, Hunger Games series, and so many more - very hard to pick a few! - Sarah L.
  • My Sister's Keeper - Nicole P.
  • Harry Potter series- Lou Ann C.
  • Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare, Divergent series by Veronica Roth- Rachael K.

Want to contribute your ideas for our blog or newsletter? Check your MOPS folder for the My Favorite Things feature!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What Your MOPPET is Learning: October

While we are enjoying some time with other mothers, the kids are busy in their classes as well. 

Each month we will post a sneak peak at the MOPPETS curriculum for the 2012-13 year.  

This year the kids will be studying the Fruit of the Spirit curriculum which has been a favorite in the past.

All kids in the Otters, Lions, Ostrich, and Giraffe classes will participate in a Bible lesson, craft, game, music, play time, short video related to the Bible lesson, (such as VeggieTales) and snack.

Here is a peek at the curriculum for the month:

October- Self Control
Song of the month- Oh be Careful Little Eyes. 2nd October meeting   Practice "Away in a Manger" (for the Christmas Program)*
10/2-Lesson- We need to use self-control when we are angry.
Story- The life of Joseph
Verse- 2 Timothy 1:7 His spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control
10/16-Lesson-God wants us to use self-control.
Story- Adam and Eve
Verse- Colossians 3:20 Children obey your parents and the lord for this is right.

For a list of the entire MOPPETS Curriculum for the year please check out the "About MOPPETS" tab.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Article: Loss in a Mother's World (or Losing It!)

Loss in a Mother's World (or Losing It!)
by Stephanie L.

When you think of motherhood, the idea of loss most likely doesn't pop into your head first and foremost but it is a feeling that can be very present in this motherhood journey. For instance, there can be the heartbreaking loss of a baby through miscarriage, abortion, or a stillborn birth or the tragic loss of a child. There are other less tangible losses that can occur too however. Such as the loss of friendships, the .loss of intimacy with our husband, or the loss of a career (whether chosen or not). These can also be complicated loss of self or identity. This is what currently intrigues me.

Think back to the pregnancy of your first child. There was so much anticipation! It was fun to have everyone so excited for you and about your first baby. A first baby causes a lot of attention directed at you. Some may not enjoy that moment but you may have enjoyed being the center of attention even (gasp!) the baby bump touches! Then the baby comes and it's all about baby while you're trying to tread water to make sure everything goes smoothly as possibly In those first few days, weeks, months, years.....

With the amazing birth of your first child comes the identity shift becoming "someones mommy." When you drop off your precious tot at a nursery or child care of some sort chances are the workers will love and dote on your child and have no idea what your name is other than "So-and-So's mommy." Not only have you probably lost your last name when you wed but now you've lost your fist name too! that can be challenging.

Down the line however, there comes a time when you experience the lost of babyhood in your home and arms. The baby has grown up! When did that happen!? You didn't actually think you'd miss changing diapers or holding a baby 24/7, but now you do. You anxiously await all the first milestones but then they're over in the blink of an eye. along those lines, there can also be the loss of becoming pregnant. Maybe you had planned on having more children but it doesn't seem to be in the cards for you. Maybe that darn biological clock is ticking too loudly. Perhaps you and your husband are at odds at the idea of having more children. (Raising hand!).

along with pregnancy comes the loss of your body as you knew it. Babies cause bellies to get big and the rest of your body too! While some lucky women have the God given ability to "bounce back" after having a baby, others have to figure out how to manage, dress, and care for this new body while and after pregnant. Personally, I am just now in a happy place with my body and my youngest is two years old. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work and dedication. Thank goodness for yoga pants and this lovely legging fashion trend, right?

And who is responsible for this lovely change in appearance? Oh, your husband, remember him? Regardless of his responsibility in all that, remember when you could just go out whenever and do whatever you pleased together? Pre-diaper bags, pre-schedules, pre-needing a baby-sitter? Thought there are seasons of motherhood where it is harder to get away with your husband, please make an effort. For the sake of your marriage and for your precious baby's parent's relationship. It takes planning and trusting but it's worth it. Pencil it in. Budget it in. Perhaps not each week (how nice would that be?) but enough that you remember long it's been between dates.

As monotoned above, the loss of a career or the change in becoming a working mom now can be difficult to digest as well. If you have chosen to stay home, finding the right balance in personal fulfillment can be a challenge. By the same token, heading back to work after having a baby can be a struggle in finding the right work/home balance. It doesn't matter what your personal choice is as there are unfortunately unfair stereotypes for each. When someone asks what you do, it can be uncomfortable in either situation.

There is also the loss of your own independence, especially when having little children.  Babies, toddlers, and even older want (and pretty much need) you to be with them at all times.  Lightheartedly, this is also the loss of going to the bathroom alone. I generally have both kids and my dog with me and then even when my husband comes home, he likes to join in the fun to say "Hi!" at that particular moment. "Go away for two seconds please!!" This reminds me that there can also be the loss of sanity in a great number of ways a great number of times throughout the day.

In all seriousness, the loss of friendships can be hard to endure when you want them to continue but lifestyle realities won't allow it. "No, I can't meet you for coffee at 2 pm because the baby naps then. Nope, I can't meet for drinks after dinner because the baby needs to nurse and go to bed at 7:30." Friends without kids don't understand this. And you can't really blame them, it's kind of ridiculous but its' your life now! And sometimes you really do try to weigh the risks associated with one fun night out vs. not sleeping through the night for the new few nights because of it.

Thankfully, there is MOPS and other groups of moms that genuinely need each other and want to connect. If you are experiencing any sort of loss, I pray that you feel comfortable enough to confide in someone. Whether it be at your table, at another table or with a leader; we're all here for each otehr and most likely someone has gone through what you're going through. Always remember that you find your primary identity in Christ and that you are never truly alone.

Originally published in the February 2014 Indian Creek MOPS Newsletter.