Friday, July 3, 2015

A Fierce Flourishing Theme Summary

Theme Verse: 

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

Sometimes we need new eyes. A perspective shift that recalibrates our hearts to the rhythm of God’s goodness surrounding us. To tune our hearts to better hear the music of the divine echoing throughout this world. That we might let that goodness seep into our bones and into our hearts so we can remember what it feels like to flourish.

We think flourishing looks a lot like:

Celebrating Lavishly: Celebrating breathes life into our days. Could it be that commemorating moments might help us to become more alive, to remember what is good and become masterful at recognizing it? How would life change to regularly invite friends into our stolen moments with uninhibited dancing and the best food, while gathered around the biggest table with the deepest conversations? Lavish celebrations can be sacred markers that help remind us who we are.

Embracing Rest: Perhaps it is time to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as a measure of worth. What if one of the most life-giving activities that would contribute to our flourishing is welcoming rhythms of rest and play into our lives? Creating healthy rhythms in our life is one way we nourish the weary spots in our soul.

Noticing Goodness: Could it be possible that we don’t need new things but rather new eyes to see what we already have? What if we regained our sense of vision, an acute resolve to find hope in the cracks and mire of the mundane? Noticing what is good gives us the gift of perspective and reminds us the sacred is closer than we think.

We become more ourselves when we celebrate, rest and notice, and that looks a lot like flourishing. But this flourishing isn’t the precious or exhausting kind. This is a fierce flourishing. It is a deep-in-your-guts experience of gratitude and hope compelling you to raise your hands and dance freer than you ever have before. It is a fierce protection of your most important moments, an invitation to rest and an opportunity to enjoy the people who are right in front of you.
This year at MOPS, may we become a home for found wanderers, redeemed prisoners, explorers at the edge of their comfort – all of us who were one-time captives now celebrating our unearned freedom, because we have regained the eyes to see. May this year unfold into radical expressions of your own unique Fierce Flourishing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Favorite Things: Movies

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.

This month's feature:
What is your favorite movie?

  • The Notebook - Melony S.
  • Pride and Prejudice  - Alisha D.
  • The Notebook - Ashley C.
  • Anything not Cars - Jessica F.
  • Pride and Prejudice, BBC version - Jane H.
  • Host - Stephanie H.
  • Pitch Perfect - Emily H.
  • Notting Hill - Katie H.
  • The Notebook - Heather J.
  • Baby Mama and Juno - Stephanie L.
  • The Notebook - Alicia P.
  • When Harry Met Sally - Lindsay R.
  • Mrs. Congeniality - Amy S.
  • Pitch Perfect, Too many to list - Raychel V.
  • Jerry Mcguire, Silver Linings, Playbook, Dumb and Dumber - Laura W.
  • Mary Poppins - Kelly R.
  • The Princess Bride - Erin B.
  • Center Stage, Horton Hears a Who - Karla T.
  • Legends of the Fall - Julie K.
  • Dirty Dancing - Angela A.
  • Any movie out of the theater - Sara B.
  • Center Stage - Carrie M.
  • The Princes Bride - Nicki F.
  • When Harry Met Sally - Sara K.
  • There's Something About Mary, The Sandlot, Baby Mama - Sarah L.
  • The Blind Side, The Proposal - Jessi C.
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days - Nicole P.
  • Sleepless in Seattle (cheesy I know!) - Lou Ann C.
  • Christmas Vacation - only movie I have seen literally every year for at least 20 years! - Rachael K.

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Featured Article: Get Ready to Flourish!

By Jessi C. 

Sometimes, I feel stuck in the everyday motions of life.  Wake, play, cook, and clean.  Corral Kids.  Drive to activities.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Some days, I long for something to shake up my routine when what I really need is a fresh perspective.  Being a mom is beautiful and hard and exhausting and wonderful.  I need to tune my heart to what God is telling me and listen wholeheartedly.  For it is then that a fierce flourishing will happen. 

This year, I challenge you to:

Celebrate Lavishly—Life is too short to not have fun!  Dance in the kitchen, sing in the car, wear sparkly nail polish.  Enjoy your friends and family without thinking about your worries.  Psalm 150:1-6 says, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!”  This is the type of noisy, amazing, fun celebration that I want!  

Embrace Rest—As moms, it is easy for our “to do” lists to grow longer and longer.  Instead of racing around during nap time, take a few moments to relax.  Your laundry isn’t going anywhere.  The dishes will keep.  Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 says, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?”  So sit down and enjoy a tea party with your kiddos or grab a good book for a few minutes while the kids sleep. 

Notice Goodness—Take time to slow down and enjoy the small things.   As you’re stuck in traffic, savor these moments with your sweet kiddos, even though it’s frustrating.  Instead of staying cooped up on rainy days, get outside and play in the rain.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I’m not saying it always easy, but it’s always worth it.

This year, get ready to be stronger, braver, kinder, and unstoppable.  This year, we will be fierce! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Featured Article: Thankful

by Carrie M.

As we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving, I find myself thinking about

everything I am thankful for in my life. Of course there all the obvious things such as

my kids, my parents, my home, my family. But I have recently learned to be thankful for

so much more in my life.

God has taught me to be thankful for everything from the good, bad, ugly and

gorgeous! It has not only helped my attitude and outlook on life, but I am a much better

mother. Don’t get me wrong, there are many times each day when I get frustrated but

when I stop and think about the positive things in this moment, I feel a sense of peace.

Our children test us daily in our job as Mom, not to mention all of the other

pressures that go under our job description. When I first became a stay at home mom

the pressures of role pushed me into a very dark place where the happy moments were

few and far between. It seemed like the only thing I was thankful for was making it

through the day. Today is a very different story. God has taught me to take a deep

breath and be thankful for the positives in all situations. Of course I still have rough

days but now I can see light in the darkness.

A few nights ago I was awaken by the cries of my two year old in his room. My

initial thought was “Ugh, I am so tired. What is wrong with him and how can I fix it

immediately.” I stumbled down the hall, opened his door and he said in a whimpering

voice “Mommy, I need you.” My annoyance quickly turned to compassion as I walked

over, kneeled down next to his bed and started rubbing his back. I looked at his sweet

face and immediately thanked God for waking me up for this moment. Because even

though I am exhausted, I was so grateful to be able to comfort my sweet boy and I knew

that these moments were not going to happen forever. Soon he won’t need me to

cuddle him but I am thankful that I have the memory of this time when he does.

The next time you are feeling annoyed, anxious, frustrated or all of the above,

take a deep breath and close your eyes and look to God for guidance. He will show you

the positives in the situation. Thank Him for the precious gift to be able to stay at home

with your children and watch them grow. Thank Him for their health. Thank Him for

their smiles, cuddles, innocence and love. Thank Him for you and giving you this

opportunity to make amazing people and priceless memories.

Originally published in the November 2013 Indian Creek MOPS newsletter.