I have been a MOPS mom for 2 1/2 years. I found MOPS when I was in a very lonely, fragile place emotionally, spiritually and paternally. Luke was 6 months old, he was feeling healthier after figuring out his health problems and was finally sleeping for more than 40 minutes at a time.
After spending so much time and energy healing Luke’s gut via my diet and chiropractic treatments and then teaching him to sleep once he was feeling better I was a sleep deprived, emotional shell of a woman. I knew that I wanted to start taking care of myself spiritually because I knew that it would help me to feel better in all other areas of my life. So I began to search.
During this same time we were searching for a new church. My midwives’ apprentice had told me that her sister-in-law attended the church just down the street from our home. She said that there was a great group of moms with young children who met regularly and were all involved in each other’s lives. But with everything going on in our lives, we hadn’t taken the time to attend a service there yet.
That same church had a sign out front advertising a morning Women’s Bible Study. I drove by this sign multiple times per week and always thought that I should check it out when I wasn’t so exhausted. So, finally I got the motivation to check out the church website. As it turns out the church offered free childcare during Bible Study – I was all in. While on the church website I also noticed that they hosted a MOPS group. I had no idea what MOPS was, but clicked through to the group’s website and was instantly captivated.
I emailed the MOPS group coordinators to ask about joining, even though there were only a few months left of the semester. As it turns out they had room for my boys in their MOPPETS program and I could start the very next week. What I didn’t realize at the time was that our MOPPETS program typically had a waiting list and it was an act of God that there was actually room for my two young boys in their program.
Joining MOPS was a lifesaver for me. It provided an outlet for my extroverted self to recharge through adult conversation and by learning about topics that were of interest to me. Even though I didn’t really make friends with anyone in those first few meetings, I knew that there was something very special about this group of ladies and the organization that they represented.
Without the community of my MOPS group I don’t think I would have been able to snap myself out of that despaired state. By meeting and connecting with the women at my MOPS group our family felt called to attend church service at our host church. We are now regularly attendees at our MOPS host church and I am able to see many of the same women Thursdays at Bible Study, Fridays at MOPS and Sundays at church. It has been truly wonderful.
In her book, Brave Mom, Sherry Surratt, the CEO of MOPS International, details The Better Mom, Better World Metric, which is based on the compilation of lots of research done at MOPS International. The first factor in the Better Mom, Better World Metric is that a better mom develops a significant support system. I love that research confirms the importance of having a consistent network of support, because I have seen this to be true in my own life through MOPS and church.
At MOMCon, the MOPS International Convention, Shauna Niequist spoke on the importance of community and cultivating deep relationships with other women. She said that in her own life, she ensures that she has regular, scheduled interaction with her community. She noted that having a mix of scheduled dates intertwined with chance meetings (at the store, in church, at school, etc.) has helped to cultivate these very deep relationships that we all so desperately need.
If you are feeling lonely or oppressed, please consider finding a local chapter of MOPS. There are many types of groups that meet on varying schedules (daytime, evening, bimonthly, weekly, etc.). I encourage you to build your community, take the time to invest in deep relationships and Be You, Bravely. If you put yourself out there, you will not be disappointed. Doing life with other people is a worthwhile way to spend your time. You will reap rewards on some many levels and in ways that you never would have imagined.
If you have a community of people that you do life with, how did you connect? If not, how are you being Brave by putting yourself out there and being honestly vulnerable?
This post is part of the Brave Mom book tour. Sherry Surratt, the CEO of MOPS International, recently released a wonderful book of encouraging stories to help women to face their mom fears. I received the book free of charge, however, all reviews and stories are my own. I was not compensated for this or any other posts that I make as a part of the Brave Mom book tour. I am simply passionate about the mission of MOPS and the work that MOPS International and chapters across the world are doing to encourage women and create Christ-centered community.