Thursday, April 28, 2016

Flourishing Together: Finding Community in Motherhood

First of all, thank you to everyone who came up to me after IWFM and told me I should do stand-up comedy. It was completely unexpected, but sparked a hope in me that maybe I really am as funny as I think I am. Bless you. You spoke your truth and probably planted seeds that will blossom into something my husband will have to deal with at a later time. I'll need all of your phone numbers so he can call to thank you personally.

But on to the meeting today. 

I'm so proud to have been a part of this MOPS group for so long. The women who were brave enough to stand in front of you all prove once again that this group is full of strong, gifted, loving women who long for support and friendship and grace, and they found it here. That's a big deal. 

Amanda mesmerized us with her story of how she came from a teaching career, to the land of the SAHM; from how she grew as a mother and a friend, and continued to grow as a new believer in Christ. Hers is a very familiar story, I'm sure, to many other women in our group. As young moms, we are often faced with choices -- choices that seem like they will forever change the course of our lives. And at the root of those choices, is always our babies. Like Amanda, we make space for them, and often alter our course from what we always thought we wanted, to what we need to do. However that may look.

Amanda is MOPS. I can't help but say that. She embodies so much of what we are here. And her poem at the end. You guys. Well, you can find that posted on Facebook. It's for all of you, because the way she "moms" has changed dramatically because of this group of women.

   Amanda H.

Our next lovely speaker was Mallory, who isn't new to MOPS, but actually grew up as a Moppet, and then stayed in slavery as a MOPS junior worker, and then eventually left MOPS forever. Or so she thought.  

She denied her need for the women in this group for a very long time, in spite of her mother's nagging encouragement. She knew about MOPS. She had her fill of it. But life very often changes our plans, and we are guided to do things differently. Our needs change. And Mallory found herself right back where it all began.

But this time she stayed, not because her mom dragged her along, but because it was where she wanted and needed to be. Mallory is also MOPS. And M&M wouldn't be the same without her. It would just be "M." And that would be sad.

   Mallory H.

Our third speaker was the courageous Sophia, who gave us the gift of her story. She began in a place of solitude, distrust, and abuse; but when her mothering journey led her to MOPS at Big Valley Grace, what she found here was more than just hot breakfast and a chair to sit in. This was the place where she was able to share her struggles, and feel heard. She began to heal, by the grace of God, and because of authentic friendships with the women here, she has grown to be one of the most open, honest, and supportive women I know. 

    Sophia S.

I'm so thankful for this group, for these women; I'm so grateful for this experience of motherhood that breaks us into tiny pieces and strews us about in the most unfamiliar of places, and causes us to search for help, for hands, for eyes -- so together we can find our pieces and help eachother get back to being who we are at our core:

Strong, fun, creative, intelligent women who became moms.

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