My fourth year of MOPS is winding up today and I can hardly believe it’s the end of the year already and that I’ll be done with steering after three years. I’ve been so blessed by this group and the people in it, more than any of us may ever know. It truly has been a blessing to me to get to know people better and be let in to their lives and vice versa.
When I started MOPS I had a pretty awesome set of friends from college who still lived in the area and who I still saw with regularity so I don’t know that I was super open to gaining new friends because my life felt pretty full. But God knew better, He knew that I needed more friends, new friends to help me learn how to open myself up and be real with people who didn’t know me and hadn’t been through the adventures of college with me. Friendships with people you don’t share a history with or that aren’t formed during formative years are harder to cultivate and develop, you have to be more intentional (and a better friend). And while I knew this was true, I came to fully realize that I didn’t need to give up the friends I already had to make new friends and those new friendships didn’t detract from the old ones. The whole, make new friends but keep the old… thing.
College and dorm-living really lend themselves to growing friendships, which is so wonderful because you need your friends to survive growing up and riding the tide(s) of emotions that you go through in college. At 18 we’re legally adults but I can’t imagine what would have happened had I had to enter the real world at that point in my life. Thank goodness for my friends who went through it with me, and still love me after all is said and done. And though I referred to myself as a proper adult in my last post, in all honesty, I still don’t feel like an adult (yes, I realize I’ve held the same job for 11 years, own a house, am married and have two kids). But I am learning to be a grown up and have “grown up” friends and enjoy how wonderful that can be and my MOPS ladies are there with me, blessing me along the way.
It’s certainly hard to figure out the balance of life between working full-time, parenting full-time and trying to find time to socialize (this is why my homemaking endeavors fall to the wayside). I often feel like I don’t fit into either world since I can’t readily participate in morning play groups or get togethers because I’m at work but evening gatherings and networking events are also difficult because I want to spend time with my kids and my husband is at work so going out requires a sitter. That feeling of not fitting in can sometimes lead me to feel out of touch, but those feelings are wrong and I need to ignore them. Having contact with my friends, even if we are barely getting a few words in edgewise while trying to keep our kids alive is worth every minute and the times when we can see each other sans kids – those are gold (which is pretty valuable these days). Just like college, I couldn’t get through this without my friends, so thanks guys – I love you, old and new – you rock my socks!
So this was totally going to be a post about the things I like most about MOPS, but it took a little turn… back to regularly scheduled programming:
Top Ten Things I Love About MOPS
- My friends I’ve made through it (this includes you, Heidi, even though you’ve relocated, you’re always there in spirit, no matter where you are; though clearly we’d prefer your physical presence)
- That it’s a great excuse to make and eat monkey bread (clearly I have my priorities since this is #2)
- How great the MOPPETS workers are to my kids (I cringe saying workers there, but they are paid – though not enough for all the love they give)
- Our outstanding mentor moms
- The fabulous brunch spreads (yes, it’s only right that monkey bread got its own listing above)
- Our Creative Activities were the close to the only crafts I did this year and they were awesome (way to go Sandy)
- Our steering team – I’m truly going to miss serving with them, they are all wonderful, God-filled ladies
- Getting to have my baby fix without having to have my own baby
- That it meets twice a month – weekly could feel like an obligation but other is a special treat
- Diet Coke in the vending machine downstairs (that technically puts food, or something edible on here three times, in case you were keeping count at home)