On a mild, spring morning in early May, MOPS moms gathered at FBC, Midlothian for the penultimate meeting of the 2014-2015 MOPS year. The breakfast buffet overflowed with good food prepared by the ever-smiling moms from the Gutsy Green table group. MOPS moms spent a few minutes loading up their breakfast plates with servings of egg and sausage casseroles, donuts, muffins, banana bread, fruit and yogurt. Then they hurried over to their table groups to eat, chat, laugh, and sip coffee all while hoping this was their week to win one of the amazing door prizes. As door prize tickets were drawn, three surprised moms were excited to win pedicure gift certificates for a little pampering in honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend.
When the last bites of breakfast had been eaten, MOPS moms settled back in their seats to enjoy one more inspirational video from MOPS, International, featuring Jackie Alvarez. Bringing the theme of the year full circle, Jackie shared her story of how she has intentionally pursued a life of bravely being herself. She encouraged moms to be active participants in writing their life stories, to bravely play their unique roles in the bigger stories around them, to courageously pursue the dreams that are ingrained in their souls, and to offer their greatest selves to the world. She reminded moms not to let fear, rejection, or expectations stop them from living a life of brave intention. She explained that ultimately, people do not want to see others who are just fractions of themselves. Rather, they want to see others who are being themselves bravely, and who are doing the hard things when the bigger story requires it. She challenged each mom to shake off the dust, get in motion, stay in motion, and “Be you, bravely.”
As the video ended, craft time began, and each MOPS mom was given a terra cotta clay flower pot and unlimited access to a rainbow of acrylic paints. With foam brushes, painter’s tape, and a lot of imagination, the clay pots were decorated with stripes, polka dots, geometric designs, solid colors, and even baby hand prints and footprints. Each flower pot became a unique creation, reflecting the preferences, artistry, and talent of the MOPS mom who painted it. It was a project that fostered creativity and fellowship, and it was greatly appreciated by MOPS moms at every table group.
Even though the MOPS year is drawing to an end, this meeting did not disappoint. Laughter, food, fellowship, and fun flowed generously, and MOPS moms enjoyed yet another opportunity to be refreshed, to be accepted, to be creative, to be encouraged, and to be reminded that they are not alone on their journey through motherhood.