Category Archives: Meetings

Preparing to be Starry Eyed

Our Fierce Flourishing year has come to a close. It was an amazing year packed full of lots of speakers and fun activities!

But MOPS International has given the leadership team their kit to start preparing for next year’s theme, We are the Starry Eyed. We are oozing with ideas out of our brain, computers, and Pinterest boards! The MOPS Leadership team will meet for a retreat in August to plan the entire year but for now we are preparing for that meeting. We plan to have some amazing speakers, videos, crafts, door prizes, breakfast, friendships, prayer, outreach, Mom’s Night Out, & playdates with the kiddos. We’re praying now that our plans will be exactly what YOU need this year! Do you have any suggestions? We would love to hear them!

Starry Eyed is…

Seeing the light in the darkness and choosing to live courageously in both.
It is opening our eyes to wonder and choosing hope over fear.
Starry Eyed is significant acts of kindness that send ripples of light into the world.
It is a choice to live fully and wholly and to breathe our way back to life.
If you feel anxious and don’t know why …
If you are busy and distracted from the things you truly care about …
If you are restless for an unexpected encounter with God …
If you long to feel alive, to regain a sense of wonder, to hope a little freer and to be a powerful force of kindness in the world, then we’d love for you to join us in becoming Starry Eyed.

This year we will run wildly toward wonder, hope and kindness because We Are the Starry Eyed and we choose to see the light.

jeremiah

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Courage to Share a Shoe Box

Gathering together at FBC, Midlothian, MOPS members enjoyed their third meeting of the fall semester. With their children having fun in the MOPPETS program, moms were able to relax and enjoy a delicious breakfast provided by the members of the Daring Dandelion table group. With full tummies and full cups of coffee, moms looked carefully at their door prize tickets, hoping to be one of the three winners. One winning ticket was held by Tiffany who was happy to receive Beauty Kit donated by Laci. The next happy winner was ****** who won a beauty kit donated by Laci. Then, Sherri won a reusable, cloth, towel roll made and donated by MOPS mom, Shelbi.

After a brief time of table group discussion and visiting, Amanda, the MOPS Outreach Coordinator, spoke in front of the group. She introduced the MOPS outreach project for the fall semester, and provided important details to the moms about how they could participate in the project. Amanda explained that the MOPS group at FBC, Midlothian would be joining with MOPS, International to support the ministry of Operation Christmas Child. Amanda shared that 45 plastic shoeboxes had been donated toward this project, and that Rising Sun Hibachi Grill in Midlothian had generously donated $210 to cover the shipping costs of 30 of those boxes. Table groups and individual MOPS members were encouraged to take one or several boxes home to fill with gifts for children in need in countries all over the world.

More information about Operation Christmas Child and shoebox gifts was given as moms watched the MOPS International video, “Courage to Share a Shoebox”. The video featured, Izabella McMillon, a woman who received a shoebox gift from Operation Christmas Child when she was a child in Communist Romania. Through the shoebox gift, she was introduced to the love of Jesus, and she came to know him as her savior. The video showed children from around the world receiving shoebox gifts containing toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and the gospel message. When the video ended, many MOPS members were wiping tears from their eyes, and in less than a few minutes, all of the 45 plastic shoeboxes had been claimed by table groups and individual moms. MOPS members were also provided with labels for their boxes and instructions on how to fill the boxes with gifts. Amanda shared that filled shoeboxes could be turned-in at the next two MOPS meetings. Table groups then enjoyed a few minutes of table group discussion about Operation Christmas Child, outreach, and generosity.

Before the meeting concluded, Brandy, the MOPS Finance Coordinator, shared that the annual fall MOPS Silent Auction Fundraiser is coming up soon, and MOPS moms may now purchase a vendor table at which to sell items from their personal businesses. Finally, Suzette, the MOPS Prayer and Care Coordinator took to the stage to give announcements about upcoming MOPS playdates and moms-night-out events. Suzette closed the meeting in prayer, and moms were dismissed to pick-up their children from the MOPPETS classrooms. As they were leaving, MOPS members could be seen hugging one another and smiling as they carried their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with them. MOPS members know that “Better moms make a better world”, and this fall, moms at FBC, Midlothian are going to be a part of that truth by supporting the ministry of Operation Christmas Child as it strives to share the good news of Jesus with children all over the world.

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MOPS MEETING-“Courage to Be Honest, featuring Speaker and Author Shauna Niequist via video

Members of the MOPS group at FBC, Midlothian met together for their second September meeting. The theme for this meeting was “Courage to Be Honest”, and moms were looking forward to exploring truth and authenticity in their relationships.

After all the children were placed in the outstanding MOPPETS childcare program, moms entered the MOPS meeting room where a delectable breakfast awaited them, lovingly prepared by the members of the Courageous Coral table group. Becca, the MOPS Coordinator opened the meeting in a word of prayer, and moms at the table groups enjoyed a friendly ice-breaker game of “Two Truths and a Lie”. When the game was finished, door prizes were awarded. Laci won a jewelry set donated by MOPS mom, Joy from Ben Franklin Apothecary in Duncanville. New mentor mom, Kathy, won a collection of make-up donated by MOPS mom, Laci from Amway. Christina won a mom’s mini photo session donated by photographer and MOPS mom, Megan from Megan Lynn Photography. Great food, great games, and great prizes made this MOPS meeting extra-special!

Next, a MOPS International video featuring speaker and author, Shauna Niequist, was shown to the group. In the video, Shauna talked about being honest with yourself and with others. She expressed the value in having hard conversations, because honesty heals. She encouraged moms to be brave in the way they approach conflict. She emphasized the importance of speaking honestly about your own needs, so that others can offer their support. Following the video, MOPS moms engaged in a meaningful time of group discussion at their tables, exploring the difficulties and benefits of honesty and vulnerability.

As group discussions continued, the craft project was introduced by Creative Activities Coordinator, Linda. At this meeting, MOPS moms were given the opportunity to decorate and personalize white mugs using stencils and permanent marker paint pens of various colors. It was amazing to see the creativity of each mom as she designed her own, unique mug.

Finally, Prayer and Care Coordinator, Suzette, recognized all the MOPS moms who were celebrating their birthdays in the month of September. Then, she closed the MOPS meeting in a brief moment of prayer. As moms left to pick-up their children from MOPPETS, they felt encouraged and strengthened in their journey of motherhood, bravely willing to pursue honesty in their lives and in their relationships.

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MOPS KICK OFF-“The Start of Something Brave”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After a long summer break, mothers of preschoolers gathered together once again at FBC Midlothian for the first meeting of the 2014-2015 MOPS year. After checking-in their children into the wonderful MOPPETS program, MOPS moms made their way to the MOPS meeting room to find that it was cheerily decorated in shades of peach and sea-green with splashes of chevron, flowers, and gold-dipped feathers too.

The table groups filled-up fast as moms happily greeted old friends and welcomed new ones. Moms then took a moment to help themselves to delicious breakfast treats like egg casseroles, muffins, donuts, fresh fruit, and yogurt, all provided by the MOPS leaders. After sitting down to a warm meal that they didn’t have to share with any hungry little-ones, moms paused for a moment of prayer and the meeting was officially underway!

Door prizes were generously donated from Heather Fisk with HeatherAileen’s etsy shop and given out. Then we shared MOPS theme video. The moms were then encouraged to get out of their seats and introduce themselves to a new friend. This was followed by a quick game of “Four Corners” in which the MOPS moms were given a chance to learn more about each other. When moms returned to their seats, they began to create unique name tags for themselves using colored cardstock, burlap, lace, paper cut-outs, pens, scissors, glue, and zentangle doodle art. No two name tags were alike; each reflecting the uniqueness of the MOPS mom who created it. The room was humming with laughter and conversation as moms relaxed and enjoyed the time spent with their table group friends.

Ending all too quickly, the meeting was closed with a word of prayer, and moms left the room eagerly anticipating the next MOPS meeting, and a year of exploring the MOPS International theme of “Be You Bravely”. This first meeting was truly special, preparing the way for what will certainly be an amazing and meaningful MOPS year at FBC Midlothian where they wholeheartedly believe in the MOPS motto, “No mom alone”.

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What to Expect At Our First Meeting on September 3

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) at FBC, Midlothian will begin their fourth year very soon! Mothers from all over the local area are excited to attend the first MOPS meeting of the fall semester on September 3rd. Each and every MOPS meeting is carefully planned to provide busy, tired moms with the opportunity to relax, to be nurtured, to be creative, to be encouraged, and to feel connected. “Be you BRAVELY, an Experiment in Courage” is the theme for this new MOPS year, and MOPS moms are eager to explore new levels of courage in their mothering, in their relationships, in their decision-making, and in their personal goals and choices.
When the moms arrive at this first MOPS meeting, they will be greeted by friendly MOPS volunteers who will help them check-in their children into the MOPPETS childcare program. MOPPETS check-in begins at 9:20 a.m. While in the MOPPETS program, the children will enjoy crafts, playtime, and snacks. They will be well-cared for while their moms benefit from a much-needed break.
Once their children are safely placed in their MOPPETS classrooms, moms will go upstairs to the MOPS meeting room where they will randomly select their discussion group table assignment for the fall semester. At each meeting, moms will sit with the same table group, growing and nurturing relationships with a core group of moms. At all MOPS meetings, MOPS members will also be treated to a buffet breakfast, door prizes, and ice-breaker games that give them the chance to learn more about each other.
At this first meeting, moms will also be introduced to their MOPS leadership team, and will learn more about this year’s MOPS theme. Moms will then have the opportunity to create a fun, craft project and participate in group discussions designed to help them grow and develop as women and mothers. The meeting will be closed in prayer, and moms will be dismissed to pick-up their children from MOPPETS.
As the new MOPS year gets underway, MOPS at FBC, Midlothian continues to be a place where moms can be themselves, bravely plunging into the beautiful mess of motherhood. There is certainly much to look forward to this year in MOPS, because MOPS moms know that better moms make a better world, and they believe that no mom should be left to mother alone.

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MOPS 2014-2015

Our child care is filling up quickly for Fall Mops! We only have a few spots left. We have one spot in the three year old class, two spots in the four year old class, and ten spots in the five and older class. Please let me know if you are interested in your child(ren) using one of these spots. brandy_conklin@hotmail.com

“Be You Bravely” 2014-2015

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NEW MOPS THEME FOR THE YEAR!!!!!

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

At any given moment in our lives each of us has…

Conversations we’ve been putting off.
Reasonable risks we’ve been avoiding.
Goals we want to achieve.
Yet often times the more significant an action feels the easier it is to put it off. We get distracted from the big decisions by the immediate needs of the day. What all of us seem to have in common is that we need a nudge, a nudge to help us get out of our ruts and routines so that we can begin risking bravely.

At MOPS we believe that you were meant to live deeply and so we have created this year’s theme to inspire you to choose the extraordinary.

Be you, Bravely is designed to help us focus on making the choices that could create the most good in our lives, help us to step into healthy risk and to do it in the context of community where we can cheer one another on.

Sometimes, good people wait patiently for God to intervene when what he is wanting is for us to act bravely and do something. Being a follower of Jesus calls for courage. The journey feels unexpected and unconventional. It requires bravely playing hide and seek in the dark, confronting the fears that scare us and holding the hand of a redeemer-guide who calls us to courageous acts of risk and trust. It means coloring outside of the lines. Dreaming bigger than we ever have before and getting swept up into the plans of a God who leaves us breathless with wonder.

It takes courage to ask brave questions and even more courage to search for the answers. We are so excited to journey alongside you this year as we ask one another what it means to “Be you, Bravely”.

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MOPS “A Beautiful Mess” 2013-2014 Recap for the year

The 2013-2014 MOPS year at FBC, Midlothian has truly been unprecedented! Moms from all over Midlothian and surrounding cities, women from various backgrounds and church denominations, eagerly came together for support, encouragement, fellowship, and fun! MOPS members gladly invested more than 36 hours in 18 meetings over the course of 9 months exploring the “Beautiful Mess” that comes with mothering small children, and learning to embrace the fact that, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10.

This MOPS year saw a tremendous growth in our group! In fact, our membership nearly doubled as our rosters filled-up with an average of 60-80 registered moms, a fact that necessitated the creation of a waiting list for moms needing childcare in the amazing MOPPETS program. What an honor and a blessing it has been to know that our MOPS group is a ministry that is so appreciated, so needed, so desired, and so beneficial to so many women and children in our community!

Over the course of the year, MOPS moms took turns providing scrumptious breakfast foods at each and every meeting. MOPS members appreciated the opportunity to sit with friends and slowly savor a meal made just for them. In addition to a hot meal, MOPS moms also enjoyed the many wonderful door prizes that were given out at every meeting. From jewelry items, free dinners made by the Steering Team, handmade wreaths, and certificates for hotel rooms, haircuts, and even free laundry service, the door prizes were certainly something to get excited about this year! Much excitement was also generated by the ice-breaker games that often had moms laughing and being silly at every MOPS meeting. From hula hoops spinning on hips, to plastic balls whizzing through the air, to competitive quiz show games, MOPS moms had fun playing together and learning more about each other at the same time.

Throughout the year, MOPS moms also enjoyed hearing from several special speakers who shared their thoughts on a wide variety of topics that were relevant to mothers of preschoolers. We were blessed to hear from Amy Marcontrel who shared about her journey through breast cancer. We welcomed author Angie Nichols who shared her thoughts on what it means to be the Bride of Christ. Brooke Mann came and shared her financial tips for living debt-free. Tracy King took time to share her testimony of serving on the mission field with her family. Back by popular demand, Ben Condray bravely and openly shared helpful marriage advice and insights. MOPS member, Melissa Tidmore, thoughtfully spoke about her ideas on submission in marriage. Pastor Bruce Prindle visited our group to talk about the hope that is found in the Easter holiday. And let’s not forget the three MOPS members, Stephanie Ramirez, Jennifer Bankhead, and Julia Oldham who each shared their beautifully messy stories at the MOPS Tea and Testimony meeting. Each of these special speakers contributed important truths that helped our members grow as mothers, wives, friends, and followers of Christ.

When the MOPS members weren’t busy learning from special speakers, they were treated to a variety of crafts easily created and finished during the MOPS meetings. The wonderful crafts moms enjoyed creating this year were flower pens, duct tape key chains, decorated manila folder money envelopes, multi-colored flannel fringed scarves, handmade pillow case dresses that were donated to girls in Haiti, string art wall décor, personalized date night jars, decorated ceramic tiles, bird nest jewelry pendants and button bracelets, and preschool busy bags. The creative activities offered at MOPS meetings, have always given moms a chance to relax, to try something new, and even to discover hidden talents all while enjoying the fellowship and encouragement of their table group friends.

This MOPS year, moms also had the opportunity to participate in several fundraising events. MOPS members spent last summer submitting recipes to be included in a MOPS cookbook. “Recipes from Around the Table”, the first cookbook ever created by our MOPS group, sold out within a couple weeks! Then, MOPS moms enjoyed a silent auction fundraiser in which they got to purchase donated items, as well as items from local vendors. A highlight of the silent auction was a raffle in which one lucky mom won an entire week of meals cooked by the Steering Team members and delivered right to her door. MOPS moms also donated items to be sold at the MOPS booth at the annual Home for the Holidays event at FBC, Midlothian. And these wonderful MOPS moms showed the same generous spirit when they donated dozens of baked goods to the MOPS bake sale fundraiser at the Heroes of Midlothian event in the spring. Altogether, MOPS moms helped raise more than triple the amount of funds generated in previous years! All money that was raised during these MOPS fundraisers helped to fund the costs of MOPPETS childcare, craft supplies, door prizes, and all other costs associated with providing such a wonderful program for MOPS members to enjoy.

In addition to the fundraising events, MOPS moms were given the opportunity to express their compassion and generosity by participating in very special outreach projects throughout the year. MOPS members made generous donations to two gift baskets that were donated to the King family to help them raise funds for their missionary work in Haiti. Then, MOPS moms showed their generosity and thoughtfulness once again when each table group sponsored at least one Angel Tree Child for the Gloryland Express ministry providing shoes, clothing, and toys to local children in need. In the spring, MOPS members reached out once again to help others in the Midlothian community by donating much-needed canned food items to help Manna House restock their food pantry shelves. MOPS moms not only showed their concern for others in the community, but they showed their generosity toward each other by making use of the Free Table that was available at every MOPS meeting. MOPS members frequently filled the Free Table with items they no longer wanted or needed, but thought other MOPS moms might be able to use. Furthermore, MOPS moms showed their support and caring for one another when they offered prayer support and made meals for other MOPS moms who had recently had a baby, a surgery, or an illness. It was inspiring to see the ways in which MOPS moms shared with each other and provided for each other in times of need. MOPS moms truly lived up to the classic MOPS motto: “Better moms make a better world” when they supported not only each other, but also when they took the time to bless local children and adults in the community outside the MOPS meeting room.

MOPS moms also made time to meet together frequently outside of MOPS meetings. Table groups met for playdates and moms-night-out events. Some MOPS members even opened up their homes and invited other moms to come and learn new skills such as preparing freezer meals, making homemade sour dough bread, and making fresh pasta from scratch. Playdates and MNOs were also scheduled for the whole MOPS groups to gather together to enjoy each other’s company and to nurture friendships. MOPS moms met at coffee shops, local restaurants, parks, and even gymnasiums, thoroughly enjoying the chance to play and talk and laugh with one another.

The 2013-2014 MOPS year will long be remembered for the friendships that were nurtured, the welcoming atmosphere and the acceptance that was shown to every mom, the laughter that was shared, and the tears that were shed. It was a year of growth, of learning to love and accept our beautiful messes, of learning to share our stories, and learning to listen to the stories of others. It was a year spent connecting with other moms, and finding strength in each other as we grew in our faith and in our relationships with Jesus Christ. It was a year of striving to ensure that as much as possible, the other MOPS motto, “No mom alone”, is a blessed reality for many moms in Midlothian.

 

Written By Elisabeth Espinoza

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Meeting Recap May 21st

On Wednesday, May 21st, members of MOPS at FBC, Midlothian met together for the final meeting of the 2013-2014 MOPS year. After dozens of precious children were placed safely in the MOPPETS program, MOPS members made their way to the MOPS meeting room where they hoped to enjoy a special time designed specifically to give moms a much-needed break. Once in the meeting room, moms piled their plates high with a very delectable assortment of breakfast foods thoughtfully provided by the Sweet Silver, Lovely Lavender, and Opulent Orange tables. In addition to the breakfast table, the Free Table was also available for moms who had items they wanted to share with others.

During breakfast, the MOPS Coordinator and Co-Coordinator, Becca Dycus and Natalie Holleman, stood before the group and thanked FBC, Midlothian for making the MOPS group possible. They went on to thank all of the MOPS members for their participation in the MOPS program, and for the ways in which they supported each other in prayer and nurtured friendships throughout the MOPS year. They also thanked the Mentor Moms for being a part of the group, and for helping to support and encourage all of the new moms. Finally, Becca and Natalie, thanked the Steering Team leaders who worked so hard to make the MOPS program so successful and so meaningful to so many moms.

When breakfast was finished, each table group was encouraged to pick-up the paint can centerpiece from their table and stand in a circle. Natalie explained that each paint can contained several “summer fun” items, including a beach towel, a beach ball, sidewalk chalk, water balloons, bubbles, markers, a MOPS luggage tag, a Sonic coupon, a $5 gift certificate to the Snow Shack, and a $15 gift card to Chick-fil-A. While music played, the moms passed the paint can around the circle. When the music stopped, the mom holding the can was out of the game. The game continued until one mom was left holding the can, and she was declared the winner of the can and all the goodies contained inside. This was certainly a creative approach to ensure that one mom from every table group went home with a little bit of fun to help get the summer off to a good start. This give-away was followed by a fun ice-breaker game in which table groups competed against each other to pass large, dry sponges from one mom to another. That sure got everyone up and moving and working together!
MOPS members were then given the chance to sit back down and create not one, not two, not three, but four different preschool busy bag activities! Moms got busy with scissors, needles, thread, and hot glue guns, creatively turning fuzzy pompoms, magnet strips, craft sticks, Velcro, beads, pipe cleaners, felt, ribbon, and buttons into unique activities perfect for promoting hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and pattern/shape/color recognition. While crafting together, MOPS members enjoyed a wonderful time of conversation with the other moms at their tables.

Near the end of the meeting, the Prayer and Care Team Leader, Suzette Perlmutter, recognized the 16 members with birthdays in May or over the summer. Then, Suzette encouraged the members to be in prayer for each other over the summer months, and to share prayer requests with the group when needed. Suzette closed the meeting in a word of prayer, specifically lifting up all the members who are expecting new babies in the months ahead. Once dismissed, each MOPS mom left excited to share the new busy bags with her children, and eagerly counting down the days until the new MOPS semester begins in the fall.

 

Written by Elisabeth Espinoza

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