Spring has sprung even here in Tasmania! Magnolias, blossoms and bulbs are in full bloom and the most ordinary of gardens is a kaleidoscope of colour.
After a long winter of fog, frost and naked trees, the warmth of the spring sunshine has awakened the landscape as we enter a season of prolific growth. I have tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, camelias and blossoms growing enthusiastically in my garden and I’m not even a good gardener. I just love spring for its warmth, freshness and colour, for that sense of starting again. It’s what caused our mothers and grandmothers to ‘spring clean’ isn’t it? To throw open the windows and let the fresh air blow away the undesirable stale damp of winter.
Do you know what else has responded to spring warmth, and grown at a prolific rate? Weeds! It’s the season for growth all right. Rampant growth of uninvited weeds which, if left unchecked, will contaminate and spoil my garden. To enjoy the colour, I have put in a few hours of serious weeding. It’s not a comfortable or attractive process, but a very necessary one to maintain the health of my garden.
Spring cleaning and weeding are part of household maintenance…but what about personal maintenance? What about those weeds that grow into our lives when we’re distracted by the busyness of being mums? Weeds that contaminate our hearts like criticism, deceipt, impatience, complacency, selfishness and worry. By not attending to the garden of our heart, these weeds are left to grow and overtake the things we originally planted.
When we welcome the pruning shears of the Holy Spirit, our lives bear the good fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control: and those nasty weeds of sinful selfishness and all their relatives are kept under control. Spring colour or “life’s good fruit” is enjoyed as a result of a good prune and some serious weed eradication.
How long since you’ve opened your heart to the Holy Spirit to blow away the undesirable stale damp of sin? This season of spring is perfect for giving God permission to do some weeding in the garden of your heart, so you can bloom again as He desired.
It’s one of the privileges of the Board each year to recognise the significant contribution and achievement of MOPS leaders across the country – brilliant women like yourselves. We receive nominations from you to award a MOPS leader for her valuable service, for her significant contribution, and her extraordinary passion for MOPS and the women in it. The Awards are a tangible way for the organisation of MOPS Australia (specifically the Board) to recognise, congratulate and honour MOPS leaders who show commitment, dedication and perseverance in their area of leadership. There are 3 types of awards…
The Heart of MOPS Award is given to the MOPS leader who has made a significant contribution at a national level.
This year the Heart of MOPS Award is given to an amazing and dedicated woman who we could really call Mrs MOPS in Australia… the recently retired Julie Prattis.
The Spirit of MOPS Award is given to a chartering church or organisation who has supported and promoted the cause of MOPS in their area in a significant way and this year, the Mt Pleasant Baptist Church in WA was awarded the Spirit of MOPS Award.
The Hands of MOPS Award is given to a MOPS leader who has had a significant impact at a local/regional MOPS level. These are not small awards at all – they are very prestigious. This year (when I wrote this) there were 3 leaders chosen to receive the Hands of MOPS Award.
In QLD: Fiona Mackereth, a founding co-ordinator and inspirational MOPS leader received her award at a special service in her church, as she couldn’t attend the QLD conference.
In VIC: Julie Doncovio, a MOPS Mentor and deserving recipient, was awarded the Hands of MOPS for her invaluable contribution to her MOPS group.
In SA: Lorraine Shephard, a long serving MOPPETS Leader, valuable team member and a terrific lady received the award.
At the TAS conference, I was very surprised and very honoured to have been nominated by the team I have just finished co-ordinating, and so I too was also awarded the Hands of MOPS award.
Chair / Media Liaison