Ever been tortured by ‘on hold music’? I was stuck on the phone waiting for my doctor’s receptionist to pick up last week. Talk about painful! They were severely failing their ‘Hippocratic Oath’ of ‘first, do no harm’ (to my ears!)… All I could do was grit my teeth, wait it out (and also move the phone a little further away from my ear!)
Perhaps you feel at times like your own life is a bit ‘on hold’ as a mum of pre-schoolers. If so, you certainly are not alone! We can get so focused on noticing and ‘celebrating lavishly’ every milestone of our precious little ones… their first smile, their first word, their first step, their first day at kinder … that we can forget the importance of enjoying and recognising our own personal milestones as a woman.
When I think back over my years as a M-O-P, I have so many fond memories of fabulous morning teas, awesome speakers with brilliant advice, ‘sanity-saving’ child-free time and incredible times of sharing with other mums. But perhaps the most precious gift MOPS gave me was a safe place to personally keep growing… not just as a mum, but also as a woman and a leader.
Have you ever read your own ‘name’ into the MOPS mission statement…? Go on, have a go….
MOPS encourages and equips (INSERT YOUR NAME) as a mum of young children to realise (INSERT YOUR NAME)’s potential as a mother, woman and leader, in relationship with Jesus, and in partnership with my local church.
We can think that our leading or serving in MOPS is only about us giving out…. But my experience is that as the ‘giver’ I actually received an even greater ‘gift’….
Many mums would agree that becoming a mother brings radical change to our lives. Change – even if it has many positives to it – can often shake our confidence a little…or a lot! I remember the first time our Coordinator had to attend urgently to her own baby and called on me spontaneously to thank the speaker and close off the meeting. Even though I’d had extensive experience in public speaking and facilitation BC (before children)… I’d been living for year or so in the world of breastfeeding and ‘tracky-dacks’ and it honestly felt like a huge thing in that moment to accept the microphone! But as I did so, I discovered that MOPS was the perfect place for me to actively take my life off ‘hold’ as a woman and a leader … While my professional career was lying dormant in my ‘stay-at-home-mum’ years, MOPS proved to be a safe, encouraging and equipping community where I could try new things as well as build on existing skills I’d developed before becoming a mum.
Way back in 1894, Orison Swett Marden offered some fabulous advice:
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seek common occasions and make them great.
Weak [wo]men wait for opportunities. Strong [wo]men make them.”
Maybe your next step to serving at MOPS seems like a simple ‘common occasion’ … or perhaps it feels more like a huge leap of faith. Could you offer to organise that next social?… Help lead that Discussion Group?…. Be a warm welcoming smile at the door?… or learn to anchor a morning or be a speaker?
C’mon…don’t wait on hold any longer.
It’s time to make the most of your MOPportunities!