The end of a year is always a good time to reflect. To reflect on what has been done, what has been achieved, where we have travelled, what is new, and what has stayed the same.
Mothers with little children will notice many changes in their families. Children grow so quickly in the early years and changes from one year’s end to the next can be remarkable. And there are many ‘first’ achievements – first steps, first words, first birthday, first Christmas…
The end of a year brings promise of new beginnings and plans and resolutions for the new year.
Some young families will face changes, with new babies, new pets and holidays to plan. Maybe moving house, changing jobs or starting school. Perhaps, sadly, there might be loss of loved ones or loss of employment.
There will be occasions to celebrate and times to pause and remember and, for some, the need to regroup and start over again.
As I’ve reviewed our MOPS Australia year I’ve noticed many of those elements.
Achievement: We have achieved six leadership conferences – one in each state – where MOPS have grown as women and leaders.
Celebration: With Heart of MOPS Award and Hands of MOPS Awards we have celebrated women who have shown extraordinary commitment to their MOPS groups and within their communities.
Farewells: We have said goodbye to national leaders and group team leaders as they move on to new adventures – and we remember and are grateful for them.
Travel: I was privileged to be able to travel to Indianapolis in the UK to attend MOMcon2015 and mingle with 3,000 other MOPS leaders from around the world.
Things that have stayed the same: The MOPS model is the same now as is has been for years, a proven means of encouraging and equipping mums of young children to realise their potential as mothers, women and leaders, to enjoy time-out from children, to engage in meaningful conversations and to make new friendships.
Plans for next year: Next year, MOPS groups around Australia (indeed around the world) will adopt the theme A Fierce Flourishing. This theme will focus on helping young mums to thrive – to gain confidence in mothering and to be the best mum they can be! We encourage mums to pursue a fierce sort of flourishing, that doesn’t let go and doesn’t give up. The steps to flourishing might be these three: celebrating lavishly, noticing goodness and embracing rest. We know you can do it!
Why not start your flourishing early this Christmas? I encourage you to lavishly celebrate the birth of Jesus: sing the carols, share hearty greetings, catch up with friends! Take time to look past the negatives and notice the good things in your life and world. Then treat yourself to some of your favourite pastimes – the things that will refresh and energise you… and prepare you for a wonderful 2016!