October 27th – Raising Children to Flourish

     Today’s meeting was all about how to raise our children to flourish.  Martha Rudd started the meeting with a devotional about praying for our children daily.  She gave us an amazing handout with 10 verses to pray over our boys and 10 verses to pray for our girls.  If you missed you can find them at the links below:

Prayers for Boys              Prayers for Girls

     Martha shared the verses that she has prayed over her two boys throughout their lives.  For her son Jeremy is “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). and Joshua is “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).  She encouraged all of us moms to find a verse and pray for our children daily whenever we find the moment whether it be while nursing, escaping to the bathroom, or in the pick up line at school.

     We then had a guest speaker Erin Myers.  A mother of eight children ages 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, and twins that are 2.  She recalled becoming a Kindergarten teach and all of the tests and exams she had to take in order to prep her for becoming a teacher, but then when she became a mom there was nothing.  They hand you a newborn and send you home.  You instantly start regretting things that you have done wrong as a parent.  She said for her it is funny how everyone says with eight she must have so much patience.  She exclaimed that is far from the truth and that she actually has almost no patience but instead grace.

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     She started the meeting by telling us of three instances where she remembers losing her patience and what that led her to realize.  The instant the resonated with me the most was when she shared that her daughter asked for a cup of water at bedtime.  Not really a big deal, but by the end of the day we are all tired and just ready for them to sleep.  She recalled being so angry that she went and grabbed the cup of the counter and threw it at her daughter.  These instances led her to pray for the Lord to give her peace and patience and grace for and from her children.

     Erin shared with us to two principles and one practical advice tip on how to raise our children to flourish. The first principle is to build relationships with your children.  She shared of course we are with them all the time so that’s building a relationship, right. Wrong.  She encourages us fellow moms to seek the difference between having a physical presence in their lives but to be intentional with our connections.  Take the time to listen to the stories and look at what they have created even when it seems monotonous.  We have to find the balance between our to do list and our relationships with them.

     She encourages us to start building the relationships now when they are young because as they get older the naturally want to separate from you.  She warns if you do not take the time to nurture the relationship when they are young it is even more strained as they become teens.  When they are teens and naturally want to pull away is when we are trying to have the hard adult conversations these are easier if you have taken the time over the years to cultivate a relationship with them.

     The second principle is extending grace to your children when they fail.  She says we need it when we fail like when she threw the cup at her child, but they need it too.  We receive the most grace from our Father, God and in his likeness we should pass this onto our children.  She says when you find yourself wanting to belittle and berate them instead come beside them, link arms and do it together.  You need your children to see that, “I am with you and I am for you.”

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   Lastly, her piece of practical advice.  Pick up a good book and read to them.  The benefits are not only academic, but spiritual and emotional too.  She shares that reading with a child demonstrates love because you took the time out of your day to be with them intentionally.  It is not something you can do in a passive way.  It creates memories with them; things you guys can look back on and laugh about together.

   She shared a story about picking up a poetry book and being able to hear her dad’s voice as if he was reading them when she was a child.  She said read stories that emulate behaviors, virtues, and godliness that you want to see in your children as they grow older.  She shared how when everyone is fighting in her family, they stop and read.  It helps everyone to settle down and it diffuses the tension often letting them continue their day in a much more positive manor.

The last piece of information is that as we all look back on our mother we will find things that we regret, but one thing no one will ever say is I regret the time I spent with my kids.

Thank you Erin for sharing your story with us and encouraging all of our moms on how to raise our children to flourish.

Be You, Bravely Kick-Off Meeting

GCBC MOPS Kick-off Meeting was a great meeting!

This year we are challenging you to Be You, Daring, Audacious, Noble, Intrepid, Fearless and Courageous.

DSC_0045You will find yourself challenged this year to become a better you, to know who you have been created, uniquely you and to capitalize on it.  We KNOW that this year at MOPS is going to be the best yet and we encourage you to come, be brave and grow.  To be a better you, a better mom, because….

“Better Moms Make a Better World!”

December 10th: Christmas Tea

Today was such a lovely meeting having tea and hearing about the case for Christ and his birth.  Thank you to Bev Alkema (Bible Study leader at GCBC) for coming and sharing this story with us.  We hope that everyone enjoyed the meeting and that you all have wonderful Christmas Season with your family.

Remember the reason for the season, Jesus Christ our Lord!

Twas The Night Before Jesus Came

Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house

Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.

Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care

In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,

Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.

And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap

Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter,

I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.

With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray

I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!

The light of His face made me cover my head

It was Jesus returning just like He said

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,

I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in his hand,

Was written the name of every saved man.

He spoke not a word as he searched for my name;

When He said, “It’s not here” my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love,

He gathered to take to His Father above.

With those who were ready He rose without a sound

While all the rest of us were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;

I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;

Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;

The coming of Jesus is drawing near.

There’s only one life and when comes the last call,

We’ll find that the Bible was true after all!

Copyright 1984, Bethany Farms

Christ’s birth means so much more than a Holiday filled with Gift giving and Santa Clause. It is the Gift that Jesus he himself is to humanity; by his death and resurrection on the cross. He paid the ULTIMATE penalty for our sins, by his GRACE he died and rose again that we may have LIFE!  It is not through any of our actions or deeds, but by the acceptance of his GRACE filled gift: paying the ultimate penalty of sin, so that we may have life everlasting with HIM.  (John 3:16)

During this season of celebrating Christ’s birth, don’t forget the ultimate gift, His death on the cross which saves us.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

November 12th Meeting (Part 1)

We are so blessed to have so many great ladies come to our meetings. You all truly are a blessing. Thank you for being part of our group!

Jenn shared with us today all the great information that she learned at the MOPS leadership conference (MomCON). In doing this, she reminded us all that we are God’s MASTERPIECE (Eph. 2:10) and we need to give up these things that keep us from being who God intends us to be. In a symbolic exercise, we wrote down any of our struggles, fears, feelings of inadequacy, etc. that keep us from being this. After our lengthy short lists were written, we crumbled them up and threw them away. As symbolic exercises go, the goal is that each of you (and those that missed can do) are able to fully and completely give those things over to God, that our hearts and minds can be transformed and we can be renewed (Romans 12:2) fully into who God ordained us to be. You are God’s daughter and you are LOVED by Him.

Today’s meeting wasn’t just about soul searching, it was also about scoring some awesome stuff!  Let’s be honest…those of us who didn’t get anything, we’re not thrilled…

In my feeble attempt to appease the disappointment some of us are feeling; here is the list of the books and resources that were given out so we can all benefit from these great resources (even if we didn’t win them). The list of books are linked to websites with the best deals, many of them you can also get an audio or digital version. Unless you have Amazon Prime (i.e. free shipping), purchasing from the linked websites are your best bet. **If you find a better deal on these books locally or another website, PLEASE leave a comment sharing this information and the link will be updated.

The Beauty of Broken by Elisa Morgan

The Artist Daughter, a Memoir by Alexandra Kuykendall

Get Yourself Organized Project by Kathi Lipp

The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp

Seven (7) by Jen Hatmaker

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst

October 8th Meeting

Today’s meeting was a really great meeting and we’re so glad that you all attended.  If you couldn’t make it, we missed you! The skittles game was such a great ice-breaker and a great way for all of us to get to know each other on a deeper level.

Thank you Mary for sharing about fear and overcoming it. What a great encouragement to all of us mothers in our messy, busy lives that are sometimes so overwhelming and filled with the unknown.

Jenn put together some great resources of FREEZER MEAL TIPS and FREEZER MEAL RECIPES, and I know we all are excited about the Garlic Lime Chicken (I’m pretty sure most of us went ahead and made these for our meals tonight instead of freezing them!!).

Can’t wait to see you all next time!