Want to be the best mom possible? You are not alone.

Leave a comment

Our new theme for 2015-2016: A Fierce Flourishing

We are so very excited to invite you to join the Our Father Lutheran Church MOPS group for the 2015-2016 year. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month in the Community Room (lower level of the church).  Our first meeting will be September 4th, with check-in and childcare drop off beginning at 9:15 AM.

MOPS International has a fantastic new theme this year – A Fierce Flourishing!  We hope you will join us so we can flourish together.

A Fierce Flourishing Theme

Theme Verse:

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.Isaiah 55:12

Sometimes we need new eyes. A perspective shift that recalibrates our hearts to the rhythm of God’s goodness surrounding us. To tune our hearts to better hear the music of the divine echoing throughout this world. That we might let that goodness seep into our bones and into our hearts so we can remember what it feels like to flourish.

We think flourishing looks a lot like:

Celebrating Lavishly: Celebrating breathes life into our days. Could it be that commemorating moments might help us to become more alive, to remember what is good and become masterful at recognizing it? How would life change to regularly invite friends into our stolen moments with uninhibited dancing and the best food, while gathered around the biggest table with the deepest conversations? Lavish celebrations can be sacred markers that help remind us who we are.

Embracing Rest: Perhaps it is time to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as a measure of worth. What if one of the most life-giving activities that would contribute to our flourishing is welcoming rhythms of rest and play into our lives? Creating healthy rhythms in our life is one way we nourish the weary spots in our soul.

Noticing Goodness: Could it be possible that we don’t need new things but rather new eyes to see what we already have? What if we regained our sense of vision, an acute resolve to find hope in the cracks and mire of the mundane? Noticing what is good gives us the gift of perspective and reminds us the sacred is closer than we think.

We become more ourselves when we celebrate, rest and notice, and that looks a lot like flourishing. But this flourishing isn’t the precious or exhausting kind. This is a fierce flourishing. It is a deep-in-your-guts experience of gratitude and hope compelling you to raise your hands and dance freer than you ever have before. It is a fierce protection of your most important moments, an invitation to rest and an opportunity to enjoy the people who are right in front of you.

This year at MOPS, may we become a home for found wanderers, redeemed prisoners, explorers at the edge of their comfort – all of us who were one-time captives now celebrating our unearned freedom, because we have regained the eyes to see. May this year unfold into radical expressions of your own unique Fierce Flourishing.



Leave a comment

April 3 Meeting Recap

We had another great meeting today with an excellent teaching from Certified Parent Coach Dianne Daniels.

How many times do you ask your children to do something, they don’t do it, you get stressed/upset, and your children remain unflustered (there is no problem in their world)? You yell, feel guilty, and then don’t follow through. It can be a vicious cycle we get caught up in as parents.

Dianne’s talk focused on how to give instructions to our children in a way that will promote success.  Her key points included:

1.  Play a “come when you are called game” with your children to teach them to come to you.  When you play the game, demonstrate what you expect, then give high-fives, celebrate, have a party every time they respond properly.  Once you know they are capable of doing it, you should only use it when you are in a jam or there is some sort of an emergency or safety issue.  For other instances, you should “Go to them”, which is the first step in giving directions effectively.  (As in 1 Samuel 3, the Lord went to Samuel.)  We don’t yell for the stock boy at Target when we need something, we go up to him and respectfully ask for assistance. We owe those we are in close relationship with the same amount of respect. This is particularly true when we want the other person to do something for us.

2.  The next step in giving directions is to check their focus.  Are they ready to listen? What are they doing?  Are they already engaged in a task that you or Dad or someone else has asked them to do? What is their time frame for finishing? Don’t interrupt them if they are being obedient and are on track.

3.  Ensure that they are paying attention to us.  Speak at eye level, put a hand on their head or shoulder, use their name, and give ONE specific instruction (two instructions ONLY if they are very closely related, e.g.  “put on your shoes and socks”).  Your instruction could be (a) a preparatory statement explaining what you are going to do/what is going to happen; (b) a question, only if “no” is an acceptable response, e.g. Do you want to go to Target first and then the park?; (c) a suggestion, e.g. Why don’t we go to Target first and then the Park; (d) or a clear direction if we want a clear response. You should also give a time frame as part of the instruction. For young children this is always “now”.  Then have them repeat back the instruction.

We should try to do a good job of modeling obedience for our children.  Some questions on the handout included:  How does it feel to God when He gives us an instruction that we read, and study, and contemplate, and discuss, but ultimately ignore?  What do your actions teach your kids about obedience? What do you expect when you give your kids an instruction? What does God expect when He gives you one?

More information and resources can be found at http://www.MotheringLikeTheFather.com under the Resources tab.

Here is an example of links currently posted under Resources:

Preparing for Easter – Get ready to make the most important week of the year meaningful and memorable for your whole family. These resources can help:

http://www.1corinthians13parenting.com/free-resources/ – Click on the link within the paragraph for No Greater Love: A Family Guide to Passion Week and the Resurrection, from 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/holidays/celebrating-the-easter-season/do-your-children-understand-easter  Do Your Children Understand Easter downloadable mini-lessons from Focus on the Family.

~http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/holidays/featured/easter-and-lent/10-ideas-creative-ways-to-celebrate-easter#.VQb8WtLF-So 10 Creative Ways to Celebrate Easter from Family Life Today

Many questions from our moms were answered and some valuable tips were shared.


We only have two more MOPS meetings left for this year. We hope to see you next time!

Leave a comment

Courage to be Significant

Reposted from http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2015/03/dont-need-change-world/

Texts: Psalm 126, Gen. 21:1-21, Mark 6, 35-56, Luke 15:16

“He was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.”

When I left my job as a family doctor and became a “stay at home” mom for the first time ever, I was determined to figure out how to put dinner on the table.  Mostly because EVERYBODY IS ALWAYS HUNGRY at my house.  They want dinner.  As in, EVERY single night.  And breakfast and lunch and snacks.  FORTHELOVE.

But how hard could it be, right?


REALLY hard is how hard, as all you moms can surely stand up and shout a hearty AMEN.  And despite the fact that I write about feeding my family quite a bit, I still struggle with it some days.  A lot of days, actually.

​But slowly over months and years I became pretty proficient at feeding us. And somewhere along the way I realized that as simple as it sounds, feeding my people is part of God’s work for me.  It’s a beautiful and sacred thing. It’s so ordinary and necessary and life-giving and humbling and rewarding.

But it also drives me crazy—thinking of new things to make, the constantly dirty kitchen, the millions of dishes, the sheer amount of times you have to handle the food by the time you’ve eaten it and are cleaning it up. It’s easy to dream of a bigger purpose for my life. Wasn’t I made for more than this? 

I don’t know if I was or not but I do know that Jesus spent His life feeding people and caring for their most basic needs.  The God of the universe thinks so much of feeding people that the night before He died, when He gave His last will and testament, he told his disciples to carry on the sacred work of feeding His sheep.

In the prodigal story, the younger son is in the far country and he’s squandered everything he received from his father’s estate.  He’s so hungry that he’d take pig’s food. And no respectable Jew would ever have considered that.

But the scripture says, no one gave him anything. That verse haunted my dreams at night when I was studying the prodigal story last year. No one gave him anything.  He’s outside the fold.  He has wandered from the pasture, like all sheep do.  Like you and I constantly do.  He is in dangerous territory because he has rebelled against the one person who always made sure he had food—his father.

And there’s more feeding in Mark’s Gospel today where a crowd shows up for Jesus.

5,000 men and their families.  And they’re hungry.  The disciples want to send them away but Jesus simply says, “Give them something to eat.”

We are the sheep of God’s pasture and it’s not our job to change the world. It’s our job to stay in the pasture and eat.  And eat and eat and eat some more.  To receive His Word, to receive the Supper, to stay close to the Shepherd.

Then mostly by our fumbling, we can lead other lost sheep to the bounty of God’s table so they can eat too.

Our job is to eat and then share that good food with our neighbor, starting with the ones who live in our houses.

You don’t need to change the world.

Just make dinner.

It’s practically the same thing.




Leave a comment

More on the 2014-15 MOPS International Theme…

Theme Verse:

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 wastelandIsaiah 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”.

[Taken from http://www.mops.org ]

Leave a comment

The new 2014-2015 MOPS International theme, “Be You, Bravely”


a symbol of courage, a feather enables flight

Risking heights, a first flight requires

bravery to jump from the nest.

A bird will fail to experience all

it was made for, if it fails to fly.

{The same is true for us}

May this year change your life.

May you hear whispers of hope,

stirring in your soul.

May MOPS remind you

to breathe in and breathe out,

because we are all in this together.

The first step may test our bravery,

but courage is the key around our necks.

Be you, Bravely

[Explanation of the significance of the feather that is used throughout our Be You, Bravely theme. From http://www.mops.org / Leadership Team Ideas and Documents]