Purpose Statement

MOPS Purpose Statement: MOPS International exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

More on Surviving and Enjoying Christmas - Unplug the Christmas Machine

For all those who came to the playdate in the park, you may have already read the Big Bonus Edition MOPS Newsletter that had a lot of lovely Christmassy things in it.

Since that was completed I found something that I wish I had seen in time to add to the newsletter as its very relevant but will link it here instead.

I have been reading a blog With All That I Have Been Given by a woman called Carrie who lives in Iowa USA (and who interestingly is also a MOPS Mum and now Team Leader).

She has recently posted on a course she completed based on this book UNPLUG THE CHRISTMAS MACHINE and I have her permission to link to her site.

Unplug the Christmas Machine is said to be one of the most comprehensive guides to managing Christmas stress and combating commercialism.

According to the authors of Unplug the Christmas Machine, "Many parents find it a challenge to create a simple, value-centered Christmas in the midst of all the commercial pressure. But the task is made much easier when parents keep in mind the four things children really want for Christmas: relaxed and loving time with the family, realistic expectations about gifts, an evenly paced holiday season and reliable family traditions."

Anyway over to Carries Blog for a 4 part summary of this course with lots of useful information, practical application,some tough questions to ask yourself about Christmas in your family and many many ways to get back to a Christmas that is less about stress and shopping and more about the simple things, time with family and a true celebration of Christmas.

She also mentions this 2 minute video about reducing Consumerism at Christmas

Friday, December 05, 2008


We FOUND a blue and silver bike helmet that was left on the table after our Play In The Park today.... If it belongs to you please click on "COMMENT" (see below) and I will return it to you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Farewell to past Co-ordinator and Welcoming the new Co-ordinator

Nov 21st was also a chance to farewell and honour and acknowledge our MOPS Co-ordinator for the past 3-4 years - Karen Askey Doran. As her youngest children are now entering Grade One it is time for her to "graduate" from MOPS Leadership. She has become the new Regional Co-ordinator so will still be involved in MOPS and we may see her from time to time as Guest Speaker or writing in the newsletter and son on.

Stepping in to the MOPS at MBC Co-ordinator role is Nat Monos. Nat has previously been in charge of Creative Activities and also responsible for all the lovely blessings each meeting.

We also farewelled Sarah, who is stepping down from Hospitality to enjoy sitting in as MOPS Mum as her son enters school.

There have been some other shuffling of Leadership roles so stay tuned. You will be introduced to the team at the first MOPS meeting.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nov 21st - Christmas in the Home

Pastor Phil spoke to us today about the real meaning of Christmas. We created a "living postcard" with all of us getting involved in some way. He started out by showing Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Then the 3 Wise Kings (complete with camels), angels, christmas trees and presents. Soon Jesus was hidden at the back of the room behind all the other chaos that is Christmas. Ps Phil asked Mary and Joseph to bring Jesus back to the front and centre - where he should be at Christmas time and always.

Thanks Ps Phil for a creative and visual reminder to place Christ first in our lives.

Friday, November 07, 2008

7 November - The Front Porch(Balancing Cocooning at home with Launching into the Wider Community)

Today we dressed up "chic" with our hats and lipstick
in honour of it being Cup Week.
I have to say we all looked gorgeous.
Was nice to have a reason to dress up.

Morning Tea was lots of yummy things from "Around The World"

We were asked to share something we find EASY as a parent. Some of us found it a little hard initially to come up with something as it's easy to focus on the negatives but after a bit of a think we came up with things like:

* Getting them to the breakfast table/getting them to eat
* Bathtime
* Playing with them
* Reading stories
* Potty training
* Breastfeeding
* Sleeping in the car on long trips
* Bedtime

For every one of us that said one of these areas was "easy" someone else had struggled with it. Or we had found something was really easy with one child but not the next - such is the nature of parenting. Was good to be made to think about the positives and "wins" though. Perhaps you could add your comments at the end of the post - What do you find EASY about parenting (something that has come easy to you , that has not been a struggle or a challenge)

We also watched the last of the 2008 MOPS Theme "Home Factor" DVD Home Tours. This one was called The Front Porch and it focused on the balance between "Cocooning" at home with "Launching" into the wider community. Remember our Home Factor theme looks at Beginning Here ....Going There.

We did the "Big Rocks" activity (thanks to my "volunteers") which was a creative way of looking at what do we prioritise in our lives and acted as a reminder to fit in the "BIG ROCKS" first (the things that are most important to you and your family).

One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said,” Okay, time for a quiz" and he pulled out a one-gallon mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full? "Everyone in the class yelled, "Yes." The time management expert replied, "Really?". He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?". By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?" ,"No!" the class shouted. Once again he said ,"Good." Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.

Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration? An eager student raised his hand and said, The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all. What are the 'big rocks' in your life – time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all."

So, tonight or tomorrow morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: ‘What are the 'big rocks' in my life’?

Then commit to putting those in your jar first.

Our discussion questions were based on the DVD home tour and asked you to think about and discuss:

* Did you relate to the Mum in the DVD? In what way?
* Was there anything in particular from the DVD that you could take home and apply in your family?
* Did you have any advice or tips on how you balance staying in and going out in your family that you could share with the other Mums on your table

Our table came up with some good things such as having a guideline of morning for the children and afternoon for Mum or vice versa, or similarly a morning in and afternoon out. Or making sure to alternate days at home with days out and about.

For my table - I remembered what it was I wanted to comment on from the DVD while driving home (I totally drew a blank during the discussion time). There were two points I wanted to make in response to the second discussion question (what I got from it/to take away and apply at home in my family).

The first point was I was reminded of the importance of regular MUM TIME/ME TIME. The mum in the DVD spoke of regular meals out with girlfriends etc. Very important!

The second point was something I really took to heart. She mentioned her husband being away a lot and her plan to be mindful about doing something nice for her in these times and planning ahead to have a friend over etc. While my husband is not away a lot for work (anymore) he often works late nights or weekends and there have been several times where I have been "stuck" at home. The kids are sound asleep in bed from 7/7.30, without my husband here of course I can't go out....nothing on TV....nothing in the pantry or freezer .....desparately craving a decent movie or something nice and indulgent to eat. The DVD reminded me to PLAN AHEAD for these times. I (usually)know when they are coming up. Next time I am stocking up on decent movies and food or organising in advance for some company, friends for dinner and DVD. Great time to watch all those "chick flicks" that husbands wont watch.

Karen then read from a book called Cinderella about Steven Curtis Chapman's song of the same name.

Click on the arrow on the clip below to view a video of Steven Curtis Chapman talking about the background to his song Cinderella that Karen played at MOPS today. Sadly a few years after this song was written one of his daughters (Maria Sue) died in a car accident (her older brother accidentally ran her over as he backed out of the driveway).

In this clip SCC speaks of the importance of savouring the small moments with your children and trying not to rush through time with them as they grow up so fast etc.

Anyway here it is.

On the topic of Fatherhood and tugging on the heartstrings I couldn't resist also including this classic (for all the "Daddys Girls" out there:

Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlyle

We also made a lovely Honey and Oat Body Scrub as our Creative Activity today (thanks Nat - another great idea).

Here is the recipe:

Honey and Oat Body Scrub


1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup ground oats (pulse rolled oats in a food processor until fine)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup good quality oil (olive, rice bran, grapeseed or almond oil would all be ok)
2 tablespoons honey

  • Mix together well and place in a suitable container with a lid
  • Use in the shower. Scrub gently over moistened skin.
  • Apparently will keep for at least a couple of weeks if not longer.

And here's a link to find some more homemade body scrubs recipes if you would like to make some more or try here or here also.

What an awesome morning!

Next meeting (Friday November 21) we are celebrating

Christmas in our Homes.

This will be the last meeting at MBC.

The final MOPS for the year (Friday December 5) will be a social event out in the park


Thanks and God Bless

Monday, October 27, 2008

I have some catching up to do

Bear with me please. Either myself or one or both of the kids/husband been sick on and off throughout winter and extremely tired so doing the wise thing (well the necessary thing) and going to bed as early as possible as often as possible so have had to let some things slide - this blog being one of those things (um housework and socialising and returning phone calls some of the others SORRY IF I OWE YOU A RETURN CALL!)

But I will endeavour to update the blog soon and add some things about:

* the school choice/classroom morning
* the Literacy session (however I missed that meeting so will need some help to write about that one)
* the most recent MOPS meeting which was titled Renovation Rescue MOPS style - "You are a work in progress"
* a thankyou evening the team held to honour the MOPPETS carers and MENTORS
* some other bits and pieces

Thanks for your patience and understanding ... I am now off to bed :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

MOPS Team holds a thankyou evening to honour the MOPPETS Carers and Mentors

The MOPS team held a thankyou evening to honour our MOPPETS carers and Mentors. We had a dessert and coffee night and spoilt these lovely women with lovely food and gifts and thankyou messages as well as a Powerpoint Presentation with lots of photos and information summarising the year at MOPS and MOPPETS and showing just a little of the impact these awesome women have in the lives of us Mums and our children.

Thankyou to all of you on behalf of all the MOPS Mums for giving so generously of your time each MOPS. Thankyou for setting up and tidying the rooms after each meeting, thankyou for cuddling and entertaining our children and wiping their noses and reading them books. Most importantly thankyou for keeping our children safe and sound allowing us some precious time to relax and re-energise and be better Mums for it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

12 September - The Classroom

The Classroom

Guest Speaker: Panel consisting of Karen A-D,Sarah B and Kate B
Topic: Mums talk about the experience of choosing a school for your children
Morning Tea Theme: Lunchbox foods
Craft: Sock Puppets

Summary of session:
Kate B (Head of Womens Ministry at MBC) spoke first about her experience of schooling. A few of her main points were to see each of your children as individuals and the school that suits one may not necessarily suit another. Realise also that you become a part of a school community. Sarah B spoke about selecting a primary school for her son based on lots of questions and research (she said to not be afraid to ask questions and speak up if want to know something as its a big decision you are making). She said one main factor in helping her choose a school was to look at her sons interests and skills and try and find a school that also emphasised those areas.
Karen A-D also spoke about the school community and mentioned her school has multi-age classes.

School and Preschool Option in Queensland


School starts in Queensland with a (non-compulsory) Prep year for children turning 5 by June 30th.

Preschool options - Prior to this time your options include:

  • Child staying at home with parent
  • Child at home with a paid or unpaid carer (eg home based nanny or family member). There are some nanny agencies such as (ADD SOME HERE). If a family member good idea to have some guidelines/rules in place to increase consistency across carers etc
  • Child Care/Creche/Day Care - this may be either centre based care or family day care in the home of a qualified carer. Centre Based Care - Available 5 days a week (you nominate days you want) and open generally from 6.30am to 6.30 pm. Fees vary. Some families eligible for Government subsidy. Waitlists can be long in some centres and for some age groups. Some centres ask for a booking fee. You will need to enquire at each centre you are interested in. Its a good idea to find a centre close to home or work if possible rather than one out of your way. Ask around for recommendations. Word of mouth is always a good way to find a quality centre but remember what one family wants/needs out of a centre may not be the same as yours. Best idea is to make a short list of centres and physically visit them to get a feel for the place - do the children look happy, do the staff look happy, what does the centre offer, what are the centres hours, policies, fees etc. Ask some current parents about things such as how any problem behaviours are managed or is there a high turnover of staff. Ultimately you are asking - would you be ok about your child being cared for by these workers and in this centre. Family Day Care has the advantages or being one carer with a smaller group of children in a home environment. To find out more about Family Day Care here on the coast see this site or contact xxxx TO BE ADDED.
  • Taking part in a Kindergarten/Pre-Prep program for the year immediately prior to prep - These pre-prep programs are offered via some day care centres and more specifically via centres such as C& K etc. Most C&K Kindergarten/Pre-Prep have either a 2 day or 3 day group OR a rotating 2 day/3 day fortnight. Note that the day is shorter than that available via child care centres. Most C&K programs run from 8.45-2.15 or 9 to 2pm. C & K Pre-Prep only runs during school term. If you are considering C&K, be prepared to put your name on a waitlist at least 12-18mths prior to when you want your child to attend as places are limited (often only 2 groups of around 20-25 children). So this would mean figuring out what year your child will be attending Prep (e.g., Prep in 2012) and then you'll want to enrol your child in C & K for Pre-Prep the year before this (Pre-Prep 2011) so ideally you would then count back 18 mths prior to this year to enrol to increase your chance of a place (enrol by mid-2009) - should you choose this option. Please note that I am by no means wanting to alarm anyone but rather some info/advice/planning ahead that I wish I had known/been given/taken notice of/acted upon.

Preparing your child for school/Readiness for school
See these sites for further info (to be added)

Choosing a School - link to Fact Sheet by Dr John Irvine (to be added)

School Zones - to be added. Does anyone know if you can access a map of school zones or is a matter of contacting the school you are interested in?

The School Enrolment procedure - each school varies. Most have a website or a prospectus (or both) with enrolment forms. In terms of Prep most school advertise their info nights around Oct/November for parents wishing to enrol children for the following year

Private/Independent vs Public/Government

See Education Queensland website for lots of information and practical advice


In the meantime here's something to make you laugh.

All this talk about school made me dig out the old albums. This is me (Michele) when I was in Grade 5. I was "9 years 11 mths" according to Mum's writing on the back of the photo. Don't you love the skivvy. Very practical for those cold school days in Victoria I am sure, and I still remember those "Hoppers" overalls. I loved them and thought they were very cool !

And what I wouldn't do to get my natural hair color back again ....

Posting this photo makes me think of a magazine article I read recently where someone wrote a letter to their current adult self from their 10 year old self....that would be an interesting exercise ....another time perhaps ....Amongst other things it would definitely include something along the lines of "Don't dye your hair ...ever ... as you will NEVER be able to return to your natural colour no matter how hard you try or how much you are willing to spend"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Did You Know About ...Child Protection Week?

It is currently Child Protection Week Sunday Sept 7 to Saturday Sept 13.

The 2008 theme is "Children See, Children Do...Make your influence a positive one".

See here for further information

See also NAPCAN

and PACT (Protect All Children Today) websites

Did You Know About ...The Pyjama Foundation?

The Pyjama Foundation (click here) is a volunteer organization that trains Pyjama Angels to read regularly (once a week) to children in Foster Care.
They will be conducting new volunteer training on Thursday 2nd October 2008 from 6pm-9.30pm.
Training on the Sunshine Coast only happens twice a year, so this is a great opportunity if you are interested in becoming a Pyjama Angel.
If you require any more information or would like to attend the training, please contact Sue Cluff by Friday 26 September.
Sue Cluff
Sunshine Coast Co-ordinator
The Pyjama Foundation
Ph: 0421 521440

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Baby Announcement

Announcing a new little MOPPET
MOPS Mum Merran had a baby boy:
"Billy" (William Mark) born 1:42am 26th August 2008, weighing 7lb 15 oz.
Congratualations to Merran and Mark from all of us at MOPS@MBC

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fathers Day

Karens post on Fathers reminded me of a card I made for my Dad for last Father's Day.

My card for Dad was inspired by a quote I once read about fatherhood written by Erma Bombeck (Humorist and social commentator)

Her quote reads as follows:

“He opened the jar of pickles when no one else could. He was the only one in the house who wasn’t afraid to go into the basement by himself. He cut himself shaving, but no one got excited about it. It was understood that when it rained, he got the car and brought it around to the door. When anyone was sick, he went out to get the prescription filled”
Erma Bombeck

And here's the one I wrote for my Dad along similar lines (I hope no-one is offended by the toilet humour but that's my Dad for you!)

He scraped the black stuff off hostie-toasties and turned them upside down so you wouldn’t see the burnt bit. He made the best camp-oven potatoes and worst ever “chicken” (actually rabbit) casserole (it’s just the red wine Shel-Bel). He took us on great long bike rides and fishing for snails and abalone to cook on the beach (even though we didn’t eat them). He built bull-nosed verandah cubby houses, and made flying foxes and billy carts and tin canoes. He taught us to work hard and have fun doing it. He made us laugh with his “Dad jokes”, badger-badgers and pull-my-fingers. He took us to bed upside down like fruit-bats, checked we were still breathing in our sleep and gave us warmed port and comfort when we were sick. He took us on adventures in our own backyard and in other countries. He drove us all over the place on “Cook’s Tours”, singing verse after verse of My Highland Goat-e-oat-e-oat and “When I First Came to This Land” (nah nah nah whoo whoo) ….. and letting us change the lights with our feet as we drove. He instilled in me a sense of excitement about learning about different people and places and looking up stuff in big heavy books. He taught us right from wrong and good from bad and that’s it’s ok to stuff up once in a while as long as you say sorry. He made me value family connections and history and the importance of long-lasting friendships and doing anything for a mate in need. He makes me smile when I see him with his grand-children as a proud Poppa. He is my Dad and I love him.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there. Hope you all get very spoilt. My husband is getting a sleep in (as best you can with 2 kids under 3), a real cooked breakfast with all the works ...and he doesnt know it yet so hope he doesnt read this blog but a new hotplate for the BBQ of course (inspired by our last MOPS).

Would you like to share a Dad story with us or post about what you are planning for Fathers Day. You can add a comment or email content/photos etc to Michele (hillme@virginbroadband.com.au) if you want to get something posted on the Blog.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Father's Day

One of the special Mums I am priveleged to know gave me permission to share this touching Father's Day message with you.... I pray it speaks to you as it did to me.

Please Note:
click on "My Father".....and a larger version will open on your screen :)

A Timely Marriage Reminder

An Ordinary Glass Window, A Timely Marriage Reminder
 “Marriage should be honored by all ...”
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)
About a year ago I woke up early one morning and saw the strangest sight. Condensation had collected on one of my bedroom windows. Etched in the condensation were two perfectly drawn circles. They were joined at the center and looked exactly like two wedding bands.

I stared at this marking on my window and tried to come up with a reasonable explanation. I could not for the life of me figure out how two perfect circles could have gotten drawn into the condensation of my very high up bedroom window. Later that day I went back to look at the window, but the hot afternoon sun had long since caused the window to dry out. The wedding bands were gone. For days I looked for their return, waking each morning eager to see them and ponder their existence. But when the days turned into weeks without seeing them, I eventually stopped looking.

Then one morning they reappeared. Only this time they were there for several mornings straight. Each morning when my eyes would open, the two etched wedding bands were the first thing I'd see.

On about the fourth morning as I stared at this strange phenomenon my heart started aching. There was a kind of urgency suddenly pulsing through my chest. I tried to brush it off but couldn't quite shake the feeling. It was a conviction - but not a condemning kind of conviction, rather a tender conviction to love my husband more intentionally. And not just in the convenient ways, in the inconvenient as well. In ways that take a little more thought, intentionality and effort. Ways that are easy to let slip when the everyday urgencies seem to take precedence and seem more important.

So, I mentally made all kinds of promises and grand plans for a priority overhaul. And for a few days, I did great. But then life... lots of life distracted me and my attention got redirected. The window circles soon disappeared and so did my resolve. All my good intentions slipped back into a comfortable getting by of sorts.

Well, at the risk of starting to sound like a Hallmark movie, the circles came back. I don't want to sound presumptuous. I fully realize that there could be a perfectly good reason for the circles.  One friend suggested that they could be leftover marks from when the windows were installed.  But then why are they only sometimes there?  We’ve lived in this house and had that same window for 15 years and they are just now showing up? And why do they only seem to appear when God needs to send me a perfectly timed reminder to give my marriage and my husband, more attention?

Do you think that maybe, just maybe, Love of the most divine kind has reached down to touch an ordinary glass window?
Dear Lord, I think we’ll be amazed one day when we get to Heaven and realize how intimately involved You’ve always been in our lives.  Lord, thank You for this message in the form of two circles on my window.  Even if there is an explanation for them besides You drawing these circles, I thank You that through them You’ve reminded me to love my husband more intentionally.  Please help us all to make our marriages more of a priority in our lives.  Show us how to love the way you intended us to love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog today to learn how to conquer one of the most challenging aspects of marriage - expectations!
Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst
Application Steps: 
Make a list today of some attitudes and actions that you could change as a blessing for your spouse.
Attitude: Have you been struggling with any negative attitudes toward your spouse such as disrespect, unforgiveness, resentment, or frustration?
Actions: What are some little everyday things that you could do to make your spouse’s life better, more fun, or less stressful?
I know from personal experience that marriage can be both wonderful and incredibly hard. One of the most important things I can do as a wife is to actively pray for my husband, and myself in my role as a wife.  What are some things that you could commit to praying for in regards to your marriage?  After all if God can speak to me through an ordinary window, I know he can certainly speak to us and advise us about our marriages during focused times of prayer.
Power Verses:
1 Peter 3:1, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” (NIV) 
1 Timothy 3:11, “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

29 August - Celebrating Fatherhood

On the 29th August we looked at Fatherhood as this was the meeting before Fathers Day (Reminder: Father's Day is this Sunday 7 September!)

Topic: Celebrating Fatherhood
Guest Speaker: Pastor Lloyd, Pastor from Maroochy Baptist, husband to MOPS Leader/Mum Simone, and Dad to 3 gorgeous boys, 9, 4 and <1 style="font-weight: bold;">Morning Tea: A lovely BBQ with sausages and chicken kebabs
Creative Activity: We made a cutlery roll for picnics, made out of a checked tea-towel

Here is a copy of Ps Lloyds notes on "Understanding Your Man"

Father’s Day: Understanding Your Man


Difference is a good thing!

Illustration: Jerry Seinfeld finds someone just like him.

Women think like Spaghetti, Men’s minds are quiet and focus on one thing at a time

Careful with the generalisations

· Life circumstances and upbringing can change these things greatly. They may not even appear to be there at all.

Illustration: Aussie men in terms of maleness have been encouraged greatly by our mums

4 images of your man:

1. The Leader

Last time I spoke on understanding men, I talked from a Bible passage (Ephesians 5) that talks about the ‘Headship’ and what that means.

Men and women are different, “husbands love your wives, and women respect your husbands”

Head can mean: Source of a river, Head of the Body (unity), Head of state, authority.

We noted that Headship as it appears in Ephesians, mainly talks about, sacrifice and service.

Illustration: in the business world, inverted pyramid!

Illustration: Being a Wrigglies rep

Your husband in the spirit world, is the gatekeeper to your family

He has both responsibility and is accountable to God

Response: Release him to lead, don’t feel in competition with him.

‘Happy wife happy life’, a man’s persona generally reflects how things are going in the family.

Honour him: Honour has to do with ‘integrity’ and ‘position’ both Internal and external!

Honey, where’s my socks!!! Value him. He brings things to the family that you can’t provide!

2. The Provider

A man gains a great deal of his identity through what he does for work.

Illustration: Me going to college and losing my identity, business card: ‘Lloyd Mxxxx Director of Travellers’

Illustration: Men at the BBQ. When men get together, they often share business cards!

If a man loses his job or is having trouble at work, or is unable to work because of illness, or unable to get work it is a devastating experience.

This is not to say that women don’t provide, some of your families have survived because of your income. However you get your identity through many things, relationships, mothering, family the house etc, your ministry.

Men go to great lengths to get work to provide. Illustration: Landline, Tradesmen from Vietnam, working in WA sending the money home to keep their family.

Sometimes women find it hard to understand why the husband works so long and doesn’t get home till late. Sometimes this sense of responsibility can be on overdrive, making sure that you have enough.

Most families today are double income; however it is really pertinent in these times with little ones, when you are focused on mothering and nurturing.


· Respect your man “show consideration” Note the difference with Honour

· Discuss the use of family resources (wife discussing with me about Gym membership)

· Appreciate how hard the work is at times (Carolyn, Every $50 was 2 hours her husband had to spend in the hot sun on a roof top somewhere)

3. The Caveman

When things get on top of us, we generally withdraw to make sense of our world. We can be tired, not communicate, and be aloof.

Women have a beautiful way of letting off emotional steam in crying. Men generally find it hard to get there.

Illustration: Someone saying to Ps Lloyd "I think I should be crying, but I don’t know how to"

The most difficult time of life is when you have teenagers and dying parents 40-50, close to that is the young family season.

Men can often have a time of crisis in the ages between 30-40s. They may experience stress attacks, and become depressed.


· Keep a check on your man

· Don’t leave him alone! Most women think that because he is withdrawn, he does not want me in there, WRONG!!!! You have a far greater fabric of support than he does. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”.

· “When the lion is roaring, step in his mouth and have a good look around”

· “Fear knocked on the door, faith opened the door and nothing was there!”

· You have the keys to his heart. Press in, not with nagging but communicate care and tenderness.


4. The Adventurer

Most men need adventure to keep them fresh. A battle to be fought, a mountain to climb, a challenge to conquer, a wilderness to be explored, a beast to be hunted, or a maiden to be rescued. (Note added by Michele - see the books by Stasi and John Eldredge. Womens book is called Captivating and the mens is called Wild at Heart)

Boys, get dirty, skin a knee, make loud car noises, want to wrestle and fight!

Remember: Girls are made of: “sugar and spice and all things nice”, however boys are “snips and snails and puppy dogs tails”

Illustration: Watching movie called "Captain and Commander" with Russell Crow (“The courage to do the impossible lies in the hearts of men”)

In the heart of all men is the desire of the wilderness, of adventure, however it may only manifest in a love of playing computer games!!!!

Men need to rediscover the wilderness.

Many men in this family phase are in the busiest season of life, they need to be encouraged to have time out.

Illustration: My time out on the ocean, even when I am tired


· Encourage your man to have friendships with other male friends

· Set him free (release him) to take a few days camping or a fishing trip


Honour your man, respect him with consideration, approach him with gentleness, care and support, set him free when it is needed, encourage his wildness and adventure.

Aslan (the lion in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe):

Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.”

There is a little bit of Aslan in every man……

· It takes far less energy to do the best things, “a gentle answer turns away wrath,” Having a heated argument can be the easiest thing at the time, but it is far more exhausting in the long run, than choosing to have a gentle answer.

· Reverse psychology, investments that bring a good return. Doing a little thing now in the right place and the right way, can make a tremendous difference not only to your man, but in turn to you!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Related to Ps Lloyds talk on Fatherhood/Husbands today

This is not from Ps Lloyd directly (I will post his notes here as soon as I get them) but I thought it tied in nicely. It is taken from a magazine called Parents Inc (NZ publication)

What Men Wished Their Women Knew About Them
By Ian Grant

Did you know?...

• Despite their “in control” exterior, men often feel like imposters and are insecure that their inadequacies will be discovered
• Men would rather feel alone and unloved than inadequate and disrespected
• The idea of someone thinking he cant cut it is humiliating – a feeling ever man wants to avoid at all costs
• Anger is sometimes a man’s response to feeling disrespected
• A man’s uncertainty about his adequacy usually takes its greatest toll at work
• “Performance anxiety doesn’t end when we walk through the front door” as one man put it. For a man bluffing his way through this being-a-husband thing, it is an incredible relief when he discovers that his wife feels loved and happy and that she publicly honours him and his ‘husbanding abilities’
• You should assume the best. If a man is not helping with the kids or the cleaning, you shouldn’t assume he is choosing not to help, but start with the assumption that he genuinely doesn’t see a task to be done
• Procrastinating on a home task may be a signal that he’s about to emotionally or physically crash
• A man will internalise your disappointment as a personal failure to provide what you need
• A man’s heart is powerfully touched by a few simple words of respect

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Reminder: Operation Christmas Child COLLECTION TIME

Hi all

Our theme for this year is The Home Factor: Begin Here Go There

Just a reminder that we are getting close to the end of collection time for items for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

These shoe boxes are a practical example in something starting from the Home and reaching out to others in the world. In this case children in poverty, without family, often from parts of the world experiencing war and/or natural disasters.

Please bring any items you wish to include in the MOPS at MBC shoeboxes along to the meetings on 29 August, 12 Sept, and 10 Oct. Items will not be collected via MOPS after this point.

Remember to choose items suitable for either a Boy or Girl in one of the following age categories (2-4, 5-9, 10-14)

**** For those of you that may have sent a shoe box in previous years, please note that this year there have been some changes to what can and can't be included. Today at MOPS (29 August) you would have received the latest Operation Christmas Child brochure with all the details. Please read and adhere to these regulations.

Suggested items to include:

TOYS: small cars, balls, dolls, yo-yo, harmonica, skipping rope, slinky etc. NOTHING WITH BATTERIES
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: oens, pencils, sharpeners, crayons, stamps and ink pads, coloring books, picture books etc NOTHING THAT LEAKS SUCH AS GLUE ETC
HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrush, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth NOTE YOU CAN NO LONGER INCLUDE TOOTHPASTE OR ANY OTHER LIQUID
OTHER: Tshirts, socks, baseball caps, sunglasses, hairclips, watches
A PERSONAL NOTE: can include a letter and photo of your children/family. May include your contact details so the child can write to you

DO NOT INCLUDE: batteries or battery operated toys, used or damaged items, war related items such as toy guns, knives or military cars or figurines etc, no lollies of chocolate or food of any kind, no liquids or lotions, no medications or vitamins, nothing breakable such as snowglobes or glass containers, no aerosol cans

October 10 will be the last date for collection.

This allows time for the shoeboxes to be sent O/S and arrive in time for a child to open on Christmas day.

Thank you for helping us bless these children who otherwise would get nothing on this day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sunshine Coast PND support Group website....

Check out the latest from the lovely Lisa Lindley....
one of our "On The Couch" contributing psychologists and occasional guest speaker at MBC MOPS

the NEW Sunshine Coast PND support Group website

Saturday, August 23, 2008

15 August - Come Fly With Me

Theme: Come Fly With Me
We had the room set up like a plane, with seats in rows facing the front with centre aisle. The team came dressed as Cabin Crew for the morning (and our Co-ordinator Karen took on the role of Captain ....singlehandedly landing the plane after another problem free flight on MOPS Airline Flight 123)

Speaker: Sarah shared about her 13 years as a flight attendant and her journey to motherhood (Sarahs notes to be added)

Morning Tea: In Flight meal served up by the lovely cabin crew

In Flight Movie: watched the Dwelling DVD Home Tours segment called Under the Welcome Mat about Hospitality

Craft: A teabag with a little note, as an encouragement to send to a friend.

August 1 - Outing to Landsborough Park

Thanks to all the Mums that joined us at Pioneer Park Landsborough on Friday August 1 for a lovely morning in the park. Was great to get out in the sunshine and meet everyone's children. If anyone has any photos from the day that they are happy for me to post please let me know. I was too busy chasing my little man and stopping him from eating tim-tams/sand/dirt/bark/dog-poo/food belonging to other children or running in front of swings/falling down stairs/off ladders/insert any other inappropriate or unsafe thing you can think of ...... to take any photos.

I think I can multi-task with the best of them but taking great photos and supervising an active 15mth old on the loose in the park ....nuh uh ..

Friday, August 15, 2008

Recent MOPS Conference

Here is a little taste of what we got up to at the recent MOPS Leaders Conference at the Gold Coast last weekend.
Yes that IS us under all that makeup. "Why on Earth are we dressed as Mimes?" I can hear you all saying and "Yeah that's about the only time they are silent : ) " ........or was that just our husbands saying that?
Well, (and I hope I am not letting the cat out of the bag here??) the theme for 2009 is Adventures in Mothering (great theme!)and one part of the logo has a rollercoaster ride and Big Top etc. So one of the evenings at conference involved dressing in costume related to this theme ...and we won a prize for our efforts too.
We also did lots of hard work at Conference, learning a lot from other MOPS groups, sharing ideas of topics and how we all do things. Great to hear new ideas and be assured we are on track and doing great stuff here at MOPS at MBC.
We also had the privilege of listening to several sessions from Shelly Radic who is an author and Director of Group Life at MOPS International (all the way from Colorado, USA). She is an amazing speaker and I think had us all in tears of both laughter and sorrow at various times over the weekend. Mental note to me to pack tissues next year.
Overall it was both an exhausting and refreshing weekend (if that's possible) and we hope to bring everything we learnt and have been inspired by back to our MOPS Mums here at MOPS at MBC.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Did You Do Today?

Today I left some dishes dirty,
The bed got made around 3:30.
The washing soaked a little longer,
The odour grew a little stronger.
The crumbs I spilled the day before
Are staring at me from the floor.
The fingerprints there on the wall
Will likely be there still next fall.
The dirty streaks on those windowpanes
Will still be there next time it rains.
Shame on you, you sit and say,
Just what did you do today?
I held a baby till he slept,
I held a toddler while she wept.
I played a game of hide and seek,
I squeezed a toy so it would squeak.
I pulled a wagon, sang a song,
Taught a child right from wrong.
What did I do this whole day through?
Not much that shows, I guess that's true.
Unless you think that what I've done,
Might be important to someone
With deep blue eyes and soft blonde hair,
If that is true...I've done my share.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Let Us Know What You Think of Our New Blog

So... what do you think? Do you like our MOPS @ MBC Blog? Anything else you would like to see on here or any feedback for us? We want to keep this Blog relevant and useful to MOPS Mums so your input is valued and we would love to hear from you. To add a comment, click on the word "COMMENTS" below any of the posts you wish to comment on and follow the prompts from there. You can also email Michele (look for her email in the MOPS newsletter).

18 July - Visiting the GP

Dr Roger Morris, local GP and father of two, was our guest speaker today. Main points that I can recall from his talk were:
  • GPs thinking on/treatment of fevers has changed in recent times
  • Fever is not to be feared, is bodies natural way of fighting a virus or infection
  • Really only need to be concerned if a fever is over 40 deg
  • GP will take into account whole presentatin of the child not just "the number"of the temp. So a child who is generally well in themselves, sitting up, making contact with the parents/GP is generally less of a concern that one who is still and crying or listless etc
  • Good idea to strip your child off so GP can do thorough check for rashes etc
  • Many rashes are caused by viruses
  • Difference in a rash that fades then returns when run finger across skin (less of a concern) than one that stays red even when a finger run across it (more of a concern). This type of "stays red" rash may possibly be a blood infection such as pneumococcal. meningococcal. V rare but could be indicative of. The rash is a late sign of these conditions. Treatment needs to be rapid. Ambulance called and antibiotics given immeditately by the GP. If ever concerned about a rash see your doctor asap as they will be able to diagnose and treat accordingly
  • Most accurate way to check temp is with one of the infra red in the ear type thermometers. Most accurate as inner ear is closest to core body temp (can be quite expensive but a few MOPS Mums have got them from discount chemists and look out for them when on sale as can drop in price from around $100 down to $35-50)
  • Babies can check temp under arm (but may be around half a point cooler than actual temp), older children under tongue ok if they will sit still long enough
  • A fever that sticks around longer than 72 hours (3 days) should be looked at
  • If in doubt do go to your GP
  • If cooling a baby or child ALWAYS use TEPID water (not cold as will make them shiver which will in turn actually raise temp) and ALWAYS STAY AND MONITOR A CHILD IN THE BATH (babies/children should always be monitored anyway but an extra risk of febrile convulsions leading to drowning). Perhaps give a tepid sponge bath instead
  • Febrile convulsions quite uncommon. Thought to be caused by the rapidity of the rise in temperature not just how high the temp is
  • No real difference between Nurofen and Panadol in terms of reducing fever or for pain management. Equally as effective. Nurofen may taste better and therefore be more palatable for children. Nurofen cant be used until 6mths of age but Panadol from 1 mth
  • Chemist brands and other brand names identical and may be cheaper
  • Do not alternate doses of Nurofen and Panadol as can lead to overdose
  • Follow directions for dosage amounts and frequencies and on the packet. Remember age and weight effect dosage also
  • Cough mixtures (cough suppressants) for children no longer reccommended. Ineffective and can perhaps do more harm than good. Decongestants/decongestants with antihistimine still ok. Speak to your GP/Pharmacist
  • Avoid Phenergan (and similar sedatives) for children under 2-3. Only use occasionally when needed for older children. Definitely not to be used for babies/infants as maybe linked to an increased risk of SIDS
  • Remember antibiotics ineffective for viral infections
  • Contagion - if your child has caught it then it is contagious. Most things are most contagious in first few days. If in doubt stay away from others to minimise spreading the germs and practice good personal hygiene - regular hand washing, use tissues and dispose of immediately etc.
As a friend of mine recently spent a sleepless night in Emergency with her 4 year old who had overdosed on Panadol I would like to add a reminder to ALWAYS KEEP MEDICINES AND POISONS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Best to be locked away and/or in a high up cupboard where children can not access.

Don't be complacent about child proof caps etc. Her 2 year old climbed up on the kitchen bench and opened the "child-proof" lid and passed it to her brother who then ingested the large amount ending in a visit to emergency and stay in hospital (no long term results thankfully).

Same goes for household products including bleach, dishwasher powder etc which can cause terrible burns to throat/lungs etc when ingested . Please keep locked up or out of reach of children.

A handy number to have near the phone is the POISONS Info Line.

Poisons Information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 13 1126.

I have made use of this number when in a sleep deprived state I misread a label and gave Gus many times the dosage (bleary eyed and brain in neutral read the dosage on the label as something like as 1.0ml instead of 0.1ml).....they were exceptionally helpful and reassuring as I rang them at 3 in the morning in a panic with my heart in my mouth wondering what the effects would be of this overdose.

Poor Gus! Again he was fine but it was a reminder to be extra careful around our kids and medication.

If anyone has any other points they can recall from Dr Rogers talk please email them to me at hillme@virginbroadband.com.au or add them in the comments section of this post

Thanks and see you at Pioneer Park Landsborough for our next MOPS in 2 weeks time (August 1, from 9.30). Event cancelled if it rains.

New Arrivals

Congratulations to MOPS Mum Kylie on the birth of twin girls Poppy and Lily.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

From the Couch - Time for an Emotional Health Check-Up?

From the Couch – Time for an Emotional Health Check-Up?
Today we have Dr Roger Morris, a local GP, joining us as a guest speaker and this prompted me to ask you – is it time you had an emotional health check-up?
We tend to be more mindful of looking after our physical health. We go to the doctor for regular check ups or at least get there when something is physically wrong with us but how often do we take stock of our mental and emotional health? Chances are the answer would be not often, or not until there is a crisis and we hit rock bottom.
Perhaps it is time to stop for a moment and do a quick self assessment. How often have you felt stressed, angry, frustrated, sad, down, depressed, anxious, guilty, or overwhelmed lately? Would it be every now and again? Or pretty much every day? And how intense are these feelings on a scale of 0-10 with zero being ‘Not at All’ and ten being ‘Extremely High’?
It’s easy to say “well that’s just the way I am. I have always been an anxious person” or “isn’t feeling like that just part of life as a busy Mum of (insert how many children), who doesn’t get enough sleep, rest, intimacy, free time (insert whatever it is you think you are not getting enough of)”. Well yes, we all have different personality types and parenting can certainly be stressful and taxing at times but it doesn’t have to be and you don’t have to always feel this way. You can take control over your emotions and operate on a more even keel.
You don’t want to eliminate all emotions totally. It is healthy to experience and express the whole range of emotions. We need to feel sad when something bad happens, a bit of anger gives us the fire in our belly to stand up for ourselves, a touch of nerves before we perform gives us that motivation or edge to focus and concentrate and so on. However, sometimes we can feel an unpleasant emotion too often, too frequently, too intensely and it can start to interfere with functioning in our everyday life. Perhaps your emotions are affecting your relationships or overall enjoyment of life. Remember also that there is a very strong and direct connection between emotional health and physical health. Too much negative emotion such as stress can negatively impact your immune system leaving you open to picking up every little cough and cold that goes around.
It is important to note too that they way we express emotions and handle things that life throws our way strongly influences our children. They are like little sponges soaking up what we do and say and how we behave. When there is no milk in the fridge for the third time this week do we curse and slam the door or do we just calmly deal with it. When someone cuts us off in traffic do we take a calming breath and just move on? When things aren’t going our way and we are frustrated ….what do we do? Do we bounce back resiliently or do we wallow and moan and sulk? How do you want your children to behave both now and and adults of the future?
So what is the “prescription” or “cure”? There are no quick fixes or miracle cures but you can learn a few techniques that can help in this area. Never underestimate the impact of ensuring you are meeting your basic needs. Sometimes easier said than done but focus on what you can do today to ensure you get more sleep, healthy food, sufficient water and exercise. Just concentrating on these things can make huge changes in mood. We also covered Relaxation Strategies in an earlier MOPS meeting. You can find these strategies elsewhere on this Blog if you want to print them out and put into practice.
Another popular and effective technique used by psychologists is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Here is a taste of CBT that you can start using today. First ask yourself what is it that you are saying to yourself? What is your self-talk or ‘inner dialogue’. Is the dominating tone of these internal messages positive (“I’m a great mum, I can do this, stay calm, tackle one thing at a time, it will be alright) or negative (I’m hopeless, I’m a bad mum, I can’t handle this, this is so stressful, I can’t cope)?
CBT looks at something called Common Thinking Errors. They are called ‘common’ for a reason. You are not the only one that falls into these thinking traps. And they are called ‘Thinking Errors’ as they are exactly that – false ways of thinking. They are also known as Unhelpful Thoughts or Distorted Beliefs. In short they are lies that we tell ourselves that we believe and that can shape our feelings and behaviour in a negative direction.
Here are some of the Common Thinking Errors taken from Dr David Burns book “The New Mood Therapy”. As you read this list, try and identify which of these Thinking Errors you are most prone to fall into?
· All or nothing thinking – seeing things as black or white, something is either totally perfect or totally awful, nothing in between
· Overgeneralisation – generalising from one area to every area, from one mistake to your whole life. You cook a meal for your in-laws that isn’t the best meal you have ever cooked and you say to yourself “I can’t even cook a meal right. I’m hopeless”
· Mental Filter – filtering out anything good or positive and only focusing on the negative. You have taken your children to visit a friend and your youngest has an almighty tantrum as you leave. You think to yourself “Well that was a disaster. I can’t take him anywhere” and concentrate on that last portion of the visit filtering out all the good behaviour that also occurred
· Disqualifying the Positive – when you do something well or something good happens dismissing it as a fluke or that it didn’t count for whatever reason
· Jumping to Conclusions – Assuming you know the outcome, how something is going to turn out, what someone is thinking when you don’ t really know the facts and haven’t checked. You predict that the family outing is going to be terrible “The kids are going to play up and I won’t cope” when it may just turn out to be great fun. Your friend is very quiet when you catch up for coffee and you think to yourself “She’s angry at me because I was late” when her quietness may be for some other reason.
·Magnification/Catastrophising or Minimisation – Blowing things out of proportion, making mountains out of molehills, everything is a disaster or catastrophe or the opposite is shrinking something like a good quality down so it doesn’t mean as much
· Emotional Reasoning – assuming that just because you feel a feeling it is true, letting your emotions take over from fact or logic: “I feel anxious so therefore this is something I should be worried about”
· Should Statements – Operating in terms of Must, Ought, Shoulds. Setting up unrealistic expectations and behavioral rules for your self and others ”I should be able to stay calm at all times”
· Labelling and Mislabelling – putting yourself or others into categories or boxes rather than seeing someone or something as multi-faceted (lazy, bad, naughty etc)
· Personalisation – seeing things as all your fault, totally caused by you and not influenced by other contributing factors
Once you start to tune into your thinking and identify these patterns of negative thinking you can learn to challenge these thoughts and replace them with more healthy, realistic thinking and in doing so take more control over your moods. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself whenever you catch yourself experiencing an unpleasant mood or falling into a Common Thinking Error trap.
    • What am I saying to myself (thinking) that may be leading to how I am feeling?
    • How strongly do I believe this thought? (Rate the strength in the belief from 0-100%)
    • · Is this self-talk helpful or unhelpful? Which ‘common thinking error(s)’ is it falling into?
    • Is there any evidence for this thought? (list it out)
    • Is there any evidence against this thought? (list it out)
    • Is there an alternative explanation or another way of looking at the situation? List these out.
    • What is the worst that could happen (worst case scenario)? Could I live through this?
    • What is the best that could happen/best case scenario?
    • What is the MOST LIKELY or MOST REALISTIC outcome?
    • What impact does this thought/self-talk have on my life? In other words, what happens to me OR what happens in my life OR what do I do (or avoid doing) because I believe this thought?
    • What might happen if I change my thinking?
    • What can I do about it? Is there any action I can take? (Use Problem Solving steps if get stuck here)
    • If a friend was in the same situation, or had the same thought, what would I say to them? Could you say the same thing to yourself?
    • Now re-rate your belief in the original thought (0-100%)
    • Finally, after working through all these questions, re-word or re-write the original thought as a more helpful/realistic thought? Write this down.
    These strategies take a bit of effort and practice to learn, and, like any prescription - if you leave them sitting in the medicine cabinet and do not take them regularly then you will not get their powerful healing benefits.
    Give them a try. Let me know how you go.

    After further help in this area? Look up Psychologists under P in the Yellow Pages or go to the APS website and click on Find a Psychologist.

    Please feel free to email me if you want further information on this topic
    or advice on where to seek additional help in this area hillme@virginbroadband.com.au .

    Theme Scripture

    Psalm 139

    1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
    2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
    3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
    4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
    5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
    6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

    7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
    8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
    9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
    10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
    11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
    12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

    13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
    17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
    18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you.

    19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
    20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
    21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
    22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
    23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

    Annual MOPS Participation Fee

    The annual MOPS Participation Fee of $10 assists MOPS Australia in covering the cost of training for Regional Coordinators to help other MOPS groups to develop around Australia. It also allows more MOPS group leaders around Australia to access regional training.

    This will go a long way to helping MOPS Australia bring MOPS to more Mums around Australia.

    When you register for MOPS each year, you will be handed an Annual Participation Fee form, and we ask that if you are able to pay this $10 participation fee, please do so before the end of April 2011.

    The payment options are...
    1. Direct Debit to MOPS Australia bank account
    2. Credit card
    3. Cheque payable to MOPS Australia
    4. Cash to MOPS@MBC front desk

    Thank you, from the MOPS@MBC team.

    How did MOPS begin?

    It was a Tuesday morning, at about 9.30. They each had faced spilled cereal, tangled hair, and a few had even been forced to change their outfits due to a last-minute baby throw-up on a shoulder or lap. They had driven, or pushed strollers, to the church and had dropped their little ones off in the creche. They had made it!

    And now they sat, knees almost touching, in the circle of children's chairs from the Sunday school room. Hands held hot cups of tea and biscuits in utter freedom because this treat did not have to be shared with a child's sticky fingers. Mouths moved in eager, uninterrupted conversation. Eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. Hearts stirred with understanding. Needs were met.

    That morning in 1973, was the first morning of MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers. Little was it known that from this small beginning in a church in Colorado, USA, the seeds of the MOPS concept and format had been planted. The needs of the women were met even then, through the opportunity for friendship, creative outlet and spiritual emphasis. MOPS International now charters approximately 2,500 MOPS groups in churches in the United States and 13 other countries throughout the world.

    How did MOPS begin in Australia?

    How did MOPS begin in Australia?

    Nineteen years later and thousands of kilometres away, the same mutual need for sharing was realised by a group of mums with children under school age in Melbourne. After reading about the MOPS concept in the US, leaders introduced the program to the Clayton Church of Christ Fellowship in early 1990 and MOPS was born in Australia. From this small beginning, the seeds for future growth were planted, resulting in the formation of an affiliated body to support the ever-increasing number of Australian groups and the mums they served.

    Since its formation in June 2000, MOPS Australia, Inc has grown rapidly and there are currently over 100 groups throughout Australia. In the last year alone, 35 new groups have commenced, with groups starting up regularly throughout different Christian denominations. Groups now meet in every state and territory in Australia, with an estimated ministry to approximately 2500 mums and 3000 children.

    How did MOPS begin at MBC?

    A Brief History of MOPS at MBC by Karen Askey-Doran (COordinator of MOPS til 2008 and currently Regional Coordinator).

    In 1999, the leader of MBC’s women’s ministry caught the vision of MOPS. At that time I was a new Mum with little inclination to help; I was interested but not convicted!

    Roughly a year later another meeting was held to generate interest. At this time I had another little baby girl, a 16-month-old toddler and, although I was unaware of it, Post Natal Depression. And once again people were interested but not compelled to lead.

    In 2005 Holly, caught the vision of MOPS and began to sow the seeds of interest throughout the young Mums in our church. Robyn Robertson came to our first meeting and inspired us into action…the seeds Holly planted took hold!

    People came slowly at first to fill the positions, it seemed there were a lot of blanks for a long time! Holly was going to be our Coordinator and when she filled out the charter she realised that a Mother of Preschoolers should really fill that role…. So she called me! Very graciously, Holly took a side step into a Mentoring role (very appropriate really).

    God was moving in our midst, we had been blessed with an inspired team of 15 Mops Leaders and 9 Moppets Leaders, each one having a testimony about how God had lead them to this ministry!

    I suspect that God has big plans for our group. I still feel very inadequate sometimes but I do trust God and I want to serve him and to reach out to Mums who are hurting, to support them. I want to encourage, you know, to build up… to make a difference in people’s lives, especially my children’s!

    I know I’m not alone… In Romans 8:28 it says “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” He planned for my girls, my twins, my battle with PND. He planned for MOPS - at this time - in our church! The door has literally been flung open!

    What happens at a MOPS meeting?

    When a mum enters a MOPS meeting, she is greeted by a friendly face and escorted to MOPPETS, where her children enjoy their special part of the MOPS program. In MOPPETS, children from infancy through to school age experience a caring environment while they learn, sing, play and make crafts.

    Once her children are settled, the MOPS mum joins a program tailor-made to meet her needs. She can grab something to eat and not have to share it! She can finish a sentence and not have to speak in words of two syllables!

    The program typically begins with a brief lesson taught by an older mum who's been through the challenging years of mothering and who can share from her experience and from the truths taught in the Bible. Then the women move into small discussion groups where there are no "wrong answers" and each mum is free to share her joys and struggles with other mums who truly understand her feelings. In these moments, long-lasting friendships are often made on the common ground of finally being understood.

    From here, the women participate in a craft or other creative activity. For mums who are often frustrated by the impossibility of completing anything in their unpredictable days, this activity is deeply satisfying. It provides a sense of accomplishment and growth for many mums.

    Because mums of preschoolers themselves lead MOPS, the program also offers women a chance to develop their leadership skills and other talents. It takes organisation, creativity, and management skills to run a MOPS program successfully.

    By the time they finish the MOPS meeting and pick up their children, the mums feel refreshed and better able to mother. MOPS helps them recognise that mums have needs too! And when they take the time to meet those needs, they find they are more effective in meeting the needs of their families.

    Meeting the needs of Mothers of Preschoolers

    The MOPS program is dedicated to meeting the needs of mothers of preschoolers. These needs have been identified by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall in their book, What Every Mum Needs:

    The need for Identity: Sometimes I'm not sure who I am

    The need for Growth: Sometimes I long to develop who I am

    The need for Relationship: Sometimes I long to be understood

    The need for Help: Sometimes I need to share the load

    The need for Perspective: Sometimes I lose my focus

    The need for Hope: Sometimes I wonder if there's more to life

    Here's How Some Mums Describe MOPS

    "MOPS means that I am able to share the joys and frustrations and insecurities of being a mum. Our meetings provide the opportunity to hear someone else say, "I was up all night," or "They're driving me crazy!"

    MOPS mum, Perth

    "As a single mum, this is the first group I've felt accepted in for who I am."

    MOPS mum, Canberra

    'On my first day at MOPS, I knew my life had changed forever! The women made me feel so relaxed. I had a peace I hadn't felt for a long time. They were so caring, pleasant, helpful…the list goes on! I just want to say, "Thank you MOPS!" If it weren't for MOPS, I wouldn't be where I am today.'

    MOPS mum, Melbourne

    'When I first started MOPS, I was very, very lonely. MOPS gave me a chance to get out of the house which I was grateful for. The talks were very informative. I found out a lot through these talks. My problems seemed to become smaller. When I first started at MOPS, I thought I was a Christian. I wasn't. Through MOPS I can now say, 'I am a Christian.' MOPS to me is not only Mothers of Pre Schoolers, but My Own Private Salvation!'

    MOPS mum, Canberra