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, 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

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