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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Congratulations - Lisa Lindley (Psychologist)

Congratulations to Lisa Lindley a Sunny Coast psychologist and founder of PND Support Groups on the coast who has spoken at MOPS from time to time over the years. Lisa has been nominated for a Pride of Australia award in the category of Care and Compassion for her work with PND and also overseas.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Encouragement - "When I Am Feeling Brittle"

I discovered another "mumma blog" recently that goes by the name "Sorta Crunchy".

I read this great post today (titled When I Am Feeling Brittle) all about the need for REGENERATION nd thought would pass it on to all our lovely MOPS Mums via this blog as I am sure many of you would also relate to it and be encouraged by it as I have been.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What to Expect : )

Saw this somewhere in internet land and had to share!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summary of MOPS: June 11th

A big thank you to Melinda who is moving on from the Hospitality role

After a very sweet song about the planets from Kylie's daughters that led into our Icebreaker, and a big thank you to Melinda who has stepped down from the Hospitality role -

This morning at MOPS we continued the theme of Together on Planet Mum looking at the topic of Navigating Unsafe Relationships firstly with a DVD segment and then a guest speaker.

Some notes on the DVD:
* a counsellor spoke on 3 types of Unsafe Relationships being Physically Abusive, Emotionally Abusive and Eroding
* made the point that we are all made for relationship and crave this connection with others
* Unsafe r'ships can be with other friends and family not just married relationship, ie friends, siblings, parents,other relatives etc
*Gave a S.T.E.P plan for those who may be in an Unsafe Relationship looking for strategies and steps to healing

S - Separating may be necessary at least for a while particularly when there is physical violence. Also be aware that threats and verbal abuse can escalate

A - Acknowledge and Affirm core needs. When there is verbal or physical abuse or eroding relationships there can often be shame and guilt. Try not to allow this instead be a "Detective for Dignity". We all have a desire to love and be loved. Talk about your longing without shame. Share your story. Decrease shame and increase transparency. Let your story lead you to Jesus. Grieve and rest.

F - Find a Focus. Something to do, a purpose, something that is life affirming . something outside of yourself, that gives you hope and increases your confidence

E - Exercise your vigilance. Don't be vulnerable to making the same destructive choices. Choose life-giving pathways. Carve a path of life. We need others and need God. In our weakness is Gods strength. Learn to get love and acceptance from God.

Guest Speaker (decision made to keep names off the blog to respect privacy and confidentiality):

Our Guest Speaker this morning spoke on her experience regarding the topic of Navigating Unsafe Relationships, in particular with family (sibs, parents and inlaws) and  separation and reconciliation with husband.

Our speaker is a widow, mother of two, grandmother of 6. Was married for 34 1/2 years. Separated 16 years into this marriage and then later reconciled. Husband died approx 3 years ago.

Speaker said father was an alcoholic who displayed the signs of a Physically Abusive relationship. Would drink and get angry. Would hit walls/cupboards but not mother. Speakers mother would employ the SAFE model or at least part of an leave temporarily, remove herself out of harms way until husband calm and sober (ie go to a hotel or family member home).

Speaker said emotional abuse experienced by family member (brother), in terms of lack of support, shaming, belittling, unhelpful and negative comments. When younger says she just 'put up with it' but more recently learnt to stand up for herself and lay down some clear boundaries.

Erosion: where the husband and wife disconnect, grow apart, dont invest in the relationship, look for intimacy and meaning elswhere, get consumed by other things (eg husband on the computer and wife watching TV) leaves room for addictions and affairs.

Bible Verses: Genesis 1:27, Who created relationships, God did. Gen 2: 18 says it is not good for man to be alone and needs a helper suitable for him and Gen 2:28 says a man will leave his wife and they will become one. Mark 10:9 says what God has put together let no man put asunder. But Satan wants to destroy what God has ordained. Ephesians 22:23, Col 3:18-19, talk about a wife submitting to her husband, a verse that is often mistaken and used to control or force a woman into submission. God view or version of marriage and submission very different.

Speaker said she views marriage as a journey. Some journeys are planned and some unplanned, some go smoothly and some don't, in some of the unplanned journeys you hit crises and roadblocks and just give up and go home. In a planned journey you can deal with setbacks.

Speaker said really important to understand WHERE PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM, try and understand a bit about their family, their  upbringing, their influences etc. What are their family dynamics, how did their parents relate? What was their marriage like? Will help you to understand why they are doing what they are doing and deal with the situation better. Fears, thought patterns, background etc

Look for ways to strengthen your relationships - Speaker used to make a cup of tea and make the time to sit and talk about their day.

Speaker used journalling as a way to process and record thoughts and feelings.

Counselling important  - to gain understanding and talk about difficult issues. Important to ask for help and have someone you can talk to confidentially and get this support, offload etc

Reaction vs Responding - takes effort but try to respond rather than react. we all have buttons that are easily pushed because of our upbringing or thought patterns or things that have happened to us that may make us more sensitive to. Learn to CHOOSE how you respond.

Look for good mentors

Have timeout for yourself

Thankyou to our Guest Speaker for sharing her personal experience so openly and honestly.


Click on either of these images above and they will enlarge.


Contact your local church. They may have staff, trained counsellors, courses, books, prayer teams etc that may be of assistance.

Look up P for Psychologist or C for Counsellor in the Yellow Pages and look for someone who specialises in Relationships and Marriage.

Go to the Australian Psychological Society webpage (APS) and click on Find a Psychologist. You can filter your search by location as well as the issues you are seeking assistance with.

SCOPE - Info and Support on Domestic Violence. Maroochydore Phone 5479 5911.

Relationships Australia -www.relationships.com.au contact 1300 364 277 (not a Christian service)

Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre (info and advice for those separating or divorcing): Contact 5452 9700, Free advice provided on 1800 050 321

Ros Unwin/Care Network FOREST GLEN, Sunshine Coast - counsellors/counselling  (Christian service) Phone 07 5476 5702

Lisa Lindley (Psychologist) - Contact 0417 540 820 or lisa.lindley@optusnet.com.au (Christian practioner)

Other counsellors on the coast see HERE


PREPare - pre-marriage courses, speak to your church, who runs the pre-marriage courses, can they offer any support to married couples or recommend someone who can, can they go through the pre-marriage questionnaire with you (can be useful way to raise and discuss issues even once you are married).

The Marriage Course - UK program from the same church where the ALPHA Course was founded Holy Trinity Brompton (Sila and Nicky Lee). Ask your church if they are willing and able to run this excellent course. Low cost - around $60-80 per couple that covers workbooks and cost of running the course. Video based, weekly topics with homework. Meet as a couple with other couples in same room but not a GROUP thing ie only discuss topics with your own partner. Idea is that it is set up like a 'date night', individual tables, a meal or snacks (ie nibblies, sweets, coffee) to enjoy while you watch the DVD so get some regular time together while you cover the content. Covers topics such as Communication, Family of Origin, Sex and Intimacy etc.

Some great books on Marriage/Relationships (in no particular order):

Love Is A Decision. Proven Techniques to Keep Your Marriage Alive by Gary Smalley & John Trent
The DNA of Relationships by Dr Gary Smalley
Married for Better Not Worse: The Fourteen Secrets of a Happy Marriage by Gary and Joy Lundberg

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Children Change a Marriage by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall
The Making of Love by Steve and Sharon Biddulph
The Transition to Parenthood by Jay Belsky and John Kelly
Living and Loving Together by Dr Bob Montgomery and Lynette Evans Boundaries - Cloud and Townsend
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie OMartian
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M Gottman & Nan Silver

Re Family of Origin/Family Dynamics/Family systems etc re what we bring into a marriage from our original family/our upbringing - see Family Ties That Bind by  Ronald W Richardson or Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw or Cutting Loose by Howard Halpin or Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward and Craig Buck (Susan Forward has many other books along these lines such as ones on healing from Emotional Blackmail/Manipulation, Toxic In-Laws).

See other books on destructive relationship dynamics here

Blessing - a lucky dip (chocolates with a little slip prompting fun or encouraging things to enhance your relationships)

Craft - an Activity Kit for the kids for the school holidays

All MOPS Mums: If you can recommend any resources (counsellors, courses, books, websites etc) on the topic of Relationships or Marriage or Navigating Unsafe Relationships please share them with other MOPS Mums by adding them in the Comments section. TOGETHER on Planet Mum x 

NOTE: Edited 27 June to add some more books and to create links for all these books (blue text is a hyperlink. Click on it to take you to another page with further information on this resource. As I was doing this I had to stop and think "Hmmmmm you must have to be called Gary (or some derivation of) in order to write books on marriage")

Friday, June 04, 2010

Marriage: Love Dare/Respect Dare

Maybe you've seen the movie/book Fireproof or taken part in the Love Dare?

Now take a look at the Respect Dare

There is a book and even an (affordable) E-Course. All based around Ephesians 5:33b that says "Wives respect your husbands"

It talks about what is respect, why is it so important, why respect = love to our husbands, how to show respect, how to respect husbands "without feeling like a doormat", how to improve communication and more of the intimacy and connection we all want in our marriages.

Do you dare?

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