Leading with Sacrifice and Compassion: These are MOPS Leaders
This fall I pulled up to the parking lot of my first MOPS speaking venue of the year. It took nearly two hours of driving north in the Seattle traffic with four of my five kids in tow.
This was the start of a year of saying "yes" to God and giving Him my words from a stage to encourage and relate and point to the hope He is ready to offer.
I was ecstatic to begin a new journey of ministry. One that I feel like God had been equipping me to do for a very long time.
I have a sweet spot in my soul for mothers trying to do their best while simultaneously feeling unworthy to live out such an exhausting and holy calling.
I think that moms serving moms is such a beautiful offering, one that struck me every single time I had to joy of speaking this year.
There is a common understanding between moms like no other, even though we bring so many differences to the table right?
I locked in moments of watching moms serve on leadership teams, mentoring at tables, and the ones coming to receive. What I experienced this year... was uncommon love in Washington.
Mary met me in the hallway of the nursery with her gracious and hardworking smile. Leading the first MOPS ever at her church, she had a brand new expectancy for what was to come. She was pushing a stroller with her toddler daughter strapped in eating her breakfast. Immediately I felt the weight of her own leading momma sacrifice. I knew the compassion that filled her heart. I had met sacrificial leading.
Vanessa welcomed me into the meeting room where the team was circled up and praying over the morning. As she got me set up with mic and table and slides. She began to share the heaviness of miscarriage in the group and the remembering loss that we were about to do that day. She was expecting a nice round bump and was leading from a place of wanting moms to feel cared for and heard. I had met a Tech mom believing for healing.
Angela called me the night before I spoke to her crew of moms and I love that she did. A shepherd at heart and very much going after the one out of the ninety-nine, she wanted to fill me in on the spiritual make-up of her group. We chatted about our responsibility to deliver truth in a way that rescues that one and extends a vibrant faith in the midst of a brutal world. I had met a Pastor to moms.
Shirley was setting up a lasagna dinner for her Teen MOPS girls. One by one they arrived with infant car seats in tow and a hug waiting from mentor moms that far out numbered the young moms in the room. I was blown away at the grace that filled up that place. Zero judgement, only belief. No bossing and overpowering, only a commitment to raising up new life and delivering the message of worth. The beauty of babies met the raw reality of responsibility demanded from teenagers. I had met an actual hero.
And now I'm crying. Isn't doing life together the best way?
Courtney and I had been emailing for weeks leading up to me speaking to her group. I was welcomed with the most amazing breakfast and coffee (just one of the perks of MOPS - heavens those moms show out). She introduced me to her team and set me up for the morning. I was invited to her table where I ate my huge Krispy Kreme donut without sharing. Hilarious moms were chatting about their morning, which was already a total circus. Prayer requests were taken as moms shared medical fears and confessing weakness within a safe place. She led with such a heart of honor and grace. As I finished and said goodbye, I asked her what the rest of her day looked like...to which she responded, "I am on my way to work." I had met a Microsoft working mom.
Maybe it's because I have had the joys and sometimes disappointments of serving with a church staff, that I understand the excitement and hardship that comes with stewarding our gifts and serving the kingdom of God.
It is obvious that we're all majorly flawed no matter how strong or faithful or holy we strive to be and no matter how long we've been called to ministry.
My heart immediately connects with the leadership doing the heart-work of giving much in their own weakness, and I am changed by them and with them.
The ones leading with huge hospitality.
The ones leading with the weight of their own family.
The ones wanting to lead the one out of the one-hundred to Jesus.
The ones carrying burdens of the women they serve.
The ones being stretched in their own gifts, but are willing.
The ones finding themselves through leading.
The ones figuring out logistical nightmares.
The ones leading - who need to be led.
The ones struggling in marriage.
All serving with joy because the MOPS community is smothered with life-giving relationships, seasoned with belief in a God much bigger than our mothering efforts.
Here's to a time well spent, a year full of transformation, and realizing our leading abilities because of the roads we have traveled and the God we get to serve.
Well done my friends and thank you for allowing me a place to speak of His goodness in all of my crazy.