Lakes Area MOPS

Sept/Oct 2013 Newsletter

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You Are Known

You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise,
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down,
you are familiar with all my ways.
— Psalm 139:1-3

Moms tend to be a dismissed bunch. I mean, how often have you told someone you were a mom and they responded by saying, “Really? Fascinating! Tell me more about that.” I’m going to go ahead and guess never.

When people hear that we are moms, they start asking about our kids. And because we love our kids, we gladly start talking about them. This may seem all well and good for a while, but it can lead to some devastating consequences. I’ve spent good chunks of time as a mom feeling like not only did no one really know me, but also that I wasn’t really worth knowing.

But this just isn’t true. God knows us. And he thinks we are worth knowing. Consider these words from the famous Psalm 139: “You know when I sit and when I rise… You discern my going out and my lying down.” God knows this about us! He knows when we sit (ahem: never). He knows when we rise (ahem: about four hundred times a night). He knows when we go out (ahem: not enough). And when we lie down (ahem: or crash into bed).

But seriously, how many people’s sitting and lying-down habits do you know? I can tell you when my husband and my kids sit and lie down. If my parents and brother keep the same schedule they did when I was a kid, I can guess. These are intimate, personal details to know about someone. Things you only pay attention to if you are really, really interested and really, really crazy about the person.

This is how God feels about us. We are worth knowing. And we are known. By God. How amazing is that?

So while the world may not always find us moms fascinating, God does. While others may not always know what our crazy or boring or somewhere-in-between days look like, God does. And while not everyone may know our deepest longings, the things we miss about our “old” lives, our hopes and dreams, our worries, our frustrations, our failures, and our victories, God does. With all the excitement and thrills and interesting things happening across the universe, God finds us fascinating.

From MOPS International : Theme Devotional
Known & Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms
by Caryn Rivadeneira
(pages 22-23)

March 2013 Newsletter

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Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

— 1 Peter 4:8-11 (The Message)

January 2013 Newsletter

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31 Creative Ways to Romance Your Spouse

  1. Kidnap your spouse.
  2. Love jar for 52 weeks.
  3. Notes, flowers, candy, rent DVDs, read a book, play games.
  4. Moonlit walks.
  5. When he’s away on a business trip- give him an envelope with a note for each day or mail a letter ahead to his hotel. Also- leave notes between clothes in his suitcase, in books, wallet, ect.
  6. Make a list of 100 things you love about your spouse and give it to them.
  7. Public displays of affection.
  8. Have a winter picnic on your living room floor.
  9. Go Parking! (or camping)
  10. At night, lie outside and look at the stars together.
  11. Lood at old photo albums together (or family videos).
  12. Have a picnic at his/her office.
  13. Date nights (taking turns with another couple).
  14. Do a picnic at Carlos State Park or Noonan’s.
  15. Paddleboat at Arrowwood.
  16. Offer to go ice-fishing together.
  17. Bake/order a cake with a love message on it.
  18. If you sing or play an instrument, give him/her a private concert.
  19. Send him/her on a treasure hunt (hint: they’re married to the treasure).
  20. Go and do a boudoir sessions for him.
  21. Leave candy on their pillow.
  22. Have someone deliver balloons or a singing telegram to them at home/office.
  23. Dress up for a candlelight differ at home (after the kids are down!).
  24. Serve him a meal on the “Red Plate”
  25. Surprise gifts- i.e. 12 days of Christmas
  26. Serve your spouse breakfast in bed.
  27. Give her a day or half a day alone in the house- or out shopping.
  28. Give him money and send him to an action movie with a friend of his.
  29. Visit a store like Bath & Body Works and buy a sample of bubble bath or lotion to surprise her with.
  30. Take the day off on her birthday.
  31. Call her and say your taking care of dinner tonight- take her out or pick something up.

Author Unknown

November 2012 Newsletter

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No matter what your life as a mom looks like, I’m guessing that you can describe it as BUSY. How’ve you been? Busy. What about the kids? Busy. Work? Busy. It seems in today’s modern society, it’s an effective adjective for the lives we live. You might also feel like your life is FULL.

Maybe you have a newborn who needs you every moment, a friend who needs more support and encouragement than you have the energy to give, aging parents that you want – and partially feel obligated – to help. And of course, the house continues to mess itself, the laundry piles up and you still have to provide [nutritious] meals for your children every single day.

In John 10:10, Jesus tells us He came that we may have life, and have it to the full. Maybe you feel content in the full life you’re living, but many times I find myself wishing I had less full and more life.

If you find yourself stressed about accommodating a flurry of scheduling, you might want to consider some of these questions.

  • Is the activity necessary?
  • Do you [your child, or spouse] enjoy it?
  • Does it encourage healthy relationships?
  • Would we still have quality family time?
  • Can we really afford it?

This is not scientific by any means, but if you find yourself answering no, then it might be something you can eliminate to have more LIFE.

— A word from Steph
Steph Tvrdik, MOPS Coordinator

September 2012 Newsletter

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Welcome to Lakes Area MOPS! I’m so glad that despite your busy schedule, you have chosen to come alongside other moms, so we can build each other up as women, as mothers, friends and as leaders.

Moms have so many choices: work, stay home, public or home school, and many battle with the whole quality vs. quantity of time spent with their children. This fall brings our first ever evening MOPS meeting. I’m hopeful that this can help us bridge the gaps between the “working” moms and “stay-at-home” moms. We have different situations, different kids, different stressors; but we all desire to be the best moms we can be.

Proverbs 8:10 instructs us to “Choose discipline over silver and knowledge over the finest gold.” You are making an investment in yourself, your family and your relationships by choosing to be part of the mothering community we call MOPS.

— A word from Steph
Steph Tvrdik, MOPS Coordinator

May 2012 Newsletter

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Can you believe we are at the close of the second year of MOPS?! It seems like yesterday I was passing out flyers to every mom I saw to find out if there was any interest. Philippians 1:6 states “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

As I stepped into MOPS leadership, God pulled me through many tests and trials. Satan wanted to prevent this group from forming, but God remained faithful and just look what he has done!

Who but God could have this many women work so well together without complaining! I am thankful for each woman on the MOPS Steering Team and all they do to contribute to this ministry. It takes energy and effort (precious commodities for busy moms, I know!) to plan and execute the MOPS meetings. So THANK YOU girls for your willingness to serve the Lord and let him work in the lives of other women through you!

- A word from Steph
Steph Tvrdik, MOPS Coordinator

January 2011 Newsletter

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As we step into 2011, a large number of people decide they would like to make some changes in their lives and call them “New Year’s Resolutions”. In order to avoid disappointing myself, I choose to avoid making these resolutions. This way there is no one to be held accountable to, no one to remind me that I’ve slipped up, fallen short and failed to accomplish my sometimes unrealistic goals.

If I had to make a list of goals for 2011, it might sound something like: stay organized, show more compassion, stop letting the clean clothes live in laundry baskets, wash dishes right after each meal, teach my children to pick up their toys, make time for daily devotions, etc.

And after the second meal served in 2011, I’ve already failed (I didn’t feel like washing dishes!). It was inevitable wasn’t it? Despite my lack of follow through, Lamentations 3:22-23 reassures me that “the faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

While it can be positive to make changes as we step into a new year of life, it can also feel like a heavy burden or an impossible task. Remember that a slip up does not mean complete failure. Don’t give up so easily. God is waiting with unending mercy for you to ask for his help. So ask!

- A word from Steph
Steph Tvrdik, MOPS Coordinator