On september 1st, 2010, at 1:16pm, my sweet Olivia was born. At about 1:18pm, my mother-in-law peered down at her sweet little grand baby, and with a radiant grandmotherly love all over her face, in a hushed reverent tone, she looked at me and said “So, you’re gonna do MOPs right?”
Okay, that might be a dramatic retelling of the story. The more accurate version of that story is that she probably asked me while I was still pregnant.
At any rate, I really had no idea what she was talking about. I’d heard her mention this group before, and once I realized it wasn’t a group for floor cleaning enthusiasts, I was ready to hear more. And so I said:
Me- “So what is it?”
Her- “Well it’s ‘Mothers Of Preschoolers’ and we get together at these meetings twice a month on friday mornings. There’s hot food for breakfast that you actually get to eat hot, without any interruptions from little ones. Sometimes we make a craft. There’s usually a speaker, there to teach us about something, or sometimes we watch a video. And did I mention your kids are in childcare the whole time? And it’s two hours? Child free? And you get to meet other moms who are in your season of life and make new friends.”
Me- “Uh huh. Right. I don’t think I get it. And, you know, she’s probably gonna do this morning nap thing for a while and so maybe when she’s done with that we’ll revisit this idea.”
Oh gosh, I was an idiot. By child two, believe me, I was very much aware to just stop listening at “someone else will be watching your child” and say yes. That scary looking punk band wants to watch my kids? You know what, I bet they do a killer version of Twinkle Twinkle. Sign me up.
I’m about to start my 6th year in MOPs and I totally get it. I get why she couldn’t say much more than a brief description that you could find on a website.
1) because it’s a different experience for everyone and
2) it’s just so much more than you can put into words.
(not that that ever stops me from trying)
(and then I stared at the computer screen for a very long time. i cracked my knuckles a whole bunch…put on some essential oil infused thick hand lotion…GET IT TOGETHER WOMAN. FOCUS.)
For the first 2 years of MOPs, that basic description? That’s all it was for me. I’m shy. I’m awkward. I don’t love small talk with strangers. It scares me a little. So I came, dropped off my kid, ate my breakfast, talked to my mother-in-law (who was there in a mentoring role), talked to my one other friend from my life group, listened to the speaker and left. I’m sure I wore my “please don’t talk to me” face very well. Not that that kept everyone away. Plenty of ladies saw my face and said “I’m free of my children, your scared little face isn’t gonna keep me from socializing right now. So, how many kids do you have? Girl or boy? Oh you’re pregnant again? How far along?” and so on and so forth. I usually kinda felt like a jerk because I never really asked any questions back. I was just too nervous to even come up with a basic “how many kids do you have?” But, to quote a few of my lovely southern belle friends, Bless their hearts, they just kept talking to me anyway.
Little by little, I started to see the light. During one meeting, I shared that my 2 1/2 year old had eaten virtually nothing but peanut butter and jelly for a whole year. Maybe by the next meeting, the one friend I already kinda knew told me she’d had a neighbor who was beating herself up about the fact that her kid barely ate and she’d shared what I’d said about mine and the girl immediately looked so relieved. And the first in what would be a series of many tiny light bulbs went off. That is what this group is about. Hearing that “me too”. Not feeling alone. Not feeling like you’re the ONLY one whose kid wakes up ten times a night just to make you put the blanket back on him. Even though he can now do it himself. Not feeling like you’re the only one who needs to sit in her closet and cry because for just a few moments, you feel like you hate your kids and maybe you should just move to Guantanamo because that could be like a spa compared to the day you just had.
Now, I didn’t feel alone. My best friend was in the exact same season of life as me, and we have a gloriously honest relationship where we share all of that stuff. Ugly or not. But the tribe of people you surround yourself with to help you through this time? It does not have a size limit. It’s a “the more the merrier” situation. There’s always a new perspective to hear. And to be honest, my favorite part is being the one that helps someone else not to feel alone. Getting to feel that way myself is just a perk. But MOPs is even more than just that “me too”.
It’s the love, ya’ll. These ladies are not shy or stingy with their love. And it is contagious. Their love of coffee, Jesus, wine, chocolate, quiet time, their kids (i.e. not quiet time), their husbands, Starbucks, helping complete strangers, encouraging scared newbies to open up, sharing their lives, coffee. Did I mention coffee?
I have seen moms completely new to the area, join our group and post on our Facebook page about a need that they have and have it immediately be met by more than one mom. Even though they’ve never even met. Or maybe they met briefly at one meeting.
I have seen moms make signs to go stand outside the door of another mom that was facing a scary surgery.
I have seen more kind, loving, encouraging words for a mom who really needed to hear it than I can count.
I have seen boatloads of tears as we’ve had to send some of our moms off to other states to follow their husbands and those pesky military orders or other career opportunities.
I have seen so, so many laughs. Which has resulted in many many very real conversations about how much fun it is having babies. And that fun side effect of peeing your pants a little when you laugh. And then we laugh about that too.
I have seen moms sit long hours side by side in sadness and tragedy.
I have seen countless meals delivered to moms celebrating new little joys.
I have seen moms bravely stand up in front of our large crowd and share their lives, their experiences, their fears, their eccentricities, their joys and their laughs.
There’s a lot of love in this group. And a lot of realness. And, sadly and yet also not, a lot of pants peeing. Can’t quite put that on the website.
So, getting around to the title of this post. I got this tattoo almost 3 years ago.
It’s from a song by a group called “for King and Country”. This is the chorus:
Let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
The song is about Jesus and that one line, let my love look like you, it just stuck in my brain. Let me be someone who can love the people around me the way He wants me to and show His love to everyone. And man, does this group do that. More and more, over these short years, I found myself wanting my love to look like the love I saw these moms giving out, because their love really does look like His. They rub off on you and they can’t help but make you better. A better mom, friend, sister, wife. Whether you want to try to be invisible while you eat your breakfast or not.
And bonus, they make some killer hash browns.
Super bonus, this amazing group of ladies has changed me so much. Believe it or not, this formerly scared girl was actually one of those ladies that got up in front of our huge crowd and shared my story and is the co-coordinator of our group this year. I may still hide so I can eat my breakfast, but i’m not afraid of small talk anymore :)
- Tiffany Kohout -
Let's get to work!
Step 1: Paint your board. If you put on a nice heavy coat, you'll only need to do one. If not, you may need a second coat.
Step 2: Break out your hairdryer if you need to speed the drying process.
Step 3: Write out your message in normal chalk first. It'll help you to figure out your spacing and maybe test out some fonts (or catch misspellings).
Step 4: wipe off the chalk with a paper towel. This will leave behind a ghost print so you'll still be able to see your original for you to now go back and trace with the chalk paint marker. To completely wipe it off, you'll need something damp. A damp q-tip was recommended for those tiny little spots right up next to where you've now written in chalk paint, to give you a little more control in what you're erasing. Now it's time to trace over your ghost sketch with the chalk paint markers!
Now, the chalk paint markers CAN also be wiped off, but you'll need to scrub a little. And it will definitely leave an imprint. If you want to change your message, it's advised that you wipe off the marker and do another quick coat of chalkboard paint. Otherwise, once you write the message on, you're good to go! You don't need to let it dry or anything.
Hey guys, it's Tiffany, your friendly, neighborhood Admin/Finance guru/over-user of comma's. For anyone who has paid your registration, you know that a portion of it goes to pay MOPS International. One of the perks of THAT membership is this lovely little magazine-let they put out called Hello, Darling. If i'm being honest, I haven't paid much attention to it lately, haha! But I got the newest one the other day and I just felt a push to read it. I knew instantly why I felt that push. I only made it to page 5 when I saw what looked like an editor letter but the title said "A Farewell Letter" and I was super intrigued. I read it and cried. And since reading it i've:
A) Felt compelled to share the letter with you (for anyone who doesn't get the magazine and helloooooo motivation to pay your dues, huh?)
B) Felt compelled to shout from the rooftops why I love MOPS and how it's changed my life.
I'm gonna save B for a later date, and I kept trying to find a way to do A simply enough on the Facebook page but I just couldn't find the right snippet to share. So i've decided this is the best way to share the whole thing. So, here goes:
A Farewell Letter by Vicki Dillard
Dear MOPS Moms,
This was my last MOPS meeting after nearly ten years. We moms walked in with a wild and bewildered look in our eyes but left ready to be supermom again. There was always someone to laugh and cry with us. Ladies here held my babies so I could drink hot coffee. We've known some for years, some for months. We love every person in this room and know we are each loved. It's what MOPS is, and who we are as individuals and as a group.
I didn't know any of this when I sat down with my 11-week-old son. All I knew was the promise of a two hour break, food, and me time. I came in late, and some nice lady traded me my baby for coffee. My three year old was happily playing. I could have cried with relief. Those two hours flew by. I couldn't wait for next month.
Eight days later my husband was killed at work. My youngest was 12 weeks old, and I had to figure out custody issues with my oldest. I was trying to comfort my children and plan a funeral. Then, Martha showed up with dinner and a shoulder. A woman I knew for two hours stopped her life to make mine bearable. Women took my children for an hour so I could breathe or shower. Women poured out love on me. Someone they only knew for 2 hours.
I went to the next meeting, and I got to be normal. I wasn't a wife who buried her husband, or a mom with little sleep. I was just Vicki. I began to heal. I was lovingly put back together by coffee, food and silly crafts. My shattered state held together with hot glue, ribbon and glitter.
Encouraging notes came from MOPS groups all over the country. Someone sent flowers on Valentine's Day. Someone took me out for my birthday.
I was happy to celebrate my last meeting. It was the perfect circle...with fingerprints and smudge marks. My last meeting was just as amazing as the first one except this time I saw it -- love. Plain, simple love. There are no borders. It doesn't matter how old you are, it doesn't matter if you are married or poor. It doesn't matter if your child came from your body or someone else's. It just matters you are a mom, and you are here.
We matter, moms.
Vicki is a MOPS mom (well, retired) from California but she could be any of us. It may take one meeting, it may take 2 years of meetings, but you will all, I hope, get to see and feel the MOPS love. See all of you wonderful, brave ladies at our next meeting!
About Christina: Hmmm... I like wine A LOT. No but seriously, I am a mom of two; Peyton is 3 and Teagan is 21 months. In my "spare time" I really enjoy cooking and trying out new, fun recipes. One of my favorite things to do is hang out with girlfriends eating and laughing in the kitchen.
A Beautiful Mess, what a perfect theme for moms. Our lives are one big mess at times! Our clothes, our house, our past, and our kids. But what makes those things beautiful? The way we rock our yoga pants and messy buns, the fact that our kids won't always be small hurricanes in the house, how a messy past can be a beautiful story to someone else or the fact that when the kids actually get along they laugh and love one another so much? There are so many different pieces to who I am but I think as women we can all relate to what I'm going to share with you. Worry, anxiety, and acceptance. These three things have eaten me alive everyday of my life for as long as I could remember. Picture into my childhood- parents divorced when I was 9, my mom worked two jobs, I didn't talk to my dad for two years and "big sister" turned into "little mom" when I was young with a one year old sister and six year old sister. On top of all of that I didn't have a faith to turn to. I only got glimpses of Jesus when my grandparents came to visit or when we would spend the summer with them. Through middle school and high school I was labeled a mean girl. I hung out with the in-crowd, hurt a lot of people’s feelings and built walls around my heart so no one knew the real me; my feelings, my hurt, and my struggles. Worry, anxiety, and acceptance were my demons growing up but were mirrored to the public as snottiness, intimidation and the perception of a perfect life. Back then I had anxiety and worried I would never know my dad, I worried if I didn't make certain choices with friends and my boyfriend that I wouldn't be accepted by them anymore. I thought being accepted by the cool kids would fill a void that I wasn't getting at home.
Fast forward to college where I was coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship of 6 years, partying all the time with once again "friends" who didn't know the real me. I made everything look like it was perfect in my life when inside I was a bundle of nerves and just wanted to be loved for the real me, waiting for someone to peel back the layers. I laid in bed one night looking at the ceiling thinking to myself "There has to be more to life than this" My junior year I found that answer in my management class. His name was Scott- he was charming, respectful, funny super handsome and there was something different about him. He loved The Lord and so started my journey into knowing Jesus more. Through Scott's love and wealth of knowledge of the Bible and Jesus my love for Jesus grew like wildfire and all I wanted to do was learn more about Him. Scott showed me that love and acceptance can really only be obtained through knowing Jesus and relying on His strength in times of need. My eyes opened to what real, true friendships looked like. I had to be vulnerable, I had to share my life with people, I had to stop judging and be the real me. I said goodbye to the old ways and asked God into my heart and to lead my life going forward. I stand here today not perfect by any means- I struggle daily with worry, anxiety and acceptance. I worry as a mom about how I'm raising my children, how I'm leading this group, what's for dinner that night; I have anxiety when Scott is out on the roads training wondering if I'll get a call from the hospital or police, I have anxiety about being on time and needing to vacuum my floors; and I long to be accepted by others for who I am right in the moment. There are plenty of times where I just feel alone or unrelatable. But to combat these demons of mine I have Jesus to turn to now and it’s not a hindrance to me as it once was. Through His words and reading devotionals and praying I can combat the demons that creep to the surface at times when that mean girl with high walls wants to come out again.
These are just a few scriptures that speak to me and comfort me in my bottomless pit of worry and anxiety at times
Worry- Psalm 37:23-24: The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
Matthew 6:34- Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.
Anxiety- Romans 12:12- rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction and persistent in prayer. Psalm 94:19- when anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy
Acceptance- Romans 15:7- Accept one another just as Christ accepted you.
I love The Lord with all of my heart, I trust Him with where my life is going although I don’t always agree on the way. His plan is always better than mine! Did I ever think I would be standing up here one day sharing bits of my story and heart? Absolutely not but God did and He knows that my struggles will speak volumes to someone else out there. If you feel an emptiness inside and wonder why, each of us has a spot in our heart that only God can fill and I am more than happy to pray for you and to share the love of Jesus with you. I promise if you accept His love you'll never look back. It’s a comfort to me to have Him by my side in this crazy messy time of life! Thanks for listening.
About Erica: I am an Air Force wife with 3 kids...8, 6, and almost 3.
Lets face it, we all are a bunch of hot messes to some degree! Some days I am more of a hot mess than others. Just when I feel like things are going well and everyone is happy…BAM! Hot mess time!
Probably one of my biggest things that I have struggled with my entire life is insecurity. Some people remember all sorts of memories when they were younger, me….not so much. Early alzheimer’s? I don’t think so. My memories really start coming to me probably around middle school. I don’t remember a lot of specifics though. I just remember the pain of middle school and being ackward. Yes looking back we were all ackward, but feeling different is never any fun. We moved when I started 7th grade. I felt at the time that this was like a perfect time to start over. But this is where I really feel my insecurity took off or that this is where my memories really come to me.
I felt like I was “average” in just about everything. I was and still am a shy person and making friends was a struggle. One of the activities that I was involved with at this time in my life was swimming. This I was a little more than average in. I have struggled with being thin my entire life. I have always been curvy but at this time I was healthy and an athlete. I remember in 9th grade a fellow swimmer asked if I would go “out” with him. He wasn’t nice and I said no. He was embarrassed and like I said before…mean, so he retaliated and decided to call me Pear-ica in front of the entire swim team. That was my nickname that followed me throughout the remainder of my life. I can still recall this day exactly… we were using our kickboards during swim practice after school. It’s amazing to me how one mean boy could basically shape how I feel about myself….miserable. I don’t think I will ever forget that day.
Anyways, this lead to further low self esteem and trying to keep up with the cool crowd, but all the while being insecure. My best friend in high school was a mean girl. She turned on me our senior year when I made Captain of the cheerleading squad and she was co-captain. She began to say all kinds of false nasty things about me and made my last year of high school absolutely awful. Again all so juvenile but at such a vulnerable time of my life. All of my so called friends went to this party after graduation, but after graduation I just hung out with a few other people swearing I would never really see these people again. My parents still live in this town. Thankfully they are on the outskirts of town and to this day I loathe going into town. I haven’t been able to get myself to go to a high school reunion yet. I honestly don’t know if I will ever get over the pain that high school brought. I have said to myself that I have forgiven them, but it is still too painful.
College came and I had no sense of who I was. I knew what I wanted to do with my life but I didn’t know who I was. In high school and college, I experimented with alcohol and other things. I had no self respect. I felt like I never fit in and it was very lonely at times. I had a few friends but again always put people at bay. My high school boyfriend ended up going to the same university as I attended. He ended up cheating on me and we broke up. This was heartbreaking because although I knew we weren’t really meant for each other, I still thought maybe he was the one. Apparently not. I finished the last 2 years of college just studying my butt off to avoid the heartache of friends. I had a few close friends, but I had enough of the partying and it never got me anywhere. I graduated college and started working right away as a nurse.
I met my husband in my mid 20’s and after being together for almost 15 years I still struggle with insecurity to a degree. I struggle with trust as well. It’s different now that I am “older”. I still feel like some days are like high school and college but in so many ways I am different from back then. I didn’t know Jesus then but oh how I wish I did. When I had my first child, my daughter, I knew I wanted so much better for her. I didn’t want her to feel the lonely, insecure thoughts that I had growing up. I wanted to protect her from the hurt I felt. I knew that we all needed something more! When my husband was deployed for a year, I was living with my parents. My oldest was 2 ½ and I also had a newborn. I started going to Church with my parents and after several months I became saved. It wasn’t like a magic wand was waved and everything was perfect, but how much I have learned and grown over the years. It has been not quite 6 years since the day I became saved. My life since has had it’s ups and downs and is still filled with insecurity but how much better it has been. I have really learned that God loves me, made me special, I am special and I matter. I have chosen a man who is military and there is constant upheaval but I am so much more calm and secure in myself because of Jesus. I still struggle trying to “fit in” with each move but again I feel like this is getting a little easier…finally. I become insecure over my house…whether it’s clean enough or not. I am finally getting to the point where things like this don’t matter as much and what a relief, because quite frankly feeling insecure all the time is exhausting!
Again, we all have things that we have had to deal with and it changes even today all of the time. No one is perfect and I love the idea that we all have our own beautiful mess that we get to have!
About Christine: I am an Air Force wife and mom to two wonderful boys.
On October 18, 2013 God worked an instant and perfect miracle in me. Wait, let me back up a little.
I have always struggled with my self-esteem and body image. As a young girl, about eight or nine, I started taking weight loss pills to lose weight. I was not over weight at all at the time, underweight if anything. But in my mind, I was fat. I had a huge stomach, and was ugly. I don’t even know where I got the pills from. No one bought them specifically for me. I did not steal them. Yet, somehow, I took them regularly. Although in time, I stopped taking the pills, the mean and negative thought about
myself and food never went away. There was almost no food I could eat without feeling guilty. If it was not raw plain carrots, I would hate myself for eating it. But since I would still eat the food, I thought I was fine. I thought that was “normal” for woman to hate them self and their bodies. I thought every woman said mean things to them self when they looked in the mirror. This went on for about a decade.
Then God started to change my heart. Over the months before the Mops convention in 2013, I started to hear from God. He began working in me and gave me a grace that allowed me to really pursue recovery. I thought that since I did not vomit, or completely stop eating, I thought I was fine. That this was as good as it gets for some people. I did not have an eating disorder. I had gotten over that years ago…. Or so I thought. God showed me that day that not being able to eat anything at all without guilt and bad feelings is in fact an eating disorder. That thinking I am ugly, fat, and will never be as thin or pretty again as back in blank time…. When I still thought I was fat and ugly….is not the life he had planned for me. I sat in the convention room, crying as I heard the speaker talk. She had us right down on a piece of paper our biggest burden, and then crumple it up and though it away. And in that moment. I finally heard what he had been telling me… screaming at me. I wrote down “eating disorder” crumpled it up fast so none of my friends could see, and threw it away. I prayed to God to let me see myself the way I see my friends, and my husband see me. Please take away these thoughts Jesus. I don’t want do this anymore. In that very moment, Jesus healed my mind completely.
To this day, I am 3 months food guilt free and when I say free, I mean free from behaviors AND mental battles! I used to go through a day praying I wouldn't slip and feeling weak and now it isn't even a thought in my mind. I wanted to share because I believe that I am living proof that God can heal and deliver people from mental illnesses with one prayer. If you give your burdens over to God, he will take them off of your shoulders. That is was Father’s do.
About Kim: Working Mom of two girls Ellie (4) and Avery (2), wife of a teacher and song writer, freelancer designer, photographer. I am a creative introvert always looking for ways to express myself, I enjoy crafting, cooking and I am trying to fit exercising back into my life.
In 2007, I joined TEAM in training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to compete in the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon. At that time, cancer had never really affected me on a personal level, I listened to the stories told by my teammates of how cancer had affected them and could only console and be a listening ear. Little did I know that my family would be directly affected by this type of cancer.
In July of 2012, I found out my Dad had Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a very rare form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. At the time, I was living in my parent's basement with my husband and two kids, and also working for my Dad's business. Even though this was a very rough time for me and my family, I think God brought us there, to help, and be a support system during my parents time of need.
I went with my father to some of his doctor appointments at John's Hopkins and listened to his doctors tell us what the next steps would be. He started his first phase of chemotherapy by the fall, and after the winter he was going to start a very intense form of chemo. I was always so worried bringing my kids and their germs into the house while he was going through chemo.
In March, my Dad started a very intense round of chemo and there were complications almost immediately. My Dad had seizures and allergic reactions in the first week, which made it all very real and very scary. He came home one day with a fever and had to go back to the hospital immediately. Just as his white blood cell counts were almost non-existent, he found out he had caught the flu and was admitted to John's Hopkins for almost two weeks. Is was strange how I now felt like I was taking care of my own father. During this time he lost his hair, lost a lot of weight and was very weak. When I came to visit him in the hospital he looked so different, but he always remained positive and optimistic.
Each day my Dad was in the hospital my girls and I sent him a photo to help lift his spirits. They call him "Boompa."
My Dad has recovered from the intense chemo is currently in remission, he still has to have chemo four times a year since his cancer is considered in-curable. It is only a matter of time before it will come back.
Just before Christmas we found out my Mom has a type of carcinoma, so far it doesn't look very serious, although she has to have some procedures to remove the carcinoma and then have tests to make sure it is not anywhere else in her body. I pray that it has been discovered early enough to remove it and that it has not spread anywhere else in her body.
Cancer is not only scary but is very real, whether it impacts you, or someone you love. This is why I have decided to join our MACC MOPS Relay for Life team. On May 30th our MACC MOPS team is participating in the West County Relay for Life. We will fundraise and walk in the 12 hour relay to support the American Cancer Society. It will be a night of honor, reflection, dedication, and celebration. There will be many fun family friendly activities planned for the night. I am very much looking forward to helping our MOPS group raise money for cancer research and to help cancer patients and their families. The small amount that we can do is worth so much. If you can, join our team, or make a donation. Click here to be direct to the MACC MOPS Relay for Life page.
8 cups country style hash browns (I used cubes and shreds)
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 cups crushed corn flakes
¼ cup butter, melted
**I don’t usually put the topping on when I make this recipe. I also substitute the green onions for a dash or two of Tastefully Simple “Onion, Onion”.
About Jill: I am a wife of 12 years, mom to 3 kids,
avid couponer and enjoy nothing more than spending an evening with my friends
Even if you are that awesome mom who lets their kids watch 30 minutes of TV each day, they are still bombarded with commercials. All I hear is “I want that” until the next commercial is on and I hear, “No, I want that”. As my kids get older they are learning the want vs. need and of course they now say “I NEED that”.
A few years ago I started to notice our family Christmas being more about gifts than celebrating the birth of Christ. This sparked a flame in my heart. A sweet baby was born and would eventually die for our sins, but we were more concerned with how many toys we could give our kids. Let’s be honest; they play with the toys for about 3 days and then they’re pushed under the bed or behind the couch. We had to make a change.
Like any good mom, I went to the place that helps when I am struggling with a decision:
Okay, I only go there for creative ideas because I can’t even pick up a crayon when coloring with my daughter. Not a creative bone in my body. This is where I found the answer! I could still give the kids great gifts and scale back.
The kids still love “all” the presents they get and to be honest they did not even notice that they were not getting as many. We did discuss the whole point of a want, a need, something to wear, and something to read.
We started another tradition last year to decrease the toys stored under the beds and couches. My kids have so much and are beyond blessed to receive gifts from extended family members over the year. Now each child gathers toys based on their age. Our 8 year old gathers 8 toys, 5 year old gathers 5 toys, and I gather 5 toys for the 2 year (shhhhh….). These toys are left in a special Santa bag for Santa to take back to the North Pole to fix and clean to give to other kids. So as we bring in new toys, old toys make their way out.
December 25th is not about the gifts. It is not about if you believe in Santa or the amount of money you spend on each family member. It is about celebrating Jesus’s birthday. This is the best gift we will ever receive.
Well besides the hubby getting up with the kids in the morning and bringing coffee to you in bed, of course!
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Merry Christmas, sweet Mommas!
Over the course of the next year we look forward to bringing you posts from members of our steering team, our mentor moms, MOPS Volunteer Staff and the MACC pastoral staff!