My first official night at MOPs

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Last night was my first night attending a MOPs meeting. First off – it was also my son’s 2nd birthday. I was determined to make sure his evening was not cut short by my leaving. So we opened presents, had dinner a little early and ate some cake. We played with some of his birthday presents and then daddy took Z for a walk around the neighborhood while I headed out to MOPs. I left feeling not rushed and feeling that I was able to love on my son and celebrate his birthday wholly. So thankful for that!

I arrived at church and the parking lot was packed – what? There’s no way this many women were here for MOPs, or was there? No, there had to be something else going on at church that I didn’t know about..right? I walked in and saw that there were several other meetings/groups being held. Whew! The thought of that many women here for MOPs was a little intimidating. I wanted to build relationships with fellow moms and get to know them – if there were so many women as what appeared to be by the number of cars in the parking lot? Well, it was almost like attending a regular church service! (We attend a large church, so getting plugged in and getting to know folks on a smaller level is a must or you could feel swallowed up and almost invisible at times!) I stood in line, outside the room where MOPs was meeting, and waited my turn to sign in.

Now, when I was at church on Saturday morning for an orientation meeting for anyone volunteering to work with the children’s ministry? I dressed a little nicer and had high-heeled boots on, skinny jeans, a burnt orange camisole with wide lace edging and a cream-colored sweater. I was one of VERY few who were dressed “up”. Almost everyone else was in jeans, tennis shoes and either a t-shirt or sweatshirt. So last night, I went with what I thought would be the majority – after all, we’re all moms and it’s the end of the day, right? So I wore jeans, tennis shoes, a t-shirt with a sweatshirt over it. I did slap some paint on the barn (makeup), but that was about the extent of it. Sigh..of course I was wrong in my wardrobe choice AGAIN. This time, almost every single woman was beautifully dressed, complete with gorgeous accent necklaces, cute flats or sandals and looking like they took time and effort to dress for the evening.

Did I mention that they were taking our picture as we signed in? Oh well, I made the best of it and made a joke, stating that I didn’t think many women would be dressing up. The woman next to me insisted she hadn’t dressed up either, but I still felt she looked much more “together” than I did. One of the women at the check-in table laughed and said that the way she was looking was only because she was there. She hadn’t looked that nice all day. HA! Isn’t that the truth for most mom’s?

Anyway, I find out what table I’m assigned to, drop my things off and rush off to hit the bathroom before I sit down for an evening of fellowship and encouragement. I had no more shut the bathroom stall and prepared myself to “assume the position”, when I notice a big old spider sitting on the floor – right by the stall post. WHAT? This is church. Isn’t this sacred ground, somehow? Shouldn’t I be safe from spiders here, at least? So now I have to decide what to do – do I kill the spider or leave it? But first, I have to finish my bathroom business. Well, I have to actually do my business. I have a shy bladder and having a spider sitting there, in plain view, assuredly staring at me – trying to intimidate me – is not helping. I’m positive this spider was trying to taunt me, “Listen lady, I’m here to say you aren’t safe anywhere. We are spiders and we will go where ever we want. You may kill us at your home, but you wouldn’t dare kill a living creature here at the church building, would you? Isn’t that against a 10 Commandment?” I finished my business..contemplating even flushing the toilet (and praying no one else comes in the bathroom during this whole ordeal) because of how loud the flushing is. What if I flush and the spider runs off? I mean, I can’t possibly allow said spider to live. He/She will procreate and I just can’t have that on my conscience. I can’t. What to do, what to do…I quickly turn, flush the toilet (using my foot, people – I never flush a public restroom with my hands!) and turn back around. Whew! Spider didn’t move. Creepy little creeperton – he/she is still staring at me. So I open the stall door and raise my right leg. I slam it down and when I lift my leg, I can’t see the spider. WHAT? Is it on my shoe?? I can’t have that! I can’t have it burrowing into the bottom of my shoe and eating into my foot! I rub my shoe on the floor and whew, there it is. It went flying behind the toilet, but it was definitely not alive. Dead. Sigh. Another spider is gone. The church is a safe haven for me, once more.

So I wash my hands and head back to the MOPs meeting. No, I wasn’t gone long at all. Maybe a minute or two. Seemed like much longer, but being a superhero (killing spiders) tends to stop time. I sat down and started chatting with the women at my table.

I’m happy to say that I did enjoy my time last night. I’m excited about the upcoming year with MOPs. Meeting fellow, local mommies and forging new friendships. It’s a new and exciting adventure. I am opening myself up to trying things I’ve never tried before. I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone quite a bit lately and I am loving it! God is just continually blessing me and I haven’t regretted a single step when I move when He tells me to! One of the most amazing things is the theme for this year at MOPs – A Fierce Flourishing. I feel like that’s where I’ve been for the past few months – FLOURISHING. God has been doing great and mighty things and it’s a wonderful thing to feel like you’re flourishing. I may not have all the things I THOUGHT I would have. But I have learned to be content and bloom where the Lord has planted me. To flourish with the life I’ve been given. To have joy unspeakable! Life isn’t always easy. But God does want us to have a joyful life – one where, no matter the circumstances, we’re able to find our joy in Him. Seeking Him with your whole heart will do that – bring you joy and peace!

Oh, and strength to kill monstrous spiders in church bathrooms. 😉

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