25 Things About Me- An Activity in Noticing The Good and Celebrating Life

1.) I am proud to be a New Englander!

2.) I have attended a MOPS group since 2009 and have served on a MOPS Leadership Team for six years. This will be my fifth year supporting MOPS groups and other local MOPS Ministry Coaches with MOPS International.  www.mops.org

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3.) My dad was an off-shore fisherman and a quahoger. He named his first boat after me.

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4.) I love the snow and skiing.

5.) My pastor husband and I have been married for fourteen years. He is also my best friend.

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6.) My first job was at McDonald’s. By the end of my career, I had climbed the ranks to “Birthday Party Coordinator” and Crew Trainer. (I still think McDonald’s fries are the best!)

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7.) I had a life-changing experience walking in the Boston Avon 3-Day walk for cancer.

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8.) I love the outdoors and insects. One summer, I worked as a counselor at an Environmental Day Camp hiking, catching creatures, birding, teaching nature lessons to elementary aged students. It was a dream job!

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9.) The most peaceful place I have ever been is underwater, snorkeling in Hawaii.

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10.) My husband’s family owns a dairy farm in California. The milk from their 500+ cows is sold to a local cheese company. They also farm almond trees. The almonds are sold to candy companies.

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11.) We celebrate Christmas Eve with Lebanese food. Last year, my girls and I rolled our own grape leaves.

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12.) I asked the Lord into my heart when I was ten. With our church watching, my dad baptized me in a pond. He has baptized all his children in the same place.

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13.) I have a degree in elementary and special education. My first teaching job was in a K-12 school on Block Island. It is the only school on the island. I had 5 students!

14.) I had big hair and wore shoulder pads in high school.

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15.) I have jumped out of a perfectly good plane, strapped to a complete stranger, and loved it!

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16.) I ran over the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Marathon.

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17.) I come from generations of strong, short Portuguese ladies. I am glad that my daughter “met” her great-great grandmother before Nana passed.

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18.) The closest I will get to a “Call the Midwife” moment, was in high school when I volunteered as a candy-striper in a local hospital. No babies were delivered but a lot of smiles, cards, and flowers were.

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19.) I was on a Deck Tennis team in Elementary School. It is THE only team that I was selected to play on after going through try outs. I wish that this sport would make its come back!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deck_tennis

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20.) I have three beautiful children. Two daughters and a son.

21.) I thought I would never homeschool but we are going on our fourth year of doing so. It has been the greatest blessing for our family.

22.) I love coffee!

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23.) I owned a small business and Etsy shop making hair bows. I have made bows for babies, special occasions, pageants, parades, AND dog’s birthday parties.

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24.) My favorite memories are those with my sister. I wish she lived closer.

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25.) Jesus is my Lord, Savior, and the love of my life. He is the only one that completes me and sustains me. I still am in awe of His grace, mercy and His constant pursuit of me. ❤

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Writing a list is a great activity. It’s a noted celebration of where you have been and a snapshot of some of your accomplishments.  It is a great opportunity to reflect on the good things in life and take notice of the events and experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today.

In a MOPS group, writing this type of list could serve as a get-to-know you or an ice breaker activity. Each mom could take 5-7 minutes to write down 25 things (or as many as possible) about themselves. As a whole group or in smaller Discussion Groups, a designated person (Mentor Mom, DGL) collects the lists and reads a few of the 25 items as clues to the mom’s identity. After hearing the clues, the group guesses who the list belongs to.  We did this is our small MOPS group and it was a lot of fun. We learned more about each other, similarities were found, and we had more to talk about with each other.

With the lists completed, Discussion Group Leaders and Coordinators could encourage moms to pick one thing off the list that the moms want to “bring back” or to “flourish” in again. Skiing was something I put on hold when I had kids. It was something I still desired to do. With a little work, effort and a babysitter, I revived the “sport” and now am looking forward to enjoying more of something that I thought I lost.

Below is a link to a PDF file that I created. Use the worksheet for personal reflection or in an activity with your group.

25 THINGS ABOUT ME  WORKSHEET

25 Things About Me- An Activity in Noticing the Good and Celebrating Life2


Succulents

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Recently, I have been enthralled with little plants called succulents. Succulents come in a variety of beautiful shapes and offer very interesting leaf formations. In their natural habitats, succulents adapt, survive, and even thrive in the harshest of environments. These plants embody A FIERCE FLOURISHING.

A succulent might not be the first plant you notice when you walk into a greenhouse. If placed next to a showy, tropical hibiscus it most likely will be overlooked. It might look foreign and out of place compared to the familiar, white blooms of a daisy.  However, if we stop for a moment, shift our focus and pay close attention, we might be surprised to find the uniqueness that each succulent has to offer. There is an art to noticing goodness. Sometimes we need to turn our eyes from the flashy, attention grabbing things and stretch our sight to notice the unfamiliar and uncertain things.

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Succulents have seasons of growth and rest. During their growing season, they like to be watered and fertilized.  During their season of rest, they fall into a dormant state. This is a critical time for the plants.  They need this break to stay healthy.  Just like succulents, we need rest to stay healthy. Rest may feel unnatural in our busy, fast-paced lives but it is important and needed to not only survive but to also thrive. As women, we must practice and strive to embrace and encourage rest as a natural part of life.

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We are like little succulent plants blooming up all around.A lavish celebration is taking place and we should join the celebration. “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace, the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”Isaiah 55:12  All of nature is celebrating our growth, our uniqueness, our surroundings, our ability and work to adapt, our wandering and replanting.

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“Forget the former things do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you know perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland!” (Isaiah 48:18)

Last year, was a big growing season for me. I was challenged to be brave and embrace life with courage and grace. God did a lot of work in me and I emerged as a new thing that came up in the wilderness. That work has not stopped, I continue to work at springing up against the fiercest of situations, the fiercest of enemies, the toughest of critics.  I am a like a brave little succulent and am blooming in fierce, surprising ways. I am ready to adapt, rest, notice, celebrate, and flourish.

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You can experience A FIERCE FLOURSIHING this year too by joining a MOPS group.  A MOPS Group is a community of women who meet together to come alongside each other in our journey of motherhood. MOPS International exists to encourage and equip moms of young children to realize their potential as mothers, women and leaders, in relationship with Jesus, and in partnership with the local church. Find out more and find a group near you at mops.org.

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The views expressed on this blog are mine alone and they do not necessarily reflect the views of MOPS International.  They have not been reviewed or approved by MOPS International