MOMcon 2015- Unpacking At Home

MOMcon2015

Whoa! What a whirlwind this last week has been! Just one week ago, I was sitting among 3,000 MOPS leaders in Indianapolis at MOPS International’s Leadership Convention worshipping with Matt Maher and soaking in life-changing messages and teachings.  There is nothing like being with that many like-minded women who are also moms and leaders. A smile and a hug are always waiting for you around each corner.

This was my third time at MOMcon. Preparing to leave was a ton of work (more than I ever remember) -homeschool lessons completed, five different people lined up to watch my kids, laundry and packing to be completed.  I had a lot on my mind and heart before I left.  I was exhausted before I even arrived, but I held on to the truth that God’s work is powerful when there is little of  “me” left. When I am too tired to fight for my own agenda and wants, that is when I start to hear His voice whispering into my tired mind and heart. That’s when I hear Him inviting me to “RISE up” and go forth to do the good works He has called me to do.  I was excited and a little anxious to see what was in store for me in the time away.

During MOPS Coach Training and the conference sessions, the speakers and worship leaders kept asking us “How is God speaking to you?” “What will you commit too?”  For me, there wasn’t an immediate answer to this question. No clear cut instructions or big directions to take. In every prayer, I asked God to reveal what it was he wanted me to hear. For a few days, I did not hear anything but felt at peace and filled with joy.

Sometimes when you stop expecting to hear from God, that is when you do.

At some point, I stopped straining my ear for His voice and I started to relax, recharge, and take everything in. Themes started to resonated within my heart. Confirmations came in form of words and people of things that I had been thinking about and praying about for weeks prior. My expectation changed from waiting to hear something new to noticing the good work God is currently doing in my life.

Here are the things that spoke to me:

1.) Live in grace. Walk in Love. Love everyone always! I had been looking forward to hear Bob Goff speak as soon as I found out that he was going to be at MOMcon. What an incredible encourager and messenger of love! I think I laughed from the moment he stepped on the stage until the last word he spoke. You can not help but have a huge smile on your face after you have listened to him. This guy is for real! And he is just as gracious and authentic when you meet him. He looks you in the eye when you talk and makes you feel like you are special, an instant friend. But it was what Bob said that left the impression in my heart. He shared from the book of Galatians about living in grace and walking in love from 2 John 6And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” He spoke about the differences between an invitation and a welcome. It made me think of the invitations I extend to people and what it means to make them feel really welcomed, encouraged, and loved in what I am inviting them to do.

Bob Goff

2.) Be Kind and Be a First Clapper- Cheer on another’s undeveloped best!– Jodi Detrick.  Jodi Detrick is the author of The Jesus-Hearted Woman. She spoke on “healthy leadership being a journey of influence in a community with others, not a solo trek of independent efforts and self-importance.” I loved the themes of community and teamwork in her talk. Her quote about being a first clapper made me realize how much I love cheering on the under-dog and fostering developing skills in people. It was not so much of something new to learn but a reminder to keep cheering on those around me.

3.) Be available and authentic- Gina Moran, Director of Leader Care and Church Connection at MOPS International.  Gina spoke on MOPS desire to inspire a faith journey in moms all over the world. Her talk included practical implementation of components used by MOPS in inspiring a faith journey.  Although, she was mostly talking about MOPS groups, the components laid out can be implemented in one’s life- inviting, hospitable, intentional,authentic, investing. Both Gina and Sherry Surratt (CEO and President of MOPS International)  referenced The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon.  Prior to coming to MOMcon, my husband and I had spent hours and hours talking about community, getting to know the people in our church on a more personal level, raising up leaders, and being a light in our neighborhood. When Gina said “be available and authentic,” it went straight to my heart.  I know that sometimes the pace of my life is too fast and it inhibits me to being available. Although I am constantly reevaluating my time and priorities, I know that there is always time for what is important for you.  Reaching out, developing more genuine and authentic relationships has become what is important to me and realizing this is a step forward towards this goal.

4.) Look at your pace in life.– Bob Goff, Crystal Paine, Sherry Surratt, Amena Brown, ALMOST everyone! A reminder to continue to look at my schedule and commitments, make adjustments, continue to work on protecting time, and saying “no” (oh, that is so hard for me.) I desire to be a model to my children of what it means to keep a healthy schedule and be available for loving people and building relationships. Amena Brown said “you need God to break your rhythms so that your rhythm will be in step with His.” Amen! Lord, break my rhythms!

Amena Brown

5.) JOY! “Joy is the sacred jingle of God in you.” -Margaret Feinberg.  I had never heard Margaret Feinberg speak before but WOW!  What another amazing encourager! She is brave fighter (she is currently battling cancer) and a champion of joy! Joy radiates from her as she speaks and not in some overly-cheerful, sickening sweet way. Joy that is real and inspiring.  So often we get caught up in all the things that do not matter, we take life for granted. Margaret’s message was not a promise that bad things will never happen to  you but more of when bad things do, “fight back with joy.” “Joy is a weapon!”

So themes of love, grace, joy, community, rhythms, time and relationships. Those are the the things I will holding in my heart and hope to fiercely flourish in this year. Until MOMcon 2016 in Milwaukee, live in grace and walk in love.

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A few other highlights from MOMcon. I got to arm wrestle (long story!) and meet a reader of my blog who also happens to be a MOPS Coach too. I am happy to now call her a friend.  She blessed my heart with her smile and encouragement. Love you, Tammy!

celebrate

Time with my MOPS Coaching team was a HUGE gift to me. These ladies are amazing and I love each one of them. We are all so different but we come together to make a one super, great team. We stayed up late talking (about everything), laughing, and enjoyed each other’s company. They pour prayer, encouragement, and life into me and help make me a better leader and person.

MVS Team

Finally- STARBUCKS! There was only one place to get coffee at the convention hall so the lines were very long! 3,000 moms need their tea and coffee!! I met a ton of great ladies while waiting for my latte and I loved eavesdropping on what others were taking away from the conference. God is good!

Starbucks


Homeschool Week #2 Wrap Up-Measure of Success

Measure of Success

Well, this week was not as “successful” as last week. My attention was divided into a thousand different directions as I have been preparing to leave for the MOPS International’s Leadership Convention- MOMcon.

There is so much to do before I leave. Between church ministries and meetings,  MOPS start up plans and Coaching, finding childcare for the kids while I am away, packing, household chores, laundry AND homeschooling, the week went by in a blur of checklists and details. Before I knew it, Friday had appeared and I found myself saying there’s just not enough TIME!

Feeling a bit defeated and comparing this week to last, I started asking myself what exactly does success looks like in our homeschooling. Is it the amount of material that we cover? The number of skills the girls master in a week? Staying on task and lesson objectives met? Having fun together? Spending quality time? What is it?

Every day we completed all of our reading, language arts, and math lessons.  We managed to do some fun Labor Day activities and made some fantastic smelling playdough. Science and social studies lessons flowed naturally through our days and we read a lot of books together.  That sounds successful, right?

There is an incredible amount of thought, research, and writing about success. Briefly, success is the accomplishment of an goal or purpose. It can be measured in terms of objective (measurable terms, salary, promotion, accomplishments) or subjective (emotional and psychological responses- happiness, joy, pride, feelings ) situations.  Within areas of your life, you can have both objective and subjective goals and success. “Subjective success is an individual’s response to an objective situation. “1  A Harvard Business Review article gives an example of a corporate lawyer who has a great compensation package and position but has not met her life-long goal of becoming a Supreme Court judge so she doesn’t feel successful.

This is what happened to me this week. We met all of the objective goals I had for homeschooling. Academically, we were right on target and I was happy with the amount of curriculum we accomplished.  But it was my subjective goals that left me feeling less than satisfied. One of the biggest goals I have for myself is to be more present and less over committed. This week, I felt like I did not do this well. Therefore, I felt unsuccessful.

Timing is everything. Not every week will be one like this one. I travel only once a year! The details of church ministries and MOPS start up are not usually happening all at one time. This just is a very busy time. It is important to keep evaluating how I am spending my time, keep saying “no” when presented an opportunity that will stress our schedule, and making time to rest and connect with people in a way each person deserves. Beyond that, I also think that it is important to look at homeschool success with the whole picture in mind and look beyond those subjective feelings. So reevaluating, I think that I should rephrase my first sentence and say that this week was certainly different (and BUSIER) than the first but it was equally successful measured in different ways.

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A Few Highlights:

1.) POM-POM SORTING: I made something new for my littlest one to do during school. This task works on fine motor, sorting, and color recognition skills. It took about 5 minutes to set up and it was inexpensive! I had everything I needed in the house and it is completely reusable. Just have to change the color on the top of the lid and the color of pop-poms to sort!

Sorting Pom-Poms Sorting Pom-Poms

2.) APPLE PIE PLAYDOUGH- A new recipe that I found on Pinterest, this playdough smells AMAZING!  A small, welcomed whiff of fall in the abnormal, ninety degree weather we are having in the Northeast. You can find the recipe here—> http://jugglingactmama.com/2014/09/apple-pie-scented-play-dough.html

Apple Pie Playdough Apple Pie Playdough

3.)ANTONYM WORK- We did a lot of work with antonyms this week. We defined antonyms and identified pairs when we read. The Foot Book and Old Hat, New Hat  are great books for this activity. After we read The Foot Book, I traced the girls’ feet and they illustrated a pair of antonyms they chose.

Antonyms

Antonyms Antonyms

How was your week?