I am coming out of a very long season of No. Ever since I became a parent I pretty much said no to everything that had nothing to do with my successfully transitioning to parenthood. That was a little over 2 years ago. But many other things happened in the last two years. Not only did we have 2 children, we moved three times, Brian started working in ministry, I stopped working full time, our annual household income decreased by nearly 70% as we transitioned into our new roles, and I now live far enough away from the friendships I had developed over the years that my friends actually want to bring an overnight bag when they visit. And these are just the biggies.
In hindsight I can honestly say that I have been in a fog. That’s the only way I really know how to describe it. I have friends in my life who met me while I was in the fog. As of late they’ve commented on how I have really changed. I say, no, you’re just getting to know the real me.
About this time last year I decided that it was time for me to come out of my cocoon. LucyKate was nearly a year old, I was finally getting a consistent 8 hours of sleep again, and it was painfully obvious to me that I desperately needed to make some friends. I have a ton of great friends all over the area, but the large majority of them live at minimum a 35 minute commute from me. So I joined two mom’s groups: a Bible study for moms called “Mothering Matters” and Mothers Of PreSchoolers aka MOPS.
At the time of my joining these groups, deep in my heart, my number one goal was attendance. I didn’t really care if I came prepared, participated, or shared a thing about myself I just knew I needed to form the discipline of getting myself out of my house and connected to some other like-minded women in a similar life stage as me. So I joined, and I showed up. And then I got pregnant with #2 which made my goal of just showing up even more challenging.
Praise God that is one goal I didn’t abandon. Fast forward one year later and I am still in both of these groups. I am serving in a small role at MOPS working on our monthly newsletter as well as being challenged to step outside my comfort zone in other areas of leadership that I typically avoid (like leading a devotion for 30 women). MOPS has been great for me, I have enjoyed meeting new people, getting to know some acquaintances better, and even being reunited with a dear friend who was in my first women’s Bible study through Frontline 10 years ago when we were still single gals:) One of the best parts about saying Yes to MOPS has been getting to know more women at my church. I’ve gone to McLean Bible Church for 11 years but now that we are a church with different campus in locations around town, starting at a new campus can feel alot like starting at a brand new church. Ive only been attending my current campus for two years. And MOPS has played an instrumental role in helping me meet other women.
Going to these gatherings is the highlight of my weeks, especially my Mothering Matters Bible study. The group is different from MOPS in that we meet in the mornings each week for Bible study while MOPS is every other Tuesday evening, without kids, and is more of a program with various elements/speaker/craft etc. Many have asked me the difference between the two so I thought it was worth explaining.
My Mothering Matters group recently started studying the book Multiply by Francis Chan and David Platt. This study couldn’t be more well timed for me and where I am right now coming out of my “fog.” The study focuses on Jesus’ command to his followers to go make disciples. The content is challenging and convicting in a way that my heart desperately needed. The discussions we have in our group about each chapter have been both inspired and inspiring. The best part is seeing how God is at work in each of our lives, recognizing that and encouraging one-another in that has been restorative and life-giving to me and I am so thankful for these women.
For the first time in literally YEARS I feel like I have some momentum. Something inside me is continually propelling me forward. For years I felt strangely stagnant and stale, simply surviving the days. But since the fall began it is clear to me and to others around me who have told me so that God is doing a new thing in me. And I couldn’t be more excited.
I just think back to that small yes, the decision and simple goal to just show up to MOPS and Mothering Matters, and how in such a short period of time I find myself now with all this momentum, moving forward in life, toward God and growing in meaningful community with other believers. Its an exciting season and it all started with one small yes.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
This post is one of several in the series “31 Days of Life as I Know It.” Click here to see a list of all posts in the series.