Saturday, July 30, 2011

MOPS Convention 2011

The excitement has reached the point of being practically unbearable! 3 days after today I will be heading to  Nashville to learn, meet & worship with thousands of other MOPS moms for 4 solid days. There's a lot more going into this year's Convention for me, since I am now a Field Leader. I am really looking forward to meeting  some of my groups' Steering Teams on Thursday night. I am gathering full size care products for a give away to a local ministry, used shoes for Compassion, goody bags for my TeenMOPS team going, organizing my FL binder in preparation to stuffing it full of new, useful info, packing my own bags, organizing activities for my kids here at home, bills while I'm gone, the list goes on and on, and on...
The one thing I am looking forward to the most is our General Session time. There is nothing like being in a room with 4000+ women singing for the glory of God! I got a taste of this 2 weeks ago at my Thirty-One Conference and I can't believe the difference it has made in my life since. This has probably been the hardest year of my life (7 months ago yesterday, as a matter of fact) and I've survived. And it's not all been bad, and I've been brought closer to my God in more ways than I can explain, but I've also felt this distance that I can only accredit to my faith. I've been relying on the faith I've ALREADY had, not infusing my faith with the rejoicing of a new morning every morning with Christ. Maybe it's a lot to put on my time at Convention, but I sincerely believe that God is going to show up and show up BIG! And I'm praying and waiting and practically shaking with the anticipation for it.
Next on my Convention "looking forward to" list is the workshop with Jen Hatmaker. Since last year's workshop, "Even Mary lost Jesus" I've been an avid Jen fan, following her on Facebook, and now her blog. In addition to reading several of her books. Honestly my copy of "Out of the Spin Cycle" is so dog-eared and written in it is now to the point of being utterly pathetic and unworthy of being called a "book". I've been following her life saga of adopting 2 children from Ethiopia and can't wait to hear her again in  person & rejoice in the fact that God is working in her life.
I've been to several MOPS Conventions- starting with my first in Grapevine, TX. I went alone. It was scary- my first time flying alone, first time to navigate an airport alone, first time checking in hotels alone, etc. But the best thing about that trip was (and forgive me, MOPS Int.) was the church I attended Sunday morning before I left for the airport. It was a cowboy church in a local restaurant in one of the out lying sites of the Grapevine Mall. That service changed my perspective of "church" and moved me in so many ways! And prepared me to serve a distinct place in the future of my home church, Hebron Baptist.

A night on the town with Elvis!
I've been to Nashville before too. The following year I attended with several of our Steering Team members and the bonding of that time is still unprecedented! Here I met my first TeenMOPS moms & Coordinators. The information & friendships I gleaned from these chance meetings has been priceless in my quest to start/coordinate our own group.

Me & Julie Barnhill, One Tough Mother
Me & Karen, not the GPS Karen at Planet Hollywood
Last year I attended Convention in Orlando. Just getting there was an epic journey of 16 hours straight driving with our handy dandy GPS "Karen" and my right hand mom friend, Karen. After I was there I attended my first TeenMOPS Positional workshop and was able to get the basis and outline for our group that started this past September. I love the ladies that went on that trip and so excited to see that many of the "regular" moms in that 8 passenger Suburban are now looking at leadership for this upcoming MOPS year! Glory to God for the work in their lives serving this ministry!
All but 1 will be Steering this year &  she graduated!
So with this year's Convention days away, I have no idea of the surprises and chance encounters God has in store for me as Field Leader and TeenMOPS Coordinator, but I do know it will be memorable!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oh, how I miss my blog!

So much has happened in the last couple weeks- Trinnie has gotten 3 stitches (Happy Birthday to Me!) and had them removed. Jon's Cub Scouts camped out at Florence Freedom's field, his pack's Harry Potter themed camp-out~ on back to back nights! I attended Thirty-One's National Conference in Columbus, Ohio for 2 amazing nights. I'm feeling much better- refreshed with ideas for my business, and feeling like a clearer version of myself after many months of a fog like state. Leah went to Cumberland College for a mission trip with church and worked on the final stages in rehabbing the football facilities at Jellico High School. She came back a nicer version of herself too.  And on July 17th, we lost a sweet little boy here on earth. Gabe, one of the little guys of a teen mom drowned in his family's back yard pool. He was 2 and he's with Jesus. Very hard week, folks, very hard. And as silly as it sounds, rejoicing over the fact that my favorite author, Jen Hatmaker,  made it home with the first of 2 Ethiopians joining the Hatmaker family. God is good. All the time.
Now I'm getting geared up and into the final madness of preparing for MOPS Convention in Nashville, starting next Wednesday. I will be leaving my kids for 5 days with instructions for them not to kill or maim each other, when their grandma & various friends will be picking up all or some of them, medical releases, &  A LOT of prayer. They will be fine & so will I. Trinnie will be turning 6 while I'm gone and we will be celebrating the following weekend with a "When you give a pig a pancake" Piggy Party.
Then before we know it school will be here! Leah's senior year is done creeping and is now a freight train barreling at us with it's lights right in our faces. Can you tell I'm feeling uncertain in this area? Well, pray for me, friends- I'm teaching Psychology for 9//10th graders and a second AP Psych to 11/12 graders. It'll be the first time for something this big, this important, this so-not-at-our-home teaching I've done. I'm excited for sure, but don't be surprised if I start sleep-blogging stray psychology terms or start layman diagnosing everyone with severe problems.
I plan on adding pictures and writing up a little more about each of the main things I mentioned but I needed to write, even briefly, about all the things running through my head. A glorified list being called a post, if you like.