Thank Heaven for MOPS, for who wouldn't want to delight in the smiles of a child? For those of you who do not know what MOPS is, it stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. According to the MOPS website the first meeting took place with eight women in 1973. The MOPS group at my church over the last several years I believe, has had anywhere from 30 to 50 women at any given time. It's large. Now think with me how many children these women bring with them. Are you doing the math? If you don't know MOPS is a Christian organization. In the meeting the mom's take their children also known as Moppets to their class rooms, then proceed down to breakfast. They have food and fellowship, then go listen to a speaker. After the speaker they break up into small groups to discuss what they have learned. The speaker may be someone teaching you how to preserve food, how to make a pie, or it could be a relationship speaker. They discuss the topic then take prayer requests and have a word of prayer. Afterwards, they go and make a craft. The craft could be a rice bag to ease sore muscles, it could be a picture frame to put your child's picture in. The entire meeting lasts for two hours.
While the mom's are having their time the children are being cared for by compassionate, loving, people who have a heart for children and their mothers. They are usually mothers themselves and understand how much needed this time is.
I'm not going to to tell you that the world as we know it would end if we didn't have workers to care for the children at MOPS. I'm not going to tell you that women don't every day care for their children without this particular support group and do just fine. Helping with MOPS will not cure cancer. It will not feed the hungry or solve the national debt. It will not make you any money and it will not give you a free trip to heaven.
Helping with MOPS will do the following. It will bring a welcome break to overworked, overstressed, sleep deprived mothers. It will give those mothers a chance to hear stories from other mothers going through the same things. It will help them to feel like they aren't alone in the raising of their children. It will fill them with hope and confidence. It will give them a chance to get a hug and a few words of encouragement, because being a mother can sometimes be overwhelming. It will help lighten the load for a couple hours, refreshing them for the rest of the week ahead. It will give the children a chance to make new friends. It will give them a break and help them to have yet another person who will encourage them and tell them what beautiful children they are. It will give all those women and children a sense of belonging. It will give you the same and more. It will give you joy in knowing you were able to help someone else. It doesn't cost you anything but time, a few hugs, and a lot of smiles.
I went to MOPS with my youngest child. I loved it. I have made so many friends through going and I've made more now in the helping with the MOPPETS. When the mothers come in they are tired. Small children get up early. If you have small children or have had small children, you know what it takes to get them and yourself ready to go anywhere. They are tense and hurried and mostly thankful. When they come back to get their children the tension in their shoulders has eased. They are smiling. They are happy to see their kids and ready to take on the world. For me there is nothing like the feeling of knowing that in some small way I helped with that.
I will not cure cancer. I will not be able to feed the hungry and sick in foreign lands. I do not hold any fancy degrees and I rarely prepare a meal in my house that everyone likes. All I have is time. I don't know how much I have left, but I do know that if there is a way for me to help others then there isn't anything I can think of that I would rather do. I am flawed, but I am trying. I have a heart for this program. We are all called to serve in different areas and we are all blessed with different strengths and weaknesses.
I ask you to prayerfully consider where it is you are called to serve. The life you change may be your own.