Tag: MOPS

Help for Setting and Achieving Your Goals

I have spent November and December in quiet time, prayer, and planning.  I wanted to greet the New Year with enthusiasm and a plan.  You see, ever since MOMCon 2014 (Mothers of Preschoolers Convention- totally awesome, by the way) I have been contemplating this year’s “Brave” theme and what it means for me and God’s call upon my life.  Never before have I spent so much time and effort into setting goals. Oh I make plans, alright, and lists – tons of lists. (My Mom thinks I’m a little overboard in the organizing department. I may or may not have had my suitcase packed two full weeks before my last trip back home, outfits rolled together with undies and jewelry all together. That’s not weird. You do that too, right?) But goals? Actual write them out all official-like goals? Nope. Never. I wasn’t even sure where to start.

Several resources have helped me in that department. Each one has profoundly changed the way I think about goal setting and why I should even bother. I want to share these resources with you. Each one has been for a specific area of my life.  All together, they were beyond what I’d call a good value for the little money I spent. THEY WERE FABULOUS, I’m telling you. Fabulous!

I downloaded the books A Million Little Ways, Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman and Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen.  I attended workshops that each of these ladies led at MOMCon. Oh my they were fantastic! It’s no exaggeration to say that the Restless book radically changed my mindset. If you have ever pondered your purpose beyond wife and mother, these books are for you. (While I am not an affiliate for either one of these titles, I do have them in my Amazon store for your convenience.)

I also downloaded a few workbooks to help me get it all sorted out. The first one is Your Retreat, A Guide to Giving Yourself a Personal Planning Day by Erin Odom. Erin blogs at The Humbled Homemaker. She’s the perfect combo of crunchy yet practical – I like that. In this downloadable PDF, she covers why it is so important to set aside time to plan and set goals. She guides you through several areas such as homemaking, meal planning, personal growth, spiritual growth, and finances. She also touches on our roles as wife and as parent. This was the perfect starting point for me.  It was easy to read and to implement.

About the same time, Tina at Savvy Homeschool Moms recommended a free ebook by Leonie Dawson called A Cowgirl’s Guide to Riding Wild Donkeys. Crazy, I know. (I loved it. You know I would. Come on…wild donkeys? Yes, please.) That book led me to her workbooks, Create Your Shining Year, 2015 Life & Biz Editions. Now, before skipping off to her site I have to warn you: the girl has got a mouth like a sailor. Somehow, though, she’s endearing on so many other levels that I sort of overlook it. (And read emails from her with one eye closed. Really. Lovely girl but whoa..that mouth.) She’s a totally groovy, hippy dippy sort of chick. I think she’s the Australian version of Dharma & Greg. (Kinda miss that show. I may have been her in my previous single, yoga teaching, life. Dharma with the clean mouth. Just so you’re clear on that one.) These two fun and artsy workbooks narrowed down the focus a bit more. They cover specific goal planning for what you want to accomplish but also the kind of life you want to have. Clever, huh?

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Those three workbooks impressed me so much that I partnered with the authors as an affiliate (As an affiliate, I earn a tiny bit of moolah for each book that is purchased though clicking on their links from my site) to help them reach a greater audience. The workbooks are THAT good. I can see myself re-using them for years to come. They are available as printable PDFs so I can do that. Score! Green, even.

You know what’s even better? This week only Erin’s Your Retreat, A Guide to Giving Yourself a Personal Planning Day is available for only 99cents !

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I’m curious, do you set goals? What’s your process? Do you have a plan or just wing it? Connect, let’s chat about it.

 

Why I’m a MOPS Mommy

Years ago, I gave birth to the wildest adventure I’ve ever known: my precious son. I have been perpetually tired since the day he was born. I laugh, I cry, I nap. Some of you know what I’m talking about. Just saying the word “boys” makes you tired. Now I’m not saying girls are easy, I’m just saying that boys are…wide open, loud, non-stop, 90mph whirlwinds of sticky, smelling, bug-collecting, stomping, free-for-all, stop every now and then to kiss you then drive you up the wall, buckets of joy.

He came early and had to be nursed or fed every 2-3 hrs. By the time I nursed, diapered, swaddled, pumped, cleaned everything, and set up for the next round it was time to do it all over again. Ya’ll remember those first moths of sleep deprivation. I was tired all the time. Exhausted, really. Even though my doctor said it is harder for moms to bounce back when they are “older first timers” I was still beating myself up a little about it. I wanted so badly to enjoy every second. I figured, I’ll rest later. Later came and he was crawling, then walking, then running! You get the picture.

Little-boy wrangling, family obligations, home keeping, Church obligations…the world kept spinning while I grew more and more tired. I felt old. I felt worn out. Did I say I felt, old? Old. Really, really old. I felt a little awkward at library day- the other moms were SO much younger than me. I didn’t know it at the time but I had let myself get withdrawn and just a tad bit depressed.

Then it happened. One of the other moms at library day invited me to a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting. Yeah right… a room full of barbie dolls half my age with their perfect little outfits and their perfect little children with no stains or sticky stuff. I was not interested. No way. It seemed like just one more thing to make me feel pressured and inadequate. Since I told her I would think about it, I did. My son is virtually an only child (his teen-age half-siblings no longer live with us) and a homeschooler, I thought being around other kids his age would be good for him. I went for him.

The kids were downstairs and the moms were upstairs at a local church. I felt so insecure. They were all a good bit younger. The voices in my head were saying I wouldn’t fit in but they were so sweet. Everyone was so friendly. Over the next few meetings, I realized they weren’t perfect little moms. Nope, not at all.  They had in-a-hurry pony tails, tired eyes and yucky stains too. The screaming from the children’s area assured me their kids weren’t perfect little tikes either. They were…like me. They were a lot like me. That was two years ago.

Since then, I have developed friendships with some of the most beautiful, caring ladies on the planet. We have laughed, cried, played, and learned together. My son has playmates and playdates galore. This fall I will be assuming a small leadership position within the group. I am so excited to attend the international convention in August.

I am still tired. Are you kidding? The older he gets, the faster and stronger he gets! I am no longer isolated. I am not withdrawn. I know I’m not alone. As women, we are as diverse and unique as we can be. As moms, though, we share the same joys and struggles. We understand each other. We have a sisterhood that strengthens us.

MOPS, is an international organization dedicated to supporting, nurturing, educating, and empowering moms through community building. Their mission statement reads, “MOPS International exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.”  There are local chapters virtually everywhere. Their web page has a group locator and super resources for every single kind of mom. Even the old and tired ones, like me.

I encourage  you to give it a try. You may be busy, you may be shy, but you just may change your life!  Are you a part of a MOPS group? Have you thought it wasn’t for you? Why? Share your stories with me. Moms don’t let other moms mother alone (yeah, I had to work in the slogan somehow).