MOPS conference is over, and I’m so glad I came. I really got a ton of information from everything I went to….so I’m still trying to process it and put it in organized little boxes I can use it from.
The general sessions were really awesome. Huge room, tons of huge screens to watch, great musicians. It was also a big year because the previous MOPS president, Alisa, was moving on. There were many things to thank her and showcase her achievements in MOPS. During the first one, I’ll admit…I was a little like “yeah yeah. Administrative stuff.” But by the end I was really impressed at the work she has put into MOPS, how she has grown it over the past 15 years…and her creavtivity and sense of humor. I probably really didn’t appreciate it until the showed the collage of her past years and productions, but she really has made MOPS her life for a very long time, and done a great job at it. Anyone who has tried to grow anything (good…stuff like mold and clutter grows on it’s own) knows it’s really hard work…and the fruits of her labor are proof that she has indeed worked very hard.
My first session was ‘Grace Based Parenting’. By the time I got here, I didn’t remember what prompted me to choose that session….and I was tempted by all the other titles that I hadn’t noticed before. But once I got into it, I knew right away it was where I was meant to be. Every word that Dr. Tim Kimmel shared was exactly what I needed to hear…to help understand Jordan a little better. They are birds of a feather. At the end of the session, he wrote an encouraging little note to Jordan, so I can give it to him when we get home. It was really neat to see this super successful, God-centered adult who admits to being ‘ADD off the charts’ doing what he loves and makes him happy. Honestly, that’s all anyone wants for our kids…that they grow into happy, God-centered adults.
At this point, I went to the resource fair and spent way too much money. Well spent money….but also on products that are barely fitting into my ‘must be a carry on size’ suitcase.
Second session for me was about nurturing healthy relationships, where the presenter talked on the languages on apology. I just completed a few things on the languages of love, so it was neat to see how these parelleled and enhanced those languages.
Third session was pretty awesome…we learned more about seeker based small groups. We already do this at our church in Starting Point, so it’s just figuring out how to use these strategies in the MOPS environment. Too many people still look at MOPS as a ‘Mommy Bible Study’ or something similar, when it’s NOT. Even in our church (which is seeker based to start with) we have Christian moms that come just to be fed, and some of them don’t want to be confronted with being in groups with others that are not there looking for the same thing. So it’s walking that line of steering them in the same direction to line up with MOPS mission…..and being able to be an open and supportive environment for EVERY mom.
My final session was really cool. It was titled ‘But we can’t all go to Africa’ and talked about how to chance the work from home…with your kids. The presenter also did a Green Living session that day…and I was tempted to sign up for it….but happy I stuck with the ones I had. She ended up talking a little about both (they go hand in hand so well….much of we do to be ‘green’ in our shopping helps those in 3rd world countries live better) so I now have pages of resources on that. We’re having meetings on both topics in the spring…so that was perfect!
We also got to see comedian Ken Davis. I generally don’t laugh at people….and I was choking with laughter during his show. He’s absolutely hilarious. Yes, I had to buy his DVDs to bring home as well.
So that’s it. Now I just have to read and listen to all the things I brought home!