For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Lauren. I have been a member of MOPS for about a year and am so thankful that I have found each and every one of you. MOPS came to me by chance via a pamphlet on the library bookshelf.
I didn’t know anyone and decided to give it a try. Well, I actually kept the pamphlet in my purse for a few weeks, trying to decide if I was brave enough to come by myself without any friends I knew. To give you a little background on myself, I have always had a lot of friends.
But I am not exactly the person to go out of my way to make friends. I actually can come across as standoffish quite often because I don’t like to “make the first move.” More than once I have been called stuck up or snobby simply because I am very shy at first.
Strangely, when it is a large crowd or I have nothing to lose, I am extremely outgoing and friendly. It’s when I actually put myself out there I am scared to death.
In the past, I have had many superficial friends. I currently have many “surface” friends–meaning those who I know but our relationship doesn’t go very deep. These aren’t the friends I would not truthfully answer when they ask how I am.
I do have a few below-the-surface friends that I wouldn’t know what to do without, but none that are in the same stage of life as I am. I married very young at 19, purchased my house that same year, and had babies a few years later. Many of my friends are just starting their journeys into marriage or parenting.
So about a year ago when I found that MOPS pamphlet I almost felt like it was a little nudge from God to be brave and to make some meaningful connections with other Christian moms.
….when I found that MOPS pamphlet I almost felt like it was a little nudge from God to be brave and to make some meaningful connections with other Christian moms.
I finally mustered up the courage to come to my first MOPS meeting. When I left, I cried in my car. I was so thankful that I had found such a kind and welcoming group of women. Every single person came and talked to me, was kind, and seemed genuinely happy to have me come to the meeting.
Let me tell you, coming from someone who has dealt with lots of catty women in her life, it was so relieving to have met so many nice women in two short hours. I knew immediately that I had found a group to call my own. I have been a regular attendee ever since that first meeting and can’t say enough wonderful things about this group.
I am proud to call each of you my below-the-surface friends. I have shared many things with you that I have never shared with others. From issues with my relationship with my mother to helping my grandma battle breast cancer to adjusting to my part-time job, you all know the real me. Last year, the MOPS theme was to “be you bravely” and I made it a personal goal to do one thing each day that I considered brave.
Coming to a MOPS meeting and allowing the “real” me to come has been one of the things I consider brave. This has not only allowed me to gain many new friends, but to gain a whole community of women who know the real me and celebrate who I am as a person.
I am proud to call each of you my below-the-surface friends. I have shared many things with you that I have never shared with others.
This year, I am hoping that I can continue to be brave and to try new things but also to flourish in everything that I have accomplished. I want to try to celebrate the true friendships that I have and celebrate all of the little things we all have to be thankful for. Thank you!
Our next MOPS meeting is on Thursday, November 12 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m at Whitmore Lake Middle School, and it will be about finding stress relief or balancing personal needs with the demands of family.