Friday, May 16, 2014

Top 10 Reasons We Love Lauren

Check out the Last MOPS of the Year!  We'll miss your leadership Lauren.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Last one for the year.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Meeting Recap - May 8, 2014

Our second-to-last meeting of the year featured a local Wellness Coach and registered dietician, and we also heard from our MOPS Coordinator for next year, Laurie Burke. But first, let's get to those announcements:
  • There's only ONE more meeting for this MOPS year - NEXT WEEK - May 15th. That's right, we're meeting two weeks in a row this month. Don't forget, ladies!
  • Please bring any cards or gifts you'd like to give to your MOPPET worker(s) to next week's meeting.
  • MOPS Family Fun Day is Saturday, May 17th from 4-6pm at the Dunlora Clubhouse
    • Bring a picnic/snacks for your family. Drinks are provided
    • Feel free to bring lawn/outdoor games for yourself and your kids
  • VBS Registration is open at FBC! The dates are July 7-11th, and volunteers are needed and welcomed! Your bed baby or toddler will also get to come to VBS if you volunteer. See the FBC website for more information.
  • FBC will start a summer Bible study series on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30pm starting June 3rd. The study will be on Divine Design, True Woman 101 by Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the church website for more information and to sign up.
Laurie Burke
We were in for a special treat this week, as we heard from Laurie Burke, our MOPS Coordinator for next year. Laurie is a Texas girl through and through, and never thought she'd find herself in Charlottesville, Virginia - a place she had never heard of until relocating here! Laurie grew up in a family of faith and always knew and trusted God. However, it took a series of challenges and uncertainties the past few years for her to fully trust and fully surrender her heart to Him. Laurie shared that amidst the difficulties, the one thing that was consistently a huge blessing to her was MOPS - a group she is thankful for and is excited to be leading next year. She shared one of her favorite Scripture passages that has been a source of comfort - Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Thank you Laurie, for embracing your story and encouraging us with it!

Our guest speaker this week was Kris Bonham, a registered dietician and Wellness Coach at ACAC. Kris spoke to us about Emotional Brain Training, or EBT, which is a tool to teach people to how to optimally process their daily emotions and can be an effective tool for dealing with stress, depression, anxiety and weight issues. EBT can help individuals change the "wiring" of their brain, so that when dealing with a highly stressful event, the person will not fall back on a pattern of unhealthy, unconscious reactions.

Kris shared that 70% of our brain patterns were formed in the first 3 years of life and were directly impacted by our parents - especially our mom. A daunting thought to this room full of moms with young children! However, Kris told us that no matter how good or bad our patterns are, EBT can help us to "re-wire ourselves" - essentially change our thought patterns to ones that deal effectively and optimally to stressful encounters

Kris Bonham
Kris went over brain state characteristics and gave suggestions and tools for going from a brain state of 4 or 5 (stressed and highly stressed) to a 1 or 2 (optimal and healthy). Such an interesting topic sparked a lively question and answer period - including (from a nursing mom) how do hormones affect my brain state?! Ha.. only at MOPS, ladies!

For more information on EBT, you can check out the website, or contact Kris at ACAC. Many thanks to Kris for introducing us to this fascinating topic!

How sad to say we only have 1 more meeting of the year.. next Thursday, May 15. Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Meeting Recap - April 24th, 2014

It is the meeting we have all been waiting for...Janet Mancini!  But contain your excitement ladies, and read these announcements:
  • The Young Lives Charlottesville Yard Sale will be on May 10th at Cross Life Church on the corner of Old Brook and Rio Rd. The sale will be from 8am-1p. Young Lives is an organization that mentors teen mom.  Proceeds will benefit their summer camp trip to New York.
  • Items are being collected on May 1st and 2nd at FBC for a "Free Yard Sale" at First Baptist Church on May 3rd; contact Megan Stephens for more information.
  • Vacation Bible School at FBC will be held July 7 - 11. Volunteer registration is now available online. Children must be 4 years old by 9/30/14 to participate; however the children of volunteers who are younger than that may participate. 
  • Congrats to Shannon T. and Amy V. on the births of our newest Moppettes! Both mommies gave birth to healthy baby boys!
  • Thanks to all of those who hard work made the MOPS Dinner Party Possible! It was a lovely evening for all involved!
  • Mundy Richards' birthday is on Wednesday, April 30th. Please remember her family in prayer this week and especially on that day.
  • The door prizes were provided by Wendy F. and Gina L., and the winners were Melissa R. and Kathy F. Congrats ladies!
  • For those who attended this meeting, you may remember Michelle C. wasn't feeling well. I am happy to report that she and the baby are doing fine now!

Michelle Cox
Our meeting began with our very own Mentoring Mom Coordinator, Michelle Cox. Michelle was asked to give her testimony only a couple of days prior and she definitely rose to the occasion!  Michelle started by telling us that we should not be intimidated by giving our testimony, even if it doesn't seem "exciting". Every story is wonderful, and God asks us to be prepared to share the reason for our hope. Believing that our testimony is unworthy of sharing is a lie, and Michelle shared with us a few other lies from the book "Lies Women Believe" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. The first being that as women we don't have enough time. Second, that if the circumstances in my life were different, I would be different. And thirdly, that I shouldn't have to live with unfulfilled longings. Each of these things is a lie that a woman might believe.

We learned that Michelle accepted Christ at age 7, but that she recalls her real walk with the Lord beginning in high school. She was blessed to have a wonderful pastor in high school. During a short mission trip to Mexico she recalls really beginning to memorize scripture. One of the verses that stands out is 1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you." Michelle went on to attend college in Kansas. She then went overseas to Slovakia. She didn't know the language and had few distractions, but she felt far from the Lord. She met and married a man she believed to be a Christian, but during the relationship she endured much physical abuse. She felt deep shame and very far from the Lord. Michelle describes it feeling like she was wearing a scarlet "D", which stood for devastation, destruction, and divorce.

After her marriage ended, Michelle began meeting with a Christian counselor. The counselor told her when we conceal secrets we are trapped by them. So Michelle chose to let people know her story, and she chose to forgive her abuser.

Michelle tells us that she has learned that suffering always has a purpose with God. Sometimes as Christians we expect that God should make us happy, but that God is far more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. She concluded by sharing a line from a Matthew West song, "I am no longer defined, by all the wreckage behind." Thank you so much Michelle for sharing the awesome way God has worked in your life!

Janet Mancini
And next up we heard from Mrs. Janet Mancini! Janet came to this meeting to talk to us about marriage. Janet has been married for 26 years, and she has gleaned much wisdom from her experience as a wife and mother. Janet describes marriage as "the promised land", or the "land of milk and honey".  She likes to think of herself as like Joshua or Caleb, reporting back to us that the land is indeed good! She cautions us on who we go to for counsel in our marriage; she says seek wise counsel from a "Joshua" or "Caleb" and avoid "one of the ten".  

Janet tells us of the beginning of her relationship with her husband. Janet was a nurse and her husband a doctor. She had no plans to ever marry a doctor! After her wedding in April she became pregnant in June, and felt overwhelmed by all of the changes in her life. She describes the first year of her marriage as very bitter. She soon found herself home with three small children while her doctor husband worked long hours at the hospital. The hour she dreaded most each day was the "arsenic hour" between 5 and 6pm. She grew very dissatisfied and angry with her husband and her whole life. All of her prayers started with "I"..."I need this Lord" and "I deserve this" and "I, I, I". Janet calls this an "I problem". She says she gradually came to realize that she had really wanted a husband, a family, and to stay at home with her kids, so why was she blaming her husband for all of her problems? She learned that she needed to focus on the good things about her husband - that he was providing for her family, allowing her to be at home, and so she should be thankful instead of resentful. Janet began praying that God would keep her focus on the blessings.

Another point Janet made is that we should examine how we think the world sees us. Or how is our countenance? Are you seen as perpetually angry, overwhelmed, and unapproachable? Or are you a breath of fresh air to those around you? How do your children see you? If they think you cannot handle your own life they will be less likely to share their trials with you when they are older.  Are you discontent? Janet tells us that a lack of contentment is not a product of your circumstances, it is a state of the soul. If you are discontent you won't be happy even when you get what you think you want. She reminds us that we reap what we sow; if you are discontent now don't be surprised when you have discontent teenagers ten years from now. The cure for a lack of contentment? It is a thankful heart!

Janet went on to share 1 John 4:19. "We love because He first loved us." Jesus loved us even when we were dead in our sin and shame. So we should love others first, and love our husbands first, even when we don't feel like it. And while yes, that includes sex, just sex will not cut it. Your husband needs to feel affirmed, respected, and desired. Janet urges us to support our husbands; he should know that you have his back. 

While sex is not the only thing, it is very important! Sex can make a huge difference in how your husband perceives you.  Often as women we expect to be romanced and then we will be intimate; but Janet says we should reverse that. Have sex with your husband and then see how much more willing he is to talk to you and share with you!

Janet then explained that we should learn what our husbands main needs are. In her experience those needs could be 1. Sex 2. Exercise 3. Food. Ask your husband! She says that when something seems awry with her marriage she thinks of those three needs to see if one or more are not being met. 

A great piece of advice for wives whose husbands travel  is to never let him leave town with a "full tank". In other words, be sure to have sex before he leaves.  Yep, Janet keeps it real ladies. She also thinks it a great idea to have the kids write little notes or draw pictures to sneak into his suitcase.  

Another idea (one that Janet is rather well-known for) is to plan a big surprise for your husband. When you are planning the surprise, make sure the first thing on the agenda is sex. So if you plan a weekend getaway at a bed and breakfast, don't get there and immediately drag him shopping or off for a hike, go directly to the bedroom first!

Finally, Janet advises us not only to be thankful for our husbands, but to tell him you are thankful for him. And also teach your kids to tell Daddy that they are thankful for him and all that he does.  She says that when we honor our husbands they are amazing!  God made them to be leaders, providers, strong, brave, and willing to die for us! She says the world needs good marriages, and God made your husband to need you!

Thanks so much to Janet for her humor, candor, and wisdom. It is always a pleasure to have her visit us!

Our next MOPS meeting is on Thursday, May 8th; hope to see you then!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The April 2014 Newsletter is now online.

Click here to download and read the April 2014 MOPS Newsletter.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Meeting Recap - April 10, 2014

Lauren Byrne
Welcome spring! After what feels like ages of cold weather and snow, we were greeted this morning with a beautiful blue sky and flowers popping out of their buds. A perfect way to start a MOPS day! On this delightful morning, our meeting started with a delicious and bountiful breakfast provided by the Green and Pink tables.

Lauren started us off with some announcements:
  • Please let Lauren or Laurie Burke know if you would like to serve on Leadership next year
  • The MOPS Dinner Date Party is Friday night @ 6:30 @ FBC. Let Lauren know ASAP if you'd like to come and have not rsvp'd 
  • Janet Mancini will be our guest speaker at the next meeting on 4/24. You won't want to miss her talk, "Loving Your Husband Well", as well as the Moms Night Out that night @ 7:30 with Janet at Lauren's house 
  • FBC's spring Bible studies have started up and there's still time to join - one meets Tuesday mornings at 9:30 and the other meets Wednesday evenings at 6:00. Childcare is provided at both meetings. Also, VBS will be the week of July 7-11th. You can find out  more information on these events at   
  • The MOPS Convention will be October 2-4th in Louisville, KY. If you're interested in going, please talk to Laurie. We may have a contingent making a road trip! Registrations should be made by July 21st. Find out more information HERE 
  • The Hope Community Center will have a "Cville Biggest Loser" weight loss challenge kick-off event this Sunday April 13th from 3-5pm at the Pavilion downtown. Find out more information HERE
BethanyAnne Bahm
Our very own BethanyAnne Bahm was our first speaker this morning. Originally from Texas, she shared with us about the blessing of coming to faith at a young age, yet it wasn't until she was an adult that she truly understood what it was like to trust fully in God and not on her own strength. She shared with us that often the hardest lessons to learn are the most important. After experiencing a succession of stressful and heart-wrenching trials beginning in 2010, BethanyAnne has made it her motto to trust God even when you don't see hope. She encouraged us to pull back and renew ourselves with the Word when we experience trials and reminded us that Jesus said I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Thank you BethanyAnne for blessing us with your story and your words of faith!
Rachel Gerber and Lauren
Finally, former MOPS mama and now published author Rachel Gerber was our guest speaker this morning. Rachel spoke to us about how to be "blessed in the mess."  Rachel and her husband, Shawn, have 3 boys between the ages of 2 and 7, so she knows a thing or two about messes. But life throws both little AND big messes our way, and sometimes in the midst of it, we just want to walk away. Or we wonder... where is God in the middle of all this? Or... why does God feel silent when I'm drowning here? Rachel reminded us that no one is exempt from these feelings; even Mother Teresa, in her personal letters, wondered where God was in her day-to-day life. If it can happen to her -- it can happen to us. Rachel offered many words of encouragement and guidance as she shared that God is still here & still present in our day-to-day lives. What we do each day is not a chore - it is holy work. Offering gratitude and remembering what God has done can change the position of our hearts. Thank you Rachel for being with us and for sharing your words of wisdom!

Rachel Gerber
If you'd like to hear more from Rachel, you can check out her blog, Everything Belongs, HERE.

What a lovely meeting on a lovely day! See you at the next one on April 24th!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The March 2014 Newsletter is now online.

Click here to read our March 2014 Newsletter online!