Give Thanks, Always.

Happy Thanksgiving, Mamas!
Can you believe it? One more holiday left in 2018. Another year come to pass just as quickly as the rest. As we creep up on a new year, I like to reflect of the things the current year has taught me. In the midst of the chaos of motherhood, what are our takeaways? Did we take enough time out of each day, hour, minute, moment to look around ourselves and just thank God? If you’re like me, probably not. At least not without setting time aside to thank Jesus for the amazing things He has done for me when things are going incredibly well. However, in the moments of utter chaos, stress, sadness, loss, or even loneliness, we forget to set aside time and give thanks.

One thing that most (if not all) of us can agree on is this parenting thing is tough. We try our best to put a beautiful bow on our well-polished “Pinterest” lives, but deep below the surface we feel the inadequacy that this imaginary contest called life, brings upon us. The thing that we can’t see in the moments like these is that these seasons are incredibly short. What feels like long, thankless, and mundane moments that we encounter as mothers are actually jam-packed with bountiful gifts, lessons, and unconditional love from our Father that He created  JUST FOR US. Yet we tend to miss them by quietly (or not so quietly) wishing and praying these seasons away. Before we know it, years have passed and we’re a little older and our beautiful mess-making babies are no longer tugging on our legs for a snack every five seconds. Instead they are able to fend for themselves without as much as even brushing past you to get them. We find ourselves missing the way their little voices sound as they relentlessly asked us 100 times over. What an amazing moment that was passed up because we were so ready to be in the next stage of life. As tough as this is for me personally to process, I am learning that this is painfully true. I am beginning to realize that there are things my kids were doing just weeks ago that they no longer do anymore; and I find myself longing for those tiny sounds and touches. If only I were still and truly absorbed these moments. If only I had said “thank you, Lord” more than I said, “please stop.” Would I have been able to be more present and have time slow down just a little bit? Maybe? Or maybe I could have taken away something from the moment much greater than my annoyance at the time.

The beauty about this is that God is patient and that time isn’t an issue for him. He sees us through our toughest seasons, and celebrates us through our amazing successes of life while never wishing away any of it. He has so much in store for us thorough our walk with him that even cutting one corner can be a missed blessing. What an amazing gift we were given to have these amazing little humans to raise; To shine God’s love for us, onto them and to lead them as Jesus leads us. It mustn’t be wasted, not even one second. The enemy will try and distract you from the beauty in the chaos. Don’t let him! Don’t listen to him when he tells you to frantically clean your house like a maniac for the 1,000th time that day. Instead, sit in the mess and love them through it just like He loves us through our mess. He never rushes us to clean it because there is beauty and lessons within it. When you walk into your kid’s room and step on a lego, don’t scream in pain- scream out to God thanking him that your child’s imagination was at work and the legos you bought are helping their little brains develop! Thank him that the hotdog they are protesting means that you were able to feed them even if they have to learn that an empty belly is much worse than the hotdog they asked for ten minutes ago. Even thank him for the major blow out your baby had when you were late leaving out the house. Why? Because another tired momma may come to you at her wits end and just had the same thing happen and you can share your crazy poop story to brighten up her mood and make her feel less crazy. None of these moments are wasted and the most important I’ve learned is that God builds these communities for us so that all of us can come together and strengthen each other and build up our weaknesses together. Because in our weakness, He is strong and that is something to be incredibly thankful for. 
- Chesney

2 Corinthians 4:15
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the Glory of God.
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Find Your Fire

I can't believe we are here... MOPs is launching tomorrow! 

My name is Whittnay Roberts and I am the Coordinator of Lakewood MOPs. This is our first year as a group and I couldn't be more excited! I have personally been apart of MOPs as an attendee for the past three years and last year had the privilege of helping launch Evening MOPs at the Littleton Campus alongside two dear friends. To say that this ministry serves an incredible purpose in the lives of mommas is an understatement!

Last winter while picking up my oldest son from kid's church, I waited for what felt like forever at the 4’s room before it was my turn to sign him out. Wow, what an awesome problem to have as a growing church... but I couldn't help but think there were mommas dropping off and picking up their kiddos who felt unseen, unknown and lonely and just needed some solid community around them and the love of Christ consistently spoken over them. It was so strong on my heart because I was one of those mommas years ago! 

After having my oldest son, I struggled with finding mom community. Different than your non-kid friends, I needed women around me who were in the throws of parenthood that could relate with the biggest life change of all.. raising a human, all while trying to still be a good wife, an employee, a business owner and a sane person, ha! MOPs has and continues to meet that need in my life. It's added so much joy and freedom to my own personal life, why would I not want to share that with other women?

Thus, Lakewood MOPs is born!

I'm so excited, I can hardly wait! Let's catch fire together this year, yeah?  Surrender Daringly, boldly letting go as we face new challenges, new phases and new opportunities in our lives. Breathe Freely and be vulnerable with our MOPS friends, knowing and allowing ourselves to be loved just as we are. And Live Expectantly, because when we choose to focus on what can go right, we encourage other moms to do the same. 

And lastly, know that you belong here. There is no situation, marital status, income level, political affiliation, background or belief system that disqualifies you from belonging to our community of moms. Your thoughts, ideas and experiences are valued and you have a seat at the table with our group. 

Thank you for allowing me to join you on your journey to fan your flame in motherhood.

This is YOUR year to Find Your Fire. I can't wait to meet you!

Love, Whittnay

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