Monday, March 5, 2018

MOPS February Highlights

We hope you all felt a lot of love in February! Our Couples Panel was a huge success, thanks to our three lovely couples: the Asbells, Beatys, and Prays. We enjoyed hearing their insights on marriage, parenting, and maintaining a strong relationship with God. And did you know that these beautiful notebooks you all helped decorate will be donated to Foothills Alliance, a local organization that works with victims of sexual abuse? Thanks to Anderson MOPS, the children undergoing counseling there will have new journals to use on their road to recovery. 

Journals for Foothills Alliance

The Prays

The Beatys
The Asbells

Thank you all again for taking the time
to share your stories with us! You are a blessing!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January Highlights

We rang in 2018 at Anderson MOPS with 'Casual January' as a reminder to ourselves that God always wants us to come as we are. As usual, we indulged in a scrumptious breakfast spread while discussing one of the most aspects of our role as mother and wife: the management of our household budget. Some of our other highlights this month include:

Devotional from Margaret B.

Here are a few key excerpts from Margaret's message about finding financial freedom:

In the fall of 2009, my family began one of the most terrifying, humbling, and faith-building experiences we had yet to face. I wasn’t sure we wouldn’t become one of those divorce statistics in the process! After my husband suddenly lost his job, I found myself standing in line at the DSS office to apply for government aid. I was 4 months pregnant with our second child. But I held a college degree and another child on my hip. My husband had a Master’s degree and an above average credit score. We had never missed a payment, on anything! But at the start of the Great Recession, those credentials wouldn’t prevent our house from sitting untouched on the market for 31 months. The fact that we were both raised in educated, middle-class homes wouldn’t help the fact that it took almost a year to secure full-time employment again. Which is what brought us to the Upstate and how I found Anderson MOPS! I won’t dwell on the struggles we faced when we could barely find the money to pay our mortgage most months, but I will say that those years strengthened our faith immensely and looking back, I wouldn’t ask the Lord to spare us from that heartache because it was during that darkness that we had to rely on Him and Him alone. We were doing all that we could, but it wasn’t enough. I’ll never forget crying out, “Lord what will we do?!” and almost audibly He answered so clearly, “YOU don’t have to do a thing, just trust me, I will take care of you!”

... But we trusted him when he said in his word, “…do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes. Consider the birds: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than birds?...but seek first his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12: 22-34

Craft: Paint Chip Calendar

MNO: Calligraphy Basics with Tamara

MOPS on the Town: Publix Backstage Tour

Hope to see you all at our meeting on February 8th!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

MOPS December Highlights

While we took December off from our MOTT and MNO activities (isn't the season crazy enough without adding another event to the schedule?), we enjoyed celebrating with our mom friends at our December meeting.

Devotion from Brandi M.

Please give me grace this morning as I share with you something on my heart. This is totally out of my comfort zone!

Good morning! I hope everyone has had a stress-free morning! Yeah right, huh? With children, we all know that we are prone to those mornings, days, weeks where life can seem to drag on and be riddled with stress. Today I would like to encourage you as we look in the Word.

First, let me walk you through a typical maybe day for me…

I wake up from a semi-good night’s sleep to an alarm clock blaring music where I quickly punch- I mean nudge- my husband to turn it off for just 5 more minutes…first mistake… as normally we both fall asleep to wake up rushing around to get ready for the day.

Cue both kids waking up and STARVING. Like I never feed them. Ever. Then the breakfast choices…Cereal, no. Poptarts, no. Oatmeal, no. Waffles, no. Eggs, no they are so gross. Toast, no. Chocolate, yes…do I cave? No. Second mistake. Now they are mad because I am denying them the best breakfast.

After breakfast, we pick out clothes. Normally not an issue, but occasionally there is a time where there is unrest. Like when I don’t have a favorite pair of underwear washed and they try to put it one. Eww. Just wait, mommy promises to wash them today. But, of course the pile of clothes is ridiculous in the clean pile and dirty pile. How can 4 people generate SO much laundry? Why am I the only folder of laundry?

Finally, we are dressed, fed, and ready to go to school. All but mommy…so yes I throw on those PJS to take my kid to school because I have run out of time. Don’t judge…

I drive my oldest to school at break neck speed- not over speed limit of course…well maybe sometimes. Drop her off normally right on time or close to it- better late than never right?

Then, I drive back home with my littlest one and begin the day with cleaning the house, doing laundry, cooking supper, the list goes on and on. I remember a time when I worked and would come back to a clean house. Now, the house gets cleaned and trashed again before the end of the day. I definitely need that sign: my house is a mess because we live here…

Go back to get my daughter from school in the afternoon smack dab in the middle of nap time for my littlest. That is always a good plan! Not…

Come back home to homework, dinner, baths, devotions, prayers, snuggles…and oh yeah, who is this guy? He is handsome and he lives with me!? Oh my love, he is my best friend! I crave time with him too. But it is late…

By the end of the night, I am beat and tired. Exhausted is more the word I am looking for because I have given and given.

Why did I tell you all of these slightly embarrassing facts of my not so perfect life?

As you can see and you all well know, time in this season is limited friend. With so much that comes with motherhood and life in general, we are tapped out. We give until we have nothing to give and then continue to give with an empty “cup”.

Is your cup empty? Fill it up by making time for God!
Can I ask you something personal? Where is your God time? If you are like me, it is wherever I can fit it in and if I don’t get to have that time, it’s ok right? God understands this season right? Yes, he does but, my friend, let me encourage you that this thinking can get you to a very empty state in your walk with Him. It is vital that we as mamas get our cup filled every day so we have something of quality to give. If we are full of Him, we will reflect that. We will ooze with patience, love, understanding, be slow to anger, be quick to forgive. I find that when I am not full of him, I tend to be impatient with my kids, quick to get frustrated and not understand them.

How does this relate to the Christmas season and giving? God gave us the ultimate gift in His son Jesus. Let’s look at Luke 2:4-14 for that awesome day!

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

My friend, may I encourage you today to get from Jesus what he has to give you and what he has already given you? What are you looking for today?


Psalm 29:11: The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

1 Corinthians 1:3-4: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Psalm 16:11: You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


Isaiah 40:29: He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.


1 John 3:1: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.


Psalm 111:10: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.


Psalm 18:2: The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


Hebrews 4:16: Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Go to Him and He will give you all you need in Him. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

MOPS November Highlights

As we counted our blessings this month, we certainly counted our MOPS community among them. Here are some of our goings-on this month:

Devotional from Elizabeth K.

When you think about the holidays, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s love and joy, but then comes the lengthy list of “to-do’s” that become less and less exciting every year.  Gifts to buy for SO MANY people.  And the MEALS.  And the calendar that doesn’t have one blank square left by Christmas day…and I have to ask myself, “Is this what God wants for my family?”
So as the holidays approach, let’s rewrite our priorities for the season, and let’s love our husbands and our children and ourselves in a way that’s different from the expectations of society.  Let’s show our love by giving the gift of rest, SIMPLE joy, and genuine connection.  And most importantly, let’s quiet our minds to hear from God our Father, and let’s give our children space to grow their wonder for the season, and awe for their Creator.
Elizabeth gave a stirring devotion.
All of these phrases sound nice, but really, how do we create that simple joy?  What activities bring about genuine connection between parents and children, us and our Creator?  AND why is this necessary from a Biblical perspective?  I’ll answer that question first.  Here are two reasons:
  1. First, Ephesians 5:15 states, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  We need to be in constant prayer about how we spend our time.
  2. The second reason is that amidst the bustle of the holidays (and let’s face it—any day of the year in the age we live) we cannot nurture own spiritual lives and cultivate those of our children if we are constantly distracted by an excess of activities and the beeping of our devices.
Satan is the god of this world as revealed in 2 Corinthians 4:4. We as mothers need to be vigilant in protecting our homes from the culture.  I’m picking on technology because it is one way that culture gets into our homes…now technology has many wonderful uses, including spreading the Word of God, but we are being na├»ve if we think that Satan is not also using technology to try to poison our minds, or at the very least, distract us from spending time connected to our Heavenly Father.  
We also need to evaluate the activities that we are involved in.  Having things on the calendar isn’t bad, but not all activities are beneficial.  Are our commitments overwhelming our children? Are they keeping us from having quiet time?  American culture has taught us that you never have to be bored and that down time can actually bad.  And we’re teaching those principles to our children.  Is that godly?  How can we hear from God if we never sit down?  In the book, Mitten Strings for God, Katrina Kenison writes that, “just as our children depend on us for three meals a day, they also need us to prepare peaceful spaces for them in the midst of this busy world…I do not want them to be bombarded with noise, information, and media messages, to be pulled along on a current of activity and stimulation.  They need time to stop and exhale, time to feel centered, safe, and whole,” p.21.  And as we look to shape the mood for the holidays she states, “Instead of racing from one holiday chore to the next,” let’s “take a cue from nature and accept the earth’s invitation to slow down,” p. 22.  “Let home be… A place where we can nurture our inner lives without distraction.  The soul speaks softly.  And so I guard our quiet times.  Creativity flourishes in these spaces; grace and peace reside here too,” p. 33.
Anderson MOPS newest member soaks up the message.
The Holy Spirit also often speaks to us softly.  And we are often too distracted to hear it.  Let’s accept the gift of God’s presence and his Word and spend time in the quiet, with Him.  Reading, contemplating, memorizing His Truth.  Letting Him guide us by his Word.  Psalm 90:14 says, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”  The phrase “in the morning” is there on purpose. Morning is usually a quiet, distraction free time.  Many times in scripture we see in the example of Jesus, getting alone to spend time in the quiet with His Father.  Mark 1:35 states, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he (Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”  When we are connected to God, we are able to love our husbands and our children more fully.  And when we take care of our own spiritual lives, not only can we be more effective mothers, but we will find more joy in the roles God has us in.  When we feel overwhelmed or just plain inadequate during the holiday season, maybe we need to take an example from Jesus and connect back to our Heavenly Father.  Let’s pray for these opportunities.  And as we accept this gift of intimacy with our Father, our families will benefit.  
Finally, how can we display love through connection to our children?  Kenison suggests, “In, truth, a story told from the heart and shared in flickering [candlelight] is more nourishing to a child’s soul than another practice, an audience with Mickey, or a pile of birthday gifts,” p. 4.  Now we all want to give our children good gifts, but in a world where “more is better” and where media puts so many expectations on us to perform, let’s not be fooled that these things are more important than the simple heartfelt moments we have with our children.  Let’s love our families louder than the noise our culture projects during the holidays.
Two things: Don’t go home and erase every commitment from your schedule.  Every family has its own rhythm and level of busy-ness that it’s comfortable with.  The point is to examine the to-do list and minimize the activities that are going to end up making you and your husband snap at each other as your children lay on the floor laugh-crying from overstimulation.  Secondly, don’t let the adhering to this idea become another thing on your to-do list. The idea is to think simple, genuine.  For example, instead of reading your normal book at bedtime, pick out a holiday book or make up a special story to tell under a blanket with a flashlight.  Or move dinner outside.  Charlotte Mason, an educator from around the turn of the 19th century firmly believed in finding ways to spend as much time outdoors as possible, to connect with God and with each other.  “Meals taken [outdoors] are usually joyous…All the time too, the children are storing up memories of a happy childhood.  Fifty years hence, they will see the shadows of the boughs making patterns on the white table cloth; the sunshine, children’s laughter, hum of bees, and scent of flowers are being bottled up after refreshment.”
I invite you this season to free yourself from the expectations of our culture; to love your family loudest by giving them time to encounter that which can only be experienced in calm.  Moments with family and God’s calling us ever closer to Himself.

November Speaker: Kelly Pfeiffer

Kelly shared some ideas about how to care for ourselves and avoid "fight or flight" parenting situations. See Kelly's website or her Facebook page for more information about positive parenting solutions!

Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, Kelly!

November Craft and Craft Night:

Ornaments were our craft at the meeting.

MNO crafting fun!

MOPS on the Town: Electric City Gymnastics

Thanks to all who came out!

Hope to see you all at our meeting on December 14th!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

MOPS October Highlights

This month we embraced all things autumn. Here are a few memories from our group's activities this month:

Devotional from Tamara M.

Motherhood is a Trap! ----- this is why you are, this is why I am here - hear me out. Talking about freedom involves talking about the opposite of freedom –slavery/captivity. But let’s go to the scriptures for our learning & comfort: In John 8:31-36 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Using what we know about captivity and slavery let’s explore.. freedom.. but in motherhood AND in freedom in Christ.

Exploring slavery as we know it, through stories of those that have experienced it, books, movies and even the residual effects still felt today…. We can overcome that feeling of entrapment that motherhood sometimes seems to give us. How? By honesty, avoiding isolation & learning from others.. working to sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron.

Here’s my Honesty – a little of it

My own journey into motherhood started as a quiet, forlorn teenager still at home with my loving parents (who had their share of relationship problems) and younger sisters.  So, there I was with this cute little baby boy who I eventually started to raise by myself. But not really all by myself…. My parents encouraged me to go and finish a college degree – which I am grateful for. They cared for
him while I traveled home on any weekend I could to make sure he knew I was his mother. I had the help and support of my family and some from the church & community I grew up in If I’d not had that support there’s no telling where I & my oldest child might be. Though at times, all I thought I wanted was to do it my way – it’s less probable success will be reached on my own as stated by the prophet Jeremiah: O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. – Jeremiah 10:23 

I’ve wondered… am I even qualified to be somebody’s mother? Did playing with baby dolls qualify me? Or did babysitting a few dozen children, or having a 2-parent home, or dreams of motherhood, reading romances? Pshaw! Probably not.

Somewhere between having my son and meeting my husband I wondered about this salvation that has been offered…. And thanks be to God, accepted that call that our Lord Jesus sent out when he so graciously paid for with his own life. I wondered about how my Creator loved little ol’ me so much, he had a plan to save not only me, but the world. Others like me, like you and I. Then in his great mercy, gave us little people who would need saving also. Little people that start off oh-so-cute but evolve into sometimes moody, sometimes mouthy and sometimes downright (you know).. But little
people that we also hope will embrace the good news of salvation one day.

Some days, (teenage years, maybe even toddler years) we will need to remember that mercy we once received and still receive daily, in the raising of these little people. Also, to remember He chose us to be mothers, not we ourselves – he knows that we can do this! Even if it’s not that perfect picture of motherhood we’d like it to be. This is not a trap afterall.. It’s actually something for our good! What love has been bestowed upon us!

And take comfort, that if we sin/mess up, just remember to repent, seek help (if it requires it), and walk in that grace (through our advocate with the Father, the Lord Jesus) offered to those who accept it. Be merciful to yourself… that same mercy we give to one another.. Be merciful to yourself.

All of us here, have come into motherhood – some as single, some by marriage, some by  adoption, some now single, and some widowed. But we all still are Somebody’s Mother (awesome poem – look it up). And that is a beautiful calling, one our common adversary seeks to cloud as a trap….. but it is a beautiful thing – we are Mothers, nurturers, nurses, coaches, chauffers, butt wipers, hair stylists,
story tellers, tear wipers, tantrum tamers, chefs, housekeeper, etc… you get me.

Remembering slavery/captivity as we know it, let’s keep in mind that freedom can be threatened - by outside or inside forces. But if we are vigilant, honest, avoid isolation and prayerful we can make it out valiantly – we may even become someone’s Mentor Mom – maybe even our own children’s!

Remembering what we know from slavery, as we know it – ways also have been provided for us to overcome (cope) where we are. Anxious – You are probably not singing enough! In a letter written to the Ephesians at 5:19 we are encouraged to speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs – singing making melody in our heart to the Lord – to give thanks ALWAYS for all things to God, the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus. SING – cleaning that toilet, cooking dinner, folding those clothes, driving that bus/car, or fitbitting to keep gravity at bay. Don’t worry if you can’t sing – let everything that has breath Praise the LORD.

The Caged Bird by Maya Angelou – last stanza

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

So.. Mops Mamas – Reach out to another.. accept the help offered when possible. And then you will no longer feel so isolated. You’ll be free to grow in grace and learn from one another, in the season of life you are in – in all it’s challenges. It is only for a moment – 2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

And don’t forget to: Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

Walk in your calling – love . And you too, may gain much more than you anticipated – but mostly in the growth of your heart.


Fall Craft

MOPS On the Town: Berry Acres

Thanks to Katie C. for hosting our October MNO! 

See everyone at our next meeting on November 9th!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

MOPS Kick-Off 2017!

Our 2017-2018 year is off to a phenomenal start! Here are a few highlights:

"Free Indeed" Centerpieces

Meeting Devotional from Sydney H.:

Freedom and motherhood seem like a bit of an oxymoron to me.
   For those of you breastfeeding – enough said.
   Uninterrupted sleep has become far off memory
   Sleeping IN even farther…
   We now share our most private moments in the bathroom with little fingers slipping under the door.
   Sometimes all we seem to do is repeat our self. Then repeat our self again. And again. And again. And again.
   We basically live under house arrest after 7 pm unless we make prior arrangements. Then we have to make arrangements for the arrangements so everyone is alive when we return.
   And the list goes on.
Motherhood, especially in the little years, is one of the most self-sacrificing seasons of life. So then, how can we truly live free indeed during this most precious, and exhausting season?
I thought about King David from the Bible. He spent a lot of years in the pasture with the sheep before he became King of Israel. To me, it was not unlike motherhood! Many of his days were spent in obscurity. Dirty. Tired. Alone. Self-sacrificing – all for the welfare of the smelly little creatures that were entrusted to his care AND for the glory of the God whom he loved.
But, it was in those days of obscurity that God shaped him and prepared him for the great future ahead of him.
One story that tells of God’s work in David’s life is in 1 Samuel 17 -- David and Goliath. You may know how it goes -- David was a boy, a shepherd, and Goliath was a big bully that had been taunting God’s army every day for 40 days. David just happened to be bringing some cheese and snacks to his older brothers who served in the army and he was in the right place at the right time to hear Goliath shouting taunts to God’s people.
The mockery didn’t sit well with David and he had to do something about it. He spoke up, faced some opposition from his jealous brother, but ultimately volunteered to fearlessly take down this tyrant. King Saul opposed his plan, but because of what God had done in David’s heart in those obscure days in the pasture, he was ready for this moment. 1 Samuel 17:32 recounts David’s appeal to Saul.
“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
I love this story because we don’t just see David as a warrior or David as King. We get to see into the process that God used to shape him.
Because he spent so many days with those sheep out in the pasture, David knew who he was and WHOSE he was. He knew the living God and had seen him come through time and time again.
In other words, God let David practice in the pasture.
He practiced faithfulness.
I believe God, in his mercy, does that for us too. In his loving way, God sometimes puts us in seasons of obscurity or the mundane – not because he’s punishing us or because he’s forgotten about us but because he loves us and is transforming us to be like him. He’s letting us practice. He’s giving us the tools, courage and deeply rooted identity we need to do what he has set out for us to do….to be who he has made us to be and to RAISE the people he has entrusted into our care.
So... where is freedom in this season – this season of motherhood?
Friends, freedom is right in the middle of it. Why? Because Jesus is in it with us.  We are His. And He never leaves us. And where the Spirit of the Lord is...THERE is freedom. We know that whatever he is working out in us will not be wasted and he desires for us to be truly free.
Our job in the midst of the pasture is to turn our eyes and hearts toward the author and perfecter of our faith and BELIEVE Him when he says he loves us and that he has a plan for our lives.
So, maybe you find yourself today somewhere out in the pasture of motherhood.
Are you free there?
If not, what are the areas where you need God to set you free? Is it freedom from
I believe God has ordained you to be here today to hear these words because there is work he wants to do in your heart. He wants you to be free. Truly free.
So, let today be the day that we take a step in the direction of the freedom God has already granted to us. May we say YES to God’s ways, humbling ourselves to whatever process or season he has us in because we know he is working all things together for our good and his glory.
Let us stand firm in the truth and in the Spirit...
And then we will truly live FREE INDEED.

Goodies For the Residents at Calvary Home for Children:

Your generosity toward our first service project gave these children something to smile about!

MOPS on the Town and Mom's Night Out Events:

See you at our next meeting on Thursday, October 12th. Bring a friend!