Last Thursday I left my house bright and early and drove three hours north to Louisville for the MOPS MOMcon 2014. I’m apart of an organization called MOPS Moms of Preschoolers and our yearly convention was this past weekend. About 3,000 women, moms, descended upon Louisville to find some rest, rejuvination and encouragement. It definitely accomplished all those for me and more.
I got to Louisville about 9:30 and picked up my best friend at the airport who was flying in from Connecticut. This is our 3rd convention together. It’s become our yearly girls trip and we LOVE it and count down the days. Rachel and I met waaaay back in junior high on the very first day of 7th grade. Our lockers were next to each other and she rode my bus in the afternoon. We quickly became friends and have stayed close, even though the hundreds of miles inbetween us.
I was excited to pick her up and begin our fun and exciting weekend. We dropped our stuff at our hotel and grabbed some lunch. Our firnedship is so neat that we always just pick up right where we left off. She is like the sister I never had. We know more about each others family than maybe even our spouses. It’s a unique friendship and one I cherish so much.
We registered, walked around shopping at the marketplace and finally made our way to our first workshop, Emily Freeman’s Living the Try-Hard Life! Uhm YES, we both agreed we needed this. I think every mom, at least most, try to be that super mom that has it all together, everything in place, perfect kids and look super cute. We all know it is not obtainable but we still strive for it and beat ourselves up when we don’t measure up to our own expectations. Can I get an Amen?
We finished our night with dinner close by and the opening general session.
Friday morning I started out my morning on the elliptical. I did that both days and so glad that I did it. It made me feel so good to get my workout in before my day started.
Melissa d’Arabian, Food Network Star and Host of Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinner was our guest speaker at our morning session. She was so cute and fun. Obviously her thing is eating and cooking healthy and having a healthy lifestyle that is God honoring. She talked about how we need to be on God’s agenda, not ours and the rest will fall into place.
Friday Jennie Allen, author of Restless and founder of the IF:Gathering spoke at our first general session and she was amazing. We got to meet her after the session and she signed our copy of Restless.
My favorite workshop on Friday was by Lisa-Jo Baker called When Your Anger Scares You. At first when I saw it I thought “I’m not an angry person” and then I read the description. It was about losing your temper with your kids and overreacting in situations. There are more times than I would like to admit that I have yelled at my kids and gotten angry with them. Of course with Preschoolers they can be difficult and try your patience but Lisa-Jo gave awesome insight in to how to handle that anger and be a better mom in those situations.
One of my favorite speakers over the weekend was Shauna Niequiest, who is an author and speaker. She spoke on Saturday morning in our general session about community and what it mean to walk well together with others. I’ve heard her previously speak on comparison and it was SO good and insightful. Too many times I find myself comparing my life and myself to others instead of CONNECTING with them. Being in a new city with all new people and surroundings I want to invite everyone I meet to come over and have dinner. I have yet to do that but it’s definitely going to happen soon.
I also did a workshop Saturday afternoon called Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by David Thomas. It was awesome and full of great information about raising boys. He is the author of a book with the same title and I plan to order it on Amazon like stat. Boys are so full of mischief, adventure and imagination. I want to cultivate all those things in my boys including becoming men of God. I can’t wait to read his book.
Our last session on Saturday with probably my favorite of them all. Angie Smith, author of a blog called Bring the Rain. She is so transparent, warm and witty. I immediately fell in love with her and totally want to be her best friend. She lives right down the road in Franklin and part of me wanted to go up to her afterwards and ask her to coffee. I thoguth that might sound a little stalkerish so I refrained. But I loved her story and just how real she was about her day to day struggles with fear, anxiety and living in the moment. One of my favorite quotes from her was “God did not call us to be perfect but he did call us to believe HE is perfect”! Ah, good stuff.
It was an amazing weekend and one I won’t soon forget. I came away with so much insight about being a better mom and wife.