Well, as you may know, my biggest “unknown” of this trip to the International MOPS Convention was finding a friend. I know that may seem silly, especially when you consider that there are THOUSANDS of MOPS Mommies here, but I just wasn’t sure how I was going to connect with them… But I knew I would figure something out – or spend a lot of time alone in my room (and you know that just isn’t my style!)… But as always, God provides!
A couple of days ago I was deciding how to get from the airport to the Gaylord Opryland (Good Heavens – this place is HUGE, by the way). I ended up deciding that taking the shuttle would be a little cheaper (and easier) than taxis since I was traveling alone. So, as I boarded the bus this afternoon, I walked past a group of women thinking they were all together. Then I noticed that the girl right in front of me was by herself, so I asked if I could sit next to her. We chatted the whole way to the resort and exchanged numbers. When we got there another girl from her group met us and showed us where to go to check in. She told me to come by their room when I got settled and we could go to the conference registration together. They are in room 1440 (yes, this place is really THAT massive that rooms are numbered in the thousands!). So I checked in and got my room assignment – 1438 – Yup! Right next door to my new friends! Coincidence? – I think not!!! I feel so blessed to now be an adopted member of this wonderful group of moms from south Texas!
- My new friends from Texas!
Okay, so on to the actual conference… The session tonight was called Storyboard and it was all about writing the story of who you are and want to be as a mom. I really can’t do it justice in this little summary, but here is a brief run-down. We got to hear Sara Groves perform a bunch of songs and heard stories of the “behind the music” for them – she was awesome! A woman named Kathi Lipp is a VERY funny lady who talked about how God gives us conflicts and changes in our life that shape our story. We were all laughing out loud at her stories and examples. Shelly Radic (MOPS Interim CEO) talked about the Finale part of our “storyboard” and that when we are resilient, we will find what we need to get through the crises. One of the other “take aways” was that while we are not perfect moms, we are THE perfect moms for our kids. Finally, Max Lucado spoke to us about how when you’re a Christian, you actually have Jesus in your heart. He told the story from John 8 of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and how Jesus helped her – you know “let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her…” He said that Jesus gave the woman his HELP, but he gives us his HEART – and that when God hears your heart, He hears the heart of Jesus. I really enjoyed his style of storytelling, he was actually very funny.
Then we spent a couple of hours visiting the Resource Fair where hundreds of vendors have booths set up with items for moms and kids. I registered for lots of doorprizes! And I’ve already found some great books and materials that we’ll be able to use in our group!
Well, it’s officially after 1:30am (so that’s really like 2:30am Eastern time), so I better get some sleep! I have a very busy day tomorrow – luckily there’s nowhere I have to be early in the morning. I will try to update again tomorrow night!
Blessings to all, Ainsleigh
- Sara Groves