Bible Study Starts 9-23!!!

We have our first Bible study coming up on Friday, September 23 from 10:00 to 11:30am in the same rooms we were in for MOPS, Ed. Building 103-104.  The little ones will be in the same places as well with the same great group of workers!  

We will be studying a book by Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D. titled Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves.  Books are $10 and will be handed out on Friday.  Please make checks payable to Second Baptist Church and write MBS (Mothers Bible Study) book on the subject line. 

Because we won’t start discussing the book until our next meeting (Oct 14), we will have extra time for fellowship and prayer requests at this meeting.  This Bible study will be different from MOPS – you are welcome to come to MOPS or Bible study or BOTH!  We hope that by providing these two different kinds of meetings, we will meet the needs of all mothers of preschoolers! 

Blessings!  Ainsleigh


Fall Kickoff Meeting – This Friday!

We are SO excited that this Friday is our Kickoff Meeting!  The Leadership Team has been busy planning, training MOPPETS workers, and getting everything organized and ready!  We hope to see you there!  Here are the details:

What:  MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers, children ages birth through Kindergarten)

Where:  Second Baptist Church – Corner of River Road and Gaskins

(We will be meeting in the Education building – that’s the building right next to the Chapel, and directly across from the Preschool Collanade.  MOPS will meet in the large room in the middle of the building and MOPPETS (the children) will meet in the classrooms along the back.  There will be plenty of folks there to help you find your way and signs posted.)

When:  1st and 3rd Fridays starting THIS FRIDAY – September 16!  MOPPETS workers will be ready to greet your little ones starting at 9:45 and MOPS will start at 10!  We will meet from 10-11:30.

Invite a friend or a neighbor to come with you!  We can’t wait to see you!

Blessings! Ainsleigh


Extra! Extra! Read All About It!!!

While I’m in “update the blog mode” I thought I’d go ahead and post the document that contains all of the info about what’s happening this fall in MOPS!  This document will be distributed soon to all SBC families with children birth-Kindergarten as well as all CLC families, so you might get it that way if you’re a part of one of those groups or you can download it here. 


Please note that we will have a PLAYDATE on Friday, August 26th from 10-11:30.  We hope you can come!  We will meet in the rooms right off the gym (where we met for our book/Bible study last spring).  Please pass along this info to anyone you think may be interested in joining us this fall!


Blessings, Ainsleigh



Convention Conclusion

Well, I never got a chance to write about my last day at the MOPS Convention and I just hate leaving things hanging!  I’m a check-it-off-the-to-do-list kind of gal!  So, here is a brief recap of Saturday (August 6)…


I met back up with my Texas girls for the morning Session.  We heard Lauren Dungy speak about the five areas of sensible mothering:  providing, protecting, teaching, discipline, and building a solid relationship with your child.  About the last part, she said it’s two-fold – We teach our children reverence for God and trust in their parents.  She also talked about Psalm 111:10 which says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.  To him belongs eternal praise.”  She said the only way to be wise is through God – His word is the source of wisdom.  When we commit to obey God, He will give us wisdom.


I attended two great workshops on Saturday – the first was called “How to get your husbands to be spiritual leaders” – I wanted to attend at least one session led by a man to get his perspective.  He had some great insights, but the most important “take away” I had was that we shouldn’t have a preconceived picture of what we want our husband’s spiritual leadership to look like.  The other workshop was a networking opportunity where I met other gals who have the Publicity role in their groups.  We were able to share about some of the ways that we can reach out to the community and get the word out there about our groups.  I think the biggest thing I learned in that workshop was that (according to MOPS), my role as the Publicity person is to “grow our group” – not just to write a newsletter or update our blog, but to really keep the focus on the goal of growth!


That night we got to worship again with Travis Cottrell.  He was telling a story about his wife taking their children to Wal-Mart.  And her rule was “Obedience brings blessing, disobedience brings consequence.”  I’m going to have to remember that!  The kids got a little treat if they were obedient in the store.  We then heard from Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman.  It was especially neat to hear from them since I just read Mary Beth’s book:  Choosing to SEE.  (It is a great book – I laughed and sobbed out loud…)  They are about to become grandparents – their daughter Emily is expecting a baby girl in November.  Steven Curtis performed two songs that I love – Cinderella and Do Everything.  Their story is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.  I won’t give away everything if you want to read the book, but I will just say that if I ever experience that type of adversity, I pray that I will find ways to see (and seek) God through it as they have.


So, after that we went to dinner and sat and chatted for a while.  Then we got packed up and headed to the airport the next morning to come home.  It was a very sweet homecoming for me.  I missed my family dearly.  I cried when I saw Kate.  And she cried when Thomas left her with me to go pick up dinner!!!  (She got over it very quickly of course, but still…  !!!  :-))  I am glad that they got that special time to bond while I was away though.  And now a couple of weeks later, she’s no-doubt back to being as much a mommy’s girl as a daddy’s girl!


One other thing before I close this section on “Convention Highlights” – as I talked with other MOPS moms from around the world, I was frequently reminded of what a great support our church (or in MOPS terms – chartering ministry) is to us!  We are SO incredibly blessed to be at Second Baptist!  Some groups have to raise their own funds to pay childcare workers (or members pay out-of-pocket) and buy curriculum.  Many of the women I talked to had to pay their own way to convention.  I cannot say enough how supportive Emily Boddy and Kathi Traficanti have been of this ministry.  These expenses have come out of their budgets.  Be sure to thank them the next time you see them!  I am so energized and excited about what God is going to do in and through this ministry this year!!!


Blessings, Ainsleigh

Convention Day 2 (Part 2)

Another fun day!!!  And another “right place at the right time” story! 

The view from my room - Amazing!!!

This afternoon I was walking to my workshop and I saw an expectant mom on the stairs with me.  We started talking so instead of making a left toward my workshop, I walked with her to the right to finish our conversation.  She asked where I was from and I told her I was from Richmond.  A girl standing nearby said “You’re from Richmond?  I am too!”  And so we chatted and exchanged numbers.  Stacey is with a pretty big group from Woodlake UMC and another girl who is by herself from Farmville.  She invited me to sit with them at the General Session tonight and then I went to dinner with them.  It was great to do a little local networking!  Stacey also introduced me to Jill – who is our area MOPS field leader!


This afternoon I went to two workshops.  One was called MOPS Essentials, which helped me understand a little about the ins and outs of what MOPS is all about and how things work.  Then I went to a Creative Activities workshop where I got some good ideas about projects to do, etc.  Both workshops were also good for networking. 


General Session tonight was awesome!  We started out with John Branyan who is a Christian comedian.  He was very funny and it was nice to hear a comedian who can make you laugh out loud and doesn’t use foul words or inappropriate topics, very refreshing.  And then we went from comedy club to rock concert!  Mandisa put on quite a show and even did a little ZUMBA!  


After dinner out with my new friends I went back to the resource fair and bought a shirt for Thomas that says “My Wife Rocks”  🙂  and a book for myself.  I have also been looking at books that we can use for our bible study this fall.   Now I’m ready to head to bed!   Can’t wait for tomorrow!!!

Dinner with my new Richmond friends! (and a few others!)

Blessings!  Ainsleigh

Convention Day 2 – Woo Hoo!!! (Part 1)

So I thought in an effort to get to bed at a more reasonable hour tonight, I’d take a few minutes to update during lunch and then (in theory) I won’t have so much to write later!  🙂 


How did you start your morning today?  I started mine a little later than usual (see last night’s post for the time I went to bed to see why!).  I skipped a few of the early morning activities, but about 9:30 I made my way down to the first General Session.  As God would have it, I bumped into my group of Texas friends on the way into the auditorium!!!  They are all sporting their green Texas shirts today, so they were pretty easy to spot! 


The session started with worship led by Travis Cottrell.  He was awesome and it was fun for me to worship in a little more… a-hem… contemporary way than I get to on Sunday morning.  Brought me back to my Praise Team days!  🙂  There were hands lifted high and voices (thousands of them!) praising God!  It was a great way to start the day!


Then we all laughed out loud with Lisa Harper.  She was hilarious!  She talked about how we can’t be BOLD (one of the key words of this year’s MOPS Theme – Bold, Loving & Sensible), if you have a blurry vision of God.  We often find it easier to believe in His dignity, but struggle with the idea of God’s taking delight in us.  It was a pretty powerful statement.  She told the story from Luke 5 of the man with leprosy and pointed out that Jesus embraced the man before he was healed.  She also talked about the story in Luke 7 (starting v. 11) about the widow who had lost her only son.  We don’t always think that Jesus sees everything about us – even the deepest hurts, but He does!  Another take-home thought was that church should be like a hospital, not a country club!  We should be able to come to our church family for prayer and supplication, encouragement and support in all circumstances.  We ended the session praying for the women who are here who are hurting for one reason or another.  It was a powerful and moving time.  Not a dry eye in the house…


This afternoon I am going to a workshop on “MOPS Group Essentials” where I hope to learn all of the ins and outs of MOPS leadership and then to a Leadership Essentials workshop on Creative Activities that we can do in our group.  I’m very excited about these opportunities to network and learn more.  Then we’ll have another General Session from 5:30 to 7 with Mandisa (!!!) and Comedian John Branyan.  Will write more SOON!!!


Blessings!  Ainsleigh

Convention Day 1 – So blessed!

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



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