My life is full.
It’s babies and diapers and toys and trips to the potty and PB&J sandwiches and scraped knees and kids not sharing.
It’s markers on the walls and markers in the mouth and markers on faces and hands.
It’s math and spelling and history and science and grammar.
It’s runny noses and sunburned shoulders and lost flip flops and mismatched socks.
It’s stepping on legos and time-outs and spankings.
It’s dishes and laundry and crumbs and crumbs and crumbs.
It’s fixing hair and wiping boogers and convincing little people they are marvelous, on the inside and out.
And it’s becoming my crown of glory. Made from my yard’s bounty of dandelions and clover.
I’m nearly 12 years into motherhood.
My oldest girl is entering the preteen years and my youngest is still in diapers.
She will be 3 in 26 days.
And in 26 days, I will no longer have a baby.
I live in the space between sheer exhaustion and sheer exhilaration.
But I get to do this.
All of this mothering thing.
Every. Single. Day.
And I’m learning to count it all a gift.
Because it is.
We know it, but we forget it.
I’m just now entering the phase of life where I can have time to dream.
So I’ve been dreaming.
Not big dreams, only small dreams.
And I’ve been spending time talking with the man who dreams the world and he smiles at me when I get excited about the smallness of my couple of dreams.
We’ve been talking about the shift we’ve both been feeling, about the being made small and the move towards a more intentional family story.
Personally, I’ve been feeling an inward pull towards home for months now. I’ve had a renewed sense of purpose in rearing my tribe and laying a good foundation for us to live a better story.
All along, I’ve also been watching the Lord grow our small church.
And He’s been growing it with lots of little people.
Particularly, the preschool kind of little people and more specifically, the newborn kind.
I’ve been sitting on the sidelines watching God give us babies and nursing mamas and needy preschoolers and worn out parents and I’ve been grumbling under my breath.
What are we going to do with a bunch of people too worn out to meet the needs of their own families, let alone serve their community?
I’ve grumbled, y’all. Every time I have felt like we could move forward as a church, somebody gets pregnant or has another baby.
But this is how God moves in my life.
I have a grumble about something. He moves my heart. I have a crisis of belief. I wage a tiny war against the shift in my heart. I submit. I sulk and whine and cry like a baby only to crawl back and say Yes, Your way, not mine.
Only then does God open my eyes to give me a peek into the story He’s writing.
Many years ago, when we first moved to Dallas, I joined a Mothers of Preschoolers Group, MOPS. I was far away from home with no family, no friends, and a husband who worked 2 jobs and went to seminary all of the other hours of the day. I was desperate for relationships with other mamas in the same life situation. I was desperate to hear that I was doing a good job. I was desperate for a few hours without the kids.
I was desperate.
And God used MOPS as the means by which to fill my soul, my heart, my life.
After a year of sitting at a table, I was invited into leadership. That same year, when asked why I joined the leadership team, I responded with, “If my husband ever pastors a church, I would love to charter a MOPS group at his first church.”
That was almost 6 years ago.
I had forgotten, but God had not and He has chosen to remind me of that dream several times over the past few weeks.
So y’all, that’s my dream.
Mothers of Preschoolers.
A place where mamas come to laugh, to cry, to be loved. A place where they can linger over coffee and bagels and make connections with other mamas, the kind of heart connections that don’t happen in the hallways of our busy churches. A place that levels the playing field, where masks are removed and no judgments are passed and no one cares whether or not your kid is smocked to death. A place where women come to hear about grace and love and forgiveness. A place where women learn to be missionaries in their own homes.
A place for mamas to be filled in order that they may be emptied again.
It’s small in the grand scheme of life, y’all. I know it.
But I pray it’s mighty in the hands of God.
*I am in the beginning stages of putting together a Steering Team, a group of women to help me see this dream written into the story of our community. God has sent 2 ladies to join me, but there is room at the table for every mama who longs to make a difference. If you are interested in finding out more about MOPS, click on the link to visit the website. I will be hosting an informational meeting at my house in June and I would love to have you join me for food, fellowship, and some vision casting. Our church is only chartering the group, but anyone at any church in the area is invited to help own the group. I hope to launch in January 2014. Please be in prayer that God would build His team.