I am writing from a beautiful resort hotel in Orlando, Florida. I arrived at the Gaylord Palms yesterday just after lunch. I am here until Sunday with a group of four other MOPS International Leaders for the Annual Convention. There are 5000 women here! It feels unbelievable to be in a place with so many WOMEN! Salvador, Go Fish and a group of "Stomp-like" performers entertained us last night. Matt Redman lead worship and a variety of gifted speakers shared their vision with us.
Today is packed with seminars that we have signed up for. And tonight at 5:30, there is an opportunity to sing with Sara Groves, in a back-up choir. I'm not sure if I'll be the first 100 out of 5000, but I'm going to try.
I am starting a MOPS group at our church this year, starting on October 16th. And let me just say: I am incredibly glad to be here for encouragement as I start! I am learning a great deal from the talented women around me who have been involved with MOPS for years.
My first experience with MOPS was last year when I attended a local group as a participant. My friend Mary invited me and it seriously opened my heart and forced me to breathe and relax. The first meeting felt like a hot bath and massage and I realized how stressed I had been, how much tension I carried on my shoulders. As the coordinator shared her heart and validated our experieces as young moms, I felt like my heart was literally melting, stretching, and yawning inside.
The slogan is "MOPS: Because Mothering Matters. Better Moms Make a Better World." The focus this year is "Dwell Well from the Space You Call Home." The topics and curriculum for the year revolve around "Heart, Home and Planet." They encourage us as women that when our hearts are filled up with God's love and vision, our home is affected. And when we build and nurture loving, God-desiring home environments, we affect the world.
After the talks, 6 of us came back to our room and we talked and shared until 3 am. Karumba! We are insane, but it was incredible. Two women shared their life story up to this point. We listened and hugged and cried in solidarity of their journeys, of the winding roads that have eventually lead them to a place of love and hope, a place where they know they are Queens.
I am so thankful for this gift of being here.