Posts Tagged 'MOPS'

We are thankful for you!

mom essentialsLife is crazy and yet we are called to make our spiritual life a priority – but how!?

Here’s how – join with groups across the United States in discovering what it means to focus on the essentials and let go of the extras in your life.

We’ll be starting discussion groups and lots of other cool interactions with all of you in the Spring – so order your books NOW!

Check out the free leader’s guide on the home page and watch the videos in our “resources” tab – join the movement!

Click on the link for more information and fill in the form below! – Mom Essentials November Special

Buy the study at a discounted price!

Free shipping!

Free Skype Session with author, Kasey Johnson!

Books signed by the author!

Place your order (or place one for you and some friends) using the form below:

He Will Do It

ohio group 2Last night I had a blast hanging out with the amazing women of Westerville Christian. They won a set of my latest Bible Study at #MomCon. I was so excited to meet with them and our time together took a really cool turn – one I hadn’t seen coming. I love when God comes in and decides to speak a word I was NOT expecting – it’s a beautiful moment when I’m reminded that God knows us better than we know ourselves.

We were focused on 1 Thessalonians 5:24…

“The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”

It’s a simple phrase until we take it apart.

“The one who calls you…” Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’ve been CALLED. Being a mom is a calling! Sometimes it’s a really tough calling, but in the end it’s the most important part of our impact on this world. The thing is – we didn’t end up here by luck or because we were bored. Nope. God plucked us out of ALL His creation and allowed us to be called Mother.

“…[He] is faithful…” I can flounder, mess up, fall away and turn my back on God but He is always faithful. His love NEVER ends and He can be the source of anything/everything I need. God’s faithfulness in my life isn’t dependent upon my performance as a mom. Nope. I am going to try my best. I’m going to listen to my Creator and I’m not going to give up because I’m not alone. The Creator of the Universe is on my side and HE IS FAITHFUL.

“…He will do it” During our time last night I asked the ladies to think of their top 3 worries, concerns or fears. The things that are weighing heavily on them. We’re going to call those our own personal “its”. My “it” might be different from yours but it still affects us. It takes our energy and focus and that’s not good because our family needs ALL our resources.  Throughout scripture we read God’s promises to be our strength, hope, joy, rest, and peace. If I pray about a situation in my life I can know that God will take care of it. He’ll do it His way and in His timing but we remember that He’s faithful and He’s called us to this season and time – so HE WILL DO IT!

I don’t know what “it” you’re dealing with today but I hope you can speak our 1 Thessalonians scripture with confidence and find reassurance that God loves you, knows you and cares about the “it” you’re facing.

 While speaking to the group last night God reminded me of a lesson I had taught to my students just 5 hours earlier. In my Newcomer’s class we are learning about pronouns. Yesterday our lesson covered the pronouns I and YOU. My sweet students who are learning English struggle with this concept – I think mothers do too.

Sometimes we think it’s all up to us.

I have to make that snack, talk to that person, lead that activity, clean that room, participate in that ministry……..the list goes on and on.

When it comes to dealing with the struggles in our life and staring down any “it” that might come our way we might need to start using the pronoun “you” a little bit more.

What if we started saying, “Lord, You are my strength. You have my heart. Would You help me decide what to do….” again, the list could go on and on.

I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have to win all the battles. I don’t even have to prove anything – all I need to do is trust God and work on having child-like faith in my Heavenly Father – He’s got this.

Tour Time with Alexandra Kuykendall

mom essentialsOne of the essentials we study is the essential of IDENTITY.

No one knows more about finding and defining your identity more than Alexandra Kuykendall.

She is a talented author, speaker, blogger and mom.

I had the privilege of meeting Alexandra when she spoke at MomCon  when it was held here in Kansas City.

Her book, The Artist’s Daughter, is a fantastic example of what it means to continually grow as a woman and a child of God.

Alexandra knows what it means to have questions and to trust God for the answers.

You’ll love getting to know her and I’m so thrilled she’s part of our tour and our Smarter Moms community –

CLICK HERE to read more!

Have You Heard!?

Woman on phoneMom Essentials is more than just a Bible Study!

This resource is meant to unify mothers of all ages in your church and your community!

Who would you like to have join you as you discover these 10 essentials?

Whether you complete this study on your own or with a group of other moms we have some amazing FREE resources to help you discover even more!

Check out the links under “Mom Essentials Free Resources”  in the menu on our home page.

When you click on the links you’ll be able to access:

1 – Free Leader’s Guide to help you plan your time, provide you with discussion questions and suggestions for speakers if you are wanting someone to come to your group

2- Free Opening Video to watch before beginning the study

3 – Free closing Video to watch during after completing the study.

CLICK HERE to watch 3 videos telling you more about how this study came to be…

 

More Momma, Less Drama – Engage

photoENGAGE

I remember my parents telling me to turn off the television and Atari (age related jokes totally appropriate at this point) and go outside. I’d obey, but once outside I’d think, “What now?”. Nothing was flashing, making music or entertaining me – nature was just sitting there.

I began enjoying nature when I made the effort to go out and connect with it. I’ve discovered it works the same way with children. When they’re younger children are eager to share their daydreams and ideas. If I’m being honest, I have had moments where my child’s “sharing” became more of an annoyance than an inspiration.

Sitting on the floor and playing with our kids all day isn’t a realistic option, and I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. The old saying, “quality not quantity” applies here. It’s about quality time. It’s about making the effort to get away from our own world full of adult issues and distractions and truly engage in our children’s thoughts, feelings and imagination.

Let’s look at this idea from two different sides. First, what does being engaged with our children look, sound and feel like. Secondly, how drama can take over when the element of being engaged with our children is missing.

ENGAGEMENT LOOKS LIKE…

People look each other in the eye and actively listen. When possible I try to kneel down or sit so I’m at eye-level with my kids. Phones are put down, the television is paused or turned off and I am truly engaged in what is happening in the room. Texts and Facebook alerts are ignored. These events can’t happen all day, every day – but having the intention of actively engaging in a 2 minute conversation can sometimes be a real challenge concerning all the other things crying out for our attention.

ENGAGEMENT SOUNDS LIKE…

People asking questions of each other and responding the first time a question is posed. Engagements sounds like a coffee shop where conversation and activities are intentional and enjoyed. Our level of engagement can determine how effective our discipline techniques will be. If our tone of voice is controlled, our message becomes clear and is sometimes received on a deeper level. Engaged families are in tune with the tone of voice they are using and actively work to make sure that tone is respectful and appropriate. Nothing slips through the attention of people engaged in each other’s life and responses.

ENGAGEMENT FEELS LIKE…

People who belong. Members are wanted, their presence is anticipated and they are missed when they are gone. Engagement brings validation and merit to a person’s value in a relationship. Anyone who has recently become engaged to be married is like a glowing torch of expectation. Their entire life revolves around planning the impending wedding and marriage to their love. Sharing my time, energy and life with my family shows them how valuable and necessary they are to me.

REALITY…

Now we’ll take reality into account. I cannot always look, sound and feel engaged with my kids – it would be impossible. There are times when I’m on an important phone call, when I’m talking with another adult or I’m working. In these moments I have a choice. Either I’ve created some sort of plan to help my kids deal with the situation or I allow the children to come up with a plan.

I’ve been talking with a friend at the park and I can hear her daughter screaming her name over and over again. Instead of answering or asking me to wait a moment while she looks to see what her daughter needs, my friend simply allowed the screaming to grow in pitch and volume until the entire park was looking around to see whose child was in need. Her daughter was left with only one option – to leave her swing, march over to us {can you sense the resentment and anger rising in this little girl?}, place her hand on her hip and scream “mommy” one more time. My friend very calmly responded with a , “What?” and the daughter had nothing to share or say. She had forgotten why she needed her mother.

I couldn’t help myself – I asked my friend to please stop talking with me and help her little girl – I didn’t mind at all. Was this mother being neglectful or selfish? Nope. But she was engaged in a conversation with me and her daughter knew that without extreme drama and sound she would never get her mother’s attention. If our children continually display dramatic responses and tactics we need to ask ourselves if we’re truly engaged with them.

When I’m on the phone, talking with another adult or working I need my children to understand that I’m engaged in an activity that can’t be stopped immediately. When my kids were very young (around 2 years old) I taught them the touch and wait signals and to this day my children (including my 5th grader) employ these techniques when I’m busy but they need me (see 7 Ways To Be A S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Mom to learn more techniques like these). I wanted to give my kids a plan so they wouldn’t feel as though they had to shout, throw a fit or say my name multiple times to get my attention.

When I’m not working or dealing with a phone sales person, I try my best to truly listen and be fully present when I’m interacting with my children. It is NOT easy and it is NOT natural for me.

SCRIPTURE…

That’s when I turn to scripture and remember I’m a follower of Christ and therefore I’m called to live beyond my human limitations. I can do this because I’m not alone.  Jesus became engaged with our world in the most intimate way possible. He left everything behind in order to spend time with us and allow us to engage with Him. Philippians 2 says that Christ, “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness”.

I’m not suggesting we become like servants to our children, but I think we can model our life after Christ by doing what we can to be engaged with our kids and be more “family-like” instead of only “self-like”.

Philippians 2:1-3…”Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

APPLICATION…

How do you engage with your kids?

What activities bring your family together for quality time?

When it comes to engaging with your children, how do you accomplish this without losing yourself at the same time?

Do you find it easier to engage with your children when you’ve had time away from them?

Thank you for being honest and sharing your thoughts – your insights can help others – please leave a comment below!

Kasey

More Momma, Less Drama – Encourage!

So I had the most AMAZING time this month with a few thousand of the world’s most awesome moms ever at #MomCon2013. If you weren’t able to make it please know that we missed you! I had lots of moms ask if I would post a few more connections between our 5 words and the desire of ALL our hearts to minimize the drama in our lives. 😮  I’d love to!

Here we go:

photo

Encourage

Think of the last time someone said a kind word of encouragement to you. One that was unsolicited and perhaps from a complete stranger.

It might be hard to recall one that meets those criteria because let’s face it – we’re a busy society with our eyes focused on a device more than they are focused on each other.

It’s easy to notice the bad. We’re programmed to fix things that aren’t correct.

But what if we turned our radars to the setting “Catch them doing it right” instead of “Catch them doing it wrong”.

Wrong will still happen but when our children know we genuinely believe in them and have seen their successes they are more likely to tone down the dramatic displays.

Children who are encouraged don’t have to be dramatic about not wanting to try new things or bring a dramatic response to any situations where they might fail.

We talked at MOPS about how the prefix “-en” means “to cause to be” – WOW! Through our words of genuine encouragement we can cause our kids to be COURAGEOUS…that’s amazing to me.

Be encouraged that you are amazing.

You are just the right mom your kids need for this season.

Do NOT allow Satan the chance to discourage you – it’s a dark place where the light of truth is extinguished.

Joshua 1:9…

“Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,

for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

The Power of A Mom

mom powerPower can be measured by volts, amps, watts and yes…MOM-POWER. I believe Mom-Power (MP) can be found in each of us.

It’s the power that helps us walk away from a pile of laundry to play with our child.

MP comes out when a Mom takes a deep breath before responding to her toddler’s temper tantrum.

Our MP is specific and necessary, and the best part about Mom-Power is that it can be recharged, renewed and redistributed.

RECHARGED: We are unique. What exhausts one woman might energize another, that’s what makes the recharging process so very important. How do you recharge? When you’re feeling empty (physically, emotionally, spiritually) where do you go, who do you talk to, what do you do to recharge your MP? It’s okay to become empty or begin running low and it’s REALLY okay to admit we need a little recharge.

RENEWED: Although it sounds a bit like recharge, being renewed is a bit different. Most of us can look at another mom and know she is in desperate need of a “charge”. Our ability to recognize a mom needing to be recharged comes from our personal experience with the same issues. But for a mother to be renewed she needs to go one step deeper, beyond the tasks she manages each day. When a woman’s MP needs to be renewed, she reconnects with her purpose as a woman, a mom and a child of God. What scriptures or activities help renew your sense of purpose and identity?

REDISTRIBUTED: To me, this is the BEST part about Mom-Power. I can share my MP with others and I can borrow MP from my friends. I don’t have to worry about being perfect or having all the answers. Instead, I get to combine my MP with the women around me and enjoy the super surge of power we bring to our church and community.

Moms really are powerful creatures. Who else could fulfill the role of nurse, psychologist, chef, housekeeper, accountant and more; all the while still finding time to shower!? Our MP is always with us, but sometimes we need to be recharged and renewed – that’s where our friends and our Mother’s groups play a major role in our life.

When we meet together we become energized!  It doesn’t matter if we meet at a church, the park or a coffee shop…we just have to continue meeting together, no matter what! We can’t keep our mom-power going strong if we try to do it alone!

If your MP is running low you have a choice. You can keep pressing on, hoping one day things change; or you can be vulnerable (which is really scary for some of us) and find other moms who have a little extra power they can redistribute and in turn help you feel renewed and recharged.

When we have a personal relationship with Christ we understand that our MP comes from Christ alone. Although He has given us gifts and abilities, we are human and our reliance upon Him keeps us in a growing partnership with Creator God. Isaiah 40:29 says it best:

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

When I’m weary and weak I have a God who is ready to recharge and renew my spirit. Sometimes He accomplishes this awesome task through my prayer and devotional time – but sometimes He uses the amazing women around me and for that I am truly grateful.

Feel free to wear your superhero cape and enjoy the beautiful truth that God has given you the Mom Power you need.  Trust yourself and keep checking your level of MP. If it gets to low make sure you

How do you recharge and renew?

Have you experienced a time when others moms redistributed their power and helped you or someone else in your group?

Share your comments and encourage us – we need to hear from you!

You are an amazing woman, full of power and strength – you don’t need an invisible jet or x-ray vision – you’ve got Mom Power!!!

Kasey


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