Be Fierce. Be You. Be Present.

How to get over the jitters about the first meeting.

god grace and girlfriendsBeing new to Portland last year and also being new to Beaverton MOPS I was wondering how my first meeting would go. Add to that the fact that I missed the first “Get to know each other” meeting and you can probably feel my nerves. Let’s be honest, I had a mix of emotions—from excited to worried, those that keep you thinking about your first day of school. In a way it is… but much better I promise!

Now that I’m in the Steering Committee and entering my second year at MOPS I can give you some pointers that I myself will need to follow. Don’t worry if you don’t know what “Steering” is, there might be a lot of new words floating around the room that first day, you will eventually add them to your vocabulary.

Here are my pointers:

  • Ask lots of questions. Most might be the usual “where is the daycare?” or “where do I sit?” but don’t worry because we want to help you out.
  • Introduce yourself to your group. If you don’t know this yet, everyone is separated in groups that way it makes it easier to get to know each other. We all want to get to know you so don’t be afraid to be the first one to say hi.
  • Don’t feel like you’re being judged. This pretty much means Be Yourself. I’m an introvert at heart so I spend a lot of time listening first to others and slowly integrating myself to the group. Do what works for you!
  • Talk about a common interest: our kids. Share photos, stories, and tell us how your morning went getting there with your kiddos.
  • Lastly, don’t get discouraged. This is a hard one because you sometimes have high expectations and you might not connect to your group on the first day. Please give it time, first impressions aren’t always perfect and there are tons of opportunities to connect to others throughout the year.

I hope this helps those who are new. Feel free to add your own tips below. Can’t wait to see everyone again and make new friends.

Blessings,
Leticia

Keeping Moms Blooming This Summer

94d396f29714d595f6de7cbc90842244I recently was at my local Fred Meyer and noticed the notorious “Back to School” signs and items—I was so surprised and disappointed to see this! Why does Summer go by so fast?!?

Even though July 4th has come and gone I am not ready to realize summer is halfway over. I am not ready to shop for school clothes or look for the supply list for each of my child’s school.

As I walked through the aisles I noticed all the fun summer toys I have yet to enjoy with my kids. Making me realize I have to make the time to have fun with my family. Sometimes, we get into routines and forget to make this a priority.

Talking about priority—when was the last time you did something for yourself? Moms neglect ourselves too easily. Kids and everything else seem to always come first. I myself have been guilty of this. I have a massage package and have yet to use one! What am I waiting for?

Let’s help each other remember this message in the hopes that we keep “blooming” this Summer! Don’t worry, we still have time. Please write down in the comments below how you will reward yourself in the next few weeks. Make this a contract to yourself. Then when we think back about this Summer we will remember that we made ourselves a priority and we are proud to be so FIERCE!

Peace and Grace,
Leticia—Beaverton MOPS, Co-Publicity

PS. Don’t forget to turn in your registration form.

We are a Match

My dear friend Sophie has three beautiful children.  One four-year-old daughter from a domestic adoption.  One three-year-old daughter from an international adoption.  And a year-old biological son.  She recently found out she is pregnant with identical twins.  She is my hero. 338037_10150489269508429_1700713925_o

She shared a story of her daughters, Zoelie and Azalea, finding common ground.  Zoelie is Hispanic and Azalea is African.  Zoelie was showing Azalea her tiny brown moles and pointing to them said, “You see, here I am brown like you.  And here.  And here too.  We’re a match.”  Azalea then, in turn, opened the palm of her hand widely, finding her lightest skin and said, “And look!  Here I am yellow like you!”  1000166_10151521125048429_2115290969_n

I was instantly reminded of the song Jesus Loves Me.  “Red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight.”  I think common ground is what is so special and so critical to a strong MOPS group.  While we all come from different backgrounds and places in our lives, we all share the same story.  Motherhood brings us together and we find similarities and solidarity in doing the best we can each day to love our children, one another, and ourselves.

I am thankful everyday for the group of women I’ve found within Beaverton MOPS of St. Matthew.  Wom970781_10151555706088429_647259999_nen who share in the same struggles and the same joys that come with parenting young children.  Thank you for loving me and accepting me, just as I am.

I encourage you to reach out to a fellow MOP this week.  Send a card.  Make a phone call.  Take a meal.  Let her know we are in this together.  We are strong women, working toward a common goal.  WE ARE A MATCH.

I’m a Beautiful Mess

A beautiful mess.  What am I as a mother, if not a beautiful mess?  Sure, some of the time I have it together.  The kids get to school on time, the laundry gets folded, the groceries put away, the slippers traded in for shoes as I head out the door.  Other times, I fall into a hug from a friend with the relief that someone else understands my crazy.

As I reflected on the theme for this upcoming year, I realized it was deeper than just the visible mess: the toys, the clutter, the dog hair, the family chaos.  When I feel, deep down inside, that I’m a mess. That I don’t know what I’m doing.  That I’m grasping at straws with my parenting.  That I’m nagging my wonderful husband.  That I’m exercising and getting nowhere.  That I’ve let down a friend. That I’m confused by my faith and the purpose God has for me.  That I question everything.  That I can’t get anything right.

And yet.

And yet, I am the beautiful mess that God created.  He has a plan for me, and while I may only see the lint and dust and grime around the edges of my soul, he has created me to be this way.  In His eyes I am beautiful, with or without the mess.  In His eyes I am perfection.

So.

So I can stop striving for my own perfection.  I can breathe.  I can close my eyes and see.  In His eyes I am already there.  My kids love me.  My husband adores the woman I am.  And I’m doing a good job.

May you give yourself a moment of grace.  May you stop and know that you are God’s beautiful mess, exactly the way you are.

Flying the Friendly Skies

Aside

My family and I were taking a trip to Missouri to celebrate Father’s Day.  We had encountered some unexpected fuel problems while still on the ground in Portland.  Our flight that was scheduled to leave at 6AM didn’t depart until 11AM.  A small bump in the road.  Something I am accustomed to while traveling with 3 boys.  photo

Minutes within taking off, my youngest were fast asleep and Abe was happily engaged in technology.  The day was quickly improving.  Somewhere between Portland and Chicago, however, we encountered some heavy turbulence.  Unexpected.  Despite flying regularly, I was taken by surprise. And scared.  I watched as grown men clenched their arm rests with white knuckles.  And then set eyes on my boys.  Abe was still engrossed in Mine Craft and the twins slept soundly on my lap.  Not phased. They were fearless, resolute – even in the midst of turbulence.  I was reminded that is what God calls us to be as people of faith.

When the skies get bumpy, our solace and peace should be in the Lord.  He longs for a photorelationship with us.  For us to trust in Him.  Believe.  I raised a prayer up during the midst of the bumping and shaking.  The words of my Granny rang strong, “People who pray don’t need luck.”  The turbulence was short-lived and The Littles continued to sleep the reminder of the flight.

I felt the presence of God that day in more ways than one.  Continued prayers for all of us and smooth skies ahead!