MOP’s started this week and it was so fun! A friend and I sat chatting afterwards discussing all the things we love about how MOPs functions. One of our favorite parts is the role that Mentor Moms play.

A Mentor Mom is a woman who is past the stage of MOPs i.e. no longer has preschool-aged children. She doesn’t have to be a certain age, she just has to have a little more experience than the rest of the moms who attend. At the church where our MOPs group meets, it just so happens that the majority of the Mentor Moms are quite a bit older. I’m talking in their 60-70’s+!!  And I don’t know if it is totally true, but someone told me last year that the church has a WAIT LIST for the Mentor Moms because so many of the women want to serve there. Isn’t that awesome? How many great grandmas do you know who would line up to hold babies and encourage (and maybe laugh at) young moms?

I LOVE IT! Partly because I miss my Grandmas (b/c we live so far away from them) and partly because they offer such joy and perspective to us young moms. Wow! I love the difference that they make in our lives just by showing up and praying for us and listening to us.

This idea really got me thinking about the power of a woman. A woman is a mighty force. She can bring beauty and life to so much, or she can squash the life right out of something with just a look. I wonder if we really grasp the power we possess?

I’ve thought a lot about the kind of woman I want to be both now and in the future. I hope that doesn’t make me too weird or anything, but seriously, I have a picture in my head of what I expect to be and to become. I know that life will bring things that will alter my perspective as I go along, but ultimately I know in the gut of my soul that I want to be a Life Giving woman. Forever.

Now I’ve got to put this delicately, but I’ve met women who are Life Suckers. For the sake of full disclosure, I can be a Life Sucker myself sometimes-especially when I have to run in the rain– we all can be that way.

If you are reading this and you think I’m talking about you, just stop it, I’m not. I’m not writing this to anyone or about anyone, I’m just talking here.  Don’t call me and say “you meant me, didn’t you Tiff?”. You KNOW what I mean. I’m talking about the bitter, angry, resentful, old woman. She is always a victim of the world and it’s cruelty. She is wounded and thinks everyone else should pay. She is owed for what she has endured. I kind of shudder at the thought of a woman like that.

Wounded people have a tendency to wound people. Women are responders and when we are wounded we often respond by wounding. It’s the “if I hurt you should hurt too” idea. But we all have a choice. We have a great big choice to think about who we want to be today, tomorrow, next week and in 20 years, 30 years, or even 50 years, God-willing.

I just finished a great book by John and Stasi Eldredge called Love and War. One of my favorite points they made is that in marriage, we all are faced with a plethora of private little choices every day. “Do I change the baby who just ran by reeking of poop or do I wait until my wife smells it and does it herself?” “Do I pick up that $20 bucks that just fell out of some guy’s wallet and let him know or do I pick it up and keep it for myself?” It’s all integrity stuff. But it reminded me of this issue too. Do I let go of my junk and choose to love even though it hurts? Do I give of myself rather than demand that someone gives to me?

It’s not just about that choice though. There is a difference in these Mentor Moms and it’s Jesus! They don’t just muster up the strength to be different, they call on their Heavenly Father to give them the strength they need. And so it is no wonder they are exhibiting the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!

Each of these mentor moms probably have other things they could be doing. I think of my grandmas who have their own health issues; painful back stuff, a bum knee, poor hearing and the like. I can see how hard it would be to get up and hustle off to a room full of crying babies and chatty young women who have no idea what is in store for them in the years to come. They are blissfully unaware. But these ladies do it anyway. They choose to give life. And I LOVE IT!

My heart hurts for that bitter, resentful, angry woman. The woman who is deeply wounded and sucks the life out of those around her. She probably just needs a hug and someone to bring her some cookies. I am so grateful for the experienced women who are in my life; Moms, sisters, grandmas and aunts. I am so grateful for the way they love others, the way they encourage and support and lift up those around them. I want to be like that! I want to give life and I want to have something to offer like these fabulous mentor moms who come to my MOPs group.

I hope that reading this today encourages you to think about the power you possess as a woman. I hope it encourages you to make the little choices everyday to give life rather than suck it from those around you. And I hope you’ll give some cookies to a crabby old lady. 😀

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5 thoughts on “Life Giver or Life Sucker?

  1. I want to hold babies! That’s my dream when I’m not working any longer. Anyway, it’s funny you mention this…Mom was just talking the other day that she goes to one of the churches in town with Cammy and babysits (holds the little babies) for a Mom’s Day Out group. She’s 87 and LOVES to sit and hold babies. I think they are doing it every other Wednesday and I think it’s pretty neat that she does it.

  2. I’ll have to send my mom a link to this post. She’s a mentor mom for her church’s MOPS group. (Cornerstone E-Free) along with Marilyn McDonald, who you know of course. They both rock at it.

  3. Tiff-
    AMEN, sister! I have the same ambition as you (to be a Life Giver and not a Life Sucker), and believe me, I’m staring over the precipice of Crabby Old Ladyhood! As my peers and I assist our 80-something parents in their last years, the contrast between Givers and Suckers is even more stark. An hour with a Sucker lasts a lifetime, while an hour with a Giver is refreshing, inspiring, and passes in a flash! Here’s an observation–I tend to be more of a Sucker with my own kids, and a Giver with anyone else–and that’s a dangerous situation. I’m getting a clue, however–the way to avoid becoming a Sucker to your own children is to make the Lord your focus, not them. Really, cut ’em loose in thought, word and deed and spend all that energy on Jesus. I’m told that this shift of focus will restore your role as Life Giver in your own family circle, as well as restoring your right relationship with the Lord 😉 That sounds like a win-win to me!
    Thanks for the sweet words, too 😉
    Love,
    Marilyn

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