Sharing the Blessing of Mothering
By Jane Runge Darlage, OS MOPS Co-Founder & Mentor Mom
In January 2003, a group of young Our Shepherd moms came together to embark on a new adventure - to start a Mothers of Preschoolers charter group that would meet monthly to share with each other and learn from others about the challenging and rewarding role of mothering their children. These women came from all kinds of backgrounds and careers, but all had taken the step to begin families, and were engaged in raising Godly children in a sinful world.
None of us had the answers, but through sharing and a wonderful assortment of speakers, we learned that was okay, and we were not the only ones who felt tired, frustrated, at our wit’s end, or confounded on a regular basis! It was okay to make mistakes as long as you kept trying and kept moving forward, and always kept your heart and mind on God.
Today, our group has evolved somewhat - we are still moms of newborns to kindergartners, but we now host moms from other churches and denominations, and our alums have spread across the country as life has taken them in new directions. Many of us stay connected through Facebook, as we’ve watched our babies grow and spread their wings, some of whom are already in college.
Our MOPS group serves the church and community each year through our Advent Tea for the adult women of the congregation each December, plus we tithe from our earnings to support a ministry or project of the church. We wrap Operation Christmas Child boxes for the school children to fill in November. We take 6-9 meals to new moms in the congregation, even if they are not members of our group. And we usually perform at least one service project a year for a community charity like Sheltering Wings or Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Why is a group like this so important? As one of our first Mentor Moms once told me, she wished there had been a group like this when she was raising her kids. She recalled the times she thought she was the only one having this problem or that challenge, and it would have been so nice to sit down with other moms in the same place in life, and know you weren’t alone.
Our Shepherd MOPS meets the second Monday of the month, September through May, from 9-11 a.m. One of the benefits of the program is a dedicated group of volunteers who watch our kids for us while we meet so that we can focus on our discussion, speakers, or projects with minimal interruptions. Recently, we have seen a surge in new babies, and are feeling the strain in our childcare coverage. We are in need of more volunteers who would be able to care for newborns in the nursery or toddlers in the gym during our meetings. If you would be interested in supporting the young moms of our congregation and community in this way, or know someone who might, please contact me or drop an email to , and we’ll be in touch. Thank you for helping to make this pivotal time in our children’s lives all the better through relaxed, refreshed and refilled moms.