I attended my first MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) National Convention this weekend. Look at my beautiful leaders who came along with me! I love these ladies!
Picture if you will a herd, I mean a crowd of 5,000 women. Not just any women, but mother’s of preschoolers, ALONE with NO kids, NO husbands, NO dirty diapers, NO cooking, NO laundry, NO whining and NO responsibility besides making their sessions on time! Can I just tell you, these were probably the happiest and most excited women you have would have ever seen!!!
There were women in feather boas, light up cowboy hats, glow in the dark necklaces, tiaras, you name it… it was there!
I feel for any man who was walking around this convention. ha! Even the men’s bathrooms were converted for us. I like how they beautified the urinals.
This crowd was amazing. I couldn’t believe how many women came from all across the United States to learn more about leadership and how to make a difference in other mother’s lives through the word of God. It was such an inspiring trip that I’m getting a lump in my throat just thinking about it. I think I cried more in 2 days than I have in 3 years! ha. The good cry that makes you think about your life, dreams, relationships and what you can do to help others. The speakers, musicians and testimonies were incredible. I learned strategies to organize my family life and why I should live my dreams. I was reminded we aren’t called to be perfect moms, but called to receive from God and give back to our children. I learned that we can’t keep doing and doing, going and going… we have to rest. I could go on and on about what I took back from this weekend!
The most memorable moment by far was not seeing Lynne Spears (Britney’s mama), Plumb or Avalon, but was when I was called to stand and speak before a group of, well… I don’t even know how many? Let’s just say a LOT, a crowd, a huge room full of women!! Did I ever tell you that my BIGGEST fear is speaking in front of a large group!! Can you say heart racing, pit sweating, panic??? I really don’t remember walking up to the front of the room…. well, let’s back up a bit.
In order to help get over this fear, I signed up for Carol Kuykendall’s Up Front Speaking session. She’s a well known author and speaker who I’m sure will provide wonderful tips. My friend Kerri also comes to this session. We’re excited, so much so that when asked what we think when we hear the words public speaking, I shout PANIC!!! Carol then says, “Who was the person who just shouted panic?” Oh my! She was talking to me! So of course I shot my hand up in the air like Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter. Ooh-ooh-ooooh! It was me!!! She said to remember I answered this. Mmmmm. Does that mean I’ll get a prize? Oh, I love prizes.
Back to the session…. Carol then had us roll play with a partner, practice introducing them as a speaker for our MOPS group back home. I thought Kerri and I did wonderful jobs. Maybe we didn’t need this class after all??? Then Carol says, “Panic, where are you? You and your partner come on up here with me.” What??? The entire room sucked in their breath. Remember they’re all here because they have the fear also. After Kerri gave me an I’m going to kill you look (ha!)… we were all the sudden in the front of the room. Poor girl got dragged up there because of me, so now both of our hearts are racing like crazy! Did I mention there were a LOT of women there? Wow! Carol wants to hear my introduction. Look at all the women! What am I supposed to do again? I look at Kerri, I didn’t know she could smile and give the I’m going to kill you look at the same time:-) ha! It’s now or never, so I go for it! Okay, so you know I screwed up my introduction! I totally forgot what Kerri was supposed to be speaking about. I think I did introduce her by name, but that’s about it. I said a few things that made the room actually laugh, then we were back in our seats. Carol went on with her message. Talk about hearts pumping!! Kerri and I were ready to run a marathon! She didn’t say a word and was as freaked out as me! ha. Boy what a scary moment, but what a fun moment all the same. I realized that if I can get in front of all of those women without puking, I might actually do okay someday with the right preparation and prayer.
The weekend wasn’t all leadership sessions and crying:-) We had some fun girl time too! This was the shuttle we took to go out. Just had to get a photo of this sign! ha.
The restaurant brought out little cheesecake desserts for my birthday. These are not shots:-) ha!
I want to thank the leaders from our group for taking the time and money to attend this conference. Also, a big shout out to our husbands!!! If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have been able to have this wonderful experience. Yeah for dads!