Dear Moms: You make me brave. #Momcon #MOPS International

IMG_6759Truth: I left for #momcon feeling a mixed bag of emotions. They varied from anxious and afraid to excited and full of expectations and hope.

It was hard to go. I left my husband for the first time during his chemo treatment. I left a 12 year old whom I know is struggling with anxiety. I left college boys who are adults- but still my kids- and who are still affected by all the crazy, that is our life.

It was also -hard to leave #momcon! YOU inspire sister, mom. your stories keep me passionate about MOPS. Your experiences challenge me to grow in compassion and bravery. Your worship ushered me closer to Jesus. I arrived with an empty cup- afraid I had nothing to offer- and I experienced the miracle of the oil jar.

Somehow— each time there was a point of connection and divine appointment…God poured in and through me…it came from two sources- God and YOU.

Yes, really- YOU.

  • The mom who left her nursing child.
  • The mom who brought her nursing child.
  • The moms I prayed with.
  • The mom who saved change for a year-to pay for her trip.
  • The mom who came alone.
  • The mom who traveled far. The mom who flew for the first time.
  • The moms who bravely drove after a tragic accident.
  • The leader who came, and didn’t feel adequate to lead. (for the record neither do I. I’m learning I don’t have to be. God is. )
  • The leader who came even though her group and team is struggling and they don’t know what to do- or how to get through it together.
  • The pregnant mom.
  • The mom with cancer.
  • The mom who beat cancer.
  • The mom with morning sickness.
  • The woman facing health issues. (earthly bodies: can really suck.)
  • The mom facing the shame and doubt.
  • The teen mom.
  • The mom at home- brave enough to stay home because she knew that’s where she needed to be.
  • The mom watching the live stream- YOU inspire me to find a way.
  • YOU inspired me.Yes you.
  • All of you. Seeing you worship- together-  across denominations, across social boundaries, from across the country and around the world- I found strength in your hopeful presence.

I found holy beauty in the moment when we shared our fears and insecurities. (One word? We’re moms we don’t do one word.) When you spoke those lies and heard the truth.. I heard Jesus whispering truth in your ear and in mine.

I found joy, as we laughed together at the crazy that is mothering and being a mom.

I found renewed purpose in knowing I am called to love each of you- and every mom I meet.

I found comfort in knowing- I’m not alone. In my insecurities- in my fears- in my hopes and dreams.

I remembered what I’m supposed to forget. (The former things.)

I remembered what I’m supposed to remember. (Who’s I am.)

I found the stream in my wasteland. YOU are part of it.

We are in this holy mess of mothering- together.

We are called to be brave enough to share our hope. We are called to be brave not because we are brave- but because God makes us brave. Together.

As a Board member of MOPS International, as a Mom, as a leader- I  want you to know- you matter- you make a difference- to me- and to thousands of others. Keep it up.

As I walked through the hall #MomProm- I found feathers everywhere….and all I could think was:

“Girls- you’re dripping with bravery. Go- do your thing. I’m with you. So are the rest of your sisters- more importantly- so is the one who created you.”

I left scared-I came home: braver. Thank you.

Be you- Bravely. So will I.

Together- we’ll change the world.

“Dear Lord- thank you for your presence- your word to encourage your people to love and your sacrifice to redeem- all things. Lord- make us brave- help us. Walk with us, carry us.In Jesus Name- amen.”

What’s YOUR brave? What are you facing that’s stretching you to go beyond fear and insecurity? Let’s talk about it in the comments…

I’ll go first:

My biggest braves right now, are:

  • Facing my husband’s advanced Prostate cancer. Today is Chemo- round 2.
  • Parenting 3 very different sons-2 who are adults-and one who’s a pubescent powerhouse- uniquely with grace. love and wisdom.
  • My book proposal #amileinhershoes is in the final stages of preparation before going out to agents and publishers… honestly? It make me equally nauseous to think about the risk of rejection- and the risk of acceptance. But not as sick as the idea of NOT trying. That’s not gonna happen. I have to do this. The rest is up to God.

I’m doing it all- anyway. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if I’m scared. Even if I’m not adequate.

Because: God. And- because: you.

Because God is enough when I am not.

Because-You dripped bravery and I picked up some of your feathers. Thank you. (Literally. I brought some home.)

There-I showed you mine- now it’s your turn: Show me yours.  What’s your brave?

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3 thoughts on “Dear Moms: You make me brave. #Momcon #MOPS International

  1. My brave? My biggest one is resigning from MOPS Volunteer Staff. I didn’t want to but God said it was time. It took a lot of brave to resign from the community where I have learned so much and met so many amazing women. Now I’m trying to be figure out where God wants me next. Being brave is hard!

  2. Oh, Tracey, here I sit at my desk in a schoolroom buzzing with preschool lunchtime chaos trying to keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks. You said this so perfectly. Thank you. I thought my brave was taking on the AC role and only having one MC and one SP, but I found at MOMcon that He has even more for me to do. I feel He is asking me to keep pursuing the opportunity to partner with a missionary couple we know about starting a MOPS group in their church in north India. He also told me that I need to be intentional about encouraging my youngest to be herself bravely.

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