I am retiring as a MOPS coach this year, wrapping up over a decade of MOPS. It is time. But before I go, I need to write this letter. For MOPS has made me a better mother, friend, leader and follower of Jesus.
I joined MOPS when I was 8-months pregnant with my first child. I was skeptical but also desperate, as I missed my work identity and friends. My table brought meals to my home, my mentor held my newborn, and I got advice and perspective on sleep, expectations and the new normal. MOPS poured into me when I needed it most. They were a sisterhood of mothers all enduring the mundane and celebrating the meaningful together. Thank you MOPS for meeting me where I was.
At the end of my first year, my discussion group leader asked if I would consider joining leadership. I had never been involved in church leadership and I didn’t feel I had anything to offer. But she wisely told me that God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. So, I said yes. Thank you MOPS for calling out potential leaders and equipping them for service.
I loved serving as a leader. I made lifelong friends with people who understood how wonderful and awful parenting young children can be. I didn’t feel at all qualified, but I became the MOPS group coordinator. I loved pouring into moms, growing our group, and introducing women to Jesus. During this time, I realized that I was a good leader. That is something that had never occurred to me before. Thank you MOPS for supporting your leaders and encouraging them to use their gifts.
As I continued in my motherhood journey, I realized I had things to say. I was passionate about talking to other moms about guilt, anger, anxiety and joy. I wanted to let women know they weren’t alone in their struggle and give them practical tools for enjoying this season. Even though I had never done anything like it before, I became a MOPS speaker. For the last five years, I have spoken to MOPS groups throughout the region. Thank you MOPS for giving me the opportunity to speak to moms all over Puget Sound.
I was done coordinating, but still had a heart for helping leaders lead well. Just as I had been called out, I wanted to find and nurture leaders wherever I could. I became a MOPS coach and enjoyed encouraging, troubleshooting and supporting leaders throughout the area. Every MOPS group has a different flavor and I loved experiencing them all. Thank you MOPS for providing support for groups locally.
Currently, I teach at Northwest University in the College of Education. During my interview, I spoke the longest about my experience in MOPS – speaking, coaching, leading – was the “secret sauce” to my application. I had learned how to call out and encourage potential, how to use practical tools to focus on the bigger picture, and how diversity of experience enriches us all. So, first of all, thank you MOPS for helping me land my dream job. And thank you for cultivating gifts in me that are impacting the lives of teachers today.
Thank you MOPS for everything you have poured into me and allowing me to pour into others. I am forever grateful for the impact you have made and continue to make.
MOPS Mom Emerita,
Heather Lucas is a MOPS coach, speaker and former coordinator. She and her husband, Roger, live in Seattle and have three little girls ages 10, 7 and 5. She currently teaches at Northwest University in the College of Education and loves her friendships with incredible women, being on the water, and chai tea lattes.