A MOPS Story: the Power of Intention

Melodi Leih

Here’s a story of a mom not unlike some you’ve heard before, but it’s worth telling.

This mom was struggling; she wrestled with fear and self-doubt and sat in a place of “am I enough?” as a woman, wife and mom.

On the outside, no one would have known she struggled this way. She was the woman who never met a stranger and made sure everyone in her life knew how much she loved them. She was active in her church and had known the Lord her whole life, but still, she struggled every day with loneliness and to be more for her family, and had an unidentified need to be more connected.

She and a friend were at a scrapbooking party when she first heard about MOPS. The moms couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had at MOPS, and so as she listened her heart was filled with excitement about MOPS. She asked how she could get in on this and they quickly told her, “I’m sorry – we are full. There is no room for you.” Her heart sank. “If you mail your registration form in and it is postmarked by this date, you may be able to get in … later.” So, that’s exactly what she and her friend did, and the next semester her MOPS journey started.

That first MOPS morning, she struggled to get her toddler and her very pregnant self to MOPS. A mentor greeted her: “I am so glad you are here.” That was the start of this mom’s journey – her journey to realize she had more to offer herself, her family and her kids.

The leadership team quickly invited her to use what they saw as gifts: her ability to connect with people and make them feel at home around a table. While her initial thought was no way, my struggles are too big to be able to encourage anyone else – she found herself wanting to be brave and to do more. She said, “Yes,” trusting God with the rest.

During her time at this group, she met a coach – a woman who had been impacted by MOPS. This coach was intentional about getting to know her. She told her that she saw amazing potential in her and that God could use her struggles, her brokenness as a way to encourage moms feeling the same way. She said she was more than enough for God to use. Over time, she began to believe what this coach was telling her – that she had everything she needed to be vital part of someone else’s story.

I am this mom. Shelly Radic came alongside me at a time I needed a friend. I was already a leader in my home and in my church, but I didn’t see it. I didn’t recognize God wanted to use me to encourage others while also growing me as a leader. Her investment in my life is why I am here today.

I was a coach for about six months before Shelly nudged me and said, “You should be the area coach.” She walked with me, trained me, and showed me strengths I couldn’t see but ones she had faithfully helped develop. A few years later, she encouraged me to apply to be part of the MOPS staff.

For almost 13 years, I’ve been part of the MOPS staff. I have learned to do more things than I ever thought possible. I have found my voice as a leader – sometimes too loud – and I have been part of shaping a team whose heart is for service to MOPS and moms, but more importantly to Jesus. Shelly’s investment in me as a coach has changed me.

Here’s what I have learned over the years: God cares more about who I am with him than what I do for him. For as long as God calls me to this role and mission, I will invest in equipping and encouraging our volunteer team, many who like me, never dreamed they could be or do more for Jesus.

Melodi Leih attended MOPS in 1995 and has served in every volunteer position for the past 25 years. She joined the MOPS staff in 2006 and is the Regional Volunteer Manager for the west/central/teen and Spanish areas. She has been married for 30 years and is a mom to three remarkable humans and an amazing son-in-law (with her first grandbaby on the way!). She believes in the “why” of MOPS – so moms and families can experience life change through Jesus.