Imagine a soccer match where no one cheered. Or cheerleaders sitting quietly in the stadium as their team moves toward the goal line. Imagine a graduation where everyone politely nodded. Or a concert where no one clapped. Or a finish line with no one waiting for the runners to break the tape. Does all that sound like a flat-line on the encouragement meter?
As Mentors, God has us perfectly poised to celebrate even the tiniest moments with MOPS Leaders and moms. We get a front row seat in the lives of women who are in the trenches of motherhood. We get to watch a new Leader grow and discover new skills. A smile, a nod, an encouraging word go so far to lift the hearts of these precious moms. God will ask us to do many things as we come alongside the women we mentor, but few are as much fun as our role as encourager. We get to cheer for the moms that break the tape. We get to cheer for the moms that stumble along the way. A mom may fall down and the Mentor may be the one who urges her to get up, keep going and finish the race. We may have to run along beside her, we may cheer like crazy from the sidelines, we may hand her a drink of water. And always, always we point her to the goal.
Moms are built to celebrate. We celebrate the plus sign on a pregnancy test, the first smile, sleeping through the night, first steps and potty training. The same mom that so easily celebrates with her kids often forgets to celebrate herself. When taking a shower and leaving the house looking half-way put together becomes a major milestone in the life of a mom, someone needs to notice. Because everyone needs to be noticed. MOPS Mentors can whisper words of encouragement or cheer with enthusiasm, making all the difference in the life of a young mom.
Mentors, turn up your radar and look for ways you can encourage the moms in your care. Look for the mom who is struggling. Use your eyes and your ears to really see and hear what moms are saying.
How do you encourage a mom as she works her way through the sometimes crazy, sometimes, exhausting, sometimes scary maze of motherhood? How do you encourage the Leader who is doubting her leadership, losing confidence in herself? Quite frankly, a little effort goes a long ways. Jot a note, tell her what you noticed, celebrate with her and send her some good-old fashioned mail. Send her a text. A smile. A nod. A hug. Encouragement comes through written word, spoken word, personal touch and body language.
Keep a journal; jot a note to yourself to help you remember what you observe and to help you follow-up with a mom. Sometimes we cheer them through a sprint, sometimes it is a marathon.
MOPS Leaders and moms alike spend a lot of their day celebrating others. You, as a Mentor, have the opportunity to celebrate them.
Words to encourage and celebrate others:
- You help me see things from a unique perspective.
- You are so kind and compassionate.
- It is OK to make mistakes! Sometimes it is the best way to learn.
- You love people well.
We have a Membership just for you!
Our unique Mentor Membership gives Mentors the complete MOPS Membership Kit, allowing Mentors to have everything the moms in their groups receive. Along with that, Mentors receive their own Mentor guidebook, written by experts, to help walk Leaders through what mentoring in the context of a MOPS group is like. Ask your Leadership Team to register you for a Mentor Membership.
Kathy Dye cautiously attended her first MOPS meeting in 1993 when a friend invited her to check it out. She became a MOPS Volunteer in 2002 and currently serves as an Area Coach mentoring other Volunteers, Leaders and moms. Believing that MOPS is about reaching one heart at a time, Kathy continues to cheer on another generation of Leaders, celebrating both baby steps and giant leaps with equal joy. Kathy farms and raises cattle with her family in western Nebraska.