For the first year of my daughter's life, MOPS was a huge part of keeping the small shreds of sanity that were left. It was a very challenging year and the encouragement, commiseration and space to breathe were exactly what I needed. I was sad when one of my work days ended up being a Friday and I had to stop going to MOPS for a couple of years. In that time, I stayed in touch with participating in craft nights, helping to do AV for the State Conference and chatting to the mums at church who went. I missed it! I had already started considering changing my work days for the following year (this year) to allow me to go back as I knew my days of being eligible were numbered since we aren't planning a sibling for my girl. I mentioned this to a couple of friends who were in the leadership team at MOPS while chatting one Sunday and they were enthusiastic in their agreement with this idea! I felt such a strong tug in me to go back. I felt that tug was wrapped up in other promptings from God and messages of growth and increased capacity coming.
A few weeks later I got a call from one of those friends inviting me to come on board the leadership team for MOPS. I felt the immediate confirmation in my spirit and accepted on the spot (sorry to my hubby who really should have been part of this decision but who has made space for this in our lives). The enthusiasm may have taken a hit in the reality of carrying out the responsibilities but I have learned and grown so much. This extended when I was invited to be part of the committee organising the State Conference for the leaders.
Servant leadership- a phrase that is bandied about often in church but I am growing in my capacity to live this. The title of "leader" doesn't make me any better or different than any of the women I lead. It simply puts me in an opportunity to serve those women around me in a greater way. It is about supporting the leaders and women that I have been given the privilege to serve in practical and emotional ways.
I don't have to do things perfectly to have an impact- I started off trying to tick off every responsibility and suggestion in the handbook I was given. A good recipe for stress and feeling completely incapable of fulfilling this role! I have had to learn to focus on a few key areas, strive for the rest but give myself grace in the development of my skills and role. This is especially true as our MOPS group has only implemented the discussion group part of MOPS this year, so everyone is adjusting and getting our heads around it. We are starting to see the impact of the groups in allowing more reserved women to open up, friendships forming and increased ability to know when practical and emotional support is needed.
I need a thicker skin- I recognise the tendency in me to take things personally and get defensive quickly. There have been a few issues come up in the process of adjusting to assigned groups that I had to learn to separate myself from and deal with as an external problem not an attack on me!
It's all about the team you serve with- the others in the leadership team and the discussion group leaders I oversee have made all the difference in my capacity to lead. This community has become such an integral part of my life this year. I need to dedicate a whole post to this so stay tuned for that!
I'm sure there are many more things that I don't even realise I've learned yet. The growth process has been so incremental over the last year that I don't always have a conscious understanding of it.
What have the leadership roles you are in taught you?
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This post is part of a series called "My journey of increasing capacity" written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.