Friday, October 17, 2014

MOMcon (31 Days)

Go here to catch up on the 31 day series...

If you are following along then you know I have stepped out in faith to start a MOMSnext group. If this is your first visit then go here to understand the full picture. Part of the MOPS organization is a wonderful conference called MOMcon. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear speakers, attend classes, receive encouragement, exchange ideas and see vendors of course. The support alone in this safe place is AH-mazing. I was honored to be asked by our coordinator from our Mops group to go with her to MOMcon. This year the MOMcon was in Louisville, Kentucky. Such a fun city by the way. Of course this year's topics were all around Be You, Bravely. Plus, you include moms from all over the world just for this event it makes it that much sweeter! The weekend was jammed packed full of mastery classes for those of us in leadership and key note speakers.

Our speakers for the weekend were:

Sherry Surrat-President & CEO of Mops 
Jennie Allen-Author, Speaker & Founder of IF:Gathering 
Melissa D'Arabian -Food Network Star, & Host of Ten Dollar Dinners & former Mops moms
Lisa Chan-Author & Co-founder of Cornerstone Community Church
Shauna Niequist- Author & Speaker  (highly recommend Cold Tangerines)
Angie Smith- Author & Speaker(married to Todd lead singer of group Selah)

For worship we had Meredith Andrews
For inspiration & poetry Amena Brown 
Of course Kendall Parkhurst for introducing speakers & inspirational videos-Mops coordinator

From the list above if you know any of them or have heard of them then you know it was a BIG event. That is just the keynote speakers. Then we had a list of women speaking on different topics in the split off time. Some of them have written for (in)courage and one particular writer Lisa-Jo Baker was there with her book Surprised By Motherhood. Which I am in the middle of reading. 

It was an amazing time and it gave me connections for building the MOMSnext ministry that I have started in our MOPS group. I felt encouraged and inspired. It was also an opportunity for me as a wife, mom, friend, sister and leader to grow. They definitely challenge you while you are there for the weekend.

So, where is the BRAVE in all of this for me? Many places! First, going to a place I have never been with someone I barely know and second the willingness to say "yes" I will commit! I love going to new places. I do! I prefer to experience them with people whom I am already familiar with and well, know my quirks. Don't you? You know the saying "if you really want to know a person then travel together!" I know my coordinator and love her but close friends we have not arrived there yet. That is okay. I knew every meal would probably be eaten together and all those questions that typically get asked were going to emerge and they did plus some. Where did you meet your husband? Where did you go to college? What career did you do before becoming a mom? and beyond that!  I don't mind answering questions. For me, it was being transparent and adding another person to my circle. Then add in rooming together. This is where my quirks appear. I like the fan on for noise and the temp to be cold(that is just two quirks!). I like snuggling under the covers but mostly my body temperature after having children is not the same! It is easier to room with someone who already knows this about you or is just like you in that sense. I know it probably sounds a little silly. For me, it is/was a stretch. Not wanting to be the only one who likes it that way or better yet freeze out my roomie! I did enjoy my time with her. She too loved it cold and the fan on. So no big deal! More importantly it was just fun getting to know her and experiencing the city together along with MOMScon! Second, committing to going to MOMScon made it real for me that I am stepping out in leadership! I was representing our group and the church associated with it. That is BIG! I wanted to use my time wisely since they could have sent anyone to go. I was able to connect with ladies who work for Mops International and talk about how to make MOMSnext better in our community and widespread. I believe this experience alone will continue to have an impact on me personally plus growing with our MOMSnext group. MOMScon was a great opportunity to tap into resources and grab all the knowledge that I could to bring back with me! I am so very grateful that I was able to go and was asked to go! Such a blessing!!!! 

I pray that I honor God during this MOmsnext adventure and that I will be used to the fullest. That is BRAVE! 



  1. I like the fan on too!!! Thank you for sharing your "brave" story today. Having moved from the UK almost 2 years ago and stepped out into many new ventures in the last year in particular - I can relate to your story and it brought smiles, memories, and thankfulness to my heart :)
    Sarah Travis

  2. That was a great recap! I wouldn't qualify for this conference, but I hope one day I will. I don't know what God has in store for me. Thanks for having a group that gives moms a place to share!

  3. Sounds like an amazing experience! Those speakers... wow! I love anything that Angie Smith has written.
    And Louisville is a fun city. My husband was in a reserve unit there for three years so I became pretty familiar =)
    I can totally understand the bravery it took for you to step out of your comfort zone. I don't like to travel alone and rooming with someone else that I barely know would be difficult for me to adjust to... I mean, I don't want to snore in front of just anyone =) I think He honors us when we step out in faith. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have never been in a MOPS group, but it sounds like a great organization. :)

  5. I have awesome MOPS memories, a wonderful place to build community. So glad you enjoyed MOMcon.

  6. I'm glad you were brave and had a great time. Rooming with people you don't know is always interesting. I have done it many times and though it doesn't always work out great, most of the time it works out just fine!!! I love this year's topic for MOPS as I have a friend attending in Monterey, CA and she posts stuff about it every week. So glad you had a chance to be BRAVE and that you took it!!