“ You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you”
I boarded an airplane heading into Florida as hurricane Dorian was set to possibly collide with the state. The man helping me with my luggage asked where I was going and when I responded Orlando he gave me an odd smile and said “ Your brave.” I was joined by three of our MOPS staff and together we set off for MOMcon!
For those of you who don’t know what MOMcon is … it is an incredible conference for moms and MOPS leaders and it is like nothing else you have ever experienced. Nearly 3,000 women gather to be inspired by incredible speakers, worship, laugh, be entertained and hang out with other moms from around the world. Needless to say, a lot was riding on us being able to do this despite the weather and travel advisory.
By the evening of the first day , more staff joined us. We made a quick visit to the local Walmart for supplies and then we waited. The weather updates looked grim and the airport closed. We began to meet and to look at our options. We prayed and waited and then prayed and waited some more. My emotions were up and down and I wavered at times in what I thought was the best decision. I felt a huge burden knowing so many moms were heading our way and I wanted to make sure they were safe. Our decision making team was prayerful and thoughtful and ultimately the decision was made to go. Honestly we weren’t sure how many people were going to make it.
I am happy to say MOMcon was a huge success and over 92% of those registered were able to make it. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was thankful and grace filled.
I am home and processing what a crazy week I just spent in Florida. My reflections…
You can’t calm the storm so stop trying. How often do I try and control circumstances that are far beyond my control.
I chose Proverbs 3:5,6 for my life verse for a reason. “ Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” So often I want to lean on my own understanding.
A shared experience during a stressful time is really an amazing bonding experience for all involved – ask anyone who just attended this MOMcon.
The women involved in the MOPS organization are amazing – yes, I knew this, but spending time again with our leaders and meeting so many moms from around the world was truly such a gift and inspiration for the work we do everyday at the office.
God is doing amazing things around the globe through the MOPS ministry and I am beyond grateful to be a part of it.
I would love to hear what you learned during this MOMcon as well and how you can apply it in your life moving forward.
We will move forward and continue with our schedules and planning has already begun for next year in Denver. I just needed to push pause and thank God and all of YOU for showing up and making this one of the most amazing MOMcon experiences I have ever been a part of.
Keep doing great things in the world – share the love of Jesus and help moms thrive!!
I love to feel sunshine on my face and living in Colorado I get to experience that a lot as we like to boast that we have 300 days of sunshine a year. Blue skies create a sunny disposition so they say. As our summer days feel longer and the sun shines until late in the night, I settle into my summer rhythm of walks after work, watering the garden, watching baseball and talks with my husband sitting on the back porch staring at the magnificent sunsets chatting about life and many nights eating a popsicle. There is something about summertime that brings out my ten year old self. The rhythm of life seems to change with the arrival of fresh cut grass and ice cold lemonade.
A few summer ago, I participated in a Bible study that focused on the Psalms. Right away Psalm 1: 3 caught my attention –
“ That person is like a tree, planted by streams of water, which yields it fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” NIV
That particular summer arrived after an intense time of ministry and quite frankly a time where I felt unlike the tree above, my leaves were withered. I was worn out, my joy was gone. This passage caught my attention because it promises that this tree gives its fruit in season, while its leaves do not wither. My expectations of myself, and the expectations I often see those around me putting on themselves, are that we are to be productive and fruitful all the time. Our rhythm to include rest has disappeared.
No wonder we feel tired.
We were created for rhythms. All of God’s created world was created with rhythms. God created night and day. God created and then God rested. The leaves fall in autumn and return with buds of promise in the spring – rhythm.
Modern life gives few reminders, but we humans used to go to sleep and get up with the sun. Life followed the rhythms of the agricultural seasons. There was a time to plant and a time to harvest. With the arrival of the summer fruits in the produce aisle and farmers market, I am reminded that fruit grows in seasons, not constantly or instantaneously.
Life today can be a constant barrage of noise and information that is accessible at our fingertips. We can be plugged in all the time, and we are expected to be fruitful year-round. The arrival of summer reminds me we can change that rhythm.
My challenge to myself and to you is to find our rhythm of summer. Find ways to slow down. Extra time with our families, extra time outside and maybe a little extra ice cream too. Rhythm is a simple concept, let’s find ours and let’s not over complicate it…
When I was born I was given the name Sherri Loma Root.This name was just great until I was in about 5th grade and the middle name of Loma sounded too weird.I remember a substitute teacher who was taking role call one morning and she was asking everyone what the middle initial represented in their name and when it came to my turn, without hesitation, I lied and said -Lynn.Sherri Lynn just sounded great to me. I wouldn’t have to reveal my true name which to my 5th grade self sounded so embarrassing.
I remained Sherri Lynn in public when need be, but of course to my grandma who was named Loma, I certainly didn’t reveal my secret. I loved her so much and didn’t ever want to hurt her feelings or let her know I thought the name we shared was weird.I don’t think I really ever talked about my full name again until one day in 9th grade.Enter another substitute teacher and role call.Much to my horror she announces to the entire home room class, “ Oh – Sherri Loma – what a unique and beautiful name.”YEP !I was ousted by the substitute with immediate claims by my friends, “ I thought your name was Sherri Lynn!” I quickly began to pretend I was studying for my vocabulary test and refused to make eye contact with anyone.I was hoping it would just blow over but remember this is 9th grade and no such luck.I enter the cafeteria that day to the chanting of LOMA, LOMA, LOMA!I decided I would embrace my name that day and I told everyone I was named after my grandma who I was super close to and the reaction was – cool! I appreciated the low level response.
I told my grandma this story and she had a good laugh.She said, “ Well, at least it is your middle name, I have had to try and spell it and explain it my whole life.” Then we both had a good laugh.My grandma shared with me that day that she was the baby of 13 children and when her mom was pregnant with her she traveled to California to visit her daughter who was an artist.Her daughter lived in California. Point Loma to be exact and her mom fell in love with the beauty of the ocean view from the cliffs.She vowed that if she had a little girl, she would name her Loma and she did.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to San Diego and one of the sweet ladies I work with took me to her alma mater – Point Loma University.The view was spectacular! I was really wishing I could have called my grandma that day to tell her I finally saw the beautiful place that inspired our name.My grandma has been gone for a long time now and as I have gotten older I realize we share more than our name sake.She also passed along her love for gardening, music, and baking and the ability to appreciate beauty in our surroundings.I love my middle name and I am thankful for the love of my sweet grandma.As I stood at the cliffs I sent up a silent prayer, thanking God for the presence of my grandma in my life and for the beauty He creates that inspires us in so many ways, even in naming our babies.
Do you know the story of your name?Would love to hear from you.
Carrot Cake is one of my favorite desserts. It is so easy to make and always looks great and tastes delicious. To make life easy, I dump all the ingredients into my Kitchen Aid and turn it on. I also use baby food carrots for the pureed carrot part. You can also substitute pecans for walnuts.
This recipe was first given to me about 30 years ago by my friend Kaye. She would always use fresh edible flowers to decorate the top.
Mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl ( I dump it all in and turn on the KitchenAid )
3 C.All Purpose Flour
3 C. Sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 C. corn oil
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut
4 jars of baby food carrots ( app. 1 1/3 c. pureed carrots)
3/4 c. drained crushed pineapple
Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 35-40 minutes
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
6 Tablespoons of sweet unsalted butter at room temperature
God created me to be a positive thinker. As a matter of fact, when I took the Gallup Strengths Finder Test, positivity is a strength of mine and so is Woo which combined you will either think I am upbeat and positive or you might find me annoyingly chipper. In any case, I for some reason am wired to see the glass half full, not half empty.
When I think about Holy week and Easter I always think about the “ He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed” part. I don’t always ponder the triumphant entry which in a few short days led to a brutal death on the cross. The heaviness of the last supper, Jesus knowing indeed it was the last time he would partake in a meal with his beloved disciples. The betrayal and the long walk to Calvary. My focus tends to be on the rolled away stone and Jesus in heaven.
That was until a few days ago when I was challenged by one of my co-workers at our staff meeting. Pastor Jaimie led our devotion time and asked us to think about the “ Good Friday Moments” in our lives and then the “ Easter Moments” and talk about them, pray about them, and thank God for both. I struggled at first knowing anything I suffer with in this life is nothing compared to the sacrifice of Christ, yet I have suffered and still have moments or issues that I struggle with. We shared our stories with our co-workers and of course we each have “ Good Friday Moments” we are dealing with. It was a beautiful time of sharing and prayer which left me thinking without the hope of the risen Lord, I would not be able to make it through those tough times. Knowing that Jesus lived an earthly life makes me feel that He is aware of my earthly struggles. I left our meeting feeling grateful for my Christian faith.
I have pondered all of this a lot this week and even more so as I head off to a Good Friday service at my church today. This year I am embracing the whole story of Easter – the difficult and the beautiful. I am so appreciative of the suffering Jesus did on my behalf and the rekindled awareness I have of this during this Holy Week. Life is full of both the difficult and the amazing and a lot of the time it is only in the suffering that we can fully appreciate all that is good. Thank you Pastor Jaimie for the reminder.
He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!!
Mark 16: 1-7
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “ Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side and they were alarmed. “ Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell tell his disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him , just as he told you.”