Calm in the Storm
“ 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 remember being pregnant with my first child and standing in line at the grocery store when the lady in front of me asked if this was my first baby. I replied with an enthusiastic yes and she went on to tell me everything negative about being a mom… You will never sleep again, your body is no longer yours and it takes forever to get the weight off. She told me about temper tantrums and potty training and then went on a long rant about teenagers. At this point, I was so annoyed and overwhelmed by her words, I just wanted to leave my cart full of groceries and sprint out the front door. At that stage it would have been more of a waddle but I was eager to get away.
I was thankful when it was my turn to check out and was given a reprieve from the barrage of nightmare mommy stories. I remember feeling sorry for this lady at the time and honestly in some strange way I owe her a thank you. I promised myself that day on the ride home that I would enjoy every step of the way in my parenting and that even when it was hard I would acknowledge it for what it was, a hard moment.
I must confess all those things that lady shared with me that day are mostly true. However, she only told a portion of the story. She left out the part of the story about how you can’t even imagine the love you can feel for someone until the second you lay your eyes on that beautiful baby placed in your arms. The tiny hand that reaches out to grab your finger for reassurance. The giggles and games. The bedtime stories and snuggles. Cheering them on at their games and concerts and the late night talks with teenagers are the best. Yes, being a mom can be hard, but being a mom has brought more joy to my life than I ever could have thought possible- It’s all in the perspective.
Enjoy this Mother’s Day with those who call you mama !
This past week has been difficult. As the new Global Ministry Director for MOPS International, I have the privilege of interacting with moms all over the world. I spend most days communicating with moms via email, Facebook, FaceTime calls, all things tech to keep us connected. It has been exciting and I love learning about the different cultures and challenges that moms face in different countries. Even though our countries are different, motherhood is our common language. So it was shocking when I received an email that told me our new group in Rwanda had experienced a terrible tragedy.
MOPS recently began in Rwanda and these ladies were new to the MOPS sisterhood. Last week there was terrible flooding in Rwanda and while the group was meeting their building was washed away, killing 5 moms and hospitalizing 11, many of whom remain in critical condition. There are many small children who have lost their moms. Over 40 children affected by this tragedy. Some are now orphans and some are waiting for their moms to come home from the hospital. Husbands, family members, and a community grieving for the loss of their beloved.
The honest questions that arise in the hours of tragedy, the most prevailing always being – why? This side of heaven I am not sure we will ever really know the answers to all the times we utter, cry or shout – why? Trust and faith in a God who I believe is good and who is loving is what I cling to today. The answer of trust is simple but the application is hard.
Within minutes of making this profoundly sad announcement to our MOPS community, we had an outpouring of love, prayer, and offerings to help from women who never will step foot in Rwanda. The witness of this generous love was amazing and when the Rwandan families read them they were overwhelmed with love. The sting of grief will always feels lighter when you sense others will help carry the burden. Their emails to me were of thankfulness for this covering of prayer and love.
I have spent the evening preparing for my family’s Thanksgiving celebration. I admit I have had feelings of guilt that I will be surrounded by my loved ones, feasting, while others around the world; especially my friends in Rwanda will awaken to another day of grief and hardship.
I plan to honor these women tomorrow with prayer and with the ways I show I am thankful for what I do have. Loving my family well because none of us know for certain how long our time on earth will be. Tomorrow I will focus on what the T A B L E represents to me.
T – I will take the time to be intentional with each person at the Thanksgiving table. Taking time to interact and love on those around me.
A – I will ask questions that show that I am genuinely interested in what is going on in their lives.
B – I will be more interested than interesting – this definitely reinforces the first two and is a good reminder not to monopolize the conversation.
L – I will laugh and listen – There is nothing better than laughter . Sharing old stories , recalling childhood memories or learning about new friends. Laughter is good for the soul.
E – I will enjoy myself, and my family and friends – thankful for another day !
This Thanksgiving, I pray that my gratitude will be rooted in the character and nature of who God is more than my ever-changing circumstances—and this is my prayer for you too. And in our gratitude may our lives be a bright light declaring to others our thankfulness to the Lord!
Sending prayers to Rwanda this Thanksgiving –
Love and God Bless –
Today is the day I launch my new website! sherricrandall.com… All things faith, family, and hospitality
I want to especially thank Mike Ruman and Danni Hauer for the beautiful design and functionality of this site – you both are incredibly talented. Thank you!
You will notice that I have listed a new job and that too is exciting news! Beginning January 8th, I will be the Global Ministry Director for MOPS International. I am beyond grateful and excited to start this new position with MOPS and look forward to working with the global leaders around the world impacting and empowering moms in the name of Jesus.
It is not easy saying goodbye to Mission Hills Church where I have spent the last 10 years on the Women’s Ministry Team. It has truly been an honor to serve the women of Mission Hills. I love you all so much! I am so blessed to have worked with a staff who truly are like family to me. My family will still be attending Mission Hills and we are excited to be part of all that God is doing through MHC.
Thanks for your support everyone, I look forward to connecting with you all here on the website.