MOPs has a new magazine!

Everyone needs support when they have young kids. It’s a difficult, fulfilling, frustrating, exciting, exhausting time of life and we all need support. I had three kids in three and a half years. Those years were busy, exhausting and honestly – hard. I was 1000 km away from my family (and their amazing support) and my husband worked shifts.

I really needed support and I found it in huge, generous, lovely portions at my local MOPs (Mothers of PreSchoolers) at Red Cliffs in Victoria. Every fortnight we were greeted by friendly smiles and the smell of coffee. My children were cared for and had loads of fun doing craft, playing games and making friends. All the while, us mums were enjoying a lavish morning tea, inspirational talks and fun craft activities. The MOPS ladies always remembered my birthday with a card and beautifully wrapped gift 🙂 I made many, many friends there and felt loved and supported. I used to arrive home after MOPs, feeling like I’d been encouraged and refreshed – ready to face the next fortnight of nappies and baby food. MOPs was a bit of a beacon during a time which can get a little monotonous… (anyone with me?)

Needless to say, when Catherine Oehlman of Squiggle Mum asked if I’d like to contribute anything to the new MOPs magazine Better Mum, I was really excited! I love it that women all around the country are supporting other women by organising, running and facilitating MOPs groups, through their local church.

Here’s my contribution. Don’t forget to have a look at the MOPs website and if you’re a mum with young children (aged 0-5) and need some time-out, click on the ‘find a group’ tab and join a local group.

She’s So High Above Me

by Joni Leimgruber

Remember that song by Everclear?

She’s so hi–gh, high above me, she’s so lovely.. She’s so hi–gh, like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc or Aphrodite..

I used to feel so threatened by that song. I figured I could never be the woman who made her man feel
like he didn’t deserve her. Like she was so much higher than any of his wildest dreams or expectations.
How silly is that? Of course I could be that woman! As Christian women, we do the same…

Most of us already know the power of a woman but one of my favourite pieces of the bible goes to a lot of
effort to show the magnificent, beautiful strength and power a Godly woman possesses. Yet it’s a passage
which many women feel intimidated by and even discouraged. It’s one which has, unfortunately, at times
been used wrongly.

It is Proverbs 31:10-31. The story of the ‘Proverbs 31 woman’.

Please don’t sigh and stop reading. I know you’re tired of having a check-list to live up to. I know you’re
tired of not living up to it. But Proverbs 31 is not meant to be discouraging or to make us feel bad about
ourselves. It’s not meant to be something we compare ourselves with.. and then use to harshly judge our
performance. In fact, it’s meant to do the opposite; the story of the Proverbs 31 woman was, I believe,
written to encourage, uplift and empower us. You see, if God created the ‘Proverbs 31 woman’ and if God
created you and me, doesn’t that mean she’s within all of us? If the ‘Proverbs 31 woman’ is kinda like the
perfect woman, then isn’t God moulding and strengthening us all to have her strengths in our own unique
ways?

Of course it’s unlikely we’ll have all her traits! In Heaven, maybe we will! On Earth, not likely. Me? I
DO worry when Winter comes because I’ve usually forgotten to buy warm clothes, I enjoy knitting and
sewing, but struggle to find a use for it, I’m up early most mornings but ‘eager’ is not a word I’d connect
with that time of the day. There are a few things I could underline for myself though. And I’m chuffed to
find that the Proverbs 31 woman (who is, quite frankly, a superstar!!) lives in me.

This time you read the passage, try reading it from a different angle. Read it and allow God to show you
which traits of hers you already have and the ones He’s currently growing in you. Be generous with
yourself. Even underline your own personal ‘Proverbs 31 woman’ traits in your bible. Embrace the
encouraging words and accept the truth – as daughters of our King, there is a ‘Proverbs 31 woman’ in all
of us. She lives in you!

Proverbs 10-31

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

How did you go? Did you find her in you? Were you encouraged
when you read this verse thinking about it differently?

 

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