Late last year I found a wonderful group called MOPS that caters to mothers. I began attending MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) months before I would really truly appreciate the group and what we do. I have always thoroughly enjoyed the monthly meetings… getting to know other mothers while doing different activities, but it wasn’t until Emilia died that I understood how much I needed MOPS in my life. I have enjoyed it so much that I am now a member of two local chapters. Each group gives me something different that I feel like I truly need and value in my life.
Every year MOPS chooses an international theme, 2016-2017 being “We Are The Starry Eyed”. Every member is given a bunch of goodies, one of those goodies happens to be a guidebook that ties into that year’s theme. I am completely guilty of just quickly sifting through this year’s booklet and placing it on my bookshelf where it has sat the entire year. But while purging my house (a regular activity of mine since Emilia passed) I came across this booklet and couldn’t believe how much this year’s theme and the readings in this guidebook apply to my life. So with that said, I would like to share with you an excerpt from “We Are The Starry Eyed”.
“Sometimes we think we have to pick one when in reality it is always both. Light and dark, hope and fear, kindness and risk, wonder and mundane. This is evidenced by the fact that we are people who are meant to live by both sunlight and moonlight. Our natural rhythms revolve around the circling of the sun and moon. Yet often our tendency is to cling to one, the one that is more comfortable, forgetting that our fullest living comes when we embrace the swirly mix.
Starry Eyed means looking for the light even when darkness is enveloping. It is an opportunity to hope recklessly and to witness God’s presence guiding things seen and unseen, comfortable and uncomfortable.
When we reflect back over our lives, this year is going to stand out. It will be the year that we decided to live fully by both sunlight and moonlight. Because audacity is rising in the deepest and wildest parts of our souls. And the best part is, we will experience it all together because We Are The Starry Eyed.
And The Starry Eyed Means –
WONDER… Life has a way of draining the wonder out of us. We become just a little bit more cynical and a little more worn out, completely forgetting how to be astonished. Wonder is wide-eyed. It is a nod to the fact that life is wilder, weirder, and more profound than we are comfortable with and that is thrilling. So, this year we will search out wonder like our lives depend on it. Because they do. We will stand under a sky full of stars and be overcome by the vastness of the universe, we will stay up too late laughing with friends, a sunrise will take our breath away and we will go out of our way to be moved. Wonder will bring us home to ourselves.
HOPE… We live on the edge of a dirt sphere hurling through the universe at 67,000 mph and we can’t help but question how we got here and what it all means. Sometimes it is a heartbreaking mess, isn’t it? But then there are those moments when it’s something that matters, something more. This is hope: the belief that it all matters. Hope is mysterious and surprising, obstinate and reckless. It is convinced that light is ahead of us and the path will unfold as we take our next step. Hope is the awareness that there is always more to the story and that every sunset brings an opportunity to marvel at a sunrise.
KINDESS… We are responsible for one another. The pain of the world echoes in our depths, telling us that something must be done, but what? When the task of changing the world feels overwhelming, perhaps all we need to do is make a ripple. One small ripple can cause wars to cease, hope to be restored and gaping heart-wounds to heal. This year we invoke a movement of kindness. The stars beckon us toward dawn even when the night is dark. We do the same. We are participants bringing warmth and light.
STARRY EYED IS… seeing the light in the darkness and choosing to live courageously in both. It is opening our eyes to wonder and choosing hope over fear. Starry Eyed is significant acts of kindness that send ripples of light into the world. It is a choice to live fully and wholly and to breathe our way back to life. This year we will run wildly toward wonder, hope, and kindness because WE ARE THE STARRY EYED AND WE CHOOSE TO SEE THE LIGHT.”
I feel as though this year’s theme was made for me. I don’t know if God has a purpose for everything that happens in life, but I do know – with all my heart – that I was placed into this motherhood community for a reason. I have tried so hard to not be angry and to not be bitter with this life and with God. I have tried (as my last blog post is titled) to “Create Light from Darkness” and this year’s theme could not have explained it any better. I am going to have great days and I am also going to have some downhearted days. Days where it hurts just to breathe… and that is okay. Embrace it. Embrace the pain and embrace the joys, we cannot live with one without the other.
I have had seven months to read the “We Are The Starry Eyed” guidebook and – my secret is out – I’ve gotten a late start. At the end of this week, MOPS will have our very last meeting before going dark for the summer. Our group will start back up at the beginning of the next school year, but this time with a new theme. I’ve decided I’m going to finish my guidebook within the next month. Throughout the booklet, we are encouraged to complete a 28-day challenge. I would like to share my challenge with you and motivate you to do the same. To follow my challenge and track my daily prompts, click the link below or find my 28-Day Challenge within our blog page. Thanks and have a wonderful day!