Meet Gigi, MOPS Coordinator
September is here! What? Already? The summer just flew by and now it’s time for school to begin~ which means it’s also time for MOPS and Bible study to get started. I’m always sad to say goodbye to summer, but I’m thrilled to get back to MOPS and Bible study! Have you signed up yet?
I’m excited for you to meet Gigi Johnson, MOPS Coordinator here at Crossline. Each month I’m introducing you to an amazing woman who serves the Lord wholeheartedly at Crossline. MOPS begins September 16th, so I just couldn’t wait for you to meet Gigi and hear her heart for Jesus and for moms and preschoolers and young families. Oh, and youth, too!
Gigi is wife to Josh, mom to adorable 3 year old Peyton and part-time Commercial Real Estate Project Manager.
I want you to hear from Gigi, in her own voice, so I asked her some questions about MOPS, which stands for Mothers of Preschoolers:
Lori: I know your leadership team has been working hard to be ready to welcome moms to MOPS for the fall session, which begins September 16th. What excites you most about MOPS this year?
Gigi: I’m excited to meet the new moms this fall and introduce them to MOPS. It’s always fun to hear moms say, “I didn’t know I’d look forward to my Tuesdays as much as I do now!” I hold MOPS near and dear to my heart and truly hope every mom gets the opportunity to be a part of something so special! I’m also excited about this year’s theme, Be You, Bravely. It has the potential to trigger so much growth and positive change in who we are as women and Christ followers, how we raise our kids, love our husbands, and interact with the world. We’re going to be honest, bold, courageous and encouraging in our time together, and it’s going to make for a great fall season, both inside and outside of MOPS.
L: What will mothers of preschoolers and infants get out of MOPS this year?
G: MOPS is going to give moms a sense to true belonging. Our goal is to create a space where intimate friendships can be developed and strengthened during a crucial time in our lives. Moms may not remember the recipe to that amazing breakfast casserole their friend made, or the 5 steps to fewer tantrums that speaker spoke about, but they WILL remember that encouraging word they received when they showed up frazzled and overwhelmed one morning, that unexpected shared testimony that was exactly what they needed to hear to have hope in a hopeless moment, and that moment they made a new friend over the uncanny number of similarities their husbands have. Each mom will get something slightly different out of MOPS this year, but I can guarantee it’ll have something to do with the strengthening of an invaluable relationship.
L: How would you encourage our women to invite their friends and neighbors with little ones to come to MOPS?
G: As a mom of little ones, there are days where all you want to do is talk about your struggles and victories, and then there are other days where you just want so badly to focus on something bigger than yourself and bigger than your challenges you find at home. MOPS is a place where women are ready to listen, relate to and share with you on both of those levels, and that’s really unique and special. These friendships you’ll create will last a lifetime! You’ll love hearing speakers share about topics that are entirely applicable to this stage of life, and you’ll go home encouraged in your parenting and anxious to share what you’ve learned.
L: Thank you, Gigi. Our gals should also know that MOPS is not just for moms, it’s also for their littles. MOPPETS is for the children, while their moms are at MOPS, with loving teachers and a creative program tailored specifically for their age group. But before you dash off to invite your friends and neighbors with little ones, and of course, sign up for MOPS yourself on our website here, I want you to hear a little more from Gigi.
Gigi is not just our Crossline MOPS Coordinator. She also serves with our high school youth, as a small group leader. See why I wanted you to meet her?! She is a busy gal, but one whose whole heart is focused on living for Christ. Gigi wrote the following piece for her own blog on her way home from High School camp this summer and it touched me so much, that I asked her if I could share it with you.
I recently spent a week disconnected from “everything”, yet nothing at all. My week at Hume with my sweet group of 9th grade girls had me closer to intentional relationships and our loving God than I could have ever imagined. That’s the “everything” that counts.
Preparation for a week of leading high schoolers at camp had me ready for all sorts of things. I was prepared for late nights full of giggling and junk food, deep one-on-one conversations with youngsters genuinely seeking the Lord and His plan for their lives, long lines full of hungry, unshowered teens, and hours upon hours of incredible worship through music. But I wasn’t prepared to be deepened in an area of my own faith that I hadn’t realize needed deepening.
Day 5 of 7 at camp came much quicker than anticipated, and I found myself beginning to consider the post-camp real life reality that hits minutes down the mountain as cell service kicks back in. I began to think of work, appointments, classes, yet-to-be-planned but much-needed-to-be-planned hang outs with old friends, the daily what’s-for-dinner dilemma, and the never ending sweeping and vacuuming of dog hair. I could feel the anxiety rising in my heart like a flooding toilet!!! EEEK! But mostly, I was beginning to worry about the many times I’d need to put my 3 year old in someone else’s care in order to get all of these obligations fulfilled. I worried about my husband and all the work he probably had piling up and the hours of rest he’d need after a full week of playing single parent.
I was overwhelmed, to say the least. My prayers were instantly filled with requests to help me survive the heavy laden life back at home, and my heart was breaking that I couldn’t be everywhere for everyone I loved at all times. As I sang the words to the worship song playing in the background, “Your love never ends, it never gives up, it never runs out on me…” I felt Jesus gently reminded me that His love also doesn’t run out on my daughter or my husband. I slowly realized I needed to trust God with not only my own life, but their lives, too. For the first time, I realized that as much as I love my family and would do anything for them, He loves them more. Mind blown. No, God, you don’t understand—I love them SO MUCH!!! And then He speaks to my heart and says, “Yes, Gigi, I know. But no matter how much that is, I ALWAYS love them MORE than that.”
Heart released. Calm, settled breathing began again. What an amazing concept to think that He always has, and always will, trump my own love for those two. And because of that, I don’t have to worry. I can trust Him with them—with their whole lives. His plan is so much greater than my own, and because He has overcome the world, I need to let Him love them the way only He can.
So when I feel that anxiety rise, I say a quick prayer and ask that God just do his love thing. Over, and over, and over again. Because they are His—and not mine.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and he will keep your paths straight. –Proverbs 3: 5-6