November 5, 2013

Interview with Mentor Mom Annie Martinez

Since the MOPS theme this year is "A Beautiful Mess: Embracing Your Story," we will be featuring the stories of the Castro Valley MOPS community. Here is the story of one of our lovely mentor moms, Judy Poling.

Tell us about yourself and your family.
I'm a stay-at-home mom. My husband Joel is a marketing manager at a Silicon Valley high tech company. I have two teenage girls--Chelsea, 16, and Hayley, 14--and they both go to Redwood Christian High School. We attend church at Redwood Chapel.

Tell us about your experience and involvement in MOPS.
I attended MOPS when my kids were preschoolers. I loved its ministry to new moms like me and benefited from the wisdom and teaching. I find it interesting that I've gone full circle and am back at MOPS after all these years.

What is your favorite thing about MOPS?
I love how MOPS encourages and equips young mothers in this very important God-given role. There is a huge need for this kind of ministry. MOPS is meeting that need.

What is the wisest mom advice you have ever received?
In early childhood, the days are long, but the years are short. I heard this at a MOPS meeting when I was a new mom. The speaker was encouraging us to focus, not on the hardships or difficulties, but on enjoying and savoring these days because they will be gone before you know it. It was an enlightening message that I needed to hear at the time.

What is your favorite Scripture verse/passage and why?
My favorite Scripture verse/passage changes according to what is going on in my life at the moment. When I study the Bible, I find it amazing everytime God gives me a verse or passage that happens to exactly correlate to my current situation/challenge/difficulty. Then I grab ahold of this verse and meditate on it, act on it, and sometimes memorize it. At times I write this verse on an index card and put it on my minivan dashboard so I can read it or memorize it as I drive my kids around.

As a new mom, what kinds of things did you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?
I made friends with other young mothers and considered it a treat to spend time and build relationships with them, whether over coffee sans kids or (more often) with our kids in tow during playdates.

What is your favorite "mommy memory" when your children were preschoolers?
I have too many fond mommy memories and can't choose just one. I enjoyed the simple pleasures of reading to the kids, singing and dancing with them, going on trips with them and introducing them to new experiences.

How has motherhood changed you?
It made me less selfish and self-centered--it helped me to focus on someone else's needs at the expense of my own.

What was the one most important principle you wanted to teach your child(ren)?
I felt that the most important thing I need to teach my children was:

1) they need a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus, and by trusting in Jesus, who died for their sins, they can be reconciled with God,

2) they need to grow in their relationship with God, in their love for Him, in their obedience to Him, in maturity and wisdom.

I know that they have since gotten #1, but #2 is a lifelong process that they will need to continue to work on long after they leave the nest.

What is your mom motto or favorite mom quote?

"Motherhood is a ministry." With this in mind, since God entrusted us with this high calling, we are to embrace it and strive to be good stewards of this awesome responsibility. This truth helps me set my priorities for my time, money and goals, especially in a society that pressures mothers to invest in things the world values instead. It also encourages me to have a better attitude over what can be perceived as menial, repetitive chores.

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