A few days ago I did something new and tried out a MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) group. It was at nine o'clock in the morning, a time which I would have not considered getting up for in the past if I didn't have to. Lately though, my boys have been waking up earlier and earlier, so now going somewhere at nine a.m. seems like a very viable option, possibly even a lifeline, especially in these cold winter months when we are all stuck inside. We arrived somewhat on time, and I deposited each of them in their respective child-care rooms without a hitch. I joined the other mothers, and tried not to be too intimidated by the fact that they all looked better at that early hour than I usually do when I'm going out on a date with Aaron. Next, I had to deal with my continual internal conflict of insecurity. It's kind of funny when I think about it, and I'll tell you why. When I was in Junior High and High School, I was very quiet and very shy, and it was extremely difficult for me to talk to people I had never met before. Thinking about going someplace like MOPS all alone, not knowing anyone would have been terrifying,and I doubt I would have even attempted it. Now that I am older, I am more comfortable with myself and with other people. It doesn't bother me much to be around people I don't know, and even though I am still pretty quiet, I am okay talking to just about anyone. The funny part is that, where I used to mentally agonize over what I was not saying, I now agonize over what I am saying. Often when I am talking, or after I have said something, there is a voice panicking in the back of my head, saying, "Why did I even speak? There is certainly nothing worthwhile coming out of my mouth. These people probably think I'm an idiot. I should really just keep my mouth shut." Even though I know that it is probably not true, it is still hard not to believe it. The result of which is that I often feel a bit glum after meeting new people or people I don't know very well. Actually, I occasionally feel that way after talking to people that I do know. Part of this is because of where I am in life. I am 26 years old,a nd I have three kids under the age of five. Most other 26 year-olds don't have three kids. A lot of them just had their first child. Some of them only just got married. And others haven't gotten married at all. I feel like a bit of an oddball when I look at other women my age. On the flip side, many of the women who do have three kids (or more) are at least ten years older than me. This doesn't bother me. My sister is fourteen years older than me, and we are good friends. It does make me wonder, however, why they would want to hang out with me. Most of the time, I think I couldn't possibly have anything to say--after all, what do I know about anything? What could I ever tell them that they don't already know? So these are the thought and feelings I am up against most of the time, and going to MOPS was pretty much the same. The difference between who I am now and who I was in high school is that in high school I avoided situations like that, ones filled with uncertainty and insecurity, whereas now, I just know that life is filled with them, and you just have to face them. Which means that I will be going back to MOPS, and I will be trusting God to help me beat down that insecurity, and know that it's worth going, because even if it were true that they can't learn from me, I know that I can definitely learn from them.