Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Be Brave This Summer

Eighteen months ago I was part of an awesome MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. At the time, the national MOPS theme was “Be You Bravely.” Totally love that! To go along with the theme, MOPS also launched something called The Brave Collective. I fell in love with the idea and started one. In this post, I’ll tell you how you can start one of your own.

The Brave Collective is a gathering where you meet regularly with a group of friends over dinner to help each other be brave in your everyday life. You each pick one brave thing you want to work on over the next six months and share it with the group. Then you meet at least four times in six months to check in on each other’s progress and encourage each other.

Your brave thing can be anything you want, simple or profound. Last year my brave was to get up by 6 AM four days a week to have some quiet time to myself. Other examples might be taking a class you’ve always talked about, training for a race or making time in your schedule for something important to you.

I cannot tell you how much I have loved being part of a Brave Collective! We all enjoyed it so much that we’re doing it again a second time, all having picked new brave things to work on. I thought you’d enjoy this little gathering as much as I have, so here’s how you can start a Brave Collective of your own.

  1. Invite a group of six to eight people. When I read about The Brave Collective, I immediately asked my friend Stefanie if she’d want to do it with me. She’s so amazing with hosting and entertaining, so this seemed right up her alley. We each invited a few friends, which was great because I didn’t know some of her friends very well and vice versa. Not everyone we invited was able to join for various reasons, but I love how God brought our little group of five together! Click this link that will take you to the MOPS Brave CollectivePage. If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll find printable invites to hand out.
  2. Decide when and where you’ll meet: We started out with the plan of alternating between my house and Stefanie’s, but eventually everyone else volunteered to host too. The host decides on the meal and makes it as fancy or simple as she’d like. The first time I hosted I served a four-course meal on my fancy china, but the second time I hosted we had tacos on Chinet plastic plates. We’ve also done dinners out when it’s too difficult to ask a husband and kids to leave for a few hours. Pick what works for you and your group.
  3. Pick your brave and share it: Click here and scroll down for a super cute printable for each member of your Collective. There’s something about writing things down that helps us connect and commit to our goals. Write down your brave thing and share it with the group. We also wrote down everyone else’s brave on the back so that we could remember what everyone else is working on. Keep your brave printable somewhere you’ll see it often.
  4. Enjoy the conversation: To start you out, MOPS put together a neat conversation guide. I’ve loved spending hours and hours talking with these dear friends. We usually start at 6:30 PM and often meet until 11 or later because we enjoy talking and being together!
  5. Decide when you’ll meet again: The goal is to meet four times within six months. You can plan all of the dates out ahead of time or as you go along.
  6. Keep in touch in between meetings: Make sure all members have each other’s contact information so that you can check in with each other. We also started a private Facebook group where we can post articles and pictures.
  7. Enjoy! Being part of this Brave Collective has been so good for my soul. Not only has it helped me to work toward my brave thing, but it’s also helped me to see that I’m braver in my everyday life than I often realize. I cherish the friendships that have started or deepened because of The Brave Collective. I love how we’ve helped and encouraged each other. I hope that you enjoy being part of one as much as I have!

If you start your own Brave Collective, I’d love to hear about it! Send me an e-mail or connect with me on social media. I’m now on Instagram @andreafortenberry.

ICYMI: If you’re on my subscriber list, I sent out an e-mail on June 17th with a freebie that I don’t want you to miss! As my thanks for subscribing, I sent you a copy of my new Bible Basics Study Guide. I hope you enjoy it!

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