Mission Ideas

Service Idea: Encouraging Other Mamas

We’ve all been there… 

You’re just about to finish up shopping when you realize that your little one has created quite a mess. You rush to the nearest bathroom only to realize that you forgot to refill the travel wipe container in the diaper bag…

Or does that only happen to me?

Every single time? 

I’m past the diaper changing station in life, which makes me sad at times, but those messy times would either make me feel like such a “loser” of a mom or make me laugh until I peed my own pants… (kidding… maybe…)

As I am beginning to think of ways that I can serve and love others this year, I just keep thinking of those mamas who are having a tough moment or even a really tough day. I want to be an encourager for those mamas who feel like they are failing, because if we’re all honest here, we are all one of them, at one moment or another.  I want to remind other mamas that Jesus loves them deeply, sees them, and that they are not alone in this motherhood journey.

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This is a pretty simple way to encourage and remind a mama who may be having a hard moment: 

  1. Grab some travel wipe size packets from the store.
  2. Tie a little encouraging note around it and pray for that mama (or mamas) that will find this little treasure. 
  3. And leave it on the changing table at your favorite store or restaurant! 

It’s really simple…

But what mama wouldn’t smile at finding that little treasure in her most desperate moment. I know I would have!! 

To download the tag that I used complete with my own little cheesy poem,  be sure to click here!  

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Blog, Mission Ideas

Christmas Card Fun

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I love checking the mail this time of year!! And I love seeing the sweet pics of friends near and far coming in! It’s always fun opening the cards with the girls and watching them rush to hang up the card on our board.  At the end of the Christmas season, I just can’t make myself throw those sweet cards away though!! 

A friend shared with me several years ago that she keeps the cards, puts them on a ring, puts the stack near their kitchen table and each week their family prays for a different family card! 

This is brilliant for a couple reasons!

  1. Your family or friend is prayed for! What’s more important than praying for our friends and family!?! You never know what they may be facing that week when you pick up their card! After you pray, text them or better yet write them a quick note to tell them that you prayed and see how God works! 
  2. Our little ones are focusing on others and learning what it means to pray for others! One thing I’ve been noticing when my girls pray, is that it often times centers around them and about what they want or need. So I’m always looking for ways to help them focus on others through prayer and that takes being intentional. 

So what do you do with those super cute and fun Christmas cards? How can we be intentional with the families that we love and treasure and receive a Christmas card  from each year. 

Blog, Mission Ideas

Prayer Meal Idea: Afghanistan

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It’s a land that seems so mysteriously beautiful to me. I’ve never been there but have seen it’s mountains and desert hills in pictures. We’ve all seen pics of this country (usually from the news and usually cast in a negative light) but I know there is so much more beauty to this place. There has to be because God created that land and He only creates beautiful. I know there is beauty in their homes as they serve tea and welcome the stranger. Beauty in their villages as they gather to learn new trades to better their world. Beauty in their sweet children playing and laughing and loving life. 

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My sweet friend has been working in this country for several years now leading a group of women to weave rugs by hand so that they can provide more for their families. Their rugs are beautiful but their stories are even more so. We recently returned from visiting this friend (in a different country) and my heart was challenged and encouraged as she shared stories of her dear friends and coworkers who are working hard and are learning and serving and hosting and welcoming. I pray that one day I can meet them. 

 

They recently created Christmas stockings that are absolutely beautiful. They don’t necessarily celebrate this holiday but I pray that one day they will. As we hang our stockings made by their hands this year, we will be preparing an Afghani meal and praying for ladies we’ve never met, for our dear friend who works so hard to lead and love them, and for the Christmas story to be told in that beautiful land that God loves. 

Here are a few links to yummy Afghani dishes that you could prepare too and spend some time praying for our friend serving in a beautifully hard place.

Afhghani Pulao Rice 

Afghani Chicken Pulao Rice

Afghani Pulao 

You can also support the work of their hands by purchasing the beautiful rugs and stockings that they have created over at their online shop, Qadimi Rugs.  Also, If you live local, we will be hosting a PopUp Shop on Dec. 1st from 4:00-6:00pm. Send us a message for more details!
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Mission Ideas

Serving through the Fall

 

 

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Fall is such a FUN season here in the South! The weather is cooler and it’s bearable to be outside for more than ten minutes. Wait – who am I kidding? It’s still 90 degree here…  But, the apples and pumpkins are ready to be picked. Football and campfires with SMores are back. It’s just a fun season!

In this fun season, there are LOTS of ways that we can love and serve others and lead our little ones to do the same! Here are just a few ideas:

1. Prayer Walk – Enjoy the cooler days, if you have them! Get out and go for a nature walk and embrace the beautiful fall colors but as you do, pray! Prayer walking is a simple fun way to focus your prayers and “pray as you go.”  Our little ones can learn so much from walking and praying with us too!

2. Homeless Blessing Bags – As the seasons begin to shift from hot to warm to cold, many of our homeless friends are needing encouragement. And what better way to encourage them than with a blessing bag.  A blessing bag can be super simple. Just grab a zip-loc bag and fill it with items like travel size shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, crackers and a water bottle. I promise you though, for many of our homeless friends, what will matter most will be the encouragement that you saw them and took time to acknowledge them. It will also help your little one begin to see others  in need too.

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If you are a local On Mission Mom, we are combining the top two opportunities and hosting a Pray & Play (and Serve too!) Event! Be sure to follow us over at Instagram for all the details and to sign up HERE to be a part of the fun! 

3. Smore’s Night in the Neighborhood – What better way to get to know your neighbors and friends during the fall than to sit around a campfire, and make Smore’s! So YUMMY!  You can make this simple or as fun and “Pinteresty” as you want, but the purpose is to get to know your neighbors, encourage them, share Jesus with them, laugh with them and build community!  I’ll be posting more about this idea soon!

4. Bake Treats for a Helping Agency in Town – We love to bake special treats and take them to our local helping agency, The Bridge, for those who are coming in for assistance. I’m so grateful for the atmosphere at the Bridge. They have coffee available for friends as they wait to be seen and helped, but many places don’t offer that. (Agencies often can’t justify the cost to do that and I totally get that!) This is a way to bless the agency, our friends in need, and your little ones as you bake and take the items to the agency. We’ve made cookies, banana bread and apple bread for friends to enjoy and look forward to making pumpkin bread and some of our favorite apple muffins soon. Be sure to check with your local agency to see if they are open to you doing this before you bake all the yumminess!

What fun ideas do you have for sharing Jesus and encouraging friends during the Fall season?  Be sure to follow along over at our Pinterest page for fun ideas or share an idea or two on our Instagram page!

 

Blog

everything has its season…

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I love the Fall – but I also love the summer and the spring and every time a season changes, honestly.  The change from winter to spring speaks such life and joy in my heart because it reminds me of the fresh and the new. Things start becoming green again and the sun shines longer and my heart rejoices. The changing from summer to Fall though is different and sometimes hard. It’s the dying away of the old. The green begins to turn to beautiful colors of red and orange and yellow. But sadly, it then turns brown. The old  dies…  So while I love the cooler weather, the pumpkins and the apples, and all things fall – it’s a different kind of love. It’s a knowing that things are dying and that’s okay, it’s their season.  The author of Ecclesiastes 3 says it best.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 

a time to be born and a time to die, 

a time to plant and a time to uproot, 

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build, 

a time to weep and a time to laugh, 

a time to mourn and a time to dance, 

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,  

a time to search and a time to give up, 

a time to keep and a time to throw away, 

a time to tear and a time to mend, 

a time to be silent and a time to speak, 

a time to love and a time to hate, 

a time for war and a time for peace.

So, as we head into the new season of Fall, what needs to die or fall away this season in your life so that Jesus can begin to grow a new thing in your heart and life? Just like a farmer has seasons of planting and harvest. He (or she) also has seasons where the things just need to be torn up or simply die – in order for new life to grow. And it’s hard and beautiful and eventually life-giving.

Mission Ideas

Prayer Meal Idea: India

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*A Prayer Meal Idea is just that – an idea to use to help you lead your little ones to experience different cultures, foods, and peoples and hopefully help you have conversations that will open up their hearts to a bigger world out there. It also gives you an opportunity to spend time praying for that country and learning how God is at work over a yummy meal.

One of our favorite meals to eat around the table is Indian food! One of my favorite people, Katie J.  passed on a recipe to us that she was given when she visited another friend living there, nearly 10 years ago. She’s used it and I’ve used it and probably along the years, it’s been changed here and there but it’s so very yummy and probably not even legit Indian food (ha).  But serve it over rice with Naan and eat with your fingers and it’s so very YUMMY! In fact, I’ve really never had Indian food I didn’t love! It’s all so very yummy!!

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For my favorite Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, keep reading!

As I was preparing to focus our hearts on India these next couple months, I reached out to a friend who has spent some time in this beautiful land hoping she could tell me some amazing things about what God is up to there in the land of over 1.3 billion people. And she did! She reminded me of the deep need for Christ to be present in this land where many are far from Him as they follow the Hindu religion and worship many different gods. She encouraged me to pray for the believers there to have boldness, to grow in truth, and to reach out to their neighbors with the love of Christ.   Pray that the many foreigners serving in this beautiful country will walk alongside of nationals and not “do” the work for them. Pray that many will come to know the Father and make him known in a land filled with such beauty and brokenness.

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For more info about India and ways to pray, Operation World is a great resource!

There are also some great resources over at Color&Kindness  where she highlights India, as well as other countries with great books, games, foods and lots of FUN ways to bring our kids into learning about other cultures!

Some other fun ways to learn more about India and enjoy their fun country is to try your hand at a game of cricket or pause in the afternoon for an Indian tea time but most importantly spend time praying for that beautiful land and her people.

Now try your hand at our favorite yummy Indian recipe or if you live near a legit Indian restaurant, head there and pray and give them your support!

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe 

  • 1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 2 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like it hot like we do!)
  • 2 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. 1 Tsp, ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp. salt
  • 3/4 boneless chicken, cut into pieces

 

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (if you like it hot!)
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 cans tomato sauce (12 oz. total)
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine the first set of ingredients and let marinade for at least an hour in the fridge – the longer, the more flavorful!

In a large skillet, cook chicken until done. Discard the extra marinade.  Place the chicken in a bowl and wipe out the skillet. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic and jalapeño for one minute. Season with the cumin, paprika, and salt and sauté for another minute. Stir in the tomato sauce and heavy cream. Simmer on low until the sauce thickens. (20 minutes or so) Add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve over rice and eat with your fingers and Naan.

*This can be super spicy! When we are making it for our family, we omit the cayenne  and only use half of the black pepper it calls for in the marinade. We also omit the jalepenos used in the sauce. My hubby likes it spicy though so he adds his own jalepenos on top on his own plate.

*I have no idea who to give credit to for this recipe as it was passed to me from a friend who visited there over 10 years ago…

 

As always, tag us at @OnMissionMoms and share a pic of your family enjoying this yummy meal and praying for this beautiful country!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Mission

Sending Well

I’m usually the one that is “going” so it was just kinda weird to not be the one packing the bag or boarding the plane this time. It was his turn though and I was determined to send him well!

We baked the cookies and hid the notes in his bag. We made a countdown paper chain to help us all visualize how many more sleeps we had. We had prayer points for each day to remind us how to pray for him. We FaceTimed a few times to be silly and giggle. We made the welcome home sign and drove to the airport.

But for me this time, it was also about more than just doing those little things. It was about preparing my own heart to see God work there with him and here with us too as we stayed home. It was about walking in faith and not in fear or anxiety, which I’m sometimes honestly prone to do.

I had to remind myself of these things (often):

1. God is the same loving and caring God here with us and present with him, 2000 miles apart.

2. God has called us to GO (and send, welcome, pray, and give) and He alone will sustain us whether it’s a week or a lifetime.

3. God is at work all around the world and also right here and He has welcomed us to be a part of His work!

Isn’t that worth celebrating!?

Was it hard, sure!

Were there tears? From all of us, at different times and different days!

Am I tired – it’s 7:30 and I’m already in my PJs…

But if God is calling us to go and send again, our answer is yes! In fact, I’m already planning my trip! Ha

And now that daddy is home, all is right in our little world.