Blog

Sharing Our Story

We all meet new mamas – at the park, at the pool, and of course, at our favorite Chick-fil-A play area. For me, It usually starts with basic introductions and claiming the wild child climbing backwards up the slide. But it usually doesn’t move past that basic “get to know ya” conversation.  And besides, It’s usually five minutes into a conversation when my oldest has to run to the potty. Or is it three minutes? 

Lately that has kind of bothered me though. I’m not okay with surface conversation. I’m not okay with just the nice “how are ya’s”, especially if I don’t know the lady I’m chatting with and I’m not even sure if she knows or loves Jesus. And maybe, Jesus sent her my way for a specific opportunity to hear about Him… (Or maybe, He sent her into my life to encourage me and teach me something new? but neither of us know because we can’t get past the weather!)

I’ve been reading from Romans lately about having beautiful feet. I’ve heard that passage a lot, but I usually think about it in the context of “going overseas”. But I’m pretty sure those gospel feet apply to each of us, right where are – at the park, pool, and the playground. It also applies to our homes too.  

So why don’t we? Why don’t I open my mouth and share my story and the gospel of Christ at work in my life? It’s usually because I begin to think crazy thoughts like, “how can I share my story about Jesus, I just yelled at my child on the way here for hitting her sister.” And mostly, if I’m truly honest, it’s just my own fear and pride that keeps me silent. We speak nice things about the weather, the cute dress her daughter is wearing, or how well behaved her children are because they are actually going down the right way on the slide. But I never get to the gospel or what Christ is doing in my life. 

Sharing our story is simple. It’s really just three simple questions. 

Who was I before Christ? 

How did I come to know Christ? 

And How is Christ working in my life today? 

And the cool thing – it doesn’t have to be super long. I mean, like three minutes because if your kiddos are like mine, that’s really all the time you have anyway, right? 

So can you answer those questions and share your story? I recently met with two sweet gals who were heading to share Christ overseas and as I introduced myself to them, I shared my story in about four minutes then I challenged them to share their story with me. I encouraged them to practice and be ready. We even laughed and talked about how we can even practice in the shower or driving down the road – the more you say it, the more comfortable you will be and the more you will share.

As I’m meeting new friends, I want to see and seize every opportunity to share about Christ and what He is doing in my life.  Let’s move past the weather or how hard or fun or challenging these days are as mamas, and let’s offer them Christ. Let’s share what He is doing in our lives! Christ is all they need anyway, right? 

Who can you share your story with today? Are you ready? 

IMG_7191.PNG

Advertisements
Blog, Mission Ideas

Summer of Service Fun

I absolutely love summer! Growing up, my father was a peach farmer so our days and especially the early mornings were spent on the farm, tromping through the fields, running in and out of the big cooler, hauling boxes and boxes of yumminess from S.C. to GA to TN and beyond. Looking back it was the best childhood, but I think I’ve blocked out the itchy peach fuzz, the 4am wake up calls, and the nasty peach smell coming from the rotten bin.

Summer also reminds me of family mission trips together. Each year, starting as early as third grade, my family along with many other families from our church, would pack up our vans and drive a few hours away and serve together for a week. The men mostly worked on construction of the church that hosted us, while the ladies and kiddos would lead backyard bible clubs in the morning and evening in nearby neighborhoods. We would also enjoy all our meals together prepared by some of the best ladies! It was the best and it laid a foundation in my life that loving Jesus was my priority and serving others was an expression of my love for Him. Those summers, all the way in to high school, were life changing for me and my family. We still reminisce about our summer mission trips together.

Summer can be such a fun time with our little ones and family, and it gives us great opportunities to share Jesus with others, but we must be intentional about our time and selfless with our lives and love. I would encourage you to look at your family and your time this summer and ask God to show you ways to be about the things that matter for eternity!

Here are some simple ideas to serve this summer!

1. PrayerWalk

Organize a prayer walk with your family or maybe a few other mama friends. Spend time walking in your town, around your schools, in your neighborhood and pray! Teach your children how to prayer walk. It’s just walking with purpose! Maybe end the walk with a special treat from the Icecream shop or the snocone shack!

2. Special Treats for Special People

Make some yummy IceCream or treats and take them to special friends like our police officers, fire fighters, ems. Or maybe take some to the construction crew that is working down the street in your neighborhood. Or maybe be on the lookout for your mail lady or ups delivery guy. Think of those that are out in the heat and could use some extra loving! Be sure to attach a note or card and share scripture or encouragement!

3. Lemonade Stand

Set up a lemonade stand and donate all the money that you raise to a local missions opportunity, to a friend going on a mission trip, or to a missionary serving overseas. Surprise them with the donation! Then spend time praying for BIG things this summer through that financial gift and gift of time.

4. Bottled Water giveaway

Get some super cold bottles of water and give it away to homeless friends on a super hot day. Sit and enjoy a conversation with them if they have the time, even though you’re hot!

5. Neighborhood Block Party

Plan a party or BBQ for neighbors to all get together and fellowship. Have fun together! Enjoy a yummy meal! Pull out the sprinklers or the water balloons and games. But Look for opportunities to share Christ during the night!

What other fun ideas do you have for your family this summer? How can you serve where you are? Share your ideas so we can learn from one another! And check out our Pinterest page for more ideas!

Blog, On Mission

A Mom (and daughter) on Mission: Shae & Savanna

Thankful for this dear friend who loves Jesus, loves others, and shares the gospel in their home in Florida and on Mission with their children!!

My name is Shae and I have been married to my wonderful husband, Danny, for 18 years. We have been in ministry together for all of those 18 years! He is currently an Executive and Worship Pastor and I work part-time for Florida Center for Reading Research. I do interventions with preschoolers and kindergarteners. We have three beautiful girls: Madison 14, Savanna 11, and Brooklyn 8! (You can say our life is pretty busy!!)

Missions has always been a part of our married life. We know God commands us in Matthew 28:19 to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We wanted to be an example to our girls by participating in local missions and mission trips (mostly Danny because I stayed home with the girls while they were young.) However in 2017, our first opportunity came for Madison (our oldest) to be involved in an international mission trip to Nicaragua with her NextGen Pastor and some youth to minister to girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking. This is a scary thought, sending our girl to a different country, but we knew God’s command to go is for our girls as well and not just for us. Madison’s interest in the trip sparked a desire in Savanna (our middle) to go on a mission trip as well. Her interest was a service mission trip to Alaska that our church participates in each year. They go to Wasilla, Alaska and help the LaVerne Griffin Youth Recreation Camp clean the facilities and prepare the grounds for the kids that will come during the summer. However, this mission trip was during the month of May and she would be missing a whole week of school and maybe even some state testing. Unfortunately, Savanna was not able to go in 2017, but Danny was able go on the trip to see if this would be a good mission trip for her to start with.

Fast forward to 2018. Savanna’s desire to go on the Alaskan mission trip had not faded so Danny and I were able to talk with her principal and she agreed to excuse the 7 days of school she would miss. (Thankfully state testing finished the week before the trip.) We also thought it would be best if I went with her on the mission trip! So last month Savanna and I, along with the rest of our team, flew to Alaska and spent 10 days at the camp. Our team was able to clean cabins, rake leaves, fix screens, replace locks and get the camp ready for the kids! Savanna spent most of the week in the kitchen with the staff preparing meals for the team! (The kitchen is her happy place. She loves to cook!)

It was such an amazing experience to have with my daughter, showing her what it means to go and share God’s love with others! Each morning we were able to do a Bible study together at the lake and that’s something I will always cherish! I highly recommend going on a mission trip with your children! It is such a neat bonding experiencing between you and them and you and God!

“Go and make disciples” is a command of God and it’s a command for all of God’s children! We cannot get around it. Whether it’s local missions or international, God will show you what He desires for you to do! You just have to listen! I have never been on an international mission trip but He has already sent my oldest, Madison, on two of them and she’s only 14. As I write this Madison is on her second international mission trip! She is in Greece ministering to refugees! Also don’t let finances be a hindrance. Over the last two months, three of us have gone on mission trips and God has provided all of the finances needed! If He is calling you to go, He will provide!

My prayer for you, as a mom, is to be open to God’s leading for you and for your children to go and make disciples!

Blog, Friday Faves

Friday Faves

We are gearing up for a FUN week of VBS at First Baptist Spartanburg, our home church. Kimmy will be leading the Missions Rotation for the preschool and we are “gearing up, getting ready, GAME ON!” Follow along over on our instagram as we teach these precious little ones about missions and what God is doing around the world! If you are local, come join us for the FUN!

If you have followed lately, you may recall the great book I recently finished “Raising World Changers in a Changing World”. It’s now a 7 day devotion in the Bible app and even better, it’s free! Check it out here!

This month is World Refugee Month. The numbers of refugees around the world – those forced to flee their homes due to war and persecution – are sadly rising and the numbers being welcomed here are much less than ever before. There are so many ways we can help! Here are just six you can be a part of helping Syrian Refugees.

How many of us would LOVE to just have a place where we can come and pray on our own, quietly, without interruption!?! Well – if you live locally, you do! The Bridge Prayer Center is on the third floor of the Bridge and we have the great honor to help put together the Family Prayer Room so that mamas like us can come and pray and lead our little ones to pray too. If you are local and haven’t stopped by to pray- you are missing out. If you aren’t local or you can’t be a part on the 16th – no worries, you can still be a part. We’ve started an Amazon wishlist of things that we will be needing for the room. And check out what the room looks like now here. Also send us any ideas you have too!! Sign up to come and work in our Facebook Group Event.

Summer is here! What will you be doing fun this summer? Our prayer is that we will be intentional with our time to share Jesús and love others well! Stay tuned for a few fun summer outreach ideas!

Blog, On Mission

Praying through Ramadan

You may or may not know that Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting is beginning tomorrow this year. Living among Muslims in Northern Africa, I had a “love hate” relationship with this month. It was a time of yummy food, visiting with friends and their families, and great opportunity to share about why I follow Jesus; however, it was also a hard 30 days in many ways. Many of my friends were just plain grumpy and hungry during the day! I like to call that “hangry”. During their 30 days of fasting, they are not allowed to let anything pass their lips from sunrise (the first morning prayer) until sunset. At sunset, a call to prayer would be extended and then families could break their fast together and eat. And eat they would!! Such delightful yummy food!!

Many of my friends didn’t necessarily know exactly why they were fasting and that it had anything to do with their God, Allah. It was just something they had to do. So this was always a great time for me to be intentional with them and share truth with them about a loving Father who longs for a relationship with them.

There are not many devout Muslims near where I live now, so Ramadan doesn’t come up in my day to day conversations; however, I still desire for my girls to know who they are as people, what they believe, and how to best pray for them during this month especially. We must not be scared or shy away from teaching them about other faiths and what they believe. If we don’t, someone else will – and that’s a whole other discussion.

There are several things that you could do to better help your little ones learn about Islam and to have compassion for our Muslim neighbor.

1. Take time to chat with your little ones about Muslims, the Islamic faith, and what they believe. Tell them about Ramadan.

If you are unsure of what exactly Muslims believe, check out this great article or this one.

And better yet, meet a new Muslim friend and get to know them! Ask them questions! Listen and pray.

2. Pray specifically during Ramadan for your Muslim neighbor, friend, co-worker. This can often times be a month of “openness” to spiritual things as they are seeking Allah and his favor. Be bold in your prayers! Maybe even pray and fast for a day or two along with them, praying to our God on their behalf!

Click here, for a great Ramadan Prayer Guide and more info about Ramadan!

3. Prepare a Meal and invite your friends to come and break their fast with you and your family. This could be lots of fun as you prepare and host! Ask them how they typically break their fast and strive to honor their traditions and culture. Be intentional during your time together to share about the bread of life, Jesus. If you don’t have a friend that is Muslim, prepare a Ramadan meal for your family and take that time to pray specifically for Muslims breaking their fast all around the world and in your community.

For some great international recipes, check out our On Mission Moms Pinterest page!

4. Be respectful of their fast. If your coworker is fasting, don’t invite them to come eat a donut on your break, but maybe do ask them to join you for a walk on your break and enjoy chatting together. Just Be mindful! It goes a long way in sharing Jesus! And teach your little ones to be mindful as well.

5. Expose them to books and movies that teach them about Islam and that are appropriate for their stage in life and faith. Books are a great way to help little ones see and learn more about life around them. Use those resources as a catalyst for conversations about why we believe what we believe and why we worship Jesus, the one true God.

Blog, Mission Ideas

Idea: May Prayer Meal

During the month of May, our family will be learning and loving all things Serbia. While we’ve not been there (yet), a very special friend is living there and as we learn about that beautiful land and her people, we will also be celebrating our sweet friend who we miss and love big!

As I emailed with my friend about what kinds of food they eat, she shared that they don’t necessarily have a “meal” like we would think of, but there are some great dishes that we can prepare and maybe piece together for our May prayer meal. Here’s a few recipes that I found that sound yummy, different and fun.

Cevapi – a yummy sausage treat served on yummy bread, not a bun apparently!

Kiflice – who doesn’t love a croissant filled with yummy! I’m thinking I’ll make this easier by using pre-made croissant dough (don’t hate on me!)

Goulash – this looks yummy but as I sit on my porch in 80 degree weather, I’m thinking I’ll wait on this until fall – my friend will be living there for another year so we have plenty of time!

Vanilice – and a little yummy treat too!

As we enjoy the yummy Serbian delights, we will also be praying for that beautiful place which has captured our dear friend’s heart. Here are specific ways that you can join us in praying:

1. That many Serbians would be released from the bondage of “religion” and set free to a relationship with a Jesus Christ!

2. That our dear friend and her teammates, would have great success, focus, and opportunity in sharing the truth with their friends and neighbors.

3. That the gospel would take deep root in the hearts of all Serbians.

Have you had Serbian food before? What’s your favorite? Share your ideas and Serbia knowledge with us as we pray for Serbia and enjoy the yummy food and culture this month!

Blog, Mission Ideas, On Mission, Uncategorized

Service Opportunity: Family Prayer Room

On the third floor of the Bridge, a community ministry center located in the Northside, there is a Prayer Center. A place where you can go and pray, get quiet before the Lord, and hear from Him. It’s a quiet, sweet place set aside for individual and group prayer times.

Steve Wise, Minister of Missions at First Baptist Spartanburg, has quite the plan for that place and would love to see a family prayer room become a part of the Prayer Center. That’s where we, as On Mission Moms, come in!

We’ve been asked to help plan and prepare that room for families to use as a place to come, with their little ones in tow, and pray together. What would you like to see in a family prayer room? Maybe a chalkboard wall for the little ones to draw their prayers on while Mom prays, maybe some rocking chairs to rock in as the family prays and the baby snoozes, It’s a blank page and we get to design it!

So, let’s get together and pray, plan, and prepare to get to work! We will be meeting, Wednesday, May 23rd at 6:30 in the Bridge Prayer Center. Come ready to pray and dream together and then let’s get ready to serve and build a Family Prayer Room, where we can bring our little ones to be a part of praying for God to do big things in our home, in our city, and around the world!