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!

Blog, Mission Ideas, On Mission

Prayer Walking Fun

I love our city and our downtown area especially is really growing and becoming a fun place to be for all. The Chapman Cultural Center, our community arts center, has added great lightbulb sculptures throughout the downtown area (and beyond) and we LOVE discovering them and seeing what all each artist has created. I have taken it one step further though and used it as a fun way to introduce prayer and the importance of prayer walking to the girls.

Prayer Walking is just an intentional time of focus and prayer and simply “praying as you go.” I’ll be honest though, with a four year old and a 20 month old, there wasn’t much focus and the prayers were definitely simple and all over the place. But that is one thing I love about leading our little ones to pray and have a heart for Jesus and others – it doesn’t have to be real complicated. In fact, I think Jesus said faith was pretty simple, like a child. We have to start somewhere so even leading my sweet 20 month old to pray is so very important!

Prayer Walking, now that the weather is warming up and the sun is shining is a simple and fun adventure for all of us – kids and mommies!

1. It helps our little ones and us see and realize that the world is bigger than we are. As we walked from lightbulb to lightbulb, I was able to have great conversations about our town, the people we passed, what the lightbulb reminded us of or brought to mind and our hearts were not thinking about ourselves quite as much for just that little bit.

2. It’s gets them going and outside! And it gets us going too!! So many times it is just easier to sit or stay and while it’s easier, I’m not sure it’s always best. Don’t get me wrong, there are times and days when home is where you just need to be, but being active as children and letting your kids see you be active is huge! And mixing activity and our faith together sends an incredible message that it’s not just a Sunday “thing”.

3. Prayer walking models for them that they can pray anywhere and any which way! A lot of times, I get stuck in the rut of just praying at bedtime or first thing in the morning – prayer walking for us reminds us that we can do that any time, any where and it’s fun!

4. It focuses our hearts and minds. As we are walking and praying, we are usually more intentional and focused and it’s easier to keep our minds settled in to prayer. Often times when I’m having my quiet time at home, I’m distracted by the phone or the book or the dishes or the dirty laundry. When I’m out and about, praying as I go, I tend to stay way more focused!

5. It draws us closer to God’s heart and God’s plan for our city! When we are walking through our downtown area, praying for those that we pass, for businesses and nonprofits who are doing great work, for homeless friends sitting in the park, for growth and construction (cause it’s everywhere downtown) – my heart changes! It gives me more of a desire to be busy about God’s kingdom purposes and not just the mundane household chores or changing diapers and while those things are crucial and highly needed – sometimes we get distracted by the non-eternal things.

Is there a time when you can set aside to get outside in your town and walk and pray? Does your town have any fun art sculptures that you can center your prayers around? What are things you have done to lead your children in their prayers for the world and for their city? Share your experiences and wisdom so that we can all learn from one another!!

If you are a local On Mission Mom, here is a great resource to show you where all the lightbulbs are located, their names and story!

Also there are some fun ideas for prayer walking over on our On Mission Moms Pinterest Prayer Board.

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Celebrating Moms while Giving Back!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I know we are probably looking for great ideas for the moms in our lives or maybe that special lady that has mentored and loved you and your kiddos. Or maybe, you just want to forward this post on to your hubby and do a little shameless hinting…  And the cool thing about each of these is that they are giving back to other Mom’s or people in need. These are some of my favorite things I’ve been seeing from some of the cutest little shops or incredible ministries!

Mercy House Global – Mother’s Day Bath Bundle

Who doesn’t love a relaxing bath?!? After a long day at work or running around with the kiddos, this seems like a little piece of heaven right here!

mercy house mother's day gift

Mercy House – Mother’s Day Card

How sweet is this? And it has a globe in it… you can’t ever go wrong with that for an On Mission Mom, right?

mercy house card

Mercy House – Go Hoop

And well, this just…. no words…

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Milk & Honey – Dancer Drawings

This is the sweetest little dancer and the sweet girl making these is just as sweet! You can find Carter over on Instagram at milkandhoney.art . A portion of her sales goes to buy milk and honey through Samaritan’s Purse. And these sweet dancers – oh my heart…

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Karama Collections – Leather Journal

sometimes simple and beautiful are best…

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 Noonday Collections – Storyline Courage Necklace

Maybe there is someone special who has played a specific role in your life. The storyline collection has beautiful pieces for many different “stories”.

 

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There are are so many other great ideas but I have to stop somewhere. What would you love to receive for Mother’s Day? Maybe it’s not even a gift – a nice quiet morning with breakfast in bed sounds glorious too! How can you support other mamas around the world while loving on the mamas in your life?

Join us in our On Mission Moms Facebook group and share your ideas or check out our On Mission Moms Pinterest Page!

 

 

Blog, On Mission

Laying a Foundation

We had a great On Mission Moms event, Helping Hands for the Homeless, this past weekend and we had so much fun getting together with our little ones and leading them to serve others. It was a simple morning but one I pray will impact our kiddos in the years ahead.

I believe firmly that every time I provide an opportunity – big or small – for my girls to learn about serving and loving Jesus, He is honored and well pleased. He will take our moments on Saturday when they were enjoying their yummy snacks and listening to the Good Samaritan story and one day lead our little one to be that one who stops and helps. He will take walking around a table filled with soap and shampoo, socks and wash clothes, and he will give them a heart that is ready to see and give to others in need.

He will take those moments and use them for His glory either today or years down the road. I just want to be faithful in the now, with my four year old and almost two year old, to build a foundation that teaches them to love Jesus and love others – brick by brick, moment by moment…

For more fun pics of our great morning and other resources and connections, join our On Mission Moms Facebook group!

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Bedtime Prayers

One of my most favorite times of the day with my girls has always been bedtime. Not always because they are going to bed, but because it’s actually a point in our day when we slow down, read scripture together, pray and sometimes have a spontaneous stretch or dance party…. and sometimes it is because they are going to bed and the latest episode of whatever we are watching on Netflix is calling my name…

I must admit though that often times when it comes to our nightly prayer times with the girls, our prayers lately have sounded a lot like this :

“Thank you for this day, bless our family, give us a good night sleep and a good day tomorrow…”

We sometimes rush through our prayers, wanting to just be “done” for the evening instead of bowing in reverence before a Holy Father and also modeling for our girls how to love and pray for others.

This could be such a pivotal time for our children as they see and witness the power of prayer, listen and participate in prayer for others, and see how when we pray for others, usually our heart for others grows big too instead of just focusing on ourself.

There are so many things and people we could be praying for including our lost friends who need salvation, brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith, the sick and suffering, ministries and missionaries serving around the world, specific people groups from around the world, and even their own salvation. We also have much to rejoice over too!

What does your bedtime routine look like? Does it include prayer time with and for your kiddos? What are you praying for with your children? Are you pausing to pray for others? Are you bowing in reverence with them? Are you rejoicing with them when God answers a prayer? Or are you rushing through just to be done….

Oh Father, fill us with deep reverence for you every time we come into your presence. Guide us as we guide your children. Help us to slow down, to set our minds on you and the things you love, and help us to model that to our little ones. May our nightly times together with you be filled with joyfulness and your Spirit and may they see You in their little beds, as we tuck them in each evening.