On Mission Service Ideas

Blog, Mission Ideas

Washcloth Bunnies: A Simple Silly Service Idea

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These are kinda silly but that’s okay… hear me out.  My sweet girls and I had  a blast making these (and a few frustrating moments too) and we decided to give them to our homeless friends for Easter to let them know that we love them and are praying for them! 

Here’s why… our homeless friends need a reason to smile and giggle too, especially in these really hard days! Think about it, we at least can quarantine our families in our comfortable safe home during this terrible outbreak. Our friends often times aren’t given that luxury and many are already suffering with terrible health, depression, and other things that will make them more susceptible to this terrible disease. It’s truly heartbreaking.  It’s also taking a simple thing like a washcloth, which they often need, and hopefully meeting a small need and bringing a smile to their face, even if for just a minute. Easter can also be a really hard day for our homeless friends. Holidays are reminders of the broken relationships that all of them struggle with and loneliness is so visible on these days. 

Washcloth bunnies are super simple to make and require just a couple items that you probably have on hand already. There are tons of Pinterest links on how to make them but the one over at Smart School House  was my fave!

As you make them with your little one, take a minute and pray for the homeless in your community!! Pray that they will be wise and take the best precautions that they can. Pray for their health. Pray for wisdom and direction. Pray that they will experience God at work through this time. 

If you’re local and looking for a place that you can give your incredible creations to, Refuge, is a ministry of First Baptist Spartanburg, and they are passing out biscuits and other needed items on Sunday morning (using social distancing and no contact). You can drop them off at FBS security desk or send me a message and I can work with you to figure out a great way to get them to Refuge. 

This is a service project or mission moment that may not seem to be “deep” or meet a huge physical or spiritual need, but sometimes putting a smile on someone’s face and saying “you were prayed for and loved today” in a silly simple way is just as important! And sometimes our little ones will remember way more about creating washcloth bunnies and praying for our friends too… We even named a few of ours! 

Be sure to snap a pic and tag us over on Instagram and let us see your fun little creations!

 

Blog, Mission Ideas

A Neighborhood PrayerWalk

This is a hard and difficult season and now more than ever, we can lead our little ones to love Jesus and love others in the midst of this season.

One of those ways we can do that is to prayerwalk our neighborhoods, if you are able. Prayer walking is simply “walking with purpose”, focusing our prayers and being intentional as we walk and talk to the Father. Many of us still have limited freedom to get out and walk around our neighborhoods, so let’s do that with purpose and with safety in mind. Let’s pray for our neighbors, for their physical and spiritual health. Let’s pray for our cities, for small businesses, for homeless and elderly. Let’s make every use of our time and be intentional with our prayers to a Father who loves us deeply and is ever present. Let’s not miss out on chatting with God and hearing from Him during this season.

I’m so thankful for my friendship with Kayla over at Baby Devotions! She recently created a great toddler friendly printable with us and there is even aSpanish version! To download a complete copy of our Neighborhood Prayer Walk printable, click here.

 

How are you praying for your neighborhood during these days?

Is there a day this week that you can grab the little ones and head out and spend time praying together?

Mission Ideas

A Little Bucket of Sunshine

I think we can all agree that life has just been weird lately. For us, we are all able to be home and I’m so very thankful for that. I know lots of friends who are still having to go into work though. And some of my sweet friends are even having to work full days and come home to lead their little ones in school work after a long day at their office. I know the days have been long and hard for many!

I know you have friends that are in that same boat too. A little basket of sunshine is an easy way to encourage another friend in this different season of being disconnected from one another physically. And my prayer is that they will be reminded that they are loved and that this is just a season (hopefully short!).

It’s really simple – grab a yellow bucket or basket and fill it with all things yellow! Some of the items I found to put in my bucket were a yellow bottle of bubbles, a yellow candle (that smells amazing!), a Little Miss Sunshine book, and yellow bags of some yummy candy and snacks. I added a little personal note too, reminding them that they are loved and prayed for!

Now I can’t wait to surprise a friend with a little bit of “sun” on this hard gray day…
How are you loving and encouraging others during this time?
Hop over to Instagram and tag @onmissionmoms to share your ideas!

Mission Ideas

Service Idea: Blessing Bottles

Several years ago, my hubby and I were so blessed to start and lead a homeless ministry at our local church. Although we no longer lead this amazing ministry, our homeless friends are not far from our minds and our prayers. We pass them on the streets and still see them stopping in at our church and my girls (and I) always love to say hey and hear how they are doing.

There are so many ways to serve and love our homeless friends but a pretty simple way is through Blessing Bags. We’ve gathered with other mamas and friends a couple times to assemble the bags and have encouraged our little ones to see our friends and to love them too.

For how to pack a blessing bag, check out our Pinterest board for ideas or some of our past events here 

I recently came across another version of a blessing bag, a blessing bottle. And I think it’s pretty brilliant. I also really love all the B’s here… haha 

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A blessing bottle is basically the same thing as the bag except all squeezed into a bottle. Some of the items we put into our bottle included a washcloth, granola bar, chapstick, toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo and razor. We of course always add a little card that gives info about Refuge, our homeless ministry at First Baptist Spartanburg and a little hand written note or picture.

I love the bottle idea for a couple reasons:

1. They can take it with them anywhere and fill it up with water throughout the day. Most places (around here) will let them grab some water either from a drink machine or water fountain. As the weather gets warmer, water is always important.

2. It cuts down on waste (hopefully). Waste from the bag and waste of cups that they may use one time and throw down. Hopefully with a bottle they can reuse for a little while.

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For more ways and thoughts on loving and serving homeless, be sure to check out a past series that I put together on “Doing No Harm”.

Do No Harm: Learning More

Do No Harm: Knowing When

Do No Harm: We’re All Poor

Do No Harm: Be Prepared

Have you used a blessing bottle or bag to encourage a homeless friend? If so, how did it go? Be sure to share your story with us over on the socials!

Blog

Prayer Meal Idea: Boston

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One of our favorite cities in the US is Boston. It’s such a beautiful city filled with kind people, rich history, and yummy food. But for us, it’s super special because it’s where we went on one of our first family mission trips and where I began to dream and pray about On Mission Moms. It was here in this city that I realized what a blessing and opportunity that serving with my little one could be and how she opened the doors to more conversations and friendships that I wouldn’t otherwise have had.

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We went up to the Boston area in partnership with a really cool church plant, Encounter Church located in Dedham. Our purpose was to help this new church (at the time) love their city. We spent the first day picking up trash off of a field where the city would be hosting a town festival later that weekend. As the morning progressed, my sweet 15 month old grew weary of “picking” up trash and so we headed to the little playground at the edge of the field to play. It was there that we met a sweet grandmother who I was able to befriend and invite to church the following Sunday. If my sweet girl had not been with us, we wouldn’t have had any reason to be at the playground and possibly wouldn’t have met that sweet grandmother. Isn’t it neat that God uses our little ones too!

As we get close to St. Patrick’s Day, I often think about Boston and so I decided to spend some time praying for our friends at Encounter Church, who are thriving nearly 5 years later! (How do I have a six year old now?!?!) We also want to pray for that city rich in beauty, history and knowledge to experience Jesus in a fresh powerful way.  As we pray for this beautiful city and her people, we are looking forward to enjoying two yummy Boston staples: Clam Chowder and Boston Cream Pie. There are all kinds of food ideas as well as how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day over on our Pinterest Page  if you want to join along with us this month!

Boston Prayer Meal Idea:

Boston Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl 

Salad

Boston Cream Pie for dessert

 

Prayer Points: 

  • Pray for Encounter Church and the work that they are doing in the Dedham area, a suburb of Boston. Pray for continued relationship building with their neighbors and for favor with the city.
  • Pray for the city of Boston and those who call her home. Pray that those far from God would be drawn to Him by His spirit and the testimony of our fellow brothers and sisters who love and serve Him.
  • Pray that as the city celebrates St. Patricks Day in the coming days, they will learn the real story of St. Patrick and his heart for many to know God. For a funny version of St. Patrick’s story, be sure to watch this Veggie Tales video with your kiddos!

 

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On Mission

Serving Others after the Storm

Photo Taken from Spartanburg City Facebook Page

Our sweet little city took a pretty hard hit yesterday with tornados striking in several places. It was pretty scary, honestly, and we are all praising Jesus that no one was killed that we are aware of at this point. Our city leadership, county and city officers, and linesmen have done an amazing job assessing and beginning the cleanup.

Now our community will be serving and working and cleaning! If you’re local and looking for ways to step in, there are opportunities all around us! It might be a little harder with our little ones with us but there are always ways to serve! Here are just a few simple ideas.

1. Buy some coffee or bake something yummy! Stop by and grab a big carafe of coffee and cups and all the sugar and creamers. Or bake some muffins or cookies or a little easy snack and stop and deliver it to our linesmen and tree clean up crew! They are working today in really windy and quite dangerous conditions even though the storm has passed and will be for many more days!

2. Open your fridge and your home! A lot of our friends are without power and it may be a couple days before it’s restored. Offer to store their items in your fridge. Invite another mama over to hang out, take a nap or whatever she needs. Go and pick up their kiddos so they can have a few hours to clean up or work around their homes without distractions.

3. Buy them a gift card! Our friends may not even be aware of what they need yet. Their power is still off and they just wanna figure out the next step. Stop by Publix or Ingles and grab a gift card. Trust me, when you start having to replace all the food in your fridge it adds up. Grab a gift card to a pizza place or nice restaurant. They will be so excited when they don’t have to think about where dinner is coming from because it’s not coming from their fridge right now.

4. Call and Listen. Yesterday was scary for some. Ask your friend or neighbor or even the lady behind the cash register if they are doing okay and let them just talk. Just listen. They will want to tell their story more than likely. If they don’t, that’s okay too. Just be ready to listen. Be ready to pray. Be ready to encourage their weary, overwhelmed and anxious hearts with the truth that God loves them and you love them.

5. Step in and work! Spend a couple hours helping your neighbor or friend clean their yard or their house. If your little ones can help, great! Let them see the example that you set. You know what your little one can handle as their mommy. Check with your church for opportunities that they may be organizing. Make sure though that you’re doing the right kind of help at this point and not causing more harm or slowing down the work. Sometimes we need to step back and let the experts do what they know how to do.

Stepping in and serving our neighbors and friends during this time is so very important. May our city be known for how we loved and served other another and may they see Christ displayed after this terrible day of storms.

What other ideas could you share as we work to restore our city?

On Mission

Showing Up!

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A lot of my friends have had little ones with the flu recently and as a mama it gets a bit overwhelming when our little ones are sick.  We have to readjust our schedule to fit in doctor appointments, continue working, and try our best to keep the other kiddos well, among the million other things we already have going on. I’m tired just thinking about it all! This past week, one of our small group families had two of their little ones down with the flu and the ladies were all texting back and forth, encouraging this mama and promising to pray for them. We’ve only been meeting a few weeks together so several ladies don’t really know each other well. One of the ladies offered immediately to stop and bring them a meal.   I was amazed and convicted and so excited for both of the ladies!  As a side note, I’ll also share that this same sweet lady that offered had just closed on a new house and they were in the middle of moving, but she saw the importance of showing up. She reached out to this mama with sick little ones and offered a tangible help and blessed and challenged the rest of us in the text group. Isn’t that what the body of Christ should be doing? But how can we be like this sweet friend who decided to just show up!

1. Leave some margin in our schedule!   Man, we can fill up our calendars week to week, can’t we?!? We have to begin to leave some  blank space so when emergencies do arise, or a friend waves the white flag and needs some help, you can! Isn’t that what friends do for one another anyway? What do you need to say NO to in order to clear out some space to be a good friend? What do you need to say YES to? It’s all about learning to balance and prioritize our time, our wants, our desires and our callings. If we want to be a mama that shows up, then we have to live like a mama who shows up, right?

2. Keep some things on hand, ready to go!  I used to be really good about this. Living overseas, I often kept cookie dough in the freezer so when the doorbell rang, I could throw a few cookies in the oven and serve my guests. I’ve gotten quite lazy in this area though honestly. But, that’s no excuse.  It’s easy to make a double batch of chili or chicken noodle soup and freeze half of it for your family later or to give away. A couple of my favorite go to recipes are a Slow Cooker Chili Recipe or Easy Taco Mac.  It also doesn’t have to be extravagant! At times, I’ve bought into the lie that in order to serve someone else or invite some one over, my house has to be perfect, it has to be a four course meal, I have to pull out the fine china. You don’t. Just show up with a pot of chili, paper bowls, and plastic spoons. Or maybe stop by and grab a pizza and drop if off. Your friend will love you and be so very thankful and they won’t care if your containers all matched or not.

3. Just be that friend! Just decide to be that mama friend who loves and serves your other mama friends even when you’re inconvenienced or it’s not easy. Be the friend who sends the first text to check in when you saw their facebook post. Be the friend who grabs an extra coffee and drops it by your friend’s desk when you realized their morning had been pretty tough.  Be that mama friend who grabs a bottle of children’s tylenol or a LARGE container of ice cream and drop it off. Don’t let fear hold you back. Just ask and offer and be ready for the opportunity to serve and love.

Do you have a sweet friend who is having a hard week? Who do you need to show up for this week? Just show up! I’m so very thankful for a mama friend who stopped and noticed and served and loved, despite her own busy. She reminded me and challenged this mama’s heart in so many ways this past week.