On Mission

It’s the “Little” Things!

A sweet mama friend, Teal, recently shared in her Instagram stories how God was using her little ones to do something that may seem “small” but in reality was quite HUGE and I had to ask her to share her story with us! And her kiddos are just the cutest! I pray that it reminds you this week that God is using our little ones and it’s usually just the simple things!

Being a mom changes so much. What I think about, what I do, how I do it, when I do it – it’s all different now that I’m a mom! My name is Teal and I am wife to Martin and mom to Rose (3.5) and Grady (1).  Children changed everything for me. They have made me better.  Children notice things – big and small – they are observant little sponges soaking up everything in their surroundings. Children are easily awed by things they see or hear. They experience joy about things that we have become calloused to as we have grown. 

Becoming a mom has made me slow down. I now notice the small things. I now hear sounds I wouldn’t have paid attention to before. I now interact with people I would have probably passed without noticing before.
A very real example of this in our family is the big yellow school bus that turns our corner every afternoon at 4pm. I will admit that as an adult, the grandness of a school bus had long worn off for me. School buses didn’t excite me when I saw them drive past on the road or in front of my house. Now, they do! Especially one in particular. 
In the fall of 2018, we began noticing a pattern of the school bus stopping at our corner to let our neighbor off. Then the bus would beep several times before turning the corner and gearing up the hill at our house. Every afternoon at 4pm we would hear those beeps and the sound of the bus stopping and starting again. We were often just finishing snack after naptime and sometimes we were outside playing as she passed. That is when our relationship with the bus driver began. 
This sweet bus driver comes around the corner, up our hill, with her arm waving outside her open window. She has a smile that lights up her face and always enthusiastically waves to my 3.5 yr old, Rose. Every day Rose wakes up from her nap, runs down the hall to get a snack, and waits for that special sound. We hear those beeps and Rose runs to our front door. She swings the door open and begins waving even before the bus starts back up the hill. As the bus passes, Rose and that sweet driver are both enthusiastically waving their arms at one another with smiles across their faces.  The smile across MY face as I witness this sweetness every.single.day can also be seen across the road, I am sure.  
There have been days when Rose wakes from her nap and I have a list a mile long that I need to accomplish. Several times that I can account, I’ve told Rose “Let’s get your snack and eat it in the car on the way to the grocery store.” or “Let’s hurry and grab such-and-such on our way to see Daddy at work.” and every time Rose reminds me “But I have to wave to the bus driver!” In the moment, I might sigh and experience frustration at that “kink” in my schedule. But as soon as that sweet bus driver passes and intentionally waves and smiles at my girl, all that frustration fades away as I remember those small moments and the childlike joy God wants us to experience daily. 
Halloween of 2018 was the first time we spoke to Ms. Laura, the sweet bus driver. We were playing in the front yard as she passed and she stopped her bus right in front of our house and asked for me and Rose to come to her window. I hoisted Rose up to see Ms. Laura and she handed Rose some candy. It made Rose’s day even more special!  Days went by as we continued to wave and look for one another each day at 4pm.  On Valentine’s Day, Rose and I picked out a heart shape box of chocolates and Rose wrote Ms. Laura a note. We handed it to her as she drove by that week.  Along came the week before Easter, and Ms. Laura stopped in front of us and asked us to come to her window. She was grinning ear to ear as she handed two Easter buckets FULL of goodies for Rose and Grady. One pink and one blue. Both full of perfectly age-appropriate toys and goodies. I was in awe at her thoughtfulness. Here she is, a bus driver for the middle school, thinking about MY toddler and baby and spending her own money to bless my kiddos in an extra special way.  I was able to talk to Rose about Ms. Laura’s extreme kindness and we talked about how we could be extra kind to HER and bless her. Rose wanted to find some perfect goodies for Ms. Laura, so off we went.  We excitedly handed the Easter bag over to Ms. Laura the next afternoon as she passed.  I was able to write her a note of encouragement and thankfulness at the way she has blessed me and my children.  I was also able to share my faith and invite her to our church if she was not a member of a church. 
We do not know much about Ms. Laura. We really only know her name and her smile. I do not know if she is a believer or if she is a member of a church.  But I do know that she thinks my kids are special and she has treated them with an unordinary kindness. She has blessed our family tremendously – starting with intentional eye-contact, smiling, and waving and now with special gifts from her heart. Through this simple interaction with our sweet bus driver, I am reminded of the impact a simple wave can make. Or a simple greeting. What started so simple has grown into something even more special. May I always be on the lookout for moments like these to be a blessing to others like Ms. Laura has been to us.  Showing Christ’s love doesn’t have to be an extraordinary plan or production. It can be done through unordinary kindness. On a daily basis, we pass people and may not notice them. May we be on the lookout like Ms. Laura is for my 3.5 yr old standing in the doorway and may we go out of our way to extend simple kindness to one another.  I am eternally grateful for the lesson God has taught me through Ms. Laura, the bus driver, and Rose this school year. 

And for more cuteness, you have to check out this sweet little VIDEO that Teal put together of the simple waves and sweet relationship!

What simple ways can you and your little ones serve Jesus and love others this week?

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On Mission

Same as Me…

I came across this sweet pic of my youngest at her preschool the other day and it caught me by surprise a little bit and it made my heart smile and kind of took my breath away (in a good way!)

She was reading and loving a sweet baby that didn’t “look” like her. It didn’t have blond curly hair and pail (super pale) skin.

And then it broke my heart too…

Because if we were real honest with ourselves, many times we tend to reach for the doll that looks most like us, or become friends with that sweet mama that is just like us – same parenting stage, same socioeconomic place, same social status…

Same…

But I wonder what we all miss out on when we are surrounded by the same…

I’m preparing to teach a class this weekend at my church, and in my studies, I came across this question that kinda stopped me in my tracks. (I can’t remember who asked it… forgive me!)

“Do you have any “unexpected” friendships?”

Friendships that don’t look like you, that challenge and stretch you, that you can invest in and learn from too?

And I had to pause… and think… and confess that I don’t have enough of those types of friendships in my world.

What about you? What about your friendships? Do they all look the same or do you have sweet friends who are “different” than you and challenge you to learn and grow and love more and deeper?

We want to raise little ones to love Jesus and love others and after Jesus of course, I believe it starts with baby dolls that are “different” , introducing cultures that are different, reading books from other places and about other races.

But we have to be the ones to expose them. We have to lead the way. We have to read them the stories, buy the baby dolls, befriend the neighbor who is different than us, cook the food that is “odd”, and talk about how God loves all people and so should we!

What are ways that we can raise our little ones to love all peoples, regardless if they are just like them or not? How can we raise little ones that pick the different baby doll to rock and cuddle with?

What unexpected friendship can you invest in?

Blog

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.

Blog, Friday Faves

Friday Faves

This week is all about homeless and poverty as that is what has been on the brain lately with our Helping Hands fun Saturday morning coming up! I hope you and your little ones will come and spend a little time with us preparing bags for our homeless friends. If you have not signed up, it’s not too late! The link is below!

Here are some other faves I’ve found this week as I’ve been searching and preparing for our event.

  1. Ever Wondered What to Say? 

Homeless

Often times we sometimes aren’t sure what to “say”… here are some great conversation starters that you can use as you meet our friends on the street. There are also some things that may be we just shouldn’t say or ask, or even think…

2. Books for Kids about Poverty & Hunger 

poverty_hunger_childrens_books

I’m always on the lookout for great books to read with my kiddos and while I haven’t read through each one of these, many of these are on my list to read and several of these are just great!

What books have you read that teaches about poverty and hunger and homelessness? 

3.  Hippie Jack 

I don’t really know anything about Hippie Jack, other than what this video shows, but it makes me smile and reminds me that there are still some good men and women out there serving with all they have, and it makes me tap my toe a little too…

How can you be like Hippie Jack? Don’t you have a fun bus like that?!? haha

4. Blessing Bottles

help-bottle-400x550

This is a great unique “spin” on blessing bags!

Have you made anything like this before to give to our homeless friends? If so, share and let us learn new and different ways! 

5. Helping Hands FUN Event! 

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You can sign up in our On Mission Moms Facebook Page link above! We will be meeting at Caroline Brewer’s home and she will be sending out info. It’s going to be a fun morning together serving, learning, and praying with our little ones.

 

And one last little plug, if you haven’t had a chance to read the Do No Harm Series, well… you should!

Do No Harm: Be Prepared

Do No Harm: We’re All Poor

Do No Harm: Knowing When

Do No Harm: Learning More

 

*Just a reminder that I don’t necessarily “endorse” the websites that I’ve linked to above.  Not all are Christian based websites/blogs/videos; however, they are all great ideas that we can learn and grow from and adapt to work with what we believe as On Mission Moms!