myMISSION Mom Blog

The Source of Selfless Joy

Until recently, my one-year-old still woke overnight to eat. Every night since his birth, he would wake around midnight to 2 a.m. for this purpose. For the first six months of his life, I was his only source of nutrition, so I was burning the midnight oil with him every night. After I returned to work, we transitioned to a bottle, which meant freedom—my husband could now share in the midnight feedings. For weeks, I would feign sleep or ask my husband to take the night shift because, after all, I’d woken with him exclusively for six months. It was about time he shared the responsibility.

Weeks turned into months, however, and my husband was regularly exhausted from night shift duty. I could see his exhaustion, yet I still let him get up for the majority of night feedings each week. I allowed my desire for sleep to deprive my husband of much-needed rest. I acted like my husband owed me for all of those sleepless nights I endured, and I didn’t care enough about my husband’s needs to share the burden. I was being selfish.

Babies and Bible Stories

It’s 7:30 p.m. The sun is quickly fading in the western sky. The day is drawing to a close. It’s been a long day. There have been so many tears. One child has an ear infection and the other has strep throat. It’s a busy time at work; the annual fund-raiser is just around the corner and your community has been hit hard economically, so giving is down.

After a long day, it’s tempting to rush bedtime. You’ve been counting down the minutes because a warm bath and a few moments of quiet solace would nurture your weary soul. As you're pushing your child toward bed, she turns to look at you and says, “But Mama, we have to read a Bible story first.”

You think, "Not tonight. I just want a few moments of 'me' time." Yet, as you look in her eyes, and though you know that part of her is just trying to avoid bedtime, you smile and reply, “Oh yes, dear. Let’s read a Bible story. Thank you for remembering that.” And as she curls up in your lap and tells you all about the big fish and how dark it is inside its belly, you’re reminded of God’s great love for His children and His unfailing patience.

When Motherhood Didn’t Go As Planned

The months leading up to the birth of my first child were filled with expectant planning. I’m a Type A person, so I tackle fear of the unknown by over preparing—I read and research until I’m too informed. Since I’d never given birth or had a child, I spent the months leading up to her arrival by reading all the advice blogs and baby websites I could find. I asked all my mom friends for tips. I made all these plans—I basically knew everything there was to know about having a newborn. Or so I thought.

The first few days in the hospital with her seemed to go smoothly. We were getting to sleep pretty regularly, and she was feeding well. And then we went home. She fought me every time I tried to feed her. She didn’t eat for 12 hours. She started to look jaundiced. I began to panic. Suddenly, things weren’t going as planned. As a first-time mom, I lost my confidence in what I was doing. I gave up on nursing her and we gave her a bottle. She ate and she was healthy. That was all that mattered.

Missional Motherhood

Apartment living when you’re a family of four can be a challenge, especially when you live on the second floor and you have two toddlers. Every day is a regular chorus of “Shhh! People are sleeping!” and “Don’t put that in your mouth!” as we walk to and from the car. Apartment living also means you regularly encounter people whose lives and families are different from your own. We share a building with three other tenants, and we regularly run into them in the stairwell or parking lot. It gives us a unique opportunity to be salt and light in a world in desperate need for the light of Christ, and when we moved into the building, we prayed that God would use us to minister to our neighbors.

The woman who lives below us is a single mother of two, and her youngest is an infant. As you can imagine, her hands are literally full. Every time I see her, she’s juggling the car seat while carrying in groceries and keeping an eye on her little boy. God has placed this woman on my heart since we moved in, and I’ve prayed that He would provide opportunities for me to build a relationship with her so I could share Christ’s love with her.

Trust and Obey

There is a hymn that I remember singing in church . . . “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.” Seems simple enough, right? Have you ever been a part of a team building exercise and had to do the “trust game”? This is where two people are standing, facing the same direction. The person in front is to fall back into the person’s arms behind her, the “catch” is that the person behind has taken a step or two away from that individual and her “fall” is a bit further down than anticipated. The goal is to teach trust.

I can be honest and say I always take a step back into the person who is supposed to catch me. Many times you don’t know the person very well with whom you are participating in the activity, which in turn makes it difficult to trust her.

Show and Tell

Do you remember being in preschool/kindergarten and having “show and tell” day? I can recall Friday mornings being an exciting day to take my special “item” to school to share with my classmates.

Each week though it never failed, right before my turn to stand in front of the class and share I would get butterflies in my stomach. I would get nervous, afraid I would stumble over my words or that my classmates would think my item wasn’t “cool” enough. When that happened, I forgot all about my motivation for choosing that special item because I was consumed by fear and failure.

Sharing Christ with someone can be much like “show and tell.” The thought of an opportunity to share the impact of Jesus in our life can be very exciting. We begin recalling those “ah-ha” moments when certain pieces of our journey to accept salvation became very real and “clicked”: when we accepted that the only way to God the Father was through His Son, Jesus Christ. We get excited thinking about how our lives are changed when we embrace grace, accept forgiveness, and pursue a life that brings honor and glory to God.

Your Move

Have you ever felt that life was like a game of . . . (insert game of choice). The cliché would finish by saying “chess,” but in my house the games of choice would be Memory, Yahtzee, or Go Fish.

I am sure at times we have felt that we are just going through the motions, living from one moment to the next. If you have small children in your home, there are times when you live minute to minute, trust me, I’ve been there. As mothers we can be so overwhelmed by this role and the job it brings that we miss opportunities God has placed in our paths.

Into His Hands

When you hear the word vision what first comes to mind? The sight you have from your eyes? The dreams you have had? A mental image of a hope for the future?

Vision can also be expressed by the desires of our heart, the goals we desire to be lived out by ourselves and those we love. Is there anyone in your life that you have a vision for? As mothers, I am confident to say that our children come to mind. We desire the best for them from their education to future spouses. We want to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed and to be best prepared for the world when they leave our nest.

It is only natural for us to have these desires. I, myself have these visions for my children. I also desire for my boys to be men of God and my daughter to be a woman of God. The visions I have for them I lay into the hands of God. I am well aware of the world outside my front door and around the world, but I know we serve a mighty God—a God Who will call and equip my children and yours.

Christmas and Missions

Growing up in a Baptist church there are two distinct times of the year that I remember different looking offering envelopes in the back of the church pews. It was around Christmas and Easter. These special offerings are named for two past servants of Jesus on the missions field, abroad and at home—Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. These two offerings then and today provide for the missionaries who serve “at home” (North American Mission Board, or NAMB) and “abroad” (International Mission Board, or IMB).

During December, WMU® provides an excellent resource to intentionally explore an international missions field and its needs. This year the focus is Indonesia. I am super excited about the literature and resources they have available to explore all the areas of this country; it will be like taking a trip minus the airfare.

Words of Wisdom

Is there a particular phrase that you can recall hearing more than most from growing up? For me, the words “Be thankful and have a humble heart” come to mind. Whether in school, church, or in the community these are words that have resonated with me even into adulthood.

There are times when the scale of humility teeters from modesty/not prideful to not worthy/no credit deserved. It is important to understand the context in which we use the words humble and humility and where our heart is in the process.

As children we are quick to be prideful because our world revolves around us. It is important to teach humility to our children. As we get older, humility can be seen more as “the quiet, silent type”; shown by individuals who address a need or concern and do not make it a public announcement. They know the need or concern being addressed is far greater than the need of drawing attention to themselves.

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