myMISSION Mom Blog

Sacred Space: Margin in Motherhood

mom and daughter playing

When I was in my early 20s, I stayed busy all the time. If I had downtime, then I felt lazy. Each hour of each day was planned and filled accordingly.

The main issue with this is that each hour of each day filled to the brim leaves little room for interruptions. When we are in relationships with people, interruptions happen. When we have children, more and more and more interruptions occur.

After living in a South Asian culture where relationships take priority over everything and then having 2 babies, I have learned that not every hour of every day needs to be planned in such a way that I cannot allow for interruptions.

It’s in these interruptions that I have found some of the deepest relationships, the most treasured memories with my children, and gospel-centered conversations simply because I was able to add a little margin in my schedule and life to welcome a disruption.

Showing Love by Sharing the Gospel

Raising a 2-year-old toddler has raised quite a lot of parenting discussions in our home.

Two-year-olds need a lot of guidance for life. They need a lot of patience from their parents. And they need a lot of love and comfort to know they are secure.

We will teach our girl many things as she grows in our home over the next 16 years until we send her out.

But what if I failed to tell her that we love her? What if I skipped over teaching her a basic concept like brushing her teeth? What would happen if I never shared with her how to eat properly and healthily, how to be kind to others, or how to take care of herself?

Many would question my love for her. Raising children means loving them. Loving them means teaching them fully how to live.

Sharing the gospel with others is not much different.

The Thread of the Gospel

Quilting runs in our family. Our girls will inherit quilts made by their great-great-grandparents, which I tend to think is a neat concept. An old quilt can somehow make a person feel right at home. Through the years, the fabric gets soft but the threads hold together. Each piece was sewn together uniquely by hand or machine—using fabric our grandparents and great-grandparents probably had as scraps from an old dress or shirt. A quality quilt will last for generations.

In the same regard, sharing our story of how the gospel has affected our lives has been passed down to us from someone else and is a unique story we share with others.

Second Peter 1:3 gives us assurance that “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

The Missional Family

There were moments during the 36 hours of car rides, airplane rides, layovers, metro rides, bus rides, taxi rides (with no car seat), and stroller rides that I thought we might have been a little crazy to have flown our toddler around the world.

I was exhausted. She was exhausted. My husband was exhausted. But we had the best time serving overseas with an unreached people group together as a family. Since becoming a mom, I’m not always the adventurous type. Having lived overseas before, I am also not a romantic-missions type. I know what can happen when you travel to a third-world country. But I kept hearing the familiar verse of 2 Corinthians 12:9 over and over again: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

3 Things Taking Our Toddler Overseas Taught Me about Missions

Teaching the gospel has no age barrier. We as Christ followers are commanded to make disciples of all nations—to live life with people in a way that encourages another Christ follower. When we first thought about taking our almost 2-year-old daughter overseas, we got all the questions: “Why are you taking her? She won’t remember it.” “Aren’t you afraid of something happening to her while you’re there?”

Then, we took her overseas. And it vastly expanded my idea of what reaching the nations is about. I learned 3 things about missions from taking my toddler overseas:

Fears and Families on Mission

“Why are you taking her? She won’t remember any of it. What if she doesn’t sleep on the plane? Aren’t you afraid of her getting sick?”

These are questions and statements we have heard numerous times since announcing we are taking our toddler overseas with us this month for a short-term missions trip. Our church has a partnership, through the International Mission Board, with a global city where my husband is leading our group. He went on a vision trip in April, and we agreed that when we went back, we would go as a family.

Little did we know that I would end up being 6 months pregnant when we go. But this isn’t the first time I have been pregnant in Asia. However, it is the first time I have been a mom with a toddler in Asia and pregnant at the same time.

Fear comes to us in hidden places. Am I looking forward to 27-plus hours of plane rides (just on the way over there)? Not really. Do I want my 22-month-old to get a virus I can barely pronounce because we brought her to Asia? Of course not.

A Mother’s Part in Prayer

Throughout my journey with Christ, I largely believed prayer was for those desperate times—the big seasons and decisions of life. The daily, ordinary stuff I could handle on my own.

A few years ago, prayer became like oxygen to me. My husband and I were in a foreign country learning a foreign language during a time when the developing country was going through a natural disaster. We were getting sick from the food and water. We had just found out we were going to have our first child.

Everything, all the time, all day, was out of control. And, honestly, so was I.

“What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”—Corrie ten Boom

Through this season of life, I learned quickly that I could no longer continue as if prayer wasn’t my lifeline. My soul needed to be connected to the Lord—completely reliant on Him at all times.

Seeking the Divine: A Mother’s Mission

“Nor, who created you?”

“God” (pronounced “Gah”).

“Who created Daddy?”


“Who created Mommy?”


“Who created your baby brother or sister?”


“That’s right. God created everything.”

At 18 months old, my daughter understands patterns. And the patterns I place in her life need to connect her to something more than diaper changes, baths, bedtimes, and meals. Her personality is developing quickly, and she is soaking in more language than I can keep up with.

Through the mood swings, the temper tantrums, the cuddles, the early mornings, and the asserting of her will, it’s easy to lose track of the time and let the day get away from me without teaching her things that will last beyond her time in this world.

Yet, each day, I have been tasked with the choice: focus on my needs and wants or invest in her eternity and make a little disciple out of my toddler.

Creating Space: Christ and Hospitality

Creating space for others—it’s what I think of when I focus on hospitality. And as mothers, we know a thing or two about creating space for other people. I would imagine a few of you have some little person invading your space even as you read this.

A long, wooden table filled a spread worthy of Pinterest with fresh bread, decorations for the season, chicken spiced and cooked well, and vegetables straight from the garden—this is what I believe our culture wants us to think of hospitality.

Oftentimes, we get caught up in the external features of hospitality and forget the internal characteristics of what it means to be hospitable people. However, as we look at Scripture and the example Christ set for us, we find a hospitality focusing much more on the relationship between the guest and the host rather than the presentation.

Christ welcomed the least of these.

Teaching Preschoolers the Gospel through Storying

  • Who are you?
  • Where do you come from?
  • Why do you exist?
  • Where are you going?
  • How will you get there?

Stories connect us—across cultures, generations, and communities. Stories are meant to be shared and passed on.

Who first told you about Christ? Who first shared His story with you, connecting His story to your story? For me, it was my grandmother. She shared Christ faithfully with me each time she kept my brother and me.

From the time I was around 3 or 4, I can remember her telling us Bible stories. And if anyone were qualified to teach children the Bible, it was my grandmother. She had taught the 4- and 5-year-old class at her church for years, even before I was born.


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