Back to it

New Years is the time of year most people become resolved to change or set and strive for fresh goals. But for me as a stay-at-home mom and ministry leader, back-to-school time is the golden ticket!

My sweet kiddos started a new school year yesterday, and in many ways my year begins again, too.

Seriously. Have you seen sweeter kids?

It’s time to get back to it!

I’ve missed posting here on my blog. For the past year, I’ve allowed my ministry to-do list to crowd out my writing time. This fall, I’d like to change that, because God uses blogging in my life to punctuate how He is at work in the details all around me.

Earlier this year, knowing what God was calling me to, I asked Him to increase my capacity (aka the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10). The vision He had given was impossible to achieve without His presence and power — and Him stretching me even further in faith. God answered that prayer by giving me more to do and more people to love and serve. That’s just like God! 😉

I can say truthfully I haven’t “handled” it all well. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve burnt out in my own strength. And, God has allowed me late this summer to solely focus on my first ministry — my family — to rejuvenate my heart and clarify my priorities.

What God calls us to, He equips us to do. But you know how He does that? It isn’t that God suddenly gives you new skills or management techniques or aligns all your people in an orderly manner so that leadership is easy. He gives us Himself. He requires us to be with Him, stand with Him, depend on Him, trust in Him, and release control so He can work — in US.

That’s why I want to get back to recording God’s words and encouragement here in blog form. I want God to keep me on my toes, recognizing His work in the details of life so that I can stand firm in Christ, as He calls me in Ephesians 6:10-20 (note all times we are urged to “stand”). And, I want to be able to share with you the amazing blessing and miracle it is that God chooses to move and make Himself evident in our everyday lives — the places that real life happens, those in-between moments that define us.

This restart may not be perfect. It’s a beginning, again. That sounds a lot like grace.

Thanks for joining me in the journey!

Tassels and theme cards

We remember what’s right in front of us. That’s why we put our grocery lists under refrigerator magnets, pictures on our nightstands and sticky notes on our dashboards. If I want to make it to an important appointment, I set an alarm on my phone, so when the time comes the reminder is right in my hand.

Even what’s most important to us can fade or be forgotten. God knew that with time, hearts can drift from His commands and His truth. In the midst of His loving care, we can start to believe that we are the masters of our own destinies, and that our efforts and strength got us to where we are. The Israelites had the same struggle. God’s set-apart people needed a constant visual reminder that God was in charge, and He had a plan for their lives. So, God commanded that on the four corners of their garments hang blue-corded tassels.

“These will serve as tassels for you to look at, so that you may remember all the Lord’s commands and obey them and not become unfaithful by following your own heart and your own eyes. This way you will remember and obey all My commands and be holy to your God. I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am Yahweh your God.”
‭‭- Numbers‬ ‭15:39-41‬

Every way they turned, those who wore the tassels would feel that God was with them and they were His, rescued and set apart. As they walked along the path, they would be reminded of God’s commands and respond in obedience. God’s calling was worn right next to their skin.

I need that kind of reminder of God’s calling. I want God’s heartbeat to be my constant playlist, compelling me to move forward in confidence to God’s commands. I desire for the Gospel to resonate so deeply in my life it spills out in Great Commission action.

God has given me the great privilege of serving as my area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, a project that seeks to share God’s love with children in need around the world through simple shoebox gifts. This year, my team is seeking to filter everything we do through the lens of Matthew 28:19-20. This is our mission, our marching orders.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

God is calling us to center in on this theme: GO and GROW. The investment we have in ministry through Operation Christmas Child is because we seek to follow Jesus in His Great Commission. God is using us, literally, to make disciples of all nations by mobilizing people and multiplying shoebox gifts right here in our communities in Missouri. Because of God’s power and the movement of His Spirit, we are going around the world through shoeboxes to children who desperately need God’s love and salvation – and we are a part of their discipleship as they work through The Greatest Journey follow-up program. As a team, we are asking God to raise up more than 45,000 shoeboxes in our 18-county area for 2017. My dream goal is for us to reach 50,000 children this year, which means that up to half a million people in our world could be impacted by God’s love. ONLY GOD could accomplish that!!!

This is my Operation Christmas Child Team's theme card for this year. The Great Commission is the lens for our ministry efforts.

This is my Operation Christmas Child Team’s theme card for this year. The Great Commission is the lens for our ministry efforts. On the raft in this picture are several cartons full of shoebox gifts traveling to an outlying area in Fiji. If you’d like to be reminded of this calling, you are welcome to use this printable or electronic theme card. Please let me know if you are using it!

These theme cards will act as our tassels in the coming months as we follow God’s lead. We want the Great Commission ever before us, so we will post these cards on our refrigerators, bathroom mirrors, dashboards and screens. God’s Word does not return void, and we want Him to sow this seed deep within our hearts, where God has prepared soil to reap 30, 60 and even 100 times what is planted.

We have all been called by God. Called by God to be His arms of embrace and His feet to go where people need to know Jesus. Called by God to love in truth, to follow His commands, to serve together with the church to make disciples of all nations.

Is your calling ever before you? Consider this a reminder that God has a plan for your life. As one who has responded to God’s great grace, God has called you to join Him, to go and grow.

Hang tassels on your garments or put a theme card on your nightstand. Find a way today to honor God’s call and be reminded of His rescue and redemption that He intends for you to share.