WMU Blog

Resolutions that Really Matter

This year, I will:

  • Be healthier
  • Spend less, save more
  • Get organized
  • Read 12 new books
  • Learn to knit
  • Conquer a marathon…okay, maybe just a half-marathon

Did you make any resolutions this year? Are you part of the 45% of Americans that make New Year’s resolutions? Maybe your list looks a little like mine.

Did you know that most resolutions are broken within several months? In fact, only 8% of people who make resolutions successfully achieve them.

Despite the odds, resolutions are good. People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t make resolutions.

However, when I look at my me-centered list, I keep thinking about one of my favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 16:9. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (NKJV).

So this year, I am adding some resolutions to my list that really matter—eternally—for God’s kingdom:

Wrap-Around Care

Wrap-around care. I was struck by this phrase that was new to me. I learned of the phrase in the article, “Contagious Love for One More Child,” 1 in Sharing, the newsletter for Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. The article focused on a church whose members have become invested in caring for vulnerable children by becoming foster families, adoptive families, or wrap-around families. The article speaks of wrap-around care as offering resources or support to adoptive and foster parents. Wrap-around care is a way of showing these families they are not alone by giving them encouragement and assistance in various ways.

As a Mission Friends teacher, you may have families in your church who are foster parents or adoptive families. Though not all children in foster or adoptive care have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), all of these children have gone through some type of trauma. I like the idea of giving wrap-around care to these foster and adoptive families so they can concentrate on providing for the emotional and physical needs of the child.

What are some ways of providing wrap-around care to these families?

A Vision? A Vision!

My husband and I have been blessed with 5 grandchildren who range in age from 5 to 13. When each child was still in the womb, my vision was for him or her to be born with a healthy little body. Now that our grandchildren are getting older, my vision is changing.

For 3 of them, my vision is that they will continue to pursue the dreams the Lord has begun to put in their hearts and live for Him. My role is to love and encourage them as well as support the spiritual foundation their parents provide.

For 2 of them, my vision is that they will make it through a hard family situation with as little damage to their tender hearts as possible. My role is to love them and be a safe haven for them. And I help their mother build a spiritual base from which they can come to know the Lord.

We can have a vision for family members, for ourselves, for our churches. Listen, ponder, and seek the Lord and He will give you a vision and reveal your role in making that vision a reality. 

Sharon R. Neff lives in Arcola, Mississippi, and never had a vision that she would be a pastor’s wife.

Next Generation Vision

As a parent, I’ve always strived to teach my children about missions and involve them in mission action whenever possible. My children are now 16 and 13 and grew up in Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors. They know what it means to be on mission.

My vision for them is to continue being on mission every day of their lives. There are many opportunities with our church and their school to continue to develop this mind-set.

I plan to encourage them to be involved in missions by having them participate with me, helping them find ways they can do missions, and educating them about current events so they can brainstorm ways they can be on mission.

It’s up to us to cultivate a vision to encourage and teach the next generation to live a missions lifestyle that honors God.

Jennifer Booth writes from her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Connect with her on her blog at JenniferBooth.com.

Vision Casting

Often on the missions field we talk about "vision casting.” Having a vision for what you are doing is important because it causes you to focus on the long term goal and what you can do currently to help achieve it.

Through the Lord's grace, I am "mommy" to two funny and beautiful gals. Long before they were born, I was praying for them and asking the Lord for wisdom in parenting and raising the ones He was entrusting us with. Little did I know then, that I would be praying that more and more as I try to live out this calling of motherhood.

Now, I'm not sure I've ever called it "vision casting" but if you ask me what my vision is for them, I know what it is. My vision is that they would walk intimately with the Father, that they have joy that is unspeakable and peace that passes all understanding. I pray for them to know His salvation the very first time His Spirit calls them to Himself and that we, as parents, have given them the knowledge of who He is and the gift that He has given.

Becoming an Effective myMISSION Leader

Just because someone has been a leader for a long time doesn’t mean she has arrived. All leaders can learn, grow, and develop. Leadership training is offered through state WMUs. Classes are now provided through Develop, WMU’s online, on-demand leadership training. We want you to be an effective Christian leader through your leadership role with myMISSION.

Being effective means producing the desired results. As a myMISSION leader, you want your group to learn more about missions, give to missions, and do missions. It is the leader’s responsibility to continually and clearly keep this vision at the forefront.

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.

The Woman She Was Made to Be

As I hang up the phone, there is a yearning deep within my soul for more. More than this current pain, more than what life seems to be dealing to her. From the very beginning of our relationship, I have seen a strength in her. A strength willing to do anything for her family, willing to sacrifice herself for the needs of others, and can face countless circumstances that would break the will of many human beings.

She perseveres. She always has. In a season where money was tight, her father passed away unexpectedly, and she suffered a stroke. She carried on. Filled with grace to put one foot in front of the other. She continued living, continued listening to God, and continued loving the world around her. And now—the pain is loud.

The throbs of a broken heart echo in her voice, this pain is not foreign to her, she has felt it before, but this time it cuts deeper hitting her core. She thought this would be different, that he would be different. But countless lies later, here she stands—alone and fighting for hope.

Loving for the Long Run

She’s the girl who doesn’t realize her boots went out of style three years ago. She’s the girl who constantly brags about her accomplishments and drives you crazy. She’s the girl who knows she’s an outcast. She’s also the girl who has no clue what people say behind her back.

We can all think of someone like this, and our first inclination is usually not to love them. Instead of saying, “She looks like she needs a friend,” we think, “I hope she doesn’t sit next to me!”

Jesus says that people will know that we are His disciples if we love one another (John 13:35). So how do we love people? By inviting them to dinner one Friday night, helping them study for an upcoming test, or stopping by their dorm room to ask how their day went.

These are all great ways to reach out to people, but they’re only the first steps to developing a relationship. If all we do is invite someone to hang out for 30 minutes, is that showing them that we really care?

Wrap-Around Care

Wrap-around care. I was struck by this phrase that was new to me. I learned of the phrase in the article, “Contagious Love for One More Child,” 1 in Sharing, the newsletter for Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. The article focused on a church whose members have become invested in caring for vulnerable children by becoming foster families, adoptive families, or wrap-around families. The article speaks of wrap-around care as offering resources or support to adoptive and foster parents. Wrap-around care is a way of showing these families they are not alone by giving them encouragement and assistance in various ways.

As a Mission Friends teacher, you may have families in your church who are foster parents or adoptive families. Though not all children in foster or adoptive care have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), all of these children have gone through some type of trauma. I like the idea of giving wrap-around care to these foster and adoptive families so they can concentrate on providing for the emotional and physical needs of the child.

What are some ways of providing wrap-around care to these families?

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