myMISSION Blog

What’s Your Routine?

At every stage in my childhood, I had a bedtime routine. When I was three years old, I insisted that my dad read P.B. Bear’s Birthday Party every single night. No other book would do! When I was five, I got up about 10 seconds after my parents tucked me into bed. I would march into the living room and announce, “I can’t sleep!” Then my dad would carry me back to my room and tuck me in bed for a second time.

Routines are the structure of our everyday lives. Many Christians desire to make spending time with God a part of their daily routine. However, this is easier said than done. When you are already balancing work, school, family, church, and other activities, how can you squeeze in another time commitment?

I faced this question during my freshman year of high school when I decided to read through the entire Bible before I went to college. I set a goal of reading one or two chapters every night before I went to bed. At first it was difficult to keep up the momentum. Sometimes I missed several days in a row, and I fell behind. However, I never quit. Even if I lagged behind schedule, I pressed on.

Who Am I Following?

Have you ever had to follow someone when traveling in a vehicle? It can be quite frustrating if the person leading has forgotten that he or she is leading you, especially if you are in an unfamiliar area. I’m sure we can all relate to having the person in front slip through the yellow light and then here we are stuck, sitting at a red light, trying to watch as far as we can to see where we need to follow.

To be honest, sometimes I feel that the same can be said for my obedience to God. I will run out of fingers and toes to list all the times I tried to be the “lead” car with God. Isn’t it silly? How can I think that I know better than God? When we call it out like this it does sounds silly; however, it’s not always a blatant, “I am going to take the lead, God.”

Trips as a Tool

Missions trips are such a wonderful way to strengthen your group and allow members to exercise their faith. I heard a definition of a missions trip this way—“A useful tool to use your time for His Glory.” That is what we are doing; we’re being a tool in the Master’s hand. Have you ever stopped and thought about how you spend your time and how those in your group spend their time? How we spend our time is really a reflection of the condition of our heart. Serving God through the use of our time shows what our priorities really are.

A Teaching Degree

The box next to "Christian Studies" was marked. My college major was chosen. I felt confident and somehow more mature. Checking that small box on the blue form seemed to be one of the biggest decisions I had ever made.

Why would I choose anything else? God had shown me that I would be serving Him overseas once I graduated so what good would any other major do for me? Two months into college, God began to speak to my heart. He wanted me in the education building. A teacher? Really? I looked into seeing if it could be my minor. No such luck.

Reluctantly, I filled out the form to change my major and over the next three and a half years fell completely in love with teaching. Fast forward four years after graduation, and I'm getting on a plane to go and serve as an international missionary in Madagascar. His plan remained and He did not need my help to get me there.

That teaching degree opened up doors to an English-as-a-second-language community that I would not have had otherwise. He gave me a classroom of precious deaf children that I was welcomed into because of my education degree. He saw the future so much clearer than I ever have.

Wherever He leads, I’ll Go

“Go to the Middle East.”

That was the clearest call I had received from God. The next eight years were spent praying about, dreaming about, and preparing for my move to the Middle East.

I have always been the ambitious sort, the type who prepares for every change and possibility and attempts to plan the next 15 years, now. If possible.

So I went. God gave me the call. And I went.

Naturally, during my eight years of planning I began to dream about what the call from God might mean. I convinced myself He must want me to live overseas forever.

So I told others I would move there for my whole life. And quite honestly, my heart was willing.

But God had different plans.

Getting me there was simply the beginning of the life-changing, faith-rocking journey He was starting me on.

I thought it was a forever kind of call. Instead, God was asking me to follow Him in the faith-based kind of pursuit where He is the Good Shepherd and I am the lamb following Him wherever He would lead me.

Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to years and slowly God began to whisper to me that it was time to move home.

Can You Hear Me?

Congratulations! If you are reading this then you have successfully found a moment to break away for some time for you. I know how precious and fleeting this time can be so please know these blogs that I write and share will honor what time you have. So let’s not waste any time…

Have you ever felt so distracted in your own environment that you can’t hear God? The sounds of little people’s voices arguing, chairs scooting across the kitchen floor, doors opening and closing, questions being asked, the clinking and clanging of snaps and buttons hitting the side walls of the dryer, dogs barking, a baby crying? It can be very challenging to find a place of peace, of quiet, and be able to focus, to talk to the only source to replenish our weary selves, God.

New Beginnings

Fall is the time for new beginnings—school, football, and a new church year. What are you dreaming up new for your myMISSION group this year? What worked well and made you determine it was a keeper?

Did you use Missions Mosaic and myMISSION Leader with your group? Faith, community, and missions continue to make up the core of myMISSION, and meeting plans are centered in those areas.

This year some tweaks have been made to the meeting plans. The meeting plans for faith are built for the Bible study in Missions Mosaic. These plans are interactive, fun, and move us to make life changes. We’ll also consider where we could take this Bible study (women’s shelter, jail, dorm, neighborhood) or what other group could join us for the study.

The missions meeting plans help us learn about the featured missionary in Missions Mosaic. But we are going to do more than just learn; we’re going to try to apply the missionary’s missions project ideas to our own local projects.  

Blocking the Distractions

Bike tires squealing, people selling their goods, goats and cattle making their presence known . . . these are the sounds that fill the space outside my window. It seems when I seek a quiet space, the outside sounds only get louder. Living in a foreign land has its challenges, but one of the biggest is tuning out the distractions.

Distractions in Madagascar might look a bit different than they do in America, but they still accomplish the same goal: they keep my attention from being focused on God. The funny thing is that it's my choice. I choose to let them distract me. My mind finds itself in a whirlwind of outside activity coupled with the toddler tornado that's happening inside my home.

Part of being a follower of Christ means that I am called to listen. I must choose to prioritize time alone with God and studying the Bible. Making this a priority for me looks like waking up before my toddler does (with the sun), turning on some Ellie Holcomb music (drowns out those outside noises), and sitting still.

Forgetting Step 1: Prayer

I walked into my college internship ready to lead my first meeting. Armed with a stack of papers and my red pen, I was eager to present my project to the staff. But before I could tackle my agenda, my supervisor asked if she could pray for the meeting. “Lord,” she prayed, “We want You to work through this project. Please guide our decisions because we need Your wisdom.”

Wow. I realized that praying for God’s guidance in this project was not even on my radar! I had become so caught up in my planning that I completely forgot to invite God into the picture. Did I want God to work through this project? Absolutely. Did I stop to ask Him for guidance? No.

It’s easy to ask God to help us with life’s big issues, like choosing where to go to college or deciding on a major. However, we often forget to ask God for leadership in decisions that we make every day. I wanted to do God’s will through the project, but I failed to seek His counsel in the first place.

Sleep vs. God

6:30 a.m. The song begins to play, telling me it is time to wake up.

Shower. Get Ready. Quickly eat breakfast. Out the door.

Work. Work. Work. Home. Errands. Friends.

Then repeat.

Do you ever feel like you are on the wash cycle on repeat? It’s so rhythmic. It’s so consistent. It’s alarming.

The routine wrestles with my time with the Lord. I convince myself in the middle of my morning that I can find it, but oftentimes the bed calls my name more than my drive to have time with Jesus.

In those moments, sleep matters more to me than the living water.

The more I allow this cycle to repeat, the more desperate and thirsty for the Lord I become. I forget that the stillness is where I find Him. In the moment of pause.

If we allow the rhythm, the routine, to dictate our lives—working, living, moving at a syncopated pace—when do we stop? When is the pause?

Every song ever written has a moment of rest. How naive for me to think my life-song should never pause.

It’s in the silence that I hear God.

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