10 Ways to be a Missional Momma
If we call ourselves Christians, we are supposed to always be on “mission” right? We have news that is just too good to share. We are called to “go and make disciples.” We are called to love one another. But that’s not all pretty diamond cross necklaces, is it? Being missional is hard work. It’s an everyday decision that we must make. I have really learned this over the past year or two, but since actually moving overseas it has hit me extremely hard. How do I do all that I need to do for the day….wash dishes, clean the toilets, keep Grace content, serve my husband, cook meals, wash clothes, etc., AND be missional? Here are 10 ways that I have learned to be missional. There are 9,872 more, and probably better, ways to be missional, but these are some that the Lord has taught me over the past year.
#1 Be a Regular Be a regular customer at a cafe, shop, or restaurant. This has opened huge doors for me since moving to London. The biggest example I can use is my weekly visit to the Somali Cafe. Not even a week after arriving in London, I visited the cafe for the first time and knew that these women would be not only my friends, but hopefully one day women that would be open to the Gospel. So every Wednesday, around lunchtime, Grace and I take a bus and two trains to get to this little, hidden room, up three flights of stairs, with two tables and a few chairs. This weekly ritual has become a highlight in my week, and I hope in the Somali women’s lives as well. We are “regulars.” They expect Grace and me every Wednesday. The cook knows my order and brings it to me without me even asking. Now, though this has been SO great, it’s not always good. I have had to earn their trust and their friendship. Obviously I don’t speak Somali, so many times I sit there just trying to follow foreign conversations. I am the outsider by all means, but they know me, and they know that every Wednesday at lunchtime, Laura, the American woman, and her little girl will come and drink tea and talk.
#2 Don’t always gravitate to your comfortable or like-minded friends. Whether it’s at a playgroup or the library, or wherever, make new friends, especially with those who seem new, alone, different, out-of-place, etc. From being one of the those new/alone/different people when we moved here, those women who approached me brought so much joy and hope into my life, even if they didn’t realize it. I take Grace to the library every Tuesday (again a regular); each time there are many of the same faces, but there are always new faces as well. I have to make a serious effort to introduce myself to the newbies. I think people get very confused on why we live where we live because there are not any other Americans in Wembley….or at least I haven’t seen/met them yet. To be honest, being a little bit different has opened doors for great conversations here. I’ve had moms comment on Grace’s bows A LOT! It’s crazy- girl’s just don’t wear bows here, so without me knowing it, we were screaming “Americans” - I have learned that’s okay. Through meeting these other women, I have been able to hear their stories and share my story. And in my story, they get to hear about Jesus, and that’s what is it all about, right?
#4 Prayer walk with your kids. I confess, this is a new one for me, but it’s something I really want to do more with Grace. If they are too little to understand, pop them in the stroller and take a walk and pray. If they are of age, let them help you see what’s around you and pray. I mean, how awesome would it be for children to learn how to prayer walk! I hope to do more of this on a weekly basis where that is my main purpose for getting out; however, the great thing about prayer walking is you can do this at anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. It can be silent or out loud. That’s the beauty of it.
#5 Make every purchase count. Let me explain. Go to different (a.k.a strategic) stores in your community where you can buy your groceries and other items. I do a regular grocery order delivery every week, but we try to let Lee go to the Middle Eastern market to get fruit and veggies. I know time is not in our favor, but I am really beginning to see how this can make such a big impact. I know that Wal-Mart/Target is so enticing because it’s your one-stop-shop; Believe me, I’m with ya on this. We have Asda here in London, which is literally the British version of Wal-Mart. You might have to go to multiple places to get everything you need, but think about all the relationships you can make at different shops (again, the “regular” thing comes in).
#6 Ask for help - be humble. Do little things like asking for help with directions or advice. Note: you will get unwanted advice, but swallow that pride and really listen to them- you will learn something about that person that you didn’t know before. Now, it might be their crazy parenting advice, but you will get insight to their background and their way of thinking… and it might blow your mind. The (unwanted) advice that we have received from people here has been CRAZY. I mean, things that just make you want to say, “What in the world are you thinking?” But that’s where the humbleness part comes to play :).
#7 Keep your home open (and food stocked). This is something I have greatly learned to LOVE since moving overseas. The culture of Middle Eastern peoples is come, drop by, and stay a while, and there are times that I love this, and yet there are times where this style of living is really hard (because I am selfish with my time). Let me say that we don’t own a big, beautiful home that is perfect for entertaining. We have a small apartment with a couch (about the size of a loveseat), and four kitchen table chairs. Entertaining and having people over is not convenient, but it’s something that we have chosen to make an effort to do with those around us, especially with our neighbors. We have invited them into our home so that they can see who we are behind our thin walls. Oh, and the food stocked part - in our neck of the woods that means always have tea ready to be made and “biscuits” (cookies), nuts, and chocolate ready to be put in bowls and served. I so wish that we would have had a more “open home” before we moved overseas. Maybe like you, our home was really our refuge and a place where we could relax and be alone. Sure we had people at our home and did things, but not with the heart that I have now. I really, really hope that when we move back to the states one day that we will carry with us this open home (food stocked) way of living. This having your home open thing also lets others see what and how your family interacts and how you love one another.
#8 Bake and Share. You can figure this one out without me typing a book :).
#9 Let others know you are praying for them and their families. I try to constantly let my friends know that I am praying for them. If they tell me something that seems to be worrying them, I try to take that opportunity to carry their burdens and pray for them. Oh, and a side note on this one- when you have people over in your home, pray FOR THEM BY NAME. Game changer right there.
#10 (finally right?) Stay steady in your time of reading the Bible. This really should be #1. If we want to be on mission for God, we have to know God, and the more we know God, the more we love Him. It’s a growing pattern, I think. The more I know, the more I grow, the more I love God and others.
LA and her family live in London, England. Actually, Wembley - think Wembley Stadium (Olympics). The stadium is across the street from their apartment! LA loves to bake sweets, run (really just so that she can eat more sweets), be with new friends, explore the city of London, and drink as many cappuccinos as possible. To see what else LA and her family are up to, check out her blog at theharpersbazaar.blogspot.com.