Friday, January 29, 2016

The Best Job A Mom Can Have

I've been working in ministry & non-profit since (and before) college.  I love helping people and being apart of what God is doing in people's lives.  It is very rewarding despite the lack of pay and monetary benefits.  

As my life changed and I added babies to the mix, my ability to be out in the community helping beyond my hours at the church became impossible.  I felt the desire to still be in ministry, but also knew if I neglected my family to do it, I was wrong.  God is clear that my family is the priority no matter how noble my efforts with teenagers, homeless or the broken-hearted may be.  

Being a mom hasn't made me irrelevant in the body of Christ.  It hasn't benched me from the game for a few years, instead, I have found the perfect ministry opportunity as I've looked for a way to serve God and keep my priorities in tact.  You ready for my big revelation? The best job I have available to me as a Christian, ministry minded mom is PRAYER! Prayer is often overlooked but as a Christian it is your most important tool.  

Don't believe me? Read a few of these verses and see if it doesn't change your mind: 
Psalm 118:21, Psalm 66:20, Ezra 8:23, Colossians 4:2, Hebrews 5:7, James 5:15, Psalm 120:1 Psalm 116:1, Daniel 10:12, I Chronicles 5:20 and Ephesians 6:18.  

Prayer can be an intimidating word because of its simplicity, or it gets used in a way that minimizes its role in our spiritual journey. Prayer is crucial because it goes before us and prepares the path or better yet, prepares us for the path. 

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”
Colossians 4:2 NLT

 Best of all, it's the perfect job for moms because we can do it anytime, anywhere! In my journey to prayer warrior, I have discovered some ways to make my prayers as a mom more effective so I'd like to share those with you. (Note: You don't have to be a mom to apply them.)

1. Set reminders
There were some people in my life going through a hard time that really needed prayer so I set a reminder everyday at a specific time to pray for those people.  Even if I get busy, I get an alert telling me to put my mind on things above.  Might as well you my smartphone for spiritual things.

2. War Room, sort of
I was inspired by the movie, "War Room" that came out this past year, but wasn't at liberty to empty my closet in order to have one, by one, I mean a dedicated spot for prayer.  Instead, I began to fill up the inside of my cabinet doors.  

If you come to my house you may open a pantry door or kitchen cabinet and find a photo of someone I want to pray for or a notecard with a scripture I want to meditate on. I can fill my house with prayer prompts without creating a cluttered environment.   As I go about my day, I am reminded through my own busyness path to focus on the Lord.  

3. Keep Those Photo Cards
I don't send Christmas cards, but Valentines instead. I use the Christmas cards I get to make my list of Valentines, but usually those cards still find their way to the trash after the holidays.  This year, I cut out the photos instead of blessing the trash can with them and added them to my cabinet collection.  If you sent me a photo card you can be assured you've been added to my list of prayer. 

4.  Write it down
I don't always journal, but I do pray.  I decided this year, as I prayed I'd note what leadings I got from God.  Sometimes what I get is just my stomach talking about food, but when I am seeking intently, I can hear from God and write it down so I don't forget. Now I have a reminder when I need to look back on what God has said. It also forces me to have some quiet, intentional time listening to God.

5. Pray a Day
One of the results of number four, is a new relationship God prompted me to pursue with a mom ahead of me in the mommy race. Her kids are grown and now we get together to talk and pray.  I can glean from her through her experience when I just need a little help.  This last week she brought a tool that has me in awe.  It's a piece of paper with thirty-one attributes with corresponding scriptures so I can pray each day for my kids in a new area of their character.  I love it! Targeted prayer is amazing and each day of every month I can pray for what the Bible calls my kids to be.  I have found this makes good prayers for my hubby and me as well.  Today, was loving.  But in the last week I've read passages and prayed for my kids to be things like peacemakers, generous and respectful to others.  Whether you use a list like mine or make your own, assign each day a prayer target.  Maybe the first of every month is missionaries, second, politicians, etc. until thirty-one categories are covered.  Maybe you use letters and pray for people in those letter ranges instead. Regardless of your method, planning your prayers makes just as much sense as planning your finances. You cover it all!  

Prayer is powerful! It's a noble calling and God needs his children to get in the game and fight with him in this spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12).

James 5:16b NLT
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

These years of diapers, the laundry avalanche, permissions slips and school projects can leave you lost and go by with a whirlwind, but they can count for something and it's your job to stand up and be counted.  We aren't always prepared for what's ahead but as Christians we know someone who is and He can help us, but we must stay connected despite the chaos.