Mommy vs. Missionary

Mommy vs. Missionary? Is that even a real choice? Do we have to pick one or the other? If I pick mommy is my “life’s work” relegated to crock pot meals, car pools, and candles? If I pick missionary is it at the expense of my family?
These are ideas I am flushing out in my own mind lately.  Here are my thoughts:
1) When I say “missionary”, I don’t mean overseas missionary.  I mean living here and serving. I have friends who are overseas missionaries- raising kids (lots of kids) in third world countries without heat, all sleeping in one room with coats on. I have friends who have no sinks in their house and have to ladle every drop of water they use (toilets, baths, dishes) from a cistern.  Are they less of a mommy because their kids are experiencing these hard things while their parents are serving the kingdom? Are they less of a mom, or just a mom in a lot harder place? They are still doing the same things I am doing -teaching reading, cooking meals, loving their husbands and kids. But they are also literally living out this verse:

Matthew 28:19 (NKJV) 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

2) If I am not called to the actual mission field (wait…..I am pretty sure my neighborhood is also a mission field, but I’m referring to the “another country” mission field),  then do I get to take a pass on serving and a pass on preaching the Good News? If my missionary friends are still moms, then can’t I and shouldn’t I be serving here where I am placed with my whole heart and with my kids right beside me as I do it? Just like they are? Would I tell my husband, “Don’t worry about sharing the Good News of Jesus- you have a job! You can  do that when your retired.” That’s crazy! So, why do we mommies think our “job” exempts us from serving, telling, and loving in the name of our Great Father!

1 Peter 5:2 (ESV) Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

3) I love being a stay-at-home mom- it was all I ever wanted to be. I love making homemade muffins, teaching my girls to sew, and snuggling on the couch with a ton of kids while we read in the evenings. The thing is, I would want to be that whether I was a believer or not. So I can’t say I am serving “the kingdom”, because I am a mom.  There are lots of amazing moms who are not believers. They are mommies, but not missionaries. I am a follower of Jesus first, and a mommy second. I want my Jesus banner to fly higher in my lIfe than my mommy banner. Is that going to hurt my kids? I don’t think so.  I think it will show that them that I will forsake all others for Christ. Isn’t that what we are called to do?

Matthew 10:37-39 (NKJV) 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.


Wow! So there it is! Jesus’ own words. So what do I need to do in my life to be able to serve more and to give my all, yet still be a good wife and mom? Because despite all I have said here today, I know that those are roles God has given me. “Mommy” is a job title that I treasure and I love making meals and going to the park with my kids.  But are there other things that I am lumping into my mommy job that are not actually necessary, that are not obligatory to being a mom? Am I adding “rules” like the Pharisees did to the law?

I look at my missionary friends and the stories of missionaries I read, and I see some common factors:

1) Simple, small houses.

2) Not many extra activities.  There kids are not in sports- they don’t really have them in the bush.  Nor do they have a gym, so the moms are not working out all the time or training for a marathon.

3) Simple dress. Clothing isn’t a hobby, just necessary to cover you.

4) Plain wholesome meals. Not gourmet or fancy, just healthy.

5) Not much (if any) “me time”.

6) No t.v. and limited Internet.

Okay, that list really cuts me to the bone. That is my life I just listed. I do all of those things and really enjoy them as part of my life. But I realize these are the things that are keeping me from living as a missionary here.   It’s not cooking, teaching math, or cleaning that are taking up my extra time, it’s all the other stuff.  If I cut out the earthly, materialistic things, I could give more financially and physically to the kingdom. And if I just did the things that were actually required of me as a mom (not all the extra stuff I like to add to the role) I would have a lot more to give to Him.
In the words of C.T. Studd, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.



Almost 500 and Counting…..

It has been such a joy to help collect bras for Free The Girls! What started as a last minute thought during the Christmas market place has continued to grow and bring me joy. 
A few weeks before the sale this year, we thought: “Why not have it be a Free The Girls collection site?” So we put out a basket and few of the ladies took up the call to action, going around their neighborhood collecting. By the end of the weekend we had 300+ bras.
I love what Free the Girls is all about! If you don’t know much about them, go to their website and watch the great documentary: . The inspiring story is about how an idea grew and has now touched many people around the world.
For me, the best part has been seeing how it is affecting and bringing together ladies in our community; from a group of young moms at MOPS, to a retired grandmother who had all of her friends bring their old bras to her Christmas party, to one lady who brought us 130 bras!!! She had moved across country multiple times, keeping them all for years, and not knowing what to do with them since they no longer fit her mommy body (we all know how hard it is to find a new bra that carries the girls in just the right way.)
Another lady, in her hurry and haste, grabbed the new bras she had just bought to replace the ones she was planning on giving to Free The Girls.  She dropped them into a big box full of 200 others. It was like a scavenger hunt trying to find the new bras to give back to her!
We will continue to collect bras, ladies, so ask your friends and neighbors, co-workers, and small groups, and let’s help Free The Girls!


7 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Well, this was a fun little game (that I did not participate in) on facebook a few months back.  It is interesting to see some things about people you wouldn’t know.    My lack of participation wasn’t for any moral reason, I just wasn’t interested.  However, there are some things people don’t know about me….

1) I’m a twin;

2) I really don’t have self control (some of you will argue, but I’m telling you, this girl can eat…A LOT);

3)  I was born in Cleveland;

4) I was raised in Columbus, OH;

5) I moved to Ann Arbor for Jr and Sr. High;

6) I am a Buckeye fan!!!;

7)  I didn’t like pizza growing up (what???) but loved McDonalds Fish Sandwich (sick and wrong).


But if I were to be honest, there’s a lot of not-so-nice things people don’t know about me.  I’m selfish, materialistic, I yell at my kids, I think mean thoughts about my husband when I’m mad at him., and the list goes on.  I’m sure you have some of the same “ugly” secrets too.


But our heavenly Father knows all of it.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Which at some level is scary that someone can know all that about us, because, really, I like to hide the bad stuff and outwardly look good.  Who doesn’t?  But at the basic core of our being, I think it’s a relief.  A relief that I don’t have to confess some awful “secret” that He doesn’t already know.  Relief that I am loved by Him despite ALL of my flaws.


1John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”   Ahhhhh….what a relief that He forgives.  We do need to confess.  Not because He doesn’t know, but because it’s good for us to confess our sins.  And then we are forgiven.  I love how the verse say simply “if we confess our sins”.   Not “if we confess our small sins”, or “if we confess our big sins”.  Just confess our sins.  No matter what they are.  And He will forgive us.  Our God is “faithful and just”.


There are more things you don’t know about me, but God does 😉




Are You Ready For Some Football? Traffickers Are.

Unfortunately, anytime hundreds of thousands of people come together for an event like the Super Bowl, there will be a demand for sex. And the traffickers are more than happy to bring the supply.

The sex trafficking industry generates a profit of 27 billion dollars each year, and the Super Bowl provides ample opportunity for pimps to get their hands on a chunk of that money. These girls, who are as young as 12, are brought from other parts of the US and made to work this event. It is hard to get solid statistics about these girls because so much of the business is underground and intertwined with the illegal drug industry, and most of the advertising is done online. However, according to the FBI, 17,500 people are trafficked each year in the US.

Many of the victims come from a background of abuse, many grew up in foster care, and most ran away from home. Many of the girls are looking for someone to protect, love, and provide for them, and the traffickers are happy to assume this role. They usually choose young, vulnerable girls and offer to take care of them as a boyfriend or even as a father figure. The girls, often looking for love, can easily fall into the trap of the pimp. And, with time, he will begin to control her through beatings and threats, eventually forcing her to have sex with other men. At this point, the pimp has done his job and has another successful money maker.

These girls are God’s children. We need to be aware of this problem and fight for them. All of us can pray for an end to this evil. We can take a moment and picture the horror of one of our own daughters/sisters/friends being forced into sex, then realize that is happening to someone’s daughter, sister, or friend at this very minute. In addition, we can educate ourselves about the issue and support organizations who are already fighting to save these victims.

And now that we know, we simply cannot pretend it’s not happening. Not only is it happening right now as you read this, but it will be happening next Sunday in New Jersey.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing”


Organizations 31:20 likes:

Free the Girls-

The Justice Project-

Fight Trafficking- fight

Joy International-


US Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Stories”

Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking

End Human Trafficking Now

Save Her


Christian Living?

The other day my son was searching for an interesting book to read because he has an allotted amount of time he is expected to read for school each day. He doesn’t love reading so I knew his next book needed to be interesting enough to hold his attention. I remembered I had been challenged and riveted by the book “Let Me Tell You A Story” by Tony Campolo. Along with being an excellent storyteller Campolo is a minister, a sociologist and an author.
Before I gave my son the book I skimmed it looking for stories that had moved me. He has had to find another book since then because I keep taking it from him.

  I was struck by a particular story that challenged me to look again at the sermon Jesus preached on a hillside near Capernaum, found in Matthew 5. I hope you find it compelling as well.

                                   Who We Should Be
“While teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, I became good friends with a young Jewish man who eventually made a commitment to Christ.  As I tried to mentor him and give him direction as to how to live the Christian life, I advised him to go to a particular church that was well known for it’s biblically based preaching, to help him get a better handle on what the Bible is all about.
When I met my friend several weeks later, he said to me, ‘You know, if you put together a committee and asked them to take the Beattitudes and create a religion that contradicted every one of them, you would come pretty close to what I am hearing down there at that church. Whereas Jesus said “Blessed are the poor,” down there they make it clear that it is the rich who are blessed.
‘Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn,” but the people at the church have a religion that promises happiness with no crucifixions.’
‘Whereas Jesus talked about the meek being blessed, they talk as if they took assertiveness-training courses. Jesus may have talked about the merciful and the peacemakers, but those people are the most enthusiastic supporters of American militarism and capital punishment I have ever met.’
‘Jesus may have lifted up those who endured persecution because they dared to embrace a radical gospel, but the church declares a gospel that espouses middle-class success and affirms a lifestyle marked by social prestige.’
As I listened to my friend’s accusing words about the church, I realized that it could just as well be aimed at me.  Since that conversation, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on whether or not my lifestyle is really Christian.
Sören Kierkegaard once said, ‘If you mean by Christian what the Sermon on the Mount says about being a Christian, then in any given time in history, there might be four or five such persons who would have the right to call themselves Christians.’ “


Reading The Bible

I have to admit that reading the bible every day is a chore for me. I know it’s what I should do as a Christian, but it is hard for me.  I do well for a while, then fall off the proverbial wagon. Today, in order to instill good habits into my children, I sat down with my son and continued reading the book of Luke with him (which we started a few weeks ago and are just on chapter 4!!). For us Christians, we think – I know that book like the back of my hand. But wisdom was gleaned today.  In other words, I was taught a great lesson by the almighty.   In Luke 4:2 (NLT) it says “Jesus was full of the holy spirit where the Devil tempted him for 40 days. He ate nothing and was very hungry.”  Verse 3 says “THEN (emphasis mine) the devil said to him…. “.  What do you mean then, God?  Like, he went 40 days with no food and THEN the devil asked him hard questions?  I can’t even go a whole day without food before I get cranky. Can you imagine 40 days? You would be soooo hungry. And he had to endure all the tempting by the devil to THEN be tempted more. And I think I have it hard. Does the devil have you in a weak spot? He does me. What did Jesus do? He spoke God’s word back at the Devil. That is what we need to do and why it is important to read the bible daily.  Thank you Lord for teaching me something new from a story I thought I had heard 1000 times!!

There is a little more though as well.  In Verse 13 it says “When the Devil had finished tempting Jesus he left him until THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY CAME (again, emphasis mine). The Devil didn’t leave for good. He didn’t leave JESUS for good so why would he leave you and I for good? Friend, Jesus endured so we don’t have to. Give the Devil God’s word and be happy you have what you have. I need to do that, do you?

-Sharon C.

Guest Blogger

Content in Your Call?

At church tonight, a family who has been called back into full-time missionary work shared about their latest trip to explore where God is calling them. It was thrilling to hear all the events God has woven together to meet their needs and reassure them of His call.
The whole time they were speaking, I really had to fight feelings of envy: hearing the amazing call on their life, seeing the steps of faith they are taking, and the way they are living it out. I kept thinking,  “God call US! We will follow! I want to live a crazy life for you, I want a chance to show you I will give it all up for you God!”
I know I am all messed up, full of envy, discontentment, and pride. But the good news is I realized it, and spent most of the service praying I would REALLY want what God has for me. That I would want a life in suburbia, and I would want to serve Him in the ways He has called me (which are different from the ways they have called them).
I read a great devotion this past week, and after tonight I went back and reread it:
Streams In The Desert by Mrs Charles E. Cowman
January 7


(Here is a part of it- I recommend you go read the rest)

“Others may do a greater work,
But you have your part to do;
And no one in all God’s heritage
Can do it so well as you.”

Wow! That really hit home for me this week.
So, what is you call? Are you content in it? Are you living it out 100%?