Yes, I know I'm late. It's almost the end of January and I'm just now getting to my prayer word and mission for 2014. Craziness. Well, actually, it has been craziness around here. Since early October I've been in overdrive trying to get everything ready for the Praying for Boys launch. In all seriousness, I'm not sure I worked that hard on my Master's degree (and I worked pretty darn hard on my Master's degree, friends). Now that Praying for Boys is out I'm sensing the need to really examine my priorities for 2014 so I control my calendar instead of it controlling me.
Can I get an amen?
I looked at my 2014 calendar the other day and realized that I'm pretty much already maxed out for the year. I've intentionally left some sacred space for emergencies and "God-opportunities," but overall, I sense that God is calling me to say "no" this year more than I say "yes."
How did I come to this conclusion? Partly because I read Crystal Paine's new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, but mostly because I want the words I write about to also be the words I live (<<--- Tweet That!). How can a mom have a deep, rich prayer life if she's using every spare minute to work on the next big project? How can a wife be a safe place for her husband to land if she has a computer in her lap most of the time?
There are seasons in life (as much as my friend Stacey hates that word) that require harder work and more intense personal sacrifice. I've been in one of those for several months now, and might not get all the way out for another month. I don't regret this season, but I've learned that I can't live in it all the time. There has to be an ebb and flow to life—up time and down time—and if we don't get intentional about creating the down time, it won't happen.
There are too many good, worthy things out there demanding our attention, any of which could use our helping hand (or platform). So how does a mama know which ones to put her hands to, when?
She creates a personal, yearly mission statement
(thanks Stacey for reminding me to do something I'd been wanting to do for a while now).
I've decided to let every opportunity that comes my way in 2014 flow through this personal mission statement. I really think it's going to help me say "yes" both to my family and my personal calling, and say "no" with the confidence that some opportunities will have to wait until a different season.
1. To honor God with my life and gifts.
Above all else, I want to make His Name great. Not my own, not my children's, not the MOB Society's...just His. I believe that by making His Name great—whether I do that in my home or in my career—I'm furthering the Gospel, and the Gospel is what I want to be about. Making His Name great will also help me perform all of my duties—whether online or off—with a deeper level of excellence.
2. To minister the Gospel to my husband and children first and foremost, and everyone else second.
No matter what, I believe my husband and children are my first and most important mission field. There are so many injustices that need the attention of the body of believers in this day and age, and I'm drawn to giving my time and energy to them because I want to make a difference in this world. But I refuse to forget the mission field in my own home—one that looks at me with big brown eyes and says, "I need you, too." God has given me these boys (two little ones I gave birth to, and one big one I pledged my life to) so that I can minister the Gospel to them. I will not neglect to share the love of Christ with the most important people in my life in order to share it with others.
(Please don't hear me saying that sharing the love of Christ with others, or working to end social and spiritual injustices is unimportant. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that if I don't love my family well, nothing else much matters).
3. To use my gifts to bless others.
If you took everything I've worked for away, I would still write and share the hope of Jesus with others. It's what I'm hard-wired to do. It might look different than it does now, but I would be unable to stop doing it. That's how you know you've found your gift, friends. If the world took any notoriety you might've gained from it away, would you keep doing it? If so, there's your gift.
What's Your Mission?
May I encourage you to inventory what's to come in your 2014? If, like me, you're already feeling overwhelmed by what needs to get done, and thinking that a year is just not enough time to cram all of the opportunities in, create a mission statement for this year, commit to it, and use it to guide all of your "yeses" and "nos."
If you choose to create a mission statement, would you share it with us in the comments? I would love to be inspired by what's important to you in 2014.
Boymom friends, I would love to have you join me tonight (1/21/14) at 9 PM EST for The MOB Society's monthly MOB Chat Facebook! I'll be the special guest, and we'll be talking about the importance of raising and praying for boys!
If you have questions for me on the topic of praying for boys, or about the book specifically, please leave them here or in the comments.
See you there!
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