Zoom in before Zooming out

Do you ever just scroll through Instagram or Facebook and get so upset with yourself because your house doesn’t look like that? Or because “they” have the perfect flat lay of baby toys and clothes, while you are struggling to keep anything clean and nothing you have matches.

What about when you see those pictures of the perfect quiet time… A bible and a coffee, laptop probably, the latest book that’s a must read and of course the perfect clean background, either a clean work space or even better a clean bed with white sheets…

But let me tell you a secret… shhh you’re not allowed to tell anybody… these photos are just a zoomed in focussed picture of something somebody has set up…. There is a reason they have zoomed in and that’s because if you zoomed out of that picture this is what you would probably see… you would see messy tables, messy floors, messy kids and a mama who is a complete hot mess! And who really wants to see that in a photo?

I am guilty of the perfect quiet time picture… I take them regularly to post them to inspire and encourage people to get into the Word…but if I could zoom out a bit let me tell you what you would find… Let me use an example…

20841773_1944864682396574_2655375977563212635_n

This might look like the perfect quiet time but when you zoom out…

Zoom out and you will see a messy table that is crying out in neglect. With piles and piles of homework, junk, and pieces of paper that look important but who really knows, or remembers.

Zoom out and you will see clean washing needing to be put away, not just some washing but what I like to call Mt. Washmore, a mountain that even the most daring of mountain climbers would hesitate to climb.

Zoom out and you will see kids watching Sesame Street, for the 100th time this week just to get some peace and quiet. Yes, I use the TV as a babysitter sometimes.

Zoom out you will see a house with a chore list not getting any smaller. In fact the longer I sit here I can physically see the list getting longer and longer.

But what if, for just 5 minutes I choose to zoom in. I choose to not look around at my circumstances or busyness, but I choose to stop – Selah – and breathe and Zoom in, this is what you would find.
Zoom in and you will see that I took 5 mins to catch my breath. A much needed breath like the one taken while swimming, between diving under the waves again.
Zoom in and you will see the moment that I listened to God and what He had for me in that breath. Hearing what God says about me and my purpose as a Mum and as His daughter.

Zoom in and I could realign myself with His Spirit and check myself and my attitudes. Those selfish thoughts, those poor me moments, and those horrible slip ups of anger filled responses to the kids and husband, and ask for forgiveness so I can move on and walk in freedom.
Zoom in and I got to prepare myself for the afternoon onslaught of homework, hungry children, bath and bed routine… cause you all know that we need every bit of God in those evening routines!!! Can I get an Amen??!?
So I chose to Zoom in for 5 minutes and it changed my day!! – It really did!! And sometimes when all is calm in the Moala Tribe and I get to take more than 5 minutes it is pure Luxury!!

I just want to encourage you today… take 5 minutes if that’s all you can and chose to Zoom in… Choose to take time to zoom into what God says about you, what He can help you with. Let Him give you the strength to get through the next few hours. Take that well needed and deserved breath before the next set of waves come pounding in.

Then, when you have to, zoom out and tackle each little task as you always do but with God whispering to you and cheering you on. So remember when you see those perfect Instagram photos to be encouraged and inspired but don’t lose the sense of reality.

Choose to Zoom in before Zooming out!

5 Ways to involve your children in your time with God.

*Disclosure – Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to yourself, I will earn a commission if you purchase.

My times with God are so precious to me. I crave that alone time with God everyday. I try to have my times alone with God every morning before the kids wake up which you can read about here. Sometimes this doesn’t happen because of different reasons, so rather than neglect my time with Him for that day and try to take on the day in my own  strength, I have to find another time during the day to spend time with Jesus. Usually this means my kids are around, sometimes I get them busy doing something so I can have focussed alone time with God but sometimes it doesn’t matter how exciting the activity is that I set up for them, they only want to be with Mummy. Plus I love that if they are involved with me in time with God I am training them in the ways they should go, as well as having quality time with my children.

involve children 6So I have some ideas here of how to involve your children of any age into your times with God. These are activities that I have done with my own children (7 and 4 yrs old) they were successful and everyone had fun. So here are 5 ways you can include your children in your time with God.

involving kids 1

1.Read your Bible to your children out loud and then ask them questions. You can read whatever scriptures you are up to in your reading plan, children can understand way more than we give them credit for. I have found when reading to them from my Bible that they ask some great questions, and also begin to see how stories in the Bible fit together. For example, I have read them a Psalm and then explained that this was written after Nathan had come to David, and they were so interested and asking questions, which lead to reading the story of David and Nathan.

 ” So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11

Which basically means that when we read the Bible it is never going to be a waste of time. Read it and ask them questions and it will be an awesome Bible study for you, I bet you learn something new!!

involving kids 42. Drawing what they hear. Give them paper and colouring pencils and other fun creative tools and get them to create a picture from either what you have read or read while they draw. You can do a family picture and write a corresponding verse and put it up for the week to memorise it.

3. Put on Worship music and have a Praise Party right there in your living room! This one is so much fun, just put on some of your favourite worship and praise music and worship God with your kids!! You can dance, sing, whatever you like, teach them the true meaning of worship and I bet you will be taught a little but about being free in worship!!

involve children 7

4. Creative Journaling – Painting and Colouring in the Bible. If you like doing Bible journaling and painting and drawing in your Bible, your children can definitely join in there. You can either give them a blank piece of paper to draw on, or make a copy of a Bible page that they can paint on just like you. Or you could let them do it in your Bible, and really enjoy the moment and remember its about the time spent with God not the outcome of the artwork.

5. Pray for the World – Find a world globe like this one or an Atlas and pick a country to pray over with your children. You can get information on the country either just looking it up, or try the Pray Today app, or even the Operation World book.Pray for the children in these countries, or pray for the churches there. My children really love this one, they really love learning about different countries and cultures. This is also a great activity because you can start to teach Biblical worldview and differences in cultures and beliefs to your children.

involving kids 2

There you have it, my 5 ways of including and involving your children in your times with the Lord. Remember that you are your children’s first view of God and that your children are your mission field. So what an awesome way of introducing them to Jesus and the reality of having a relationship with Him!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, these are just a few I have come up with. I would love to hear if you have any other ideas, or ways you have involved your children in your time with the Lord.

*Disclosure – Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to yourself, I will earn a commission if you purchase.

Our Kids = Our Mission

I often hear Mums say that they don’t have time for missions, or they say that missions is not for them at this time, maybe when their children are grown up and they can leave them at home with family, or old enough to even join them “on the field”. Sometimes they say things like,”I wish I could give more than just my money or prayers. I really crave to give more in ministry or missions”

Now disclaimer here – yes I work with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) an international Missions organisation. Yes I live in a different country than my or my husbands family. Yes I have brought my children up on the “ Mission Field”. I have taken them to many ministry events and outreaches to different countries and communities. This has not been easy and many more times than I would like to count I have thought about how much easier it would be bringing up our children with our families around, but that is not what we as a family have been called to do. This is the life that God has asked the Moala family to have for this time. However this is something different to what I want to talk about today.

What I want to share with you is that every believing Mum or Mom (I realise I have Mamas reading from both hemispheres) has a responsibility in the Mission field!!

Now before you close the browser window thinking I am telling you to go into international missions or be like Abraham, I am not saying that at all. In fact, hopefully, the title of this blog caught your attention anyway. What I am saying is that every Mother in every family has a very unique and special job from God! Your children are your Mission Field!! So you don’t even need to leave your house and you have your own ministry and mission right there in your living room, kitchen, bedrooms and backyard!!

OurKidsOurMission1
One way is to let them see you in the Word! – Having regular “quiet times” 

Matthew 28:19-20 says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So what does this mean for us Mums? We are to bring up our children and disciple them, teaching them the Word of God and God is with us to help us in this monumental task!

Psalm 78: 4-7 says “We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments.”

OurKidsOurMission3
Sharing stories of what God did for them today – they are drawing pictures to show us what God did today for them personally to share at dinner.

Again a beautiful passage of the benefits of sharing what God has done, to our children. Sometimes we make the mistake of not sharing the ups and downs of life with our children because we feel they may not be able to handle it. I know from experience that my kids are very resilient, and when I share our struggles with them, whether it is financial, health or work (without giving gory details) they are quick to pray and look to God. When I share with them answered prayer it really boosts their already childlike faith!! Your stories may be the ones they remember of Gods faithfulness. That may be the one thing that they understand and gives them a deeper knowledge of God which brings stability and strength to their faith and relationship with Him. If all we do is share Bible stories with them and pray over our food, how does this give them anything to stand on when life gets hard? Or when they grow up a bit and begin to question God and their faith? Be real with your kids. Speak the truth to them of how God has come through for you personally and as a family.

OurKidsOurMission2
Sharing from the Word together as a family – They always love it when I read from an adult Bible. 

We often talk about Missionaries reaching the unreached. Going into the unreached people groups and sharing God with people who have never heard the name of Jesus before. But let me tell you a secret…. your children are your unreached people!!! God gave them to you and you get to be the first person to tell them about Jesus!! Tell them about Jesus and His great love for them, before the world tells them something different. Your children are your unreached people group! Right there in front of you!! I pray that as a Mum on the mission field I don’t get so caught up with reaching the lost around me that I forget the unreached people right in front of me! As a Mum, my children are the people that God has given to me to teach, train, disciple and point to God. As a missionary the people around me in my community and the people we are ministering to are important too, but not more important than my children.

I hope this has encouraged you to see your purpose in motherhood and the amazing ministry that you have in front of you. Maybe later you will get to go an a mission trip, and maybe in another season you will have more to give of yourself in ministry but right now what you are doing with your children is the most important ministry you can have.

So just as in Matthew 19:13-15 When Jesus called the children unto himself and prayed for them, I encourage you to take your children to Jesus. Point them to Him everyday. Share your stories with them of Gods faithfulness and greatness. Pray with them over the big things as well as the little things. Tell them the Bible stories and explain how these stories relate to them today. Tell them other peoples stories of what God has done for others too. Don’t forget that as you disciple, train and teach your children that God will be with you every step of the way!!

Your Kids are Your Mission Field – Be encouraged in the purpose of your Motherhood!!