31 Days: Day 12 – Love your neighbor (without being weird)

Today I’m so excited to share with you (and give away a copy) a book that I have loved reading over the past few weeks.

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How to Love your Neighbor without being weird by Amy Lively has been so much fun to read. It has made me laugh out loud and has opened my eyes to incredible things as well.

Amy paints herself in the beginning as an unlikely candidate to be spreading Jesus love to her neighbors. In her own words she says, “As an adult I avoided church, and I wasn’t teaching our daughter my beliefs. My husband and I enrolled Emma at a local Christian school because we thought they offered the best academic curriculum – we were just going to keep an eye on all that “Jesus stuff”. I knew many of the parents and staff from my churchgoing days (as a kid), and they thought they knew me. I could sling their Christian lingo and stop cussing and smoking long enough to get through a parent-teacher meeting!” 

She shares how doing life with Christian friends helped turn her heart back to Jesus. How their authenticity in real life impacted her in such a powerful way that she came back home to Jesus and the church. As she grew she sensed it was coming time to express the fulness of her love for God by loving her neighbor, but yet she balked at it.

She says, “I was not ready to be “that girl”. I did not want to be weird. I was less concerned about trusting God and more concerned  with impressing my neighbors…….Who is my neighbor? Don’t you count it as ‘loving my neighbor’ when I support a child in Ethiopia with a donation every month? Isn’t ‘loving my neighbor’ when I give to my church and they help missionaries all over the world? By ‘neighbor’, you mean everyone in the whole wide world, don’t you?” 

And she realized that no, that wasn’t the kind of “love your neighbor” Jesus was talking about although those are great things. He meant the ones next door – like literally next door. Through Amy’s book she walks us through how to do that. How to break through the award, uncomfortable and go that next step of knowing our neighbors and then loving them well.

She points out, “Every day on every street – in your neighborhood – people feel abandoned and alone. In their desperate search for fulfillment they sample every conceivable distraction – toys, entertainment, alcohol, drugs, shopping, acquisition, avoidance. In their longing for love, they give away their bodies and their souls. In their quest for safety, they arm themselves with worldly weapons – big guns, strong arms, and loud words meant to intimidate and alienate. Jesus was so moved with compassion for these people, His neighbors, that He asked His followers to pray that the Lord would send someone to help them. 

Matthew 9:37-38 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Then Jesus stopped praying and did something about it.”

Amy’s book walks us through practically how to reach out into our neighborhoods……without being weird! She shares what has worked and what hasn’t worked for her. Like this chick has walked through her entire neighborhood and actually has met ALL her neighbors. She has been in their homes and they have been in her. This is awesome stuff. And she shares the hard stuff too – like how she admits she’d rather go to Africa than walk across the street to love her hard-to-love-neighbor. Ha! It’s not like she’s a natural extrovert looking to keep her social calendar busy. She calls it obedience and submission to Christ. And I agree – yet I’m not doing a very good job of this right now. I desire to but I have not put the feet to it. This book along with another book I’ll be sharing on Wednesday has put a fire in my bones and I’m ready to reach out more into my neighborhood.

If you’d like to enter to win a copy of Amy’s book just leave a comment here on the blog or at Life Is A Bowl Of Wedgies Facebook page answering this question: Do you know the names of your neighbors on either side of you and across the street from you?

This isn’t a neighbor shaming question but an indicator as to where we are in this process of reaching out to our neighbors.

I will print off the comments and have my kids draw a name next Monday for the winner of the book. I will message and post the winner next Monday.

Linking with Kelly,Laura, and Jen

31 Days: Day 11 – Reaching out in church

Outreach doesn’t have to take place outside the walls of our church or church family although that’s where we normally tend to place outreach. We have plenty of opportunities within our own church walls to get outside of ourselves and focus on loving those around us.

One of the first things I think about is new people visiting church. For those of us who have been churchin’ it for lightyears we don’t think twice about going to church. But for some people it’s a very hard thing. They’re uncomfortable or afraid they won’t fit in. They keep showing up but it takes more guts than anyone realizes.

So one of the things we can do to reach out within the church walls is to simply introduce ourselves and offer a warm welcome to people we don’t know. And then at some point ask if you can sit with them or invite them to sit with you. It’s okay that you’re not sitting in your “regular seat” – you know, the one you assigned yourself 54 years ago.  I’m a big believer in moving around for your church seat. It seems crazy but you actually can get to know people just by sitting next to them if you attempt to reach out in the slightest. We might be surprised at how much it can mean to simply sit with someone.

Another great way to reach out within our own church walls is by having people over. This is becoming a lost art in our busy and fast paced culture. I will be sharing some great resources in the days to come about this topic of hospitality as a means of outreach. The Lord has put two books in my lap in the last two months that have changed the way I think about this topic. I can’t wait to tell you more about it. I’ll be giving one of the books away and hope you’ll come back for a chance to win a copy.

So as you go to church tomorrow maybe just maybe think twice about planting yourself in the same pew chair you’ve sat in for the last 6 months. What if you looked for a new face. And then sat with them and introduced yourself to them. Who knows what doors God might open through your intentional seating assignment.

31 Days: Day 10 – Human Trafficking Outreach

My eyes were first opened to the reality of human trafficking (sex slavery, modern slavery) when I attended a conference in Atlanta. A copy of  “The White Umbrella” was given to everyone in attendance. For the next several weeks I read a chapter every day in carpool line and it broke my heart. It scared me and it made me overwhelmingly aware of the reality of human trafficking all around us, not just in other countries. My eyes were beginning to open. This video also had an impact on my tiny glimpse of seeing more into human trafficking.

Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. However boys are not excluded and this man’s story is sad but incredibly powerful.

So what’s one to do when this seems like such a HUGE issue and it takes more than just you or me to do something about it in terms of making a difference. I think the first thing we can do is to educate ourselves on these hard topics. And it won’t be easy. It’s hard to read “The White Umbrella” and other articles of human trafficking. Reading about the pain of others, especially kids, rips a Mama’s heart out and you can’t help but think of your own children. The easy thing is to turn our heads, close our ears and let someone else read that stuff. Let the non-profits deal with it. But these people – the marginalized, the victims of abuse, the abandoned are at the very heart of Jesus. So when we take time to read these true stories we are reading about people who are precious and dear to Jesus. We are stepping into his heart for people.

But just reading and understanding what’s going on in the world of human trafficking isn’t enough to make a difference. We must take the next step and pray for these children. To take them to our God who sees and knows everything. Who cares. Who listens. We can spend a lot of time dwelling on how and why He could let this happen or we can trust He is who He says He is. He is faithful and good and all knowing. Of course we don’t understand why these things happen other than it’s a devastating part of living in a fallen world with sin. Or we can trust that our God loves and cares for each one of these victims. We don’t know their names but we can take them to the One who does. Prayer makes a difference. If you can pray you can make a difference.

After education ourselves and praying for the victims of human trafficking we may see that the Holy Spirit is calling us to go further in involvement. At that point we can look into organizations and ministries in our area that help with rescuing children, women and men out of modern slavery. You can give financially or you can volunteer to help.

I love what Atlanta Dream Center is doing on the weekends through “Princess Night”. Also the author of The White Umbrella has put feet to her prayers and burden through Wellspring Living. These are both places in the Atlanta area and they function on both paid staff and volunteers. I have a few friends who go onto the streets of downtown Atlanta on the weekends to tell prostitutes that Jesus loves them and there’s a way out of their industry (slavery) if they’re ready. They work with Wellspring and are trained before going out so they are cautious and fully aware of safety measures. They have a team of people praying for both safety and for God to rescue women out of slavery on these nights of outreach.

This article made my heart smile although I was uncomfortable with some of it too and I think that exposes my own still struggling legalistic heart.

So yeah, I can talk about the neat & tidy outreach like visiting the elderly, mentoring, and spontaneous giving and those things are important but getting involved in something like human trafficking is truly serving in the trenches. It involves risk and being uncomfortable. It’s not neat and tidy by any means. “Risky and in the trenches” doesn’t mean it’s any greater of any outreach. Because outreach is sending a message to others that Jesus fully loves and he is enough. You can do that while sharing and showing that message to a prostitute as much as you can with a 90 year old toothless granny or your neighbor next door. The Holy Spirit is our guide and as we pray and ask him to show us outreach opportunities he will open our eyes and help us along the way.

Father, you are our Revealer. You expose the deep dark things that are hidden. Today we pray for those that are being held in captive and have become accustomed to a way of life they think they can never leave. Rescue them Abba Father. Send someone to share a message of hope. To show a different way. To provide everything they need to leave. Give those girls the courage and faith to step out and trust the ones trying to help them. Reveal, rescue and redeem these victims O Lord. In your powerful name I ask these things, Amen.



31 Days: Day 9 – When the mundane turns divine

When you’re entrenched in churchy activities where you’re constantly surrounded by other Christians it means we need to be that much more prayerfully aware of our surroundings in the world through the little things. Our trips to the bank, the grocery store, the office at work, fill in the ___________. It means the mundane becomes the divine and sometimes when we least expect it and in ways we never would’ve dreamed. I’ll never forget an experience I had like that.

I was looking out the kitchen window as I prepared chicken salad sandwiches for me and Randy. I happened to notice an older black gentleman sitting on the steps down the sidewalk from our house. The scene was familiar. Old man with an old bike parked in the same spot and he was resting in the shade. We had never spoken but I’d seen him at this same resting spot before. I very much sensed in my heart that God was telling me to share a few of these sandwiches with that man. I said, “You have got to be kidding, God! That is a man and I’m a woman and you really want me to walk down two sandwiches to him?”

And He would not let up.

I argued for at least 20 minutes but couldn’t get away from it. So here I go walking down Main St. at Noon to give this elderly man a sandwich. I hid the sandwiches in my Grandmother’s egg basket in case someone thought I was a nut case. When I got to him I was rather shocked by his piercing blue eyes and said, “Sir, please don’t think this is weird because I know it really is but would you like a homemade chicken salad sandwich and a bottle of water?” He said, “I aint got no money.” I was so taken back by that and said, “Oh No,Sir, it’s free!” He started laughing and told me his name and said, “You made that for me?” I said, “Well, not really Sir but I want you to have them if you’d like.”

He snatched those two sandwiches up and grabbed my arm to pull me closer and that’s when I said real fast, “Hope you enjoy!” and I ran ALL the way home. Yeah, I mean ALLLLL the way home I ran.

And I still have no idea why God had me do that. But I know He put it on my heart. And I trust He had a reason even if it was just to see if I’d obey Him. I don’t always respond in obedience. Many times I don’t. But my deepest desire is to venture into the awkward, or whatever it is He calls me to, for the sake of loving others like He loves me. And I’ll leave the results up to Him.

So I say all that to say…..as we pray and ask God to show us how He wants us to serve and love others expect Him to do it. And be prepared that often times it’s not in a nice, tidy package like we have pictured in our heads. It can seem awkward, uncomfortable and maybe even weird. But I want to challenge all of us to dare to ask God to speak into our hearts and then to follow through with what He tells us. It will be a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ working in such a way that we say, “Oh, that had to be God!”

Looking back on this now that its been a long time I see things differently. At the time I was mortified, argumentative and scared to death. I don’t claim to have handled the situation perfectly or with ease. I was more annoyed by the simple calling than grateful. But I’m in a different place now. I look back on the sandwich man scenario and see that God spoke to me in the midst of the mundane. It was just a regular day in the kitchen at lunch time. And He spoke into my heart. What makes this divine is not necessarily the gift of the sandwiches because I have no idea what those sandwiches meant for that man. But the communion between a girl interested in her own agenda for the day being interrupted by God is what’s divine. God using us when we don’t have anything to offer except what He does in and through us is divine.

I pray that this post doesn’t seem arrogant. God knows my heart in this and it’s to praise Him for giving us chances to show His love. For equipping us to do what He has called us to do even when we think it’s impossible. To praise Him for answering prayer and for giving courage that isn’t within us. That is my heart in this post. It’s to encourage us all to listen to Him and to respond and to look back at the grace involved in Him using us. And what about Him still using us as even after we stumble the entire way down the street out of pure awkwardness? Yeah, I’d call that something divine.

Just when I was starting to stress about how many church and  Christian school things I’m doing and how I don’t have time to be with the people in my community that need to know God, God brings the sandwich man to mind. And He whispers to me, “Keep doing the church stuff and keep listening and be ready for the next mundane turned divine.”

And I’m left wondering if next time I’ll not run away from sandwich man but instead use more words to communicate the love of Christ.

Linking with Barbie today

31 Days: Day 8 – Mentoring Students

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Mentoring students at a school is an incredible way to reach out in our communities. And it’s really quite easy to do. Mentoring is simply coming alongside someone for the purpose of encouraging and teaching. It doesn’t mean you have to be an expert or trained teacher to mentor someone. Just a willing heart to spend consistent time with someone and to love them.

Many schools are open to mentoring or at least have a lunch buddy program where you can sit with a child who needs an little extra help for whatever reason. School counselors know the kids that need encouragement and can easily identify a student who could use a mentor or lunch buddy.

How do I become a mentor or lunch buddy? 

Go in person to a local school and make an appointment with the school counselor or principal. Ask if they have any type of a program that welcomes mentors or lunch buddies. Find out what it takes to get involved.

What makes a good mentor?

Someone who shows up. Someone who asks good questions. Someone who listens. Someone who is willing to share from their own life experiences. Someone who prays for their student.

What are good questions to ask my student?

  • What was the best part of your week?
  • What was the worst part of your week?
  • What did you have for dinner last night?
  • If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
  • Tell me what you think makes a good friend.
  • What do you like about yourself?
  • If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?

What are things to avoid in mentoring?

  • Bringing goodies and treats – make it very seldom.
  • Saying anything negative about their family
  • Asking too many personal questions – you’re not a counselor but a friend.
  • Being by yourself with the student – always be in a public place like lunchroom, library, etc.
  • Being inconsistent in your visits for long periods of time.

As you pray for and get to know your student you will see specific needs and areas to talk about. Go into your time with one thing you’d like to talk about. It could be dealing with bullies, doing homework, attitude, obedience, safety, honesty, etc. You might not always get there but it will help you be strategic with your time. It’s okay to not “accomplish” anything in your time because just being there sends a powerful message. But it’s also good to have goals and ideas of things you want to teach your student. Stay in the lines of character and integrity issues. Talking about Jesus dying for your student’s sins will end your mentoring career real fast. If you take your lunch with you tell your student you’re going to bow your head and pray for your lunch. If he or she asks questions then feel free to answer them. The purpose of this particular outreach is not to openly share your faith but to  openly share your love which is fueled by your faith. It’s not a waste just because you can’t whip out your Bible and share the Gospel. Trust God with where He takes your mentoring relationship and how he might open future doors to share more specifically the amazing good news you want to share with your student.



31 Days: Day 7 – When outreach doesn’t go like you expected

I shared a story a week ago about a visit to the nursing home. One in which changed my outlook significantly and kept a visual in my mind daily for several weeks. I was so excited to come back here and share the results of my follow-up visit with Ms. Linda.

I envisioned she would be so totally excited about the verse of scripture I had written out for her on the beautifully handmade card. I figured we might even have a good cry together while hugging. Who knows, maybe she’d even pin it on her bulletin board to remind her of God’s love for her.

With a skip in my step I found Ms. Linda and wheeled her into the activity room where I showed her the card and read it to her. When I was done reading I handed her the card with a twinkle in my eye and a huge smile on my face.

And with absolutely no expression whatsoever on her face she handed the card right back to me.

I thought maybe she didn’t understand it was for her so I said, “Ms. Linda, I made this just for you to keep if you’d like it.”

And she handed it back to me again.

I was trying hard to figure out if I should cry or laugh. I’ve never claimed to be a great card maker or artist but was it really that bad?! I knew God put it on my heart to go see her. And I felt like He had showed me those verses about Him singing over us so I could share that with her. But maybe I missed it completely. Possibly I heard wrong??

I tried one more time to give the card to Ms. Linda but she just politely handed it back. So I changed the subject. We talked about her upcoming Dr’s appointment and I asked her if she went to the Valentine Party that day. And then I decided I would be funny (or stubborn?) and hide the card in her wheelchair for a nice surprise later. Surely I would see it in her room at some point. We said our goodbyes and I was still mystified by the whole giving back of the card.

Apparently Ms. Linda found the card later and ditched it because when the kids and I went to deliver Valentine cards a few days later the verse card was no where to be seen.

I introduced her to my kids. Mitchell looked at me and whispered, “Do I give her a Valentine Card?” I subtlety shook my head No. It wasn’t that I was mad at her. I just knew we had other people we could give cards to that would keep them. Ms. Linda didn’t talk much. She smiled at the kids and they told her God loved her very much. She stared out her window and kept looking quietly. We said our goodbyes and on the way out the door she shocked me with these words…..

“Thank you for that card the other day.”

What? Are you serious? I was so confused.

But I just waved goodbye and said, “You’re welcome. He’s still singing over you Ms. Linda.”

What God showed me later in the middle of the night – seriously woke me up to impress this on my heart…. is this: I must be very careful to test my motives when I am reaching out to people in the so called name of Jesus. Because if I’m not doing it solely for Jesus alone and instead am looking for a desired or expected response that makes me feel good or makes me look good or anything other than “Because of Him” then it’s done in vain. It might serve a good purpose and it could still even meet a need but it doesn’t have any eternal value. I was humbled at several things that the Holy Spirit pointed out to me through that visit. He began to pull back layers for me to see my pride in serving Him. He wants nothing to do with that and neither do I. I am so thankful for His revelation and his forgiveness. It’s not fun seeing and confessing these things but it’s necessary for true growth.

So no, I’m not mad at Ms. Linda for handing that card back to me. How could I? God keeps using Ms. Linda to teach me more lessons about Him. About me and my need for his love and His singing over my own self. And I thought I was the one reaching out to Ms. Linda. She has taught me more than she’ll ever know and I’ve just met her this month.

31 Days: Day 6 – Visiting the Elderly

We underestimate the power of a simple visit and a handmade card for a shut-in. Whether at a nursing home or someone’s house a face to face visit with your children can make all the difference to a lonely soul. There’s something special about a young crayon-sketched heart and a cross with the words “God loves you and so do I”.

If we start our kids out young learning to love and respect our older generation then they will have learned an almost lost art.

Nursing homes are open to young visitors. Just show up – having cards with you helps with conversation and allows your kids to warm up to the elderly. We carry a basket of cards with us and go room to room handing them out. Usually there’s a large activity room or area where people will gather and you could always hand out cards there as well if you’re uncomfortable going room to room. It’s not weird to knock on a door and simply say, “Excuse me….just wanted to say hello and give you a little something.” It doesn’t have to be a long visit or a deep conversation unless God takes it there.

So yeah, google search a nursing home in your area if you don’t know of one and take your kids there to give out card and hugs. I promise you it will make a person’s day and it teaches your children at a young age they are not too young to reach out themselves.

Tomorrow I’ll share how one of these attempted card & hug visits didn’t go as I planned but how God taught me a lot about myself and others through outreach.


31 Days: Day 5 – 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Church Outreach

Church outreach is so important because people need to know about our Jesus and how he can change lives. If all we do is stay huddled in our awesome Bible teaching churches and keep to our cozy small groups then we’ll have a hard time accomplishing the great commission. We must get out into our communities and reach people where they are. This means we set aside some things we’re used to or accustomed to for the purpose of welcoming all kinds of people.

Remembering where we came from will help us tremendously in reaching out to unchurched or unbelieving friends. We are all born into this world with the same exact need for Jesus. As believers we came to Christ in just as much desperate need as our coworker, friend, neighbor, or family member who needs Jesus. As we approach and engage our communities with this thought it will help us reserve judgement and allow us to see people with eyes of grace instead of condemnation and arrogance.

5 Do’s and Don’ts of Church Outreach:

  1. Do hold back the church lingo and Christianese. They don’t know it and they don’t care about the 6 points of Calvinism or the hypostatic union. Save that convo for your apologetics class.
  2. Do discipline yourself to not sit with all your besties at the next church cookout. Sit with someone you’ve never met before and get to know them.
  3.  Don’t expect non-Christians to act like Christians.
  4. Don’t freak out when someone drops the f-bomb or other inappropriate words in your conversation. Do know outreach will be messy and uncomfortable at times.
  5. Don’t expect your community to come to your church for everything. Take your church to your community for some things. Of course it’s easier to have everyone come to us but if we can reach more people by going to them let’s do it on some occasions. It’s worth the extra work.

31 Days: Day 4 – Starting a Community Playgroup

What is a Community Playgroup?

A community playgroup is a group of Moms with preschool age children that meet regularly for kids to play and for Moms to connect.

Where does it meet?

Different places every time. The park, the creek, the fire station, a church, someone’s house, McDonald’s playground, ice cream store, toy store (a cool one that lets your kids play),

How often does it meet?

You decide. We met every Tuesday morning at the park. You could do every other week if you wanted. Once a month is too hard to keep momentum. Work around other Mom’s groups like MOPS in picking a day for your playgroup.

How do you get the word out?

Word of mouth. Inviting Moms and their kids you see at the library or out grocery shopping. Your first 6-8 meetings should take place at a local park. Just tell people, “Hey, we’re starting up a community playgroup for Moms and kids. We’re meeting here Tuesday mornings at 10am. Bring your own snacks and join us for the fun.” Guess what? Moms are longing for this kind of connection. Our leader was a kid magnet one year and she would bring extra stuff to accommodate any kids at the park that day. Kids attract kids. So if you have a group of kids blowing bubbles together the other kids are going to come over and join in. Then you get to introduce yourself to their Mom and invite them to come out again next week at the same time for more fun.

What do you do once you’re there?

Well, we had an awesome coordinator one year who came prepared with a simple art project for the kids. We didn’t do that every time but many times we did. The kids would play on the playground and then we’d gather for a snack or project. It’s a laid back time. The more you show up the more your group will connect and really enjoy each other.

Where do I start if I want to lead a community playgroup?

Talk to one other Mom who would join you. Pray together that God will give you a heart and vision for other Moms in your community. Ask God to show you what your next steps are.

Colossians 4:5&6 “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so you may know how to answer everyone.” To this day I still have “community playgroup” written out in the margin next to that verse.

This verse reminded us to be strategic in our conversations. To not be satisfied with this just being another “Mom club” but to be ready to share and to look for opportunities to share Jesus with others.

When you pray for God to give you open doors he does. So keep your eyes opened. They will surely come.

We were surprised but so excited when God drew quite a few Moms in the community playgroup to our church – one ended up being our Children’s Ministry Leader for several years. She also took over the leadership of the playgroup. We saw other Moms become connected and re-enter church or start attending church for the first time. It really was amazing to see God use this. He will do it for you too!

Ideas for your playgroup once you’re established:

(I recommend keeping it simple to begin with and meet at a local park/playground 4-6 times. Get to know Moms and kids names and then move on to more field trip type outings and such.)

  • Paint mini pumpkins at a local park – might need to ask for $2.00 from the Moms to cover expenses.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch and take a hayride.
  • Take a tour of the Fire Station – call ahead to schedule. The kids love this!
  • Play indoors at a Mall playground or Fast Food playground.
  • Make these adorable cars out of cardboard boxes. This was a favorite for our group.
  • See if you can get a Kindermusik representative to do a music class for you. This benefits her because it gives her exposure to potential customers but it doesn’t cost your group anything.
  • Have a Christmas party and have Santa come. Moms can donate $5 for a small gift if you choose to do that.
  • Go to a dairy farm and then get ice cream.
  • Have a dress up super hero/princess theme playgroup day
  • Library story hour

Have questions? Feel free to shoot me an email. I’d love nothing more than to help someone start up a group.


31 Days: Day 3 – A prime outreach for young moms


31 Days of Outreach – Day 3

If you’re a young Mom you know the stage well when you have littles clinging to your knees and slobbering on your shoulder. You wouldn’t trade it for the world yet you feel limited when it comes to outreach and serving your community. You hear your preacher talking about the upcoming outreach event at church and your first thought is, “I hope there’s childcare because there’s no way I can do that otherwise.”

There might be a temptation to think we have our hands tied for a period of time when our children are small. We can’t minister or serve with kids in tow. But in actuality young Moms have an incredible chance to share their faith out loud. Christian young Moms have an incredibly unique platform. Don’t swallow the lie that you are limited in your ability to share Christ and serve others because you have small children.

So how in the world do I get involved in outreach when I have a napping baby, a temper-tantrum- throwing toddler and a preschooler? I can’t set that aside to go tell someone about Jesus especially since I just yelled at my kid for spilling the cheerios for the 1000th time today.

That’s the beauty of outreach. You don’t “put it on” for a set time period. You don’t set aside your kids to go “minister” to others. It’s in your heart and an attitude focus you start your day with.

So when you take your kids to the park for that quick sanity break and you’re swinging your toddler be aware of the other Mom who is at the bottom of the slide ready to catch her child. Also notice the other Mom swinging her baby.

That’s where outreach starts. When we have the eyes to see other people around us.

And then ask God for opportunities for conversation to start. Not every conversation will get to the deep and spiritual – because as soon as you casually mention something about God the kids will start throwing rocks at each other or the baby will have a stink bomb blow out like never before and you quickly get diverted. For real. It happens. But keep doing what you’re doing because you know eventually there will be open doors for more conversations because you trust God will do this.

With these thoughts in mind a friend and I started a community playgroup that God used to draw women back into community with his people. This wasn’t a church playgroup but a community playgroup. Our purpose was to gather Moms with kids every other Tuesday for a morning of fun and play. We started this playgroup with the purpose and intent of outreach. We wanted to have opportunities to share Christ with others. Moms in general have a connection – our kids go through similar  ages and stages and we just get each other. So it’s a beautiful platform to use to share Jesus with others.

Starting a community playgroup is easy and cheap. It will grow and you will see God work as you pray and seek Him to guide you.

Check back tomorrow for specific,  practical ideas for starting a Community Playgroup.