Category Archive “Simple’ Callings

ByAngie

The Unexpected Burden

Yesterday afternoon I went out to run some errands with my Mom. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. I decided to take Tommy (3 1/2) along and leave Johnny Ben and Molly at home with Daddy.

We had a couple stops, one of them being Target. I was tired, Tommy was tired, my Mom was tired. All I could think of was getting back in her truck and going home. When we came to the register the cashier was just counting in and starting her shift. She greeted us, asked if we found everything okay, and from there stayed silent. The expressions on her face and her mannerisms told me something in her life other than work was bothering her. Her mind and heart were somewhere else, and that somewhere else was not a happy place. Tommy even seemed to notice and asked her to smile, but she pretended not to hear him or was so distracted she did not notice.

I made mental note of the name on her name tag. I was polite but tried not to bother her with idle chit chat. I smiled at her, took the bags, and quietly prayed for her as she continued the process. I did not feel led to ask her why she was unhappy, but did feel a tug telling me to pray.

Since we left the store about 20 hours ago, this woman has come to mind constantly. I have no idea why she has been laid on my heart, but God does. I pray for her, asking God to do what needs to be done and touch her life.

How many times have we been asked by The Lord to do something like this and have ignored it? I know I have before. How many times have strangers done this for us? We many never know until we reach Heaven.

For all we know, when these burdens are laid on our hearts, we could be the only person praying for this individual. We could also be one of hundreds working together. The point is, GOD KNOWS. He really does. He loves that woman just as much as He loves me. He hates seeing her go through pain. He needs someone to hold her up in the spiritual realm just as much as she needs someone in the physical realm. Never ignore the Holy Spirit when he says to pray for someone… For all you know, the next time a burden is laid on a strangers heart… It may be for you!

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry of Friendship

A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.

What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.

How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.

We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.

What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?

  • Pray: Offer to pray for/with your friend whether it is something small or large. The need for prayer is always there.
  • Offer Help: Sure, you have your own family to tend to… And yes, they should come first. But when you can, help out your friend(s). Maybe they’re sick and need a little help with the kids/house/meals. When a friend has a baby, offer to bring over a meal and hold the baby while they shower or nap.
  • Listen: Sometimes we just need someone to hear us out. Don’t give your opinion or feel as though you need to solve the problem. Just listen.
  • Accept Advice: You know, sometimes I don’t know everything. When someone offers advice, I try not to act like a know-it-all or tell them why I think their idea wouldn’t work. I simply say, whether I like the advice or not, “I’ll keep that in mind!” Sometimes a friend just needs to feel as though they are helping, and by being rude all you are doing is causing confusion. You never know, you may remember what they said for yourself or someone else down the road and be glad you listened.
  • Avoid Being Critical: Depending on the friendship, you may be able to give a close friend constructive criticism. Like I said, and let me highlight: Depending on the friendship! Don’t be mean, negative, or downright inconsiderate. Remember the persons feelings. How would you feel if they did that to you?
  • Apologize: We all make mistakes. Sometimes we do things without realizing it. If you think you may have done something, intentional or not, to offend someone then please tell them you are sorry.
  •  Be There: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. This is a big “ouch” for me, as I’m always having to cancel things for various reasons. I used to never do that! Something to work on!
  • Be A Witness: Invite your friends to join you in church or begin a devotional/Bible study.
  • Make Time: When possible, meet with your friend and spend some quality time together.
  • Don’t Be Sensitive: No one is perfect. Not even your friends. Cut them some slack.
  • Avoid Jealousy: You are not your friend’s only friend. They have other relationships with other people. Don’t be “That Friend” that feels they have to be a part of every. single. thing… Be an individual!!!

Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.

And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: Being A Patron

Definition of PATRON

3: one who buys the goods or uses the services offered especially by an establishment

The calling can be reversed also... How can you minister to your patrons?

Ever been in a line at the store or sitting in a restaurant when suddenly you hear a customer being down right rude and mean to the employee helping them, or worse, another customer?

What about not even really acknowledging the person helping you, but just treating them as a gateway to get the stuff you want/need NOW?

Maybe you’re on a phone call with a customer service representative and they anger you, so you rip into them?

Sadly, it happens. We’re human, so naturally we make mistakes. We get sensitive or angry about something and we want to blame someone and throw a tantrum until it is fixed. But what kind of message are we sending out as Christians when we do this?

What kind of mood would you be in if you worked here? Think about it...

Think about it, what is the person on the other side going through that day? What if it’s a new job and they are just learning? What if it’s a single Mom working 3 jobs just to support her children and ill parents? I mean, yeah, sometimes the other person is just a jerk and could care less… But shouldn’t we show even them our love? And what about those who are with us when we act this way… We are humiliating our friends, family, & setting a poor example for our children. For some, we are the only Bible they will ever read. What if their idea of a Christian is skewed because of our bad temper?

So, how exactly can we minister? How can being a patron be a calling? Well, it’s actually not difficult at all. Here are a few tips:

  • Pray: Say a quick simple prayer before you leave the house. Ask God to bless those that you come in to contact with and to let his light shine through you. Request extra patience too…
  • Smile: Do it as much as you can. You never know who will have a better day just because you smiled.
  • Take Deep Breaths: When you do encounter someone who is rude, showing poor customer service, or just seems to not know or care about anything going on around them, take a few good deep breaths before you say something and utter a prayer under said breath.
  • Be Kinder Than Necessary: Same idea as smiling…
  • Say Please & Thank You: They really are magic words that go a long way! Your 3rd grade teacher wasn’t kidding!
  • Use Names & Titles Where Applicable: Let them know you see them as an individual.
  • Show Respect & Say “God Bless You” Or Something Similar: Make it difficult for them to be rude to you. Dory (Finding Nemo) says “Just keep swimming”. I would add, once again, “Just keep smiling”.
  • Try Really Hard Not To Be A Hypocrite: Because when you act out, it really hurts the other person’s view point of Christians. Especially if you have a “Forgiven” tattoo, John 3:16 key chain, and a fish emblem on your car.
  • Never Let Them Walk All Over You Either: If the need arises, stand your ground. Just do it as nicely as possible.

I won’t lie, this was hard for me to write. I, myself, have a problem with this from time to time. I’m GUILTY! YES! I said it! And if I’m the only one that learns from this, that’s okay… Because I needed to be reminded.

Thank you for reading! God bless! 😉

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry Of Motherhood

Okay, first of all: We’re all mommies here, so we all know that to call motherhood a “simple” calling is really kind of a joke. Being a mom is one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs one can ever have. But my point can be explained here.

Some of us knew from a young age that we would one day answer the call. We played with dolls, dreamed of having a family, and played “house” every chance we got. Others? They had no idea that motherhood would be a part of their life’s journey. Either their perspective changed or it “snuck up on them”, so to speak. At the same time, some of us came about it very easily and for others it was a full on battle to acquire.

Angie with her 2 oldest children in August of 2006

Regardless, the call is still the same. In reality, it is not simple at all. We are responsible for a new generation that will take over after us. The future is literally on us. The morals that the next generation will have or not have are in our hands. Should we not do our best to bring them up right, we will be the ones who have to answer. Like I said, far from simple.

Let me stop right here and point out I am NOT an expert. I don’t even consider myself an amazing mother. I do my best from day to day, and pray that God leads me to what he wants me to do in this ministry to my children.

So while we are not leading millions to The Lord, we are making a big impression. What can we do with this ministry? Well, here are just a few things, in no particular order…

  • Pray. Without ceasing. Pray for your children when you wake up, when you make their breakfast, when you wash their clothes/dishes, when they are well, when they are sick. Pray when they go to bed, pray when you go to bed. Pray for guidance, and for their souls.
  • Study. Mostly the Bible. But also, Dr. Dobson, Dr. Kevin Leman, and many many others have written many wonderful books on the subject of Christian parenting. I don’t know how many times just studying a true experts suggestions, prayers, findings, and opinions have helped me in my own journey.
  • Teach. Read Bible stories to your children. Make sure they learn manners. Have a weekly memory verse. Give them appropriate chores. Your child learning about Jesus, morals, and character development are imperative. I’m not saying pull your kid out of school and teach them everything at home. To each their own. Do it in your daily life, read a couple picture books with your younger children. Talk about it with your older children. Refer above to “pray” & “study”.
  • Be patient. They are only children. They are still growing, learning, and are constantly adapting. Cut them a little slack. Don’t be too strict.
  • Love. Most importantly, because if you don’t show God’s love to your children, who will? They thrive on love, and as their mother, they need it from you.
  • Discipline. Don’t be afraid of it. However, keep it appropriate and within reason. Once again, I suggest “study”.
  • Make time. Quality time goes a LONG way. Little things like house work can wait. For years many told me this, only as my oldest has turned 10 this year am I realizing I missed out a lot on the first few months of his life while I obsessed over the state of my home.
  • Be an example. Don’t be a “Say as I do, not as I do” mom. Give them something to aim for, not to settle for.

Yeah, I know this all looks great in print but another story in reality. Trust me: I have 5 kids, 2 of which I do not have full time physical but only joint legal custody over. In addition, my other 3 that live with me are all ages 3 and under. I definitely know. Some of this that I’ve listed are really things I’ve only learned recently. Others, things I’m learning right now. Some, I knew from the beginning. But ALL are a challenge.

Once again, motherhood is not easy. But it is call of God. Never think otherwise. Do your best, as it’s all you can do. Before you know it, our babies will be grown and have babies of their own… and we’ll miss this. Deeply.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

 

A very special THANK YOU to Diania for her insight on this post… You’re the best!

ByAngie

The “Simple” Calling

Some people are called to do great things in this life.

  • Missionaries
  • Pastors
  • Musicians
  • Teachers
  • Evangelists

The list could go on and on…

What about the rest of us? Those of us that are “everyday people”… What are we? Chopped liver? The answer is NO!

There are many things you are doing for God on a daily basis. You teach your children right from wrong, you encourage your spouse, you are a silent witness to the UPS delivery man even though he doesn’t bring the much anticipated order you’ve been waiting on until 8:08pm (Yeah, that happened in our home today…) etc etc etc.

On Wednesdays I will be talking about “simple” callings. Why do I have simple in quotations? Because why it may come off as something that is easy, it really is not. I’m not doing this for just anyone, though I do hope that you are blessed by it. I’m doing it for me too. Let’s all learn together about how to answer the call of the so-called every day Christian!