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Archived entries for Motherhood

Interview with Helen Lee, author of The Missional Mom

The ripple effect from most conferences is immeasurable. Lives transformed, dosage marriages restored, hair spirits stirred in ways that you wouldn’t typically experience. One reason that I am particularly excited about the Chosen Women’s Conference is because many lives beyond those who attend will be impacted. A portion of the proceeds from Chosen will be given to A21 Carolinas, an organization founded in Mount Pleasant, SC that is dedicated to ending human trafficking in the Carolinas and beyond in the United States. My sister-in-law, Lisa Surratt, just so happens to be the Founding Director and we are together on a “staycation” this week so I thought that it would be fun to interview her to share some of the backstory and passion behind A21 Carolinas. We lounged on an upper deck overlooking the sparkling ocean waves and talked as the gentle breeze blew the nearby palm trees and bright sun shone down.

How did attending a conference play into your journey and benefit your spiritual growth?
We get filled up so we can pour out. If I hadn’t gone to SHINE 2010, I wouldn’t be doing anything that I am now. I cried through most of the conference and knew that the Holy Spirit had met me and it was such a sweet time of Him saying I’m here and getting ready to wildly change your life. I was so on the fringe at that point. I loved what Josh (Lisa’s husband and Seacoast Church Campus Pastor) was doing and wanted to support him, but thought medical missions were my calling.

Wasn’t it at that conference that you first met Christine Cane?
I actually met her before I had even heard her speak – it was a divine appointment. We were with a group in the lobby of our hotel and Christine had just had surgery on her knee. I talked to her about it and ended up giving her a tube of medicine. We hit it off, ended up eating dinner together that night and talked the vast majority of the time – an instant connection. She was already planning a visit to Charleston and, after hearing more about the city, decided to extend their stay.

Do you feel like it was when she was in Charleston the Lord first began to stir your heart to join the fight against human trafficking?
It was and it wasn’t. It was then that the process began, but it was more of a call to ministry period. I was happy being on the fringe, doing medical missions, but she challenged me a lot and asked some really hard questions. She told me that I was supposed to be doing more. The trafficking issue really got to me, but when we found out that it was going on here in Charleston, it became so much more real. I wondered what I was doing with my life that was really making a difference. I couldn’t bear to think that someone’s sister, daughter or friend were being trafficked around the corner and felt the need to do something about it.

From there it was a slow process of figuring out what I could do. It felt too hard, like there was no way to even make a dent. God kept bringing more people with crazy gifts and skills and I blinked and don’t even know how it all happened.

People can just sense that the Lord is in this. There is so much happening and I’m really not working that hard. He is opening the doors and making it happen. We have to remember that we have a majorly huge God that is way bigger than any of this.

Is there a particular verse that has spoken to you through this whole journey?
Well, there are a lot. Really all of Isaiah 58-61 have been really powerful, but this one in particular:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
(Isaiah 61:1)

What is the benefit of attending a women’s conference versus a co-ed conference?
I always get a lot more out of women’s conferences. There is something sweet about just being with other sisters. I tend to be much more focused. Women relate to women well. We are wired differently so how we process, see God and relate to Him is a lot different than men.

If you would like to find out more or join the fight against human trafficking, please visit www.a21carolinas.org
At the beginning of this year, site
I read The Missional Mom by Helen Lee. The book spoke my heart and when I realized that she lived in the Chicago area, jumped at the chance to join my husband on a business trip and try to meet her. The Lord totally lined up our coffee chat at Starbucks and I enjoyed every moment of speaking with the author of one of my favorite books. He had already begun to plant a seed in my heart to start a group for moms that would encourage them to live missionally and my conversation with Helen that afternoon only increased my desire. One of my favorite quotes from her book is “The missional mom embraces her God-given mandate to be both a disciple of and a discipler for Christ. Evangelism is not something to do; evangelism is living purposefully and intentionally to make disciples and to bring the light of Christ in all that you do.”

As you can imagine, I am over the top excited about Helen speaking at the Chosen Women’s Conference in a month. I can’t wait for her to share her knowledgeable and passionate heart with other women. Just a few days ago, Helen took time away from her busy schedule of working and homeschooling two of her three boys (one is in pre-school) to answer a few questions for me to help you get to know her better.

Where did you grow up? I grew up outside of DC and considered myself an “East Coast Girl” until college when I met a group of friends through InterVarsity who introduced me to the mid-West. I ended up attending Wheaton College where I met my husband. We were married in Chicago, but moved away for him to go to grad school. We have been back in Chicagoland for seven years.
How did you come to know the Lord? Well, that is an interesting story! I was living in an apartment complex when I was six years old and a Pastor approached me and asked if I would like to go to church. I had seen a lot of children getting on a blue bus every Sunday and it looked like fun so I tried it. It was a Baptist church that did a lot of altar calls and it was during one of those that I became a Christian. My interest in attending church made my parents decide that they wanted to start attending an Asian church. I was interested in Christianity, however, it wasn’t until college when I began hanging out with a group of believers that my relationship with Christ deepened.

What made you decide to write The Missional Mom? I wrote the book out of my own struggles with finding balance in mission and motherhood. I came to a place where I really wanted to be the best mom that I could to my three boys, but felt a lot of pressure from society to make them the center of my life. I knew that the talents and abilities that I had were gifts from God and didn’t want those to go to waste. Through research, I realized that the ultimate way to live on mission was to act out my first calling as a disciple of Christ through one of my secondary callings of being a mother.

Where do you see the culture of missional living going? Everyone defines missional living differently. I have seen a lot of larger churches taking on the mandate of missional living, trying to merge their multi-site church culture with a missional one. I think that we will ultimately see a lot of missional communities, or smaller churches, existing underneath the umbrella of the larger church.

You can see Helen live at the Chosen Women’s Conference January 19-20, 2012 in Mount Pleasant, SC. Register now at www.chosenwomensconference.com.

Choosing to Serve at Chick-fil-a

One of the key verses for the Chosen Women’s Conference that Seacoast Church is hosting January 19-20, purchase 2012 is Isaiah 43:10, treatment “You are my witnesses, medicine declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.” What does it mean to be God’s chosen servant? Almost daily, I talk with other moms who don’t have enough time to get it all done. Sure, most of us want to serve the Lord and fulfill His calling for our lives, but who has margin to add one more thing to their plate? We are all busy, but when we slow down enough in the middle of what we are already doing and pray for opportunities to show His love, God can do wondrous things. Being God’s chosen servant means choosing to serve. The following is an example of how an extremely busy 10 year old – in addition to her school work, she is heavily involved in tennis, horseback riding and drama – has made an incredible impact by choosing to serve…

Our family often frequents Chick-fil-a on Tuesday evenings – kids eat free and it is a sweet gift from my husband for me to not have to cook on the day that I’m in the office. A 10 year old girl, Addison, is there every single week and has adopted our family. She feeds, plays, assists in hand washing and helps us get the kids to and from the car. This week we went to a different Chick-fil-a because we were visiting friends in the hospital and she actually had her dad drive her across town so she could serve us. She does all of these things with such joy – not because we pay her (though sometimes I feel like we should!) or even ask her – she does it because she has a servant’s heart. She does it because she is there… and sometimes she even goes a little out of her way.

We have gotten to know Addison and came to find out that she also serves at our church on the weekends. Her dad does too. I see a trend there. If we want our children to grow up to serve the Lord, to be good friends, to pray for others, to reach out to the lost, to feed the hungry, then we have to model it for them NOW. We have to do it right where we are… and sometimes, we have to go a little out of our way.

 

Missional Motherhood

Our new baby is coming soon… forget the fact that we don’t have a nursery, more about we need a mini-van to transport all of our children in the same vehicle. The condo we are renting is under contract – do we build or buy? What can we wisely afford? Starting a new business is an incredible adventure and has been such a blessing from the Lord, obesity but how will we maintain it? What are we going to name our third baby girl? What am I going to make for dinner this week? Among others, these thoughts swirled around my mind and kept me awake all night. When I finally gave up the battle for sleep and read by the light of the Christmas tree, Psalm 16:11 leaped off the page at me.

“You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11 (italics mine)

What a verse! What a promise! I’ve read and overlooked this incredible verse many times, but these three wonderful promises from the Lord became alive to me today.

The Path of Life
Psalm 32:8 says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” When we spend time with Christ, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to gain the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) and become able to discern God’s plans and actions. In the age old story of Mary and Martha, “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said… Martha was worried about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary [chose] what is better and it will not be taken away.” (Luke 10:38-42, emphasis mine) During busy seasons, it is so easy to become consumed with our lists of things to do that we neglect to spend time just sitting at the Lord’s feet. I’m learning that during the times of seeking wisdom and direction from God, the most important thing, the better thing, is to sit at His feet and listen to what He says.

What more could we ask for than wisdom for life’s decisions, complete joy and eternal pleasure? God is so good. Amongst the chaos of my life, my prayer is that I will be able to stay in His presence and walk alongside Him. I’m pretty sure that if I seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, the rest will follow (Matthew 6:33).
Though Truthcards has only been up and running for about a month, there
the Lord has been stirring our hearts to give back to our local community, anemia
specifically to families of children with special needs (to read more, cialis click here). Black Friday (11/26/10) through Cyber Monday (11/29/10), for every two sets of Truthcards purchased, we will donate one set to the MUSC Children’s Hospital. We look forward to sharing pictures and stories soon.  To place an order, click here.
April 6, epidemic
2011 was significant to me for many reasons. It was my precious daughter Addison’s 3rd birthday, health
the 3rd year anniversary of me becoming a mom and the day I left behind the phrase I’ve come to love over the past several months, dentist
“I’ve got three under three.” The house being a wreck, frozen pizza for dinner, not showering for a couple of days, running late… somehow all completely justifiable because I had three under three.

The original disciples were called to leave everything and follow Jesus. Sure, it would have been a little scary to be Peter, Andrew, James and John and just walk away from their jobs and families, but there are moments when I’ve thought that leaving it all would be easier than following Him in the midst of my crazy life. Nursing, potty training, disciplining, cooking most meals (on a tight budget), couponing, laundry, trying to look halfway decent, lose babyweight, support a husband in ministry, build a house and run a small business out of the home… this is my life and is not identical, but typical of many moms I know. Pursuing Jesus in the chaos of life – knowing Him, striving to make Him known and, all the while relying on Him to give us the strength to do it.

I recently finished an incredible book by Helen Lee called The Missional Mom (check out http://themissionalmom.com/). The book spoke my heart. Now that I no longer have three under three, the fog has cleared a little and I feel that God is making my mission clear – to encourage, support, celebrate and spur on moms toward love and good deeds. For those who know the Lord, to help them know Him more. And to actively pursue those who don’t.



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