Two weeks ago, I was blessed to attend the Denver Missional Women Conference with my sister-in-law, NextGen Homeschool Author Rosanna Ward, and my first-gen homeschooling mother-in-law Karen Gotcher. Our attendance came together very last minute, however God demonstrated to me that when HE is on a mission, the message is always clear.
That message, for me, was a new understanding of the word “missional” and how it relates to God’s purpose in my life — right here, right now.
Recently, I’ve been on a new journey with my Heavenly Father: A journey to resolve the restlessness that I’ve struggled with my entire life. Restlessness that manifested itself in the form of discontent, self-reliance, perfectionism, unrelenting expectations, and eventually, overwhelming anxiety. Everything started falling apart on the inside. I realized I needed to give God all my broken pieces and crushed expectations, and let Him put me back together His way. Since then God has been faithfully showing me through His Word the heart issues that led to my restlessness and how to walk in HIS WILL instead of mine.
One of those steps included a book study of Jennie Allen’s new book, “Restless: Because You Were Made For More,” with a local homeschooling mama friend. Little did I know that through this book study, God was preparing my heart for the message of the Missional Women’s Conference.
And here’s the message I received:
“We need to be missional women, missional mothers: To be a part of God’s great commission, wherever God has placed us. See your life from an eternal perspective no matter where you’re at. Have courage to do what God has called you to do right here, right now.”
— Ann Dunagan, Harvest Ministry
Here’s the interesting part: Ann Dunagan is a woman that embodies everything I thought I needed to do if I wanted to serve God with my whole heart. She and her husband Jon are missionaries who have traveled the world sharing the gospel, often facing dangerous situations that would cause any mother to question her calling. Many times over the years I thought my restlessness was the result of not doing the right form of service — not living a life like Ann’s. I was restless because my life was too ordinary, I thought, and what I really needed was to be somewhere else serving God.
However, Ann shared with us that there were also those years when her children were young ones that she did stay home from those missions trips — to raise them, train them, homeschool them and support her missionary husband from home. Although it wasn’t easy, she explained how God showed her that time with them was so critical for them: It was her missions field for that season.
“We need to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing, that there are seasons of waiting, and see this in eternity,” Ann said. “Have the courage to obey God fully right here, right now.”
I’ve learned that I wasn’t restless before because I wasn’t serving God in the right place and needed a new assignment. My restlessness was the result of not serving God wholeheartedly in the place He’d already put me: At home with my family, homeschooling and working from home in Castle Rock, Colorado. This was becoming clear to me through Jennie’s book, and Ann confirmed this in her message. God wants to use me fully right here, right now.
Often we wait for a special “confirmation” from God about our course: We wait for a profound “you are called” moment, and then we wait some more. But God has already given you a place, and specific people, and a heart that is already moved by specific needs — whether it’s things God has allowed you to experience or things that move your heart more passionately.
“Don’t be afraid to act on it, to do things for God when something is on your heart,” Ann said. “Those emotions and stirrings in your heart come from the Holy Spirit. The need is real, the people are real, and we need to dare to dream about what God has created us to do for His kingdom purposes.”
So what does it mean to be a missional mom? I think it means we embrace the place, people, passions and position God has given us right here, right now, as our missions field. We need ask ourselves: What are we doing with the gift of life and salvation that God has given us? With our gifts and passions? What is my place in my house, and in the kingdom of God? How can I serve Him and others in this season, right here, right now? That’s our mission.
“Nobody else can be who you are,” Ann reminded us. “Keep going forward, keep dreaming, keep praying, keep caring.”
What do you think of when you hear the word missional? Do you think of missionaries in a traditional sense? Do you feel like you are on a mission right now, where you are? If so, in what ways has God shown you that you can serve Him and be missional?