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    I am a wife, mom of 2 beautiful children and daughter of my Heavenly Father. God has taken me through some amazing journeys. With each challenge I have learned more about His amazing Love and Grace. Take some time out of your busy, hectic day and join me as we sit in the Calm of God's Presence.

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As we’ve looked at serving in our Pastures we’ve talked about what it means when God gives us a pasture. We then discussed what it looks like to serve right where our two feet are planted – where we are on a daily basis – and where God takes us outside our four walls.

Now we are going to take it on a broader scale outside of our comfort zone.

In Acts 1:8 we read,

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Every time I’ve heard someone give a message on this passage the focus has been on missions and where God calls us to serve and spread His Gospel.

  • Jerusalem – the city we live in, local
  • Judea – our region or the country we live in, states side missions
  • Samaria – another country, international missions

I’m going to be very honest with you and tell you that although I have family and friends who have served as missionaries this passage as always made me uncomfortable. My immediate response has been to curl up into the security of my comfort zone and shy away from any mention of foreign missions.

But I’d like for us to look at this passage from a different angle. Instead of viewing it from the foreign missions perspective let’s discuss this perspective… the Pasture God has given us where he wants us to serve.

  • Jerusalem – where our 2 feet are planted at home
  • Judea – outside our immediate 4 walls
  • Samaria – outside of our comfort zone

In that light I want to ask you some questions…

How is God calling you to step out of the comfort zone of your small, intimate pasture? How is He calling you to move beyond caring for the sheep you are comfortable around?

Are you settled into a routine at work that is repeated day after day with the same people doing the same thing so much so that you could do it with your eyes closed? You like that place but recently your boss asked you to take on a project that will push you into a new arena.

You’ve worked for the same company for decades. You and your family are comfortable where you work and live but you are becoming a little unsettled.

In both of these situations is God saying, “I have something/someplace else where I need you to serve.”?

You’ve enjoyed woodworking, painting, baking, gardening, decorating, singing for years as a way to relax and unwind. You’ve had people ask you if you take private commissions but the thought of moving beyond the personal, it’s just for me, to the unknown of doing it for someone has you nervous.

Here’s my question for you…

Could God be asking you to move out of that comfort zone so He can use you on a larger scale outside of your pasture?

You won’t know until you reach the point where you are able to take that step outside of your comfort zone. When you do, you allow God to use you in more ways than you can imagine.

As we wind up our series on serving in the Pasture God has given us, how has He worked in your life? Is there a specific area he is asking you to focus?

Are there areas of your home you need to be more intentional in your service? Are there ways you can love on your husband and children specifically?

How about those places or people outside of your four walls that you visit or see frequently? Are there kids or friends who could use a word of encouragement? Is there a way within your community where you can help someone grow deeper in their walk with Christ?

And finally is God asking you to step outside of your comfort zone so He can use you in a different area all together?

Spend sometime with Him this week and ask Him to show you where your pasture is and who is in your pasture. As you listen to where He wants you to serve make the commitment to say yes and follow Him.

In His Calm,

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,

I was a stranger and you invited me in,

I needed clothes and you clothed me,

I was sick and you looked after me,

I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25:35-36

 

Just incase you’ve missed my last 2 posts we have been talking about what it looks like to tend the pasture God has given us.

We first talked about what it actually means when God gives us a pasture and what that entails. Then we spent some time discussing what it looks like to serve right where our two feet are planted, where we are on a daily basis.

You can catch up on these two posts…

Tending my PASTURE

What it looks like to serve in my PASTURE

Today we are going to talk about the pasture outside our four walls.

Our two feet walk us through our homes daily which means our top priority is in our home but there comes a time when we must step outside our home. At that point our mission field/pasture becomes those around us.

Daily

On a daily basis what does that look like for you? Who do you come in contact with at work, school, or running errands and how can you minister, encourage or help them?

For me, my daily interactions are filled with moments in carline/carpool, running errands and interacting with friends. The problem I run into is often being so focused on the end point of drop off or checking something off my to-do list that I forget to take the time to connect and help those around me. Do you struggle with that too? These are the questions I ask myself which help remind me to look up and help those around me.

  • Moments in carline/carpool
    • What can I do to encourage the hearts of the kids in my car before they begin their day and after a long day at school?
    • How can I speak words of encouragement/lift up the teacher directing carline?

 

  • Running errands
    • How can I help the mom struggling with a child while grocery shopping?
    • Is there some way I can “pay it forward” while running errands?

 

  • Friends
    • How can I help lighten the load of a friend who is a single mom?
    • Do I have a friend who could use an extra note of encouragement and prayer?

 

Weekly

There are some areas where God asks us to minister and serve but just not on a daily basis. Those areas may include the gym, church, volunteering, or mentoring. Think about it for a few minutes, where do you go/what do you do on a weekly basis where God could use you to minister and serve?

For me, I serve weekly at my church and monthly through personal mentoring.

When it comes to the pasture God has placed us in we can ask ourselves these types of questions. While I’ve listed them under my areas you can use them for your own.

  • Church
    • Small group
      • Who do I need to reach out to that hasn’t been in a while?
      • Is someone struggling through difficulties that may need a little extra TLC?
      • What can I do mid-week to help support the study from Sunday?
    • Women’ s Ministry/Bible Study
      • How can I be a source of welcome and encouragement?
      • How can I help them grow deeper in their walk with Christ?

 

  • Personal Mentoring
    • Is there a friend I need to come alongside as she is walking a path I have previously travelled?
    • How can I help someone learn how to dig deeper into God’s Word?

Today we’ve talked about what it looks like to serve/tend the PASTURE God has given us outside our four walls. Now it’s time for you to put this into action. What is your pasture outside your four walls? Where does he want you to minister on a daily or weekly basis and what does that look like? Next week we will talk about how we tend the PASTURE God gives us on a larger scale.

In His Calm,

Micah 5:4a The Calm of His Presence

“The orbit of my life is the place between my two feet.

That is my mission field.” Jill Briscoe

 

When Jill Briscoe made that statement during If:Gathering my attention stood straight up. My mission field – my pasture – that’s exactly what I have been focusing on this year.

Where do I need to focus more of my attention? Where do I need to plant the seed of God’s Word? What do I need to say NO to in order to say YES to the pasture God has me tending right now?

Do you have these same questions? I don’t think I am the only one who struggles with getting side tracked by the next shiny thing that comes my way. Today I want us to take a look at what it means to serve and tend the pasture of our home.

Let’s first ask the question…

What makes up the pasture of my home?

  • husband
  • kids
  • household responsibilities

For me, my husband, kids & household responsibilities make up my home. Your list may look like mine or it may look a little different. Yours may include parents, sibling, long-term houseguest, animals or any number of things. The important thing is for us to determine what is included in the pasture of our home and then determine how best to tend it.

That leads us to our next question…

How do we tend/care for the responsibilites of our home?

When looking at the specific areas of your home you can use these questions to help you focus your time and energy.

  • Husband 
    • How can I bless him?
    • Are there needs of his I need to focus on meeting?
    • Can I do something to lighten his load?
  • Kids
    • Is there something I can do for them to help them feel special?
    • How can I show them God’s love?
    • In what way can I encourage and build them up today?
  • Household duties
    • Is there something I’ve been putting off until “someday” that can be done today?
    • Make a list of weekly household duties and assign them to specific days of the week.
    • In what way can I make the house more inviting when my people come home this afternoon?

Take some time over the next few days to reflect on the pasture of your home. Ask God to show you how He wants you to care for those in your home.

I’d love to hear what makes up the pasture of your home and how you will serve in the pasture of your home. Will you share it with us in the comment section?

In His Calm,

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Happy New Year my friends!!

I hope this post finds you with your house back in order after the 2016 Holiday Season. I must admit now that our decorations are boxed and tucked safely into the attic my house looks a little barren. I’m thinking I may need to find a way to add the warm glow of twinkle lights into my everyday decor :-).

Over the last several weeks I’ve spent a lot of time praying over the direction God wants to take me in 2017. And I’ve got to say I’m really excited!! Some of you know 2016 found me stepping WAAAY out of my comfort zone to follow God down the path of submitting a book proposal at the Proverbs 31 Ministries Writers and Speakers Conference She Speaks. If you would like to see my video posts from the conference you can find them on The Calm of His Presence Facebook page by using the word “video” in the search box.

Monday was my birthday and as a way to say Happy Birthday to myself I spent a full day in God’s Word planning and praying over his direction for 2017. I am super excited to share a little of that direction with you today.

Towards the end of 2016 I worked through the study Wait and See by Wendy Pope with Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study. God began to whisper to my heart “Mary you need to ‘tend your pasture'”. Over and over again I responded with, “Ok Lord, but where is my pasture?”

I knew where I wanted my pasture to be. I wanted it to be focused on the “bigger picture” of an online ministry through writing on The Calm of His Presence. I wanted it to be focused on writing a Bible Study and Morning Prayers. While God hasn’t said no to those things, he is focusing my attention on the “smaller picture”.

Those areas are…
1. My Home – Family

2. My Church – Small group,
Women’s Ministry/Bible Study, Mentoring

3. My Online Ministry – The Calm of His Presence,
Volunteering with P31OBS

I looked up the word Pasture in wikipedia and found this…

“Pasture lands in the narrow sense are distinguished from rangelands by being managed through more intensive agricultural practices of seeding, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers while rangelands grow primarily native vegetation, managed with extensive practices like controlled burning and regulated intensity of grazing.”

Seeding…Irrigation…Fertilizers… these words stood out to me the most and then caused me to ask these questions.

Where do I need to plant the seed of God’s Word? Who needs to hear of the amazing love of God?

Are there areas God is asking me to share His Living Water? Who around me is dry and thirsty for God’s Word?

Is God asking me to help be the catalyst for someone who needs the extra nurturing and encouragement to grow in their walk with Christ? Who needs someone to come alongside them and help them step out of their comfort zone to share the love of Christ?

So my friends, this is what God is placing on my heart for 2017. I will be sharing more on the blog in the next few weeks but wanted to share with you a little behind the scenes of what God is working on in my life.

If you’re on social media I would love to connect with you. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where I share a little more of what’s happening on a daily basis. Have you signed up for my newsletter? In The Calm of His Presence Newsletter you hear first what God is working on behind the scenes of The Calm of His Presence. Sign up by clicking on the box that will pop up on your screen or the green box in the top right of your page.

In His Calm,

Mary

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