Monday’s Mom


Share

By Christy Mactavish

There is no doubt this week is a time for us to celebrate Fourth of July, Independence Day, our Country’s Birthday! But I would also like to pay tribute to the women, who for centuries have carried the tremendous task of keeping families safe and running smoothly back at home while husbands/fathers are deployed.  That’s why today I dedicate Monday’s Mom to all the military wives/moms.  I pray today we can celebrate, encourage, and show our appreciation for all who care for the little ones who wait, sometimes to no avail, for their daddys’ coming home.

I have had the blessing of meeting some of the most amazing women whose husbands serve in different branches of our military, and I am taken aback by the strength and perseverance these women hold.  Below is a wonderful poem I discovered on the web that describes them better than I ever could, and while the author is unknown, I think it could be written only by one who knows.  So I give credit to all military wives and moms who have, and will continue to serve in a very unique way.  Thank you for all YOU do for our country.

When God Created the Military Wife
Author Unknown

The good Lord was creating a model

for military wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared.

 She said, “Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one.

 What’s the matter with the standard model?”

The Lord replied, “Have you seen the specs on this order?

 She has to be completely independent,

possess the qualities of both father and mother,

be a perfect hostess to four or forty with an hour’s notice,

run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual,

be able to carry on cheerfully,

even if she’s pregnant and has the flu,

and she must be willing to move 10 times in 17 years.

 And oh, yes, she must have six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head.

“Six pairs of hands? No way!”

The Lord continued, “Don’t worry, we shall make other military wives to help her.

 And we will give her an unusually strong heart,

so it can swell with pride in her husband’s achievements,

sustain the pain of separations,

beat soundly when it’s over-worked and tired,

and be large enough to say ‘I understand,’ when she does not,

and say ‘I love you,’ regardless.”

The angel circled the model of the military wife,

looked at it closely and sighed,

“It looks fine, but it’s too soft.”

“She might look soft,” replied the Lord,

“but she has the strength of a lion.

 You would not believe what she can endure.”

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord’s creation.

 “There’s a leak,” she announced.

“Something is wrong with the construction.

I am not surprised that it has cracked.

You are trying to put too much into this model.”

The Lord appeared offended at the angel’s lack of confidence.

What you see is not a leak,” he said.  “It’s a tear.”

“A tear? What is it there for?” asked the angel.

The Lord replied, “It’s for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride,

and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear.”

“You are a genius!” exclaimed the angel.

The Lord looked puzzled and replied,

 “I didn’t put it there.”

Lord, 
You are an awesome mighty God; Creator of all things.  Thank you for all of the moms who carry so many burdens on their shoulders.  I pray that each and every one will know that your love and strength is there for the taking, and that they are more than conquerors through you who love them….Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate them from your love. (Romans 8:37-39)  May they know they are appreciated for their sacrifices.
Amen. 

 

Please take a moment to say thank you to our military wives/moms in the comments section.

This post is linked to The Better Mom and NOBH.

Read More
Monday’s Mom–Arabah Joy

Monday’s Mom–Arabah Joy


Posted By on Jun 25, 2012 | 7 comments

One of the most incredible blessings gained from doing the Cross Moms blog is the people God has placed in my path along the way. People like Arabah Joy. It warms my heart to be able to feature Arabah today as Monday’s Mom. She is a mom, author of Energy Explosion, blogger at Arabah Joy, and a beautiful follower of Christ. Her family is heavily involved in missions to East Asia, and today she’s sharing a glimpse of her life with us. I pray you will leave a word of encouragement or prayer for her in the comments section as she and her family embarks on the work God has placed before them!
Love and God Bless, Christy[/learn_more]

1)  Please share a bit about yourself–ie. husband, children, hobbies, etc..
I’ve been married to Jackson for 18 years {which make me sound really old but I married him a week after I turned 20 :) } We have four children, one through adoption and three biologically. For the first 8 years of marriage, we struggled with infertility. Right as we were appointed as missionaries, we got pregnant and our “miracle baby” was born in Hong Kong, 5 months after we arrived on the field. All of our children were born overseas, each in a different country!

2)  What kind of mission work do you do in East Asia, and what inspired you to this in the first place?
Jackson and I do church planting and training. Actually, it was while we planted a church here in America that God called us to overseas pioneer work. Our approach both here and overseas is the same: We go into an area, share the gospel, start small churches, and train them to go out and do the same. God really does the work :) Yes, He’s amazing!

3)  Describe some of the blessings and the challenges you’ve faced raising your family on the mission field.
Blessings and challenges…hmmm. These are really hard to put into words. Isolation, lonliness, the absence of a support system, the intense spiritual warfare….these are probably the most difficult challenges. The blessings are many, such as opportunities to have great faith, learning various cultures and languages, seeing God move in unique ways, and being the outsider. Although this is hard sometimes, it also allows us to be different, not fit in, and get by with things others can’t.

 4)  How can we pray for you and your family specifically as you continue your work in Asia?
Please pray for us!! Our family will return overseas July 23rd, in just a few weeks. Prayers for smooth travels, rested children, and quick transitions would be so appreciated! Beyond that, of course, some of the immediate needs will be to find a place to live, get the children in school, and find local partners to begin working with. We are going back to a brand new city, so we will be setting up a home and a ministry base from scratch. Truly, we covet your prayers!

 

5)  Please share with our readers how God is working in your life right now.
As a family, we are preparing to transition from the states to Asia and from a convenient lifestyle to one much less stable. Although we have served as missionaries for ten years, the transitions don’t get any smoother {you just learn to expect the unexpected!} The Lord is daily reminding me to “be rooted and grounded in love, so that I will be filled up to the fullness of God.” {See Ephesians 3:17f} It is through a constant awareness of His love that we are able to overflow with all His fullness and from that, pour into the lives of others.

Honestly, some of the most difficult times in my life are those that require faithfulness in the mundane. There is some measure of excitement during the times when “big things” are happening. But no one can live there all the time, right? The last two years have been a very long stretch of mundane and the Lord has been teaching me how to be satisfied in Him, right where I’m at. I do believe this is the great “secret” of the Christian life…to be satisfied in Christ and always aware of His love. In this way, no matter where we are, no matter what is happening, we are FULL. This is a lesson I want to live well.

 

Read More

I’m absolutely thrilled to feature Darlene Schacht as today’s Monday’s Mom. She is an amazing example of a “clear vessel” which God is using for so much good! In the past I have used interview questions and answers to share throughout the day on our Facebook Page. However, Darlene’s answers were so rich and full of God-given wisdom, that I couldn’t just post them on a quick status update! I pray you will enjoy her interview as much as I did.  Be sure to share your thoughts below in the comments section, so you can be placed in our drawing to win an autographed copy of The Good Wife’s Guide, Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet,  which will be announced on the Cross Moms Facebook page at 9:00 pm tonight!

Love and God Bless, Christy[/learn_more]

1)  Please share a bit about yourself–family, work, hobbies, joys, etc…

My husband Michael and I live in Manitoba Canada. We have four children (three still at home), two birds and a pug named Bailey. Our lives are basically surrounded with three things: our faith, music and everything books. I’m a New York Times best-selling author and my husband’s job is to empower writers to self publish. When I say our lives are surrounded by music, I’m not kidding. We have more instruments in our house than we do socks. LOL! And besides that… I met my husband on Valentine’s Day in 1986 when I sang at his church. It was there that he asked me to join his band, and the rest is history.

2)  So many women growing up in my generation (I’m forty this December) grew up seeing their mothers “do it all,” working full time and being the total housewife.  I know I always grew up thinking, Man!  My dad has it made!  That played a huge role in my rejecting the whole concept of being the “housewife” when I was young. What insights would you give other women who were raised with a mindset similar to mine?

The first thing would be to remind women that nobody can “do it all.” As much as it might have seemed that way, your mother couldn’t, your grandma couldn’t, and neither can you.  If we are focused and organized we can certainly do a lot, but doing a “lot” should never be the focus itself. The bottom line should always be a matter of priority. Whether that means that a wife is a full time homemaker or has a second job outside the house, isn’t relevant. What is relevant is the treasure of her heart–where does it lie?

If you see a woman working to please a man you will likely see an unfulfilled woman who is seeking more for her life. But if that woman desires to please the Lord, and in doing so is joyfully serving her husband and children, she is powered by something much bigger than this world has to offer–faith in an unfailing God.

Does dad “have it made?” In one sense I hope so, since I love my husband and desire to be a blessing to him, but on the other hand I understand that providing for our family in a physical sense and guiding us spiritually is a big weight on his shoulders. Understanding that he has a deep desire to provide for us has changed my attitude toward him when it comes to his responsibilities at work.

3)  I’ve seen many distorted definitions of what a Help Meet is.  Would you please briefly share your understanding of what it means to be a Help Meet?

The Hebrew term “ezer kenegdo” is found in Genesis 2:18, and by definition it means “suitable helper.” To me it’s far more than being there to wash socks and cook dinner. It means that I’m riding beside him in battle through every spiritual war that we face. It’s interesting to note is that the same word is found several times throughout the Old Testament when describing God as our helper, and in nearly every reference where this term is used, God is coming to the rescue where He protects His people and defeats the enemy.

4)  What were some of the challenging “roads” you had to travel as you discovered the importance of being your husbands Help Meet?

I think that the biggest challenge was that I went into marriage with a long list of expectations of who Michael should be and what our future should look like. Things took a different road when Michael started running his own company. I was home with four kids while he worked long hours. Rather than exercising patience and kindness the way that God calls me to love I let bitterness creep in and it grew over time to the point where it took over my thoughts and led me to sin.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. ~ Hebrews 12:14-15, NIV

5)  What are the benefits you have reaped by being your husband’s Help Meet?

It’s definitely changed my behavior, which in turn has brought me closer to the Lord. It’s because of my faith that I exercise patience, kindness, humility and love. Living in humility has softened my heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my life. My motto is “More of you Lord, less of me,” which is the only way one can be clay in the Potter’s hands. Being a help meet is first and foremost about my relationship with God, my marriage is a result of that faith, but not the root.

 

 

Read More
The Inn Proprietor’s Heart

The Inn Proprietor’s Heart


Posted By on Jun 11, 2012 | 1 comment

Today’s Monday’s Mom is Carolyn Polson–dear friend, former colleague, and proprietor of The Inn at 400 West High in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Decolores” is the word that comes to mind when I think of Carolyn. Her heart, her style, and her love for life  always reflects the beautiful colors of God’s creation. Enjoy her piece below as she shares her heart, and then be sure to join us on the Cross Moms Facebook page to learn more about Carolyn and her incredible journey with The Inn at 400 West High!
Love and God Bless, Christy[/learn_more]

God is teaching me that He will take care of me.

The major lesson that I’ve learned in the past year

(I’m a slow learner I guess) is

that He is in the details.

He will lead me,

direct me,

guide me,

if I will just listen,

trust,

and obey.

Down to the smallest detail,

He is there.

My insignificant events

are a big deal to Him,

and I only need to recognize Him.

I have finally learned what it is to lean on Him

and bring my concerns,

joys,

and praises

to the foot of His cross daily.

His love for me is immense,

and I only want to mirror that

love and true joy

for others to see and desire.

In everything I do and say,

my greatest prayer

is that others see Jesus in me.

Read More
Three Defining Words

Three Defining Words


Posted By on Jun 4, 2012 | 6 comments

Today’s Monday’s Mom is Becky Lynch! I’ve had the pleasure of working with Becky before, and the best way I can describe this wonderful lady is she truly is a firecracker! She and her husband Steven will have been married for 14 years this October, and they have been blessed with two amazing daughters. They have an excellent specialty food company called Montebello Kitchens. Their whole family is involved with the business! Please enjoy her wonderful post below, and then join us on Cross Moms Facebook page throughout the day today. You will not be disappointed!  Love and God Bless!
Christy

When I think of how God has worked in my life through the years, the words to describe it would be… awe-inspiring, joyous and scary. Yes, even scary.

First, God has blessed me with an amazing family!  I really realized how blessed last year.  You see, I had surgery to remove a tumor back in 1993 and was told at the time that I would probably never be able to get pregnant. Steven and I were then married in 1998, and then thankfully, our two beautiful daughters followed.  Anything is possible with God, right!  Now, fast-forward to 2010. I went to a specialist who happened to be the father of one of my daughter’s classmates. He could not believe that I had the original surgery before the girls were born. He showed me how I had carried two different pregnancies in half the space needed for a healthy baby to grow. He told me what a miracle it was that I had gotten pregnant in the first place!  AND he gave me the great news that there was NO cancer, but that I would need to have surgery anyway. I was okay with that! This doctor had shown me God’s awe-inspiring hands at work. No other explanation. Only God.

Second, God’s greatest blessing on my life has been joy. I experience true joy everyday in small things and big things. I love to laugh and have fun. I have a family and friends who like to do the same. God makes it possible for me to be happy no matter where I am. Believe me, there are times when I would rather be doing something else, but then I can always laugh about it later or find something interesting in what I was doing. Even in the midst of something sad I know that we will find something happy or loving to look back on. I realized this a couple of years ago when I was talking to someone and telling them what a great childhood I had. If someone else were to look at it they would see loss (death of my father), sadness (finding my beloved granddaddy dead when I was 7), and plenty of dysfunction. I don’t see it that way – I grew up with a loving and close family and experienced some incredible adventures. God provided me with amazing opportunities – did I always make the right choice? No, but the Lord opened another window, led me to a different path – always patient, always forgiving. Always pointing towards joy.

Finally, the scary….I have a REALLY difficult time turning things over to God. I mean truly turning it over to Him. I will pray on something and then begin to explain to God why it should happen a certain way. I negotiate, debate and argue (yes, argue) a point. God already knows His plan. The times that I have totally handed everything over, God worked everything out!  I know – seems so obvious and simple, right?   But when you are in the middle of it all and emotions are involved, it is not always that easy.  I read a great book a couple of years ago with my Women’s Bible Study called Traveling Light by Max Lucado. Everyone worries, everyone gets mad, and everyone gets scared. Thankfully, this book and the wonderful women in the group really helped (all of us!) to learn how to lean on God and trust in Him.  I’m getting better at trusting, but that is probably the biggest lesson that the Lord is working on with me at this point in my life.

cleardot.gif

Read More