Our Fathers by Bethany Luchetta

Our Fathers – Our Identity | By Bethany Luchetta

Father’s Day Month! Month?! Why did I agree to write about fathers this month!? I will start by admitting that I slept through the Father’s Day breakfast that my mom had planned for her husband (my dad, Thomas). You might be asking yourself why I called him “her husband.” He’s the dad who raised me. And really the only guy whom I call Dad. But he didn’t make me. I also have a birth father, whom I call Chad. Anyway, I was depressed about Father’s Day and how it makes me feel, so I slept through the morning.

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April (younger sister), Bethany, Dad (Thomas), Heather (older sister)

Luckily for me, my dear-sweet-redemptive-father-example (aka my own husband) was home hanging out with our little Livvy Lou. I did eventually drag myself out of bed because Vince had to work some Israeli Defense gig at the Point Loma Synagogue. (I guess the Israelis don’t celebrate Father’s Day?!) After getting myself out of bed and lounging around, I was eventually convinced to play at the pool with my magnificent 3-year-old. So, this is me, and maybe you?

I am trying to be graceful with my sentiments. I am growing, and some years are better than others. I am working on being intentional at finding the good in any situation. In the meantime, it’s hard to pretend how I feel about my identity in relation to the connection—or lack of connection—I have with my fathers. I keep telling myself to write gingerly—family will read this, friends, my community. But, if I am not real, who can

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Vince, April (younger sister with her son), Bethany, Thomas (dad)

resonate with this part of my humanity? I admit, I don’t have the worst story I have ever heard, but that doesn’t discredit my struggle. And it doesn’t discredit yours either—good or bad or indifferent (or somewhere on the continuum). The fact is, I feel displaced on Father’s Day. Trying to celebrate makes me feel fake.

The facts are: I was adopted by my dad (Thomas) and never knew my birth father (Chad). My birth certificate was changed, and I was not even told I had a “birth father” until I was 10 years old. I knew something wasn’t “right” all along, but I could never put my finger on it. I felt displaced, disconnected and alone for most of my childhood. How can someone feel these things with two sisters and a mom and dad in the home? At 18 years old, I met my birth father and then a whole rash of horrible events within my home rolled out against my soul.

When I met my birth father, it brought up old history for my parents—insecurities and both passive-aggressive and aggressive behaviors that seemed to be directed at me for rocking the boat. My older sister, who shares the same birth father, wasn’t ready to meet Chad, and my little sister, who doesn’t share the same birth father, was feeling oddly

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Livvy Lou, Bethany, Chad (Birth Father)

displaced from me and my sisters’ situation. I don’t want to expound too much; they have their own stories. Nonetheless, my experience of the emotional struggles here began to shut down part of my heart. I didn’t feel safe with the world around me, and I started working even harder to gain God’s approval for my worth. I ventured even farther down the road of shame and confusion.

It is said that we get our idea of God from the father(s) we had. I have been in a spiritual crisis; fathers are distant, unreliable, untouchable—they walk away. I can work really hard and do really well, and still it’s not enough! I see how I have put this stigma on God. I am attempting to learn God is indeed good. He doesn’t force us—or our fathers (or mothers)—to do what He requires. He gives us all free will to choose; therefore, we end up with “humanity,” fallible humans walking around attempting to base our choices on our own definitions of right and wrong. I used to say, “Grace given, for grace desired” because I wanted it myself so badly. It seems to be ringing true once again in my ears.

I queried my birth father this week for this blog. I got to ask him if he missed me when I was young and what it was like for him as a Father not to have me around. I explained to him how I have an issue with ‘out of sight – out of mind’ based on the fact that I have never resonated with the ‘missing’ feeling. I figured if a Father could leave his daughters,

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Chad (Birth Father), Livvy Lou, Bethany

and not seen them, is it even possible to miss people? Do we just get shut out? Hear me out for a minute. I hear people say, I miss ‘so and so’ and I judge them; thinking to myself that they are being dramatic. People say they miss others because it’s the right thing to say when someone is gone. I’ve learned that. But, I don’t feel that. How can someone really be missed if my own father was out of my life and never connected with me. I am not worthy of being missed, and I wasn’t missed, so how can this be a real thing. The closest thing I can relate it to is grieving the loss of my first husband. When he died, I grieved. I am not sure if I missed him, or I missed the hope of what could have been for him. Or missed how he made me feel or the history we had. But, did I miss him? I watch my daughter miss her father (my husband). I say to myself, does she really miss him? It seems like she does. This is why I had to ask my birth father, “Did you miss me all those years?” He said, “Listen I was pissed off at a lot of people for a long time. It would have been different I suppose if I never saw you, but I saw you, we connected.”  The fact is, I was missed, I am worthy of being missed. I overflowed with crocodile tears. That spoke to my soul.

God is gracious to me. He gave me an amazing husband who is a great father to his three daughters. I tell him constantly that he is raising the little Bethany in me. Jamie Humphrey said in her recent blog, “what is submission, if not by free will.” Submitting to love is our choice, not coerced upon us. What is love if not by a free expression of our soul? God is good alone in the fact that He doesn’t force us to love Him, or anyone else. I am starting to get it. Even with all the daddy issues the people of this world carry, God is still good and available for a relationship to teach us what Father love looks like. That in itself is spectacular to me as I am learning to trust Him as a Father.


IMG_1943Bethany Luchetta is married to her love, Vince. She mothers her growing toddler and two beautiful girls from Vince’s first marriage. Bethany runs her own Property Management and Real Estate Brokerages. The love of personal growth and theology pushed her to explore her deeper calling. Attending Dr Henry Cloud and John Townsend year-long Life Coaching Program in 2013, she was inspired to plan for her future career in Theology and Family Therapy at Bethel Seminary. Bethany is preparing for her revocation through Life Skills International, a 32-week personal growth course in San Diego.

My Child Would Never…

My Child Would Never… | By Lauren Stark and Chrissy Grissom

A Mother & Daughter Co-Write on their Story. 

Lauren Stark: When I look back on my life some parts seem like a lifetime ago. I’m currently 32, married to an amazing man, I have three beautiful girls and a job that I love. I love Jesus, my church, my family and my friends. I’m genuinely joy-filled and excited about my future, but it wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always perusing Jesus and going to church. I wasn’t always happy with my life.

I grew up in a Christian home, attended a church my whole life and even went to a Christian school from kindergarten through eighth grade. My parents provided what they could and did their best to raise a Christian kid. But as much as they wanted me to have their Jesus, it was exactly that: their Jesus. I had to come to him on my own and unfortunately that meant walking through some drug problems.

I went to Orange Glen high school from 1999-2003 and tried to fit in and be one of the cool kids. I went to parties and started hanging out with the wrong crowd, desperately trying to fit in and be accepted and wanted. I look back and think “why”? Why did I so seek their approval? I dabbled around with alcohol and I got pregnant right out of high school. 18 and a new mom. When things fell apart with Aliyah’s biological dad, I began a five-year chase to make something work. I needed a husband, I needed to get out of my parents’ house, I needed someone to help me through this way-too-expensive southern California life. I was seeking friendships and relationships to fill the void deep within my heart. A single mother knows loneliness like no other.

Sometimes I drank … a lot. I turned 21 and got a DUI. What a loser! You can only imagine how the enemy played on me. I looked to drugs and more alcohol to satisfy me and they did but only for a moment. The thing is, no matter how high you get you will ALWAYS come down. The biblical principle is true: you reap what you sow; and if you chase after drugs, you will reap destruction. The wages of sin is death! But you’re not thinking in biblical terms when you are using drugs. All you care about is yourself and how you can feel better. Your better judgement is gone entirely.

LaurenI feel lucky with my story since my run with drugs wasn’t that long. I ended up with a broken repentant heart that was met with forgiveness and mercy. Mercy is undeserved favor. Undeserved. I didn’t deserve mercy when I was disobedient to my parents in high school. I didn’t deserve mercy when I had sex before marriage. I didn’t deserve mercy when I wasn’t being the best mom I could be. I didn’t deserve mercy when I was using drugs. But that’s the God I found when I hit my rock bottom, a God of mercy. I wasn’t in trouble, I wasn’t grounded. He didn’t say “Well if you get better then I will let my work on the cross work for you.” He died and forgave me when I was my ugliest. He was whipped while I stole money from my parents. He took a crown of thorns stuck in his head while I took some crystal meth and smoked it in abandoned parking lots. He carried a heavy cross that dug into his bleeding back while I cooked heroine and shot it up.

Oh, the risk I took! But the risk Jesus took! He went to the cross for me but what if I never got to know him? What if I never “got right”? What if I never repented? God took a huge risk on me sending his only son to die on the cross for my drug addiction. Wow! I’m forever grateful he did because I did come to know him. In 2008, I finally hit my rock bottom. I was so broken and humbled that I went home and told my family the truth. I ended up in a Christian rehab in Huntington beach. My life changed. I realized that all I had been missing was my relationship with Jesus. My true daddy, my savior, my restorer of life, my healer and my provider!

Looking back, I see God’s patient love for me. His grace and mercy over my drug deals. Over my shady scary police encounters. It is amazing that all I have are some fractured relationships and embarrassment to clean up. I should be dead, in jail, without my kids Lauren Familybut God spared me. Today I love Jesus with every fiber of my being. I seek him for my approval and acceptance, the God of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth who holds the stars in place knows every detail in my life and his thoughts of me are more numerous than the grains of sand at the beach. What the enemy was trying to kill, steal and destroy all those years the Lord has renewed and traded it with abundant life. I don’t share my story to brag about some dangerous things I’ve done but to boast in my weakness since there the lord has shown his strength.  

Walking with Jesus on “this side” of my story is so much better than before. I can list at least 5-10 people just like that who are struggling with addictions. I know it is hard for parents or loved ones to draw the line between tough love and grace but I will say this: when I was truly sorry and repentant and humbled to my core, my dad showered me with grace and forgiveness like the prodigal daughter I was. He reflected our heavenly father and that’s when I met Jesus.

 

Chrissy Grissom: As parents we often feel our children are an extension of ourselves. When they do good and great things it must be because of our sweet parenting skills. So it stands to reason when they don’t make good decisions, it must be our fault. Did I not love enough? Did I love too much? Not enough discipline? Too much? What did I do wrong?

The hardest thing we a parents witness is our kids making bad choices – knowing what consequences await them. The enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy but I didn’t think he would be after one of my own. Or at least I never thought one of MY kids would EVER do any dangerous drug. MY child? No way.

Pride.

I was in denial. My husband wasn’t. He knew something was way wrong. But he also knew if she ever wanted help and wanted to come home, he would help her. What an awesome example of our heavenly father he was at that time.

Lauren & dadAfter a lot of praying and fasting I came to the realization she isn’t really my daughter, sort of. She is our Lord’s daughter. I had to give her over completely to God. God loves her more than I possible could ever love her. I am so grateful. God is all about redemption and reconciliation. Even though I didn’t know exactly what she was doing at the time, I had a strange peace knowing she is God’s child.

The best day ever came on a cold Sunday morning looking out my window, squinting and seeing…is that Lauren? Walking towards out house? Is that really her?

Thank you Jesus that her time in that world was relatively short lived. I want to say to any parent out there: trust in God. He loves your child more than you do. Fast and pray.

I want to add a warning. I hope you never think (like I did) “My child (young or grown) would never do anything like that.” Or any other harmful thing. Our enemy is good at what he does. But the good news is God is greater.  


Lauren & Crissy

 

Lauren Stark is a happily married mother of three beautiful girls. She works full time at Henson’s Fix Auto. Chris (Chrissy) Grissom is Lauren’s mom. Chrissy also has three children. She is the school secretary at Escondido Christian School, where she has worked for twenty-five years.

Wife – You Are More Than Your Role

Wife – You Are More Than Your Role | By Byron Vardilos

I have the privilege of being married to an amazing woman. I first met Theresa at a coffee shop in Fort Worth, Texas. It was a typical fall night during my Junior year at Texas Christian University. A group of four of my fraternity brothers and I had just finished eating dinner at a local downtown eatery. I was a newer Christian at the time and being part of BYX rooted me in my faith.

Brian, who we called “B-Grow,” announced to the group that he had forgotten he’d promised to meet a girl at a coffee shop and we were over an hour late.  We all piled into a beat-up Chevy Suburban and rushed off to the coffee shop. Little did I know I was about to meet the love of my life!

I’ll never forget the night. I walked in, and there she was. She was beautiful (and sitting at a table by herself reading a Bible!). I don’t remember the conversation, and we only exchanged a few words, but driving home that night was one of the few times in my life I distinctly heard God’s voice. He told me that this was the woman for me!

Byron & Theresa Nov 1998That was over 20 years ago! 20 FULL years of ups-and-downs, success and failures, four kids, two dogs, and over 16 moves!

The first few years of our marriage were rocky, to say the least, but since then, each year we get closer and I learn more about this wonderful woman. With so many things vying for our attention, it’s becoming more and more difficult for wives to keep their identity.

Theresa has had many roles over the years; the role of a wife…the role of mom.  More recently, she is adding many more roles. But the roles do not define who she is.  First and foremost, she is a Daughter of the King!

In the last two years, I’ve witnessed Theresa growing in all areas of her life.  She’s embracing the truth of her identity in Christ. I want to encourage you, the women of The Fathers House, to do the same!  A great resource that talks about this identity is the book, The Secret of Significance, by Robert S McGee.images

With raising four children ages 10-16, running multiple businesses, volunteering and participating in community activities, Theresa and I are at the busiest season of our lives to date. Full schedules blur the bigger picture for all of us.

I’m naturally big-picture thinker.  Theresa is much more detailed, so we complement each other in this way.  Whenever I see her taking on too much or getting caught in the minutia, I remind her to take time off for reflection. I ask her questions like…“What do you want to be doing in 10 years after the kids have left?”  “What is God calling you to do?” and “What is your long-term mission?”

The answers to these questions don’t have to be world-changing, like ending world hunger. But these types of questions have helped Theresa stay focused on what is most important and discover a passion to impact the lives of families and women.

I’ve watched my wife take on these habits and can encourage you to think of some that can help you grow in your identity:

1) Build time each week in your calendar just for you. Theresa is introspective, so once a week, she gets away to the beach or a coffee shop by herself to pray, journal, exercise, and have a time of quiet reflection with the Lord. Find what refuels your tank and make the commitment to do it each week.  If you catch yourself feeling guilty about taking this time to recharge, remember, even Jesus took time away in the “lonely places. Taking care of yourself in this way will bless those you love the most!

2) It’s ok to say “no,” even to good things.  Nothing can tire you out more than feeling obligated to say yes to every opportunity to serve. Having the bigger picture at the forefront has helped her say “no” to things, even good things, that are not part of her bigger mission. This helps her avoid burnout and keeps her focus on what is most important.

3) Know your strengths.  If you haven’t taken a spiritual gifts class, I highly encourage it.  There are also numerous personality tests, including the Myers Briggs and StrengthsFinder.  Learning your natural gifts can help you identify new roles and opportunities you may not have considered before.

4) Know your season. Theresa and I are in, what is affectionately referred to as, “The Long Middle.” But seasons will not last forever. Knowing your season provides perspective which can keep you going, even when you feel like giving up. If you’re in the darkest Winter right now, know that Spring always follows winter!

5) Find mentors; be a mentor. God uses people to grow us up in the faith. The Father’s House and has made it a priority to spend time building relationships. This is a good place to find and/or be a mentor.

6) Work on your schedule as a couple and prioritize. On Sunday night, Theresa and I get together and have a brief meeting to go over our calendar for the next week.  It’s not always perfect, and sometimes messy, but it helps us plan out and make sure that we are spending our time wisely.

7) Plan a weekly date night. Having a weekly date night is a non-negotiable.  It allows us to connect, at a deeper level, and communicates to our kids that our marriage is important.

8) Read inspirational books. Theresa has become a voracious reader.  She also listens to positive podcasts and audiobooks to learn while driving or doing work around the house.

9) Pain is part of the process. Psalm 30 says that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”  The transformative process is not all sunshine and rainbows.  Theresa has encountered many challenges in recent years with all the demands upon her and in building her business.  But I’ve watched the challenges make her stronger!  Like weight training, where you tear muscle fibers to gain strength, the hardships she experiences are building her into a much stronger version of herself.

10) Make wise decisions about health. “I want to work out and eat healthier, but I just don’t have the time.”  We’ve all been there.  I think the biggest revelation for Theresa and I recently is that the time and energy we spend on exercising and making good food choices will come back to us ten-fold in the form of increased energy, health, and clarity of thought.  Don’t feel guilty about taking time to work on your health!

I want to encourage you to take some time this week to seek the Lord and ask him to use you in a new and fresh way.  Then take action and go for what God has put on your heart. Stir up your gifts and trust Him for the great reward!


Byron & Theresa TCU GraduationByron met Theresa over 20 years ago at Texas Christian University where he played baseball and studied business. Married for almost 19 years, they have four children Jacob, 16, Hannah, 14, Caleb, 12, and Abigail, 10.  Over his career, Byron worked as a Business Coach in the Real Estate industry, as well as in sales and entrepreneurship.  He is committed to Christ and helping others live out their full potential. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing piano and guitar, mountain biking, trail running, weightlifting, the ocean, travel, and any sport involving a ball.

Identity

As a perfectionist, I feel most satisfied at the end of the day when I feel like I did everything right. The day doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect, but as long as I do what I think is good in any given circumstance, I am happy and can sleep peacefully. In fact, at times, my desire to do what I feel is right has kept me from actually doing what is most important. I strive in my flesh to achieve greatness as a mother, wife, and as an individual, and that, at times, is the very thing that keeps me from achieving greatness in God’s eyes. God has been trying to teach me this my whole life… but now that I am a wife and mother, to me, my flaws have become 100% more evident.

Being a wife and mother to two (after only being married for three years) is really hard! I absolutely love it, but it is the most difficult thing I have ever done. My flesh has to die multiple times every day. I see, more and more, how deeply flawed I am… I cannot escape my flaws. They are there and love to flaunt how imperfect I am. I fail daily and it absolutely kills me.

If I respond impatiently with my son, I failed that day and am the worst mother in the world. If I am gracious and patient, my heart is happy and I feel like a “good” mother. If I maintain a clean house and I do everything I need to have an organized and neat home, then by the end of the day I will allow myself to rest. If not, I most likely will not be able to sleep until absolutely everything is clean and tidy. Sounds like so much fun, doesn’t it? If I eat one cookie then I absolutely failed and I might as well just eat ALL of them, because I already failed by eating that one and I will just restart tomorrow. Wow! Am I crazy, or what?! This has been my life. It is exhausting and makes me feel like I am going crazy. I can never seem to be “good enough.”

I greatly desire to be a woman of excellence, and this desire has the ability to make me act in ways that I don’t consider to be “excellent.” This creates a real frustration and disappointment in me. Recently I was sharing this struggle with my husband, and he responded to my dismay by saying,

“You should pursue discovering who you are, rather than how good you are.”

Those simple words really helped to open my eyes and helped me shift the way I think about my values. I am flawed indeed, but I am learning that when I strive for perfection in my own strength, I don’t get the results that I am looking for. I may be able to obtain the “perfect” body, but is it really beautiful if I do so by hating the body I currently have? I may be able to have several days where I don’t lash out at my children or husband, but if I do so from a heart motivated by self-hatred and the need to be “perfect” all of the time, is it truly beautiful? I may be able to maintain the cleanest, neatest house, but if I do so from a place of stress and anxiety, is it really beautiful? No. It is not.

I believe one of the greatest tricks of the enemy is to waste time. This is why the enemy tries so hard to get us to be religious. If he can sink our minds into habit, he will prevent our hearts from engaging God. I am tired of living that way. I am tired of the empty striving, and I don’t want to waste any more time. I want my life to be TRULY beautiful. TRULY meaningful.

image3So now, my goal isn’t just to do everything right, but to do everything from a place in my heart that reflects the person who God created me to be. My body may not be perfect, but my heart is happy and thankful for the body I was blessed with. I may not be the perfect mother, wife, daughter, friend, or woman, but I no longer have to live in a place of self-hatred over my faults. Instead, I can move forward by God’s grace and God’s love for me and GROW in it. I may not have the neatest house, but that’s ok. I can look at the mess and still take time to love on my family or friends without being anxious about it. And you know the best part? I am falling deeper in love with the Lord. With life. With my children and husband. I am finding joy where I never have before. My heart and mind are experiencing sweet rest and peace as I live in the truth instead of striving for perfection. We were never created to be perfect. We were created to be loved. 
God is good. God is perfect. And out of love He sent His Son (because He knew I couldn’t be perfect), to save me so that I don’t have to strive for perfection on my own. That’s a lot to be thankful for.


About the Author

image1My name is Abigail Smith. I am a wife to Landon Smith and a mother to two precious little boys, Elias (2 years old) and Josiah (6 months old). My days and greatest joys consist of running on coffee, surviving on Jesus, and running after my incredibly hyper and active (did I say hyper?) 2 year old while figuring out how to carry my baby at the same time. I love traveling and experiencing new cultures/meeting new people, walks with my family, reading, and running. I have experienced the transformational power of God’s grace and love and am passionate about seeing other women experience the freedom that walking in His truth brings.

Balancing Act

Finding fulfillment both at home and at work requires planning, grace and some perspective changes | By Bethany Mavis

“I really like my job. Is that bad?”

My husband and I were carpooling home from work a few months after I had gone back to working full-time post-baby #2. I was almost ashamed that I wasn’t feeling guilty about working again.

img_0291I’m not going to lie–our days are long. We both commute almost an hour each way, are working around specific daycare hours, spend more money per month on childcare than our mortgage payment, and then try to soak up every moment we do get with our girls on the weekdays in the couple of hours before they go to bed. We try to eat healthy, exercise regularly and maintain friendships. That all adds up to a messy house, piles of laundry every weekend and frequent illnesses.

It’s also isolating at times—few women I know in North County have a work life that looks like mine. With our couple friends, I can sometimes relate more to the husband’s day-to-day life (working in a corporate environment, office drama) than the wife’s (homeschooling, maintaining the home).

bethany-2Despite all of that, it still feels worth it to me. Working is my act of “creative service,” and I feel called to where I am. I’m good at what I do, I enjoy my coworkers, I rarely dread going to work, and I’m building my career. And over the whopping three years I’ve gotten to attempt the working mom gig, I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way.

  1. Plan everything. I don’t know when it started happening–I think it was somewhere around the third trimester of the second pregnancy, but things just started falling out of my brain. I now have lists everywhere. I have to-do lists at work, to-do lists at home and grocery lists, and I even have a list of all the things I have to bring with me every single morning (maybe a little extreme, but I haven’t forgotten my breast pump once!). I also do all of my grocery shopping for the week on Sunday to get both lunches to bring with me to work as well as all the dinners for the week. And I’m realistic–we can really only cook 1–2 meals per week after work with two young kids. We eat leftovers for a meal or two, and then we do simple frozen/easy-to-prepare meals for one night (Trader Joe’s is a life-saver). It may take a lot of extra work and commitment to spend a few hours every Sunday afternoon, but it frees up so much time during the week to avoid the grocery store, avoid take-out, and avoid stressing over what to have for dinner.
  1. Surround yourself with the right kind of people. At this stage of life, I simply do not have the capacity to keep up with friends every week and constantly meet up for kid-free girl dates. And I can’t have friends who make me feel guilty about not doing that. My closest, best friends are all women with whom I can easily pick up where we left off, guilt-free. They also understand squeezing time in together (“I have an hour to hang out. You’re at Ralph’s grocery shopping with your baby and mom? OK, be there in 5.”).
  1. Make the most of your “free” time. Looking at my daily schedule, you wouldn’t think I have any “free” time, but during my daily commute, my car has turned into a quiet sanctuary from my chaotic life. In the morning, it’s a time to pray, listen to sermons and music, and organize my thoughts. In the afternoon, it’s a time to catch up on the phone with family or friends. Finding the pockets of cal–and making good use of them for quieting my heart and min–has helped me keep from feeling overwhelmed.
  1. Be OK with saying no. We have such a “yes”-driven culture that you’re essentially guilted into going to every kid birthday party, bridal shower, and girls’ night. Our family has had to draw the line at one thing per day on the weekend–there’s no dragging two kids around town for six hours, skipping naps and screwing up feeding schedules. We’ve done it, and we’re so distracted by fussy kids by the second or third event of the day, we may as well not have even gone.
  1. Say yes to God. While our lives feel very full, last summer, we felt like we were going to be called to serve the church in a way other than financially. About a week later, we were asked to be the host home for an Immersion intern. It was something we hadn’t ever considered, given our busyness, but we were open to the idea, prayed about it, and decided to say yes. And it’s been such an awesome decision–we’ve been blessed immensely by having her in our home. She cooks dinner for us once a week and helps with babysitting and cleaning around the house. At this point, we can’t imagine how we would have survived this first year of having two kids and two jobs without her.

  2. Become a better giver. Having two incomes gives both of us the opportunity to give financially. For my husband, “giving” ranks high in his spiritual gifts, and I’ve learned a lot from him when it comes to giving (tithing on gross rather than net income, tithing after every paycheck, and giving generously on top of our tithes). Having two incomes (and being responsible for giving from my own), though, has forced me to become better at the discipline of giving.
  1. Let some things go. For the first time in seven years, I was unable to hand-make Christmas neighbor gifts last Christmas. And I was really OK with it. Three years ago, I would have been upset to not have been able to make them myself, but during this season of life, I’m learning to have grace for myself. And that goes for everything that gives the illusion of me being supermom (perfect family photos, homemade birthday party decorations, cupcakes made from scratch).

29326488-b2a7-4afb-a984-1f31bc924915A supportive, encouraging husband has (obviously) been key to my success, and while our lives and schedules are very full, we feel fulfilled and content.

 

 

 

 

 



About the Author

img_4614Bethany Mavis is wife to Steve, mom of two girls (Nera, 3, and Emery, almost 1), and the Managing Editor of Triathlete magazine. She grew up in Texas, studied journalism at Point Loma Nazarene University, and met her husband on a mission trip to South Africa. They enjoy traveling, running half-marathons and racing triathlons. She’s been at The Father’s House for eight years (Pastor Dan was Steve’s youth pastor), and she currently serves as an editor of the Daughters Blog and a (kid-friendly!) life group leader.