Stay at Home Dad!

Stay at Home Dad! | By Eric Loper

I never thought I’d be where I am now as a father and husband.  But here I am.  As my wife, Christine and I rolled with the punches of life, we ended up not so textbook.  I guess I would say it began when we moved back to San Diego from Las Vegas.  In Vegas, I IMG_0255worked full time in a casino, while Christine had a part time gig in Human Resources.  But you see, I wasn’t going to start over in the casinos and Christine found a reputable, full time job in HR once we moved back to San Diego.  I tried the whole starting my own business thing, but having not put much heart and thought into it, that got thrown into the “never mind” pile.

While still searching for what it was I was going to do, Christine worked the 9-5, Monday through Friday.  We did not want to send our kids to day care, so I watched them while Christine was at work.  This didn’t seem permanent as I was looking for where and what I was supposed to be.  My foot landed in the door of a restaurant/brewery as a delivery driver with the intention of working my way up to bartending while I went back to school.  While bartending, I was given an amazing opportunity to take over as the brewer.  This was perfect!  A job that I had a heaping truckload of passion for, and was flexible.  IMG_0267I could get to work early, in order to be finished in time to pick up the kids from school.  Meanwhile, Christine was tearing up HR.  Her experience and pay kept increasing.  Eventually we made the decision to homeschool the kids.  With my job being the flexible one, naturally I would take on schooling. While this works, it’s definitely not the easiest way of doing things.

On days the kids are homeschooled, if I have to work, I get up at 2am to start working before the word “early” is even awake.  Christine then drops them off at my work on her IMG_2458way into the office.  This way I am usually done around 10am and we have time to go home and hit the books.  Normally, we hit history and literature by noon.  That’s about when I feel the increasing weight on my eyelids, “OK kids, after history you two can have a recess while dad takes a nap.”  These naps justify the 2am alarm clock.  It’s like 30 minutes of heavy heaven.

Now, while this works, it’s not what we had planned.  I mean I never imaged that I would be working part-time, as well as part-time homeschooling my kids, while Christine worked a full time gig,  Monday through Friday.  I did not expect to be the one texting my wife to see if she was going to be home on time, or making sure the house was clean before Christine got home from work so we could all relax and hang as a family.  We just kind of fell into this.

 

As time went on, this path became more cemented.  There was a bit of panic as the cement hardened.  We felt trapped.  Christine began to struggle with the idea of being a IMG_0165working mom when so many of the people that she looked up to were stay at home moms.  As relatively new Christians, this situation didn’t seem to fit what we thought the Christian family should look like.  As Christine was crafting ideas of how she could make a career for herself at home, her career in HR continued to excel.  She received more and more favor and provision, which was a huge blessing to our family.  At the same time things were going well with my work.  I was also able to be involved with coaching my kids’ sports.  We had time for ministry and the right balance of family time.  Things were actually pretty good.  You’d think we would have seen God’s hand in all this goodness, yet we were searching for a way out.

 

Thankfully, God showed us what we couldn’t see even though it was right in front of our faces.  Christine attended a women’s retreat where Pastor Tracy was teaching on a woman’s identity.  In that, she spoke that the focus isn’t whether a woman works inside IMG_1503or outside her home, but rather where her heart is aimed.  The Holy Spirit showed us this is exactly where we needed to be.  Since then everything seems so settled.  Christine is still amazing at work and just the mom that our kids need.  Sure I don’t get to have the kids yell “Dad!” when I walk in the door from work.  That’s reserved for mom in our house.  But hey, I get to work part time at a job that I love, help my kids learn, coach their sports team, and lead our family.

We’ve learned that marriage is a partnership and “roles” are what you make of it.  I’m pretty darn good at cooking and I love to do it; Christine is great at cleaning.  I’m more of the disciplinarian while Christine is the peacekeeper.  I like to play and be rough with the kids, while Christine is the one they want when they need the tenderness of a mom.  Although some of our roles might seem like they are turned around, it’s very much God’s handiwork at play here in this house.  We love, trust and serve God; He leads, we follow.

 


IMG_0699Eric Loper is 39 years old and has been married to Christine Loper for 14 years and together; they have a 13-year-old son Keith and an 11-year-old daughter Jade. He works at Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing in Carmel Mountain Ranch as the brewer. He also homeschools his kids and helps with their sports by coaching. He loves sports, cooking, and gardening.

I Want You to Submit! by Jamie Humphrey

i-want-you-giwy“I WANT YOU TO SUBMIT!” These words give me a mental picture of Uncle Sam with his beady eyes staring at me and pointing his gnarled finger in my face. The word “submit” or “submission” is a loaded word that brings a sigh or maybe even a shudder to women in the Western world. For some women submission is all they know. Submission is a topic that cannot be simplified into a short blog post. But I want to write out some ideas and ask questions for you to respond to. I would love for you to actually email me your thoughts and answers. I will be able to put together all of our thoughts in a later blog.

I looked up the word “submit” in the dictionary.

Submit: verb, accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

The word “submit” is a verb which signifies an action. No one can make you submit to their will. God gave us a free will to have the opportunity to voluntarily submit. God does not force us to obey or to love Him. If someone forces you to do what they want, it is something other than submission. Submission is always voluntary.

After I learned the definition of submit I then went to the Bible to see what it says concerning submission. Oh boy. Here we go (emphasis added is mine…the translation I used is NLT for the Scripture references below).

Job 22:21 “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.”

Romans 13:1 “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”

Also, 1Peter 2:13 “For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority – whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed…”

Ephesians 5:21-22 “Instructions for Christian Households: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”

1Peter 2:18-19 “You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you – not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment.”

These are a few of the verses that stuck out to me. The Scriptures are telling us to submit to God, the government, husbands and wives to each other, wives to their husbands as their authority, and to our “masters” aka our bosses. Even if the person in authority is unjust we are supposed to submit. That is really unfair. That makes me mad. We should be able to buck the system if it does not line up with what we believe in and what we think is right. I can totally relate to the frustration that these scriptures create. But what is God getting at with His instruction for submission?

Do you want to know the epitome of submission? Look at the life of our Savior, Jesus. He knew He would be tortured to death. For something He did not do. How UNJUST is that?! How unfair and cruel? In Matthew 26:39 (NLT) it says, “He went on a little farther and bowed his face to the ground praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” And it says in Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV) “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

Jesus submitted to a temporary suffering for an eternal purpose. What more can I say on the subject?

I would appreciate if you would email me your thoughts on any of the following questions:

  1. What was a time you chose to submit to your authority even though you thought it was unfair and wrong? What was the outcome?
  2. Where do we draw the line in submission? When is it okay not to submit?
  3. To whom is it hard for you to submit to?

SUBMIT your thoughts on SUBMISSION to jamiebhumphrey@gmail.com by 7/1/17.

I cannot wait to hear from you!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie
Jamie Humphrey has been married to Eli for almost 10 years, and together they have two children, Serenity (8) and Justice (6). Every single day Jamie is trying to grow in her relationship with God and with her husband and kids. It is not easy but it is worth it.

A Father’s Day Guide

A Father’s [Dad. Daddy. Daddio. Pops.] Day Guide | by Stacy and Lacey Brown

Dad. Daddy. Daddio. Pops. What is it about the love of a father that makes us feel so covered and protected? Similar to how our Heavenly Father unconditionally loves and cares for us, His children, our fathers here on Earth are entrusted with nurturing and New Photoguiding us from the time we’re born, all the way through adulthood. As tiny humans, we typically know our dad as the leader and provider for our household. Dad is the one who teaches you how to ride a bike, start saving your money early, and to not take “no” for an answer when pursuing your dreams. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that my own dad is not only my biggest fan, but also one of my best friends. A father’s role is all-encompassing and for this, he truly deserves all of the respect and admiration from his family. Proverbs 20:7 tells us,

The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!”

Yes, and amen! I can certainly attest to the integrity of both my dad and my father-in-law, and feel deeply privileged to have been raised by men of such virtue.

Lace and DadIf you’re like me (Lacey), maybe you’ve struggled with knowing how to honor your dad on Father’s Day. It’s hard when you want to give him something that will let him know how much you appreciate him, while simultaneously being too old for crafts, and having no desire to search for another tie (sigh). Or perhaps you’re like my brilliant mama-in-love, Stacy, who somehow manages to always to give the most amazing, meaningful gifts—usually something that’s way better than what you could have picked out for yourself (#notkidding #sorrynotsorry). As Father’s Day approaches, we thought we’d team up to compile a rather practical “gift guide” for the day in which we let our dads know just how much they mean to us. As we began searching for some of the more “materialistic” gifts, we pondered the way in which we shop for our own dads and/or spouses. How does my husband, dad, grandpa, (you fill in the blank), feel loved and acknowledged?

We couldn’t think of a better way to explore this than by incorporating The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. This book provides insight on each of the different languages in which people share/receive love, which include: Physical Touch, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Receiving Gifts. You see, not only are love languages something to examine in terms of your significant other, but they are equally as important in any relationship. The following are some specific examples of ways to bless your dad on Father’s Day.

 

Receiving Gifts [For Dads from young children]

Does your dad or husband share/receive love via gift-giving? Moms, think about giving your child a budget and let them pick whatever they want as a gift for their dad. Note that this is where self-control comes in (☺). The kids know the budget, and they get to pick the gift. Something homemade is always a good idea too! (Macaroni necklaces from 5-year-olds never get old).

Quality Time (For Dads from adult children)

As many parents do, I know my own father receives love by spending some “QT” together. Why not take him to a Padres game or other sporting event? Stacy recently took her father to Spiritivity, a local “paint and sip” art studio, which turned out to be an outing they both thoroughly enjoyed. Not very artsy? How about a homemade picnic on the beach? Moms, maybe you can help facilitate lunch with your teenage child, but let them go alone for some one-on-one time.

Encouraging Words [For Dads from children of any age]

We can’t think of a more sentimental way to express your love than by writing it out for your dad to cherish forever! Creativity is encouraged, but remember, specificity is best with these types of gifts. Try writing out ten things you admire about your dad, or a classic acrostic poem (great for kids). Go the extra mile and frame it for him to keep in his office.

brown wedding

Acts of Service [For Dads from children of any age]

Who wouldn’t love a getting good book of coupons for chores/errands nobody likes to do? Mow the lawn, get his car’s oil changed, clean the rain gutters, the list could go on. Scratch a few things off your dad’s “honey-do” list. You’d be surprised by how taking care of simple, very practical things can be super helpful— especially for dads who are older. Remember, it’s easy to give this kind of gift, but execution is crucial!

Physical Touch [For Dads from the wifey]

A good foot or shoulder rub for your dad is a nice gesture, but who are we kidding? Moms, it’s all you for this one!

Although many of these ideas seem pretty fundamental, it’s often simple actions that end up having the most significance. We hope this is helpful as you reflect on your relationship with your own dad this Father’s Day!


About the Authors

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Stacy and Lacey Brown are a dynamic mother and daughter-in-law duo, established in 2010, when Lacey married Stacy’s oldest son, Zac. Stacy is wife to her honey of thirty years, Tom Brown, and mama to four children; Zac, Gabe, Jake, and Megan. Lacey and Zac were high school sweeties and married after nearly six years of dating. They reside in Escondido with their fur-child, Charlie Brown.

 

 

 

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.

Following God’s Leading

God works in such mysterious ways. It sounds so cliché, but it is absolutely true. God has put me in a job that I never imagined. Many people ask me how I got involved in local politics as a San Marcos City Council member. It’s simple really: I got involved fighting a couple of decisions the city council at the time had made that I felt would negatively affect my family’s quality of life. I soon decided that I wanted to serve as a city council member because it would be so much easier, in my opinion, than fighting decisions after the fact. If you’d asked me 15 years ago if I’d ever consider serving in politics, I would have quickly answered, “Not a chance!” That’s why I stand by my statement that God works in mysterious ways. Let me start from the beginning to explain how God brought me to this path and has led me every step of the way.

My husband Paul and I moved to San Marcos in February of 2000 when I was pregnant with our second child, Natalie. We had already been blessed with our son, Grant, who was 3 at the time. I was so excited to move into a neighborhood where we could raise our children. There was a park that wasn’t yet built, a nice yard and a big cul-de-sac in a nice, quiet, family neighborhood. When Natalie was about a year old, we received notice that the city was planning to build a 65,000-square-foot facility that would be a temporary shelter for battered and abused children in the middle of the unbuilt park. In the beginning, the location seemed suitable, but after my neighbors and I really researched what this shelter would truly offer—an unlimited amount of occupants due to the designation of temporary shelter care facility, and supervised visitations to anyone that has had their child taken away and must have their visit supervised by a professional—I decided that in the middle of a park and residential neighborhood was not the most suitable location. My neighbors and I tirelessly put together volumes of information that we thought proved the location was flawed based on other facilities of this type and their locations. We met with the city council members and petitioned them not to allow this use in the park, and in the end, the use was not allowed.

In 2003, a proposed concrete batch plant came along to be located at the intersection of the roads Barham, Mission and Nordahl. There was also a spot zoning of a second Walmart off Rancho Santa Fe Road, where families live today and that was zoned residential—the city had wanted to change the zoning to accommodate the Walmart. At the same time, I was gradually becoming what I deem a “community activist.” After these actions by the city council, which would have been zoning changes I disagreed with, I realized that it would be a much more positive experience to help make policies and shape this community rather than fight decisions. I think this is how most people find themselves as city council members—that, and they are also generally encouraged by sitting city council members. I was no exception.

I decided to run for city council in 2006, but my plans changed when my husband Paul was diagnosed with cancer. We needed time to find out what his treatment and prognosis would be. He started therapy in fall of 2006, and in January 2007 there was a vacant seat available for an appointment. After praying about it, Paul and I decided I should apply for the vacant seat. I was selected and became the only woman (at the time) on a five-seat panel in January 2007. I was re-elected twice for additional four-year terms in 2008 and in 2012, and I am up for election this year.

If you were like me back in 2001, you may wonder what a city council member actually does. The most simplistic answer is that we develop policy, not run day-to-day operations. The five-member panel is made up of the mayor, vice mayor and three council members. We all have the same weight to our vote, and the majority rules. We make decisions on land use, rules and regulations, how to use city resources (revenues from taxes) and work to balance all these decisions to best benefit the 93,000 residents that call San Marcos home. I don’t want to say it is an easy job, but if you are thoughtful in reading the information that the staff provides, listen to feedback from residents, do a little of your own homework and not let your personal feelings get in the way, the job can be fairly simple and extremely rewarding. Land use is one of my favorite parts of the job—watching a project that we approve be built and enhancing citizens lives is very rewarding. I am the type of civic leader (I don’t call myself a “politician”) that I want to vote for and interact with. My goal is to always conduct myself in a professional manner by discussing differing opinions with both my colleagues and residents, listening to both sides of an issue, working to make the city well-rounded while providing opportunities for jobs, housing, shopping and dining for visitors and citizens. It’s very important to me to always treat city staff, business owners, visitors and residents alike with dignity and respect.

It is so important to serve any job you have to the best of your ability, with the highest regard for people you come in contact with while always maintaining your integrity. I have sought God’s direction for me and allowed Him to make clear my path while prayerfully seeking Him. He has stretched me in ways I never imagined and provided a path that didn’t make sense early on but now makes perfect sense because I believe it is part of His plan for me. Where He takes me from here only He knows, but I know that His plan is perfect.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Jones

Rebecca Jones has been a San Marcos City Council member since 2007 and currently serves as the vice mayor. She is also vice chair of the North County Transit District and a member of the SANDAG Transportation Committee. Rebecca has lived in San Diego County her entire life, moved to North County in 1987 and to San Marcos in 2000. She has been married to her husband Paul for 22 years and they have two children together: son, Grant (19), and daughter, Natalie (15). Rebecca started attending TFH the second week of meeting at the San Marcos Community Center. In her spare time Rebecca enjoys crafting, scrapbooking and cooking, and is blessed to serve her community.