All The Wonderful Love a Mom Can Carry

All the Wonderful Love a Mom Can Carry

Another inspiring guest post by Christy Fitzwater

We were enjoying lunch, until my son cried out, “I need water! I just got a mouth full of something salty!” I paused to explain to my soon-to-be-married daughter that she should always make sure the bouillon cube has dissolved completely into the chili.

After we stopped laughing, my husband said, “You owe him.”

“Owe him what?” I said.

“A slushy!” he said. “And me? And me a slushy, too?”

“And me?” my daughter said.

I conceded and said I would run to the gas station to buy slushies for all. (Really, this makes for a very popular mother. Bouillon cube forgotten.)

“Can you carry all those?” my husband asked.

“Yes, I’m a mom” I answered.

He wondered what being a mom had to do with it.

“You know –when you’re a young mom you learn how to carry in one hand a heavy car seat filled with a baby, with purse and diaper bag in the other hand –and then your husband asks if you can carry his Bible, too.”

“Hey!” He said.

“Then you have a second child, and you carry in one hand a heavy car seat filled with a baby, and in the other hand you carry a heavier diaper bag that includes sippy cup, snacks, and toys for the toddler. Add to that the toddler running up to say, ‘Mom, can you hold my Sunday School craft?’ You absentmindedly take the craft from the child, tucking it under an elbow.

“Honey,” I continued, “That’s when a mom learns how to close things with her back side or with one foot kicked out awkwardly from behind the car seat. She learns how to open doors with an elbow and carry just one more thing under the chin or in her teeth.”

“Wow” he said. More in awe at my impromptu speech than with the information.

So off I went to the gas station, where I purchased and carried three large (cold!) slushies in hand, using my back side to open the gas station door and one pinky finger to open the car door.

But all of this made me think –moms carry things.

We carry the night watch with infants and the fierce hatred of 2-year-olds who have been denied another bag of fruit snacks before dinner.

We carry smelly soccer equipment and socks that have dried and hardened wrong side out.

We carry plates of hot chocolate chip cookies to a distraught middle school girl and carry the worry that our teenage boy’s future wife will hate us if we don’t somehow convince him to put the towel on the hook.

We carry a lot, and the question it raises is, “With what attitude do we carry the responsibilities of motherhood?”

There have been times I’ve grabbed my responsibilities with scathing resentment, muttering wicked things about my family under my breath. “Why can’t they just…”

But over the years, God has worked in my heart to help me say, with sincerity, “How may I help you with that?” or “I would love to carry that for you.”

Maybe getting closer to the empty nest years has helped, as I foresee the days when those kids aren’t in my house, and they’re carrying their own burden of family. It makes me want to say to them now, “Please let me do that for you.”

It’s a privilege –a joy that will too soon be gone, to help bear the daily needs of a family.

Christy FItzwater Small BioChristy Fitzwater is a pastor’s wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the mother of a son in high school and a daughter in college. She enjoys when the days get shorter and the weather nasty so she doesn’t feel guilty about not going outside. Days where she can just read books and write words all day. She can even tell you the plots of 15 missionary biographies without batting an eye. You can read her personal blog at ChristyFitzwater. Also find her at Pinterest and Twitter.

*Check out our NEW eBooks, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love to Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

If you’d like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, 31 Days to a Better Marriage).

25 Tips I Want to Share With Younger Wives

25 Tips I Want to Share With Younger Wives

She asked if we could meet for coffee. Clearly, something was on her mind.

She’s a wonderful young lady and full of the hopes and dreams that come with youth. She wants a beautiful marriage. Yet she’d also been around long enough to know that a strong, loving marriage isn’t a guarantee.

So we sat down in a quiet cafe and she asked me outright. What does it take to build a lovely marriage? What advice could I give? What would keep the two of them loving each other in the years to come?

And I thought about the things I wish I would have known from the beginning – those things that really matter at the end of the day. Some are big and some are small, but they all add up over the years to a strong, loving marriage.

Here’s what I want to share with her and any others  looking for that kind of love . . . .

25 Tips I Want to Share with Younger Wives

1.    Hold hands whenever you can. We do and always have. We’ll clasp hands when sitting next to each other on the couch, while we’re driving along in the car, and when we’re out walking. A simple connecting that goes a long way.

2.    Pray for him every day. Faithfully. What better gift than to offer up a prayer for him? Ask God to bless him, protect him, and work in his life.

3.    Look for the many ways to love on him. Small gifts and thoughtful gestures. Those little things that say, I love you and I’m thinking of you.

4.    Make friends with people who’ll encourage your marriage. Surround yourself with those who will support and pray for you both as you grow together.

5.    And avoid those who pull against you. If they were “friends”, I’d ditch them altogether. (Real friends are going to cheer you both on). It’s harder with extended family members, but I’d dodge those as much as possible too.

6.    Go to the Word of God for the best marriage counseling. You can get good advice from others, but there’s no replacing the loving, powerful Truth to be found in Scripture.

7.    Cultivate your friendship. Marriage isn’t merely a business deal.

8.    Never give up on each other. People go through difficult seasons and we get to persevere through them. Don’t let go.

9.    Confess your sins to one another. Doesn’t help to smooth it over; instead repent and ask forgiveness. (Jas. 5:16)

10.   And then forgive freely. (Col. 3:13)

11.    Be patient with him. Love is long-suffering, remember? (I Cor. 13:4)

12.   Show him respect. It’s in the Bible. And it’s what he needs (Col. 3:18).

13.   Leave off with the complaining. It only drags the both of you down (Phil. 2:14).

14.   Focus on those things which are true, pure, and lovely. (Phil. 4:8)

15.   Speak kindly to him. Gracious words are sweet to the soul (Prov. 16:24).

16.   Let the little irritations go. Is it really worth bothering about? Probably not.

17.   Keep the home fires burning. Intimacy is still important. Yes, even long after the honeymoon.

18.   Stand by your man. You’ll probably find loyalty toward the top of his list.

19.   Make loving him your priority. Over your job, your friends, your extended family. Even over your children.

20.   Give him – and yourself – room to grow. I know that we’re not done growing yet and I’m guessing you two aren’t either.

21.   Express appreciation for the man that he is. Be an encouraging voice in that otherwise thankless world he lives in.

22.   Protect your marriage. Value your relationship for the treasure that it really is.

23.   Never leave off with kissing. No matter how old you grow. My husband’s 80-year-old parents still kiss each other goodbye – on the lips!

24.   Decide you’re going to stick together. With God’s help, you’re going to stay together throughout the years. (Mark 10:9)

25.   Put on love. Above all things. (Col. 3:14)

May you be blessed with a truly beautiful marriage!

In His grace,
Signature small

100 Ways to Love eBooks TinyCheck out our NEW eBooks, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love to Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

* If you want these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids

You might not believe this, but I’m an introvert at heart.

For instance, my idea of a wonderful Friday night is curling up in my favorite place on the couch and getting lost in a good book. Or maybe popping up a humongous bowl of popcorn and watching Wives and Daughters  for the forty-eleventh time with the family.

Basically? Quiet and mellow.

But our God gives good gifts. And sometimes a few surprising ones. So He gave us a daughter who is the Ultimate Party Planner and I’m telling you, this girl does parties.

So last week-end she threw a Murder Mystery Swing Dance  and invited a number of the young people to our home. Her dad and I were also included on the guest list and we happily accepted.

Here we are! “Winston the Butler” and “Darla the Maid”.  (And, yes, the Butler was observed flirting with the maid while on duty ;)

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids 9

So here’s how a Murder Mystery works. It’s basically like a giant game of Clue (you remember Clue, don’t you?). Each guest was assigned a “bio” and arrived at the scene “in character”.  Here’s a sample of a bio, if you’re curious: Murder Mystery Bio. Our Party Girl created one of these for each guest.

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids 2

A few of the suspicious characters….Oops! I mean guests.

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids 3

After about an hour of dancing and mingling, the lights suddenly went out and yikes! one of the guests was found mysteriously dead on the floor.

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids 4

From there everyone was left to put together the clues from earlier in the evening to see if they could figure out who the “murderer” might be. I know, sounds a bit gruesome, but as the “victim” tended to chuckle when being searched for evidence, it was far more light-hearted than you’d think.

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids 5

The scene of the crime.

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids 8

Here is “Isobel Kensington”, hostess of the evening (and our Party Girl )

At last, the criminal was identified, arrested by security, and taken out – despite his protestations of innocence.

Moral of the story: A life of crime never pays (but it might win you an Academy award?).

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids 6

And so everyone returned to their dancing and back to the refreshment table – served cheerfully by Darla the Maid, I might add.

3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids 7

So much for quiet and mellow.

Nope. This was definitely a party - loud and exciting! And I’m truly thankful God gave us a daughter who brings such good fun and good friends into our lives.

Here are 3 Great Reasons to Party With Your Kids

Makes for Fantastic Memories. Let’s face it, while curling up on the couch is comfortable, it doesn’t necessarily make for lifetime memories. So there’s much to be said for reaching out of our comfort zone and doing something out of the ordinary.

Connects You with Your Kids’ Friends. What a terrific opportunity to get to know their friends and for them to have the chance to see “another side” of you too.  I was no longer “just the mom”, but a real person who could have a good time – with them.

Keeps You Young. I smiled so much that my face hurt by the end of  our evening together. And, hey! if you’re going to have lines, they might as well be smile lines, don’t you think? What a blessing to enjoy the music, the laughter, and the sight of all those fine young people. It did my heart good.

And, as my daughter reminded us . . .  A Little Party Never Killed Nobody. :)

In His grace,
Signature small

100 Ways to Love eBooks TinyCheck out our NEW eBooks, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love to Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

* If you want these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

My Husband is My Real Hero (and I hope he knows it)

My Husband is My Real Hero

The Lone Ranger lives on.

No, really he does.

I know this because most every weekday our little boys run next door and watch him save the Western Frontier over at Grandpa’s house. It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and the whole house shakes as they come pounding down the stairs and go flying out the front door.

Slam! Slam! Slam!

Three boys. Three slams. Without fail.

And even though this event takes place nearly each day, it’s still a special occasion. The Lone Ranger. Grandpa. And Fruit Snacks. Our boys’ world filled with goodness and heroes. Just the way it should be.

But boys aren’t the only ones with heroes.

Girls can have them too.

It’s a fact. Because this girl is married to one.

Oh, I’m not saying that he can leap buildings in a single bound or save the big city from an alien invasion.

He’s more of an everyday hero. An ordinary, hard-working, honest sort of guy. Taking care of his wife and looking after his children. Standing up for what’s right and watching out for those who are in need. Following God.

If you ask me, those are the best kind of heroes.

And probably the kind  of guy you married too. Simply doing what must be done. No one would ever guess that he’s actually a superhero in disguise.

Even he might not guess it – but it’s evident to you. So it might be about time to reveal his secret identity. He’s your hero.

You might as well let him know….

You need him.
Like I need mine. Not too long ago I was looking for a rescue. It’s not that I couldn’t handle the situation on my own; it’s that I didn’t want to. Some bad guy went on the internet and started flinging insults. Against me. Personally.

So I brought my laptop over to my husband and showed him what he’d written. In his opinion, the whole thing was rather ridiculous (not me, the guy’s accusations), but he went out there and defended my honor. I loved what he said and how he said it. But mostly I loved the way he protected me from this big Internet bully.

My hero. Girly sigh.

You lean on him.
And why not? It might sound out-of-step with today’s independent woman, but – as capable as we are – I’m thankful to have a man I can rely on. He’s the first one I’ll call if there’s an emergency or disaster. He’s slain mice in the pantry. Mopped up overflowing toilets. Calmed down an out-of-control neighbor. And he’s held me in his arms while I sobbed my heart out over a deep and devastating loss.

A true hero. Quietly loving me.

And you’d be lost without him.
Maybe this feels a bit over the top? It’s not. My oldest daughter would likely have died if it wasn’t for him. When she suddenly stopped breathing miles and miles away from any medical help, his quick thinking and fast action kept her going until LifeFlight could arrive. I could see it in the headlines:

DAD KEEPS DAUGHTER BREATHING. While Mom Watches and Weeps.

He never made it into the papers that day. But he should have.

A great hero. On the front page of my heart.

So in this day when the world is desperate for goodness and heroes, make sure your husband knows he’s just the kind of guy for the job. Doing what he’s doing. Honest. Hard-working. Looking after his wife and family. Standing up and watching out. Following God.

An everyday hero.

The kind you and I need. And certainly the kind this world could use right now.

He’s a real hero.

In His grace,
Signature small

100 Ways to Love eBooks TinyCheck out our NEW eBooks, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love to Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

* If you want these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, THe 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).