Am I doing it all wrong?

Written By Laura Haywood

I grew up in a wonderful Christian home with parents who love each other and made Christ a priority in our household.  She was a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom, and she worked very hard at home and at our family drug store.  She kept a very clean and organized house, had dinner on the table every night, filed insurance and waited on customers at the store, and served in our church in various capacities.  So when I got married, I had a very strong desire to be just like my mother and do all of the things that she did in the same exact way.

My parents encouraged my sister and I to be educated and guided us to having careers that matched our temperaments and talents.    When I went to Ouachita, I knew exactly what I wanted to study and God has opened doors since then for me to be able to use what He’s given me.   But in the past three years, I’ve often wondered why my parents encouraged us to have careers.  The catalyst to these thoughts was the birth of my son Jackson.

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You see, I was so excited to be a mother and I love that little boy with all my heart, but I’m one of the millions of women in America who leaves their kids at daycare and goes to work.  When he was born, I didn’t really have the option to stay home.  My career path is not one that allows me to leave and pick back up years later, plus we just simply could not afford to live on one income.  Regardless of our working situation, Brent and I have pledged to raise him to love Jesus and raise him in a Christian home, so I wanted him in a Christian environment where he could learn about Jesus, sing bible songs, and hear bible stories.  God answered our prayers by allowing him a spot at a great school 10 minutes from our work.

Everything that you read about child rearing says that staying home with your kids is the best thing for them, but quite honestly, to Christian working mothers, this is where the guilt trip starts.  We start lamenting the fact that we have to work and our kids are going to be messed up because we’re not with them from 8-5 every day.   I also feel extremely guilty and mad at myself for not cooking an amazing dinner every night, and stay mad at myself for not keeping a spotless house like my mother does.  But the simple truth is that I’m not my mother, and I just can’t do it all.  Christ has called me to a different path and He wants us to give Him the worry.  Many times over the past three years, I’ve reevaluated our circumstances and have asked God if this is what I need to be doing.  Every time, He has answered me with a “no, you need to be at work right now.”   So here are my top three reasons why I work:

  1. I have a good job with great friends and flexibility.  I’m good at it and I use my talents that God has given me.
  2. My child is well-cared for by Christian ladies who teach him about Jesus and the ABC’s.
  3. I am able to provide income to our household budget, which helps pay down debt and save for retirement.  I certainly don’t plan on working until I’m 75, so I must work for it now!  (We’re big Dave Ramsey fans and lead FPU at church).

Being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom has become such a hot-bed of controversy, and my goal is not to bash stay-at-home moms.  All moms work hard no matter if they are at home or at work.  I do think we all have to evaluate what works best in our lives and pray that God will bless our decision.   So to all of you Christian working mothers out there, please know that you’re not alone.   Think of your top three reasons why you work, what you’re working towards, and make your children a priority when you’re with them.  And most importantly, don’t beat yourself up for not being the perfect mom.  In the end, if he only eats chicken nuggets on a blanket in the living room and loves Jesus, then I know I’ve done my job.

June Title Selected: For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

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The votes have been tallied and a winner has been chosen. Our June title for the Summer Reading Club with be “For Such a Time” by Christian author Kate Breslin. The official start to the book club is June 1st but you are welcome to start reading when you get your book. The first discussion questions will be posted on our Book Club Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/CherishedBookClub/ on June 6th. If you have not already asked to join the group you will need to do so to participate. Read through chapter 9 for our first discussion – that’s 25% of the book.

I’m really looking forward to reading and sharing with all of you. While voting was restricted to FBC Women the Summer Reading Club is open to anyone. Please, invite a friend!

{Summer Reading Club} June Nominations

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Are you ready to read? Here are your title choices for June. Women Living Well was the only nomination that I received so I added a few more choices. There are 2 non-fiction and 2 fiction choices (one historical fiction and one suspense fiction). I’ve heard good things about all of them. Below are links so that you may read more about each title. I will open voting tomorrow on our ministry Facebook page.
Women Living Well: http://www.thomasnelson.com/women-living-well.html
Love Skip Jump: http://loveskipjump.com
For Such a Time: http://katebreslin.com/books/for-such-a-time-2/
Raptor 6: http://roniekendig.com/raptor-6/

It just so happens that they are all female authors.

No Place to Hide – Book Review

When I was 17 years old I talked my parents into signing the waiver that would allow me to join the Air Force. I wanted to work in the medical field. The Air Force allowed me the opportunity to train at Wilford Hall Medical Center before issuing orders to my first duty assignment, the Air Force Academy. After a brief time on the ambulatory surgery unit I was reassigned to the Emergency Department. Where I spent my remaining 3 years as an EMT/Emergency Room technician. A few months prior to the end of my enlistment I volunteer for a deployment to Saudi Arabia. An entire hospital team, 60 people, traveled to the “sandbox” in support of Operation Southern Watch. We arrived in time to transition the field hospital (tents) into a more hardened facility. This new facility consisted of double wide trailers linked together with x-ray and operating room connexes attached by canvas walkways. Our days held a comfortable routine and most of our patients suffered only sports related injuries. Operation Desert Fox kicked off shortly after our arrival and brought with it a few days of helmets and chem gear but the fear was short lived. I am grateful to have deployed at a relative time of peace.

I chose to read this book because the publisher’s synopsis mentioned military medics and C-130‘s. Reading Dr. Warren’s book brought back fond memories of the amazing men and women that I served with. I received a copy of this book from booklookbloggers.com in exchange for my honest review.Image

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Amanda’s Review:

No Place to Hide is really a book about two wars – one a military conflict and the other a combat surgeons battle for control. The first war magnifies the physical sacrifice and emotional wounds that service men and women are willing to endure for our freedoms. No Place to Hide details the cost of war while honoring human compassion. This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster through intimate accounts of lives saved and lives lost. The second war takes place within Dr. Warren as his sense of control over his life and marriage slips away. He battles feelings of insecurity, a failing marriage, and the horrors of war that threaten to shake his faith. From cover to cover Dr. W. Lee Warren’s book honors our troops and glorifies God.

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A word of caution:

 

At first I wanted my husband to read the book because he had “been there, done that” but then two thoughts came to mind. First, graphic descriptions of injuries and medical procedures would probably make him squeamish. There is a reason he is a pilot and not a doctor. Secondly, Jay would admit to having been irritable after his deployments, but after four tours to the military base portrayed in the book he came home relatively unscathed. Most of his stories are about things that he and his crew did to break the monotony of their deployment. I would hate to remind him of the darker side of war. As a military spouse I enjoyed the insight into his world, but I would caution that it may not be for everyone.Image

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When We Become Mothers

Isa 40-11

My parents adopted me when I was six weeks old, then spent the following years teaching me how special it was to be chosen. That’s probably why I responded to the gospel at the age of 7 and gave my life to Christ. I truly understood what it meant to be sought out by someone fully committed to rescuing me from a life of despair and offering me a future and a hope, especially when I had done nothing to deserve those blessings and was certainly not in a position to offer anything in return.

When we become mothers–by birth or by marriage or by choice–we begin the sacred task of teaching our children how to be like Jesus, whether we realize it or not. We change identities like He did, willingly trading our freedom and comfort for the chance to know a child. We sacrifice our bodies, forever carrying scars on our skin and in our hearts as we labor to raise and love them. We cry out to God in prayer when we are overwhelmed by the burden of what we’ve been called to do. We teach and train them so they will be prepared for what life throws at them, but they don’t listen. And then our time is up and they are on their own.

Jesus is always our perfect example, even in parenting. Jesus didn’t fix everything or take care of everyone. He didn’t neglect a personal relationship with God the Father. He didn’t ignore Scripture. Jesus showed us how to be good mothers: by sacrificially loving our children, teaching them about God’s plan, and sending them out into the world to disciple others in the same way. So, “let us not be weary in well doing,” for He will “gently lead those who are with young.” (Galatians 6:9 and Isaiah 40:11) Happy Mother’s Day!

Book Review: The Advocate by Randy Singer

Do you remember how you felt after the first time that you saw Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”? I do. When the movie started I couldn’t believe that I was going to have to read the entire film using subtitles, but as it played on the familiarity of the story almost made the subtitles unnecessary. My focus was wholly rooted to the screen as I wept at the betrayal and brutality that Christ willingly endured on my behalf. A year prior to the movie’s release I had committed my life to Him, laid my sins at His feet and basked in the peace that only comes through the His grace and forgiveness. Yet in my theater seat the weight of my wayward youth sat squarely on my heart once more. Jay and I left the theater in complete silence – humbled, yet hopeful. I’ve not felt an impact like that again until I read The Advocate by Randy Singer.

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“With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,” Luke 1:3

Randy Singer spins a fictional masterpiece around the life of twice mentioned biblical character, Theophilus. Written primarily in the first person the book reads similar to a memoir, beginning in Theophilus’ 14th year, in the city of Rome. The story follows Theophilus to Greece, where he studies in the Molon School of Rhetoric, which prepares him for a career as an advocate (lawyer). Fully trained in rhetoric and a master of laws he lands his first job as an assessore (legal advisor) to Pontious Pilate. This lends both Theophilus and the reader a behind the scenes glance into the trial and crucifixion of Jesus the Nazarene. His role in the trial permanently mars him as evidenced by his statement, “I was born to be an advocate of the truth, to fight for justice, to speak for the powerless. But in my greatest test I had failed miserably. I had lost my nerve and at a critical moment abandoned my principles.” Theophilus returns to Rome shortly after the trial of Jesus. As time passes he wrestling new cases, risky cases that are undesirable to other advocates, all in efforts to redeem himself. After entering retirement, years later, he is approached about representing the Apostle Paul a follower of a new religious sect called The Way. Though reluctant to do so, he accepts…altering history and his life.

Amanda’s Review:

For me, the most delightful parts of the story where the trials of Christ and of the Apostle Paul. Randy Singer made it real in my mind’s eye. He emoted the passions involved in both cases. Placing the reader right in front of the defendants – hearing, feeling, seeing all that was transpiring.
The majority of the characters are ripped from the annals of time. We know them or are familiar with their qualities and accomplishments. This sense of familiarity propels the story and creates a incredibly enjoyable read. Singer brings the biblical cast to life in a positive almost familial way. Roman leaders like Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero are aptly portrayed as selfish, power seeking, ruthless and paranoid. Though little is known of Theophilis besides two mentions of him in the bible (Luke & Acts), Singer’s has cleverly created his fictional life story and deftly placed it into historical events.
If you have ever finished a book and been disheartened by the remaining loose ends, you will not have that problem here. There were times when I read something that seemed of little consequence only to have the reason for it’s original mention come to light later in the book. There is a long pause between the trial of Christ and the trial of Paul where the author steers away from the mention of Christ or The Way. During this hiatus he develops the romantic storyline for Theophilis. In addition, he paints a splendid picture of Roman architecture, culture, values, and their religious and legal systems.
This book was more than a legal thriller for the reader’s amusement, it challenges us to reexamine our faith. To ask yourself, “How far would I be willing to go and what would I risk for Christ?” Like Theophilis, I have made mistakes in my life and likewise made attempts to right those wrongs on my own. His story reminds us that it’s only through Christ that we are fully redeemed and granted life everlasting. I finished the book feeling humbled, yet hopeful. It will become a permanent addition to by bookshelf and one that I will recommend to many. I give this book 5 stars.

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I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network http://tyndaleblognetwork.com/ book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

About the Author:

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Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and veteran trial attorney. His first novel, Directed Verdict, won the Christy award for the best Christian suspense novel. Recently, Randy was a finalist with John Grisham and Michael Connelly for the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and civil litigation at Regent Law School and, through his church, is involved with ministry opportunities in India. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his website at http://www.randysinger.net.

Beth Moore Conference

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Beth Moore Conference

The Cherished Women of First are headed to Memphis August 22-23 for the Beth Moore Conference. Enjoy some “girl time” amazing worship and a life changing message from the Word of God with other FBC women. Registration for the event is located in the Commons Cup. The deadline for registration is June 22nd.

We have provided two pricing options:

2 per room/ $130
4 per room/ $100
1/2 is due at registration – Make checks payable to First Baptist Church.

Price covers the conference, hotel, and transportation.
We will depart from FBC at 12pm on August 22nd and return on the evening of August 23rd.
Additional questions may be directed to Leslie Morley at lmorley@comcast.net or 501-231-9458.