A Day in the Life for THIS “Stay At Home” Mom

When I was pregnant with our son 8 years ago, I remember a new friend asking me “How will you do it?” I muttered “Huh?” “They said “You know…..taking care of him and any other children you have.” I didn’t know what to say so (as per usual) tried to joke my way out of it.

For Brian and me , we were older when we married..I was 27 and God rewarded me with the man of my dreams. Brian was almost 31 and ready for marriage! We thought we would do the standard American gig…be married about 2-5 years and then we have kids. Isn’t that how it works? YOU make the plan, right? Wrong.

God had 4 years of painful infertility planned for us…to learn suffering, pain, and loss in a way I have never experienced before. God gave us our miracle boy, Benjamin after much prayer! After having Ben, I got pregnant 3 more times and lost all these precious babies. One was a tubal pregnancy that ruptured and almost cost me my life from internal bleeding. Thank God for our Dr. Ben Zivney! We had always prayed for a sweet little girl and God granted us that JOY through the beauty of adoption. Our diamond, AnnaJoy arrived!

Because I had worked in television and radio news, and (most wonderfully!) been on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for nearly 5 years after college graduation, I had enjoyed an exceedingly FULL career that changed my life. I loved it and it was a joyful investment in eternity!

Brian and I had committed that when (which sadly started becoming an “if!) we had children, I wanted to be home with them as much as possible. After spiritual mothering for years, I realized how short these years are and how FAST they go.

In my mind, I thought…”OK, we have a good 8-10 years of training and then it’s GO TIME. After that, my son and daughter’s ¬†friends will be a primary influence, as well the culture. So, the decision was made…I would make the most of all given…time with them , domestic labor ( Yipe! Ha!), training and discipline, and most importantly, preparing them to know GOD and obey Him. (PLUS…lots of jokes, laughter, silliness and chocolate as any appropriate childhood would have! ūüôā Needless to say, my husband is my candidate for “Hands-On Father of the Year—every year!”

For many wonderful women, being at home all day with your children is NOT an option…you have been abandoned, widowed, or need extra finances to put food on the table. Your children will always remember the sacrifice you made for their well-being..that you put their needs above your own!

Being at home all day with your children is hard…and challenging ….and rewarding. I have never needed Jesus like I do now. When you are in your home and struggling with patience and that same DISNEY princess machine playing over and over, you beg God for silence. When you step (for the 15th time) on those LEGOS because no one picks up, you cry out for help from God. This is the REAL DEAL. THIS IS THE TEST. NO ONE IS LOOKING. Now, how will I respond?

I have one recourse….TOTAL DEPENDENCE and a RESPONSE OF HUMILITY. This is a GREAT GOD we are dealing with. HE has GIVEN you the most blessed gift of children for you to show them God . This is the next generation that we are training up…with a society that needs HIM SO MUCH. Don’t you love it that your children see YOU are not Jesus?:) They get to see you ask for forgiveness, struggle with anger, sigh because your are sick of laundry, and be brain dead in the morning! ūüôā

tristie fisher

The Best Exchange

HEAR THAT? Kind of a BLING, BLING, BLING sound? ¬†That’s the sound of the holidays coming! Or maybe (better yet)¬†the sound of coupon clipping,¬†dollars being saved, and the echo of REAL wealth built on relationships. My prayer for our family is -I’ll bet ¬†(pun intended)- the same as yours. We will focus on knowing each other better and less on spending more. What is it about relationships that color this season?

Perhaps because there are only 2 things that that stand the test of time….the Word of God and the souls of people. Both live forever. To a large degree, the state of our relationships can reflect the state of our relationship with GOD. Am I living in love toward others or anger? Am I living in a state of generosity or selfishness? (Note to self: Check calendar for answer.)

We were made for so much more. We were made to love because we were made by the Inventor of Love. We were made to Give because we know the Giver of Life. But…we have to bend low to look in the manger FIRST. I cannot offer to others if I do not possess. God gave us to each other to help point us to the ¬†One True Gift…Jesus.

If I know Christ, I am “Redeemed”. (Literally, “bought back”). This means that when God looks at my spiritual mortgage , He sees “paid in full” across my debt. It just so happens the ink is RED… blood red, as a matter of fact. AMAZING. Because my debt is paid, I am free to spend myself loving and giving to others! Does this change my holiday wish-list? Definitely.

God loved me so much that He didn’t leave me alone…HE ¬†CAME LOOKING FOR ME FIRST. He came in the form of Jesus Christ who loved well, lived perfectly, and died completely. All I have to do is BELIEVE .

He promises to never leave me. He promises me Heaven. He gives me Himself. In my spiritual economy, this is my Identity.

When I sit down to prepare my holiday shopping lists, I will look for sales and deals and coupons. God will remind me that His presence didn’t just START a holiday tradition, it started my freedom. He and I operate in the divine “return” aisle…I exchange my broken stuff for His Brand New Stuff. (See Heb. 13:5, Jn. 3:16, Rom. 8, and Eze. 36:26). Is this your “faith tradition” as well? Are your holiday celebrations a reflection that you know you are loved and forgiven?

God says you are redeemable and your relationships are, as well. All came be made new! May we live in the factРnot just feelingРthat we have been bought by the blood of Christ and that His love can overflow into the lives of others.

Ahh…the refreshment of Truth…now, where’s my pumpkin spice latte? ūüôā

My friend Gina and Divine Chocolate

Everyone is asking me “Who is helping you with your Blog Spot? It’s so cool!” You know what?¬† The story is even cooler!

Nearly 20 years ago, I met a gal named Gina.  We worked together at a restaurant and became friends.  We drank lots of coffee and ate lots of chocolate!

(Quick opinion on waiting tables and hostessing… every person should do it.¬† It teaches HOW to serve physically,¬†HOW to have a good attitude and¬†PREPARES you for parenting! The “thank you” comes later!..but alas!¬† No financial tip!¬† I will take the HUGE emotional pay-off from my kids instead !)

I digress…which happens OFTEN.¬† Gina was always special¬†to me because she smiled often, had a cheerful spirit, and a kind heart…but also¬†we laughed A LOT!

As we became friends,¬†we talked about things we believed in.¬† Somewhere, “between shifts” in the world¬†of the restaurant business,¬†I thought,¬†“I wonder if my fun¬†YOUNGER¬†(only by 4 years but back then… it was a big deal!) friend knows about my very recent spiritual¬†decision to believe in Jesus Christ alone to get me to Heaven.”

If she’s my friend, I want her to know!

I had ALWAYS thought Christians were boring and basically missing out on a good time.¬† Randomly, (?)¬†I started¬†reading the Bible¬†and met¬†some fun¬†chocolate-lovin’ Christians! I realized that I had to come to a decision…..either Jesus is who He says He is or He was lying.¬† Then¬†and there,¬†I trusted that He is who says “He is the ¬†Savior of all the World”…including me 2,009 years later!

After work one night, ¬†(Gina with her “younger than 40 mind” probably remembers this better than me) I shared this with her¬†and read the a Bible Verse from¬†the most¬†famous verse in His Story.. John 3:16…”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son,¬†that whoever should believe in Him should not die but have eternal life.” (There was no NBA game, no poster and¬†no multi-colored wig, by the way!)

It was dark, rainy, and simple. I read it, she believed it, and we prayed.

The greatest thing that could happen to her did and the VERY purpose God created her for become reality. She passed from death to LIFE.

Over the next years, we hung out a lot and our friendship grew into a “mentorship” or “discipleship” relationship.¬† Basically, this means¬†whatever I was learning spiritually, I passed it on to her. (Kinda like sharing REALLY GOOD CHOCOLATE!)¬†As she grew in her faith,¬†she passed it to others.¬† NOW, 2 decades later,¬†we share this “Divine Chocolate” with everyone we meet!¬† This Spiritual Chocolate sweetens people’s lives,¬†their character , their marriages and their behavior.

Most importantly, it gives them the  Divine Destiny.  People were destined for all time to be LOVED COMPLETELY and UNCONDITIONALLY , but do they know it?

Now, my friend Gina and I get to live our story every day as we love others, share our story and offer them the Word of God, the Bible.

You know what? Life might just be a box of chocolates.