Brittany Rust

He is Risen, A Special Easter Message

By Brittany Rust

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The two women didn't expect to find the stone pulled away, two angels before them, and certainly not the resurrected Jesus on this very early morning. No—they expected to find the body of a man they loved very deeply lying in a tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James, were amazed at what they saw when they arrived on the scene. The tomb stone had been rolled away by one heavenly angel while another was in the tomb.

The two women hurried into the tomb looking for Jesus, but all they found were the outer garments he had been buried in. This, a symbol that Jesus had left his earthly boundaries behind and was now risen [as he proclaimed he would]. The angel proceeded to speak some of the most powerful words ever uttered,

“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.”

Jesus, the man they knew as the Son of God now gone from his grave. A declaration not only to them and the Roman guards that stood by speechless, but to all that he was indeed God, resurrected from death. This...this was the very moment that changed everything for humanity.

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This weekend we celebrate what has become Easter, but more than any Easter basket or Sunday lunch with the family, we highlight this event. Easter weekend is all about him and what he did. Jesus didn't have to wrap himself in flesh and come to Earth, but he did. He didn't have to live in obscurity for 30 years, but he did. He didn't have to carry each of our sins and take our punishment of death at calvary, but he did.

Jesus did--for you and for me! He temporarily gave up the beauty of heaven to carry the sins of men from Earth, into death, and free us all victoriously back into Heaven. Now we get this incredible gift of grace, salvation, and eternal security with the Father if we put our faith in him. There is no greater gift or love you could ever receive than this.

When you wake up Sunday morning, you don't have to worry about the fate of Christ and carry any mourning. You get to wake up with eager anticipation that Jesus is alive and reigns victoriously, on Earth, in Heaven, and in your life. That is the hope you have and I pray you'll carry it like a flag you wave proudly in the streets of victory.

I encourage you to take time this Holy week to reflect on his final days. To pour through Scripture with your husband and kids about his life, death, and resurrection. To pray and give thanks for salvation. Easter eggs and family dinners are fun but they aren’t what this holiday is about—it’s all about Jesus!


7 Ways to Show Your Husband Love

By Brittany Rust

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When you’re married and have kiddos, Valentine’s Day is often a bit harder to make happen. Ryan and I use to make these grand plans on V-Day, get all dressed up, and go out on the town. The two years we’ve had a kid we haven’t gone out once. True story. Both years at least one of us has been sick on the day we were going to celebrate and couldn’t get a sitter to reschedule. So, we’ve had to get creative!

Here are some fun ways to love on each other at home and special ways to show your man some attention.

How to love your husband this week (and every week).

1. Make a special V-Day breakfast.

Start the day off with a little love in the house! And this is something your kids can join in to feel special as well. Maybe make some heart shaped pancakes or your husband’s favorite breakfast. You can also leave a note and gift at each place setting that is unique to each person in your family. Your family will no doubt start the day off feeling loved.

2. Meet your husband for a romantic lunch.

If your kids are in school or with a sitter, make plans to celebrate a romantic Valentine’s Day over lunch. It worked for Pam and Jim, although you might want to hold back on that much booze! This can be a nice opportunity to have some one-on-one time without fighting the crowds, sitter schedules, and sky-high dinner prices.

3. Flirt throughout the day.

This is a must! Guys like to flirt and love it when a wife gets a bit flirty—it makes them feel like a man. Put a special note in your husband’s lunch. Send some sexy texts (pics included)! Call him and just say you’re thinking about him. This will get your husband incredibly excited to get home to you!

4. Plan a special dinner.

Somewhat like breakfast, this can be a special meal for the whole family. A favorite meal or special entree not usually on the menu. Both years we haven’t been able to go out we’ve stayed in and made fondue. It’s easy, yummy, Roman gets a kick out of it, and there is an element of romance in it. And don’t forget dessert!

5. Tell him how much you respect and appreciate his hard work.

The words men often most cherish are respectful and express gratitude for hard work. Guys can put so much of their worth in work and feel the burden to take care of the family financially. Look your husband in the eye, tell him how much you respect him, and appreciate all the hard work he invests to take care of the family.

6. Put on something special and see where the night goes.

Am I going to talk about sex? Yes! And why? Because sexual intimacy is incredibly valuable in a marriage and we don’t talk about it enough in the Christian world. Sex is part of a healthy marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul wrote that a husband and wife should fulfill their partners sexual needs and not abstain unless for a short and agreed upon time to pray.

If the fire has been dwindling, now is a perfect time to reignite the passion. Put the kids to bed, put on something you feel sexy and confident in, and enjoy each other.

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.
— Proverbs 5:18-19

Honestly—just read Song of Solomon (which is packed full of love between a man and woman) and you’ll see the importance (and excitement) of sexual intimacy with your husband.

7. Share in emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual intimacy.

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There’s more than just physical intimacy—and we all prefer certain intimacies over others. Connect with intertwined bodies but also connect by sharing your deeply felt emotions, over intellectual conversation, and in prayer together. There are many ways to find each other’s souls and connect—find what your husband prefers and seek to connect with him there.

It goes without saying but hard to do—show special attention to your husband on all the normal, average days as well. You’re tired and depleted—yes. But if you don’t invest into your marriage now when the littles are running around, there may not be much of a marriage to enjoy when they’re grown and gone. Your husband and marriage must be a priority if you’re going to grow old together in a world that seems to do nothing but tear you apart.

The same goes for your wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs.
— 1 Peter 3:1

What is the True Meaning of Christmas

By Brittany Rust

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Christmas truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year. For many, there are warm parties, cozy homes, fond traditions to celebrate, and gifts to be shared. It’s a joyous time of celebration. However, sometimes we get lost in the season and forget the reason we celebrate it, to begin with. Among the hustle and bustle, our focus is lost and priorities are misaligned.

Most people can tell you the origins of Christmas—that it’s a remembrance of the birth of Christ. But either that’s the extent of their knowledge or they lose sight of this in the busyness of the holiday. Why do we truly celebrate Christmas? Not Santa Claus, or the Christmas tree, or any other of the various traditions wrapped up into Christmas. Why do we celebrate this occasion—what is its true meaning?

Christmas is a time when we remember the birth of Jesus. When God became flesh and lived among us on Earth.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
— Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV)

For thousands of years mankind waited for the coming of Christ; they longed for their King to arrive and free them from oppression. The Old Testament is full of prophecies, including this one from Isaiah 9. The Bible is full of Scripture pointing directly to the One who would save mankind from their sins. When Isaiah described His coming, he described His coming as an infant. But this child would grow and establish a Kingdom of righteousness forevermore. When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the moment in history when prophecy was fulfilled. God came to be with us.

But it was so much more than a birth. It was hope. It was cause for celebration.

Because when Jesus came, he also left us with the gift of salvation. His birth is significant because of His death. For thirty-three years Jesus lived a life free from sin so that He could be the perfect sacrificial lamb for the atonement of our sins. On Calvary, Christ paid the price and overcame death so that we could have victory over sin and condemnation. So, when that precious baby was born and placed in the manger, it wasn’t just another birth. It was the beginning of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. An act He didn’t have to take part in but He chose to out of love.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

We remember the birth of Christ on Christmas because it’s a celebration of when God entered this world.

This very act of humility and his choice to die on the cross is cause for bowed knees and lifted hands. I know the busyness of the season can cause time to fly and before we know it, the holiday has passed and we have forgotten to celebrate why we are celebrating it in the first place. But don’t get sidetracked—get perspective. Choose reverence and give honor where honor is due.

Take time this holiday season to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by glorifying the One who gave it all. A child was born in humble circumstances and his sacrificial death reflected the same, however, both were significant for humanity. Without the death of Christ, salvation isn’t possible. So without His birth, neither is it possible. Jesus coming to Earth that night changed everything and it’s a moment we should celebrate with all our hearts.

Certainly, enjoy the parties and food and gifts, but don’t forget to point your heart, family, and those around you to Christmas' true meaning: Christ came with a plan for our redemption.


This article was originally written for and posted on Crosswalk.

A Celebration of Advent With Your Family

By Brittany Rust

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Christmas is a wonderful time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It's more than twinkling lights, beautifully wrapped gifts, and cozy homes filled with parties. It's so much more than what we've made it over the years. At the heart of Christmas is the celebration of Christ's coming to Earth more than 2,000 years ago.

Advent is a time when this focus is placed back at the center of the season. The word, in fact, means "coming." It's the celebration of the coming of Christ centuries ago and the anticipation of the coming of Christ yet to be.

Advent takes place the 4 Sundays leading to Christmas with the first 2 Sundays focusing on his arrival already made and the last 2 Sundays focusing on his arrival to come. I can't think of a better way to embrace Christmas and prepare our hearts to glorify Jesus before anything else than taking this Advent journey together.

Advent begins in 2018 on Sunday, December 2nd which means it’s coming soon. For my family, this is a new tradition I am eager to adopt! To build into our holiday celebration. If it’s new to you and you’re unsure of how to incorporate it into your tradition, or even why you should, keep reading!

Advent can be celebrated in many different ways. There’s the four Sunday approach, or over the course of 25 days leading to Christmas. There’s the candles or the calendar. But let’s jump more into the why before the how.

Christmas can be such a busy time of the year and if we aren’t careful, we can easily lose perspective of what the season really is all about. Christmas becomes the parties, concerts, and presents instead of remembering the birth of our Savior. Advent helps bring the holidays back into perspective; its celebration narrows in on Christ. It’s a beautiful form of worship for the family.

Now that you know the why, you may wonder about the how. Although traditions vary, here are a few ideas to get you going. Of course, feel free to peruse the internet for more ideas!

  1. Devotionals: There are many devotionals out there that will lead your family in Scripture readings focused on the coming of Christ. Some may be shorter and shared across 4 Sunday’s and some may be everyday. Here’s a free one from Lifeway that includes activities to engage the children!

  2. Advent Wreath and/or Candles: This is a more traditional form of celebrating Advent and it revolves around lighting 4 candles—one each Sunday leading to Christmas. This can be an intimate way of remembering Christ. Wreaths and candles are easy to find and by singing a song or praying together while lighting the candle, it makes the moment honoring. Just be sure you do purple candles for week 1, 2, and 4. And a pink candle on the 3rd week.

  3. Advent Calendar: This is a personal favorite of mine because it’s both a fun way to celebrate with kids and a great way to get into Scripture. Calendars are easy to find and come in a variety of styles like a house or Christmas tree. The idea is that on each day (some are 24 days and some are 25), a door is opened and inside is a little gift for the children. I like to place a piece of chocolate and a Bible verse about Jesus in each. This builds an excitement in the children’s heart leading up to Christmas (as we should all eagerly anticipate the second coming!) and sets our focus with Scripture.

This doesn’t include all the options of celebrating Advent but I do hope it provides some encouragement and inspiration for your holiday season. Whether you embrace the holiday or not, remember to keep your focus on Christ and celebrate his coming this season!

If you do celebrate Advent, we’d love to know how! Leave a comment below.


Pregnant with Expectation

by Brittany Rust

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A Gift from the Lord

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!
— Psalm 127:3-5 (MSG)

Children are without a doubt a blessing from the Lord. It’s amazing how new additions to the family awaken, rejuvenate, and sometimes even bring healing. I’ve watched babies bring a tidal wave of joy to a family and increase the love tank exponentially.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely expecting your own bundle of joy! You’re probably experiencing a flood of emotions: excitement, anticipation, anxiousness, fear, and much more. All are completely normal!

First and foremost, your child was planned to be on the earth at this very moment by God before time even began. even now, God is knitting your baby together in your womb very carefully and purposefully. The Father has a special plan designed for your little one and with your prayers and guidance, there are no limits to how he or she will be used.

Pregnancy can be hard but in those moments, remember the gift that your child is. Celebrate his or her presence and purpose on this earth!

When Emotions are a Rollercoaster

Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
— Proverbs 16:32 (NLT)

Pregnancy takes us all on an emotional rollercoaster; even the husbands! As our hormones change and fluctuate, how we feel can change moment to moment.

I remember one time I got little sleep and woke really sore. As I began making breakfast and my dog sat at my feet, I instantly got annoyed with her and yelled at her to skedaddle. Then my husband came down and as we ate scrambled eggs, he asked me about something we had already talked about multiple times that week and I snapped at him. I mean, how could he not remember?! I immediately felt bad and knew he didn’t deserve the bad end of my morning grumpiness.

The emotions you experience throughout pregnancy can seem intense and early on, a bit unfamiliar. It’s completely normal to go through these changes and in some ways, the expression of emotions can be healthy.

However, you must be careful to not let grumpiness, anger, or dissatisfaction lead your actions. It’s wise for you to learn to control your emotions and rule your feelings instead of the other way around.

Anxiousness

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)

When pregnancy and the reality of caring for another human being has set in, you might experience a host of anxieties. It’s natural for both parents to experience this at different points throughout the pregnancy but it’s also important to learn how to navigate the emotion.

Some areas you might become anxious in, if you haven’t already, is in parenting itself. There’s no doubt you want to steward this gift well but perhaps you’re not sure if you will because your own example wasn’t great. You might also be anxious about the delivery of your baby, their future, and the finances to make it all happen. There’s no shortage of anxieties for a parent!

Philippians 4 encourages us all in many situations but I believe it’s a particularly helpful verse for parents because let’s be honest, anxiety comes with the territory. However, it doesn’t mean we’re suppose to live there.

If you find yourself becoming anxious about any of the above, or perhaps something else, turn to this verse. Find direction here to turn to prayer and thanksgiving as a refuge from your anxieties. Find peace here, in the presence of God and away from the worries, to carry you through these moments. Anxiety might be an easy place to go as a parent but don’t allow it to take your focus off of the Father.

Fear

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
— Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

Anxiety, if left unchecked, can snowball into fear, which is a dark place to live. It can be especially draining in a season that should be filled with wonder and excitement.

I get it though. Sometimes when you feel a cramp, or don’t feel the baby move for a few hours, or think about how you’re going to afford childcare, fear can set in. I’ve had moments on my own 40 week journey and as a parent, there’s a whole new level of concern for another that enters your life.

I would encourage you not to live in fear. You might experience small moments or glimpses of it but don’t let the fear overwhelm you. Don’t let it steal your joy.

Remember, God is your strength and He will uphold you. God is on your side and has the best for you in His heart. Lean into His strength and peace when worry and fear starts to creep in. That is your safe place and your refuge.

When Weariness Sets In

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

You’re going to experience a level of weariness you’ve probably never experienced before. Days you’re so tired you have to take an afternoon nap. This happens in the first and third trimester, girls! Moments you feel so nauseous that the only place you want to be is lying on a bed in the dark. Evenings when your feet are so sore, ankles so swollen, and back so achy that labor can’t come soon enough.

What I’m trying to say is we all experience weariness at some level. And the emotions we talked about don’t help either. There will be days when you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread and honestly, that’s completely normal so don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself grace each day because you know what, you're growing a human inside of you!

2 Corinthians 12:9 is a verse I lean on often, not just in pregnancy. There’s so much comfort and peace in knowing that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. On those days when you’re tired and in pain--when you’re operating out of weakness--ask God for strength.

Confide in Him that you don’t know if you have the energy to extend kindness to people, or to get through a day of work, or to be patient with your spouse. If you can admit those things to Him and ask for His help, He’ll extend a supernatural strength to you that will carry you through your weariness.

Keeping a Priority on Your Marriage

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
— Hebrews 13:4 (ESV)

If you’re married, you’re experiencing one of the greatest gifts in the world. I do want to be sensitive to those who may not be though, and to you I say I have incredible respect for you. Pregnancy is hard and parenting significantly more even with a spouse; with someone there to lean on. To those beautiful ladies making the journey alone, I honor you. You’re a superhero in my book!

To this ladies who are married, don’t take it for granted. Your days can be long and hard sometimes but a husband can be such great support in this journey.

Don’t be afraid to share your emotions and struggles with your spouse. There were times I wouldn’t share something with my husband because I was embarrassed or didn’t want to burden him, or I would hold something in and snap at him. My husband would then so graciously just ask me to share those things with him. He wanted to know and share in what I was experiencing (and he certainly didn’t like being snapped at!).

Communication is key in marriage and that becomes even more important as your family expands. If this has been a struggle for your marriage, or you’re noticing it could be improved, now is a great time to grow in this area. It can also be a great catalyst for bonding, leading you and your spouse into a time when you’ve never felt closer.

I encourage you to remember that marriage is a gift and after your relationship with God, is the most important relationship in your life. Even when your little one comes, keeping your marriage a priority is one of the most important things you can do.

Your Baby’s Future

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
— Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

What an incredible gift God has given you to lead, nurture, steward, and care for another human. This opportunity will provide you some of the sweetest and most cherished moments in your life! You can start carrying this blessing now with your prayers and care for your little one.

Prayer is and will continue to be one of the most important things you can do for your child. Prayer changes things. Prayer sets the table. Furthermore, your posture of prayer will stand out to your child one day.

Here are a few things you can be praying for; be sure to add your own!

  1. Healthy pregnancy, delivery, and above all, child.

  2. That their purpose on this earth would be clear to them and ordained for God’s Kingdom.

  3. They would pursue godliness above all else.

Be confident in Philippians 1:6 and know that God will start a good work in your child and bring it to completion one day. That everything that will happen in your child’s life will have purpose; the good and the bad. God has designed your child to have great value and purpose in this world. Be a good, loving example of following God, serving others, and how to be a kind human. God will take care of the rest!


4 Ways to Navigate Transition With Your Kids

by Brittany Rust

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Transition is hard, particularly when your kids are involved. It can take an already stressful experience and make it messier, more complicated, and emotionally taxing. And nothing can tug at the mama heart like seeing your little one(s) struggle through the change.

My family has recently gone through a lot of change; more in the last six months than the previous three years. And it’s been really, really, really hard. In addition, change is harder than ever before because of our one-year old son. As a woman who has loved and served God for 17 years, I’ve learned to persevere. But when I see the struggle in my baby’s face, I want to throw up my hands and call mercy for the sake of my child. Unfortunately, that’s not how life usually works.

I’ve had to learn to adapt for my son and show up for him in new ways to help him through the change. I haven’t perfected mothering a child in transition, but I have found 4 ways to help navigate my family through the unknown. I pray this helps resource you for your own upcoming transition.

1.       Give quality.

For our family in this transition, our son has had less time with my husband and myself. I struggled with immense guilt over this and sought peace over it. What I’ve come to discover is that quality matters. Parents can be there but not really be there, if you know what I mean. Your kids won’t necessarily remember how much time you spent with them, but rather, the quality of the time they did have with you.

Whatever time you do have with your child(ren), make it good. Make it really good. Put down the phone. Spend less time with the tv on. And really be present. My son loves to snuggle up with me, but he notices if I pick up my phone; he doesn’t like mama distracted. So, every night I put aside the phone as much as I can and make myself present for him. On the weekends, we have fun. All the writing and podcasting and on the side gigs can wait until he’s in bed because baby needs his mama!

2.       Speak to their heart.

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Kids know when something is off and if left in the dark, can become confused. Even if your child is young and unable to communicate, speak life over them. Cover them with words of assurance and comfort. My son doesn’t understand all my words, but he sees the empathy in my eyes and hears the tone in my voice.

Connect with your child’s heart by asking them how their heart is doing. Soothe them with your sweet words of endearment. Communicate so they don’t feel left out.

3.       Go through it united.

Let your kids see you go through the change as a united family. This will especially prove valuable in how they see you and your husband walk it together. Stay in communication with your husband and navigate the journey together. If your child(ren) see a divided marriage, they will likely feel fear and doubt.

4.       Jesus.

Spending time with Jesus as a mom but also as a family is so important all the time, but especially during times of change. Your kids lean on you which means you need to be leaning on Jesus, mama! Spend time in the Word. Play worship music in the house and car. Let your little one(s) hear you praying over them at night. Usher in the presence of Jesus into your home and pray your child(ren) bask in Him. Invite Him into the change and ask for protection over your kid(s) mind(s) through the unknown.

Transition is hard and when you go through it as a family, it can be even harder. I pray for you, dear mama, as you walk this journey.


Finding God in Your Miscarriage

By Brittany Rust

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These words are the most vulnerable I’ve ever penned; I’m going where I’ve never gone before. I share with you from a place of loss and heartache, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And the reason I share this deeply personal experience with you is that I’ve watched God use words through me that were most powerful when shared from the battlefield. The most tender words of encouragement have always come from a place of my greatest struggles.

Today, I share about miscarriage; a loss experienced by so many. This past week—in the middle of Baby Loss Awareness Month—I lost my precious baby. A life I had the honor and joy to carry within me for nine wonderful weeks before he or she passed on to be with the Father. And while I know my baby is gone from that little raspberry sized fetus, he or she still sits in my womb, waiting to pass from my body. So what was once life is now death within me; I mourn with a depth of grief I’ve never known. I cling to the little one inside of me and dread the day (in the near future) he or she passes and I scoop the little body up for burial. I don’t want to let go of my baby. However, although always within my heart, I’ll have to let go and leave a piece of me with that little one. Forever a fraction of my heart no longer there until we meet in Heaven.

I really struggled to share this for so many reasons: I felt shame, I didn’t want people to feel bad for me, and I wondered what others would think for being so vulnerable about a loss. But writing has always been the best form of process for me and I know—I just know—God wants to use this to help other mama’s out there experiencing loss not feel so alone. Because you do feel so alone.

Honestly, I was so shocked to find out we had lost our second child. With Roman, I constantly feared miscarriage but he was always so healthy and the pregnancy complication free that with this pregnancy, I had no worries. My body had done it before and why not again? However, my body did fail me.

He or she was coming unexpectedly during one of the hardest seasons for my husband and me, and it was such a blessing of hope in discouraging times. Two days ago, I went into a hospital room for a dating ultrasound and sat in silence while the tech took measurements. She said nothing and then shut off the machine and told me I was good to go. This couldn’t be it, I thought! So, I asked how far along my baby was and she said I measured at 8 weeks and 6 days. Then, the next day, I received that dreaded phone call from my midwife that there was no heartbeat. I was in the car, on my way to work, and I let out a sob never uttered before. And now I grieve, knowing there is still waiting until this little one passes from my body. I know I’ll never quite be the same because I still love him or her; my baby is wanted and loved.

As I sat on the couch after hearing the news, I spent a lot of time grieving and talking to my belly. Sure, I knew he or she couldn’t hear me but I just had to speak words of endearment over my little love. I had to tell my baby all the things I would ever want to say to a child of mine.

Then, anger set in. Doubt in His goodness came crashing in like a tidal wave. How could this happen? As if this season wasn’t already the hardest season I’ve ever been through—when I thought it couldn’t get worse—I lost a child. Why?

I yelled, I questioned, I called into doubt His goodness. I struggled to see how this could be good. I began thinking about the announcement photo session we had planned; the list of baby items I’d already started compiling; the maternity bin I had pulled out; the preganancy journey I had just received in the mail and was eager to fill out; they were now empty memories of hope deferred. Scripture says hope deferred makes the heart  sick, and I feel grievously sick.

If you’ve experienced a miscarriage, you likely know how I feel and have asked the same questions. Had the same doubts. Questioned how to find God’s goodness in the darkness. Here’s what I can find in Scripture and what’s helped encourage me these last few days.

1. God is still good.

A dear friend of mine told me yesterday, as I shared my grief with her, that God doesn’t speak in negative terms. That all the hardship I’m going through, and the loss of this baby, isn’t His will or doing. It’s the consequence of sin and works of the enemy, but it’s not God pulling these strings of destruction. But He is there, in the good. He is watching, moving, and waiting with arms wide open, ready to comfort. Although in dark times we often want to pull away from Him, it’s in these trying times we must press in even harder. Pressing in is where we find Him and hear His voice. His goodness. Because God is good and does work all things for good, even if we can’t see it.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
— Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)

Mama, believe me, I know it’s hard to see how good can come from your loss. Who knows why your baby passed on but God? Perhaps there was something wrong; some part of the body didn’t form correctly. Whatever the case may be, you still get to be the mom to that beautiful child. And there is good to be found somewhere—your child’s life brought joy to this world.

2. Jesus mourns with you—you are not alone.

The first verse I thought of as I mourned was John 11:35,

Jesus wept.

All my mind could recall in the grief is that he wept. That he weeps with me. It’s the shortest verse in the Bible but within its two words are some of the most compassionate you’ll read in Scripture. Jesus knew Lazarus was gone but he also knew his dear friend was about to be brought back to life. So why weep?

Perhaps it was the grief he saw those he loved experiencing. Many mourned the loss of Lazarus and Jesus knew the depths of those wells of grief many were experiencing. He felt the loss that those around him were feeling—he was feeling all the pain. He himself loved Lazarus and although life was ahead, the cost of death was still very real. Which brings the second thought as to why he may have been weeping—the cost of sin. Sin brings death and almost everyone Jesus loves had or would experience death.

In our grief, we are not alone. In our mourning, we share in it with another. Jesus wept for Lazarus but he also weeps along with us in our grief. He mourns with those who mourn because although he knows hope is ahead and death has been conquered, grief is still part of our journey on earth. That death is real, even if temporary. And that in that journey we go through depths of anguish and loss that rip at the soul. But he feels it too. Every ounce of pain is taken in and felt by him.

3. Ask the right question.

We want to ask, “Why God” in the hardship. We want to question Him and His goodness. But this is the wrong question—the one that leads us astray. Instead, the question to ask is:

God, what can I learn about you, about myself, and about life as a result of this season?

There is so much treasure to be found in our trials and tribulations. It’s the storms that forge a more authentic and mature version of ourselves, and where we find God most intimately. Instead of pulling away and doubting, press in and ask the hard question. Uncover the value that can only be found right here, right now. What can you learn about His character? What can you learn about yourself? And what nugget of wisdom regarding a flourishing life can be found in this loss? Don’t waste your anguish—use it to forge a closer relationship with God, a better you, and a more fruitful life.

4. There is hope in the darkness.

The only real comfort I have found in this grief is knowing that my baby is with Jesus. That he or she will never have to know loss, pain, cold, grief, disappointment, or sorrow. That all their soul will ever know is joy and the presence of God. And although I won’t be able to embrace this beautiful soul now, one day I will. Our meeting is only delayed; not robbed.

If you have experienced the loss of a child, dear friend, let me say I’m so sorry. I know how it feels to lose a part of yourself with that precious one. How grief penetrates within your soul to a depth never reached before. How you feel you might never be the same. How you’ve questioned and doubted.

Please know, although the darkness is overwhelming, there is light. There are goodness and hope to be found. There is a beautiful and loving God Who wants to scoop you up into His strong arms and hold you close.

** If you’ve experienced loss and are looking for connection in your grief, we have created a group on our Facebook page for mother’s who have experienced a miscarriage to find community. Share you story, let’s remember the life of your little one, and be heard in your grief. We are a sisterhood who mourns with those who mourn. You can find our Facebook page here and simply click on “Community.”


Mama Bear in Warfare

 By Brittany Rust

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I’ve never been under spiritual warfare when it comes to health. Let alone, that on top of a mountain of battles. And boy, when the body is weak time and again, it seems the spirit can become weak as well if not diligent.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to share this weekend because I’ve felt so beat down. I wasn’t sure if I had anything to give. But then, why not speak from my battlefield. Spiritual warfare is so very real for all of us so let’s go there. And honestly, looking at the last several posts I can’t help but see God is wanting to speak intimately to some weary moms out there. 

I’m going through one of the hardest seasons I’ve ever been through. It started about fifteen months ago and about a month ago, I thought it would get easier. Instead, it got harder. WAY harder. The kind of hard that beats down with one thing after another. The kind that attacks all areas of your life and family. The kind that hits so hard you want to tap out. 

Right now, I’m sitting in bed, barely getting this out, alone. I’ve moved states but my husband is still back in Colorado for the time being. I’m without my partner and best friend, working full time and taking care of our little guy. All the things I assumed would come so easy because “God is in this” aren’t coming so easy and I’m doubting. We’ve been in urgent care two out of our three weekends here because with Roman it’s been one thing after another. Then I got sick this week. Like, so sick I haven’t been this sick maybe ever. And then tonight, as if our health wasn’t being attacked enough, Roman got pink eye...again. 

As a mom, I see my little man suffer and mama bear comes out. I want to fiercely protect him—to make him better. But I can’t. All I can do is help him along the best I can. 

Here’s how I’ve been feeling this week: I can take a long, spiritual battle. I’ve done it before. But my kid—not so easy. My perseverance is limited and my patience thin. Mama bear doesn’t like waiting for the storm to pass for her little guy who can’t kick sickness and misses his dad like crazy. I feel helpless. I feel guilty.

I’ve been pretty upset with Him this week. I’ve questioned and doubted. I told my friend this week, “I assumed it would be an easy transition because I thought God was in it. But it’s been so hard and now I’m questioning everything. Does this mean God isn’t in it?” 

She encouraged me so well (thank goodness for sisterhood, right?!). She said,

”Because it isn’t going easy does not mean God isn’t in it. It means things like that are just hard. Peace does not always come in the journey because journeys are a struggle with ups and downs. Peace will come later. Kinda when you go on a hike and it’s hard but when you are done it’s that moment you take a breath.”

She’s right—the right path isn’t always going to be easy; life is just hard sometimes. And then I was reminded, also this week, that God uses hard times to call out our perseverance. It’s something I’m struggling to have as a mom but that doesn’t mean I get a “get out of jail free” card because my kid is involved. Perseverance just needs to go to a whole other level! 

What I’m trying to say is this: Spiritual warfare will happen. And when it effects your kids, it will poke the mama bear within and perhaps cause you to fight or flight. But what if God just wants you to stick close and keep going? One foot in front of the other, wearily trudging ahead. 

Stand firm and keep fighting the battle, mama. Don’t lose hope. Keep the faith. Choose to endure. 

Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
— Hebrews 6:18-19

How do you and I keep our head above water until relief comes? Flee towards Jesus. Have confidence in Him, not the surroundings. Trust the anchor to hold until the storm passes. We aren’t guaranteed an easy, breezy life. But we are promised a steady Savior in the midst of our chaos and uncertainty. Are you anchored by Him? Tethered to his unwavering love and care for you? He won’t leave you alone in the storm. His door of hope is just ahead. Don’t give up, friend. This too shall pass.


Sometimes Things Don’t Get Done...And That’s Ok

 By Brittany Rust

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As I write this, it’s 9:30 PM on a Sunday night and I’m in bed (ready to sleep, too!). I deeply care about you mama’s out there and I carry you in my prayers often. Because I care about you so much I pray that the resources here are done in both intention and care. So the fact that I’m writing this so late in the game is something I’m not too excited about. But if I’m honest, our family have been going through a tough week. And I didn’t put the time into this post as I normally do or should have. 

I started feeling guilty and went straight to my go-to response: admonishing myself. I wasn’t too happy with me, let’s just say that! And as the guilt set in, I thought “man, these moms deserve better.”

But then there was that divine interruption to my earthly response. I had to stop listening to the doubts and start receiving a little grace for myself. 

I think there may be some moms out there in the same boat today—some amazing ladies needing to extend a little grace to themselves. Is this you, mama?

We are the pros at keeping it all together but even we run out of capacity every now and again. And you know what? That’s ok. Let me say it again so you don’t miss it: sometimes things don’t get done and that’s ok!

We all hit a day or two (or more) that just plain take it out of us. That are harder than normal. When the unexpected pops up. And if you have to let a thing or two take a seat on the bench this week, that’s ok, too.  

Mama, don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have the capacity to do all the things all the time. Love your family well, do your best, and above all, lean into Jesus. That’s what’s important!   

What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
— Matthew 6:33 (MSG)

Focusing on God is the most important thing you can do each day. Loving your family like crazy is a given! And doing your best with what is in your hands in your responsibility. But everything else will be taken care of. God has you in His hands today, sweet friend, and He’ll take care of what’s important. 

So, take a deep breath of relief and extend a little grace to yourself. Jesus did and always does—His mercies are new every morning!


Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

By Brittany Rust

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No one ever told me being a stay at home mom could be filled with lonely isolation, make you feel further than ever from a dear dream, or be insanely harder than actually going to work. Three months into this temporary stay at home gig and my view of this kind of mom life has completely shifted. For example, there once was a time I loathed grocery shopping but now I can't wait for our Monday trip to King Soopers. Or the highlight of my week is a trip to Target (with a Starbucks in hand!). Am I right?!

Here's the honest truth: being a stay at home mom is the hardest job in the world. I worked the first year of Roman's life and although it was hard in that our family never had a day off together and I’d miss my boy, being home is actually much harder than being a working mom. True story. If I'm being honest, work gave me space to use my gifts and have adult conversations about intellectual things. I would come home and have all this energy to give my son. 

Nowadays, I'm only ever with Roman and as much as I love my little man (more than the world, in fact!), I feel emotions I honestly struggle to articulate because guilt overwhelms me. If I love Roman, I shouldn't struggle with these ideas, should I? Wrong! You likely know what I'm talking about, mama, don't you? Ugly feelings, aching cries, and longing for the outside world are all real battles you never experienced until you became a stay at home mom.

Truth is, you likely had a job, great adult conversation with friends, lots of hustle and bustle, and contributed financially to your family. But then everything you knew changed when you chose to be home with your kiddo(s). The healthy stretch and challenge of work, gone. Those intellectual conversations, far and few between. The busyness of life on the outside now replaced with diaper changes, laundry, spit up, car pools, and loneliness. And financial provision is now replaced with financial strain.

Feelings of loneliness have settled in. Maybe lack of purpose to contribute to this world or pursue a dream has you questioning your worth. You've lost your identity and sense of self. You're tired and exhausted in every way possible. You cry because it's hard and nobody sees just how hard it is for you. You're around your kid(s) 24/7 and without breaks or outlets, you get frustrated with them and snap negatively towards their little self, which then brings an immense amount of guilt. You wonder if you're cut out to be a good mom. You're sure you'll fail your kids.

Nobody talks about these thoughts and feelings stay at home moms experience. Nobody told me and these past three months have been one rude awakening! But when I feel these things I then feel guilty. I think, "If I truly loved Roman, I wouldn't think such thoughts. I'm a horrible mom--Roman deserves better." 

Those are the thoughts the enemy leaves me with on a regular basis.

But if there is one thing I've learned since becoming a mom it's that a mom is never alone in her thoughts and feelings. Many of us have similar emotions but we're afraid to talk about it. Moms want to appear as if they have it all together and so sacrifice vulnerability and connectivity with others for the image of super mom. But fact: none of us have it all together. And none of us are perfect. So instead of the act, drop it for community. For a full embrace of who you are in the image of Christ and the season you are in.

Here's what I've learned so far:

  1. Find a mom community. Find like-minded moms and do life together regularly. Stat! It's good for you and your kiddo(s). Your kids get to socialize with other kids and that's wonderful. It gets you out of the house, which is really nice. But more than anything, it gives you people to talk to. To share struggles with. It gives you a tribe of women who will encourage you, strengthen you, and show up for you when things are tough. Please, do this immediately! Or you'll go crazy, true story. 
  2. Embrace vulnerability. Nothing will make you feel more alone than choosing to do life on your own. You shouldn't keep what you're going through bottled up--it's not healthy. Please don't do it, mama! I know, from personal experience how harmful it can be. Open up to your husband and allow the raw honesty to strengthen your marriage in new ways. Be vulnerable with your mom friends and you'd be amazed you're not the only one. In fact, they may have insight into how to navigate the journey and can be there to cheer you on to victory over the trial. 
  3. Find your worth in Him, instead of in the world. The enemy will no doubt use your struggles as a stay at home mom to get into your head. To whisper lies about your value and worth. To make you question if you're a good mom. It may be hard but you must find a way to overcome his attacks with what God says about you in His word. Find your way to seeing yourself through His eyes. Get into the word, find Scripture (promises) regarding areas you are struggling in, and use those verses as a defense against the enemy.

Mama, I know it's not always easy being a stay at home. I know there is a struggle. You are not alone in the wrestle with emotions and thoughts. You are not crazy. And you can do this!