Calling Single Moms!

Hello all you lovely women! I’m so excited about the new single mother’s life group we have recently started. Being a single mom, I understand the struggles and stress that come from being the only parent. I’ve been a single mother for 8 years, never married, and have been met with more challenges than I can count. God took me from a struggling mother who thought I was less than worthy of His love and forgiveness for my choices to a strong woman and mother that seeks Him every day. Through Him I have conquered many challenges like school, my daughter’s struggle with anxiety, and knowing who I am and being proud of it.

Everyone has struggles in life and, to each person, it may feel like they are carrying the world on their shoulders. As a single mom, you’re not alone.  I’ve learned in time that there are other women dealing with the same issues. A new life group has developed on Sunday mornings at Chets Creek Church, exclusively for single moms.  As the new group gets going, I’m confident that a support system will develop. This group will be one that is meant to help lift up those who are feeling down. I pray that with this new life group, more single mothers will come to understand God’s love for them and how He is there by their side no matter what. The one thing I love about how God has designed this new group is that there is not a certain kind of single mom you have to be. A single mother could be any age – divorced, a widow, or never married. This new group is out there for those that are looking for a life group that will fit more with their experiences in life than their age bracket. We’ll be learning God’s Word and will be there to help uplift others in times of need. I hope if you’re a single mom and reading this that you are encouraged to join in with this group.

Besides the spiritual friendship and support of Sunday morning life group, other areas of need (and solutions for help!) have been identified through different discussions we have had. For instance, if the lawn needs to be mowed or the toilet needs to be fixed, the men’s group has offered and is willing to step up and help out. As single moms we tend to take everything on, but with new opportunity and partnerships with the church, it can help to alleviate some of the burden that comes with too much on our plates.

Another fun and interesting thing we plan to do is start a cook book for the single mother’s group. Many times there is a limited amount of time to get dinner on the table, we may not consider ourselves great cooks who can plan and prepare various meals, and we can get caught up in eating out all the time. The cookbook with recipes contributed by other single moms is one way we plan to help work through some of the seemingly mundane struggles we may have as single moms. These recipes are meant to be quick and cheap so that single mothers can easily get dinner on the table.

As this group develops many more exciting things will come to light.  God has big plans for single mothers at Chets Creek Church.  Will you join me on Sundays at 9:45am in Room 224 for life group if you are a single mom?  Or join me in prayer to pray for these beautiful women?

{This post was written by Rachel Della-Loggia. Rachel is a single mom of a sweet little girl named Emmalee. She works full time and just completed her Masters Degree in Business Management. She is originally from Abington, PA, but has lived in Jacksonville for over 20 years. Her favorite things include spending time with her daughter, reading…and butter popcorn jelly beans!}

A New Way to Serve

The Chets Women Unleash team is excited to share with you that there are new opportunities to serve coming this year for Chets Women. The next opportunity is right around the corner and we challenge you to step out in faith and make a difference.

Do you watch the news from around the world and feel overwhelmed? Does it seem like the problems are too big for you or me to really make a difference? Do you hear about our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ and wonder how we can help them? We have the amazing opportunity to impact the life of a family who has lived through challenges that we can only imagine. We are partnering with World Relief to welcome a refugee family to our great city. This family comes from Burma and has suffered persecution for their faith in Christ. They have been living in a refugee camp in Thailand for the past 10 years. Glory to God that we can be a part of this family’s story and help them start a new chapter in their lives.

There will be three ways available to bless this family.

  • First, Chets Women’s Ministry will be collecting donations of many everyday household items that this family will need.
  • Second, a group of women will be needed to use these donated items to set up the family’s apartment.
  • Third, an additional group of women will go meet with the family after they arrive to welcome them to the country and to our city.

A list of needed items, how to register for this event, and more details are available at the link below and in the church worship folder starting Sunday, May 3.

We are excited that there are multiple ways to get involved! However, spots for the apartment set up and home welcome will be limited, so sign up soon.

We are changed to bring change.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10

{This post was written by Michelle Arguello. Michelle recently joined the Chets Women’s Ministry: Unleash team. She has a passion for connecting women with opportunities to serve in the church and in the community. She is striving to use her God-given talents and abilities to make Him known and be a blessing in the lives of others. She is a wife and mommy of two energetic children that keep her on her toes and influence her coffee addiction.}

Expect Less, Pray More

Wait… What? Target’s marketing has taught us to “expect more and pay less” right? Well, I’m here to tell you ladies that it is the opposite in a Christ-centered marriage. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a marriage expert, and I do NOT have a perfect marriage, so please remember that no blog article, magazine quiz or girls’ night out is a substitute for prayer, sweat and tears in your marriage.

One very helpful idea that my husband and I have adopted as a part of the foundation of our marriage is to have very few expectations. We all know there are countless books, seminars, workshops, and counselors out there and you may hear them say “do what’s best for you” or “make sure you are heard”. But, if we dig deep enough, I feel that the answer to a lot of the challenges that bombard marriages can be reduced down to changing, and, yes, even lowering, our expectations of ourselves and our spouses.

Ok, here’s the irony of it all… as a 20-something single christian girl, I was encouraged to never “lower” my expectations of my future spouse. At another time, I was told by a “mature” Christian woman that “maybe you have too many expectations” when referring to why I did not have a boyfriend (yeah – that actually happened!).

How do you balance seeking and marrying a man of God and then remembering he’s just a man, and I’m just a woman, and we are two sinners trying to figure this marriage thing out? I believe that balance is found in the Bible (SHOCKING, I know!).

For our first expectation, let’s start at the beginning, a familiar passage read at many a wedding, but instead of glossing over it, I challenge you to read, hear and see this from a different perspective, “Therefore man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). In this passage, see that God desires that married couples stay connected, holding fast to one another.

So often I see couples living “separate” lives, each going about their day doing their thing completely apart from one another. I know that lives are busy, and if you add kids, busy work schedules, and/or jobs that require travel, it seems impossible to achieve this connectedness. But, you can be busy and still be connected. I’m not saying the only biblical thing to do is be joined at the hip and wear matching outfits to have a healthy marriage, but God intended married couples to be together. One way to stay connected is by using some of the technology available to us amidst the chaos of life in general. For example, my husband and I text and call each other throughout the day, multiple times a day. Sometimes being connected means making the most of the time you do have physically together. A very close friend of mine only speaks to her husband when he is on the way home and that is for a very brief time, but they are very connected once he’s home.

Now before you go telling you husband he needs to “communicate” and “connect” more because you just read this blog article, remember one very important scripture: “they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. ” (1 Peter 3:1-2). Be mad at Peter, not me, OK? Every marriage looks different because every person in the marriage is different and has different dynamics.

Now that we have established that we should expect to be together as one in our marriage, what else should we expect of our spouse and ourselves? Yard work? House work? Child-rearing? All that sounds great – and we may feel that it’s our responsibility to do some of those things. But, when it comes to the biblical expectation we should have for one another, let’s go to Micah 6:8 which states “He has told you, oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God”. From this, we can see that another true expectation we should have of our spouse is that they live a Godly life.

I am not giving you permission to correct your spouse’s spiritual life here. What I am doing is simply pointing out that all we are required to do is follow after Christ, and if we ourselves are doing that, then that is going to set many of our other expectations in their proper place. We should encourage our spouses in doing good – without trying to be their “holy spirit”.

And, let’s remember that many of our expectations are only based on our wishes and what we think should be the case. We elevate them, but we need to remember whom we are truly fighting against – it is certainly not our husbands, in-laws, kids or neighbors – it’s Satan himself. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of even the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Our real battle every day is a spiritual one. We are battling the sin nature inside of us that says “we deserve” to be treated a certain way or “we have to have” a certain thing wether material, emotional or even spiritual. What we seek after may be good, yet when it is placed in importance over God and seeking what he wants us to do leads to problems – even incorrect expectations from our spouses!

So, remember the beauty of being one and the challenge to place your expectations at the Biblical foundation of living Godly lives.  Those ideals combined with a whole lot of prayer for one another is where your marriage can move to a place of peace, hope and joy.

{This article is written by Emily Roten. Emily is a wife and mother who works from home as a beauty consultant. Originally from just outside Seattle, she loves coffee (of course) but has adjusted nicely to the florida sunshine since she and her family moved to florida in May of 2013. She and her husband Michael have 2 darling daughters, so life is NEVER EVER dull. From an early age Emily has felt a calling from God to encourage, disciple and minister to women, particiarly in the areas of marriage, adoption and infertility.}