Our Mom Heart team spends a lot of time talking about the distinctives of our blog and how it can best serve the readers we hold so dearly. We pray for you daily. We seek God’s heart for you and for the writing you find here. How can we truly be a harbor for you to come into as a mom and as a leader? How can we help to equip you to head back out to sail, with full hearts that are ready for what the wild sea might bring? As your raise your children, as you lead Mom Heart groups, as you change the world (truly!) with the legacy you leave, we want to love you well and provide encouragement and resources that bless and benefit you.
It is with that heart in mind that we are launching a series here about what moms just like you are doing through Mom Heart around the world. We will highlight groups, leaders, movements and even our Aussie gals and the Mum Heart conference they have recently brought to their continent! Our hope is that you will be encouraged and inspired to join arms with other sisters and leaders the world over!
I am nothing less than thrilled to kick off this series with a post by a dear friend(and our new contributor!) , Stacy Buck. Those of you at our Dallas conference had a chance to hear Stacy speak and see her passion in person. Stacy and her husband, Ryan, founded In the Trenches, a non profit ministry whose “vision is to unite, equip, and encourage women in their trenches to fight for, and influence this generation.” Here is what Stacy has to share with us today:
How did the In the Trenches come about?
The idea came on a wretched morning. You know the mornings where the sun isn’t even up over the horizon and you hear fighting and yelling from your children? They had not even put their feet on the floor and they were spouting accusations. Everyone complained they were starving, but refused to eat what was in front of them. When I left the room to start laundry, I heard a sawing sound. My 18mo old son was sawing a barstool with a large, dangerous knife that he had proudly climbed the counter to get. Shortly after this, I heard running water. He’d climbed the counter once more and filled my sink with flour – like it’s a sand box!
It had only been 90 minutes since I’d opened my eyes. I locked myself in a room alone and sat up against the wall with my head buried in my knees. I was begging that God would take me home to be with Jesus because another 12 hours with these kids was more than I thought I could bear…what about another 12 years? With my eyes closed, head bowed I saw the following picture…
A flat bottom boat (as in Saving Private Ryan) filled with soldier women of all ages, stages shapes and sizes.
They were being slaughtered.
One by one picked off by strategic enemy fire. It was a terrifying, bloody picture and the Lord whispered, “Few survive”. The picture of the warrior mom is forever burned into my mind. Weary, wounded and on the verge of raising the white flag of surrender; believing the lies that she is an epic failure and that surrender is her only option.
Two years ago, I attended the Whole Heart Leadership Intensive training. Sitting in Sally Clarkson’s living room, I scribbled the following quote on the first page of my journal,
“Satan is unleashing his fury against the children of the godly”.
It is war.
If Satan is going to go after our children he’s going to have to get through us first. A soldier receives training, equipment and a Plan of Battle before ever being dropped into their position of defense. The good news is that we served THE Commander in Chief of the mightiest armies. As you are battling out the daily grind of parenting know that you are not alone…help is coming.
What is the “Battle Plan?”
Psalm 111:12 Says, Write this down so a generation not yet born will praise the Lord. Frustrated, I asked the Lord, Write what down???? My Bible literally opened to Psalm 78 1-10.
Outlined were 3 strategic instructions that will lead to a POWERFUL promise, leaving the ENEMY running FROM our children.
1. Give kids a hero.
A story of Old, lessons from our past – stories we have heard and know…Dr. Wilks, an oncologist that I work closely with was interviewed recently. She was asked “What shaped or influenced your career in fighting cancer?” She stated she grew up in the projects of Baltimore. You would never find her on the streets but in her beloved library. She will never forget being a 10 yr old girl reading autobiographies of what African Americans had suffered and how they had greatly joined in the reshaping of America after the Civil War. She knew then, that she too, could be part of history. She was inspired to be great because greatness was modeled through “stories of old”. One of the key reasons I tried to get moms to the Whole Heart conference this year is because of the “stories” shared and the BOOKS, tried and true, offered at the book tables.
2. Do not hide the glorious deeds of the Lord.
We will tell of his power and the mighty miracles he did. Your story is HIS story. I will spend my life helping women recognize the fingerprints of God in their everyday and teaching them to tell others their testimony.
Glorious Deeds were meant to be passed along! Let me share a few with you related to In the Trenches.
-I hosted a “prayer tea party” with the mentors and prayer warriors in my life. We prayed in the power of the Holy Spirit “how could we reach moms at our church?” I was asked the next week to speak at a seminar for mom’s hosted at our church by women’s ministry. The next weekend on mother’s day, we announced this idea of “Mom’s Banding together – in the trenches but not alone)” in a five minute little blurb. …216 women signed up.
-God sent me a darling techie social media queen…she launched and maintains our Facebook, Twitter and website ’cause God knows the computer hates me.
-We knew we needed to look no further than our parking lot at church to find moms in need. We, in faith, did a gift card drive to give single or military moms the opportunity to take their kids school shopping. I opened my mailbox and got a 1k check with a note that said, “My mom was a single mom of 4 children –I can’t imagine what this would have done for her.”
-We sent 30 $90.00 gift cards to single mom’s that attend our B.O.M. (Band of Mother) Squads or signed up to be part of this community. We also hosted a “back to school bash’”
-In The Trenches, wanted to create a “free date” for families, prepare a meal that the mom didn’t have to plan, purchase or clean up. We had no money for advertisement but we had Facebook. Someone sponsored our event at their neighborhood sea world-like water park. We fed these moms, served over 150 snow cones and circled the prayer wagons and prayed over the coming year. This was also hosted on THE hottest day of the year – the water park had not a lick of shade…However, God sent a dark cloud and camped it over our event! These are glorious deeds – if he can do it for us, he can do it for you.
3. Pass on decrees given to Jacob – this is scripture.
I always felt guilty that I didn’t have devotionals with my kids shoving Deuteronomy down their throats with their breakfast. I was having my quiet time outside, and there was a nest with 3 little birds in it. They were quiet until their mother returned with a bite size piece of nutrition. They squawked and sang in delight at the sight of their mother and received whatever she brought to them. God said, “Stacy that is what passing on my word looks like. You go get it and bring it back in a bite size piece.”
THE VICTORY is in vs. 7-9 “If you do these 3 things, they (each generation) will not be like their ancestors, stubborn, rebellious and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.
Simple Battle Plan that ends in a powerful promise…
What are B.O.M. Squads?
B.O.M. squads are small groups of women meeting together in homes. We have two that are dedicated to and led by single working moms. We have daytime groups. Nighttime groups. They all started studying The Mission to Motherhood. We purchased through donations, 13 Mission of Motherhood DVDS. These groups are in fact small. Intimate. Some trenches are a little darker than others. Each mom has issues unique to her yet she doesn’t battle alone. Prayer, training, inspiration and community happen in these little squads.
One woman asked with tears in her eyes if she could lead a group though the police were called to her home often. She has two teenage boys and one 7 year old son. She prepared for her first BOM Squad meeting. She cleared off the dining room table that was shoved into a corner of her apartment; she covered the holes in her walls with art work. She prepared tasty treats. As she was getting ready, all her boys kept noticing her work. They began to offer to help, to participate. When the time for her group to show came and went, they showed great concern for her. Her BOM Squad was her BOY SQUAD. They gathered around the table for the first time since their parents’ divorce and delighted in the beauty of their home. God showed up in her trench and whispered, “you are mine, you are not alone, and I see you.”
We have several new Mission to Motherhood groups being launched through our small group ministry at church. Almost all our Squads that are finishing up Mission to Motherhood are sticking together and are starting new studies…they are doing life together, holding up their sisters in arms.
What does it mean to follow the Commander and Chief?
At the Intensive Training two years ago, Paul Stanley, spoke on Servant Leadership. One thing he shared is highlighted and burned into my heart,
“Calling never TRUMPS primary roles”.
My primary roles include first being a wife, and second, being a mom. In this season I also have an employment commitment. I began to notice dissatisfaction in the face of my husband when I talked about B.O.M. meetings, upcoming events we wanted to host, emails that needed to be sent out. My great friend noticed too. She said, “Sister, if your husband isn’t on board than neither am I!” So I prayed, “Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit you direct this In The Trenches Team and you confirm our next steps through my husband – my protection here on this earth. Even if he tells me to drop it Lord I am willing. I will honor you in my primary roles and wait for calling later in life.”
Husband said, “Put small groups with small group ministry at our church. You still have a vested interest in B.O.M. Squads you just don’t have to be the planner and organizer of it.” We have staff in place at our church to do that. I have met with the small groups’ pastor and got The Mission of Motherhood on their small group list. Our church has The Mission of Motherhood books in the bookstore. In The Trenches also launched our first on-line Mission Monday group. Honestly, organizing and keeping up with 13 small groups, leaders, members and inquiries is a full time job – way beyond my limited time and my limited team. In this coming year, my focus will be building our on-line community with several “socials” throughout this year. All of which can be planned and maintained from my home after my 3 kids are in bed and before they wake up.
Secondly, my husband said, “Get all the women you can to Sally Clarkson’s Mom Heart Conferences”
This event has produced and keeps producing fruit in our family. Bring other mom’s with you. The In The Trenches leadership team held a garage sale and we prayed in the power of the Holy Spirit to bless this so we could get leaders to a conference. We raised $1,670.19. Every penny went into getting ladies to this conference. We provided FULL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR 13 SINGLE MOMS in our community to come the Mom Heart conference! I wonder what mountains He is going to move this year to strengthen and encourage women doing “trench life” alone??
The third mandate from this discerning and wise husband of mine was to make the Mother’s Day weekend service at our church our next “B.O.Minar”. 27% of our 5k attendees drop children off between birth and 5th grade. If you add middle and high school numbers this statistic grows significantly. The target audience will already be there – no coaxing, manipulating or begging. The moms have already done the work to get there; their children receive good quality bible teaching. We have a God given worship team and a creative team on staff that will take your message and plan accordingly. The last thing a mom needs on Mother’s Day is another carnation…equip them, encourage them, give them tools to add to their arsenal for this battle facing this generation.
So the prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit continues…you don’t just walk in and take over a weekend service – You yield to God – the Commander and Chief and wait for Him to tell you go. God blew the doors off the hinges. My Pastor and I led 5 Mother’s Day Services. There is not room to share all the stories of heart ache turned to hope that came from this weekend.
It has been two years of dreaming, of trying a little of this and a little of that. Like a good cut of meat, the longer it simmers the more flavorful it becomes.
I am in the mistake making season of life. The aroma of reaching women in their trench of life gets more pungent with each passing day. Our website continues to get better, our community connections continue to grow, the support of my church gives me wings to fly further than its four walls and my husband smiles at the possibility of changing the trenches for the coming generation (especially for the 3 that call me mom).
Sally Clarkson and her “Momheart” team are fire starters – they get the flames of our hearts stirring to be great, to do good. Whether it is reading great books to your little flock, inviting a neighbor for coffee, asking for support from your pastors or hosting a community event, know you are a difference maker no matter the size of sphere of influence. My best advice is stolen straight from scripture,
“Pay attention, (insert your name here), you are my servant. I, the Lord, made you and I will not forget to help you”. Isaiah 44:21
The best source of help is HIM. Ask for direction, submit humbly to instruction and be willing to let a few things go in order to grow. Your calling will never trump your primary roles as wife and mother…if it does, count on a messy trench life.
I am Stacy Buck. My hands hold three precious children and my heart belongs to a husband who introduced me to the ONE, forever changing the story of my life. This husband and I founded In the Trenches, a not-for-profit, that encourages ALL women in their trench of life through writing and speaking. Our hearts beat especially strong for single and military moms that are doing trench life alone. Follow our blog at www.inthetrenches.com , friend me on www.facebook.com/stacy.buck78 and tweet with me www.twitter.com/sbuck78.