The Monthly Cycle, Ministry and the Mommy-hood Part 2



Engaging on Campus Series

If you missed part 1 you can read it here! 

II. More specifically as missionary mommies - How to Apply this Knowledge: 

To identify what we experience regularly during our monthly cycle can assist us in thinking through commitments we might make or, perhaps, should not make. As you know, most ministry events and the needs of our children don't take breaks when we are suffering from the effects of PMS. Nor should it! Just understanding what our body is up to (because sometimes it does not seem to be ours at certain moments) helps us to anticipate and prepare for the activities of life that we are expected to take part in or that are going on around us. 

While the second half of our month cycle has its 'down' aspects, in reality, we can repurpose these seemingly negative traits like we do old used furniture! First, rather than emphasizing our desire to retreat, feeling lethargic or overly sensitive we can view these weeks as an opportune time for seeking evaluative and reflection time discerning what needs to be adjusted or changed in our lives. Instead of seeing ourselves as passive and dull we can pursue accomplishing routine tasks that do not require creative effort or expansive thinking. Or we can choose to use any free time we have and expect less of ourselves! Maybe we need to just sit, watch over the kids as they build a fort while having a cup of tea and just spend time thinking, knowing that this choice is okay and even might benefit us. 

During the Creative Half of your monthly cycle consider:
  • What project or creative activity do I want to start? Realize you might start it this Creative Half and finish it during some Creative Half in an upcoming month!
  • What friends do I want to call with whom I can go and do something fun? I mean after all now is the time you have energy to organize husbands or babysitters, prepare their schedule for your absence, get meals ready and then actually GO!
  • What ministry contribution can I choose to organize for a small group of women in my home knowing I will have the energy to clean up and play with the kids after they leave?
  • What women in the ministry have voiced a desire to go out and spend time with me and that I have wanted to connect with? Make a plan!
  • How you might wow your husband with romance and physical attention! This is the half where we have the energy!!!!
During the Reflective Half of your monthly cycle:
  • Plan a time of solitude away from the kids where you spend quality time in prayer, the Word and reflection. Journal your thoughts! It will be worth it! Husbands can help cover the kids!
  • Use some time to sit down and evaluate an area of your life that needs renovation: you budget, recipes, your weight and exercise plan, your one-on-one discipling relationships, how you are using your gifts and abilities in the ministry, your marriage, your parenting, think through a skill or trait that you especially want to help develop in one of your children, and etc. 
  • Plan a day of errands or routine tasks with the kids. Get the non-creative done! It will be hard, but you don't have to think too much, just work the plan!
  • Anticipate during your day or certain situations when you are most likely to be critical, impatient or moody. Plan what you will do in order to not give in to that behavior. PMS is not an excuse to do these things. It just makes it more difficult not to do them!
  • During your time of solitude thank God for making you this way.
When we were first married Tom was baffled as he saw the effects of PMS in my life. He actually started to chart my behavior unbeknownst to me! One day he announced his conclusions during the Reflective Half. Gee, I wonder what kind of discussion ensued???

If you have never done it before, begin tracking your emotional and physical responses and energy. See if you have monthly trends. Ask your husband not only for his observations but his help in lightening your load during those burdensome days. 

Our cycle is not a punishment; rather it is part of our God-given design. If you have difficulty with PMS, get your husband thinking and praying it through with you. If we allow it, the challenge of PMS will push us to grow and see life through a constructive lens with diverse dimensions. We can use our knowledge of God's design to make the best plan for each week, and everyone around us will benefit! 

Dana with Tom has been on staff with the Navs for over 30 years and married over 40 years.  They are blessed with six children and seven grandchildren.  Dana has lived in many places throughout her life time;  Florida, Maryland, Indonesia, Chicago, and Colorado Springs to name a few.  Dana's loves are the Word of God, people and helping people learn.  

To contact Dana please email her at: Dana.Yeakley@navigators.org

What did you take away from Dana's post? What "Creative Idea" or "Reflective Idea" would you like to try?


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