When the young people ask me, “How do you do it? How do you have a career and a family and a marriage?” I really just tell them, “Who you pick as your partner is huge.” I mean, my husband, in so many ways, is the key to my success because he is my partner, my teammate and will literally say, “I’ve got this, Babe, go.” So, it’s real important to discuss those things early on in your dating life and not just assume that you’re on the same page.
We also try really hard to surround ourselves with other couples that are strong believers, but also understand the dynamics of what we’re doing (where the wife is working, or maybe even has the sort-of “big job” like I do). Your community is really important, and so is finding a church that encourages you in that way. I mean, I think some churches are more helpful than others in terms of support for women beyond just the support for the stay-at-home moms, and that is sometimes a challenge to find.
Be flexible, be willing to adjust your plans and realize your life won’t be perfect, neat and organized, and that is okay. God won’t let you down. The Bible is filled with examples of people in situations that were not perfect. I was just talking to someone the other day about Sarah, who got pregnant way later in life. I do think western Christianity has sort-of created this idea of the “perfect family,” but the Bible doesn’t really reflect that. Moses didn’t feel equipped, Daniel in the middle of the King’s court and didn’t know what to do…but God never let them down. I look to the Bible for that encouragement.
CCM: Obviously, we mostly cover Christian music, so we’re curious—who are some of your go-to artists or songs?
MA: I rock out to tobyMac all of the time. I frequently play his music in my hotel suite because it pumps me up—“Speak Life,” “Feel It.” I love his songs. I love Mandisa’s “Good Morning.” I love her music. I’m all for the pump-you-up music, if you haven’t been able to tell [laughs]! Jordan Feliz “The River” is a great song. Another favorite, Tim Timmons, I love his story.