Category Archives: Family Life

19 Bible Verses for Pregnancy and Labor

While I was pregnant, I made this list of scriptures that I would read and pray over whenever I was feeling anxious or overwhelmed. I also planned on using them during my labor to help calm and relax me. It turns out I was too tired and delirious during labor to look at them, although I’m sure it would have helped, had I not gone into labor at 10 pm and been unable to sleep  once it had started.

Hopefully they can bring strength and comfort to you as well.19 Scriptures for Pregnancy and Labor

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6, 7 NIV)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
(Psalm 139:13-16 NIV)

All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.
(1 John 4:15, 16, 18 NLT)

God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control.
(2 Timothy 1:7 CEV)

I give you peace, the kind of peace only I can give. It isn’t like the peace this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.
(John 14:27 CEV)

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
(Isaiah 26:3, 4 NLT)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
(1 Peter 5:7 NLT)

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
(Romans 8:18 NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
(Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

I love you, Lord; you are my strength.
(Psalms 18:1 NLT)

O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long.
(Psalms 71:5-8 NLT)

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:13 NLT)

The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
(Psalms 29:11 NLT)

As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.
(Psalms 138:3 NLT)

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
(Ephesians 3:16 NLT)

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
(Exodus 15:2 NLT)

See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.”
(Isaiah 12:2 NLT)

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength…
(Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

 

The Baby Who Would Not Sleep

I’m so blessed to be the mother of a happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl. Sometimes, like today, I get frustrated by the little things. Lily won’t sleep in her crib. She hasn’t been sleeping in her crib since she was four months old, though occasionally I can get her to stay asleep when I set her down. Josh is much better at that than I am. I think his height helps him. So lately I’ve been trying to get her to go to sleep when she’s already in her crib.

It’s not working.

Mostly it involves putting her in her crib when she’s sleepy, then she stands up, I lay her down, she stands up. This continues until I give in and sit on the floor and watch her play in her crib for a while. I do the laying down and standing up game again. I rock her. I nurse her. I try putting her down in her crib and we start all over again.

It ends when either she finally sleeps in the crib (which has only happened once), or I just let her sleep in my arms or on my bed. She’s sleeping in my arms right now. And even though I wasn’t able to get her to sleep, and she won the battle of wills again, I win too. I know I won’t get to hold this precious girl in my arms very long, and I treasure this time. So sleep little angel, I’ll snuggle you if that’s how you like to sleep.

6 months

It has been a long time since I have posted, but I have the very best of excuses. I have spent the last six months enthralled with my baby girl. Lily is a wonderful baby, happy almost all the time, with the cutest dimples you have ever seen. To be honest, she is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen, though you might just think I’m biased.

I am so thrilled to finally be a mother. After I was married, it was as if my life before marriage faded away, and my married life was the beginning of my real life. Now, after having a baby, I have a similar feeling. The life that I had before she was born was wonderful, but I feel alive in a new way now.

If I can ask one thing of my readers, please do not believe the lie that women need to become more like men in order to be a success. Women are more powerful in being women – creating life inside our bodies, and nurturing life once it is born, shaping the future of humanity with loving hearts and service – than we are in becoming power-suit CEOs. I support and desire women to be CEOs and anything else they are gifted to do, but I have discovered something wonderful. God gave women a gift in being mothers, and motherhood needs to receive more respect. It is truly a blessing to be a mother, and no one should disparage that. So please, don’t buy the lie that any child is an inconvenience to be aborted.

I am just so thrilled to watch Lily grow and develop each day. Most recently, she has started sitting and eating food. What a cutey.

Baby Shower

The time is quickly coming… the middle of October is right around the corner. With our baby girl coming soon, my family hosted a baby shower for me. It was a really fun day. Ariel made some very cool beach themed snacks: sand dollar cookies and sand pudding. They were fun and tasty. We played a few different games: one mixed up advice game, guess the children’s book, and shower gift bingo.

Our baby received a lot of very cute clothes and other fun things: toys, bath goodies, diapers, and more. It was a lot of fun and I am so thankful for all the ladies who came and showed their love.

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Gardening

I’ve taken up gardening. I seem to have tried my hand at a lot of hobbies, and I usually get very gung-ho about them for a little while and then they fade away again and I move on to something else. Last year I decided to fix up the garden in the front of our house. It looked very nice when we first moved in, but after neglecting it the following year, it was an ugly mess. So, last year I worked on half of the yard, pulling out the boxwoods and some of the other plants, leaving a few of the plants, and planting a lot of new plants.

I wanted to see if I could stick with it and make something beautiful. I was impressed with my results and discovered that I really enjoyed gardening. It wasn’t a lot of work to weed, and it was so rewarding to watch the flowers bloom and thrive (although I also watched some wither up and die in the hot Oklahoma heat). So this year, Josh built me two raised bed gardens in the backyard for vegetables. I decided to try the square foot gardening method for planting, and so far, so good. I’m watching the plants pop up, and I haven’t found many weeds at all in the vegetable patch. I’ll update later, as the plants grow larger.

Mom and Me

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms reading this! This mother’s day is probably my last before I am a mother myself. I am thinking today about my baby who is probably lying in an orphanage in Russia with dozens of other children and only a few child care workers watching over them. I don’t know who my child is. I don’t know where my child is. I don’t know what his birth mother experienced that she felt she had to give him up.

I pray a blessing on that mother today, and I pray for my child and every other child who is spending today without a mother and a father. I also pray for the mothers who have lost their children because of their poor choices, and are now in prison or have had their parental rights suspended or terminated. Lord, move in all of these lives. Please bring families together and bring orphans into loving families. Please protect and bless the children around the world who are motherless. Thank you for my mother.

I’ve learned a lot from my mom. Sometimes it’s hard to think of what I’ve learned from her, but I know that I only feel that way because it is so hard to determine what I didn’t learn from her. She has taught me so many of the things that I do every day. Her support and love throughout my life has been so important and strengthening to me.

Thank you Mom for teaching me a love of music, and a love of nature, and a love for beauty wherever it is found. Thank you for teaching me to cook. Thank you for teaching me how to laugh at myself. Thank you for showing me how to stand up in front of others and speak or sing, whether I was great or not so great. Thank you for teaching me to love the people around me, my family and friends, with God’s graceful love.  Thank you for letting me try so many things that I didn’t know how to do, and a lot of the time didn’t even finish. Thank you for teaching me to honor and value others and myself. Thank you for reading to me. Thank you for singing me to sleep millions of times.

I’m so blessed to have grown up in a loving family, with such a wonderful mom. I hope that you will teach me how to be a mom like you are, to be able to give so selflessly into my children and my marriage, bringing life to all that I touch. Like you do.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Ambiguity

I’m concerned about the moral ambiguity of my generation. I’m concerned about the harm and pain that is caused from failing to set boundaries and from failing to value precious gifts. I want to share my own story because I think it’s important to be honest, especially now.

When I was a young teenager, I set a rule in my own life to live by. I would not kiss a boy until I was engaged to him and I would not have sex until I was married. This rule was influenced by many factors, The Bible, my parents, my church, and youth organizations. The real point was that I knew what limit I had set and it helped to set my decisions. As a teenager I had several opportunities to break my self-made rule, but I did not.

In college, I dated several different guys. They were each respectful of my boundaries and I am grateful and honor them for that. When I dated my husband, he respected my boundaries as well. After we had been dating for about five months, he was going to be gone for a week or two on a trip out of the country. We said goodbye and both were very broken up about our parting. He managed, with much effort, to cancel his trip and showed up at my family’s doorstep to see if he could spend that time with me instead. At that moment I knew that he loved me. He valued me more than his own plans and dreams. We were not engaged, but I knew that we would be. I kissed him.

We continued to date, and were eventually engaged. We were both virgins until after our wedding vows were made; promising to be faithful to each other until death. Together we made our vows. Together we sealed them. Together we keep them.

I tell this story not to brag on myself: quite the opposite. I was torn by my desires many times over the years from the point that I made my choice until now. At times I longed to go beyond my rule. I cared for my boyfriends, why shouldn’t I kiss them? I didn’t keep my rule because I was self-disciplined or good. I am sure that the only way I kept that promise was because I had asked God what I should do, and I continued to ask Him for his help and grace throughout the years. I believed that God’s way was the best choice I could make.

My generation has not all followed what God said about sex and marriage. But I can promise that those who have slept with multiple partners, lived together before marriage, had affairs during marriage, experienced break-ups, divorces, and separations: you have endured pain. That road is a road that God did not want you to have to travel, and will help you to stay off of in the future. He will forgive you and bring you through the heartache, the loneliness, and the loss. Only Jesus can carry it all for you. Only Jesus can give you the power and grace to walk with moral confidence and courage. I believe in living a moral and proper life, but I also believe that it is impossible apart from God being involved and at work in your life. Choosing to believe God is the first and most important decision that anyone: child, teen, or adult can make. I hope that making that choice will help you to make other wise choices, including living a life of morality, for your own sake and the sake of those you love.

They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.  That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Romans 1:25-32 (NLT)

 

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

Romans 3:21-26 (NLT)