Tag Archives: Bible

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 Command of Love

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.

(John 15:12-17 NLT)

My community group is reading Radical by David Platt right now. Our last chapter talked about giving and blind spots in our spiritual lives.

This scripture hits home every time I read it. Jesus commands us to love each other the same way that He loves us: with our whole lives even if it kills us, in other words. Doing whatever it takes to share His love with the people of the world.

This is intense. We were talking just yesterday about what it would take for us to sell everything and give it to the poor as Jesus asked the rich young man to do in Matthew.

Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

(Matthew 19:21, 22 NLT)

I pray that in my own life I am able to say no to possessions in order to say yes to Jesus. I know it’s possible to give more. We wondered how much should we give? How much should we save in wisdom without saving to the point of being greedy or hoarding?

The answer is probably give more than is comfortable. Love each other in the same way I have loved you. Love people around you extravagantly.

Lord Jesus, your love and sacrifice for me is so immense. I am intimidated by your command that I should love the people around me with that much love. Please open my eyes today to see who I can show your love to, and how to do it. Give me courage to be bold in loving others.

Adoption

And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”

Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Galatians 4:3-7 (NLT)

One of the most amazing and most unfathomable acts of love that God has ever done for us is to adopt us as His children. We are so far below Him, and so far removed from His glory and power, yet He has opened up His family to us. We can come into a close and loving relationship with God.

Our Journey to Adoption

Our church teaches a lot about adoption and orphan care, and as Josh and I have been exposed to the facts and the more personal stories of orphans and adoption, we started to consider a different way of building our family. We always intended to have children after being married for a few years. The more we found out about adoption though, the more we felt that adoption was a wonderful way to build our family.

From the statistical information gathered by UNICEF, there are 14-17 million orphans in the world. With so many children without a family, and with the population of the world becoming unsustainable, adoption became the very best option for Josh and I. We have been reading and listening to a lot of information about adoption. We know there will be struggles along the way, but I think there would be struggles with raising children regardless of how they began their lives in the world.

The Process

When you begin the adoption process, you quickly realize that you have to make some very important decisions before you even start your paperwork. One of the first things we had to do was pick a country to adopt from. We read and made some charts to help us narrow down the list. We felt that US children receive better care in foster homes and emergency shelters than a lot of orphans around the world, and we felt led to international adoption. We discovered that there are some countries that have requirements that we were unable to meet, be it age or weight or length of marriage. We also knew that we wanted a young child, under 3 years old. Those helped to narrow down our choices. After that we tried to pick a country that had a history of stability in their international adoption program with the USA. In the process of research, I read about the number and the conditions of orphans in Russia and felt very strongly about adopting from Russia.

We decided to move forward with international adoption from Russia. We chose a local agency to work with and began the process. We completed a basic application, then an in depth application. We wrote out our life stories. We asked friends to write reference letters for us. We had to choose a guardian for our child in case of our deaths. We had to submit financial statements, physicals, and copies of all of our vital papers.

Currently we are still in our Home Study process. We had a series of interviews with our social worker, and several research activities that we needed to do: find out about Russia, find Russian cultural contacts in our city, research medical conditions that our child has a strong possibility of having (from Russia, that means FASD, attachment issues, and malnutrition). I visited a local store that is run by a Russian woman, and has imports from Europe, including Russia. I also attended the International Women’s Day Party that this store hosted, focusing on Russian culture (although there was entertainment from all over Europe).

What’s Next

After our Home Study is finalized, we will have more paperwork to fill out, for the US and for our Russian dossier. Once our dossier (the huge packet of information about our entire lives that we sent to Russia) arrives in Russia, we will have a 3-6 month waiting period before we receive a referral of a child. We have been told that it is very probably going to be a boy because we are open to either sex. At that point we will travel to Russia and meet our potential child. Then we will schedule a court date, which we will travel to Russia again for and after the court approves, we will travel a third time to Russia to pick up our child and bring him home.

We are excited and nervous, but it is going to be such a wonderful experience. I am already sometimes overwhelmed by all the potential issues we might face, but I know that God will take care of us and our child. He will give us the grace and strength that we need and will protect and provide for us throughout this process and our lives.

Here are some more scriptures about orphans and adoption. There are more: the theme of adoption is throughout the Bible.

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:26 (NLT)

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

Ephesians 1:5-7 (NLT)

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:4-6 (NIV)

Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27 (NIV)

Who Will You Serve?

 But if you refuse to serve the Lord , then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord .”
(Joshua 24:15 NLT)

Choose who you will serve because you will serve someone or something. You can serve God. You can serve the gods of other people. You can even serve the gods of the other people who live down the street.

I feel like it’s easy to sometimes serve the gods of modern America: wealth, power, pleasure, ease and laziness. I’ve seen how the rest of the world lives and no one compares to the extravagance of regular people like us. And our nation is sitting on top of other countries’ hard work for low wages and in terrible conditions.

What does serving God in America really mean? What should I be doing differently in order to be a servant of God? Going without something? Showing His love in more tangible ways to those in need? If the balance is so far off center, can each tiny act of kindness still make a difference? It has to. All we have is one choice, one action, one breath at a time.

Photo by Artondra Hall