Prepare The Turtle Formation

Nine years ago today, I laid in a hospital bed unprepared for the news I would hear. “You have to deliver the baby today but he won’t survive.” Incompatible with life. Just a couple more weeks in the womb and the story would be so different.

We held our baby Caleb, remarking on his long fingers and fingernails, and how he had his daddy’s nose. While our eyes filled with tears we knew he was home in heaven. In those moments I learned the depth of a mother’s love and the depth of a mother’s pain.


The days and weeks and months that followed brought grief, yet hope, sadness, yet trust in God, heartache, yet faith. I had family and friends who surrounded me in prayer, hope and support. It’s called a Turtle Formation.


In Bible times, when Roman soldiers were under attack they would come together with their shields – as big as doors – and huddle inside with the shields facing out. The formation looked like the shell of a turtle. Each shield was so big it would cover one soldier plus the gaps on the sides between soldiers. The enemy would hurl flaming arrows, but the shields would extinguish them.


Ephesians 6:16 tells us that God gives us armor. “Take up your shields of faith with which to extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy.”

On days like this I remember Caleb, nine years in heaven. I remember the sadness I felt. I remember leaning against the tree by his grave praying God would bring him back to life. I remember crying in the grocery store. I remember discovering that Kleenex shreds into pieces on my tear-stained cheeks. And I remember the faith-filled friends who stood by me.


Every comment on Facebook, every heart emoji, every text, every card, every phone call – they extinguish those fiery darts the enemy throws trying to make me question and doubt. Friends, your words have helped me stand firm taking up my shield of faith. I thank God for you!


Do you have friends like that? Do you have friends who hold up their shields of faith to protect you when you are hurting? When you face struggles and temptations, do you have friends to call? I hope you never need them. But I know that isn’t reality. We all need people to stand with us in faith when our faith is tested.


Be the friend who calls, who remembers, who cares. Take up your shield of faith and know that God is good, He is faithful, and you can trust Him.

The Gifts of God

At Christmas time we focus a lot on gifts. Making gift lists, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, receiving gifts. I wonder if you’ve ever had a time when you opened a gift you didn’t want. As you pull it out of the box you’re thinking, I don’t like this color or pattern. But the person who gave it to you is watching so you put on a fake smile and say “thank you so much …” Meanwhile you’re still looking for a gift receipt. At least you could exchange it…? But no. Your only option is to accept the gift. 

Have you ever had to accept something in life you didn’t want? Illness, job loss, miscarriage, infertility, divorce, death of a loved one.

About 9 years ago my husband and I were expecting our first child. But halfway through the pregnancy something was wrong. I was rushed to the hospital where the doctors told me I had to deliver the baby that night, but that he wouldn’t survive. A range of emotions and thoughts filled our minds over the next few hours as we waited for labor to intensify. But our main focus was, we didn’t have a name for this baby. What do you name a baby who will go straight to heaven?

There was one bible story that kept coming to mind. It’s the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. They had miraculously left Egypt, survived the plagues that God sent to Pharaoh and the people, they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground as God parted the waters.. and now they’re in the desert. They were on their way to the Promised Land. It’s called “the Promised Land” because God promised to give this land to the Israelites. That simple.

Moses decides to send 12 men into the promised land to spy on it, to check it out and report back to the people what they find. These 12 men come back and say the land is amazing. It’s exactly how God promised – flowing with milk and honey, filled with the best fruits. BUT 10 men said there are giants living there. And we can’t beat them. The other 2 men said yes there are giants, but God is giving us this land. Let’s go! Those two men were Joshua and Caleb. Unfortunately the Israelites caved in to the fear that the 10 men had. They were afraid of the giants. They didn’t believe God’s promise. They doubted God. And so God said that those people would not see the promised land. The entire generation would die, except for Joshua and Caleb.

They roamed around the wilderness, the desert for 40 years, waiting for that generation of Israelites to die. Then Joshua and Caleb, now in their 80s would lead the people into the promised land.

What does this story have to do with a baby? I knew there were going to be “giants” in my future. There would be fears about having children, trying to get pregnant again, losing more children. I did not want to live in fear.  So I said to my husband, how about we name the baby Joshua? He said there was a Josh in kindergarten who punched him in the nose. So how about Caleb?

Naming our baby Caleb was a reminder – is still a reminder – to me to not give in to fear and worry, but to stand firm in God’s promises. God didn’t promise me a baby. But there are 3 promises I want to share with you today that we can depend on 3 GIFTS God gives us. 

First, God promises to be with us. Immanuel – God is with us. Hebrews 13:5 God says “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.” When a friend betrays you, when those who are supposed to love us walk away, when the world leaves us lonely, God will NEVER leave us. When you are walking through sadness, grief, despair, God is with you.  Matthew. 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God with us.”

Second, God promises to give us PEACE. We live in a world where anxiety is a common word, a common ailment. You can get a prescription to fix your anxiety. And certainly there are a lot of things we can be worried and anxious about, IF we didn’t have God to call out to. Philippians 4 tells us that PRAYER is the antidote to worry. Verses 6-8 says “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.” Can you even imagine your heart and mind being so guarded, so protected by peace in Christ, that no worries, no anxious thoughts can even get in?!

The peace from God doesn’t make sense. Not by any worldly standards. When Caleb died, I was grieving deeply. Yet I had peace. When I got pregnant again months later, I should’ve been afraid and worried. But I wasn’t. God had given me peace that is beyond our understanding. He wants us to live in that peace. When we bring our worries to Him and we pray, He will give us Peace.

Third gift God gives is the promise of JOY. True joy does not depend on circumstances but on the presence of the Lord with us. This joy is not a continuous smile but a satisfaction in what the Lord has done and in his presence with us. Jeremiah 31:13 God says “I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” There are a lot of verses about God turning our sorrow into joy. Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes with the morning. And I read all of them after Caleb died. But I didn’t understand it. How is God going to turn this despair into joy? There’s never going to be a time where I am happy that my baby died, but there is a joyful contentment that God is in control. I’m thankful for the two boys I have at home, but neither of them replaced Caleb. You can’t create joy. Getting married won’t bring you joy. Getting divorced won’t bring you joy either. Your kids getting to a certain age won’t bring joy. Your bank account getting to a certain number won’t bring joy. A job promotion, a retirement, a cure… it won’t bring joy. It might bring happiness, but that’s not permanent. 

Joy isn’t based on our circumstances. In fact, joy is mixed in with the other gifts God gives us. Joy and Peace are BECAUSE we have Immanuel. Because God is WITH us we can have JOY in any circumstance. Because He is a God who is faithful, who is good, whose love for us is beyond compare. We can trust Him. Because He is a God who loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we who believe in Him can have eternal life.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Are you longing for the peace and joy that only He can give? Do you want God with you? Then you just have to tell Him. If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead you will be saved (Romans 10:9). You will have Immanuel – God with you. You will have Peace that passes understanding. You will have Joy instead of sorrow. 

These gifts from God are for you. You just need to accept them.

The Reason of the Universe

The New Testament was originally written in Greek, so oftentimes looking up the Greek word provides helpful insight in understanding verses in the Bible. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Word in Greek is Logos. The Greeks used logos as an impersonal reason of the universe, a sense of purpose, holding everything together. John goes on to explain that Jesus is the Word, or the Logos. Jesus is the personal, reason of the universe.

The whole first chapter of John is an introduction to the identity of Jesus Christ. John tells us that Jesus is God (v1), the Maker (v2), the true Light (v9), the Son of God (v14), God the One and only (v18), Lamb of God (v29), Chosen One (v34), Rabbi (v38), Messiah (v41), the One Moses wrote about (v45), the King of Israel (v49), and the Son of Man (v51).

How can Jesus be all these things? Because He is God. God became a man, so we can have a relationship with God.

In this first chapter of John, we see the beginning of Jesus’ disciples. Andrew had been following John the Baptist until he saw Jesus and declared “look the Lamb of God.” Andrew left John the Baptist and started following Jesus. The first thing he did was go and tell his brother Simon Peter about Jesus and bring his brother to meet Jesus. That’s exactly our mission too – tell others about Jesus, starting with your family. Simon comes to Jesus and Jesus changes his name to Peter, telling him that He has greater things planned for him.

Then Philip finds Jesus and follows him. Jesus calls Philip to discipleship: a surrendering of himself to follow Jesus. Philip tells his friend Nathanael, who is not so quick to believe. But Jesus knows Nathanael before He meets him. Hearing what Jesus already knows about Nathanael, he chooses to believe, declaring “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

Before He meets them, Jesus knows the disciples’ past and He knows their future. The same with us – He knows your past – the good and the bad. And He is calling you to a greater future. Don’t let your past hold you back from living the life Jesus has for you.

A Strange Introduction

I’m hosting a summer Bible study for women and children, complete with a babysitter to do games, crafts and Bible stories with the kids while the moms chat and study the Bible. But this first week I did the kids’ lesson. I thought you’d enjoy it too or want to share with your kids.

John 1:1

“The Word was in the beginning. The Word was with God. The Word was God.” (New Living Translation)

What does this even mean? Who is this about? It’s actually about Jesus! In fact this is an introduction. When you meet someone you might say, hi my name is Debbie. But what if they want to know more? What else would you say? You could add how old you are, where you are from, maybe your parents’ names.

That’s exactly what John is saying. He is introducing us to Jesus. If we replace “Word” with the name Jesus, it makes a little more sense to us: Jesus was in the beginning. Jesus was with God. Jesus was God.

Now we have a little science experiment. We’ll take this empty plastic bottle and fill it 1/3 full of hot water. Then I’ll take this ice cube and put it over the top opening of the bottle. Do you know what ice is made of? Water! We have water in the bottle, frozen water (ice) at the top, and in the middle what is forming? Fog – that’s another type of water. All three things are water, yet they are all different. That is exactly like God! God is one God but in three forms: the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son Jesus Christ.

Let’s read a few more verses: “He was with God in the beginning. He made all things. Nothing was made without Him making it. Life began by Him. His Life was the Light for men. The Light shines in the darkness. The darkness has never been able to put out the Light.” (John 1:2-5)

Now I have some glow stick bracelets for you. When you wear these, you can remember that Jesus is the light. When you feel “darkness” – like sad or scared or lonely – you can talk to Jesus and remember that He makes the darkness go away. Jesus is the Light!

*If you live in the area, send me a message and come to the next Summer Study (Tuesday mornings). Stay tuned: I’ll be posting some of the adult lessons too!

I’m a Discipline Expert (part 2)

 

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From my childhood. 4 years old.

Now maybe you think I’m speaking this week because I’m an expert at discipline and love languages. But actually there was just an opening in the schedule. This chapter was hard! I find myself thinking in a totally different way than before. Perhaps you grew up similar to me, where if you did something wrong you were spanked, sent to your room, or couldn’t go out with friends on the weekend. My parents actually don’t remember me ever doing anything wrong as a child, but unfortunately that obedience was not hereditary. Everyone makes mistakes, and this chapter gives some great insight.

[Did you read Part 1 about Discovering your child’s Love Language?]

We must keep the child’s love tank full, BEFORE we administer discipline.

Spanking, time-outs, etc, are actually considered punishment, which is a form of discipline but it is the most negative. Discipline actually means to train.

The main cause of misbehavior in our children is an empty emotional (love) tank. You can’t demand good behavior from a child who doesn’t feel loved. The second cause of misbehavior is a physical problem. The younger the child, the more true this is, right? For some of us, it is obvious when it’s nap time, or when the child hasn’t had a snack. Misbehavior still isn’t acceptable even if your son is hungry or tired, but the problem can be quickly relieved.

A question to ask yourself before disciplining your child: does my child feel sorry for what he has done? If there is genuine repentance, then there is no need to proceed further. He has learned and repented. At that point, punishment could be destructive.

That helps us understand why our kids misbehave, but we still want kids who are behaving well so the book lists 5 ways to control your child’s behavior:

  • Make requests: this shows you respect his feelings, you believe he is smart enough to form an opinion, your expect him to take responsibility.
  • Issuing Commands: more forceful than requests; this disregards a child’s opinion and feelings, not giving responsibility to them. The more you use authoritarian techniques such as commands, scolding, nagging, screaming, the LESS effective you become.
  • Gentle Physical Manipulation: move the 3 year old. When you are saying “time to come inside” and they are saying no, no no, just take their hand and move them gently.
  • Punishment: Make sure it fits the crime, be consistent, be appropriate. In order to do these things you need to plan ahead. 
  • Behavior Modification: Positive reinforcement – reward for appropriate behavior (piece of candy)
    • Negative reinforcement – take away a positive element from child’s environment (take away TV time)
    • Punishment – Place negative element in child’s environment (send to his room)
    • Don’t overuse or child won’t feel loved, he will think love is conditional

Don’t use a form of discipline directly related to your child’s primary love language.

If your child’s primary love language is Quality Time and you put your child in a Time Out by himself, you are sending a message of painful rejection. Instead consider a “time in” where you sit with him, talk about what went wrong and how to do things differently.

If your child’s love language is words of affirmation and you speak harshly, you are sending a message of rejection. And remember if they don’t feel loved the discipline isn’t effective.

Thanks for reading Part 1 and Part 2 of my talk, but my favorite part is coming up. How did Jesus discipline? Check back tomorrow for some examples of how Jesus showed love through these love languages.

I’m a Love Expert

Not really. Not at all. But I did recently speak about Love Languages at my moms group Bible study. We are reading The 5 Love Languages for Children (by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell) and I had the privilege of speaking on chapters 7 and 8 – discovering your child’s love language and discipline with love languages. These were weighty chapters with lots of great information. First, if you aren’t familiar with the 5 Love Languages, these charts might help.

You might be wondering WHY? Why do we need to know what our child’s primary love language is? Well, we all need love expressed in each of these ways, but each of us has a primary “language” of how we feel emotional love. These Love Languages provide great insight into how our children think and behave. 

When your child feels loved, when her emotional tank is full, she will be more responsive to parental guidance in all areas of her life. She will listen without resentment. (P. 109)

Learn all five love languages, practice all five, but specialize in the one primary language for each of your children. However, know that it can change, especially in adolescence. Use the Primary Love Language when your child is discouraged or feeling distant, so you can show them emotional love.

  • 5 ways to Discover:
    • Observe how your child expresses love to you;
    • Observe how your child expresses love to others;
    • Listen to what your child requests most often.
      • Examples: If your child is saying: look what I’m doing, come play outside, sit & read a book, then they are asking for Quality Time.
      • If your child is asking what do you think of the paper I wrote, do you like my outfit, how did I do in the game, they are asking for Words of Affirmation.
    • Notice what your child most frequently complains about;
    • Give your child a choice between two options. Examples pages 116-117.

The authors also suggest you conduct a 15 week experiment where you focus on each love language for a couple weeks. If you’re doing that, then you must really love your child. Who has that kind of time?! Just kidding. Some of you have already started your 15 week experiment and that is awesome! Report back to us in March about how that went (ha!).

Next, how to Discipline your child in relation to their love language. But you’ll have to come back tomorrow.

Why Fundraising is Biblical (Part 2)

Here is a two part Biblical basis for why we fund raise. Make sure you read Part 1 of Why Fundraising is Biblical.

2 Corinthians 8-9 — Paul encourages generosity.

“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (8:2). Make sure you don’t “say no” for others. Don’t cross them off your list to ask just because you know of something in their life that you think would prohibit them from giving. In these chapters Paul describes the Macedonian Christians giving as much as they were able. In fact they pleaded with the disciples for the “privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people” (8:4).

Are you inviting others to partner with you in accomplishing your mission? Are you allowing others the privilege to join you?

At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality” (8:14). You have something to offer your donors. It may not be financial, but it may be one of the services of your organization. Or it may be a benefit you discover through a personal relationship with your donors.

“We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man” (8:20-21). Be good stewards of the resources you are given.

Philippians 4:10-20 — Paul thanks the Philippians for their support.

“Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles” (v14). Giving to help Paul was a way for his friends and others to share in his troubles, to identify with his problems and to help him. They became partners with Paul.

“The gifts you sent are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (v18). Even more than donations helping our organizations, these donations are a way to worship God. People can worship the Lord and honor Him, by giving of their resources.

1 Timothy 6 – Be rich in good deeds.

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (v6). Everything we have is God’s. He has given it to us, or provided for us, allowing us to be born where we were, given the privileges we have, the education we received, and the healthy body to work. Whether directly, or indirectly, the Lord has provided everything you have. We give back to Him out of gratitude for all He has done for us.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (v17). God provides things for our enjoyment, so we can put ourselves in His hands. We can trust Him with all He has given us. Don’t trust in your wealth which can so easily be gone, but trust in God.

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (v 18). We are commanded to give. It benefits others, but it also benefits us as we “store up treasures in heaven” (v19).

Why Fundraising is Biblical

Did you know Jesus lived on financial support? He even sent His disciples out to raise support. Generously giving to others is encouraged throughout the Bible. So why do we shrink away from asking people to give? Why do we get nervous and afraid when it comes to exchanging money? Maybe it’s because we need a better understanding of the foundation of fundraising.

Psalm 50, 124 — God owns it all.

“I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (50:9-10). God is speaking to the people about the animals they sacrifice as offerings to Him. He doesn’t need them because He owns everything. All we have belongs to the Lord. What we give Him isn’t necessary for Him, its necessary for us because it helps us recognize His authority in our lives. Giving away of our resources helps us not be dependent on them, as well as trusting God to continue to provide for us.

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, maker of heaven and earth” (124:8). The Lord made everything. We can trust Him to provide for our non-profits as we ask others to give, and we can trust Him as individuals giving away our resources.

Luke 8:1-3 — Jesus lives on support.

“These women were helping to support them out of their own means” (v 3). These women were supporting Jesus and the disciples because their lives had been impacted by Jesus’s ministry. Who are the people impacted by your work? Have you told them about your financial needs? Do they know the impact they can make on your ministry if they donate. 

Luke 10:1-7 — Jesus sends out his disciples to live on support.

“Stay there eating and drinking whatever they give you, for a worker deserves his wages” (v 7). Jesus sends the disciples to every town where He is about to go. They are preparing the way for Jesus. But He gives them clear instruction not to bring a purse or bag or sandals. Not even to say hi along the way. Jesus wants the disciples to go directly to their destination and to be focused on their objective. The people in each town will provide for the disciples’ needs, because a worker deserves his wages.

1 Corinthians 9 — Paul defends the right of living on support.

“Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?” (v 7,11). I think Paul could have done a mic drop after this. Amen! We should expect people who are impacted by our ministries, schools, non-profits to want to give back to the organizations that have helped them.

Read Part 2 of Why Fundraising is Biblical

Fashion Faux Pas: Busted!

Jeff and DebbieEmail From My Cousin: Hope you had fun at your friend’s wedding–you looked great!  I have to ask, having just looked at so many of our old photos, is that black and white dress the same one you wore to Susan’s wedding? If so, Jen Hatmaker would be so proud of you for making good use of it over the years!! 🙂 It just looked familiar, and I wondered if you’d rediscovered it during your “clothes purge”!  Way to go, if so!

Reply from Me: LOL! Yes that zebra print dress was bought for Susan’s wedding 14 years ago! I did rediscover it in the purge and it fit so I texted Cathy a picture of me in it and asked if it was still “in.” The fashionista said yes so I wore it. I bought that little sweater thing at Ann Taylor the other day for $30 which conveniently hid my horrendous farmers tan… I need to buy some sleeveless tops. My mom was like “buy a new dress!!” And I was like no, it’s fine, why buy something to only wear it once again. Then she showed up to babysit and was wowed by the dress. She couldn’t believe it was 14 years old. Haha. Thanks for noticing and sharing this 7 moment 🙂

Response From Cousin: I knew it!!!!!  That’s hilarious… the little sweater looked perfect with it, and I think it’s fantastic that not only did you “recycle” the dress, but that you fit into something from 14 years ago!!  You’ve got to add that story to your next “7”-related blog post.

Done. Following the themes of 7 from previous blog posts (here, here, here and here), not buying a new dress saved money which can be re-purposed to help others in need and it didn’t add any more waste to the earth. Do you have fashionable clothes you’ve “recycled” through the years? Instead of fashion faux pas, I call it fashion smart.

Here I am 14 years ago with some cousins.

20140809-102932-37772079.jpg

Forced To Rest

Rest. Why is it so hard? I like to be active, doing things, checking things off my list. In fact, when I do something that wasn’t on my list, I usually add it to the list just so I can check it off. Despite the fact that I know prayer and reading the Bible are so important in life and vital to a growing walk with Christ, I feel like those things don’t count as “things I’ve done today.” If Jeff came home and asked what I did, and my response was “pray and read the Bible…” I’d feel like I hadn’t accomplished anything.

Imagine my surprise when I was forced to rest.

It was really cold in surgery so afterward they put warm towels and blankets on me.

It was really cold in surgery so afterward they put warm towels and blankets on me.

When I was 21 weeks pregnant with Jack, a routine doctor’s appointment revealed that my cervix had shortened and labor was imminent, unless I underwent an emergency surgery. A few short hours later I was in surgery getting a cerclage (a stitch around the cervix to keep it closed), followed by four months of bed rest. I waited in my hospital room to see my doctor and ask what “bed rest” really meant.

Can I do laundry or make dinner? The horrified look on my doctor’s face was my answer. “No. And you’re sitting up too much right now,” the doctor said as she lowered my hospital bed to nearly flat. Strict bed rest meant laying flat in bed. The success of the cerclage relied on gravity: the weight of the baby couldn’t rest on that stitch anymore than absolutely necessary.

I knew the baby’s life depended on my ability to lay flat for four months. I took bed rest very seriously, because I knew the outcome if I didn’t. Before Jack, we had our son Caleb, who was born prematurely, just halfway through the pregnancy. While some women take bed rest lightly and still manage to do normal every day things, I knew that wasn’t a risk I could take. I turned bed rest into my job.

DSCN8810Thankfully I was surrounded by family and friends who made sure our meals were taken care of and that I was entertained during the day while Jeff worked. I was (and still am) astounded at how many people volunteered to bring us dinner, or who came over just to hang out with me. Many people came over who had never been to our house before. Thanks to the garage remote that worked from our bed room, people Photo on 2012-01-23 at 15.47would call when they arrived, I’d push the remote button to let them in and they’d find their way up to the master bedroom where I spent most of the day. Then when they left they’d honk twice and I’d close the garage. Some school kids saw the honk & close garage and were amazed. Haha! Fun trick.

God seemed to use times of rest in the Bible to show people that they could Trust Him and that He would Provide. Since I wouldn’t be going to church or Bible study on bed rest, I knew I needed to fill my mind with God’s word and prayer in order to not succumb to fear. It’d be easy to fear the “what ifs” but I knew I needed to stand firm in faith. I read the Bible every day and did Beth Moore video Bible studies for “church.” One friend even came over one Sunday morning to do church with me. Through it all, God showed me I can trust Him. He hears my prayers and answers me. He will provide for my every need.

IMG_2362If you’ve followed this blog, you’ve probably heard me tell the story or read about how Jack shocked all the doctors by arriving LATE. The cerclage was removed at 37 weeks, I was off of bed rest and allowed to do whatever I wanted, and the doctors (and me) expected Jack to come any day. Almost 4 weeks later, at 40 weeks 5 days pregnant, I was INDUCED and Jack was born. What a miracle he is! What a reminder he is of God’s faithfulness and answered prayers. From the day after the cerclage, we prayed for a full-term baby and believed that God would give him to us, according to Mark 11:24 (“whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours.) God answered our prayers.

The idea of rest is so foreign to our culture today. There are few people or businesses who pause and take a break on the Sabbath. But we can be different. Together we can recognize God’s command and example to rest. We can trust God to provide for our needs while we set aside a day to stop working, to enjoy our families, to worship our Lord, to be grateful for the many blessings He has provided.

In the hospital

In the hospital

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done” Genesis 2:2-3. 

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work” Exodus 20:8-10