A Birth and A Rebirth

[I will be posting What The?! later today. Today is my daughter’s birthday and I wanted this to be what I posted about; parts of this post are based on the speech I gave to my group at SheSpeaks in June]

Eight years ago today, I became a mom. Last year, I documented the day by showcasing photos of me and my wee babe.

While I became a mom that day, it wasn’t my first pregnancy. I had lost a baby to a miscarriage the year before, and I’d had an abortion 11 years prior. Abigael’s birth was a sort-of rebirth for me and so I celebrate this day with her. She is my sweet sweet girl, and she is nothing less than a gift from the Lord.

I had spend the years prior to her birth aching because of my poor judgment. I wondered if I would ever be able to hold a baby of my own in my arms. I worried that I’d be punished and be barren.

When I became pregnant in early 1999 (10 years, to the month, after I had become pregnant before), I felt redeemed. Restored. Forgiven. I felt that the Lord had smiled at me and told me it was okay and that He loved me. When an ultrasound later revealed that there was no hearbeat, I felt that my own heart had been shattered again at that very moment.

What had happened to that love and forgiveness that the Lord had just bestowed up me just a few short weeks earlier?

Despair covered me and seeped through me.

I felt abandoned by Him.

That pregnancy had signified so much in my mind. The miscarriage signified even more.

I cried out to Him and fell on my knees and searched His Word – looking for answers. Looking for Him. Asking Him why?

From that despair, I was lead to a bible study for women healing from abortions, and through that study, He met with me.

I found Him and He began to heal me. From the shame. From the fear of my sin being discovered.

All of the years of suffering and basing the Lord’s forgiveness on my circumstances… when all along, I had been forgiven.

A year later, to the month, I was pregnant again. This time, it was different. This time, I got it:

He had restored me and I would never be the same.

Happy 8th, sweet girl

She wasn’t the first wee babe God sent to change my life.

[If you are dealing with this same situation, I highly recommend the bible study I mentioned above, from Healing Hearts Ministries.]

What Women Want

That title is awesome, is it not??

I could give you my immediate short list:

  • a Caramel Sonic Java Chiller
  • a hammer to knock down this writer’s block wall I’ve hit this week
  • a Caramel Sonic Java Chiller
  • oh, and did I mention a Caramel sonic Java Chiller (they use ice cream in those things! not just ice and frozen coffee… ice.cream.)
  • a couple extra hours today

My list on days that start too early:

  • a huge pot of coffee
  • the ability to get everything I need to do before 8:00AM done in my sleep

For the long-term (see my full list of [sadly neglected] goals here):

  • about 20 pounds to magically vanish from my body
  • a beauty team to come in an give me a makeover
  • to get my butt movin’ and finally train for a marathon
  • and get my design business rockin’ again

But really, when it comes down to it, what do women want?

Lisa T. Bergren & Rebecca Price have written a book that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it at the bookstore. I am a person who totally judges a book by its cover, and this book is gorgeous!! Look!:

What-Women-Want

Isn’t that lovely?

But you know what is really super-fab about this book? The contents supercede the cover.

I neglected to mention that the subtitle is: The Life You Crave and How God Satisfies. And that is the true beauty of this book. Because that is what it really boils down to. (Boil it, skim off the scum and fat and you are left with something tasty for the soul)

In all of their research they discovered what women do want. Women “simply crave more of what we value most – deeper relationships, stronger faith, more meaningful work, better balance and happier homes.”

This would be a great book to work through with the women in your bible study. If you don’t have one, I’d like to encourage you to consider starting one.

To read excerpts:

For a chance to win a copy, follow these instructions:

Rebecca Price and Lisa Bergren want all about your “sister of the heart”… send the girls an email at amy@litfusegroup.com telling who your best friend is and why she is your “heart sister”!

Your stories will be posted at the Satisfied Heart blog…the story with the most comments will win a copy of What Women Want and the What Women Want soundtrack of their choice for themselves and for their “heart sister”!

And…if that wasn’t enough, leave a comment on this post and they’ll toss your name into the hat for a $15 Starbucks Card. You know…just in case you need that cup of get-up-and-go to get you motivated for your Bible study!

So you say you can’t find the time

Is that your excuse for not spending time with God and pursuing a relationship with Him?

Thanks to Lisa T. Bergren (author of the adorable God Gave us You) we no longer have that excuse standing in our way. She has written The Busy Mom’s Devotional. And the tag line? 10 Minutes a Week to a Life of Devotion.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Ten minutes per week is not a ton of time to spend together with anyone you are trying to get to know and maintain a relationship with. This book isn’t even trying to suggest that. As Lisa mentions in the intro, this is about making it a gift of time versus another guilt-inducing “to do” in your life. It is a starting spot for being able to carve out a chunk of time. And if you prefer, take the 52 devotionals and use one daily for 52 days.

This is no watered-down devotional. It is designed to make you think and to help you focus on Him.

One of the things that I love about it is that at the beginning of each session there is a spot titled Things on My Mind. Who of us doesn’t have fifty gajillion things bumping around in our minds at any given moment. This is a place to write down those things – grocery lists, to-do lists… anything keeping you from being able to focus.

Want a copy for yourself? That’s what I thought. So I am giving away a copy here on the ‘ole bl-awg. To enter – leave a comment telling me what has been standing in the way of a regular quiet time. I will pick a winner, same as always. You have until this Sunday afternoon, the 20th to enter. I will announce the winner that evening.

Once again. I’d love to give one to each of you, but I have to buy diapers this weekend… But if you don’t win, have no fear! Lisa is giving away three books. Head over to Lisa’s (here) and sign up for her newsletter. Send her a quick email with “I just enrolled” in the subject line. (You can do this right from the contact page).

Be blessed.

A question for you. Yes, you.

Yesterday, I spent a lovely day with my brilliant friend and her cute kids (and the post she wrote today is proof-positive of that). We hung out, and then I threw my kids at her and left for a meeting at the Tennessean. Then I raced back, hung out some more, and a bit more and then realized that I was probably beginning to grow moss and had better gather myself and my youngins and head out because I also had a meeting with the Minister of Adults at church.

Do I have a point, you ask?

Oh right, yes. I did say I have a question for you.

Brevity is so overrated…

My meeting with the Minister of Adults was about the women’s ministry at church. I am going to lead a women’s bible study during the day. Our church already offers women’s bible studies, but they are in the evenings. And seriously, evenings are so sacred around here, that I can’t imagine adding one more thing. Or my head justmightexplode. And I know that there are plenty of other moms that feel this way about needing a time with other moms while being able to soak up God’s Word. And not to mention the fact that cleaning up my exploded head would be one more mess on my already full to-do list. And who has time for that, anyway…

(Is there a limit to the number of times one can start a sentence with and? ‘Cause I think I just reached it…)

My question? (really it’s many questions):

* What does your church’s Women’s Ministry do that you feel is working in a positive way? Or what do you wish it would do to reach women and/or moms?

* What are the things that it does and/or offers to meet the needs of women (and specifically, moms)?

* What bible studies have you done that you would consider great women’s and/or mom studies? (I’m looking for something other than Beth Moore. I love her studies, but I’m looking for a variety of studies, and I know that hers are the obvious choice.)

Please post your answers or thoughts in comments (or email me; though, I’d love for your answers to be available to others who might be reading this and need the information.)

I’d really love to hear you thoughts and ideas.
*edited to add: the study will be held at the church, and childcare will be provided

(ps – if you are looking to expand your Valentine’s Day vocabulary, be sure to see post below)

Holy Cow?

 

*any boys reading this? — run in the other direction from this post*

I keep forgetting to mention that I am working on Beth Moore’s “A Woman’s Heart” (God’s Dwelling Place) bible study. Wednesday was our first night of meeting together.

For those of you who have done this study before, Beth has updated it this year, even redoing the videos.

Anyway, there were several new faces, so our leader had us introduce ourselves and also tell what animal described us in the morning and at night. Most people mentioned a sloth; a few mentioned birds.

My initial thought for myself was a Tasmanian devil. I am not the most welcoming person in the A.M.

But as my turn drew closer and I looked down at my little guy sleeping in my arms I knew exactly what described me best.

So, I introduced myself and stated that the animal that best describes me is…

…a dairy cow.

Anyone relatin’?

Amen.