Have You Fallen Into the Planned Parenthood Trap?

I felt helpless laying flat on the table, doctors talking in hushed whispers as they hovered around me. I gripped onto my husband’s quivering hand as he sat and sobbed. As the ultrasound wand circled my swollen belly, I felt like a lab-rat being inspected from the inside out.

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

The pictures on the ultrasound screen spoke two different messages: one to the doctors of deformity, illness, malady, dysfunction; the other to me of a precious silhouette with hiccups, clinched fists, cute crossed legs, sweet nose.  The professionals started urging me to take the “best road,” to terminate the pregnancy and get on with life. My baby with Edward’s Syndrome had no hope for survival. They assured me abortion was my best option. I narrowly escaped the trap. Jenny wasn’t so fortunate. Jenny was also assured abortion was her best option. Unmarried and young she rode silently to the clinic with her boyfriend. He assured her it would all be over soon, and this was the best choice for them both. 

But neither Jenny or her boyfriend realized the haunting pain which would follow year after year…day after day. They bought into the lie, fell into the trap, that the quick fix of an abortion would take care of it all… life would go on better than ever. No one told them of the ongoing baggage of grief they would carry the rest of their life.

Jenny’s physical baby was terminated, nevertheless an enormous amount of grief was born in the wake. The revealing of Planned Parenthood’s horrific videos have ripped off the surface bandages of many like Jenny who suffer in silence from their abortion grief.  

My prayer is those who have fallen into the Planned Parenthood trap will turn to Christ for healing as new pain rises to the surface. 

There is a ministry prepared to lead you to freedom. God is using the team of Deeper Still to help men and women who silently labor carrying their abortion-wounded heart find healing, true joy, and lasting freedom through Christ. Please sweet mom, take the first step, go to their website and find a retreat in your area. You will be surrounded by others who long to minister to your abortion wounded heart, who have walked this same path and found freedom. Today is the day for release from the trap! I’m praying for you!

“If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44 NASB).  “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4 NASB)

In Him,

Tara Dovenbarger

 

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Are YOU Ready for School Yet?

Getting It Together Cover-1

Hey… sweet mom! Yeah… you! 

The one who knows it’s back-to-school time for the kiddos but hasn’t even had a chance to enjoy the summer yet…

The mom who can’t seem to find the bottom of the dirty clothes pile, figure out what’s for dinner tonight, is stressed out by her toddler’s temper tantrums and feels like the trip to the grocery store without kids is a vacation.

Are you looking for a little relief? Wondering if anyone else ‘gets’ you and understands what you are going through and how you feel?

You are the object of our prayers and the reason we are working hard to create a very special resource to help you ‘get it together’ even if you feel like you’re falling apart.

GETTING IT TOGETHER – 31 Days to a More Together You is coming out the first week of August when we launch our fresh new site, with a fresh new logo, and a fresh new look!

God has been working in ways beyond our wildest dreams and The MOM Initiative is growing like crazy! 

We just started offering Church-Hosted BETTER TOGETHER Conferences about a couple of months ago and we have already been contacted by several ministry leaders across the country!

(If you’re interested in having a Church-Hosted BETTER TOGETHER Conference at your church, click this link to find out more.  We’d be super honored and super excited to partner with you to minister to women of all ages and stages.)

We have had the privilege of helping churches, missionaries and ministries across the globe tailor a true Titus 2 ministry that is not only easy to make implement – and that not only establishes a solid life-changing ministry in their church – but is also missional in nature.

Oh… and be sure to MARK YOUR CALENDARS for our LIVE FACEBOOK CHAT on MONDAY, AUGUST 17th from 7pm – 8:30pm ET!

SAVE THE DATE AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS for a night of ‘getting real’ about whatever you’re going through, chatting about all things ‘mom’ and LOTS of encouragement and practical help for those troublesome areas that we all face. 

Oh… and did I mention there would be giveaways? Yeah… you don’t want to miss the giveaways!

We have SO MUCH going on at The MOM Initiative and today, I wanted to give you a sneak peak at what we are working on for you… and we want to hear from you!!

So, sweet mom, how can we pray for you today?

What is one are in your life that you feel is out of whack or where you would love some help getting it together?

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Are Power Struggles Your Kryptonite?

 power struggles

Are power struggles your kryptonite? 

Kids are in it to win it, aren’t they? They are all in when it comes to fighting for their way. Power struggles are exhausting for the parent. Exhilarating to the child.

It has helped me to understand why power struggles occur. Then I am better able to avoid my parent kryptonite.

So WHY? 

  • Just ‘cuz. Just ‘cuz that is how we are all wired. One of our most basic needs is the need for freedom and independence. We need opportunities to make decisions for ourselves. Of course as parents  we know our end goal is to work our mom (or dad)-selves out of a job. We want our kids to be able to manage life on their own. So…we need to provide appropriate times for our kids to make some good (and some bad) decisions under the safety of our roof. When our kiddos declare, “You treat me like a baby” or “I am 16 you know…” those are little hints for us to loosen our parent control a bit (maybe not as much as our kids may want but probably a little bit more than we would like). 
  • Wants. Like all people, kids want their way. Sometimes that’s okay, other times it is not in their or another’s best interest. Once they view mom or dad as an obstacle to what they want–the boxing gloves go on. Personally I don’t want to enter the ring. The best way to avoid being the opponent is to be on the same side of the ropes. How can one avoid jumping into the fight but still say no? By agreeably opposing,”I would love to say yes to getting you that toy. When we get home let’s create a Wish List for your birthday.” Or even better, “Let’s put our heads together and we can figure out some ways for you to earn money to buy it yourself.”  
  • Reason. Some kids actually have a reason for putting up a fuss. Consider this: The child who builds 3/4 ths of his vision for his Lego City and then he has to put it away before leaving the house. Or the pre-pubescent girl who doesn’t want to wear the jeans her mom laid out but wants to wear the sweats with elastic waste-band instead. Recognizing the uniqueness of our child will prevent a few melt downs. Work with the child who wants to see his creation to fruition. Give your developing kid the ability to make some clothing choices (within reason). 
  • We ignite the fuse. Yep. Sometimes it is our fault. When acting in an abrupt manner, like flipping off the TV  or declaring, “It’s time to leave” without a warning. When we exasperate our children with impossible expectations (rather than challenging or high expectations) we can expect a POWER SURGE.

The way to keep that ol’ kryptonite out of sight is to control the things we can such as our words, our emotions, and the general tone of the home. By doing these things and recognizing we are raising kids to hopefully be responsible adults we are ready to provide opportunities for them to have some freedoms in order to learn responsibility. If  bad choices are made, it’s okay. Learning will take place…all in sanctuary of our homes.  

Father’s do not exasperate your children.
Ephesians 6:4

Please share ways you have discovered to pull the plug on power struggles.

Lori-Wildenberg-240x300by,
Lori Wildenberg, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, co-author of three parenting books, national speaker and mom of four. Book Lori for your next mom or parent event. 

If you liked this post you will like her two recently published books. Little_Kids_Cover1

Raising Little Kids with Big Love

and Big_Kids_Cover1Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. 

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Two Questions I Daily Ask My Husband

marriage holding hands. joannekraft.com

 

 So often, I voice my opinions and air every single solitary thought in my head—out loud. It reminded me of those two questions I try to ask Paul daily. Two simple things I believe will RADICALLY change your marriage.

Heading up to his office, I brought him a steaming cup of tea and threw my arms around his neck. “What can I do for you today?” (Question One)

“Nothing. I’m fine.” He smiled.

Sacrificial Love

 When was the last time you asked your husband what you could do for him? I mean seriously asked him if there’s anything you can do?

My question was recently answered with, “Well, the pantry in the kitchen is really bugging me. Do you have time to clean it out?”

 He might as well of asked me to stick bamboo under my fingernails.

Guess what I did this morning? Yep. The pantry. You know what? It wasn’t too much of a hassle after all.

Maybe you’re thinking,  Ask him? What about him asking me? I’m the one who works all day and picks up after him so he can come home from work and sit on the couch the rest of the night. Why doesn’t he ask me for a change?

Sacrifice must begin with someone. Why not you? Jesus is my example when I don’t feel like doing one more thing for anyone.

God so loved the world that He gave His only son. John 3:16

 When I think about what’s been done for me, the least I can do is ask Paul what I can do to help him today.

Question Number Two

“How can I pray for you today?” My husband is not the first to pray out loud or to think about praying for others first. Yes, he will lead our family in prayer from time to time but it’s not his go-to gift. That’s where my second question comes in. When I ask him how I can pray for him, it reminds him we’re a team. It tells him I’ve got his back.

When I’m faithful with these two questions, it sets the tone for our day. But, I must warn you…the longer you make this your daily routine the more your expectations of him may trip you up. Just because you’re finding ways to bless your man doesn’t mean you should keep a scorecard reminding you or him of all you’re doing. That’s a bad idea.

    When I ask these two questions and follow through with no expectations of my own, I’ve discovered what I’ve really been doing is laying a brick by brick foundation for a strong marriage.

What do you make sure daily to do for your husband?

When was the last time you stopped and prayed for him?

Share some marriage wisdom below.

 

Joanne Kraft is a mom of four and the author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids and Just Too Busy–Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. 

Order YOUR COPY today!

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Dare to Dream (and just start)

dare to dream

I tried writing my first book before I even called myself a writer.

It was a “closet” project that I told almost nobody about. The book was titled Waking Up and, in it, I outlined ten steps on how to live a happier, more fulfilled life. But when I got to page thirty, it fizzled. I simply ran out of things to say. (No surprise. I was about 23 at the time and didn’t have a lot of life experience.)

But that seed to write—a seed that was with me as a young girl and forgotten as I grew up and headed out into real life—made a brief appearance and pricked my heart.

Then it disappeared again when I ran out of words.

About four years after I put my feeble attempt at that “book” in a drawer, Mike and I found out I was pregnant. Katie was born and I quit my corporate career to be a stay-at-home mom. I was excited to start a new chapter of life. It was during this time that the seed for writing surfaced again.

And sprouted.

As I read books to Katie, my heart would quicken. I’d turn the pages slowly, lingering on the words, and something inside me stirred. Then one day I was struck with the conviction that THIS was what I was supposed to be doing: I was supposed to be writing children’s books.

I felt instantly passionate and wanted more than anything to make my new dream happen. But I had a lot on my plate as a young mom, and I didn’t know where to start. It seemed like a huge step to go from no formal writing experience to published author, and I already felt behind the curve.

Then I went to a women’s conference and heard a message from one of the speakers that changed everything. The speaker shared about another woman who had come up to her and said she wished she could be a writer like she was. I sat on the edge of my seat, my heart beating fast. (Because that’s what I wished, too.) When the speaker shared how she responded to this woman, I was struck by the simplicity of it:

Just start. Whether it’s five minutes a day, or ten. Just start writing. And then you are a writer.”

It was one of the most freeing things I’d ever heard. I didn’t have to wish I could be a writer or worry that I’d missed my chance. All I had to do was start.

So that’s what I did.

Some days, I only wrote for ten or twenty minutes because that’s all I had in between diaper changes, doctor appointments, and play dates.

Some days, I wrote more.

After a while, one manuscript was written. Then two. Then three.

And simply by starting, I had become a writer.

There’s more to the story–all the ups and downs that came after that. And all the failures and successes too. But none of it would’ve happened, and I never would have experienced the joy of living my passion, if I hadn’t set out and started.

Maybe that’s all you need to do today too – just start. Maybe life as a mom has gotten crazy and you’ve put your dreams on a shelf and forgotten about them. Let today be the day you listen to that tug God is putting on your heart. He has given each of us unique gifts and talents – to use, to share, to grow, and to glorify Him. 

So dare to dream, mama. 

And just start. 

He’ll be with you all the way.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9 ESV

He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. – Matthew 4:29

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. – Psalm 139:7-10 ESV

Here are a couple of encouraging resources as you set out to dream:

Holley Gerth’s You Were Made for a God-Sized Dream

God-Sized Dreams website – where dreams set sail

 

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