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Psalm 103:1-4: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”
1 John 5:4- “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.

Dedicated to a fellow believer who has a precious 2 year old daughter battling Lukemia.  May God give them the Victory over her disease!!

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Proverbs 6:1-5 “My son, if you have become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; For you have come into the hand of your friend; Go and humble yourself; plead with your friend. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird for the hand of the fowler.”

Gazelle Intensity

Many of you may recognize this name already!! Yes, we’re huge Dave Ramsey fans. We took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University 13 week course 3 years ago, and it honestly changed our lives.
So what does “Gazelle Intensity” mean? Well, it’s really a term Dave coined to describe the process of getting out of debt with a focused intensity. He explains it on his website:
“Gazelles are gentle creatures hunted by the fastest animal on earth, the cheetah. With the cheetah being so fast, you would think the gazelle would be extinct. However they’ve learned that the cheetah is only the fastest animal on earth while running in a straight line. So when being chased, the gazelle bobs and weaves and runs in circles until the cheetah gets tired and gives up.

It’s time to think like a gazelle. If you are a gazelle and the marketing and credit card companies are cheetahs, bob and weave and run; do whatever it takes to get away. When you get that new credit card application in the mail – you know, the one that promises low introductory interest rates and lots of bonuses – scream CHEETAH! and destroy it as quickly as you can!

You do NOT build wealth with credit cards. Use common sense. When you play with a multi-billion dollar industry and you think you’re going to win at their game, you are naive. The only way you can beat the credit card companies is to RUN and not get caught up in their tricky and deceptive games!”

Dave has a ton of verses on his site about all the Bible has to say about debt and money too. You can find those here.

“The ROMANS ROAD is a pathway you can walk. It is a group of bible verses from the book of Romans in the New Testament. If you walk down this road you will end up understanding how to be saved. “

This colorway was inspired by a Salvation Bracelet that I have. It is a visual reminder of my faith, and a way for me to share with others how to have a personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
All the verses that go along with the bracelet can be found in the book of Romans in the Bible.

Romans 3:23 (Black=sin) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin. We were born under the power of sin’s control. Admit that you are a sinner.

Romans 6:23a (Black=death) “…The wages of sin is death…”
Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible does plainly teach that there is a place called the
Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people end up that remain spiritually dead.
Understand that you deserve death for your sin.

Romans 6:23b (White- cleansing in Christ) “…But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Salvation is a free gift from God to you! We can’t earn this gift, but we must reach out and receive it. Ask God to forgive you and save you.

White – When we become Christian God cleanses us from all unrighteousness and washes us whiter than snow. “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5″Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isa 1:18


Romans 5:8 (Red= Christ’s Death and blood for us) “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!”
When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin’s penalty. He paid the cosmic price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. Because He loved us and gave Himself for us!

Give your life to God… His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves you. Not religion, or church membership. God loves you! And reaches you right where you are.

Romans 10:13 (Blue= Faith in Christ)“Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!” Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

Romans 10:9,10 (Blue = Faith in Christ)
“…If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
If you know that God is knocking on your heart door, ask Him to come into your heart.

Blue – One of our first acts of obedience is to publicly confess our faith through baptism “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls..” Acts 2:41 (NASB)

Green -We must now grow as a believer in all areas of our life. Looking at Jesus as our example. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amem.” 2 Peter 3:18 NKJ

Yellow- We now know that we can look forward to an eternity with Christ in Heaven.Colosssians 1: 4-6 “because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.”

Jesus said, Revelation 3:20a “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…”
Is Jesus knocking on your heart’s door?

Believe in Him. Ask Him to come in to your heart by faith, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Open the bible to the gospel of John and read what God says about Jesus, about you, and about being born again. God will help you. He loves you. You need to look for a local church where God’s word is preached. The bible says that we are to desire God’s word like a newborn baby desires mother’s milk.

Aren’t you hungry to know the truth?
Water baptism is one of the ways you first show that you have been joined to Jesus. The symbolism is this: When you go down in the water you show that You have been crucified and buried with Him, And when you come up out of the water you show that you have been raised to walk with Him in newness of life. (See Romans chapter 6)

You have been born again. (See John chapter 3) Your body has become God’s temple. Your heart is where He lives. Forgiveness is yours in Jesus. And you belong to Him. You were sin’s slave. But now…You are a child of GOD!

John 1:12 “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name!”

 

Deuteronomy 32:1-3 “Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!”

This blog is another guest blog spot. My friend Jessica had a specific colorway in mind, especially after reading these verses. I was more than happy to oblige her. In return, she wrote this bit- telling why these verses are meaningful to her.

“This past summer I was pregnant with our fourth daughter and my husband and I were in the process of preparing to go to France as missionaries. The pregnancy was very rough and we were without insurance. I went through a time where I was telling God how I felt and asking why things were the way they were, specifically regarding our financial situation and going to the mission field. I felt exhausted and worn out and knowing that the French are an extremely difficult group of people to reach with the Gospel I was overwhelmed with how hard this would be. After reading this passage one day in my personal time I realized that I needed to just shut up and listen to God and let His Truth refresh me. From there I also began to see that this promise is true for France (and really everywhere!), that we must be faithful in sharing the Gospel and pray that those hearing will listen and be refreshed by His Words of Dew. My part in that is two-fold: first of all I need to listen myself and secondly I need to proclaim the name of the Lord. It’s been so refreshing to come to this place of understanding! Not that I always “get it” but that I have this to hold onto. God’s Word is like fresh dew and His teaching like a gentle rain which the earth needs so desperately. Rain and dew are so simple, not contrived but natural results of the progression of nature. I want to live that way and share the Gospel that way as God’s Word should be that way in my life. Though I am still tempted at times to “inform” God that this is all too much when I sit and still my spirit reading God’s Word I am refreshed. Our plans for France have been bumped back a bit but we are still pursuing God’s call on our lives to faithfully serve.

I was drawn to Lamar’s yarns at first for their beauty but then because of the stories behind the colorways. My husband and I are both musicians that dabble a bit in the other arts, preparing to go to France to start an inner city community arts center as missionaries. I love it when God uses the every day in beautiful ways to speak to us!”

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Kindness

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Sometimes I really love to write these parts of my blog.  Other times, well, I really don’t like the task.  Not because of what I read in scripture, but rather to see the scripture as a measuring stick.  And so often, I am measuring up short.

I’ve always loved the Fruits of the Spirit.  Loved to read about them and ponder them.  However, each time I really contemplate them, I always seem to fall short.  And Patience is a virtue that I am not abounding with at the moment.

The dictionary defines patience as ” the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.”  And that is a hard task as stated.

However, when you look at Biblical patience, it’s even more astounding.   The John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible says of patience or longsuffering, ” which intends not so much a patient waiting for good things to come, for more grace, and for glory, through the Spirit; but a patient bearing and enduring of present evils with joyfulness, being strengthened by the Spirit with all might, according to his glorious power; being slow to anger, ready to forgive injuries, put up with affronts, and bear with, and forbear one another: and which is usually accompanied with gentleness, humanity, affability, courteousness, shown both in words, gestures, and actions; in imitation of the gentleness of Christ, and agreeably to that wisdom, that heavenly doctrine of the Gospel, which, among other things, is said to be gentle, and easy to be entreated.”

You see, I think of this in context to how I’ve responded to my children lately.  And I’m ashamed.  I preach to them about following Christ, yet my own life is not always a good example of how to follow.  Recently, I’ve made an attempt to really spend more time in daily Bible reading and prayer.  And I know that our Lord is faithful and just to give us the things that we ask that are according to His will.  And I know from the scripture that He desires for us to have the gift of patience.  As our family expands, I can see the need for my savior more and more.  For in my own strength, I always fail miserably.  Yet through His grace, may I come to succeed.  This year, I am setting out on a journey to become more Christ like in all aspects of my life.  Hopefully, a year from now, I’ll be able to look back and see how much my “fruit” has grown, especially concerning the area of patience.

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

This is the second in a nine part series on “The Fruit of the Spirit”. I’ll admit, I’ve struggled with what to write about joy. Sometimes in my life, I don’t feel like I have joy. What is joy exactly? Well, the dictionary defines it as: “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.” and “a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.” That’s one big emotion.

As I was sitting here lamenting on what to write, my hubby asked me to think of who was the most joyful in the Bible. Immediately, the apostle Paul popped into my head. I thought about how often he was imprisoned, yet he continually wrote about having joy in his life.

The story in Acts 16 is incredible. Acts 16:16-26

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

The Philippian Jailer Converted

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.

Most of us won’t have to go through what Paul and Silas did.  Being beaten and then imprisoned. And what did they do while they were there?  They had a little time of praise and worship. How was this possible? Because they understood the difference in joy and happiness.

From a sermon I read on-line, “Paul understood that there is a difference between “joy” and “happiness.” A person can be happy and not have real joy. A person can have joy but not really be happy. The word “happy” comes from a root “HAP” which means “luck, chance, good fortune.” Here are some other words that come from this same root: “happen” “happening” “happenstance” “happy-go-lucky.” To remember the word “happy” just think of “happy-go-lucky.” If things “go lucky” then you can be happy! If things happen the way you want them to happen, then you can be happy.

For example, you can be happy if .  .  .  .

…it’s a nice day
…you get a real special gift for Christmas or for a birthday
…you do well on your report card
…everything is going your way

But what happens if your luck runs out? What happens if things do not happen the way you had wanted them to happen? What happens if . . . .

…the rain spoils the activity or event
…you don’t get the gift you hoped you would get
…you get poor grades on the report card
…you catch the flu
…your favorite team does not win
… your friend lets you down

Happiness depends on circumstances and happenings! If things go well, I can be happy! If things do not go well, there goes my happiness!

Joy is much different than this. JOY does not depend on circumstances, JOY depends on the LORD, and He never changes! Even though Paul’s circumstances were terrible (he was a prisoner!), he could rejoice.  We cannot always count on things happening the way we would like them to happen, but we can always count on God being God no matter what happens.”

This year, I hope to learn to be able to find joy in ALL my circumstances.  And I pray that you will too.

Psalm 103:8-12 “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. “

East to West

Recently, Casting Crowns came out with a song called “East to West”. It has such a powerful message about God’s forgiveness.

One of the things that’s common to man is that we’ve all had the need to be forgiven. Some of us have done things that feel like it requires “more” forgiveness. Yet, in God’s eye, sin is sin. God is a perfect and holy God and CAN NOT be in the presence of anything that is not holy. So when we sin- whether it’s stealing a pack of gum from a friend or store, or if it’s lying to someone, or if it’s killing someone, that sin separates us from our God.

The good news is that Jesus came to earth. He was fully man, living here on earth. Yet he did something that no other man has done or can do. He lived a perfect life, without sin. He did that because he was also God in the flesh. And then he sacrificed his life on the cross, and bore the weight of all of the sins of the world. He bore the past sins, and all the sins forever to come. He took them on, so that he could die and through his death and resurrection, we could have access to a perfect God. Jesus bore our shame.

God is love. God is forgiveness. And what a victory to know that when we approach the throne of God and realize our sin and repent, our sin is as far as the East is from the West.

This personally is a concept that I really struggled with. I felt like the sins I committed (you can read about that in my blog “Inwardly Knit” just below this one) were too big to be forgiven. I knew in my head that the Bible said that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(1 John 1:9) But in my heart, I kept remembering what I had done, and feeling guilty and full of shame all over again. It’s like I was calling God a liar in my heart, because I couldn’t believe that He had taken my sins and forgiven them. And they were no more.

So began my struggle with guilt and shame. I really feel like it’s a trick of Satan. The Bible says in John 10:10 that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Yet in the same verse, Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” My life was not full. Walking around feeling like a phony. Like if anyone ever found out your secret, you’d be totally discredited.

Amazingly, I lived like this for over 10 years. Hoping no one would ever find out my secret. But that is when my local crisis pregnancy center came in and changed my life. I went to Hope Pregnancy Center to train to help out there, but found out that I had to go through their post-abortion counseling program: PACE. I was a bit reluctant to really dig up my past. But by facing my past, I found true freedom!

Barbara and I spent 3 months looking through what the Bible said and how I could move on with my life. Romans 8:1-4 – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”

God does not want us to live as condemned people anymore. Psalm 32:1-11 – “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD “- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

While I kept quiet, I was wasting away. After I went through the counseling, I realized that the Lord could use me AND my past to minister to others. Psalm 34:1-2“I sought the LORD , and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”  I didn’t have to live with the shame and guilt anymore!!  And while I’m not proud of my past, I know that I have experienced forgiveness from Christ and God can use my life – mistakes and all, to help other women.  Because He has forgiven my sins and they are as far as “the east is from the west”, I can stand before him as child fully forgiven and unashamed.  Praise be to the Lord!!!


Psalm 139:13-16
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.”

Inwardly Knit
10 Week Fetal picture

January is Sanctity of Human Life Month. As soon as I started this business, I knew I would be doing this colorway this month. This colorway is loosely based on some amazing pictures that were taken by Lennart Nilsson in his book “A Child Is Born”. This particular one shows a baby at 10 weeks gestation. In every state, abortion is legal for any and every reason up until 12 weeks of gestation, though over 75% of all abortions performed in the United States are performed before 10 weeks gestation.

To read more about each week of development, look at this site. It’s amazing!!

So on to my story. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, and sometimes keeping them there allows you to be trapped in shame. So this is my story of freedom.

I was 16, living in a small town- where I knew everyone and everyone knew me. My mom was THE elementary counselor at our only elementary and had been since before I started school. There’s a lot of history, but basically- while I was raised in a Christian household- I was really taught by example that it’s more important what PEOPLE think of you than what God sees in your heart.

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, where I was raped for my 1st sexual encounter. It was a date rape type of situation, and I stayed in the relationship cause I was stupid. He was a Senior, who was crazy about sex, and I was a freshman, who lacked a lot of wisdom and confidence. I had always vowed that I’d be a virgin when I married, and after that instance, I kept thinking I could say no. I never intended to be sexually involved. But somehow I could never say no. And he “hated condoms.” Since I was in denial about our sex life, I never took birth control . So about 10 months into our relationship, I found myself pregnant.

Honestly, I never even thought about keeping it. I knew it was wrong, yet I couldn’t imagine the shame I’d bring to my family by carrying a child. My parents expected me to appear like a “good Christian” and if I was pregnant, everyone would know. I coerced my parents into taking me to have an abortion. I cried and cried. And honestly, I lost a part of me that day. And on the way home the shame began, as my dad mentioned that I NEVER needed to mention this to anyone. Like it was our little shameful secret.

And I didn’t learn from the first encounter. Approximately a year later, I found myself in the same situation. But the precedence had been set and everyone knew what we would do. My boyfriend and I broke up for good shortly after my second abortion. Really, in some ways, I was a shell of a person for all of my high school days. It was as if I had to pretend that it never really happened because I didn’t know what I would do if I had to really face it.

Fast forward to college. I went through some counseling for my rape. I came to a place where I forgave my ex-boyfriend. But I was constantly swallowed up by shame. I got involved with a Christian sorority. I grew closer to God than I ever had before. I came to a place of repentance, true repentance. I cried out to the Lord and begged for forgiveness- for my immoral relationship, for the murders I committed. I knew that the Lord forgave me. His word promises us that He does. Yet there was always something in the way. It was like this invisible barrier to every relationship I had. Still the guilt. Still the shame.

Sometimes, I’d think about who those babies would have been. But not for long. I couldn’t stand to hear about abortion or anything like that. I really renewed my position on pro-life in college, just based on the pain I’d carried and the shame I felt. Especially, when I’d read in my local paper about loving couples who were desperate to adopt. I knew I could have given that gift to someone.

And in college, there was a girl who shared her story. She was not a Christian when she got pregnant and had her abortion. She met Jesus in a personal way, and wanted to absolved of all her sins. She went through post-abortion counseling and shared her story with us. The girls in my Christian sorority who she shared with were so supportive. I was in awe of her courage to talk about it. I saw how openly these people loved her and held nothing against her. Yet, I still continued to believe that it would not be the same for me. They’d judge me, because I was a “Christian” at the time I made the decision to kill a baby. So on and on I carried the guilt and shame, though.

I married my husband right after I graduated, and when we started talking about starting a family I grew really concerned. Often, women who have had abortions have trouble carrying children in the future. Right before we were planning on trying to conceive , we really spent some time in prayer and fasting. I confessed my sin and asked the Lord to heal my uterus. I honestly believe that He did. My cycle had been wacko before this, and all of the sudden, I was regular. My oldest daughter was conceived 3 months later, on our 2nd month trying.

When I got pregnant with my second daughter, it was laid on my heart to work with the local crisis pregnancy center. But to do that, you have to go through post-abortion counseling, if you’ve ever had one. I scheduled that and I have to tell you that this experience was a life changer for me.

You see, I believe that Christ came to make me into a new creature. And that I am no longer the person I was a long time ago. And that we all make mistakes. And whether it’s killing a baby (like me) or stealing a pack of gum from a gas station, we have all sinned against God. Yet, the blood of Christ is able to cover even the greatest of sins. And in that I have freedom. I think that I was carrying around shame that I no longer had to carry.

Am I proud of what I did? NOT AT ALL. But am I forgiven in Christ? Yes. If I could go back and change it, would I? In a heartbeat! And I believe that I’ll meet my babies (who I believe are a boys) in heaven. In Christ, I have freedom from my past. And I think that God can use my past to help someone else someday.

Though I am not proud of my decision, I am so grateful for what I’ve learned through it. I can honestly say that abortion is NOT the answer. The scars that you bear are wicked and invisible. Many women can not bond with their future children, if they can ever even carry them. Many turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. I am so glad that I was spared that route. Though bearing those children during my teenage years would have certainly changed my life, I could have looked out for the rest of my life and known I had given someone a gift- the gift of a baby. Instead, I bore the shame and scars that were self-inflicted for 16 years, until I found Freedom in Christ.

To read about my process of finding forgiveness in Christ, read my blog about “East to West”.

Jeremiah 1:5- “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.”

We’ve always wanted a large family. We have been hoping for a third baby, and in October learned that number three was planning on making an appearance this summer! It was a tiny bit unexpected, but ever so welcomed!!

Things seem to be going well for us. I’ve had some morning sickness, but overall, it’s been good. We had a ultrasound and saw the baby’s heartbeat. And this was at 8 and a 1/2 weeks gestation (which is approximately 6 and 1/2 weeks past conception.) It’s so neat to see this tiny baby that I can’t even feel yet. If it weren’t for the test, the sickness, and the tiny bump on my belly, I’d never even know.

Yet, there is this baby forming. As I write this, I’m almost 11 weeks. Here’s some neat facts about my baby’s development at this point:

  • Nearly all structures and organs are formed and beginning to function.
  • Eyelids fuse shut and irises begin to develop – Eye color is also determined by this point.
  • Fingers and toes have separated – Take a glimpse at how incredibly precious your child’s tiny feet are at this point.
  • Hair and nails begin to grow
  • The genitals begin to take on the proper gender characteristics – It will be just a few more weeks before your ultrasound can show if you are having a boy or a girl!
  • Amniotic fluid begins to accumulate as the kidneys begin to function – This fluid, consisting primarily of water, helps provide a cushion for your baby while she’s nestled within your womb.
  • The muscles in the intestinal walls begin to practice contractions that digest food.
  • Your baby is about 1.61 inches (4.1 cm) long and weighs 0.25 ounce (7gm) at the end of this week.

It’s amazing that all this has happened, and yet I can’t even feel the baby yet!  But God knew.  And has always known.  He knows the name of this baby.  He knows the lifespan of this baby.  He has already determined his or her eye color, hair color, height, weight, body shape, and all the physical traits that this baby will have.  He also knows the future of this baby.  He has always known this baby, and He has given us the gift of life yet again. 

It’s awesome to think about the fact that God has entrusted two tiny little lives to us.  He is giving us the opportunity to have yet another little person to raise and love and train for Him.  I am so excited to meet this little one and see who God has given to us.  For He knows this baby and has always “known” him or her.  And He is a good God for giving us the gift of life.