There is beauty in the bacon

In my walk as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am inhabited, overcome by, the Holy Spirit.

I’ve come to understand this to be a larger vision of “God with us” than a God who is always watchful. Instead, He is a God who is always present. This means to me that every conversation that I have, every thought that fleetingly exists in my manic mind, is shared with Him. It means that although I believe it is important to make time for God where we are altogether dedicated to Him, that every moment of my day (and night) already belongs to Him and is already sacred to His purpose.

He doesn’t mind that I spend time in the mundane. He knows those chores are dedicated to His Glory as I serve faithfully in my role as wife and mother. He knows that I see Him in the beauty around me. I hear a bit of music, read a sentence in a book, look at a sunset, watch a television show, and I see the work of His hands through the millions of people on the Earth who show God to me.

And in the hard times, I know that the yoke He asks me to carry feels heavy, but He is carrying the bulk, and is training me to endure, to persevere. He is developing a character in me that is worth ten times the yoke I have borne. He asks me to carry nothing He does not carry Himself. His burden truly is light.

My great pleasure is found when the Holy Spirit in me is most awakened. The bridge in “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns, reading the introduction to “Mere Christianity”, the returned smile of a tired stranger. These have all awakened that Spirit in me this week.

My great passion is in finding ways to awaken that Spirit in others. For me it might be cooking bacon for my husband’s breakfast, or writing a blog, or teaching my Bible study. Whatever it is, I know God is there with me, in the middle of it all.

 

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American Girl Book List

I went looking today for a list of the American Girl books – you know, Samantha, Molly, Felicity etc.

Because I am the curator of my daughter’s library and I’m trying to be organized so that when she can read, she will have access to the kind of books I think she will love.

I didn’t find an easy answer. However, this community thread directed me to a helpful website:

Source: American Girl Book List – K-8 Curriculum Board – The Well-Trained Mind Community

And I then took it a bit farther and pasted them into a document for myself. Something you could use?

American Girl Book List PDF

Saying Hard Truth

This is a great post. I wish I had written it! Love the story of Josiah and this perspective on Huldah is wonderful.

Living Our Days

I had never heard of Huldah the summer that I stood in my growing-up kitchen and hollered into the phone, “You can’t let him come home because he’s crazy!”

I don’t recall whether I was heard on that occasion, whether our feet were spared another few days or weeks of walking on the hot rocks of mental illness. It didn’t matter to me at that moment if the doctor thought I was a “bad daughter,” or even if she thought that I was “crazy” like my dad, and so the ugly words of truth—supported by factual evidence—came spilling out.

Sometimes, during dark days that bristle with question marks, a voice of certainty emerges.

We don’t know why Huldah, the Old Testament prophetess, was given the fleeting spotlight in Israel’s history. Scripture’s spare style leaves much to the imagination, but here’s what we do know:

We know that Huldah lived in…

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Further thoughts & clarification re: my post on Planned Parenthood

I recently sent a note to friends and family regarding a mention of my post in the newsletter for our local crisis pregnancy center. The newsletter, written by director Kathy Leamont, sums up the responses I received to the original post and also allows for her understanding of my later clarifications. Allow me to share an excerpt here:

I had written a letter here about our move and the expansion of our “tent” and of our services and it was all ready for printing… then a young lady I know posted something on Face Book that inspired me to make a change …

Many are outraged at the recent story regarding the selling of body parts from aborted babies. I am too. I have spent many years being outraged at the practice of abortion. I do not like it that my tax $$ are used to fund abortion. I have voted my conscience to help change the system. I have contacted my representatives. I have prayed.

That FB post spoke about loving the women facing unplanned pregnancy, showing them love and helping them in a way that allows them to see that they do have options for LIFE. And some folks were being kind of negative … my response was to thank her and to pray about helping her in her plans…

I have no direct control over the government or the abortion industry but I do have control of my personal actions and my personal financial decisions. My suggestion is for all of us to pray, seek God and let’s make our response
POSITIVE ~ PROACTIVE ~ PERSONAL
You can do something… every bit helps…
[You can read the recent blog at SOMEJENSHINE.COM ]

I forwarded along the newsletter and included this open note:

Some of you will recognize the website Kathy mentions in her letter here as my own.The facebook post she mentioned is mine. In it, I do not defend Planned Parenthood. I certainly don’t defend abortion. I hate Planned Parenthood and abortion in a way that I can’t even express with language. Many of you know my personal story. I’ve lost four babies during pregnancy and my heart is so damaged every time I read about someone choosing to end a life. My heart truly breaks for what breaks His. What I believe and attempt to express is that the only way to stop abortion is to reach the women having them – with love and options, not hate and shame.

here’s the link if you’re so inclined. as Kathy mentions, many Christian readers didn’t approve of my opinion and were vocal about it.

I plan to write a future post clarifying and further explaining practical steps I think we can take to make a real difference. I hope to have you alongside me as I try to reach every single woman who doesn’t know the reality of her options – and to help all women (and men!) find the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.
God bless
This is the future post. Believe me when I say that every commenter who thought I was defending what happens to a million unborn babies a year was wrong. That might be my fault – perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I could have been.
I hate abortion. I hate every single instance where a woman feels that taking the life of another person is a valid and acceptable choice. As I mentioned above, I personally have lost four babies in pregnancy. I have two beautiful children. I value human life greatly.
I can remember a time in my life when a pregnancy wouldn’t have been desirable. I can understand to an extent the pressure and hopelessness and I am grateful beyond words that I was never in that particular position. That doesn’t mean I’m better. My sins may be different shades of evil, but they condemn me just the same. The grace I receive from Jesus Christ is enough to cover any sin in my life and is freely available to every single person.
I believe that defunding Planned Parenthood is nearly impossible. Take away the money the government (by which I mean, we the taxpayer) gives them. I agree with that. Money will come from somewhere else. Make abortion illegal – it will still happen. It will become less safe and more expensive. I’ve seen smart people talk about how best to remove the influence of Planned Parenthood from our government. I believe they have good ideas. I also believe that God is truly able to do anything. But it is His perfect plan to give us freedom of choice. I therefore stand by my original post.
The only way to prevent an abortion is by the pregnant mother choosing not to have one. I see one way forward. Inform and care for every woman who’s dealing with a pregnancy and doesn’t know what to do. Ultrasounds (not mandatory, just available) are one of the best ways to start this process. Intercede for and love these women and their babies. We need clinics that offer life affirming choices. We need to surround those who have had abortions with love and help them heal, to be redeemed and made whole in Jesus Christ. You with me?

Why attacking Planned Parenthood is a waste of time – and what we should do instead

I want to suggest something radical and I imagine at first, unpopular. I want to suggest that defunding Planned Parenthood is a waste of time. It won’t stop abortion. I want to suggest that there is no crime heinous enough to prevent a significant portion of the population from supporting the services provided by Planned Parenthood and other similar organizations.

When I first realized this, hope swelled. That means a different approach is necessary. A Christ-like approach. What Christ did was love people. Unborn people. Horrible people. Broken people. Poor people. Christian people and Catholic people and Muslim people and so on.

It became clear that something extreme must happen to make a difference. First, we must show love to the women and families and children who become pregnant and need care. Next, we must fund the centers that provide care. Care, defined by Google as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.

Care must include a respect for the sanctity of all life. Care must allow that while a right to choose exists, there are eternal consequences for that choice. Care must provide choices that respect the most fundamental freedom of all—freedom to live.

This is the revolutionary part. I believe that we are capable of funding our crisis pregnancy care clinics beyond the level that our government funds Planned Parenthood. I believe we can raise $360 million to provide care. I believe we can find a way to help people—all people—live the lives they’ve been endowed with by their Creator.

This post is a statement of intent. I plan to actively pursue my funding goal by helping people who feel angry and hopeless do more than share on social media. I plan to raise 360 million dollars for crisis pregnancy care that does not include abortions.

Help me—help me organize and track our progress. Help me connect our community centers and our community resources. Share this post with every single person you know. I am not attacking Planned Parenthood, not shaming women who make and have made hard choices. I am asking for the opportunity to love and care for every human life, and I can’t imagine a better call to action.

With great hope and much prayer,

Jennifer

“If anyone then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17 NIV