Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Better Than I Deserve

If you are familiar at all with Dave Ramsey you will recognize the phrase “Better than I deserve”. Every time someone asks Dave how he is – that is his response. Dominic likes that phrase and has also taken to using it. And for some reason last night on my drive home I was thinking about it.

What do I “deserve”?

I certainly don’t deserve the gifts that I have been given in my family and friends. I don’t deserve to be so fortunate to be blessed with a warm home and cars that get me to work, and a job and a paycheck that affords me not only the necessities but also many luxuries.

In all honesty….

I deserve to be snapped at….for every time that I have snapped at my kids.

I deserve to be judged and talked about…for every time that I looked down my nose at someone else or spoke poorly about someone behind their back.

I deserve to be treated with impatience…for every time that I was impatient with someone else.

I deserve to have my husband angry at me for not meeting his needs…..for every time that I set unrealistic expectations for him, failed to communicate them to him and then got angry when he didn’t read my mind.

The list could go on and on….and I don’t share these things so that you can tell me what a great person I am…and don’t be so hard on myself. This isn’t me trying to bash myself or feeling sorry for myself. In the past few years I have been on this journey of understanding who I am and looking to who I want to be…these revelations are just a few of the eye opening pictures of who I have been and still am at times.

But each and every day I am given a gift. The gift of not getting what I deserve but getting so much more than I deserve.

Instead of harsh words or tones….my six year old tells me “I am the best mom in the whole world”.

Instead of being judged….I am loved and accepted for who I am.

Instead of being treated with impatience….I am allowed to make mistakes and learn from them – in my time and am accepted through it.

Instead of an angry/resentful husband….I have a husband who loves me and supports me even when I am on the “crazy” merry-go-round – spinning away. He can always get me grounded again with his words of wisdom.

Instead of receiving the “punishment” I deserve for my sinful ways….I am given the gift of life in Christ.

Today – regardless of whether it is a good day or a bad day, I will inevitably get better than I deserve. Today I have been given the chance to work with and walk with other women on a similar journey of self-discovery. And I guarantee you that I am getting WAY MORE than I am capable of giving in those relationships. Such an amazing gift…watching someone else discover “it” too. Realizing that all along it was always my perspective on a situation that kept me negative or kept me believing that it wouldn’t be ok, or I can’t get through it. The truth is I was always better than I deserved!

THANK GOD that He doesn’t allow me to get what I deserve, but allows me to have a changed perspective. To see beauty in difficulty. To see hope instead of despair. To see the positive instead of the negative.

On Friday we remember a sacrifice made thousands of years ago. One in which a faultless, blameless man took what I deserved with every hit of the hammer, with every sneer and tormenting word, with a crown of thorns pushed into His brow….He took it all.

I deserved it….and He took it for me.

The gravity of that statement is something that right at this moment is weighing on me.


On Resurrection Sunday we celebrate that gift of Life that is found in Christ. But for the next few days I encourage you to spend some time thinking about the cost of the gift that was given to you. It is sometimes easier to think He did it for others and not us…but personalize this. He did it for just you…for just me…..

“Crucify Him!”

I will do this Father for Kristin because I love her.

“Crucify Him!”

I will do this Father for Dominic because I love him.

“Crucify Him!”

I will do this Father…..

Heavenly Father, I don’t know that I will ever comprehend the love You felt for me to sacrifice Your only Son to die a gruesome and painful death just so I might live. I can’t ever do enough to earn or deserve Your grace, You give it to me freely. Thank you for loving me that much. My prayer today is that my life could be a reflection of that grace in my life. In Jesus Name, Amen

Friday, March 26, 2010

Inspired to be the example

Dominic and I were talking on the way home from a meeting last night and I was telling him more about my visit with Karlena. I shared how her church is having this capital campaign and she was asked to be a prayer leader to commit to praying at a specific time for God’s hand in what they were doing. In fact on Sunday after the service she was given this slip of paper asking her to pray from 7-7:30pm that night.

I had forgotten about the whole thing pretty much after we left the service. We spent the day playing with Elijah and visiting and when her husband got home from work it was all a distant memory. Later that evening Kerry started getting dinner ready and it was about 6:50pm when we were about ready to eat.

Then I see Karlena asking Kerry to get a bible out for her and she went back into her bedroom to pray! She said that she would eat after she was done and we should go ahead. And for the next half hour she went and fulfilled her commitment. In all honesty – had that been me I would have prayed…eventually….but I probably wouldn’t have done it when I was “supposed” to…I would have found a reason…dinner, the tv, a movie something and would have made a choice to put off my commitment. But Kalrena didn’t. She remembered – she made sure that she went when she needed to and she excused herself to a place where she could pray and not be disturbed. That whole thing has really stayed with me this week.

That whole situation is an example of what I so appreciate about who Karlena is in my life. That example of faith. And I told Dominic that I think that is what scares me….knowing that I won’t always have that example in my life – in a tangible way…you know? I said I didn’t know if I would ever be ready to lose that.

And he says…and not in a mean way or anything but insightful…”it isn’t that you aren’t ready to lose Karlena’s example, it maybe is that you aren’t ready to be the example on your own”.

He was speaking truth to me and I felt it!

And he is right. It is so much easier for me to be inspired by who Karlena is then to work to be someone that inspires. Because to me it seems like “work”. And I don’t think that it is for her. It just seems from my perspective that she is in that place where loving and trusting God in a big way isn’t “work” to her. It is just who she is.

The image came to me this morning, upon further reflection, of Michelangelo. He didn’t paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in one day. It took work. What is now a beautiful and inspiring painting started with 1 person stepping out in faith, willing to do the “work”.

I can’t expect to just “be” someone who inspires without being willing to do a little of the leg work that God requires. So maybe that means if someone asks me to pray for them that I really commit to doing it. Every day. Finding that quiet time with God and being willing to be quiet and listen for once to what He has to say. And then trusting His will and plan for my life and not always taking back the reigns.

I know that Karlena’s journey of faith isn’t something that came without hardship and struggle. I know that she was given opportunities to choose an abundant life in Christ or a life filled with anger and bitterness. We are all given that same choice!! She as you know choose Christ. But she still puts in the “work” to foster that relationship. She is in His word, she surrounds herself with other like-minded people and she continues to step out in faith, trusting the path He has for her.

So if I want the same result I need to also be willing to do the "work" - whatever the cost to develop that deep relationship with Christ. So that some day maybe my kids or my grandkids can say that they saw Christ in me and will draw to Him too.

What a beautiful painting that will be – when we go to be with Christ and we see the journey we have taken to get to Him. Talk about inspiring!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sweet Isabel

I heard from Beth and Isabel's surgery went well and now she gets to spend some recovery time at home with mom and dad! Thanks for your prayers!

My niece Isabel is having a little surgery procedure today and I would ask that you pray for her and her parents - Beth and Jeff.  Isabel has had several ear infections over the last 10 months and the specialist finally decided that tubes were necessary.

Although this is a very standard "routine" for a doctor - it isn't routine for first time parents! So please pray that God would guide the doctor's hand and be with Beth and Jeff as they wait for Isabel. And also please pray that Isabel would have a quick recovery and that this would make a difference for her and help keep her ears happy and healthy!

We love you Isabel and we are praying for you today!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Raw and Uncut

If the title doesn’t “warn” you let me just say this….this post is a little raw and maybe something that I shouldn’t post. But it is me today so you have been notified…you can stop reading here and come back for a more “uplifting” post later!

Today I am a little…strike that - a lot mad! Mostly I am mad at the fact that my best friend is slowly dying, mad that there isn’t any medical treatment that can save her, mad that she has to be uncomfortable and in pain, mad that God doesn’t perform a miracle in her life because I KNOW the kind of witness she would be if He did….

I mean seriously Lord, I just can’t wrap my mind around this….why does it have to be this way?

Elijah and I had such a fun visit with Karlena. Overall he was a great baby. He travelled well and he played and crawled all over Karlena’s house. He played with her dogs and her son Kaleb….he played with her husband Kerry and his mom Melynda, he talked and ate lots of food and Karlena really got a chance to see him as he is. I was so grateful for that.

And she and I had lots of time to talk. As always we found time to talk about the big things and the little things. It was just sharing “life”…you know? We don’t have to have big plans…we can just relax and “be” and that is so refreshing. I don’t really have another friend that I can do that with so easily.

But yet I couldn’t shake the feeling while we were there that our time is running short. Hopefully it was my over-reactive imagination but as we sat in church just the two of us on Sunday morning and listened to a story about Martha pouring the expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and washing them with her hair, I was overcome by the thought that the next time I might be there would be for…..

Lord, I can’t even type the words…my heart is aching and my eyes are filled with tears as I write this…

And so yesterday I cried in the shower as I got myself ready to leave. And just when I think that I can “handle” this thing…losing someone that I love…I realize that once again I am at the feet of Jesus – angry that I can’t fix this and that as I perceive He won’t, and begging Him at the same time to help me to understand the “whys”.

As broken as my spirit feels today I am also reminded of the hope that comes from Jesus. And the other thought that came to me on Sunday morning was that when that time comes…I must take the opportunity to invite others to the table at which she and I will both someday feast. A heavenly banquet, invitation provided, the day that I opened up my heart and asked Jesus to be my Savior.

Here’s the deal folks….we don’t know how much time we have left and the decision CAN NOT be put off. I know there are people out there that think that this “Jesus” stuff is just not for them…or maybe you believe the lie that your past is just too bad to be washed clean….what kind of God would love a sinner like me right??

You don’t have to love “religion” to follow Jesus. You don’t have to be perfect before you are invited to the banquet. We become perfected in Him, because of Him. He isn’t Catholic or Lutheran or Baptist or Muslim….


Born into this world, to live as a man, be tempted as we are, suffer like none has ever had to suffer, and then He willingly chose to bear the weight of my sins…our sins on His shoulders on a cross so that the cavern between us and God now has a bridge for us to cross.

Karlena will likely cross that bridge before I do and as much as that grieves me the blessing is that the bridge will be there when it is my turn. It can be there for you as well. If you haven’t ever taken the step towards a new life in Christ I beg you to do it now.

Pray this simple prayer with me….

Lord, I admit that I am a sinner through and through. I know that I can’t do anything to fix the mistakes of my past but I know Lord that You can. Please come into my heart Lord. Wash me clean, help me to become a new creation in You Lord. I trust my life and my will to You and I thank You for providing a way to be with You forever. Help me to know and seek Your will always. In Jesus Name, Amen.

If you have just prayed that prayer please let me know so that I can pray with you and for you. And congratulations you too have just been invited to the banquet……

There is no valley, there is no darkness, there is no sorrow greater than the grace of Jesus……

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane!!

Today is an exciting day for Elijah and I....we are headed down to Omaha to fly out to Denver to visit Karlena!!  This isn't Elijah's first time on a plane - but last time he rode inside of me and not on my lap!  So this is an exciting and nervous experience for me.

Dominic and the 2 older boys are staying at home. The boys get to spend some time with their Grandpa and Grandma Johnson today and tomorrow because they are on spring break from school. So it is vacation time for most of us...Dominic gets to work the rest of the week :(

I have posted about Karlena before and I am so excited to be able to visit her again and let her see how much Elijah has changed since she was here in SD for Thanksgiving. He is a completly different boy these days now that he is so mobile and I am glad that she will get to spend some quality time with him!

Please pray for us that the drive down to Omaha goes well and the flight is ok.  I am a little nervous about the whole thing but I know that I can't control the outcome and that regardless how the experience is for us that God is with us. Also please pray for Karlena as she wasn't feeling great yesterday. I know this will be a time of relaxing and renewal for us both!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Since my dad started the Kids Against Hunger packaging site in Sioux Falls this last August the idea of what hunger looks like has been on my mind. I strongly believe that we – at least my family – have no idea what true hunger looks and feels like.

Yesterday I threw a portion of my lunch away that I didn’t want to finish. If I had to experience hunger on a daily basis like so many across the world do I am guessing that I wouldn’t be so quick to discard.

This morning I was headed to work and the thought crossed my mind that maybe I should try fasting for a time. I will be honest, I wasn’t sure that I could commit to a full day. I am still not sure….

And in full disclosure I did have my handful of vitamins this morning and also a small styrofoam cup of hot chocolate. So I am already more “privileged” than so many. But my typical routine consists of snacking on dry cereal when I get to work. I have a variety of snacks and treats at my desk. If I want to eat constantly all day long…I could.

It was so hard to not eat the cereal this morning. I won’t even try to say that I am starving…because I know that medically I am not. But how often do I use that “term”? Probably daily.

But as of now it is almost noon and I am hungry. My last “meal” was yesterday around 7pm.

I feel not quite myself.

I am sleepy and having a harder time concentrating on work than usual. Seriously when I can’t have something I want my mind obsesses over it. I can’t stop thinking about food.

I am cold. Maybe the air is running in the building more than usual. I don’t know, but I feel cold.

I am drinking water but not much of it – honestly it is making my stomach hurt.

I am a whiner aren’t I? I am not enjoying this at all. And I am struck by the idea that I can stop this “fast” any time I want. In fact I wasn’t able to fully commit this morning by leaving my lunch box in my car. So it sits on my desk – taunting me.

And then I remember that the people the KAH meals feed often don’t have a choice like I do. Maybe they only get one meal a day, maybe one a week, maybe they are searching through trash for someone else’s throw-aways.

They most likely are not surrounded by food at their desk and choose not to eat it. They often don’t have a choice – especially the children.

So the practical question here really is “What can I do”?

Be aware! I can’t close my eyes to what is going on around the world. It is so easy to sit in my little bubble of “comfortable” and believe that this stuff doesn’t happen. That children are dying of hunger EVERY DAY!!

Accept what my part is in helping others, especially children that can’t help themselves. Maybe it is helping at a KAH packaging site or working at a local mission, or helping to stock the shelves of a local food pantry. Pray about where God would have me be of maximum service to my fellow man.

Take action! Here is where the rubber meets the road! Once I am armed with the understanding of where God can use me – I need to be willing to go…go and do!

I would love to end this post with something better than I gave into my hunger – but it wouldn’t be honest. It is 12:45pm and I just ate 3 rolls of those “Smarties” candies. I am contemplating warming up my lunch….

Truth is I am feeling so grateful that I can choose when I am going to eat lunch, that I can buy treats and have them available and that God uses little opportunities like this morning to peel back the blinders I am wearing just a little bit. To show me a little part of me that still needs work. I am sure that He will continue to work on me if I am willing so today I am praying for willingness and opportunity!

Monday, March 15, 2010


This afternoon at work I overheard an interesting conversation across the way from where I sit. First to set the stage if you will the conversation started with a discussion on what the word “carpenter” meant. One girl actually thought that a carpenter was a just person who laid carpet. I am serious…that is what I heard!! She’s a blonde and it is statements like that that give girls like me (another blonde) a bad rap…. :)

Anyways….then one of the girls says something like “Wasn’t Jesus a carpenter”? This is then followed with a Google search and a call to her mother – on speaker phone – and her mom told her to read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!

I was a little dumbfounded by this whole conversation. Did these girls (in their mid to late 20’s) really not know about Jesus? One girl read something off the internet that talked about Jesus dying on a cross to save us from our sins….the conversation didn’t go much further.

It bothers me that no one spoke up to tell them the truth.

It convicts me that I didn’t have the courage to stand up and tell them the truth.

It convicts me that it is easier for me to sit at a desk and type a post about how I didn’t act on what I heard, and I wasn’t an example for Christ.

And if these “typical” all American girls haven’t heard the Good News then imagine how many are in countries where Christians are persecuted that have not heard.

I am ashamed.

I am ashamed that I am afraid. Sure I have shared my “story” before. But usually to someone who wants to hear it. I can easily post about my faith walk and how God is teaching me different things…but I know that any reader can stop when or if they feel uncomfortable by what I am sharing – no one is forcing you to read this right now. And so far I haven’t had any negative comments here so I don’t feel “fear” in this arena.

But if it means I have to go and take that step and walk over to where people are asking questions…well I am filled with fear. What if they get angry? What if they reject me? What if they talk badly about me when I leave?

And so here I sit, able to more easily admit my shame and guilt than walk across the room and share the truth about Jesus.

Resurrection Sunday is fast approaching. A time when we focus and celebrate the amazing sacrifice that was given for us. And I can’t help but feel a little connected to Peter. Peter loved Jesus, had seen firsthand the power of God through Him, but when it came time to stand up and defend Him – he denies Christ, not once but THREE times!

But I know that this came as no surprise to God. He knew what Peter would do, He knew what I was going to do – or not do – this afternoon. And yet He chose anyways to make the ultimate sacrifice in His Son.

The magnitude of that sacrifice is too much to comprehend. I am praising God today for who He is. And I pray for the courage to stand, to walk, to step out in faith and not fear next time the opportunity arises.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Self Deception

I saw this quote – online I think…I can’t say exactly where it is from, but I loved it. “Self deception can keep me stuck in old ways of thought and behavior. It can allow me to justify and rationalize.”

Oh how this speaks to my life. I mean how easy is it to point out the flaws in others and so difficult to see my own?

Matthew 7:3-5 (New International Version) says:

3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

This isn’t present in my life in just the big areas but in the “small” ways too. But it is these small things that keep me trapped in my own self-deception, justifying my behaviors and not seeing the log in my own eye.

So what are these “small” things that I really need to be giving to God to fix in my life?

Gossip. I would like to think that I am the type of person that doesn’t spread lies, that I wouldn’t repeat something hurtful about another person just for the purpose of repeating something “juicy”. And for the most part I don’t…but isn’t just talking about someone behind their back at all succumbing to gossip? Or the fact that even if I don’t have something to “contribute” that I participate just by listening and not setting a good example by walking away?

Judgemental. It is WAY too easy for me to judge someone else’s behaviors. I do this by saying “Can you believe that she….”. or “She says she is focusing on doing the right thing and then she goes and does…..”. Funny how in those times I am not saying that about myself.

Hypocrite. I’ll be honest – this is a big one for me. I frequently have the opportunity to work with others and share how God has done some really great things in my life. I can easily hear another’s problems and tell them what worked for me in the past…or what I would do and then a day, an hour later be confronted with a situation and I act in complete hypocrisy to what I had said before. It is almost as if I have to keep relearning the same lessons over and over again.

So often we – and by we I mean me – get stuck in this cycle of self-deception. I justify my “small” wrongs by comparing them to the big wrongs that others have done. Well at least I am not doing drugs, at least I am paying my bills, at least I am….the list could go on and on.

But the truth is that I can’t compare myself to those of this world. I will always in my mind be able to find someone worse off then me. But just because I can find someone behaving worse doesn’t mean that I am behaving according to God’s standard either.

My standard of comparison should be Christ. I know that I won’t achieve a level of perfection comparable to His but I should be seeking to model my behavior after Him.

Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version) says:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

Those are the things that I should be focusing on each day. How can I be kind? Am I being faithful in thought and deed? (For me this includes being respectful towards my husband) Was I patient with my children? Was I joyful and loving with those I came in contact with today?

I am a flawed and sin-ridden human being. On my best day, left to my own devices, I am capable of being a hypocritical, judgmental, gossip….and then some.

On my best day, with Christ as my guide, as my center, I am capable of being a loving, kind, forgiving wife and mother – focused on God and what He would have me do with my day.

So I challenge you today….in what areas are you allowing yourself to be deceived? Pray about these things and ask what God would have you do with your day, you attitude, your life. I am certain that He will challenge you/me in those areas and work to refine you/me into the person He would have you…have me to be!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Finally He Sleeps!!!

I have been a little reluctant to share this piece of news because honestly I felt it might be too good to be true. But this morning I awoke in my own bed for the 3rd night in a row!! If you had read my previous post you would know that since Elijah was born - I have been spending a little too much time with him sleeping in our recliner.

I was so worried about how the transition into his crib would be for Elijah, he hated his crib and I was sure that we would spend many, many sleepless nights listening to him cry. So I shared that here with all of you, and asked for prayer....

God answered in a BIG way!

The first night was last Friday. Elijah cried from 12-1:30am - straight. I sat out in the recliner, sad for him...for me and prayed that God would calm him. Finally at 1:30 he gave up the fight and slept straight through to 6:30am! Praise the Lord!!

The next night wasn't as good -  he was up several times...but again I let him try and sooth himself back to sleep. He did it and although it was a long night and I slept for the most part out in the recliner again...I didn't go in his room and he was able to get himself back to sleep.

Fast forward a couple of days and he is sleeping like a champ.  He has been going into his crib after taking 1 last bottle around 10pm and will sleep the night through.  If he is waking up he isn't crying for long because I haven't heard him.  He often sleeps for a few hours out with us in the living room before his final eveing bottle...and maybe we will try to move him into his crib for even longer...but for now this works and I have a chance to snuggle with him for a few hours each night.

I was so encouraged by your comments and we really feel blessed that this transition went better than we expected it would. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I've Been Nominated!!!

Ok - I will be honest....I am totally pumped about this! In "bloggy" world I have often seen where others have been nominated for fun blog awards.  But I never thought that I would be on the receiving end!  But last night when I was online I saw a comment from BJ Mamma from For What It's Worth...Or Not...that she had nominated me for an award that she had also received!  I will admit my ego grew a few sizes when I saw this...but I have gotten myself under control and I am now going to pass on the "honors" to some of my favorite bloggy friends!
With the first award I am supposed to share with you 7 interesting facts about myself.  I am not sure how "interesting" they might be but here goes!

1) I can touch my tongue to the tip of my nose. I think this is a "skill" passed on to me by my dad...maybe it my mom I can't remember.
2) When I was in 7th grade I broke my left hand pinkie finger in 5 places playing basketball.  I had to wear a cast up to my elbow to correct it.  It still has a permenant bend in it!
3) When I was younger I hated my first name. I didn't think it was "cool" and just wanted to be called Jennifer. Today I love my name because it is a little more unique!
4) 9 years ago I broke my foot while walking up the stairs at work.  I was reading a book and not paying attention - hit the step just wrong and snap! I had to wear a boot on my foot for over 2 months to fix it!
5) I am totally Type A - When I eat something like Skittles or M&M's I have to eat them in a specific pattern.  Always the browns first and then I eat the rest in color groups. Weird I know!
6) I have always been terrified of speaking in front of groups. But God has given me many opportunities to practice recently and I am becomming more comfortable with it.
7) I love meeting new people and making new friends but I am pretty shy so until I feel comfortable I may seem pretty aloof!

"This award means you're really going places, Baby. You'll still be blogging about your great adventures 10 years from now, and I'll still be reading them."

The rules include telling where you see yourself in 10 years!

Let's 10 years from now. Well Isaac will be 23 (ouch!) Gabriel 16 and Elijah 10 almost 11.  Hopefully we have one more in there too...and even more hopefully a girl! :)  I hope that in 10 years we are completly debt free and will be able to do traveling. Hopefully in 10 years I won't be a grandma yet - hear that Isaac! :) 10 years is too soon for that title!

This one came from EllaBellaMozzarella. I love how people come up with these cute blog names!

The rules are as follows:

• Put the logo on your blog or within your post.

• Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.

• Link the nominees within your post.

• Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

• Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

So after humbly accepting my nomination....ok maybe not ever so humbly...anyways I get the opportunity to introduce you to a few of my "favs".  These ladies are all amazing and I decided to share just a little about why I have nominated these gems!  I hope you check out their blogs and are blessed by them like I have been. 

My sweet friend – Amanda counts in this award for 2. She has 2 amazing blogs. I Am Mommy and I Am Baker. She is a wife, mother and lover of God! She shares stories and pictures on her mommy blog and her wonderful, sweet creations on her baker blog. Once you see her baking creations you will be inspired to try some of your own!

Kami is my second choice. Her blog My Beautiful Day is written by a woman with a true heart of God. She is kind and caring and shares her life openly. I appreciate her heart and her wisdom.

If you haven’t read Melissa’s blog – you should! Melissa and her sister Rachel (named below) photographed my brother’s wedding. Melissa just had her 5th child! She shares stories about her family and also her passion for photography and being a woman of God.

Rachel – Melissa’s sister has a private blog. So I can’t link it here. But she does have her own photography blog and you will fall in love with her pictures – please check them out! Rachel is funny and caring and transparent. She shares insight on what walking the road of infertility was like for her and how God redeemed that for her and her husband. Beautiful story – beautiful soul!

Stacy has a beautiful blog – He Will Carry Me. I was introduced to her blog through Angie’s and I have been “hooked” ever since. Stacy tells of their loss of son Isaac and has openly shared her walk through grief and life with God. She inspires me to continue to draw towards God in all things. Stacy is now expecting their daughter in 3 days. Please pray for her!

Danielle is a sweet woman, also pregnant :) who lost a son shortly after birth. Because of a silly TN law – doctors said Wyatt was born stillborn, when in fact he was alive for 2 precious minutes. Danielle shares her fight to help change TN law. Please check this out and sign her petition to make Wyatt’s life “count”.

Raechel at Finding My Feet – also pregnant…is there a pattern here?? an amazing seamstress. Besides sharing pics of her beautiful family and her walk with God through the loss of their daughter Evie – she shares all of her magnificent handmade onesies, bibs, crib bedding, and even a repurposed oven mitt! She has more talent in her pinkie finger than I do in my whole body when it comes to sewing!

Sal loves to share funny stories about her family and also some great recipes too. She always has some great wisdom to share and encourages me on my blog as well. She is also a twin – of which I am totally jealous. A true kind soul, Sal is someone you will just feel at “home” with!

Emily – lost her husband to an unexpected illness while she was pregnant with her second child. Emily was due about the same time I was with Elijah and I am amazed at her strength and courage!

Sarah recently lost her son Andrew unexpectedly before birth due to a cord accident. Sarah shares with honesty and transparency her walk through life without her son here on earth. She inspires with scripture and helps to encourage my walk with God.

Last but certainly not least I just recently came upon Tracy’s blog. Tracy had her “miracle” son after a series of recurrent miscarriages. It is fun to see the miracle on the pages of blog and always encouraging to “spend time” with another woman of God!

Well guys there you have it! This has been so much fun - please click on the links above and "meet" some amazing women! Also please check out BJ Mama's site too...she is fun, creative and also expecting their 2nd child!  Have a wonderful week!

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