Another Jewel In Heaven (Guess Blogger)

I Like to introduce to all of you Jennifer Wagner:  Today, I am a stay at home wife, dividing my time between taking care of our home, directing church outreach, and blogging about life lessons, joyful living, and Christian values. When I’m not writing, I am typically curled up with my husband, binge watching Netflix, drinking caramel coffee, or snuggling our two cats, Basil and Mocha Rose! Welcome to our married life! We’re so glad you have chosen to join us as we laugh and cry together in this amazing life adventure!

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After the loss of our sweet babies in April, J and I were hopeful to try again. After just a few months, we were excited that our dream may be coming true. The cravings and mood swings were in full force. I was sleepy, nauseous, hungry, hormonal, bloated, and I had to pee about every two hours. It seemed like a wonderfully miserable time.

And then the bleeding started. We were bummed, but thought we’d just wait another month… Until the night I called J into the bathroom. The pain, blood, and contractions were clear. We had also lost this sweet baby. The loss of this child was such a shock. After all, we weren’t quite sure yet if I was even pregnant.

This baby was supposed to be our rainbow baby, but yet we’ve collected another jewel in Heaven. Lucy Grace, Arden Micah, and Orion Sage. Three….. three babies in Heaven. Our little family.

It’s been just over a week since the loss of our child. The raw emptiness still takes my breath away, as I sob and gasp for air. J still holds me as I drift off into space, not really knowing what to do with myself. Getting out of bed, eating, and connecting with people have become chores in and of themselves. J and I go through the motions. We laugh and talk, work and visit, but inside we both feel numb, empty… like something crucial is missing. We’ve lost our joy. We’ve lost our confidence and security. We’ve lost the excitement of trying to have a family.

Our first miscarriage four months ago broke our hearts. This time, it carries fear and doubt, alongside the pain and shock. Do we dare try again? How can we continue to hope, after this?

After a rough week of falling away from each other in our grief, it became clear that now more than ever, we need to lean on our Savior and each other… And so we talked. We held each other, as poured our hearts out to the Lord and to each other. We named our child, Lucy Grace. We went on a spontaneous date. We came together and asked the Lord for help. It’s still fresh and raw. I still don’t know what to do with myself. I still fell numb and broken and empty and vulnerable. I still break out in sobbing tears. My hormones and baby belly are still reminders of what was. But through it all, the Lord is putting us back together again…

15 Scriptures to lean on after miscarriage, when the grief seems unbearable and all seems gone…

  1. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
    I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
  2. Job 11:13-19
    Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.
  3. Jeremiah 29:11-12
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
  4. Romans 12:12
    Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
  5. Exodus 23:25-26
    Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
  6. Judges 13:2-3, 24
    A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. … The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him.
  7. Matthew 5:4
    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  8. Genesis 8:11-14
    Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
  9. Luke 1:7, 13-15
    But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
  10. Psalm 37:4
    Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
  11. John 16:22-24
    So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. Very truly I tell you, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
  12. Psalm 119:49-50
    Remember your word to your servant, for You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
  13. Hebrews 10:35-36
    So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.
  14. Hebrews 11:1
    Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
  15. 2 Thessalonians 1:11
    With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

 

Thank you Jennifer for your blog post, you can also find more from Jennifer at The Newlywed Chronicles.com

 

 

 

Simple (Having An Expectant Heart) (Guess Blogger)

I would like to take a moment and introduce to you my guess blogger Bethany:

Welcome! I’m Bethany E. Donham and I love my life! I’m also in love with a man who is not my husband. But it’s ok, my husband knows all about it and encourages the affair. In fact we often talk about Him casually over the dinner table and His name comes up in our pillow talk on a regular basis. His name is Jesus. Have you met Him?

It’s because of this love affair that I started this blog. A lot of times I find myself  lost in thought over something Jesus is trying to teach me. Or I just can’t seem to understand something without writing it down. So this is more for me than anyone else. If you like what I have to say, great! If not, that’s ok too. These are true stories inspired by my daily struggles as a wife, mother of two girls, and Preschool Minister.

I treasure life, laughter, and above all else, love!  So, check it out. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts too.

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I’ve always believed that less is more. Fewer activities. Smaller houses. Closer friends.

So, why is it a surprise then, when God shows up in the most humble ways?

Lately I have been amazed at how God has been responding to me. And if you are in a place where you feel like God has forgotten your hurt, maybe it’s time to get back to basics.

My heart hurts a lot. I know a lot of people who are hurting and God has wired me to practically feel physical pain when those that I love share their hurt with me. I’ll be honest and say that can become quite burdensome if I don’t keep it in check. I retreat a lot. I go off by myself a lot. I am not at all uncomfortable spending an entire day in solitude.

It’s during those times when I am still that I can hear God the loudest. Notice I did not say that He speaks the loudest when I am still. I believe He is always there waiting to say something, I can just hear him better when I am still. I draw up on Psalm 46:10 a lot. I have to.

Because when I am still I notice. I notice when He answers me.

I have two teenage daughters. (Prayers are always welcome on my behalf). They are loud, busy and always moving girls. They are always playing music too loud, running off somewhere or engrossed in the latest YouTube craze. Each one has a flair for the dramatic and have their own theater and dance outlets. They are priceless beauties and I am losing my grip on them more and more each day. As it should be.

Imagine a typical evening at my house when each one in their separate rooms have on their own favorite song. I don’t know about you, but if my favorite song is on, it ain’t at a low volume.

So it is with my girls.

What happens if I call to them? Do you think they would hear me? Do you think they would notice my voice?

Of course not. They continue dancing in their bedrooms or (and I have no idea how she does this with her music on let alone in the quiet) continue to work her Pre-Calculus homework.
I have to go directly to each one of my children, tell her to turn the music down so I they can hear me.

Do you need to turn your music down?

God’s not going to yell to get your attention. He’s just not. He’s a still small voice that speaks whispers into the hearts of those who are listening for it. He’s working every single moment of every single day and He delights in giving you your hearts desire.

But, can you hear Him? Do you see Him working?

What is so cool about God is that He’s God, but He doesn’t boast about it. He’s so complex but so very simple. He could move mountains. He can heal the sick. He can mend broken hearts. But He’s not going to be obvious about it. He’s a bit of a seek and find kinda guy. You gotta be looking for His handiwork in the every day.

I needed God to show up today. I needed a reminder that He’s still here even after a long week. I headed to my quiet space and told Him that.

And this is how He responded. This is the whisper into my heart.
Why do you need me to show up if I am always there?

It was so simple. And I was reminded of the beauty of that truth. He is always there. In everything He created.

So, then I just wanted a simple reminder and confirmation. And you know what the Creator of the Universe did? He sent me a tiny bird to dance and dazzle me in the treetops.

Simple right?

But I was looking for it. My heart was expectant.

I think sometimes we don’t get what we ask for because we don’t expect God to follow through.

Why wouldn’t He?

Why would your Father give you a snake instead of what your heart desires? (Luke 11:11)

We aren’t looking for it. We are too busy on our devices or we’ve got our music too loud. Or our calendar is too full to just be still.

How many blessings have I missed because I wasn’t expecting the simple but looking for the extravagent?

Follow on Twitter @BEDONHAM

 

Praise God For His Faithfulness (Guess Blogger)

I would like to introduce to you my next guest blogger Victoria:

Welcome, it is an honor you dropped by. I am Victoria. A twenty-something-year-old battling multiple chronic illnesses while learning how to thrive. Chronically Hopeful was designed to educate others and to provide support to those who are chronically ill. Proving encouragement to others is essential to me. I share about my health on here. My major illnesses are Lupus, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, and Ulcerative Colitis. I want to share my story with you hoping you will experience support; that someone else understands your pain, struggles, and frustrations.

“How enduring is God’s loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion. Here they are, every morning, new! Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Yahweh,
You are faithful even when I don’t feel You near. You are always with me. You are faithful even when my body or mind betrays me. When those I love reject me. You provide strength. Teaching me to be dependent on You. You are faithful, as the emotions run wild. Faithful even when the doctors fail. When isolation traps me. When my world is falling apart.
Lord Jesus, You are faithful in the smaller and bigger ways than I can imagine. Your faithfulness surpasses all understanding. Great and beautiful is Your unending faithfulness. You are my hope. Comfort. Provider.
Elohim God my creator knit my heart to Your. Guide me on the path You design especially for you before air kissed my lungs. I am Depend fully on You. The storm will rage, but I have a secure and faithful anchor. Fear has no place. In You, I have sweet victory. Your faithfulness remains the same.
Amen 

 

Someone Who Listens

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I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”                               Lamentations 3:55-57

The urge to talk to the Creator is part of who we are. It was created in us by the one who made us. Because we are, because we are alive and breathing, we pray. We pray because we simply need to talk with someone and many times we simply need someone just to listen and not judge us as humans have. Sometimes our pain goes so deep within our soul, that we just don’t want to share it with others. At times, in the still quiet of a sleepless night, we need to take our worries and fears, the ones that don’t seem quite so troubling in the daylight, to someone who cares and understands. Then there are days when our hearts are so full of joy, they are about to burst, and we’ve got to share it with the one we know is responsible. 

When their comes a time that you seem to be at a loss in knowing what to say, remember that the Spirit himself intercedes for you with groans that words cannot express. Some of your prayers that you consider frantic and unintelligible are actually quite profound. They rise from the depths of your heart, all the way to heaven. To form deep prayers, you need only turn toward Jesus with the concerns that lie heavy on your heart.

Jesus wants you to watch in hope as you wait for him, your Lord and Savior. Wait expectantly: confident that he will do what is best for you. The longer you have to wait, the more you must rely on your trust in him. If you begin to feel anxious, seek his help with short prayers. Jesus fill me with your peace, and he will. As you put your hope in him, his unfailing love rest peacefully upon you. Always remember that the line is always open to our Heavenly Father, and their is never a busy signal, so when you need to talk with someone, just begin talking and believe me, he is always willing to listen.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Through the Pain I Am Holding On to “I Am”

1Peter 5.pngThe righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them, he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all, he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked, the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The Lord will rescue his servants, no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.                    Psalm 34:17-22

There are times in our lives that we cry out in pain to you Lord, and we wonder if you care and if you understand the pain that we as humans must endure while living here on the earth. With broken relationships in one way or another, the loss of a job, our home, and even the loss of someone we have loved so much leaves us here on earth the pain is so overwhelming inside of us and all we long for is that the pain we feel will go away and that we can feel joy once again, and to rejoice you no matter how we maybe feeling deep within our souls. 

We need to remind ourselves that you God are high and exalted one whose name is Holy Yet you choose to dwell with people who are contrite and lowly of spirit. You do know how prone to pride that your people are, so you provide a variety of circumstances to humble us. We don not need to look for more ways to become more humble. If we try with all of our might to be lowly of spirit, we are more likely to become proud, or even ridiculous. Instead, we need to be on the lookout for what you are doing in our own lives and yield ourselves to your ways Lord. Our focus should not be on how humble we are but on how we can please you in the present moment.

Through seeking you Lord and opening up to you I shall experience your light that shines upon me and within me. I need to allow these healing rays soak deep into my being, so that you  continue blessing me, it will allow this source of blessings to other people. By letting my humble hurting parts be exposed, I allow your light Jesus to shine through me into others’ lives, even thro my pain in so deep within me. When I experience a divine reversal in my life, I am thrilled to observe how masterfully that you operate in the world. My suffering gains meaning because I know that you can and do bring good out of evil. Ultimately, your plans Lord will not be thwarted, you have the last word, for you are the Alpha and the Omega! Lord your wisdom and you ways I get to see a glimpse of your glory even here on earth. These things in which I do see around me allows me to worship you for who you truly are the “Great I Am”, and I bow before you in worship, I have assurance one again of your unfailing love for me, and I begin to remember the words that are imprinted upon my heart “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans not to harm but give me a hope and a future, (Jeremiah 29:11) and as hard it seems to me in understanding I simply just need to “Trust” which has always been a difficult one for me to do at times.

God’s Not Dead!

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So then woman hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”                    Matthew 28:8-10

As we recently celebrate Easter Sunday we remember the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The women after they had gone to the tomb left with great joy knowing that their teacher, friend, and Lord had risen from the dead, and could not wait to share with His disciples what they had learn. As Christians how many of us can not wait to share the Resurrection story with our family and friends, perhaps not many of us. It is okay to talk about at church on a Sunday morning but as followers of Jesus are we doing what he has called us to do and telling others about Him.

For myself, I grew up as a Christian, always going to church on a Sunday and being involved, but can I truly call myself a Christian. Let me take the time with all of my readers to share my own story and why I want to shout to the world that God is Not Dead! He is truly Alive. A couple of years ago as I was searching the scriptures for a sermon that I was going to share, I began to have a dream. I have the same dream more than once and I truly thought that it was only a dream and it never happen to me at all. After I have shared the dream with my oldest daughter she mention to me that I should google it and so I did and what I thought was just a dream, it was something that I did experience and that I witness. 

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Growing up there was a train that I went on called the Freedom Train, and on that train in all the different cars that I visited was about the history of America. However, except this one car as I followed all the other visitors this particular car had a huge class case that set down on top of something on the floor. This glass case had the Burial Cloth (Shroud of Turin) of Jesus Christ. You can see that this man was very tall perhaps close to six feet, and he also had a beard. On the top of his head you can see that their were some kind of crown that laid there, where their was drops of stain blood going down the face. The nails were not in his hands but the wrist (because the flesh couldn’t hold him up if the nails when through his hands). As I continue to walk slowly I can see that his side was pierced with something. His feet were together with holes through them, because of a huge nail that had gone through both of them. I continue to walk slowly and on his back you can tell that this man was whip many times,  (a whipped of leather thongs, which was used in Biblical times, with bits of metal or bone attached) The words from Isaiah 53: 4-5 came to my mind Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his strips we are healed. For whatever reason unknown to myself I somehow forgotten what I had seen until that one day while asking God for directions in sharing a message that I remember. Every time I think of that one day when I saw the Burial Cloth of Christ tears forms in my eyes and down my cheeks, as what is happening as I write down these words. My God, My Lord and My King you did this all for me, I didn’t deserve it, I am a sinner and I am unworthy for Jesus to suffer for me like that. And yet because of His great love for me even before I was ever born he died at Calvary in my place. As I read the words in Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us , God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift from God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For all who have read these words I did see the Burial Cloth of Christ in 1976 here in America

Since God help me to remember what I witness I can never remain silent any more, I must tell anyone that I meet the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The stories in the Bible are not just stories but, real accounts that took place, written by men and inspire by God. It is not an easy journey I am on now being a disciple of Christ, I have had even family members and friends disown me all because of what I believe and I know what is true, and yes I am fine with that. I do hope that someday if not from me the ones who say because of what I believe I am nuts, will come to know Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior and decided to follow him. My Lord would want me to tell others about him, that he overcame death and that the tomb is empty, because My God Is Not Dead, He is Truly Alive,

“I Did It Just For You”

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Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Christian “Holy Week” as we journey together this week I will share with all of you the last seven words that Jesus spoke while hanging on the cross in our place. Can you even imagine that split second when your face will be brighten as you watch perhaps in fear, your eyes will be widen, and God will hear you whisper with tears rolling down your face! “YOU DID THIS FOR ME?”

 

The diadem of pain
which sliced your gentle face,
three spikes piercing flesh and wood
to hold you in your place.

The need for blood I understand,
Your sacrifice I embrace.
But the bitter sponge, the cutting spear,
The spit upon your face?

Did it have to be a cross?
Did not a kinder death exist
than six hours between life and death,
All spurred by a betrayer’s kiss.

“Oh, Father,” you pose,
Heart-stilled at what could be,
I’m sorry to ask, but I long to know,
Did you do this for me?

(Poem by Max Lucado: He Chose the Nails)

Jesus did all of this for you and for me because of His great love for mankind. Why, some may ask because of our great sins that have separated us from our Creator God Almighty”. Just imagine if you will, take a nail and go towards the cross where Jesus first laid down and then you hammered the nails (which repents your sins) on the cross, as your heart breaks into so many pieces, “My Lord, and My God, you do love me so.” and that is why “You Did This For Me”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends