Hey, wanna follow along? Subscribe and never miss a post!

Why the Planned Parenthood Conversation Must Continue

baby-821625_640Almost ten years ago today, I found out I was going to be a mom. I remember lying on the doctor’s cold table and watching the nurse click, point, and measure four times over and thinking to myself, “Surely all of those circles are not babies.” It turned out that all those circles were babies. When I left that day, they told me I was having triplets, and that one of the tiny sacs was just fluid as far as they could tell. But, when I went back a few weeks later to hear the heartbeats, that tiny “fluid sac” had a heartbeat. I was having quadruplets.

I heard my preacher say last week that “we don’t know what we don’t know.” And that has stuck to the inside of my mind like glue all week. My babies were tiny little circles, then they were tiny little circles with heartbeats, and then I watched them sprout tiny little nubs that grew into tiny legs and arms. They would swing and twirl and bounce off of the inside of my stomach, like they knew mommy was watching and they were already showing off. And then at 14 weeks, one of their hearts stopped. I didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl. And I didn’t know if that would happen again. My doctors had told me that “Baby D” was my strongest baby, and then he/she was gone. The doctors didn’t know what they thought they knew.

Time went on and the doctor’s told me that if I lost another one, it would be baby B. Baby B was the “fluid sac” that was never supposed to be a baby to begin with. But, again, they didn’t know what they didn’t know. Baby B went from “not a baby” to my most active baby, and he grew and grew and grew. And now he is my biggest nine year old.

When you are pregnant with multiples, the doctor’s come in with clip boards and heavy faces and they say things like “This is really dangerous for you as a mother.” And I was scared. Scared of losing them. Scared of losing me. Scared of just losing everything. It’s hard sometimes to make a choice based on things you can’t see. I didn’t know if my babies would be born healthy or handicap. I didn’t know if I would live or die bringing them into this world. The only thing I really knew was that I had to base my decisions on what I already knew about God. 

We told the doctor’s no to picking and choosing. And I decided that no matter how I felt, I was going to have to build my house upon the rock of God’s word, and not the sands of uncertainty. I can’t say that I have always done my building the right way. I haven’t. I’ve built plenty of sand castles that washed right away when the waves crashed in and life got messy and dark. I promised God that I would choose life and every night I told Him what He had already told me in His word. Promises of safety and good health and deliverance and protection—especially when the doctor’s ‘laundry list’ of risks came back to haunt me.

It wasn’t long before the rains came. And the storm broke. And it didn’t just move the sand about around my house. It decimated it. I had been on strict bed rest for four months when my contractions were too uncontrollable to stay at home. I was only 26 weeks along and permanently in the hospital at this point, when I woke up one morning and couldn’t breathe. I called the nurse and she dismissed it. After rounds of arguing with the nurse, and tears, and oxygen masks, and ICU, they told me I had Congestive Heart and Kidney failure due to the pregnancy.

I said goodbye to my husband that night.

And when he kissed me goodbye, I kissed him back with tears in my eyes and closed my heart to the dream of becoming a mom, and the hope of my next breath.

And in the silence of that room, while nurses did their due diligence and monitors beeped, this 25-year-old girl wondered why God seemed to be flattening a house that had been built upon His promises, upon the Rock. In my need to breathe, I asked God a lot of hard questions. I railed against Him actually. How could He let it end like this? I asked ‘why’ and I said ‘not now’ and even ‘why me’, but I never regretted giving my children the chance to live.

And I went to sleep fully expecting to never live again.

People prayed for me that night. And there is no reason my condition should have reversed. My contractions had been two minutes apart and before the doctors knocked me out they said they would probably have to deliver my babies (who would probably then die because they were too little).There was literally nothing else they could do but watch us all go meet Jesus.

But, God. He stepped in. It wasn’t the end of my health scare. I spent six more weeks in the hospital and delivered three babies 9 weeks early. My heart failure returned and I spent another week in ICU fighting for my life, asking God more hard questions. I remember the day in ICU when the doctor came in and she said, “I heard you had a pretty bad night.” I started crying and told her that I had. It’s hell trying to force oxygen into lungs that want it but can’t get it. She looked me straight on and said “But, Jessica this is what you chose. You knew that this could happen.” And she was right. I knew that it could happen, but I just didn’t think it would.

Aren’t we like that America? We know deep in our heart of hearts that abortion is a sweet word for murder. And we just keep saying that it’s okay. We hear preachers telling us that God will judge us—that we have stirred Him to anger on behalf of the millions of children that went to see Jesus before they even got to see their mothers. But, we don’t think judgment will come to our nation or our cities or our doorsteps. Because we don’t see it. I truly believe there are many people out there who have bought the abortion lie in the name of women’s health and women’s rights. I believe many of these people have not even stopped to think about what they have fought for. They haven’t risen above the arguing high enough to really see the big picture. Maybe they didn’t know what they didn’t know—that Planned Parenthood, an organization we all fund with our tax dollars, was slicing open babies, even some whose hearts had not yet stopped beating. Did you watch these videos? This one? And this one? And this one?!  America, we’ve thrown our babies in the trash. We know now. Our eyes have seen it. Our ears have heard it. And now, it’s time to do something about it.

I can’t have more kids today. I really wish that I could. I’m so grateful for these three that God has given me but I can’t help but be so incredibly sad about all of the lives lost. I realize that sometimes our hands feel tied because we aren’t politicians or lawmakers, but there is a starting point to get this ball rolling. I can’t be quiet anymore and I hope you won’t be either. Let’s not let the Planned Parenthood conversation die on last week’s headline. Will you join me? Sign the petitions to defund Planned Parenthood in your state. And then go tell Congress to cut the 550 million plus dollars that we send to them.

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

Posted in Social Justice | Comments Off on Why the Planned Parenthood Conversation Must Continue

Going Public

stairs-man-person-walking-largeLast week was the first week of school and it was a tough one. As usual, we woke up later than we should’ve. I had these grand plans the night before the first day to get up at 6am sharp. And that promptly went out the window when I was just going to sleep at 1:30am. Six o’clock was so not happening. When my alarm went off the next morning, I hit snooze no less than five times, and then we all ran around the house like chickens with our heads cut off. And every day for a week I’ve scolded myself to do better, but I’m beginning to think that my body is physically allergic to the mornings.

We live in a small rural town without many options when it comes to education. No fancy private schools anywhere around, not that we could afford that option if we had it. Over the summer I thoroughly investigated our options. We have a handful of small districts that surround our larger district and a local charter school. One of the main reasons we were looking around was because one of my little boys really struggled last year, and we thought a smaller environment might be the solution to what was a very long, hard year for him. Honestly, I really couldn’t get a grasp on what God wanted me to do with my kids. I didn’t feel like homeschool was the option, but I looked into it. I had heard mixed reviews on the charter school, so I did my homework there and decided it was not right for us. I talked to people about other school districts, but I really couldn’t find anyone at any district who was raving about their school. I felt this tug to choose to stay with our local public school, even though the landscape was changing and I wasn’t sure what to make of all the bad press it was garnering.

So, I prayed about it. Worried about it. Talked to myself out loud in the grocery store like a crazy person about it. And one day in my prayer time I got real with Jesus. I told Him I needed Him to speak to me. I needed a word. From Him. About public school. There was something in my mind that felt so wrong about choosing a school district that a lot of people were choosing to leave. And it’s not just the local crowd leaving. I can scroll through my Facebook feed and I have so many friends ditching public school. With them in mind, I tried for months to put on my homeschool hat. I wore it around like my favorite ball cap and after a while, it just didn’t fit. I contemplated our charter school—even dually registered our kids, but after awhile, that just felt wrong too. But, every time I would say out loud “We are going to our district school” it felt both right and wrong all at the same time. Right because I thought God was telling me that that was the way and to walk in it. Wrong in that, choosing public school made me feel like a bad mom. I see clearly all the bad coming into our public schools from really ridiculous curriculum to sex education material. I see it for what it is. Public school is struggling. And so are the administrators and the teachers that work so hard to make our public schools a safe place to learn.

That night after I prayed I read this from my new Internet friend Lori. After I read her words a peace literally washed through my whole body. There was someone else choosing to stay. Not being forced to stay in public school, but choosing to stay there.  I finally felt true peace with our choice to go to public—to go to public school in this place beneath the pines. This place isn’t perfect, but it’s ours.

My friend Francie always talks about bringing Heaven to Earth, and I never thought that I would hear her words echoing in my mind concerning my kids schooling. But, that is exactly what my mission is in this town, should be all of our missions—to bring heaven to earth. To be the hands and feet of Jesus to every teacher, administrator, and kid in your school district. He reminded me of all the children, sweet children, some with good homes and some with bad ones. Some that can barely afford one school uniform from Wal-Mart. We live in a school district where a few have plenty, but many kids come to school hungry, and hurting, and angry. It’s hard to worry about your ABC’s when you don’t know if your dad is going to trade your meal money for drug money, or if you are worried about going to the principal’s office for a dress code violation when you were just lucky enough to have a dress to begin with. This is the reality in so many public schools.

There has been a lot of anger in our community this past year. Much of it directed at our school officials. And I do think there is a time for that. A time to speak real concerns. And I see good people that have done that. But, now the voices are just noisy and unrelenting. And at some point the points have been made and the petitions drawn up and you just have to decide that it’s time to rise. To rise above the noise and know that you were heard, and then close your mouth and get boots on the ground and work for the change you want. Change starts with us. With me. With you. Sometimes, you have to be that solution. This is a good town, with good people. But, talk is cheap. And if we really want our public schools to get better, then we have to remember the old adage that, “actions speak louder than words.” Who’s with me?

Posted in Motherhood | Comments Off on Going Public

A Blessing for You as You Move

girl-698679_640

The ripped card had found its’ way from the refrigerator to the floor beside the trash can. I was collecting trash around the kitchen when I scooped it up and started to toss it in with the Cheetos, Gatorade bottles, and paper scraps– the left overs from at least 10 art projects the Artist, Engineer, and Preacher had created over the weekend. Just as the card was going in to join it’s other “friends,” I noticed these words…

A blessing for you as you move.”

As I move. I retrieved the card from the floor and realized this message was hidden, set aside, for such a day as this. We all have days don’t we? Days when we feel stuck, like our minds are far away from the tasks that lay before us. Everything about the last two weeks has felt disjointed. My writing hasn’t flowed, my brain has felt bombarded, and the days unproductive. I have needed a word from the Lord. A specific one. I remember last September cutting the birthday card in two and putting it on my refrigerator. After all, it displayed one of my favorite verses and a timely message on my 30th birthday:

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you…” Deuteronomy 31:8

I hoped turning 30 represented a new season, a season where sickness wouldn’t dictate my going out and coming in. For the past seven months this card has hung on my refrigerator and I never even realized there was an additional message on the back of it. Oh, how desperately I needed a word of encouragement in this week. Tonight, it was as if an angel had loosed it from its’ magnet and dropped this Heavenly message at my feet.

A BLESSING FOR YOU AS YOU MOVE”
May the Lord go before you and prepare
the place where you are going.
May he fill your new home with peace
and this new chapter in your life with joy.
May He bring smiling faces to welcome you
and warm hearts to love you.
May He bless you always in the

new and special place He has for you.

Thank you Lord for always going before us, and for loving us enough to move us into new chapters. Thank you for hard seasons that make us strong and enable us to walk with confidence. I praise you for the smiling faces that wake me up each morning and the special place you have for my family. In Jesus name, amen.

Posted in Prayers | Comments Off on A Blessing for You as You Move

1 13 14 15 16 17