Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful for Crystal's example

I have greatly appreciated reading Crystal's pregnancy updates. Since she is just one week ahead of me (her due date is today), they have seemed very relevant to what I'm going through! After reading the 39 week update I'm  inspired to continue to try to be cheerful! Crystal's trials are much greater than my own, so I'm reminded of how much God is sparing me even in the midst of the pain and sleep deprivation of late pregnancy.

Are you foolish?

Today I did the Visionary Daughters "Are you a fool" quiz. 

My grade: B

My verse: 

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. - Ecclesiastes 10:1
Don't you love God's word! My grade gives me a "stinking savour". I already knew I had some work to do :)

Why not take the quiz yourself . . . if you're game!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nancy on Preventative Prayer

I've recently begun reading the blog Femina. Nancy Wilson's post on preventative prayer has stuck with me, and I'm seeking to apply it to my life.

Many things can be dealt with if we would pray preventively. Jesus taught us to pray that we would not be lead into temptation. That is preventive prayer.

This year, I began praying in advance about our reaction if we were not invited to a particular event. It was still hurtful when my suspicion that we wouldn't be invited turned out to be correct. However, I do believe that all those prayers in advance were helpful as we do not seem to have lingering resentments. I could do with praying far more of these prayers in anticipation of hardship or hurt, and perhaps this would help avoid future angry and unforgiving reactions.

Do you have any examples to share of how preventative prayer has helped you?

Differences between Christians

How to deal with differences within the church is a frequent topic of conversation around our dinner table, and a frequent topic of prayer as we ask God to help us love the church. 

James McDonald has posted helpful thoughts. Read A Step Toward Winning the Battle: Loving Each Other Amid Differences.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Affirmations for pregnancy and birth

Yep, I'm still pregnant! I've been known to get a little impatient. I've also been known to get quite anxious about some of the present trials and potential trials. 

Lots of pregnancy books recommend writing down "affirmations", which seem to revolve around statements like:

"My body has the power to give birth".

Hmmmmm . . . 

Yesterday I took the time to focus on some of the verses that I've written down in recent months to help in pregnancy and labour, and to write down some Christian affirmations. I share these with you in the hope that they may help other Mums. I do not claim that these verses are in context - but I do believe that the truths in them can be applied to the situations of pregnancy and labour.

He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.
Isaiah 40:11

God is gently and tenderly caring for me and my child.
God is leading us in good paths.
I will be content with the paths God tenderly chooses for us.

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
Psalm 46:1-2

I will not fear, because God promises to be my strength, help and safety.

The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, "Glory!"

The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.
Psalm 29:9, 11

God has complete power over all natural processes, including birth.
God makes the deer give birth, and he will make my body give birth.
God will glorify himself in the way he chooses to do this.
My greatest desire is to glorify God for his choices for us.
I want to bring glory to God's holy name through the way I trust him and embrace his will for our lives.
God will give us strength.
God will bless us with peace.

"Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?" says the LORD.
"Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?" says your God.
Isaiah 66:9

God causes delivery, and opens up the womb.

The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; 
He shall preserve your soul. 
The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and even forevermore.
Psalm 121: 7 - 8

God will preserve our souls throughout the process, and always.

Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
Hosea 6:3

God will come near to us, as surely as morning will come and rain will fall on the earth.

A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. John 16:21.

Labour may bring sorrow, but it will result in joy.

Come, and let us return to the LORD;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Hosea 6:1-2

When God brings suffering, and he also raises us up after it.

You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.
Acts 2:28

As I contemplated these Scriptures and God's sovereignty, I added two further "affirmations" of truth.

God has chosen the time of our child's birth.
God has chosen the place of our child's birth.

I want our child to be born at home. I want the birth to be as natural as possible. I want the birth to leave my body in good shape to serve my family afterwards, and for the nurture and birth of any future children. This is why I want to avoid interventions like cesarean. 

Some of my desires stem from personal preference. Others are based on a desire to serve God in the way I believe he has called me to do. However, I have to recognise that God is in the best position to decide how I can serve him! 

When we were researching home birth, this website about the birth pool we would be using made us laugh. The picture was a particular hit . . . 

Doesn't it look idyllic? It is accompanied with the slogan "Because every woman has a right to a fabulous birthing experience".

While we are going with the home birth and the pool, it is not because I believe I have a right to a fabulous birthing experience! It is rather because we believe this gives us the maximum opportunity to have a natural birth. Ultimately though, what happens is God's choice. His choice will be for our good and his glory.