Because We Could Not Stop for Death: Miscarriage and the Believer

Because We Could Not Stop for Death: Miscarriage and the Believer

I left the meeting as early as I could excuse myself and came home, hobbling in our back door, running to the bathroom. I knew what to expect but nothing prepares you for the emotional and physical toll of blood loss, hormone loss, and the tiny baby loss in the moment.

Before I got married I thought, at times, women could be dramatic about their infertility or miscarriages. I thought: “Children are a blessing, but they’re not an idol. Why is your world falling apart because of this?” As I lay sobbing on our bed that day, I hiccupped through the words, “I just want it to stop.” 

 

... The Psalmist David knew this slow drive too. He said the words, “How long, O Lord?” nine times in the book of Psalms. He was desperate for the Lord to relent, to show up, to release, and to end David’s suffering. We, like David, are not good in the middle of things. We don’t like it. We can anticipate the danger or suffering ahead, even know the right theology to regard it, but when the gushing pain begins, where is our hope then?

 

Our hope is in the permission to say, with David, “How long, O Lord?” And then to keep saying it, for as long as we are still waiting for it to relent.

 

... Our Father knows the searing loss of losing a child. Our Savior said these words on the cross, “My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” Our Spirit groans with us in our weakness with words too deep for us to even understand. Surely there is permission to sit, ache, mourn, and weep in this middle place?

Mothering a Rebellious Heart

Mothering a Rebellious Heart

I ask them to pick up their toys, yet they keep playing. I ask them to share, instead they scream at each other. I tell them it’s time to read the Bible or do our catechism questions, instead I’m met with cries of protest or disdain. My words, commands, and correctives often fall on deaf ears. And I feel defeated...

My kids disobey because they need new hearts, not because I am a bad parent. The great predicament of the Israelites is that no amount of effort on their part was going to make them obey. The same is true for my kids. God had to give his children new hearts, and he must do the same for mine.

This reality about their heart and disobedience shouldn’t anger me (as it so frequently does)—it should soften me towards them and make me long for God to grant them repentance and hearts that desires holiness. So often I am angry that they disobey me, rather than broken that their cold, dead hearts hinder their obedience yet again.

Disobedience is our natural bent. We see it with the Israelites. We see it with our kids. And we see it in ourselves. We need the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit to change our natural desires into what doesn’t come naturally to us—a desire to do what is right...

Hope for Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Hope for Pregnancy and Infant Loss

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month and we at Risen Motherhood want to recognize all of you who have lost a child too soon. Below you'll find a selection of articles, posts, music and podcasts that we pray encourages a mom in the midst of grief. Just click on the links at the bottom of each quote to go to the original source. 

Moms, We are Not Alone

Moms, We are Not Alone

“Is your husband out of town this week?” she asked.

“Yes. All week. Is yours?” I responded. She nodded.

“Want to come over for dinner?” I asked.

Motherhood is hard enough on a good day. What with the constant multi-tasking, unexpected illnesses, endless pile of laundry, the refereeing of squabbles, teaching the same lessons over and over again, all while trying to keep up with the daily responsibilities and duties of life.

It’s even harder when you feel all alone.

When my kids were young, I had a couple of friends whose husbands also traveled for work or often worked late at night. Having these friends was a lifesaver, literally, because at the time, I was in the midst of post-partum depression aftershocks. We took turns making dinner for ourselves and all our kids. Sometimes we met at a park and then took the kids to their favorite taco place. And when the weeks were especially long, we got together multiple times.

Not only did we keep each other company during those years, but we also encouraged one another in the gospel. We reminded each other of what was true. We prayed with and for each other. We walked with one another through life’s trials and challenges.

When Motherhood Doesn't Fit Quite Right

When Motherhood Doesn't Fit Quite Right

Those early years of mothering, they just didn’t fit me quite right. 

Ya know, like how you feel when you try on one of those rompers and you just keep tugging and twisting it, hoping to get it to lay just right. 

Something about a newborn felt odd, and unknown to me. My body seemed foreign, my routines were in the diaper genie.  I wasn’t sure what had changed in me, or what was to remain the same.

That little babe on my chest, at times, didn’t fit quite right. 

This is how motherhood felt for a couple years. I would look at my reflection in the metaphorical mirror and tug and twist this awkward new title of mom. The struggle, was very real.

In an attempt to silence the fear of failing as a mom, I overcompensated with tight and rigid schedules and extreme expectations. That control birthed other bad habits and misconceptions—like that mothering was something at which to win. 

When You Can't Protect Your Children

When You Can't Protect Your Children

My children are young, so young that they mostly live in a Pleasantville-like bubble. But over the past year, that bubble has been pushed and poked a few times. There have been a few holes here and there, but I work quickly to patch them. And for the most part, the bubble remains.

But that is not the point of this. The point is just the opposite. The point is that the bubble will inevitably burst, no matter how I try to support it. The point is, I am realizing very quickly that I cannot protect my children from everything.
 

Desires Unfulfilled: What to Do When God Says "No"

Desires Unfulfilled: What to Do When God Says "No"

Something was wrong.

I couldn't yet pinpoint the problem, but I could feel the effects of it in my soul and see it in the way I treated my family. Impatience with my daughter for not immediately understanding her new math concept. Anger against my boys for having constant, messy needs. Frustration towards my husband over things which he had no control. Discouragement and despair over my daily goals and relationships. Why was I so low? I dug around in my mind a bit and came up with a few specific things over which I was especially disappointed.

Momma, Your Home Is Holy

Momma, Your Home Is Holy

Sometimes, in the chaos of children and cooking and cleaning and errands and just generally managing a household and family, I forget why I'm doing what I'm doing. I forget who I serve. I get so focused on the here and now, I forget Him and eternity. Last night, as I was cooking dinner, dad was working late and the kids were whining at my feet, I felt exasperated. Strung out. Overwhelmed.

And then, I stopped and sang,

"Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord"

Every Hour We Need Thee

Every Hour We Need Thee

Today I'm reminded of how far I am from being a good mother, a good friend, a good wife / sister / daughter / church member / volunteer – a good anything! I feel split in two, like I live in the in-between. I want to do better, oh how I long to do better. But the needs keep coming at me and I fail over and over again. I just can't seem to get it together.

At times, it can feel pretty bleak. Why can I not live out what I know, I know? If I have Christ, why do I sometimes feel lost? If I know his promises are true, why do I act like they don't exist?

Ten Opportunities to Talk to Your Child About God in Everyday Life

10 Opportunities to Talk to Your Child About God in Everyday Life:

1. When they see something they love in nature. || God created everything.

2. When they get ready to eat a meal. || Give thanks to God for all he provides.

3. When they show off a skill, gift, or ability. || God gives us abilities to glorify and worship Him.

4. When they get hurt or feel afraid. || God is always with us, He is our refuge and strength.

5. When they disobey. || Sin severs our relationship with God, but He offers forgiveness in His son, Jesus.

6. When they see you reading the bible or praying. || God wants us to spend time talking to and listening to Him through His word.

7. When they hurt other children. || God created everyone in His image and He loves that person. He wants us to be kind to them.

8. When they share or show generosity. || God loves a cheerful giver.

9. When they show self-control instead of selfishness. || God helped you do what is right and put others before yourself. Thank you, God!

10. When they are ready for bed. || God loves you. He is always ready to hear your prayers. 

For more like this, listen to Episode 27 | Intentional Motherhood: It's the Little Things and Episode 29 | Using Life-Giving Words With Our Children

Risen Motherhood Guest Interviews

Risen Motherhood Guest Interviews

Over the past year and a half of the show, we've been blessed to be able to invite a handful of wise people on the show to share their experience and wisdom with our listeners. From miscarriage and infertility, to special needs and PPD, to Biblical literacy and prayer, all of our guests have shared a wealth of helpful information for moms in many walks of life. If you've missed an interview, check out the list below to see who we've featured, and of course, we also find ourselves re-listening to many of the interviews as the truths shared are worth hearing over and over again. 

Six Tips For Getting In God's Word As A Young Mom

Six Tips For Getting In God's Word As A Young Mom

In high school and college I spent a lot of time in scripture, but as I started working, got married and had really little littles, I wasn't spending a lot of time in the Bible. I hunted and pecked here and there, did a few inductive Bible Studies – my time and depth ebbed and flowed depending on what I was involved in and who was holding me accountable.

And with the lack of time, I felt some of my passion for God dry up. If you asked me, I would have told you I wanted a more passionate relationship with the Lord, but I'd tell you that for one reason or another I was just kinda going through a dry spell. And if I were honest with you – if I were honest with myself – I would have told you that I believed God was the distant one, not me.

Five Ways To Involve Your Young Children In Hospitality

Five ways to involve your young children in hospitality:

1. Have them help clean and prepare for guests. Set the table, run a handheld vacuum, decorate place cards. 
2. Let them help in deciding the menu and preparing the food. Is there a simple desert or side that you can work with them the day before on? 
3. Have them greet guests at the door. Coach them ahead of time on what to say. Tell them they can offer guests a "hug, handshake or highfive!" Allow them show guest where they can put their boots or coat. 
4. During and after the meal, help them to "see needs and meet them." This usually means mom or dad "sees" the need and helps the child in meeting it - getting new napkins, handing someone a drink, finding an age appropriate toy for the youngest of guests.
5. Teach them to walk their guests to the door, thank them for coming and help them find their shoes/coats.

My children are two and four (next month), and both of them are capable of most of these things - admittedly - with lots of help from mom and dad. (But isn't that like everything in parenting?) We find the main key is in communication. Prepare your child beforehand for what you expect and how they can love the guests that come to your doorstep. Gently remind them of their responsibilities as the evening goes on. Talk about the why to point them to the gospel: We want to bless people through the blessings God has given us (skills, abilities, material things). Everything was given to us by God. We serve because Jesus first served us, etc. (Lots more "reasons" on this week's show!) Most children that are really young still find this exciting and fun – not dutiful – so it's a great chance to capitalize on their willing attitudes.

Hospitality in the little years does take extra work, but if we're thoughtful and plan ahead, we can use it as a wonderful teaching tool for our children to learn to love others more than themselves and show people the light of Christ.

For more about hospitality, listen to Episode 55 | Hospitality in the Little Years and Episode 43 | Serving Others Right Where You're At

Why Every Young Mom Should Make Time for Ministry

Why Every Young Mom Should Make Time for Ministry

In these little years, it can be easy to convince myself it's not practical to serve outside my home. I've got two under three that have only one incredibly loud vocal setting and their favorite hobby is running in circles while holding breakable items.

But the truth is, I can't serve inside my home without serving outside my home. What I mean is, a vital part of raising my children to know and love the Lord is showing them that loving God means loving others. So while you likely won't find us at a soup kitchen, you will find us doing seemingly small things in the home that matter outside of it.