Saturday, March 28, 2009


Last year when I found this scripture (Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34:14) I was blown away. I could not understand how to "seek peace" much less "pursue it", which led me to this post. Strong's Concordance defines pursue in this context: to run after (usually with hostile intent), chase, follow, hunt. Well, that is not how it happened for me...I learned to REST and PEACE came. Maybe I did run after peace with hostile intent because the Lord said to and as I did I learned to rest and then peace came. Maybe I was so desperate to escape the chaos of my circumstances my intentions in the pursuit of PEACE did become hostile. I do not know and the details are not important...I have it (most of the time as I am still learning and growing in this area). Remember my new favorite verse:

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14

Circumstances during my pregnancy with Judah were anything but peaceful, yet I always felt a sense of peace and could feel that sense of peace in him. During previous pregnancies during times of great stress I could feel the baby tense up, sometimes so much it hurt. Not this time, I had sought peace, pursued it and it was there. It was the peace that surpasses understanding! Now the precious part of this pursuit is I see it in Judah's face at least a hundred times a day...PEACE. Here are a couple of pictures that I feel capture it well, but can PEACE be photographed? I do not know...what do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Just pictures and the facts today, more later...
March 20, 2009
8 pounds 4 ounces, 19.25 inches

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


An excerpt from a letter I wrote when Kaira, baby 3, was two months old:

December 2006

While still in the hospital I began to realize that something else had taken place in me, my hope and joy as a mother had been restored. (Actually it was not restored because it had never been there, this was COMPLETELY NEW) I felt something for this baby I had been unable to feel for my other two and my words cannot do justice to what took place in my heart and spirit. A deep inner belief rose up in me that was unshakeable - Christ (my Hope) will provide all that I need to be everything He intends me to be for all my children. Not only did I have a wonderful time with Kaira, I was a different mother to Isabella and Annais.

Finding this today was such a blessing. What a great reminder of the Lord's faithfulness and love and His desire to heal our hearts. I look forward to all I will learn from Judah and how that will affect the rest of us.

Monday, March 16, 2009


when I get desperate for my Father in Heaven to sustain me! I have been missing my intimacy with Him recently and have been worshipping Him this week...nothing blesses me like worshipping the ONE who loves me, nurtures me and protects me.

This song is the cry of my heart for me and my children!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Getting ready for Judah's arrival has reminded me of preparing the last couple of weeks for Kaira. God was doing some pretty big things in my heart just before she arrived. Only God could change my life so dramatically two weeks before giving birth to my third child and keep me in His perfect peace. Here is part of the story...

The last two weeks of my pregnancy with Kaira (September 2006) the Lord began to speak to me about homeschooling and I was receptive, so I know it was Him. I had never planned to homeschool (unless the Lord called me to do it I would always say when asked) and it really was NOT something I had a desire to do. But you know when the Lord begins to change your heart and stir your spirit, EVERYTHING CHANGES and in this case it changed FAST.

For a period of about three weeks early in the pregnancy I kept running into women, friends and strangers, who were referring to mothering as “fun” – not a word I would have used to describe it. I began to ask God to show me the fun in mothering. What I realized is that the enemy had, from the time of Isabella’s birth, stolen my joy. Jesus clearly states that the enemy comes to seek, kill and destroy, but He came so that I may have life and have it to the full. Little by little God was replacing lies with His truth. He began to give me revelation of the gift that my children were. Psalms 127:3 became truth for me. It is hard to put into words, but the fulfillment of that promise brought me great comfort and hope that I had not had before.

Isabella and Annais were enrolled in preschool at the time and I looked forward to those two days alone. As in years past I could not wait for school to start, but this time once school started something had changed, I was not so eager to see them go and wondered what they were learning especially when them came home and I only heard bits and pieces. God used several events to remind me that He had a plan for my children’s lives and showed me that I was the best one to guide them on His path. He had instructed me and taught me the way I should go and He wanted me to teach my children. As I mentioned I never saw myself as a homeschooling mom, but always said if the Lord called me to it, I would. The first thing he said to me was, “You are their mother, and you are called”. That was all I needed to seek Him whole heartedly in the area of homeschooling.

A week after Kaira was born the Lord clearly spoke to me in the bathroom at Waffle House of all places. He said, “Invest and I will bless.” I knew what He was referring to my relationship with my husband and homeschooling my children. He just did not give me a time frame. Then through a series of divine appointments I began to gain a deep confidence in my ability to do what the Lord had called me to do. He says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I had been thoroughly equipped for this and I was to use His word as a basis to teach my children. I have watched Him repeatedly bless my minimal, but obedient efforts to educate my children. He has upheld His part of that deal – as I obey Him, He blesses our homeschool.

I pulled both my kids out of preschool that November, two months after Kaira’s birth, which was God’s time because I had planned on leaving them in until at least Christmas and maybe even year end.

During a conversation with another homeschooling mom while asking her about curriculum she told me she prays about what to teach her son. What? Amazing! Right then and there God gave me a revelation: If He knows the plans He has for my children and I ask Him what to teach them their education will be in His perfect will and time for their lives. I will be coaching them towards their God given destiny. What an awesome privilege and partnership.

Sitting at a ladies tea that December I listened to the speaker share everything she knew about tea and the history of tea. Coupled with her knowledge of tea was her knowledge of history and how it related to tea. I began to think about my lack of historical knowledge, the fact that I had dropped out of school and the Lord spoke to me. “Mari,” he said, “you had so much going on in your life as a child you could not retain all the things you were being taught, but I am going to give you a second chance with your children.” I could feel the tears fill my eyes and my heart swell with gratefulness. Psalm 103:4-5 says “Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”

Just before I got pregnant with Kaira I got on my knees and prayed that the Lord would give me an insatiable hunger for His word, He did and it has been an amazing journey. I have been truly transformed by the renewing of my mind which has graced me to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. That day was preparation for a time such as this, so I would clearly know and be able to test through His word all that He has been speaking to my heart and spirit.

God showed me that this was His plan all along, but being the loving and gracious Father He is He was patient with me. He carried me on a path of healing and brought me to a place of rest before He revealed His plan. He brought me to a place emotionally and spiritually to receive the gift.

People tend to think that homeschooling is something only some people can do and I am here to tell you that it is something that is proof positive for me, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". There is nothing special about me, I am just obeying my Father and He's doing the rest. The most work that has had to be done in our homeschool has been in my heart, actions and attitudes. I have had to give up my ideas of how things should be and submit to His. I have had to have my mind renewed and still do in His truth and let go of the lies. I have had to give up things that worked against me and family and submit to His ways. It is a continual learning process. The more I teach my children, the more I learn about the faithfulness of God to love me so much He will not leave me this way.

This song really speaks to the change that took place for me as He prepared me for His plan.


Monday, March 9, 2009


I have been doing a 50 state study with Isabella this year for first grade. I have been looking for ways to get postcards from the 50 states and so far we do not have many - this is where you come in. If you are willing to send a postcard from your state or any that you visit to Isabella, please click on my profile and email me. I thought this would be a great time to do this so she would receive postcards during the first few transitional weeks when baby comes home. I will only respond to emails from people I have corresponded with in the past. If you have friends that would like to participate let me know before they email me, so I do not delete the email.

Thank you for your help.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Besides the fact that it looks like Babies R' Us threw up all over our house we have been making preparations for Judah since the two lines appeared on the stick in the Walgreens restroom; preparing our hearts that is.

These are some things I have done with the kids:

1) SIBLING CLASSES - Isabella and Annais both attended a sibling class at the hospital, which were wonderful and I highly recommend. It was also a day for them to be alone with mommy or daddy and have lunch at a tea room because we all love a good tea time.

2) PRAY FOR THE BABY TOGETHER - This is something the kids started at the beginning of the pregnancy, which has just been so precious to hear and watch.

3) READ CHILDREN'S BOOKS ABOUT PREGNANCY, EXPECTING BABY OR BIG BROTHER/SISTER BOOKS - I scanned content before reading to the kids, not all of these books ended with a positive message. I do not mind some negative behavior as long as there is a positive conclusion.

4) PROJECTS - Isabella and Annais made lapbooks* as the big brother/sister which included the following:

  • Babies in the bible and the meaning of their names

  • Drawings of what they think Judah will look like

  • Their footprint next to a baby's footprint

  • Letters to Judah (picture below)

  • A chart to record their birth statistics and Judah's for comparison

  • A drawing of our family now and after Judah is born

  • Certificates from their sibling classes
This is the cover to Isabella's lapbook and her letter to Judah, she is telling him how her rest time was "their" playtime. She would lay on my belly and he would kick her in the head, she loved it.

This is Annais' cover for his lapbook and his letter (written by his teacher) to Judah.

A lot of the stuff in these lapbooks came from you have to sign-up to view the materials and these can be found under prince/princess missions.

*What is a lapbook you ask?

From BellaOnline:

A lapbook is a hands-on tool that you can use with your children in place of worksheets or other monotonous learning tools. It can be used for ages preschool through high school and can be used with any subject matter!

This is a lapbook Isabella and I made which includes detailed pictures of the baby month-by-month that we cut out of the magazine they gave me at the doctor's office. We tracked baby's progress month-by-month, Isabella would write three things that were growing, changing or developing in Judah during that month and we would watch a video here - I would screen before watching with children, there are some parts I would fast forward. It was amazing footage and facts, I often found myself tearing up at the sheer beauty and miracle of it all. Isabella was just excited that she has fallopian tubes!

5 - SHOPPING - Took the kids shopping and they all picked out a gift for Judah.

6 - T-SHIRTS - As a gift from Judah they each got a big brother/sister shirt to wear to the hospital. I found the cutest shirts for only $12.99/each and they arrived in two days at

What are some things your family does to get ready for baby? We'd love your thoughts and suggestions too!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


It was 1999 and Todd and I were at dinner with several people from church. There was a couple there I had never met, but had known Todd since he was a child. They addressed me with the question, “How many children are you planning on having?” This is what I said…

“We will have as many children as we can afford to have.”

The couple was very impressed with my answer and it seemed to go over well with everyone else at the table, including Todd’s parents. So, it convinced me it was a “right and good” answer.

Well, that was ten years and four children ago and I would have to say that was one of my MOST “faithless” comments. At the time I had just become a Christian and had no idea what it meant to fully submit to His Lordship (and am still learning and growing) and it would be several years before I understood it in the area of children. If I had not sought after the Lord in desperate need of His wisdom, love and grace, I may have not experienced the joy, freedom and healing that has come from each pregnancy and birth experience.

1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved (click here for an explanation of the fullness of "saved" in this context) in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

To say “we will have as many as we can afford” showed my lack of faith, relationship and trust in God and also my self-reliance. Since that time Todd and I have embraced the gift and blessings that our children are and know that for us, now, the only answer to the question, “Are you done having children?” is “We do not know.”

My pregnancies and post-partum periods have not been a bed of roses, so I do not say this casually because it has all been easy. I was riddled with fear my first pregnancy, which only increased with delivery by emergency c-section followed by severe post-partum depression. Click here to read an article "How Fear Affects the Body" My second pregnancy I had heart palpitations and Annais was born with kidney reflux. After his birth I met God as my healer and began to understand the provisions already made for my healing. My pregnancy with Kaira was wonderful and this pregnancy with Judah at age 37 (will be 38 a few weeks after his birth) has been the most incredible experience of my life. I have not had one cold, virus or infection this whole pregnancy. This is the first time in my WHOLE life that I have gone this many months without being sick, praise God!

So, for those who so comically ask us, “Do you know where babies come from?” The answer is ABSOLUTELY, and we look forward to as many blessings He wants to give us. God says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…” My pregnancies may surprise some, but they are no surprise to the one who birthed my children first in His heart.

In Proverbs 16:9 it says “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” and was that was so true for me, but the problem was my heart was not right, so I devised my plans from a place of pain and bondage. My heart was broken and wounded and only after allowing the Lord to heal my heart could I agree with His plans for our family.

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