Empowered

 

I didn’t feel empowered when I walked into that old converted house in Richmond.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was educated that abortion was safer than child birth.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was counseled to continue the process in spite of my reservations.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was given a sedative to take the edge off.

I didn’t feel empowered when I sat in a tiny room with a dozen other broken women waiting for our turn.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was herded into a procedure room.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was hurried out to recover.

I didn’t feel empowered when I drove away bleeding.

I didn’t feel empowered when counterfeit love couldn’t bear the weight of loss.

I didn’t feel empowered alone with my secret.

84% of post abortive women felt they had no option. No power to choose.

Abortion doesn’t empower. It steals. It robs. It abuses.

Real power came when I found forgiveness and healing in Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).

By His grace, a loving husband and subsequent pregnancies followed.

The most empowering moments of my life can be found in newness of life.

Redemption. Child birth.

I will be a voice for the unborn. I will be a voice for women.

#whywemarch

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Standard of Perfection

I have been hot, and I have been tired, and I have been dirty, and I have been stinky. It is all a part of helping my kiddos show animals during a week at the Great Bedford Fair.

Timothy showed meat chickens for his second year. Although he had the biggest bird (12.5 pounds), his pair only earned a 3rd place in the heavy weight division.

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For her third year at fair, Bailey showed her new Palomino rabbit. She won a first for her breed.

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Also in her third year, Abby showed her Mini Rex rabbit, and for the first time, showed a market goat, who brought her a 2nd place for the animal as well as a 3rd place for her showmanship.

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Chloe showed her Californian rabbit for the second year and earned a 1st place for Senior Doe.

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Quincy felt like a winner everyday because the fair has tons of tractors everywhere. But no ribbons for him…yet.

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With so many different animals, so many different breeds and so many different judges, it is a wonder that a winner can be chosen.

If it was me, I might choose the cutest critters. Or maybe the animal with the sweetest temperament. Or even the biggest or the softest.

The fair judges are experts at separating the winners from the rest of the class. Some animals are quickly disqualified because of a defect in appearance or structure.

The judge has studied the Standards of Perfection for each breed. She compares each animal to this standard…not to each other. The one animal that resembles, most closely, the standard wins the big Best of Show ribbon, a photo in the newspaper and bragging rights for the next year.

Romans 3: 23
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.

Jesus Christ is humanity’s Standard of Perfection. But we all fall short. Our sins disqualify us from receiving the prize of an eternity with Him.

My goal is not to be better than other people. I am not the Standard of Perfection. I am made new in His image because of what Christ has done. My faith is believing that Christ is who He said He was.

I hope I look more like Him now than when I first was saved after I graduated from college. I hope & pray that I resemble His standard more & more as He continues to transform me.

It is only by His grace.

Bittersweet

The death of a believer. It is bittersweet.

Her separation from her family, but her presence with The Lord.

Tears of sorrow for their loss. Tears of joy for her gain.

Treasured memories and photographs bringing the smiles and the delight of a shared past, but the sadness and the emptiness of an altered future.

Today I attended the “Celebration of Life” of an exceptional young woman who passed from this life into eternity on Monday in her mother’s arms surrounded by family.

Amy’s story is the story of love and dependence. It is the story of hope and redemption.

Amy had Rett Syndrome which left her unable to speak or walk or care for herself. She was completely, totally dependent on the care of those who loved her.

I witnessed the tenderness and affection that was showered upon this beloved daughter, this cherished sister. The beauty of a hand held. The loveliness of a whispered song. The fun of a Kit Kat to end a meal. The consideration of her personal needs.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

This outpouring of love cannot be manifested by will, but only through the power of the Holy Spirit, a counselor sent to those who believe and accept Jesus Christ.

Amy received love in abundance from her family. She watched, heard and experienced Christ’s likeness modeled in her home.

In December 2010, communicating with her eyes, Amy expressed her deep desire to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. The following year, she made a public proclamation by following in obedience and being baptized.

The Immeasurable value of Amy’s life. Our Gracious Heavenly Father created her, knitting her together in her mother’s womb. She was made in His image, fearfully and wonderfully.

The Inspirational love and sacrifice of our Lord and her family. The love of Christ knows no bounds even though Amy’s body had the boundaries of weakness, limitation and disability. He adored her and spoke straight to her heart and through her family, friends and church.

The Irresistible hope of a new life. Amy’s profession of faith gives a hope for an eternity set free from a wheel chair and muteness. Her testimony is such a precious gift to all who hear of God’s goodness and mercy.

The Invitational. Without the good news of a Savior, death stings. Without the gospel, death leads to despair. Without the Light of Eternity, death is the end.

Bittersweet today. Bright hope for eternity.

1 Corinthians 15:52, 55-57
…in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed…then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amy wanted to tell her story to the whole world. If you would like more information, please contact amys.story@yahoo.com.

 

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Photo credit: Alex Flaaen