life lately: wanna-be spring with 6 kiddos

The strangest part of blogging is that you share something hard and then you have to go on, when you really feel like the hard stuff should always be front page news. I've even written a couple of posts since then but I just haven't had the heart to post them. 

You feel like abortion is more important than pretty much anything else that is happening right now, yet - in blogging and in real life- you don't know what to do with it when babies need to be fed, clothes need to be washed, and you are called to be a worker at home because that's what God said to do. You do what you need to do to keep going, but so many times through the day your thoughts keep going back to the sweet babies being murdered at that very minute. How can you live with both?

I wish I had a great answer for how to deal with it, but I don't. I'm just telling you what it's like in my head. Thankfully, I think He's been showing me what to do one day at a time. And sometimes I feel like I'm learning more than I want to. :)

A lot of big life things have been changing around here lately, but one thing is for sure: the warm weather here has been giving us homeschooling spring fever.  :) 

In an effort to keep things fresh, we visited our local Discovery Science Place {with a Groupon!}, and the kids had a blast. One perk of homeschooling: we went on an off day right after school started back so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. 


Just FYI, we were waiting for our grandchildren to be born at the "hospital" here... and I still have a baby on my lap. I'm wondering if this moment was prophetic??? It's possible. I might still be having babies by then... who knows! :D

Speaking of babies- this baby is 7 months old today:

And my second baby has had a growth spurt and is turning into a preteen at almost 11:

Did I ever tell you? Zaner is the family clown, without a doubt. He is like a slapstick movie character, and we have no idea where he gets it. He jumped on Ava the other night and gave her a backward thigh chokehold {of course I had to take a pic before I made him let her go}:

He's growing up fast. And who are these big kids in front of my fire pit anyway?

All the while, these crazy people are still learning how to be parents, and now navigating new pre-adolescent waters. Pray for us.  :)

We'll see if we make it to the other side. :)

my first visit to an abortion clinic

I visited the gates of death this weekend.

And I don't say that lightly.

At 210 Kings Highway, just across from Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, is a nondescript building you would more likely mistake for an old AT&T phone station... long and rectangular in shape, covered in old 70's brown brick, with every single window boarded up tight. The heavy green metal front door looks more like an entrance to an illegal bar or an industrial closet, and in no way hints at any similarity to the name it bears.

The Hope Medical Group.

With the amount and variety of traffic coming in and out of this place, one might think it could be a hair salon or an office building. And if only it were.

If only.

"Hope" Medical is one of the few locations in the East Texas/ West Louisiana area that offers to murder your baby for a fee (and payable by credit card, with discounts available).

And on any given Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, you will find women lined up and waiting to pay anywhere from $475-$775 to kill their child there.

With my own eyes, I watched woman after woman and man after man with them go in that tiny, dark building to sacrifice their children.

I stood there holding little Ivy in my arms, begging them, and pleading with every mama as loudly as I possibly could from the closest place they would let me stand to please stop, please do not go in there, please do not murder your baby. Please, please turn back, that there is hope- there is another way.

And yet on they marched toward the heavy green door, avoiding any eye contact with me... desperately trying not to listen to what I said. And as beautiful as she is, they certainly didn't want to see my baby.

the two lines we weren't allowed to cross. 
I've never been so hated in my life. I've never seen such anger from strangers, never heard such vile pronouncements against God.

The air was thick with evil.

Car after car, after car, drove in through the tiny entrance. As I stood by the lattice gate as each one pulled through, I caught a glimpse of many of the "Hope" customers. I had heard stories, but could hardly believe my eyes.

I saw mothers bringing their teenage daughters. I saw middle-aged husbands bringing their wives. I saw mothers and fathers together with their babies in the back. I saw boyfriends dropping off girlfriends at the door. I saw whole families waiting in the parking lot. I saw teenage couples alone who were barely even old enough to drive. I saw an old white man in a fancy BMW driving a young black girl in the backseat. I even saw a teenage couple taking selfies together while they waited for a friend outside.

They had three escorts to "protect" the patients from dangerous people like me, Ivy, and Rob. We were the enemy there. They did everything they could to block them from seeing us at the corner, but thankfully even with the loud traffic they could still hear us.

It felt unreal. We didn't keep count, but more than 100 people were surely in and out of there in one morning. If they came with another person, it was likely for a surgical abortion, and if they came alone or left quickly, it was likely for a medical abortion by taking Mifeprex. The entire place was dark and shady; with no windows and surveillance cameras and signs everywhere, it was not the kind of place you would go for any other reason.

I've been around the blogging/social media world long enough that I can already imagine the backlash that will undoubtedly come from other "Christians" at me just telling this story. But I don't care. Babies are being murdered. BABIES are being murdered. Can you comprehend this? I still can't.

If I were passing by a hotel and looked up to see a mother trying to drop her baby off a five-story balcony, I would stop right there and do everything in my power to try to talk that woman out of it, no matter what it took.

No matter what she believes now or later, no matter what they called me, no matter if everyone else I cared about thought I was crazy for begging her and crying out across a parking lot. I don't care what her reasons are, I don't care what else I have to do that morning, I don't care how many people want to stop me or are annoyed by me. If I can't physically stop her, I would try with everything I have to convince her to stop with my voice.

Walking on in silence would never save the baby, or keep the mother from going to prison for murder.

It may not be a balcony, but this scenario is every bit as real. It's so easy to be far removed from it- to forget it's happening at all. But know this mother plans to drop her baby off the balcony. Maybe on any Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday.

It's perfectly legal for her to kill her child right now, but should that stop you from doing something? If you might help save one precious baby and her mother would you stop what you were doing to get to that balcony and stand below?

It happens almost 3,300 times each day, friend. In big cities these murder mills are every few miles.  How many people are willing to even try to save one life? What if the church made more of an effort to stand in this massive gap?

I'm completely ashamed that this was my first time to go to an abortion mill as an adult.

If these innocent babies are not my neighbor, who in the world is? Who will try to stop their mother from killing them? Let me tell you- not many will even try.

But thankfully, by the grace of God, my friend Amanda has been going for months and months and sharing the Gospel with these women. One day as she pled for the lives of the unborn, at least one mama didn't go through with her abortion, and several weeks later my friend received an INVITATION to her baby shower.

And because Amanda went, she gave me the courage to go. And other people like our friends who were with us Saturday- Danny, Connie, and Shawn- they go and plead at the gates of death weekly. They share the Gospel- the truth that there is hope in Jesus, on either side of the abortion. No judgment, no hate, nothing but loving them by telling them the truth and trying to stop even just one of the thousands of mamas on the balcony every day.

Will you go out there with us?

Will you please, please consider going to plead for the lives of sweet babies?

If you don't know where the balcony is, search for it. There will be one near you.

And there will be a mama waiting on it.

an unexpected loss

February already? I don't know how it happened.

I wish I could say January was amazing, but its end wasn't as wonderful as its beginning. We lost someone quite dear to our entire family rather unexpectedly. 

I hate death. 

I hate, hate, hate death.

It's horrible, and it makes you feel like someone punched you in the gut. The entire world seems different when someone you love dies. It's just not supposed to be this way, and you feel that heart and soul.

I left January aching. It's somehow so easy to go about life without thinking of death, and then in it comes and you have no choice but to deal with it. This time it made me realize all over again that my life is of little account- I probably won't even outlast the trees in my backyard. It made me cry out to God anew: This life is entirely too short, Lord. I have no chance of doing what is right apart from You. I need You, I need Your help, I need You to do what You want with me in this little bit of time, because I can't do it. What did you make me for? Why am I here? I am a flower that blooms and withers- like the grass that dies... I'm just dirt, God. Even the trees will outlast me.

And He reminded me of the answer with another question: 

What is the purpose of a flower? What is the purpose of the grass?

My heart knew and yet realized all at once: the purpose of the flower and the grass is to bring Him glory in its beauty and season, and to physically serve others around them. 

All of creation speaks and tells us of the majesty of the Creator, and that is my purpose here too. Only by some great and wonderful love was I even given the understanding that He is the Lord of the universe. And He gave me a soul that will not perish like those flowers of the field. My soul will live forever, and because Jesus died for me, a sinner and took MY punishment on the cross, I get to be washed of my sins and live with Him in eternity, where death won't reign and grief will be gone for those who have believed in His Son here. 

Isaiah 40:7: The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

That's His Word. And His Word is good and true. It does not change.

Someday His breath will blow upon me, and I will leave this earth too. I have an ending here, which makes me long all the more to give to Him every part of me, and to be a flower that brings Him glory with all my heart. Because one day all too soon, this life will be over for all of us.

Do you understand what will happen when it is your time to fade away? Will you have repented and believed in the promises of His Word while you were alive? Will you have sought to bring Him glory in this life? Do you love Him? Is He your Lord and Savior?

It surely won't be long before you know the answer.