Thoughts on Life and Loss

Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I have many friends who have lost babies, and I grieve with them. I cannot imagine the pain they feel, and my prayers are with them. Sweet friends, (and you know who you are,) I love you and I can’t wait for the day you when will be reunited with your babies in heaven.

But today, on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, my thoughts have turned to loss of another kind. My mind has been occupied not only with those babies we mourn, but with the babies we do NOT mourn.  Because how can we mourn the loss of children through miscarriage and still celebrate their loss through abortion? How? If this life that is lost through miscarriage is indeed a life to mourn, then isn’t the aborted baby also a life to mourn? Why does one life matter when another one does not? What is the difference between the two? Certainly, it isn’t gestational age. Many of these miscarriages we mourn occur earlier in pregnancy than abortions do. Is the only difference that one baby is wanted and another one is not? And can we not see the fault with this reasoning?

This language of life and loss is not just evidence of a divide between Christians and non-Christians, or the pro-life and pro-choice crowds. It is even evidence of a great inconsistency in secular culture and media. Why is a celebrity pregnancy referred to as a baby but the language is changed to fetus if the conversation is about abortion? If our culture is truly persuaded that life does not begin (or does not count) until birth, why then do the headlines rave about the latest celebrity baby bump? Shouldn’t they say “fetus bump?” Can they truly not see the inconsistency of their language, or their logic?

The bottom line? Please, please do not post a status or make a comment grieving Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day if you believe that abortion is morally acceptable. Either it is a baby to mourn or it isn’t. Either it is a life that has ended or it is not. You cannot mourn miscarriage yet support abortion. Ever. Period. End of story. And if you are pro-choice yet have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, I believe you need to take a sober, careful look at what you believe. If abortion does not take a life, then what are you mourning? What have you lost?

I believe our culture is quickly losing its grip on the value of life. Another example of this has been in the news and all over social media recently. Brittany Maynard is a 29-year-old with terminal cancer who has chosen to end her life on November 1. Through doctor-assisted suicide, which is legal in Oregon, she will take her life and go on to “whatever is next.” And reading that sentence broke my heart. Because I know that “whatever is next” for someone who dies without a relationship with Christ is an eternity in hell. I have been praying fervently for this girl, who is about my own age, and for her heart. I have been praying that the Lord would intervene. That He would send Christians to her to share the Gospel with her. That He would bring her into a saving relationship with Himself. That He would give her new life — life eternal — even as she is facing death.

My heart is not only broken for Brittany and the state of her soul, but it is broken for our culture and our disregard for the sanctity of life. I have been absolutely appalled at the Christians I know who have applauded her decision and celebrated her “bravery.” Dear Christians, do you realize what it is you are applauding and celebrating? Have you forgotten the VALUE of life completely? Have you forgotten God’s Word?

“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39

“The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.” 1 Samuel 2:6-7

GOD gives life and He gives death. Who are we to think we can control life and death? Who among us is qualified to decide who gets to live and who does not? Is the doctor administering euthanasia? Is the mother choosing abortion? Is the politician pushing an agenda? Are you? Am I?

My heart is heavy tonight as I pray for my friends who have lost babies, and I grieve for the 56.6 million babies who have been aborted in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade, and I intercede on behalf of Brittany Maynard, and I mourn for our culture which has lost the understanding of the value of life.

To those of you who hold a different worldview than I do, I beg of you: Spend some time examining your opinions about miscarriage, abortion, and euthanasia. If you believe in the value of life in one case, can you not see the value of life in every case? If one lost life is to be mourned, is not every lost life worthy of mourning? Is not every life valuable?

And to my fellow Christians, I beg of you: As people who believe God is sovereign over life and death, let’s fight for life. Let’s fight against abortion and euthanasia. Let’s fight for the unborn and terminally ill. Let’s fight for the sanctity of life at birth, at death, and at all points in between.

Meet Millie

I haven’t updated the blog since May, but I promise I have a good excuse!

Blog, meet Millie.

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(Bella Baby Photography)

 

Amelia Ann was born on Friday, June 28th at 1:47 pm, only three days past her due date. After a relatively easy labor and delivery, she arrived weighing 7 pounds 8 ounces, and measuring 20 inches. We were surprised by how big she was, considering her big sister (who was also overdue) weighed only 6 pounds 6 ounces. But what surprised us even more than her weight was her head full of black hair.

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Piper was very excited to meet her sister, and even though she had gotten up at 4:30 that morning and then skipped her nap, she was very sweet. I had taken her to most of my prenatal checkups, and after seeing the doctor listen to Millie’s heartbeat, she would practice putting her toy stethoscope on my belly to check on Millie. So the first thing she did when JD brought her into the delivery room was borrow a stethoscope from a nurse to listen to Millie’s heart. It was so sweet and funny, and I wish I had a video of it!

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(Bella Baby Photography)

 

Millie is pretty vocal, and is a lot noisier than I remember Piper being. She can scream like a banshee, but more often grunts and grunts and grunts until she is gets her way. She doesn’t cry excessively, but she makes lots of noises and little sounds. Lately she has been cooing, laughing, and squealing. Piper will say, “Millie’s making noise!” like it’s the most amazing thing in the world.

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At her two-week checkup, Millie’s doctor asked, “What are you feeding her, fertilizer?” And I really don’t think she could grow any faster if I was! She is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight, and has grown so very fast. While Piper was always petite, Millie is a chunk. She has wonderful rolls and several chins, making her so squishy and fun to hold. Dressing her is challenging, however, as she grows out of her clothes as fast as I can put them on her!

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Overall, Millie is an easy baby. While it used to take Piper 30 minutes to nurse, Millie is done (and full) in 5. And Piper never liked the swing, but Millie loves it and naps in it several times a day. I knew Millie would be different than Piper, but I just couldn’t imagine how. Now, I often think that she is trying to prove just how different she is from her sister.

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(Britt Farris Photography)

My big sweet girl is three months old now, and the time is flying by. She is a joy and an answer to prayer, and our little family is so blessed to have her.

Piperisms (Volume 1)

My two-year-old is really funny. She makes me laugh all the time, and I’m constantly amazed by her active imagination and growing vocabulary. Here are a few of her recent “Piperisms” that I want to record and remember.

IMG_2773(While taking a post-dinner walk…)
JD: “Piper, we live on a pretty street, don’t we?”
Piper: “Yeah, it’s gray!”
(Two year olds are nothing if not literal!)

(Britt Farris Photography)

(Britt Farris Photography)

One day as we were driving to church, Piper noticed a bandaid on my leg.
Piper: “Mommy, you got a bandaid?”
Me: “Yes, I’ve got a bandaid.”
Piper: “Did you fall down in the street?”
Me: “No, I cut myself.”
Piper: “Mommy, you fell down in the grass?”
Me: “No, I cut myself with my razor.”
Piper: “Oh. Mommy, you fell down on your razor?”

IMG_2576While looking at animal flash cards, Piper came across a llama. “Look, Daddy, it’s a tall cow! It’s a giraffe-cow!”

……….

Piper, seeing some overripe bananas in the kitchen, said, “Mom? Those bananas got dirty?” I replied, “No, they just get brown spots when they get old.” I started to peel one to show her that it was fine, but she screamed, “No, Mommy, don’t eat it! It’s dirty!”

IMG_3085As we were walking out of church one Sunday morning, Piper stopped in the middle of the parking lot and said, “Where’s my shadow?” She was distraught and wouldn’t move. We tried to explain that it was cloudy, that it would return when the sun came back out, etc., but to no avail. She just stood there repeating, “Where did my shadow go? I can’t find it! I lost my shadow. The sun took my shadow away!”

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I was in the kitchen one afternoon when Piper walked up to me and the following conversation ensued.
Piper: “Hey, Mom!”
Me: “Hey, Piper!”
Piper: “Guess what?”
Me: “What?”
Piper: “Sea turtles!”

……….

One day she started walking backwards out of the room and yelled, “Oh no, Mom! I’m drifting away from you!”

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JD: “Piper, it’s time for bed.”
Piper: “I want to play in my big girl bed first.”
JD: “Okay, you can play for a little while.”
Piper: “No, a BIG while!”

……….

She’s started calling her piggy bank a penny pig. It’s so cute and I’ll never correct her!

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Every night at bedtime, JD tucks Piper in. (It has to be Daddy, not Mommy.) When he leaves, I go in and tell her goodnight. Lately, every time I go into her room she asks, “Mommy, you got teeth?” I have no idea where this came from, but she asks it over and over again. One afternoon we were in her room playing, and she said, “Daddy, are you happy? Daddy’s happy. I’m happy, too! And Mommy’s got teeth!”

(Britt Farris Photography)

(Britt Farris Photography)

Piper calls her toy stethoscope her “doctor ears.”

……….

I was suffering through a fall allergy attack and told Piper I was sick. She said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I want to feel you better!” How sweet is she?

A Mother’s Day Confession

Yesterday as I told my mom, “Happy Mother’s Day,” she said, “You’re the one in the trenches of motherhood right now!” And you know what? I am. I am deep in the trenches of motherhood. I have a two-year-old daughter and I’m 33 1/2 weeks pregnant. Temper tantrums and meltdowns? I deal with those. Scraped knees and bumped heads? Check. Third trimester insomnia and exhaustion? Yep. Heartburn and an achy back? You bet. And while this may not be the easiest stage of motherhood, it is so blessed. Sloppy kisses and spontaneous hugs? I get those. Giggles and little girl squeals? Constantly. Baby kicks and nudges? Happening right now.

What do I, from my post deep in the trenches of motherhood, need to hear to be encouraged this Mother’s Day? I’ll tell you what I don’t need to hear. I don’t need to hear a to-do-list in the form of a sermon based on the Proverbs 31 woman. I don’t need to hear about perfect mothers who never make mistakes. I don’t need to hear about those saintly women who never lose their cool. I definitely don’t need to hear about moms who have it all together all the time. I don’t need to hear perfect. I need to hear real.

So many times we moms hide the mess, sweep it under the rug, and present a “perfect” face to the world. Social media seems to exaggerate this — I mean, who instagrams their sink full of dirty dishes? Or their filthy toddlers wearing mismatched clothes? Who tweets about their parenting failures? Or posts a Facebook status about their fight with their husband? We try to present our “perfect” families to the world, but all the while feel guilty that our real life doesn’t match the perfection our friends are presenting. Comparing our behind-the-scenes, un-aired footage with others’ highlight reels leaves us feeling inadequate and guilty.

So here is my confession this Mother’s Day: I don’t have it all together. Not in the least. My sink is almost always full of dirty dishes. I never catch up on laundry. (Sometimes I even forget a load of clothes in the washing machine only to find it wet and smelly a few days later.) I definitely don’t mop my floors often enough, and I only dust before my weekly piano lessons so my students’ parents don’t judge me. My bed doesn’t get made up every day, and my sheets don’t get changed every week. The inside of my car is filled with discarded toys, empty cups, and lots of crumbs. I sometimes find smelly milk cups under the couch or in the toy box. I occasionally let Piper eat popcorn for breakfast. She doesn’t eat many vegetables, but she gets a popsicle almost every day. If she’s not cooperating when we’re out shopping, I bribe her with a sucker. Sometimes I overreact to something she does and make her cry. I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing when I discipline my child. In our battle of wills, she often wins. I don’t bathe her every single day. She gets away with more than I should probably let her. I allow my two-year-old to watch TV (maybe more than I should.) I haven’t made sensory bins or busy bags for her to play with, and I don’t plan to. Her baby book is still unfinished, and I never did get around to mailing out her birth announcements. Instead of boutique and handmade outfits, I dress my daughter in clearance rack and consignment sale clothes. I love to cook, but I’m lazy and don’t put much effort into it. I get excited for summer so that JD can grill and I don’t have to cook as often. I cook with real butter and sugar, and don’t care about the calories. I don’t buy organic apples. I eat dessert at least once a day (often twice). I don’t enjoy exercising, so I don’t do it often enough. I feed my unborn child sugar, french fries, and the occasional caffeinated drink. There are unfinished sewing and craft projects in almost every room of my house. My closets and bathroom cabinets are a mess. Most days (at least lately), I take a nap during Piper’s nap time instead of getting my house work done. I spend too much time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, where I see the “perfect” lives others are presenting to the world and start to feel guilty about the mess I live in.

Whew. How’s that for real? And trust me, I could go on for days.

But despite my mess, my failures, and my short-comings, I know I’m still a good mom. I always have time to cuddle. I stop what I’m doing to read a book or play a game with Piper. She is happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. My husband and I have a great relationship and enjoy spending time together. Somehow we’ll manage to add a newborn to the mess and chaos in a few short weeks, and we’ll make it. It won’t be perfect, but it will be blessed. Because it’s here in the middle of dirty dishes, temper tantrums, and morning sickness that God speaks to me. He teaches me about his patient love and forgiveness as I patiently clean up yet another spilled drink. I learn to rely on His strength when I’m exhausted and at the end of my rope. I realize the depth of the grace He has shown me as I try to show grace to my toddler. Motherhood is sanctifying me, and while I’m far from perfect, God is molding me to be more like Him little by little and day by day.

This Mother’s Day, let’s stop pretending to have it all together and admit that motherhood here in the trenches is hard and messy. Instead of seeking encouragement in Hallmark cards and empty platitudes, let’s find encouragement in the real-life messes and successes around us. It sure is freeing to admit that I’m not perfect and don’t have it all together, and I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not. Won’t you join me in celebrating the real and shunning the “perfect” this Mother’s Day?

Encouragement for Pastors’ Wives

Thanks to the good folks at WordPress, I can view the site stats for this blog. My favorite thing to check is the list of search terms that send people here. They’ll type a phrase into their Google search bar like “Rattlesnake Saloon restaurant in cave” and be sent to my blog post. How fun is that? I get a good laugh at some of the search terms. One poor guy typed in “pictures of girls running in the rain” and wound up reading my Color Run post, severely disappointed, I’m sure! It’s always interesting to see what people search for that leads them to my blog. But then, every few days, I read search terms that break my heart:

“I don’t want to be a pastor’s wife anymore”

“When a pastor’s wife hates church”

“Struggles of a pastor’s wife”

“Pastor’s wife leaving the church”

“Preacher’s wife can’t take it anymore”

“Pastor’s wife who doesn’t attend church”

I’m not sure how these search terms lead people to my blog, but they do. Frequently. I’ve been honest about the hard parts of being a pastor’s wife, but it’s a position and a privilege I love! My feelings on this matter definitely don’t echo the sentiments in those search terms. I hate that these women find my site but don’t find the answers they are looking for, and I wish I could do something about it. I wish that I could email each of them, let them know that someone cares about their struggles, and encourage them. But since I can’t do that, maybe I can write a post to them. Maybe the next time a discouraged pastor’s wife turns to Google to find advice, she can stumble across this blog post and be encouraged. At least, that’s my prayer in writing this.

Let me be clear that I do not have this pastor’s wife thing all figured out. I’ve been married to a minister for 7 1/2 years, but my husband has only been a Senior Pastor for a year and a half. I humbly acknowledge that I still have decades worth of lessons to learn about supporting him in his ministry and being the wife and mother God has called me to be. But today, I feel like He is calling me to share a few of the lessons I’ve already learned in the hope of encouraging other women in my position.

In scripture, there is much teaching about the qualifications of pastors and how they are to lead their lives. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 lays this out clearly, as does Titus 1:6-9. Nowhere in the Bible, however, can you find a list of do’s and don’t’s for pastors’ wives. There is no list of qualifying character traits, no guidelines for behavior, no model for the perfect minister’s wife, no expectations the church should have for her — nothing. And you know what? That’s freeing! There isn’t a perfect personality type, an ideal background and upbringing, or a certain “type” of woman who makes a good pastor’s wife. It’s not a gift that you either have or don’t have. The pressure is off! God isn’t calling us to be perfect pastors’ wives — He only wants us to be growing, godly women and good wives to our husbands.

How can we be good wives to our pastor-husbands? Thankfully, there is scripture to help us with that. Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Peter 3:1-6, and Proverbs 31 are good places to start. But after you consult the Word, ask your husband. What does he need from you? How can you better show him your love and respect? Your husband needs you to be a good wife to him more than he needs you to be a good pastor’s wife to your congregation. He needs you at home more than he needs you at church. Be careful not to spend all of your time and energy working in the church only to come home empty with no energy or time left for your husband. He needs to know that he, not the ministry, is your main priority. Your service at home, to your family, is so much more important than your service in the church, to your church family.

Our main job, as pastors’ wives, is to support our husbands as they minister, and that support will look different for every couple. What my husband needs from me may be different than what your husband needs from you. Personally, I try to keep up with what texts and topics he is preaching on, and ask questions and initiate conversations about his sermon preparation and plans. I may not be able to contribute much to this process, but he knows I’m interested and available if there is anything he would like to talk through. I also support him with my presence. Every time he preaches, I’m sitting in the front, listening and taking notes. I laugh at the jokes that other people may not get. I nod and smile if he looks my way. No matter how the rest of the church is reacting or responding, he can know that his biggest fan is listening and supporting him. Lastly, I try to verbally encourage him and let him know that I think he is doing a great job. (Which, for me, is easy because he IS doing a great job.)

After we make sure we are serving our husbands at home and supporting their ministry at church, we can begin thinking about how we serve in the church. Should a pastor’s wife attend church regularly? Absolutely. Does she have to be at every single church function, program, meeting, or event? No. Should she serve in the church in some capacity? Of course. But does she have to be the “first lady” of the church, heading up every ministry? Definitely not. I think this is where many pastors’ wives get burned out and discouraged. Many churches have unreasonable expectations of what a pastor’s wife’s role should be. By the same measure, many of us have a hard time saying no.

Fellow pastors’ wives, you do not have to play the piano every Sunday. You do not have to lead the women’s ministry and head up the children’s programs. You do not have to make a meal for every church member who is sick, has a baby, or experiences a death in the family. There is no scriptural mandate for how or when you should serve in the church! Any service I do in the church is my choice, not my obligation. Currently, I choose to serve by teaching youth Sunday School and teaching the toddlers on Wednesday nights. There are seasons, however, (like in a few months when I’ll have a new baby) when I cannot give the church as much of my time, and that’s okay, too. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and burned out, maybe you need a season of rest. Maybe you need to cut back on your service at church. Maybe you need to say no every now and then. And if you do, it will be okay.

Jesus calls us to love his church, and sometimes that’s not the easiest task for a pastor’s wife. Sometimes churches do not treat pastors or their families well. Sometimes there are people in the church that are very difficult to love. I’ve been there in the past, and I get it. It’s difficult not to take every comment and criticism personally. In these situations, I think it is important to be able to escape for a few days, a couple of hours, or even for a long conversation. While I love having friendships and strong relationships in our church, in hard times I realize the value of having a few close friends outside of the church. Every pastor’s wife needs a confidant to vent to about church drama. We need a friend who can encourage us and give us perspective from an outside point of view. Our husbands need friends who are not in their “flock” or under their spiritual authority. If you are lacking these relationships outside of the church and are always surrounded by your congregation, it will be easier to lose your love for your church and harder to serve them joyfully. Is there an outside friendship you can invest in? Another pastor’s wife who can give you advice and perspective? Seek these relationships, because we, as pastors’ wives, need them dearly.

Fellow pastors’ wives, there is so much more I want to say to you. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be writing on this topic again soon. In the meantime, please know that you are not alone. Your position is not always easy, and every woman in this position struggles from time to time. I would love to hear about your struggles so I can pray with you. I would love to know what advice you would give your fellow pastors’ wives. Leave a comment so we can encourage one another and pray for each other!

A Prayer for Good Friday

“Blessed Lord Jesus,

Before thy cross I kneel and see the heinousness of my sin, my iniquity that caused thee to be ‘made a curse’, the evil that excites the severity of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by the crown of thorns, the pierced hands and feet, the bruised body, the dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God, its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought. Infinite must be the evil and guilt that demands such a price.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths of humiliation, bathed in thy blood, tender of conscience, triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.”

Today, as I think about the cross, do I truly see the ugliness and severity of my sin? Am I duly humbled by the enormity of my guilt?

“O Lord, I marvel that thou shouldst become incarnate, be crucified, dead and buried.

Give me to die with thee that I may rise to new life, for I wish to be as dead and buried to sin, to selfishness, to the world.

O Lord, there is much ill about me — crucify it; much flesh within me –mortify it.

Purge me from selfishness, the fear of man, the love of approbation, the shame of being thought old-fashioned, the desire to be cultivated or modern.

Let me reckon my old life dead because of crucifixion, and never feed it as a living thing.

Grant me to stand with my dying Saviour, to be content to be rejected, to be willing to take up unpopular truths, and to hold fast despised teachings until death.

Help me to be resolute and Christ-contained.

Grant me more and more of the resurrection life; may it rule me, may I walk in its power, and be strengthened through its influence.”

Is my life crucified with Christ? Am I living as one dead to sin and selfishness? Am I willing to let Christ crucify the sin within me and mortify the flesh that still longs for the things of the world?

“O my Saviour,

I thank thee from the depths of my being for thy wondrous grace and love in bearing my sin in thine own body on the tree.

By thy cross crucify my every sin; use it to increase my intimacy with thyself;

Make it the ground of all my comfort, the liveliness of all my duties, the sum of all thy gospel promises, the comfort of all my afflictions, the vigour of my love, thankfulness, graces, the very essence of my religion.

O my Lord and Saviour, Thou hast also appointed a cross for me to take up and carry, a cross before thou givest me a crown.

Teach me, gracious Lord and Saviour, that with my cross thou sendest promised grace so that I may bear it patiently, that my cross is thy yoke which is easy, and thy burden which is light.”

Am I living in such a way that the cross is all my comfort, the essence of my faith, and the very center of my life? Do I live under the weight of the cross I must take up to follow Christ? Or is it just something I think about one Friday each year?

“Heavenly Father,

Thou hast led me singing to the cross where I fling down all my burdens and see them vanish, where my mountains of guilt are leveled to a plain, where my sins disappear, though they are the greatest that exist, and are more in number than the grains of fine sand;

For there is power in the blood of Calvary to destroy sins more than can be counted.

At the cross there is free forgiveness for poor and meek ones, and ample blessings that last for ever;

The blood of the Lamb is like a great river of infinite grace with never any diminishing of its fullness as thirsty ones without number drink of it.

In the midst of a world of pain it is a subject for praise in every place, a song on earth, an anthem in heaven, its love and virtue knowing no end.”

Does my life daily sing the good news of the cross?

“Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy, cast off that I might be brought in, trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend, surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best, stripped that I might be clothed, wounded that I might be healed, athirst that I might drink, tormented that I might be comforted, made a shame that I might inherit glory, entered darkness that I might have eternal light.

My Saviour wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes, groaned that I might have endless song, endured all pain that I might have unfading health, bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem, bowed his head that I might uplift mine, experienced reproach that I might receive welcome, closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness, expired that I might for ever live.

O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise, my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my enemies crushed; Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed; sin buried in the ocean of recoiling blood, hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portal open.

Go forth, O conquering God, and show me the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.”

Do I truly understand the miracle of the cross? Can I ever really fathom it? Lord, on this Good Friday, show me the cross.

………………………

(All quotations taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, emphasis mine. Specific prayers quoted: “The Precious Blood”, “Crucifixion and Resurrection”, “The Grace of the Cross”, “Calvary’s Anthem”, and “Love Lustres at Calvary”.)

Ode to Tums

You’d think I would know better; you’d think that I would learn.

I just can’t eat some dishes without feeling the burn.

Lasagna, how I love you; and pizza, you’re my fave.

It’s spicy or Italian food or garlic that I crave.

I love my chips and salsa, and feel I need the heat

of hot sauce or Tabasco almost every time I eat.

What’s salad without dressing, and that sweet, sour bite

Of vinaigrette, balsamic, or Italian that I like?

These foods don’t go down easy, and they put up a fight,

Making me sick at bedtime; keeping me up all night.

It starts with a full tummy, and then a little burp,

Next thing you know I’m belching, and re-tasting my dessert!

It’s not ladylike, I know; but it just can’t be helped!

This baby in my belly makes herself known with a belch.

A glass of milk may be helpful; home remedies I’ve tried:

Pickle juice and papaya can’t keep the burps inside.

‘Cause when I’m really struggling with bad acid reflux,

Milk just isn’t strong enough, all the home remedies suck.

In that moment I turn to a tried and tested source,

of relief (and calcium – it’s good for you, of course!)

I reach for the blue bottle, and when I hear the sound,

Of rattling pills I know that relief will soon be found.

Oh, Tums, I dearly love thee! Now let me count the ways,

You help me out and soothe me, and get me through hard days.

Sometimes I just need two pills, and sometimes I need four;

Many days the heartburn keeps me coming back for more.

Peanut butter sandwiches no longer pose a threat,

With Tums fighting off reflux, the challenge can be met.

I take them after dinner, and often before bed,

No longer am I tasting burps – it’s chalky Tums instead!

With a bottle in my purse, and one beside my bed,

I no longer have to fear the food that lies ahead.

So bring on the spaghetti! Please, someone pass the wings.

With joy I read the menu, and eat my favorite things.

So whether you are pregnant, or just have bad heartburn,

Please take this advice from me; heed the lesson that I’ve learned.

Indigestion can be cured, acid reflux can be fixed.

Go buy yourself some Tums – they always do the trick!