Taking the Joy Dare

One of my dearest friends just introduced me to a wonderful blog: http://www.aholyexperience.com, and I am thrilled to begin following for the joy of my sanctification! I’ve heard of Ann Voskamp; however, I’m just now beginning to find out more about her and the solid, biblical encouragement she is to mothers/wives like me (and all women!) 

Ann has a 2014 challenge up on her website for each month of the year and after prayfully looking over it, I’m taking this month’s challenge! 

ImageI love what she says on habits: 

“It’s habits that can imprison you and habits that can free you. But when thanks to God becomes a habit –  so joy in God becomes your life.” How true! I’ve been imprisoned by various habits in the past, but praise be the name of The Lord, I have also been freed by other habits such as accountability with other women, daily bible reading, journaling, exercise, etc. 

So obviously, I’m starting January’s challenge a bit late, but I will just start with today’s 🙂 

January 9th – A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With 

            A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With- My daughter, Norah Grace. 

Eighteen months ago, Josh and I were blessed with one of the greatest gifts of our lives. After having lost a child through miscarriage soon after marriage, God instilled the desire to be parents in our hearts early on. We knew that as we travel throughout this world wherever the will of God takes us, we wanted to be parents with children to proclaim the gospel to and with us. Three months after miscarrying, we received the news that we would have a child. After a nervous 1st trimester, God began to wipe away the fears of losing another child and replaced it with anticipation of our sweet girl. God provided a wonderful hospital for us to take classes through in preparation for childbirth. UTSW in Dallas is a huge advocate for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding as soon as the baby is born, so I literally was HOLDING my daughter on my chest (umbilical cord still connected!) as soon as she came out! Feeling her heartbeat against my heart will forever be an imprint of God’s glory in creation in my soul. It was at that moment that I knew that holding Norah was so much more than just being a momma, but dying to self and living for another soul. To this day, I hold Norah as much as I can being six months pregnant. Not a night goes by when Josh and I are preparing for bed and he doesn’t initiate a visit to Norah’s room to watch her sleep. We PASS BY her as our faithful Lord keeps her through the night. Josh sometimes likes to take her out of her crib and hold her or even bring her to our bed with us for a bit. She’s getting bigger each day, but I can still hold her like a small infant, and when I look into her eyes and see them smiling back at me there’s just nothing like it. Through a few minor colds and an earache, I have SAT WITH our darling girl, praying for physical restoration and future spiritual restoration. It’s been in these moments of sitting with her and waiting that my faith has been tested and increased. The flesh side of me tries to convince myself that in my abilities as a mother and knowledge I have, I can fully protect and cure Norah; however, God has humbled me throughout the past eighteen months revealing that HE holds my daughter not me. God enables me to care for her and what a gift that I have been entrusted with!  

Thank you Lord Jesus for saving me and giving me an increased awareness of the value of human life, namely Norah’s life. Because of my own salvation that was bought through your blood, I am free from my previous state of depravity. I am justified by faith alone through grace alone – by no working of my own. Knowing this, I can freely give myself to my husband and Norah knowing that my work is of eternal value and their souls are of greater importance than any material gain or acclaim in this world. Norah is a true gift and you have used her to change my life forever. My desires to be known by others and succeed in certain fields have disappeared as the calling of motherhood has become my joy and glad haven. 



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