The Lifegiving Home (+ giveaway)

“What are you doing today?”

“Oh, nothing,  We’re just out feeding the llamas.”

My mom snickered across the phone line.

Just feeding the llamas?” she said.

“Well, yeah.  We’ve not really done anything today.”

“Hmmph,” she chuckled.  “Sounds like everything to me.”

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All I could see was the dust on their boots.  The mud on their knees.  The mess I would have to clean.

But my mom made me recognize something more.

I placed the phone in my pocket, reflected, and actually looked at the sublime scene in front of my eyes.  My kids had galloped through our front yard to get to the front pasture where our llamas live.  Carrying with them were carrots, discarded lettuce & a honey-bun they were convinced the llamas would love.  They’d clamored up the gate and were taking talking to the animals.

With eyes afresh I let out a deep breath, discarded the practicality of being a mom, &  finally recognized the beauty in the dusty feet.

The glory of the little moment–something my kids & I do most everyday– had totally escaped my attention.

We live on a farm in the foothills of mountains.  Our daily rhythm might include just picking blackberries or just making forts in the hay barn.  Just dancing to music in the kitchen or just squabbling over legos.

We all get in this habit, don’t we? Saying just and considering the daily routines of our lives as unimportant and less than spectacular.

Oh-we’re just having Saturday morning pancakes.  Just playing checkers.  Just having a picnic in the backyard.  Just reading a bedtime story.  Just gazing at the stars.

When in actuality…the justs in life are actually the very core at which our home & families prosper.  These little things are the very soul-giving elements for our familes. The very place love is rooted.

Sarah Clarkson, in The Lifegiving Home, says, ” There is heaven in the ordinary, in the simple goodness of the everyday…”

And that we must “step aside from the mundane and remember the source of all the life and love we see.”

Let’s embrace these tiny moments of motherhood as building blocks of a life breathing ministry & celebrate the source of all this delight.

Sally Clarkson says that, “Home should be the very best place to be.”

Shouldn’t it?

Sally & Sarah Clarkson’s new book: The Lifegiving Home, can help us a focus on cultivating our homes as a joyous refuge where our families & friends love to congregate.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be squabbles over leggos or defiant squels over having to take a bath again!  But it does mean that we can all purposefully cultivate rhythms in our lives that recognize the God-given beauty in the dusty feet.

Profound beauty can be found in the simple.  In the everyday.  In the rhythm of our own ordinary.

 “We may not get to choose the story into which we are born, but we do get to choose what what part we will play in it” (pg. 163).

Lifegiving Home


THE GIVEAWAY

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN A COPY OF THE LIFEGIVING HOME BOOK?

I am thrilled to be able to offer a copy of The Lifegiving Home to one of my readers.

To enter, just follow the prompts on the giveaway widget below. Tyndale books has graciously gifted one set to readers of All-American Mom.

(HINT: You can enter this giveaway more than once!)

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 ABOUT THE LIFEGIVING HOME BOOK:

How to make home your family’s favorite place to be . . . all year long.
Does your home sometimes feel like just a place to eat, sleep, and change clothes on the way to the next activity? Do you long for “home” to mean more than a place where you stash your stuff? Wouldn’t you love it to become a haven of warmth, rest, and joy . . . the one place where you and your family can’t wait to be?

There is good news waiting for you in the pages of The Lifegiving Home. Every day of your family’s life can be as special and important to you as it already is to God. In this unique book designed to help your family enjoy and celebrate every month of the year together, you’ll discover the secrets of a life-giving home from a mother who created one and her daughter who was raised in it: popular authors Sally and Sarah Clarkson. Together they offer a rich treasure of wise advice, spiritual principles, and practical suggestions. You’ll embark on a new path to creating special memories for your children; establishing home-building and God-centered traditions; and cultivating an environment in which your family will flourish. (Don’t miss the companion piece, The Lifegiving Home Experience.)

The Lifegiving Home on Amazon: Purchase Today!

 

 

Live Free Thursday

 

The Plans I Have For YOU Review + Giveaway! (This one is for the kids in your life)

The Plans I Have For YOU

When this brightly-colored devotional and journal arrived in the mail I immediately knew who needed to review the book, Kendyl- my  favorite little artsy 3rd grader who loves to read, write, & create!

So I contacted her mama and soon jetted the books over to her house so they could add it to their bedtime reading!

 

A few weeks later I caught up with Kendyl to find her eight-year old opinion of the books.

This little lady gave me a well-thought assessment!

THE REVIEW

We started out browsing the devotional.  Each devotional is headed by a scripture.

Her first stop was to show me the entry headed by Psalm 139: 14:  “I will praise YOU, for I am wonderfully and fearfully made.”  

She told me she read it last night at bedtime.  She admitted that the vocabulary in the scriptures was a bit challenging to understand, “I kinda wish they would just put it in kid terms” she said.  But, she told me her mama helped explain what words like “fearfully” meant.

This struggle in vocabulary didn’t stop her from grasping the devotional message.  I asked her what she thought the scripture and entry were trying to tell her.

She said, “God made you to be wonderful.  Just the way You are.  You don’t have to be different- even if people think you are being weird.  If you are trying to be like somebody else you should stop and just be yourself.  Have confidence.  God made you just the way you are.  You are perfect in who he made you.”

This child gets an A in understanding & articulating the main idea for sure!

OUR TAKE-AWAY: The meaning of each scripture (especially the vocabulary) might be difficult for some of the younger readers.  It would be helpful to have a parent review the entry with the young readers.

But, based on her review, it is clear that the author and illustrator do a fantastic job of relaying the message that God has big plans for each of us…just the way we are.  

After browsing the devotional a bit more,  I asked her what she thought about the illustrations.  She, a budding artist herself, gleefully grasped the journal and said, “Oh I LOVE the pictures in this book! I LOVE how the images match the verses!” (Side-note….it’s pretty impressive that a third-grader was able to marvel at the connection of illustration with print! Have I told you how clever this child is?)

She quickly turned the pages to show me the journal page headed by the scripture “Your word is a lamp into my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:05.

“Look” Kendyl told me pointing at the page, “it looks like flashlight is shining from the cross to the Bible.  The Bible and cross is like a flashlight to help us see!”.

Then she flips the pages a bit further.

“And this one, too….This is a picture is of God’s Kingdom and the illustration is of God’s castle.  Look at the clouds!”

Then she flips a few more pages.

“This one has a picture of an owl.  Because an owl is smart.  The verse is “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  James 1:5

OUR TAKE-AWAY: The connection of the verse with whimsical illustration is strong.  It helps young readers have a better understanding and builds excitement for the scriptures.  Judging by Kendyl’s response, the illustrations are a major draw for this series!  She was excitedly showing me verses from the Bible.  She also liked how some of the words were “big”.  In adult terms, this means she was drawn to the typography in the journal.  It captivated her interest.

Kendyl and I both agreed that it was a bit challenging to understand the connection between the devotional book and journal.  Originally we thought they were meant to be used together (for example, each night read a devotional entry and complete a corresponding page) but this is not so.  They can be used together because the theme is the same, but one is not dependent on the other.

Kendly’s overall review of the series was positive and she thought “other kids would like to read it to find out how God made each of us.”

Her mama (a teacher with a specialty in early childhood literacy) had a positive review of the books as well.  She said, “This series is a good transitional from bible stories to bible life application.  The devotional entries are short, sweet, and have a simple kid application.”

Our Takeaway: Educator and Mama Approved.

Thanks, Kendyl!  God has BIG PLANS for your life.  I love your sweet spirit & passion for kindness and creativity.

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THE GIVEAWAY

WOULD YOU LIKE A COPY TO READ WITH THE KIDS IN YOUR LIFE?

I am thrilled to be able to offer a copy of both The Plans I Have For You Devotional and The Plans I Have For You Journal to one of my readers.

To enter, just follow the prompts on the giveaway widget below.  Zondervan books has graciously gifted one set to readers of All-American Mom.

(HINT: You can enter this giveaway more than once!)

 

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A BIT MORE INFORMATION ON THESE BOOKS:

The Plans I Have For You Devotional

Devotional Age Range: 8-12 years

The devotional is a hardcover illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children’s book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love, and joy, and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us.

About The Plans I Have For You Journal

Journal Age Range: 11-14 years

The journal prompts creative thinking and exploration of the talents and personalities that make us special, and then helps explore how God may use our unique traits to spread love and joy and make the world a better place.
Stationary; 208 pages
Age Range: 11-14 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailingaddress, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

15 Things Southerners Know about Snow

15 Things Southerners Know About Snow  Sarah Philpott

Where I live the excitement of snow rivals Christmas morning. Many might refer to it as a light dusting, but to us southerners any amount of snow is pure magic.  We in the south have our own peculiar traditions & customs when it comes to this white enchantment that falls from the sky.

1).  Legend has it that if a large number of kids wear their pajamas inside out to bed then they will awaken to a winter wonderland.  At least that’s what elementary teachers preach to the kids when snow is in the forecast.   Hey…God works in mysterious ways!

2).  Similar folklore suggests that flushing ice cubes down the toilet will also cause a snow day.

3).  A proper definition of snow day is when school is called off due to inclement weather.  No snow has to exist on the ground for school to be cancelled.  Just the threat of snow.  This baffles our northern friends.  (But we ALL remember the blizzard of “93, right?).

4).  Milk & bread is an absolute necessity.  Why?  Who knows.   But if the weather man utters the word “snow” grocery stores, gas stations, and dollar generals will be sold-out of both within hours.  Some theorists refer to this as a conspiracy between weathermen & food stores.

5).  Snow Cream.  Aaah…snow cream.  Although we would never allow our children to drink rainwater by the cupful without first sanitizing it, we do encourage all members of our family to savor the delicious dish of snow carefully mixed with sugar, milk, & vanilla   It is a heavenly treat.

6).  Network television will be constantly interrupted so that the local news-station can give up to the minute insight on how locals are affected by the one and half inches of snow that has fallen.

7).  All responsible news media will utter, It’s treacherous.  Don’t go out unless you must!” throughout the broadcast.

8). But we do go out. Because snow is so scarce that we must experience the witchcraft.  And test out the tires on our vehicles.

9).  We pull out clothes from boxes and seldom-used drawers designated for snow clothes.  We dress our kids in a hodge-podge of mismatched hand-me downs so they don’t get too frigid.  Garbage bags and tape can be substituted for boots if proper waterproof footwear is not found.

10).  Snowmen will be built. No matter how pitiful the size they always look splendid adorned with carrots, coal, & stray sticks.

11).  Snow might barely cover the grass, but kids & adults alike will find a way to sled.  And roll in the snow.  Make snow angels.  Catch snowflakes on their tongues. Throw snowballs.  And have big, goofy grins on their faces all day.  Perfectly content in the fun.

12).  Then there will always be that one adult who says:

Hey! I’m gonna hook-up the 4-wheeler/atv/lawn mower TO THE sled/inner-tube/car hood.  Let’s show these kids a good time!”  It will quickly be determined who the responsible (not fun)/ irresponsible (super fun) adults in the group are.  The kids will always side with those in the negligent camp!  This is precisely why hospitals can’t close for a snow day.

13). Exhausted you’ll go home to hot cocoa and cookies.  Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  Homemade beef stew or chili will simmer on the stove for dinner.

14).  If you live on a farm, you’ll wake up the next morning with bruises on your rear from sledding over ski jumps (frozen manure piles covered in snow) in the pasture.

15).  And you’ll start praying all over again for the sacred snow day.  When magic falls from the sky, the world stops, and life-long memories are made.

Our southern traditions might be peculiar to some, but to us they are just a celebration of this elusive miracle called snow.

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Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D lives in the south east on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children (with one on the way!) and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency . You can visit with Sarah at her All-American Mom blog where she writes about life on the farm and cherishing life in joy & in sorrow.

“Outgrow Your Space at Work” Review + Book Giveaway

What’s Motivating Your Career Decisions?

Rick Whitted & I are both represented by the same literary agency.  I got a sneak-peak at his book before it released (and a copy for a giveaway to one All-American Mom reader!)

I have to say…I have been fascinated by this book.  It is rich with career advice and advice that will make our lives fulfilled.  I’m not exactly in the workforce right now (well…I’m a stay at home mom with a successful former career who now writes & helps her husband with our businesses…so I do work…but not in the career sense), but yet the book resonates with me.  I’ve learned about why I made past decisions and also how to forward my entrepreneurial dreams.

What I adore about Rick’s book is that he helps readers unpack the psychology of why we make career decisions. He shares with readers a plan for getting the most out of our careers.

Who might want to read this? Those who want to thrive in their jobs (and lives) in 2016, those who are thinking of making career changes,  college business & career instructors, & those of us who are fascinated with psychology of choice.

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Here is the synopsis of the book:

“How do I get promoted?”
The answer may surprise you

Millions of people quit their jobs every month because they haven’t gotten a promotion. But job-hopping in search of advancement and fulfillment may actually have the opposite effect.

Career progression is not about getting promoted, it’s about outgrowing your space–making your current job bigger until management takes notice and creates greater opportunities for you. With a lifetime of experience and research to back him up, Rick Whitted helps you

· identify why you want a promotion
· define for yourself what success really looks like
· position yourself for a promotion
· innovate in the role you perform right now
· and much more

Rick shows you how to immediately apply the concepts you learn to your situation. Plus, he offers additional resources, including videos, tools, and assessments, online at rickwhitted.com and careerwhitt.com.


Are you Interested?

Find Rick at this website: www.rawhitted.com/

Pick up a copy of the book here.

Or enter for a chance to win!  Click the link below and follow the directions.

 

 

 

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Down on the Farm

NOT LONG AGO I FOUND HIM fast asleep in our pitch-dark living room. He looked darling- my daring boy usually covered in mud. But I found him dressed in his favorite blue dinosaur footed pajamas all snuggled with blankets in his self-made fort.

Sarah Philpott

He looked so peaceful that I wanted to leave him there till morning. Lying in front of our crackling fire. But I knew if he awoke from his slumber he would imagine bears, lions, and coyotes lurking in the shadows

So I scooped his five-year old body up from the wooden floor, nudged him awake, and started the trek to bed.

After a few steps he whimpered, “Mommy stop. I’m scared!” I quickly placed his little palm in mine. He sighed and said, “Oh thank you Mommy! I can see when you hold my hand.”

My heart was full.   I was pleased as punch that he asked for my hand and giddy that I could make my brave little boy feel so safe with my magical powers of turning touch into sight.

Sometimes I have to ask Jesus to take me by the hand, too. When I’m scared, anxious, or just filled with plain old worry about something silly.

When fear makes us stop in our tracks we can trust that God will gladly grasp our palm and lead us by His light. He might not turn on a floodlight that shows us the end of the path, but He will provide us just the right amount of light to keep us marching forward.

And I’m sure He’ll be perfectly pleased that we asked for Him to hold our hand.

Sarah Philpott

Psalm 43:3

My Prayer

Thank you Father for extending the sweet gift of peace. I pray I’ll place my trust in You when I’m afraid of the future. For it is You and only You who can keep my path filled with light. I’m grateful that I can see when You hold my hand.

Sarah Philpott, brave, lead the way

You Make Me Brave| Guest Post by Rosemary Ferrera

 “as your love in wave after wave crashes over me, crashes over me, for you are for us, you are not against us…”
“So I will let you draw me out beyond the shore into your grace…”  

This past summer I went on a family vacation to Puerto Rico. Together with my family and husband we explored old castles, went zip-lining, traveled to different beaches, and enjoyed meals and games together.

However, one of the most memorable times of the trip was taking a catamaran to an island off the coast about 45 minutes. 45 minutes of (what we did not know would be) a super bumpy ride, crashing into wave after wave, jerking around those on the boat.

Multiple times each person in my family thought they were going to lose it. How much longer? How much more could we take before we all ended up like the kid in the front of the boat throwing up?

In an effort to get through the “storm”, my brother and I started singing songs that had the words “wave” or “ocean” in them, which I originally thought was fun distraction. We kept singing the song I posted below, over and over. I let my mind picture the water from the crashing ocean slowly washing over me, like the way God lavishes his Love on us in the midst of the waves of life.

I tried to let it all sink in.

It is in the deep, when we are being tossed about, that we often realize we need Him MOST.

And in life, just like on that catamaran, sometimes we are holding steady. The road is bumpy, but maybe we’re distracted or focused on not getting totally rocked. But then other times, we are so down and desperate, we feel like getting sick because we’re so tired of the “waves”. But then someone comes into our waves and goes through it with us until we find peace again, just like my brother and I did singing for each other.

We finally arrived to a glowing white sandy beach with clear waters and clear skies, completely isolated. It was breathtaking. It was paradise! Looking back on the boat ride, I couldn’t see the clouds of fear, I saw the sunshine. I remembered how difficult it was, but I also remembered how we got through it–WITH each other, focusing on God’s strength and the words of the song to keep us focused.

The destination was worth it all.

_____________

This year my husband and I faced a storm no one ever wants to go through. We lost our first child to miscarriage. I ache just typing that.

I don’t share this because I want to, I share it to perhaps offer a small glimmer of hope or comfort for someone out there who may have gone through something similar.

This song that we sang on the boat captures a piece of the journey I’ve been on this past summer, and calls to mind all the ways that He makes me brave.

Brave to get up each day and face the world with that tiny void and pain in my heart that was our baby.

Brave to trust that He is my sole comforter and His providence reigns.

Brave to trust that He is faithful when I don’t understand why, and to put my hope in the Lord’s promises.

Brave to know when my eyes well up in complete overwhelming sorrow, I still carry our child in my heart and in my prayers.

Brave to allow myself time to grieve.

Brave to minister to those who are going through something similar.

Brave to forgive others when they don’t seem to understand.

Brave to allow His grace to hold me when I can’t stand.

Brave to know the pain I feel is a reflection of how deeply we loved.

He makes me brave to recognize that I am not responsible for the life we lost.

He makes me brave to look to Him as the example of suffering in love and drawing near to Him in my own suffering. He knows our pain.

He makes me brave to think about what Mary must have felt losing her only son Jesus; What Sarah and Hannah must have felt like in their years of infertility.

And I pray He makes me brave to look back on this trying time and remember the joy we felt when God decided to entrust us with a child.

With all the topics out there being discussed, society is relatively silent about miscarriage. Miscarriage is common, affecting at least 1/5 of pregnancies, and yet there are still many misconceptions or misunderstandings.

There are plenty of women out there who suffer through it alone. It can be very hard to talk about and hard to share. When it happens so frequently but isn’t acknowledged, it can cause the woman to feel shame, as if it was her fault. In this secret loss, she may feel implicit pressure to “move on” without actually processing and properly dealing with the hurt in order to heal.

A miscarried child is not a “piece of tissue”, but a wanted and loved child of God knit together for a purpose. It’s hard to convey to others just how special and important that family member is when he or she seems to dart so quickly in and out of your life; but nonetheless, it is the loss of a family member, just like any other.

We should celebrate the lives of those in the womb, not pretend they were never there. We should celebrate the gift of participating with God in His creative nature and offer ourselves to nurture and cherish a vulnerable soul, even if God calls our child home. And, we should still celebrate mothers who birthed their children into heaven, instead of on earth.

This was not my plan, but God uses what can tear us apart inside to ultimately work for our good. I can have hope that God’s timing is perfect. His knowledge is more perfect than mine. His will is more pure than mine.

If you’ve experienced a similar type loss, please know there are people who want to support you. Even if others don’t understand what you’re going through, don’t know what to say, or can’t grasp the gravity of your pain, there is first and foremost a God who wants to walk with you through that. I hope this song reminds you that the Lord is FOR you and not against you.

And secondly, there are other women who can identify with you and grasp the myriad of emotions, as they’ve been through it too. They are living testaments that somehow, someway, there is a bigger plan. Their guidance and understanding was pivotal in my experience. Feel free to message me if you’d like to connect with a group like this. This book might be a good place to start as well.

I miss our baby every day. And I strive to live out that call to motherhood by taking care of those around me. Although I am not in control of my future, I do know we will be reunited with our precious little one at the Heavenly banquet one day. We have been through the storm and know God’s blessings can come through the waves and the rain. I look forward to one day being united fully with my entire family in the true paradise.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2


MEET ROSEMARY~

rosemary

Rosemary Ferrera lives in Northern Virginia where she works for a pro-life non profit and is a wife to her college sweetheart. She is passionate about helping women learn to tie together faith and fitness to be free to become all that God created them to be. Rosemary promotes this mission on her blog SoulStrongFitness.com and also works part-time as an online health coach. Rosemary is a former Miss Virginia, is active in her church as a youth leader, and is mother to one in heaven.

 

 

5 Truths for woment with Ectopic Pregnancy Loss | Sarah Philpott

5 Truths for Women with Ectopic Pregnancy Loss

 

DEFINITION: An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg grows in the wrong place. Without treatment, an ectopic pregnancy can lead to serious bleeding and even death in the pregnant woman. (The March of Dimes)

Oh sweet Mama.  My heart aches for YOU.  I’m so sorry for the death of your precious one. Although I’ve never experienced an ectopic pregnancy I’ve had two losses due to miscarriage.

I advocate for women in the loss community. Over the years I’ve learned of the particular tender turmoil that surrounds ectopic pregnancy loss.  I want you to know five truths.

1).  You Are Supported

Darling, you are not alone.  1 in 50 pregnancies in the United States is ectopic.  Don’t be afraid to search for support and community.

Educate yourself.  These reputable organizations provide information for you and your family.

Seek Community. Reading the stories of other women can help our souls.  It makes us feel less alone.  These blogs feature women bravely sharing their stories.

Join a Support Group.  Try Loved Baby Christian Pregnancy Loss Support & Encouragement .

2).  You Will Have Extra Fears.  And this is Normal.

The pain of an ectopic pregnancy has been described as excruciating–making it difficult to even walk.  This is especially true if your fallopian tube ruptures and you have life-threatening internal bleeding.

Your fears included that you would die from internal- bleeding. Now you have increased fears as to whether or not you will be able to have additional children and if “this” will happen again.

Please know that the The March of Dimes says, “About 1 in 3 women (33 percent) who have had one ectopic pregnancy go on to have a healthy pregnancy later.”  Talk to your physician about your future fertility.

Also know that “it” can happen again, but there is hope that your next pregnancy will not be an ectopic. The March of Dimes reports “If you’ve had an ectopic pregnancy, you have about a 3 in 20 chance (15 percent) of having another.

Look at those statistics.  You are MORE likely to have a healthy pregnancy (33%) than having another ectopic pregnancy (15%).  There is hope sweet lady.

You and your husband might have to decide whether or not you do want to try to conceive again.  Many women report that their husbands are hesitant.  Some partners even refuse.  Please try to understand their perspective and give them time.  They experienced the loss of their baby and they also faced the potential loss of YOU.  Be willing to talk to your partner and acknowledge their fears as well as yours.  Listen and don’t push away your husband if he isn’t quite ready to try again.  Refuse to allow this to become a wedge in your marriage.

Dear heart, don’t feel abnormal if you or your partner have these extra concerns.  It’s only natural, isn’t it?  Seek out a friend who can offer support by listening to your fears,write and journal your thoughts, or join a support group so you can connect with women who’ve had similar experiences.

3).  You Did Not Have an Elective Abortion

This section I write with delicacy and after much prayer.  This is because my heart cries for you.  After any type of loss we ALL feel guilty.  Thoughts of shame run through our minds. But it’s a message of untruth.  We are not at fault.  You though have an extra layer of questions.  In many of your cases you discovered that your baby was in your tube BEFORE your tube ruptured. You had to take one of two paths:  surgery or medicine.

As we all know…your baby could not have survived in an environment outside your womb.  Allowing the baby to continue to grow was LIFE-THREATENING for you.

Some women (and the public) have confused or wrestled with the questions as to whether this treatment of ectopic pregnancy is elective abortion.  Darling, you did NOT ELECT for your child to grow in an environment where it could not survive and you did NOT ELECT for your baby to grow in an environment where rupture will occur and could lead to your own death. Therefore you DID NOT ELECT or EVER WISH to terminate your babe.  Do not allow the words of ignorant individuals shame you.  I pace with madness at commentaries on the internet and words my friends have heard.  The words of the reckless truly pierce like swords.  Put your trust in the words of wise and thoughtful individuals.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has a special Pro-Life interest group within the organization.  Here is their position statement regarding treatment of ectopic pregnancy:

“In either case, the intent for the pro-life physician is not to kill the unborn child, but to preserve the life of the mother in a situation where the life of the child cannot be saved by current medical technology.

For these reasons the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians recognizes the unavoidable loss of human life that occurs in an ectopic pregnancy, but does not consider treatment of ectopic pregnancy by standard surgical or medical procedures to be the moral equivalent of elective abortion, or to be the wrongful taking of human life.

Please dear mamas.  Find peace in those words. Meditate on them and don’t rely on  opinions from individuals who are ignorant of the situation.  I read an analogy  I thought fitting:

“Imagine a battlefield.  A medic has two gravely wounded soldiers before him.  He can choose to do nothing and lose two lives, or he can choose to save one. The medic’s choice, like the doctor’s procedure, does not undermine the humanity and value of the life lost. It is tragic, and the result of living in a broken world. The greater moral good in this situation is to save one human life — the mother’s — rather than lose two.”

Do expect that people will utter insensitive comments.  Don’t be alarmed.  This happens to all of us.  Try to guard your heart by sharing your soul story with people who are supportive.

I also want to give you a piece of advice.  Don’t be alarmed if you spy the word “abortion” on the paperwork from your physician or insurance company.  All of our losses are medically defined as “abortion”.  For example, a miscarriage is called a “spontaneous abortion.”  We’ve given that word special power in popular dialogue.  Please don’t allow the word itself to give you concern.

4).  You Should Receive Extra Care

If you conceive again, you should expect (and demand if it is not offered) extra care.  Because you are at an increased risk of having another ectopic pregnancy your physician will begin monitoring your HCG as soon as you see a positive on a home pregnancy test.  Then, around 6 weeks, you should have an ultrasound to detect whether or not the gestational sac is in your womb or in you tubes (or elsewhere).

Sweet lady, we are advocates of our own health.  If, at any point, you feel as if your caretaker is not treating you with respect or using proper protocol, please know it is your right to seek out another physician. And always…don’t ignore your symptoms.

5).  You Might Struggle With Faith

I use the word “might” here rather loosely.  You probably will struggle with faith.  Don’t we all after loss?

As an ectopic mother you are mourning the loss of a baby. Many of you are also mourning the loss of a body part that helps our bodies conceive.  And finally you were faced with your own mortality.  It’s a deep, dark well of place.

Darling, I can’t answer why God allowed this to happen or why other terrible things occur in life.  All I know is that we are not promised a life free from pain or suffering.  Heaven, where your precious babe now thrives, is the only place where the absence of sadness exists.

As you struggle with faith I encourage you to read Asking God Why After a Miscarriage ..perhaps it can help you on your own walk.  I promise you though…if you cry out to Him, meditate on His word, and invite the Holy Spirit to light your path…you will find peace that passes all understanding.

As words of parting, I want you to know you are loved. You are supported.  Come join us at Loved Baby Support & Encouragement Group if you want a community of women with whom to share your heart.  I do pray these truths help your heart.

Above all…be gentle to yourself.


 

Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D lives in TN on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency . You can visit with Sarah at her All-American Mom blog where she writes about life on the farm and cherishing life in joy & in sorrow. She invites mothers of loss to join the Loved Baby Christian Pregnancy Loss Support & Encouragement .

 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Would you share your story of ectopic loss?  Send your 1,000 word or less journey to sarahlewisphilpott@gmail.com.  It might be published on allamericanmom.net in a special series to support women with ectopic loss.


 

WHAT IS AN ECTOPIC PREGNANCY

Readers, an ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg grows in the wrong place. In most cases, the fertillized egg attaches itself to the fallopian tube before it reaches the womb (it can also attach itself to the ovary, the cervix, or abdomen).

According to The March of Dimes, “these areas don’t have enough space or the right tissue for a baby to grow. Without treatment, an ectopic pregnancy can continue to grow and eventually cause whatever it’s attached to bleed excessively or burst. This can lead to serious bleeding and even death in the pregnant woman. About 1 in 50 pregnancies in the United States is ectopic.”


 

Proud To Be An All-American Mom | Making Peace with the Imperfection of Motherhood

MAKE PEACE WITH THE IMPERFECTION


DEFINITION:

All-American: having qualities that are thought to be typical of people in the U.S.


One of Time’s cover story last month was, Help! My Parents Are Millennials.

I winced while reading the report.  I’m a millennial, but hanging on by the cusp.

What bothered me was the statistic that “Nearly 80% of millennial moms say it’s important to be “the perfect mom.”

Really?  I thought we were all a bit more enlightened by now.

From my experience, the only thing typical about being a mom is that we all live in imperfection. Can I get a big AMEN?

Recently my five-year old interrupted my shower with the breaking news that “Sister’s making some BIG mischief!”

She’s two.  I bolted out of the shower, grasped a towel, and bounded into our living room.  All looked fine.

Then Tite told me to “peek under the rug.”

And there it was.  Little Miss Sunshine had cracked a dozen eggs under my rug.  Not just any rug.  But a sea-grass rug that I had pinched pennies in order to purchase.

I shall not fib.  I screamed. At. The. Top. Of. My. Lungs.  Love was far from patient.

Both kids were banished to time-out with the sweet promise of an impending spanking.

Big brother was an accomplice in the matter.  He could have come and gotten me on the first egg crack, but he clearly waited until the twelfth.

Then the plot worsened.

As I moved the rug I uncovered remnants of dried-up egg shell under the other end.

In a quick and hostile inquisition. Tite admitted that, yes, a few weeks ago he too had cracked a few eggs under the rug.

I’m not typically a screamer, but my kids aren’t usually egg throwers.  All of us were shocked when my voice level continued to rise as I told them they were in time-out for an indefinite amount of time.

Tite crawled under the chair wailing, “Does this mean I don’t get to watch TV?  Oh no!  Is Christmas over?!  MAMA please don’t take away my Daddy from me.”


I giggle now.  But in the moment it was BAD.

And you’ve just learned two major points about me:  my kids aren’t perfect.  neither am I.

Truth be told…this is far from an abnormal glimpse into my life.  Raising young kids is unpredictable at best. Messy on most occasions.  And can riddle us with mommy guilt, can’t it?

Wait…Your kids are too engaged in educational activities and have no time for mischief.  Oh, you mean you don’t ever lose your temper.  Oh, you are a perfect housekeeper and would have noticed that eggs were under your rug.

Puuullllease…. We all know the truth.  We all fail…daily!  We don’t live Pinterest perfect lives or a bubble of pure Instagram smiles.

Instead we live in homes were we find a soup bowl full of white powder under our living room chair.  With a straw sticking out.  And we freak out for a split second because we fear someone in our house is a closet cocaine addict until we realize it’s just sugar that the five-year old was trying to smuggle (yeah…that happened to me last week).  I’m not sure if he snorted it.

I‘m an All-American Mom. And I bet you are too.  We live in a world where perfection is a-typical and super hard to achieve.

And you know what?  I’m okay with this. And I want you to be okay with it, too.  I don’t want 80% of population of mom’s striving for this elusive benchmark titled “perfection.”

It’s just too exhausting.  And ransacks the joy away from this pure gift of motherhood.

Can I let you in on some wisdom?  I’m an All-American Mom because I’m perfectly content with my less than perfect skills.

I’ve struggled recently with the title of my blog because I feel it gives the perception that I think I’m perfect.  Ha. Far from the truth.

All-American doesn’t mean I have it all together.  It just means I strive to have a clean house, a put-together self, and a kind kids, but I don’t sweat when mothering greatness can’t be achieved. Actually I laugh a lot at my failures.  I might cry, too.  But then I laugh again.

I’m just a typical mom with typical problems, but I’m saved by grace.

God gives us abundant grace.  Why don’t we give ourselves some?

It’s okay to strive for healthy meals, but land somewhere along the line of Lunchables.

It’s okay to invite household help into your life (and by help I mean Daniel Tiger and the Wild Kratt brothers…they are LIFESAVERS).

It’s okay to evolve.  My first child I cloth diapered.  My second child I do well enough to even get a disposable diaper on her.  I love them both.

Elf on the shelf is not for me.  Not because of some moral resolute, but because I know I would totally screw up the magic.

It’s okay to rock sweats one day and bright red lipstick and heals the next.  Do what you feel.

It’s okay not to take a homemade goody to every party we or our children attend.  Some days I might whip us something grand.  Other days I’m the one who takes the paper plates.

I try not to live by absolutes or legalism.  And I’ve happily given up on perfection.

You see, the reason that I chose to title my blog as the All-American mom is not because I think I’ve got it all figured out.  It’s because I’m just a typical representation of motherhood.  Struggling in the day to day of this oh so important task of raising up souls.

Mama’s, we’ve all got a bit of hypothetical dirt or yolk swept under our rugs.  Instead of stressing over it, let’s try to laugh. (I realize sometimes that’s hard…but in the aftermath of a good crying fit just allow yourself a giggle).

Realize tomorrow is a new day.  With new interesting obstacles that you never imagined possible.

Dear heart, this too shall pass.

Try to focus on finding joy in the everyday chaos, instead of finding yourself feeling totally inadequate in the quest of perfection.

And hold tight..our kids most likely won’t end up in jail.

Proverbs 31 | Sarah Philpott

Now go check and see what prizes your kids have left you under the rug!

 

(P.S….that above picture that looks like a perfect smile between the two of us….the reason we are both giggling?? He purposely passed gas on me.  There you have it.)

Love,

Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise! Our Great News & Encouragment for the Mama Pregnant After Loss

Big news at the farm!

sarah philpott, rainbow baby

A baby is on it’s way!

Did you see the due date.  Ha.  July 4th.  Our firework plans may be a bit different this year!

We are all VERY EXCITED for our new little sparkler!  Titus was just a bit too cold in the above picture to offer his smile of approval.  He’s hoping for a baby brother.

We found out the big news in early October. But kept it a secret for a bit of time while we processed the revelation.

finding out

We announced the news to our kids on Halloween.  T-Rex was happy.

telling the kids

He got to tell the grandparents by carrying an extra pumpkin for trick-or-treating.  He said he was “collecting extra candy for his new little brother or sister!” Definitely a win-win for him.

DSC_0675

Since October, I’ve been making weekly trips to my doctor’s office for ultra-sounds and blood work.  Everything is looking wonderful.  It’s absolutely amazing seeing our baby grow & hearing the heartbeat!  Did you know the heart starts beating just 4 weeks past conception?

ultra sound

And, I’m finally emerging from the all-day sickness stage.  I’ve pretty much been bundled in bed for the last 20+ days.  The kids have had run of the house (they are two and five…you can imagine!).  Bless you if you’ve been around me.  I’ve been a bit grumpy.  More than a bit.

But I’m ecstatic to have life growing inside of me.

If you are a mom of loss you can relate to the feelings of apprehension coupled with the excitement.

But I don’t want you to be afraid for me and I don’t want you to be afraid if you have a little one in your womb.

I need to tell you something–inklings of apprehension can remain throughout your entire pregnancy. But it doesn’t have to take up a bigger space than you or I need it to. These butterflies in your heart and stomach can ease as the weeks progress past the point of your last loss, but unrest could reside in the back of your mind.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t immediately embrace your pregnancy news with an overabundance of elation. Trepidation happens to us all. But we have the power to dilute this fear with tools from the Spirit.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLV

During this pregnancy, I will not allow fear to reign over the purity of love I possess for the child growing in my womb.

God has fearfully and wonderfully knit a child into my womb.  It’s amazing, isn’t it? We should rejoice!

Rejoicing is a Biblical imperative. We can’t waiver between loving ourselves and our baby. We must choose to fully embrace this soul that will forever be part of our family. We are to believe and expect that we will hold this baby in our arms and to give into fear is not honoring the life of the one we are now carrying.

I don’t know whether this baby that is in my womb and the baby that might be in your womb will be born on earth or born straight into Heaven. But either way, God is good. We can trust Him with our little one and choose not to fear the outcome. We are to live in the present with the gift in our womb, not in the future of our fears.

So there you have it….our good news and a bit of encouragement all wrapped into one big post.

Thank you for celebrating with us!

I’ll gladly be accepting desserts as a celebratory prize.  I need to get a jump start on the 90+ pounds I usually gain during pregnancy.  Ha!

Much love,

Sarah

Chris Tomlin “Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship” CD Giveaway!

Oh folks, Thanksgiving is over and it is time for CHRISTMAS!

Later today I’m going to load up my kiddos and go buy an artificial tree from Lowes.

Our family tradition is to go out in the woods on our farm and chop down the perfect cedar tree.  It’s kinda a big day for the five-year old.  He gets to chop down a miniature one with the ax and then haul it out of the woods.  Daddy chops down the big one and we come home, drink cocoa, & decorate.

It’s super fun and special.  But, we don’t usually go until mid-December and I’m aching to put up a tree today.  Hence the aforementioned trip to Lowes!

Along the drive we will be turning up my new Christmas cd.  Last week it arrived in the mail for me to review and since then, I’ve had it on repeat.

chris-tomlin

I have a very limited vocabulary when it comes to music.  But I do know how to judge if something is a crowd-pleaser.  And Chris Tomlin’s new album, Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship is just that.  My kids sing-along and snap their fingers and my husband joined in singing as well.

It’s full of classics, twists on classics, and brand-new material. Y’all this is a beautiful album. “It’s Christmas” is my personal favorite.  It’ upbeat, fun, and worshipful.  Click here to purchase on iTunes.

Songs:

1. He Shall Reign Forevermore
2. Adore
3. Midnight Clear (Love Song)
4. Noel featuring Lauren Daigle 
5. Hymn Of Joy
6. Silent Night featuring Kristyn Getty 
7. What Child Is This? featuring Sons & Daughters 
8. It’s Christmas
9. A King Like This
10. Bethlehem
11. A Christmas Alleluia featuring Lauren Daigle & Leslie Jordan of All Sons & Daughters 

WANT to WIN a COPY of the CD?

Click the following link and follow the directions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT CHRIS TOMLIN?

Chris Tomlin is an American contemporary Christian music artist, worship leader, and songwriter who has sold nearly 30 million records.   Pretty much…if you’ve ever been in a church, been at a worship event, or listened to Christian radio you have heard his music.  His most well-known are “How Great is Our God”, “Jesus Messiah”, “Our God”, and “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)”.  If you want to visit his website (click here).

tomlinDisclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”)  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won prizes from our sponsor Propeller/ FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.