How To Be A Noble Woman

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31:13-31 NIV

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Pumpkin Patch Blessings

This book by Kim Washburn and illustrated by Jacqueline Fast is an autumn themed board book. It follows a boy and a girl as they discover God’s creation through their Fall activities and journey to the pumpkin patch. The rhyming story is catchy and very descriptive.

The colors of the illustrations are vibrant and fit right in with the autumn theme. The pages of the board book are flexible and good size allowing for large print wording and full page illustrations. I really like this book and it will be a good addition to my baby/toddler book library.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that ZonderKidz provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

Pumpkin Patch Blessings

By Kim Washburn / Zondervan

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July Cards of Encouragement

I would like to send YOU a card of encouragement in the mail!

Everyone loves to receive good old fashioned mail every once in awhile. With our age of internet and texting, personal mail is rare. So, every month I am going to send out cards of encouragement to whoever sends me their mailing address. I know that this means you have to trust me with your mailing address. For those who know me personally or who have been following my blog for awhile that will not be a problem. Please know that no one other than myself will have access to your personal information. Also, this is just an experiment. I will see how it goes for the next few months and then decide if I will continue doing this or not.

If you are interested in receiving a card from me, please click the link below and take a few minutes to fill out the information survey. This will record your mailing address so that I can mail you a card. Other questions are asked to help me customize the card to you and so that I know how you came to follow my blog. Feel free to share prayer requests, goals, areas that you need encouragement, etc. I will post this link every month so that if something changes, you can edit your information.

CARDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT INFORMATION SURVEY

Thank you all for following my blog. I sincerely hope that my posts are inspirational and encouraging to all of you who read them!

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February Cards Of Encouragement

Happy Valentine’s Month!

I would like to send YOU a card of encouragement in the mail!

I did receive some responses to my survey last month and I mailed out cards as promised!

Everyone loves to receive good old fashioned mail every once in awhile. With our age of internet and texting, personal mail is rare. So, every month I am going to send out cards of encouragement to whoever sends me their mailing address. I know that this means you have to trust me with your mailing address. For those who know me personally or who have been following my blog for awhile that will not be a problem. Please know that no one other than myself will have access to your personal information. Also, this is just an experiment. I will see how it goes for the next few months and then decide if I will continue doing this or not.

If you are interested in receiving a card from me, please click the link below and take a few minutes to fill out the information survey. This will record your mailing address so that I can mail you a card. Other questions are asked to help me customize the card to you and so that I know how you came to follow my blog. Feel free to share prayer requests, goals, areas that you need encouragement, etc. I will post this link every month so that if something changes, you can edit your information.

CARDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT INFORMATION SURVEY

Thank you all for following my blog. I sincerely hope that my posts are inspirational and encouraging to all of you who read them!

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(image found on Google Images)

January Cards Of Encouragement!

I am trying something new!

I would like to send YOU a card of encouragement in the mail!

Remember my 2016 goal of writing more cards and letters to send to family & friends? Everyone loves to receive good old fashioned mail every once in awhile. With our age of internet and texting, personal mail is rare. So, every month I am going to send out cards of encouragement to whoever sends me their mailing address. I know that this means you have to trust me with your mailing address. For those who know me personally or who have been following my blog for awhile that will not be a problem. Please know that no one other than myself will have access to your personal information. Also, this is just an experiment. I will see how it goes for the next few months and then decide if I will continue doing this or not.

If you are interested in receiving a card from me, please click the link below and take a few minutes to fill out the information survey. This will record your mailing address so that I can mail you a card. Other questions are asked to help me customize the card to you and so that I know how you came to follow my blog. Feel free to share prayer requests, goals, areas that you need encouragement, etc. I will post this link every month so that if something changes, you can edit your information.

CARDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT INFORMATION SURVEY

Thank you all for following my blog. I sincerely hope that my posts are inspirational and encouraging to all of you who read them.

(image found on Google Images)

 

 

Frozen Birthday Party-Part 2: Decorating

Finally, here is Part 2 discussion & photos of our Frozen themed birthday party from back in January! This post will focus on decorating! Thank you to my friend Erin who took the photos for me!

If you missed Part 1 click here:

Frozen Birthday Party-Part 1: Food

Thanks to Pinterest, there are a ton of great ideas for a Frozen themed party! Many of my ideas came from Pinterest and other ideas are my own! Frozen allows for many great possibilities but way too many for one party on a limited budget.

IMG_2602To recap about the food table, I started out with a purple plastic tablecloth. I stretched out blue and purple tulle over the length of the table as runners. We used paper plates (with purple & blue flowers), plastic forks, and purple & blue napkins, blue basket. The party favors included, Frozen notebooks & pencils,  and Frozen tattoos. I also used blank food tags & water bottle labels to label everything! See where I found everything  in my Part 1 post.IMG_2606

I bought helium filled balloons from our local grocery store to scatter above the food table. During Christmas season, Hobby Lobby has many items that can be used for a Frozen theme. I bought fake snow,  purple  &  teal glitter snowflake ornaments, purple & teal snowflake garland strands, and clear icicle garland strands all from Hobby Lobby. If you are on Hobby Lobby’s mailing list, you get weekly 40% off coupons and if you watch their sales you can find whole sections of the store already discounted.

IMG_2604I bought these lovely Frozen themed decorations from Oriental Trading Company. I hung the banner above the window in the dining room. I hung the swirl decorations around the dining room above the table and in the living room above all the doorways. They just added the needed touch to complete the actual Frozen theme. IMG_2603

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IMG_2655We already had these Frozen pillows that the girls received for Christmas! Olaf of course was the favorite among the guests! Olaf was purchased at Target and the throw pillows were purchased at Walmart.

 

 

 

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IMG_2629Now comes the kitchen bar decor. I topped it with fake snow, hung the snowflake & icicle garland, and the snowflake ornaments. I put the cake & dessert plates on the bar until it was time to serve. The glass candy jars are filled with decorative candy from Hobby Lobby. A friend uses these for baby shower decorations and she allowed me to borrow them. She tied ribbon on them to match my color theme. Of course, a Frozen themed party is incomplete without Elsa & Anna! These dolls were given to the girls two Christmases ago and were the perfect addition to the bar. IMG_2624Under the bar, I used Frozen bags that we found at Target (in the dollar section!) and stuffed them with tissue paper. You can also see a single snowball! We have a set of indoor snowballs that I scattered all over the living room floor. These were the highlight of the party because the kids had an indoor snowball fight!

IMG_2642IMG_2635 And last but not least: the gift table! I covered the coffee table with the same purple table cloth that is on the food table and topped it with the Frozen mylar balloons found at the local grocery store. Gifts for the girls were placed on and around the table. I tried to specify one side for each girl but that did not work out so well (and it really did not matter).

 

 

Here are some free party tips!

Party Keepsakes!

  • Buy a Mylar Balloon that matches the theme of your party. When it looses most of its air (or when you are tired of looking at it), cut a small hole at the base of the balloon to let out the remaining air. Fold the balloon and place it wherever you keep your child’s keepsakes.
  • Save one filled out invitation to put with your child’s keepsakes.

Save Gift Wrap!

  • Gift bags are getting to be expensive! Fold and save all gift bags for future use then you have a stack on hand to choose from without having to run to the store last minute.
  • Tissue paper can be smoothed out and folded neatly for future use. Since tissue paper is usually scrunched into bags, most people will not notice that it has been reused.
  • Wrapping paper can also be smoothed out and folded for future use. Unfortunately, my kids tear into wrapping paper and most of the time it is not salvageable.

Frozen Birthday Party-Part 1: Food

My girls have birthdays that are 2 weeks apart in January. We have always had joint birthday parties for them which makes it more convenient for me! Until they start putting up a fight and insisting that they have separate parties, we are going to continue the tradition! On their individual birthdays, we allow them to choose a restaurant of their choice for their birthday dinner so that their day is special. For the parties, we always invite entire families who all of us spend time with on a regular basis (instead of random friends who get dropped of at the house). This allows for fellowship with our friends while we are celebrating the girl’s birthdays. We pick a theme (discussions for the next year’s theme usually starts soon after the party is over) and throughout the months leading up to the party, I keep an eye out in stores or online for decorating ideas. I always have a ton of fun decorating and making the party day special! I have finally gone through the hundreds of photos taken at my girl’s Frozen birthday party and narrowed them down to just… 55! So, I do not overwhelm you, I will post the pictures in different blog posts. This post will focus on food! Thank you to my friend Erin who took the photos for me!

Thanks to Pinterest, there are a ton of great ideas for a Frozen themed party! Many of my ideas came from Pinterest and other ideas are my own! Frozen allows for many great possibilities but way too many for one party on a limited budget.

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I started out with a purple plastic tablecloth. We bought a tablecloth roll about 5 years ago and we have used the same roll for every birthday party since then! A friend gave me blue and purple tulle after an event that she decorated for. I stretched them out over the length of the table as runners. We used paper plates (with purple & blue flowers), plastic forks, and purple & blue napkins from the local grocery store. The blue basket came from Hobby Lobby. The party favors, Frozen notebooks & pencils, came from the dollar section at Target. Frozen tattoos came from Big Lots. I found my blank food tags & water bottle labels from a pinterest post from Delicate Construction.

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Hallmark has a new product called Itty Bittys! I bought the entire princess line for the girls for Christmas. I saved Anna & Elsa for their party. They were very excited! Chocolate hearts were labeled “I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face!” Hershey Hugs were labeled “I love warm hugs!” I found the blue & white swirled lollipops and blue diamond gems  from Oriental Trading Company.

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Strawberries dipped in candy melts from Hobby Lobby are labeled as “Frozen Hearts.” Sandwiches labeled as “We finish each other’s sandwiches.” I made chicken salad, scooped it on hamburger buns, and cut them in half.

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Powdered donuts are labeled as “Snow Balls” and the veggie tray is labeled as “Troll Food.”

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I set up several snacks (marshmallows, pretzels, carrots, raisins, snowflake candy, and labeled them “Do you want to build a snowman?” The kids had fun and were really creative!

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The “Stormy Seas” Punch is made from Blue Hawaiian Punch, Sprite, raspberry sherbet, and vanilla ice cream. There is not a set recipe, just make it to taste. Pour the sprite over the ice cream to get the fizzy look on top! Water bottles are labeled as “Melted Snow.”

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And of course, the Frozen birthday cake! There are many cool ideas for custom cakes on Pinterest. I did not have the time (or the talent) to try and attempt to make one. This came from the local grocery store. The decal is printed on edible paper. I told them the colors I wanted for the colored frosting (to match the rest of the party decorations).

See Frozen Birthday Party-Part 2: Decorating for more!

Why I Am Pro-Life…

I have always been raised with an anti-abortion outlook because of being raised in a Christian family.

However, just because I was raised a Christian doesn’t mean I actually was a Christian. I had to choose to have a relationship and believe in Jesus as my God. And although I made that decision at a young age, I continually study God’s Word and I love researching culture, history, archeology, and science that affirms my faith.

In the same way, when it comes to abortion, I have researched from a medical perspective and from a personal experience perspective. I have several friends who have had abortions and they either regret their decision and are pro-life or they do not regret their decision and are pro-choice. I have had many debates with the friends who are pro-choice but even though we disagree, we still have great friendships.

Due to a recent conversation with a friend, I started to think about why I am pro-life. There is not one defining moment. Instead there are several circumstances throughout my life where I have had the opportunity to contemplate the pro-life perspective. The following stories are some of the significant experiences that contributed to why I am pro-life. For further reading about the truth of abortion you can go to my list of blog posts relating to the topic (including my opinion on if the mother’s life is at risk). After reading the following stories, I would love to hear your input and opinions relating to my experiences. Feel free to comment respectfully. Any rude and inappropriate comments will not be posted.

*****

twinsI was first exposed to “abortion” when I was around age 5. Although, I fully did not understand what was going on until later. My mom was pregnant and while she was doing a marching band performance during a pro-football game half-time show she started bleeding. Her doctor recommended a D&C (dilation of the cervix then scraping or suctioning out the tissues inside the uterus) because he thought the baby was not going to survive. My mom questioned if this was an abortion and the doctor decided to do an ultrasound to confirm his suspicions and reassure my mom. He immediately was able to see why my mom was bleeding. He saw that the baby was tearing off of the uterine wall because a second baby was pushing him. He told my mom that if one baby died, the chances of the other baby surviving was slim. He put her on strict bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. She was in and out of the hospital and consistently being monitored as high risk. My mom, family, & friends prayed fervently over the babies and they were born one month before their due date and survived. I would not have my brother and sister if the doctor had not done an ultrasound that day.

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I lost my virginity when I was in college and still living in my parent’s home. I went into panic mode not only because I had been planning to wait until marriage but also because I imagined how getting pregnant would affect my entire life. I assumed that everyone around me would judge me for not being the good Christian girl that I claimed to be. I assumed I would be asked to leave my parent’s house.  I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to finish college. I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to financially support myself. A couple of days later, I called an OB-GYN office to ask how long it would take for me to know if I got pregnant or not. The nurse gave me the usual “based on your period” response and she recommended Plan B. She told me it would keep me from getting pregnant if I had not yet conceived but she could not assure me that if I had already conceived that it would not cause a miscarriage. I told her I needed to think about it and I would call her back if I decided to make an appointment. I never called her back. I decided that because I made a stupid decision, I would hope for the best but I would have to live with any consequences. I could not justify causing an abortion even if I did not know for sure if I was pregnant. A couple of weeks later I was relieved to know that I was not pregnant. Shane and I got married several months later in August 2002.

*****

2003-2004 I was working as a nurse (LPN) at an OB-GYN doctors office. At the time, the office had 9 doctors and a Nurse Practitioner who were apart of the practice. When I went to the office for my interview, the head nurse saw, under volunteer work, on my resume’ that I had gone to Brazil for church mission trips and she assumed that I probably would be against abortion. During the interview, she confided in me that there were a few doctors in the practice who sometimes did surgical abortions at the surgery center. She also said that on occasion, some of the doctors would give abortion causing pills in the office. She made it very clear that the nurses who are morally against abortion could ask another nurse to take over during the time these patients were in the office. I really wanted to be in the OB-GYN field so Shane and I prayed about it and decided that I should still work there. When I was hired, I confirmed with the head nurse that I was very against abortion and that I would not participate in it at all.

During my time there, I cared for women during their pregnancies, including when they miscarried. I remember one woman came in to confirm her miscarriage and brought the passed tissues in a baggie. I think that she was about 11-12 weeks along. The baggie was given to the nurses so that we could send the tissues to the lab. In the bag, there was a perfectly round circle of tissue (about the size of a half dollar). The nurses gathered around and we held it up to the light. We could see an amazing outline of a baby. I will never forget that image. My heart ached for the woman and for the tiny baby that I held in my hand.

Several months later, one of the doctors had given a teenager (I don’t remember how old she was but probably 17-18 years old) the abortion causing pills. She went home to complete the process but the pills did not work properly so she came back into the office. The doctor completed the process in the office. We heard the girl’s cries of pain from down the hallway. And of course, it was the responsibility of the nurses to send the tissues to the lab and clean the instruments used during the procedure. I was not prepared for the wave of emotions I felt. I was angry at the doctor who did the procedure in the office. I was in shock that it had actually happened the way it did. I felt bad for one of the other nurses who had no clue that some of the doctors did occasional abortions. I resigned later that week making sure my boss knew that I felt that the whole situation was completely unacceptable.

*****

16weeks500x379In February 2005; I found out that I was pregnant. I had always wanted children and was very excited. I called and told a lot of my family and friends as soon as I found out. My excitement was soon crushed with pain and bleeding. At first the doctor didn’t say for sure that I was having a miscarriage. But as a nurse who had worked in the OB-GYN field, I knew what was going on. In my pain and while I was still hoping for the best; I wrote a poem called My Valley. We chose the name Kendal during this time, based on the poem which I wrote “as I walk through the valley of death”. In one name book; the meaning for Kendal is: “Ruler of the valley.” When I found out that I was pregnant again in November of 2005; I was cautious and did not let everyone know. So when I miscarried again; I did not have to explain to a lot of people who offered their congratulations like the first time. During that time and for several months after; our marriage was in turmoil and we almost got divorced but during the time we were trying to reconcile we got pregnant for a third time in May of 2006 and Kendal was born 9 months later. I believe that God used that pregnancy to keep us together.

During my time of grieving, I found it very difficult to read articles or hear news related to abortion. It physically & emotionally hurt to know that there were babies being discarded when there were people like me who wanted a baby so badly. Yes, I was eventually able to have my own children but there are many couples who for whatever reason cannot have children and would give anything to adopt and love an unwanted baby. Some day I would love to do the same.

*****

Audrey was induced and born in 2009. I had a smooth delivery but after the epidural wore off and I tried to get out of bed for the first time, I started hemorrhaging and passed out. The doctor determined that I had retained placenta and they manually tried to get it out. I was in extreme pain and went in and out of consciousness. I stayed in the hospital an extra day because I had lost a lot of blood and they were making sure that I wouldn’t need a transfusion. At my 6 week postpartum exam, I was still bleeding on a daily basis since the delivery. The doctor scheduled me for an ultrasound which was several weeks later. The ultrasound showed that I still had placenta in my uterus so she gave me Misoprostol (abortion pills) in order to cause my uterus to contract and hopefully expel the remaining placenta tissues. I cannot emphasize enough how incredibly painful this process was. I was in a lot of pain for several days that even Percocet could not alleviate. I have experienced the physical pain of abortion without actually having an abortion.

When this process did not work, I ended up having a D&C to scrape the retained placenta out of the uterus. This procedure is often used after miscarriages and for 1st trimester and some 2nd trimester abortions. I had general anesthesia during the procedure. Unfortunately, anesthesia is often not used during abortions. When I went to the doctor for my follow-up, he did an ultrasound to make sure that the procedure worked. It did not. There was still retained placenta tissue still visible. So I had a second D&C (the doctor used an ultrasound during the procedure to confirm that it was completely removed). Finally, after 6 months of bleeding, medications, surgical procedures, pain, depression, etc, I was able to recover from Audrey’s delivery.

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This section was UPDATED in January 2017 to include experiences/information that happened after this article was originally published:

One question that often comes up in my discussions/debates about abortion is about birth control. I personally have used several methods of birth control throughout my life. My belief after much research is that if it can prevent conception that it is not causing an abortion. If it is preventing a fertilized egg from implanting then it is causing an abortion. Most hormonal methods of birth control when used correctly do a combination of preventing fertilization and preventing implantation. SO there is no guarantee that it will prevent fertilization. For that reason, my husband and I decided that we would go off of birth control 3 years ago and do natural family planning & withdraw (neither of which are 100% birth control but we were ok with it if we should get pregnant). As far as Plan B goes, if it is taken immediately after the rape happens then I would assume it would prevent fertilization and therefore not cause an abortion. If the woman waits then there is no guarantee of that. So, my opinion on that is pending each particular situation.

While off of hormonal birth control, I miscarried two more times (this makes a total of 4 known miscarriages because of pregnancy tests that confirmed the pregnancies). This emotional roller coaster caused a stronger desire to have more children. So, I started researching adoption. During Fall 2015, Shane and I started the state’s CYFD foster and adoption process of applications, background checks, and classes. Half way through the classes schedule, Shane felt very strongly that it was not the right timing for us to foster and/or adopt. I think he was overwhelmed by the process. There were unknowns coming up for his military career and with our financial situation. I actually was going to continue the classes without him because I was so emotionally wrapped up in the process but just before the next class, I decided not to go out of respect to Shane. I cried for days.

In February 2016 (around the time we would have completed the CYFD classes), I had another positive pregnancy test. About a week after I took the test, I had went to the Emergency Room for bleeding and cramping. My ultrasound did not show a pregnancy in the uterus so the OB doctor suspected an ectopic pregnancy. He was very concerned for me and offered the option of termination to prevent tube rupture. I opted to tolerate the pain and wait. I knew the exact day we conceived based on how I tracked my cycle & sex with natural family planning so I knew that the pregnancy was still very early. I was under strict orders to rest and return to ER if pain got worse. Two days later, I had another ultrasound which was still inconclusive. I was still bleeding and cramping but my quant level had not decreased even though it was low. We waited again. Four days later we repeated the ultrasound and a sac was seen in the uterus. At that point, it was confirmed that I did not have an ectopic pregnancy but miscarriage was still a possibility.

I started a routine of having ultrasounds every 4 weeks throughout the entire pregnancy (most women have 2 ultrasounds during their pregnancy, one in the 1st trimester to confirm implantation and one around 20 weeks for anatomy scan). I also had a full work up to see if there was a reason for my past miscarriages (they did not find anything). I was very sick with dehydration, non-stop nausea and vomiting, weight loss, etc. until around 14 weeks. I continued to cramp and bleed until around 20 weeks. Every ultrasound I had showed a healthy and growing baby even though my body was not tolerating being pregnant very well.

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Had I terminated with the initial hospital visit, I would not have my perfect son, Kaleb, today.

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*END UPDATE*

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Sometime in 2010, I started this blog website. I used my writing to help me get through some difficult times in my life and marriage. I started interacting online with other bloggers and following pages that interested me. A few of those blogging friends kept me updated on abortion related statistics, politics, news, etc. Although I have always considered myself pro-life, I started feeling burdened to be a voice for the unborn. I started posting about abortion on my blog and on facebook. I started having real conversations with friends who disagree with me in order to know their perspective. I had a desire to help women who are contemplating abortion or who have had them in the past.

When we moved to New Mexico, I found out that there is a Pregnancy Resource Center in our town. They provide free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing, counseling, resources, classes, etc. to women and girls who have unplanned and/or crisis pregnancies. I have not yet been able to volunteer directly with the clients (due to timing and other commitments) but I have taken the peer counseling training, have helped raise money, helped with the fundraising banquets, participated in awareness runs/walks, etc.

My hope is that someday I can truly make a difference in the life of a woman with an unplanned pregnancy. There are other options available to women that are not often talked about (adoption and keeping the baby). There is counseling, resources, and help available for women who choose options other than abortion. And there is counseling, resources, and help for those who have had abortions in the past. My purpose for being pro-life is not to condemn or judge those who have had abortions but instead to help others see that there is value to all life born or unborn, young or old, etc.

Have you taken the time to think about why you are pro-life?