Archive for December, 2010

She should have been called Joy…

I stood on the stage behind the keyboard. It was time to play the closing song. Our pastor invited those who wanted prayer to come forward. I knew that this was one time I really needed to hit my knees and get prayer. I  stepped down off the stage and poured my heart out to God.

It was March 2006. My husband and I were in the process of leaving our church of 4 years to join a young church in another town. We had 6 kids, and the youngest was to turn 1 at the end of the month. I was still nursing her. Our oldest was 11 1/2.  My period was two weeks late, and I knew what that meant. I was pregnant. I didn’t need a test.

As I knelt “at the altar”, I cried out to God to take this baby from me. I had so many other things I wanted to do with my life rather than be pregnant or nursing. I wanted to do more with worship. I wanted to get my body back. I wanted to stop changing diapers. I wanted to go out with friends, have some me time. I also didn’t want to experience the fatigue and discomfort of being pregnant. I didn’t want to be a burden to my family once again. I was afraid of what my friends and family would say. I hated the judgmental glares or comments like “You know what causes this right?”

I begged God to end this pregnancy or change my heart.

Neither of those things happened right then. But a couple of weeks later, I was at a conference. I felt lead to pray for a couple of women. While we prayed, my heart changed…one of them was pregnant…with twins…I realized as I prayed for her that I was being extremely selfish. I realized that God knew my desires. He knows my heart. God loves and cares for me. What started as me praying for one of them, lead to them praying and being instrumental in healing my broken heart.

An amazing thing happened in that pregnancy. All the symptoms I normally had during pregnancy, I didn’t experience. I had no nauseousness, no fatigue, no sinus problems, no pain from my varicose vein. Also, God worked it out that I was able to birth my first child at home. Truly a miracle. I had a very blessed special birth experience with Hanna.

As soon as Hanna was born, I was filled with such joy and delight. God humbled me in that moment. I am ashamed that at first I actually didn’t want her. 

To this day, Hanna is joy…pure joy.

God knew what our family needed. We needed Hanna. When my eldest (who really wanted a boy) saw Hanna for the first time, he was overwhelmed with love for her and exclaimed, “She is so beautiful.” To this day, she has him wrapped around her finger. He would do anything for Hanna.

Through Hanna, I learned that God desires to richly bless us. He doesn’t have it “out for us”. We may not understand, but if we have faith and trust in His plans, we will be richly blessed.

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Busy, busy, busy…

It has been a busy couple of weeks…busier and more exhausting than I have ever been in my life. On December 16th, we took over the Book & Bean in Prineville, OR. Although we are only open from 8 to 6, coming in the week prior to Christmas has made some long days. Usually we arrived at the store at 7 and most days didn’t leave till 8. Joe and I were scrambling to get more inventory in, to get supplies for the cafe, and to take care of special orders that had been dropped in the change of ownership.

Our kids have been troopers. We have a back room for them to hang out in. At first there was absolutely nothing for them to do. But slowly we have worked on their space to provide a place for them to feel comfortable. It still isn’t done, but getting better every day.

The oldest two kids have been learning the ropes. Josiah knows all the cash register stuff and Michaela is getting more and more confident as a barista. I don’t know what we would do without them.

Joe’s dad has also been helpful in entertaining the kids in the back. Many a times he has entertained Nehemiah who desperately wanted his mama.

For me, I have struggled most with feeling like I am neglecting the kids and the extreme fatigue. It does help to work in a coffee shop though. Whenever I feel tired, I can make myself a latte. I have tried to have little niches of time to read books to the kids every day. (This also helps when a customer comes in wanting a book for a child.) It also helps the kids since they aren’t allowed to look at the books by themselves. Our reading time allows them to see and hear the books they have been drooling over.

Well, I had a few minutes and just wanted to fill you all in on what has been going on with JoKars Wild. Hopefully in the days ahead, I will have time to complete my blogs on childbearing and trusting God…Till then, may you know Christ love for you…

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The Book & Bean

  • Summer 1997 – I worked as a barista.
  • July 1999 – Joe gets a job selling music to bookstores across the country.
  • September 2000 – I had a vision of a coffee shop where people could come and feel loved and welcome.
  • November 2001 – Joe began (and eventually completed) writing a business plan for our own coffee shop and bookstore.
  • December 2001 – Joe buys a ton of books and music for us to sell online.
  • March 2002 – Joe becomes a national sales rep, selling even more music to more bookstores.
  • June 2005 – Joe graduates from Bible college and starts the process of planting a church with a coffee house atmosphere.
  • August 2010 – After several years of failure, heartache and frustration, JoKars Wild moves to Central Oregon and falls in love with Prineville.
  • November 18th, 2010 – While looking for a job in the local classifieds, Joe spots an ad for a coffee shop and bookstore looking to sell the business.
  • December 15th, 2010 – JoKars Wild becomes the proud owner of Book & Bean.

While there is far more to this story…like how we once left a church because of their failure to pursue the vision they had of a church with a coffee house atmosphere, or all the businesses we started that never took off, or all the bookseller conventions Joe attended over the years…I think that would have to be for a book…

Again, I am amazed and humbled by how great God is. God does not forget. God knows our hearts. God has a plan.

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Birth Control: Sorry, I just couldn’t come up with a better title

This post is of a very personal topic. For my male readers, you might want to skip this one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Over the years I have used almost every form of birth control.

  • Hormonal – Norplant, the pill
  • Barriers – Condoms, diaphragms
  • IUD – a device that creates a hostile environment in the uterus
  • “Rhythm” method – Avoidance around the 14th day
  • Fertility Awareness

As a new bride, I never took the time to learn about fertility or birth control. I simply followed what my family, friends, or doctor told me to do. I didn’t take it to God, but God brought the knowledge to me.

Here are a few things I learned….

My first experience with birth control was using hormones. I quickly found that my body does not like hormones. They wreak havoc on me. I think this was God’s way of protecting me. Because of the effect they had on me, I never was on any for very long. But years later, God showed me the more damaging effect hormones have…they sometimes abort babies. Yes, it’s true. Do the research yourself.

I had an IUD for 2 years and thought it was the best thing ever…until one day when someone told me the truth. A friend lovingly informed me how IUD’s also abort babies. What the doctor tells you is that it disturbs the uterine lining, making it so that an egg doesn’t implant. What they fail to mention, and we fail to recognize is that it makes it so that a “embryo” won’t implant so then the body aborts the baby. If you believe in life at conception, then that is murder.

Shortly after my friend told me this, I had my regular period. I was changing my pad and noticed a mass the size of a large marble. I picked it up to see what it was. It was firm and round, yet squishy like a grape. I put my fingernail into it breaking its exterior. It had cartilage in it. To this day, I do not know what it was, but I suspect it was the beginnings of a new baby. I am still grieved by my lack of knowledge and stupidity. How many other little babies did I kill? I know I am forgiven, but my hope is that by my telling you this, you won’t make the same mistakes I have.

I had my IUD removed immediately.

After that we stuck to the rhythm method and barrier methods. Now some Christians say that this is a sin and reference the verse about Onan “spilling his semen on the ground”. One thing my husband told me as he went through his pastoral studies was scripture wasn’t intended to be read as isolated sentences or phrases. Scripture was to be taken as a whole. In my opinion of reading the Word, God killed Onan because he didn’t fulfill his obligations as a husband…he shamed his wife. Read it for yourself.

It wasn’t till my 7th pregnancy that I learned something rather profound.

I learned that God loves me and knows me better than I know myself.

Hang with me, I am going somewhere with all this personal talk of babies and birth control. More to come next Thursday…

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Quiverfull or Less

Nineteen! That’s how many children the Duggars currently have.

I love watching 19 Kids and Counting, when I get a chance. I love seeing the family dynamics, and getting new ideas on managing the home of a large family. Recently the Duggars announced that they are open to having a 20th child in spite of all they went through with the youngest Duggar, Josie. You see, the Duggar family is part of a mindset called Quiverfull. The belief (and it is back by scriptural interpretation) is that children are a blessing from God. To restrict by use of birth control of any form or sterilization would be to 1) not trust God or 2) withhold the blessings God has for them.

You might think that we at JoKars Wild are Quiverfull minded, but we are not. Yes, we have a large family. Yes, we trust God. Yes, we believe that children are a blessing from God. But there seems to be one missing ingredient to the Quiverfull mindset.

Recently a woman left a comment on one of my posts that said, “Life is already full of inevitable pain and suffering, why would you bring kids in this world, only to have them go through that too?! I can’t believe how selfish people are by having a disgraceful amount of kids. Even one is a disgrace amount!!”

As with the Duggars, I agree on some level. Yes, this life is full of pain and suffering. Why create another being to have to deal with sorrow, regrets, hatred, bitterness, brokenness? There are timess when I have worried for my children. Will we have enough food to last the month? If food prices keep going up, will I be able to afford nutritious food to feed them? Will we continue to have a place to live? As it gets colder, how will I provide jackets and boots? The answer to all those questions and the missing ingredient comes down to one thing.

A relationship.

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