P L E A S E (or Pleaser?)

P L E A S E (or Pleaser?)

Guest Post by Jenny Stecklair of In The Everyday blog and Stecklair Event Co.


And without faith it is impossible to please God. For whoever comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
— Hebrews 11:6

What pleases God?  We often assume it's our best self efforts and stellar behavior. We busy ourselves with good things - serving where we can, giving when we can.....but what if I do all of this good and it still doesn't seem like God is "pleased" with me?  Then what?  

In John 9, Jesus and His disciples encounter a man born blind.  "And His disciples asked Him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?'” (verse 2). Do you see it?  They think the same way we often do. This man's life is hard - he was born blind. Someone must have done something wrong and God is ticked.  Why else would this happen?  They are trying to make sense of circumstances that are too heartbreaking to understand. But what was Jesus' reply?


Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’
— John 9:3

No one is to blame. No one could or should have tried any harder. Better behavior wouldn't have guaranteed he would be able to see at birth. There's nothing anyone could do to change these circumstances, or so many others. 

My husband lost his job and we can't make ends meet. Yet another miscarriage leaves me feeling devastated and hopeless. We have prayed and prayed, but my friend still lost her battle with cancer. Why? What more can I do?  What should I have done? If I am living my life to please God, why does it feel like He has forgotten me? 

Maybe we've got it all wrong, and our doubt and frustration with God is the fruit of doing things our way.

What if all the "good" we busy ourselves with distracts us from the greater, deeper work of choosing to believe that He is all that He says He is? 

Could anything please and honor God more than my devotion regardless of the circumstances, choosing to believe He is a REWARDER of those who seek Him?  

Try as I might to please God, He makes it clear to me what pleases Him most – a faith-worth-seeking, pursuing, craving. He's a rewarder of those who SEEK Him. Just Him, the person of Christ.  God the Father. His face, not His hand. Do you really believe that?  Can you really say today in your struggles and hardship that you KNOW God to be a rewarder?  If not, why not?  

The truth is, it's easier to just keep trying and doing; it makes us feel like maybe we have some control. Faith in God and all that He says He is is harder than applying our own self effort. I don't know where you are or what you are dealing with today, but I know He is a rewarder. He is good. So good. More than fair, He tips the scales in our favor blessing us beyond all that we can even imagine.  

So today, be a God pleaser.  Choose Him. Trust Him. Seek Him. Tell everyone you know that He is faithful. He tells us that pleases Him most.  As you do, you will discover the sweet reward or His joy - it will become your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). As you focus on Him and not your circumstances, you will experience a joy so good it could only come straight from the source of joy, God Himself.  

Then do it again tomorrow.  Bask in the pleasure of our Good Good Father, friends.  Amen!


Jenny Stecklair


Writer. Wife. Mother.
 

Jenny was born and raised in San Diego, California.  She has attended the same church, Foothills, since she was 10.  This is where she met many of her closest friends and her husband, Weston. Attending and working at the church, Jenny discovered her love for the Word of God, bringing people together, and planning events. Jenny and her husband recently started having children, which pushed them to get creative so she can stay at home with her kiddos.

They have started a business renting Farm Tables, Benches and Market Lighting, as well as coordination services, for weddings and events. She loves that she gets to do what she loves through the week while being at home with her babies. When they aren't dropping off tables and stringing up lights, Jenny can usually be found at a coffee shop, park or church. In this new season of life, Jenny has learned A LOT about marriage, herself and how much God loves.


Going through infertility or loss? Share this with your family...

I'm so excited to introduce you to my amazing mom, Pam Grosse. I'm so thankful to her for sharing her heart during National Infertility Awareness Week. If you're going through infertility or loss and your family just doesn't seem to understand... send this to them. It's a great way to get a conversation started! Chances are they WANT to be there for you, they just may not know how!! And most likely, they don't have any idea how you feel or how hard this is!! I'll be following up this post soon with a list of ways to support family members going through delayed fertility.


Written by: Pam Grosse

I have never experienced the excruciating loss of an infant or child, or had a miscarriage, or spent years of waiting, hoping, and praying that I would become pregnant.  Nor have I dealt with the stress that can manifest in a marriage when any of these things have occurred.  But, I am the mother of someone who has endured several miscarriages, has spent hours in doctors’ offices, waited and waited and waited for months to conceive only to receive disappointing news, and probably cried buckets of tears.  Sadly, most young women or couples in that position feel very alone and frustrated – and many get depressed.  What is even sadder is that the people around them don’t even know how that person is feeling.  Not even family.  Not even Mom.  That is why I am so thrilled to see I Am Fruitful reaching so many lives and helping so many to heal and have hope.

Lauren & Pam

When my daughter, Lauren Bourne, and her husband, Billy, started I Am Fruitful I was so happy to know that even though they had already had one baby and another would soon be on the way, they wanted to reach out to couples like themselves who were going through similar situations.  There just wasn’t much out there for them when they were going through a tough time, so before they even received their first miracle, God began speaking to them to begin their ministry to women and couples who were going through similar situations or even worse.

As Lauren’s ministry began taking shape I began to realize just how much my daughter hadn’t been able to share with me and how much pain she and Billy had experienced.  Even though Lauren and Billy have a solid marriage with God at the center, they suffered heartache that people who are not in their situation will ever understand.  I thought that because I had such a great son-in-law, he would be there for Lauren and she would be there for him, and I just needed to let them be alone.  Time would heal their wounds. Besides, her dad and I lived 4 ½ hours away, so I would just pray and trust God to answer.  Sadly, they felt very alone with little support.  They were experiencing deep pain and hopelessness and very few people knew what they were going through or how to help.  I believe that most family members or friends who have never gone through a long season of waiting to get pregnant, suffered miscarriage, or even worse – the loss of an infant, will ever fully comprehend what someone going through any of those events truly feels.

Fast forward to two precious gifts (my grandchildren) from God and a ministry that is reaching out to couples who are hurting – just like Lauren and Billy were hurting.  And it all comes down to them surrendering their hearts completely to their heavenly Father, believing that His word to us is true, that His ways and thoughts are much higher than ours, and His plans for His children are  great – to give them a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).  Now, there is a wonderful place to connect with others who are trying to conceive or have suffered an immeasurable loss – a safe place where they can share from the depths of their heart and find resources to help in such a difficult season of grief or waiting.

I now have a much greater understanding of what my children went through with delayed fertility and multiple miscarriages, and I feel honored to be part of the prayer team at I Am Fruitful.  We are here to be a voice to God on behalf of those who are unable to express theirs or for those who need someone to stand with them for their dreams and desires to be met.

You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!  
— John 14:13-14 (NLT)

My heart goes out to every person who writes in, and although I am not connecting with them on a personal basis, I am interceding on their behalf, thanking our faithful heavenly Father for hearing every prayer and for bringing every answer.  I have already heard many happy stories of what God has done in so many lives, and I want to encourage anyone reading this who is going through a difficult time to press into God and let Him take your burden and pain in exchange for His peace, joy, and healing.  

No matter where you are right now, God knows it, He sees it, and He is there to comfort you, strengthen you, and give you hope – even in the midst of what may be a very dark time.  Joy truly does come in the morning, because the Lord’s mercies are new every morning – and He will never leave you alone.  EXPECT His faithfulness in your life!

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  
— Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

Lauren, here! Can I just tell you how amazing this woman is?? This woman I get to call Mom. The one who drives over 4 hours to babysit. The one who always reminds me it's okay to be a little feisty. The one who has encouraged me over the decades to pursue my dreams. 

She may have downplayed her involvement during our waiting season. She and my dad may not have understood, but they were CONSTANTLY encouraging me, sending me emails, shooting me texts with scripture, calling, asking how I was, reminding me that God is bigger. I'm so grateful to have a supportive and Christ-centered family, and I say we need to make Mom's writing a regular thing around here!


Donate

Check out OUR IDEAS for raising awareness and getting involved during National Infertility Awareness Week! It's not too late!

Lately on Instagram:

The Bourne's share about their new book... RELEASING TODAY!

WATCH BELOW TO HEAR A LITTLE ABOUT THE BOOK,  OUR HEART FOR THIS PROJECT, AND WHAT WE HOPE THIS BOOK WILL ACCOMPLISH.

BIG THANKS TO CHRIS STETSON FOR THE VIDEO.


Joy Comes in the Morning is AVAILABLE TOMORROW for Pre-Order!

We are so pleased to announce that Joy Comes in the Morning is available for pre-order TOMORROW, March 1st!

Learn more below and click here to get the inside scoop about our adult coloring book for infant loss and miscarriage.

Meet the artists! That's right! We teamed up with artists, friends, moms and dads from across the country who have experienced loss or have a heart for families who go through it. Together, we want to encourage and uplift anyone suffering the loss of a baby- from "chemical pregnancy" to stillbirth or death of an infant. One of my favorite things about this book is that it's a collection of all different styles. Some are artists and designers by trade and some for fun, we have Etsy shop owners, artistic dads, friends who simply believed in this project... and then there are just crafty moms like me and my bestie who wanted to share our hearts through a page or two. It's perfectly imperfect. And each and every page points to hope, to comfort, to Jesus.

If you order March 1st, make sure and use our discount code "JOY20" to receive 20% off!

100% of the profit will go into I Am Fruitful so that we can continue creating programs and resources for this community. 


Pregnancy Loss Journey Podcast

I'm so honored to have been interviewed by the lovely Christy of the Pregnancy Loss Journey Podcast.

In this episode I share briefly about our own delayed fertility and miscarriages. Here are a few things we dig into:

  • choosing faith over fear
  • hope in the waiting
  • what do we have faith in?
  • managing emotions
  • accountability
  • redemption for loss

 If you need a little hope in your struggle... have a listen.

Psalm 126:5-6 (NLT)

"Those who plant in tears
    will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
    but they sing as they return with the harvest."



A Podcast Interview about Miscarriage, Grief, and Faith

I'm so honored to have been interviewed on the Holistic Fertility and Wellness Podcast with Stephanie Risinger. In this interview I share our personal story of loss and our struggle to conceive. We also discuss grief, faith, and I share valuable suggestions for how to support couples experiencing miscarriage.

Click HERE to listen and be encouraged! You are not alone.


 

 

5 Scriptures to Combat Fear of Miscarriage

5 Scriptures to Combat Fear of Miscarriage

Fear of miscarriage is a very real issue. We try for so long to get pregnant, then we finally, finally get that BFP!! And for a very brief moment we're over the moon, on cloud 9, and we're happier than EVER.

Then fear sets in. Fear that we will lose the baby, the connection, the life, the future. But that fear is from the enemy, and you will have to do something about it if you want to enjoy your pregnancy. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. It's a complete miracle in itself, and it CAN be enjoyed!! They say pregnant women have a "glow" about them. I have to say that I've never seen a fearful pregnant woman with a glow. The ones at peace have the glow!

So here are 5 scriptures to help you fight that fear and step into a season of peaceful pregnancy!

So here are 5 scriptures to help you fight that fear and step into a season of peaceful pregnancy!

Philippians 4:6-7 MSG
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Isaiah 43:2-4 MSG
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 MSG
Just as you’ll never understand
the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman,
So you’ll never understand
the mystery at work in all that God does.

Psalm 139:13-18 AMP
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

Ps 91:12 NLT
If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.


More scriptures in this post about miscarriage!


Read the Huckins story below to hear about their loss and Lindsay's major light bulb moment that just might change your perspective on the family God wants to give you.

Have you ever considered sharing your testimony? It's a powerful thing and we would love to read yours, then share it for others to be encouraged and filled with hope! Click below to learn more!

Connect with us on INSTAGRAM @i.am.fruitful for daily encouragement!

Believe Despite: A Story of Hope, Loss, & Extreme Faith

I sat down the other day with an amazing woman, Elisa Rumbo, who bravely shared her story with me. She struggled through 15 years of infertility, PCOS, 9 miscarriages, the devastating loss of her infant daughter, and yet she believed despite. She believed that the Lord would make her a mother!

If you are struggling with infertility or loss, you HAVE to hear her story. Her perspective is so wise, unique, and encouraging. She will, without a doubt, re-ignite your faith, remind you who our God is, and provide that extra jolt of hope you need to make it through the next hurdle in your own journey.