Let's Worship Together!

It's Worship Wednesday, so let's get our WORSHIP on!

Any Kari Jobe fans in the house?!? I love her! Her new song "The Garden" is so raw and relatable. It reminds me so much of the woman with the issue of bleeding (Luke 8:42-48). Jesus was surrounded people. With her hope high, the woman made her way through the crowds. Maybe like her, you've seen the doctors, you've spent the money, but still nothing has changed. God, let us have a fringe moment right now as we worship, help us to see the garden today.


In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”

When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”

Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”

When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.

Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
— Luke 8:43-48

Kari Jobe "The Garden" 

Get Involved and GIVE Today!

I'm so thrilled to announce that we have opened up a GIVING option on our website! Many of you have asked how you can support us, and although there are many ways, now you can support our ministry financially!

I've never been good at asking for money. Whether it was raising support for a mission trip or asking for help for something else. So although this is a huge stretch for me to open our non-profit up for receiving donations, it's not about me! (I mean, get over myself, right?!) When people are asking how and where they can give... it's time to make it possible! This ministry is something God put on our hearts, and we trust that He'll take care of every financial need. If He wants us to begin or expand a new project, we are confident that He will provide for it!! 

I want to share one of the things that the Lord has put on our hearts at I Am Fruitful. We have a dream that anytime we receive news of a miscarriage or infant loss (and it's truly sad how often this happens), we could send a small but meaningful support package in the mail to the grieving mom or couple. We want to let them know that someone cares, that there's a community of people (YOU) that desires to support them, that they are not alone, and that they WILL get through this! Visions of our support package include a signed letter acknowledging their loss, a small gift, scriptures and resources to help get through the difficult time. And if funding becomes available, we'd love to send them Joy Comes in the Morning: Coloring Through Infant Loss and Miscarriage!

That's just one of the many ways your financial contribution will support couples in a tangible way! 

give today

Thank you for giving today! ANY amount is appreciated! I love the wording of Deuteronomy 16:17 in the Message Version, "each man must bring as much as he can manage, giving generously in response to the blessings of God, your God." Each person should give as they are able, and according to what he has to give. Your gift will help to bring hope and healing to families! 

We don't give in order to receive, of course. However, Billy and I (Lauren) pray a special blessing on each and every gift that is given. The Bible says to give and it will be given to you! We pray that your generosity would be blessed 10 times over and that we would be excellent stewards of each financial contribution received. We're dreamers, my friends! We have big dreams of what we can do, and quite honestly, if God wants to bring those dreams to life, the money will never get in the way! So, if you feel led to give, I pray you are blessed immensely! If you want to support or get involved in other ways, this list will get you going in the right direction:

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED!

  • IDEAS: Send us YOUR ideas! We're open to product ideas as well as ideas for how to serve you and this community. Email lauren@iamfruitful.org
  • VOLUNTEER: Do you have administrative or graphics skills as well as the free time to offer support? We're looking for volunteers to help with day-to-day tasks! Email lauren@iamfruitful.org
  • TESTIMONY: Share your testimony for our "Stories" page HERE!
  • CONTENT: We're always open to new content (blog posts, songs, sermons, anything) that might encourage this community! Send it over! Email lauren@iamfruitful.org 
  • COLLABORATE: Have an Etsy Shop, small business, or organization and want to work together? We LOVE collaborating, speaking, and teaching!! Click HERE!
  • RETREATS: We are looking at retreat locations across the U.S. If you have a summer or rental property that you're willing to let us use, please contact us! (Really, you'll be our best friend) Email lauren@iamfruitful.org
  • COLORING BOOK: Coming SOON! If you have a store or business and would like to sell these, let us know! Email lauren@iamfruitful.org
  • GIVEAWAYS: Donate a product or service for a Giveaway! We'd be honored to facilitate this! Click HERE!

Thanks again for supporting us financially and getting involved!

*If you are giving an amount larger than $100 please email lauren@iamfruitful.org for instructions on how to give.

Give today!

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thoughts from a father on miscarriage

I'm so blessed to have a husband who not only supports me in the things I pursue, but who participates with me. Although you may hear more out of me, He's been actively working right alongside me in this ministry from the beginning. He loves the I Am Fruitful Community, he's constantly showing me a new perspective, and his heart for men and couples is inspiring. 

We experienced 3 miscarriages throughout our delayed fertility, and this is one life-changing thing that the Lord showed my husband as we battled with loneliness, difficult questions, and anger towards God. Now, from Billy...


"I Know How You Feel" - God

If you're like me– you may have read this with a slightly sarcastic tone, or maybe you know it is SUPPOSED to be true but you haven't yet unlocked the mystery of truth that seems to be alluding your thoughts. 

I remember how angry I was when I was digging into the injustice of our 2nd miscarriage.  

I remember sitting down (the way I had historically approached prayer) and taking out the checklist of thoughts I had to build my case against the so called 'goodness' of God. 

Somehow deep down I wanted to be corrected. I wanted to have my perspective change the way He had shown me so many times before. Maybe because my anger blinded me or maybe because I was experiencing emotions on a level I hadn't experienced before, or both; I went in and out of those conversations without an answer and without a response that seemed to help me understand or bring me peace.

At the time I had all but given up trying to understand the how and why of miscarriage...  I had seemingly moved on and chalked it up as "something I just won't understand until I get to heaven," and that's when completely randomly– God downloaded this...

It started with an intense emotion of empathy–  as if I felt and connected with God before I understood fully what He was going to unpack. Then I stumbled onto this scripture.

Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.
— Jeremiah 1:5

Then God hit me with this–  "I've had billions of miscarriages."

Wait...  huh???

The idea began to unfold...  He showed me that every time one of His children is born, they have the choice throughout their life of whether to spend eternity with their Father.  They have a choice to spend their life pursuing a relationship with Him or not. When they choose not to, they will be apart from Him for all of eternity. 

He loses them, but they aren't forgotten. 

We think of this verse, talking about the point of conception and even before it, that God the Father had us in mind. He knew us. And so, He also knows our children, even though we never will on this earth. Our children will be apart from us through our time on this earth, but we serve a Father who redeems. His perfect design unites us forever with not only our earthly children, but the children we haven't known.

God can change our perspective in a moment. I want to encourage you to pursue a conversation with Him in faith– that He is good, He understands, and He wants to comfort you...  

He knows how you feel...



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1 Amazing Thing That Happens When We Overcome Fear

I hope you have seen a breakthrough in your life as we've gone through this short series on fear! You can catch all the videos HERE! And, of course, if you missed any of the posts, check them out here:

I'm so stinking excited to share what I've recently learned about victory over fear. This is from the Bill Johnson sermon from the post 9 Sermons to Help Overcome Fear, where he teaches us what happens when we have victory over fear! This rocked my world. Seriously.

Phil 1:27-28 ESV

"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God."

The message version says, “Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God.”

And this is what Bill Johnson said in his message, “Everytime you and I are victorious over a fear issue, what is broadcast over the PA of hell or the powers of darkness is pending doom, absolute eternal judgement and they try to get you to fear so they don’t have to think about what’s coming. That’s what victory over fear does!! It announces what’s coming their way.”

What?! Holy cow, yes. The enemy doesn't want to have to think about their own depressing and horrifying eternity... so they want us to fear instead. It takes their minds off their own prisons. And when we have victory over our fear- it's broadcast over the loudspeakers of hell and they remember what's coming for them.

We have the victory in Christ. Fix your eyes on Him, and you will have the victory!

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6 Tips to Overcome Fear

We've been going through a series on our live streams about overcoming fear. You can check those videos out HERE! Today, I want to share some of the things the Lord has been showing me lately as I've been going to Him in prayer and researching for this series! If you sneak a scroll... don't freak out! It's long, I know. But it's long because I've included whole CHAPTERS from His Word! Feel free to use this in your quiet time the next few days and meditate on these scriptures!

1. Delight in His Word

This is seriously an amazing chapter to meditate on if you’re dealing with what ifs or maybe having a difficult time aligning your heart with God’s. I love this chapter so much that I've included it below for you in 2 versions!

Psalm 112 (NLT)

Praise the Lord!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    and delight in obeying his commands.
2 Their children will be successful everywhere;
    an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
3 They themselves will be wealthy,
    and their good deeds will last forever.
4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
    They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
5 Good comes to those who lend money generously
    and conduct their business fairly.
6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
    Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless
    and can face their foes triumphantly.
9 They share freely and give generously to those in need.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
    They will have influence and honor.
10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
    They will grind their teeth in anger;
    they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

Psalm 112 (ESV)

[a] Praise the Lord!

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
    who greatly delights in his commandments!
2 His offspring will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
    who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
    he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
    he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
    the desire of the wicked will perish!


2. Seek wisdom & understanding

Really no need for me to explain this one. Read below to understand!

Proverbs 3 The Message (MSG)

Don’t Assume You Know It All

3 1-2 Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you;
    take to heart my commands.
They’ll help you live a long, long time,
    a long life lived full and well.

3-4 Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
    Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
    in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.

5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
    your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
    a father’s delight is behind all this.

The Very Tree of Life

13-18 You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
    when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She’s worth far more than money in the bank;
    her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
    nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
    with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
    her life wonderfully complete.
She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
    Hold her tight—and be blessed!

19-20 With Lady Wisdom, God formed Earth;
    with Madame Insight, he raised Heaven.
They knew when to signal rivers and springs to the surface,
    and dew to descend from the night skies.

Never Walk Away

21-26 Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life;
    don’t for a minute lose sight of them.
They’ll keep your soul alive and well,
    they’ll keep you fit and attractive.
You’ll travel safely,
    you’ll neither tire nor trip.
You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry,
    you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep.
No need to panic over alarms or surprises,
    or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner,
Because God will be right there with you;
    he’ll keep you safe and sound.

27-29 Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
    your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time”
    or “Try me tomorrow”
    when the money’s right there in your pocket.
Don’t figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor
    when he’s sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.

30-32 Don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder,
    always spoiling for a fight.
Don’t try to be like those who shoulder their way through life.
    Why be a bully?
“Why not?” you say. Because God can’t stand twisted souls.
    It’s the straightforward who get his respect.

33-35 God’s curse blights the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He gives proud skeptics a cold shoulder,
    but if you’re down on your luck, he’s right there to help.
Wise living gets rewarded with honor;
    stupid living gets the booby prize.


3. Declare your Strength

Bill Johnson says, “Our deliverance begins when we are no longer impressed with the size of our problem. Declare your strength and watch it become a reality. Some people are only a declaration away from victory! He put His Word in your mouth- declare it!”

Another thing I've learned from good 'ole Bill is this- “strength becomes a reality when it’s declared!”


4. Fix your Eyes

I was so blessed to be invited to a worship conference (Presence 2016) in Austin this past weekend. Kim Walker-Smith shared such a personal story about her struggle with fear. She was basically crippled with fear while she was pregnant with her second child. Right before she became pregnant, her good friend's baby died of a horrible disease. Then, near the end of her pregnancy, another friend delivered a stillborn baby. She found herself screaming at night and completely paralyzed by the fear that something was wrong or something would happen to her precious child. Quoting scripture didn’t seem to help, praying didn’t seem to remove the fear (can anyone relate here?). But she knew she had to deal with it because she didn’t want to deliver a baby with this hanging over her head.

Then she FIXED HER EYES ON GOD.  She said, “When you fix your eyes on God, your issues don’t go away, but they don’t have control over you anymore." She also reminded us that our eyes and ears are so important if we are to be carriers of His presence and stay in alignment with Him.

One of the best things I took away from her message was this- “To be filled up means there is a constant pouring in so there is a constant pouring out.”

Put on blinders, and fix your eyes on Jesus, my friends.


5. Serve Someone

I’m a big believer in planting seeds in the area you need a harvest. There’s always someone worse off than you. Do you need a financial breakthrough? Sow whatever you can to someone worse off. I mean- true story- last night I got a call from a friend which resulted in me pouring through my pantry, fridge, and freezer to give to a mom who literally did not have any food and couldn’t feed her kids. Always someone worse off.

Is it time to stop relying on other peoples generosity and begin cultivating a generous spirit in your own family? Finances will turn around for you. If you want a baby… pray for your friend who can’t conceive. Happily send her a note letting her know you’re praying for her. Need healing? Pray for someone else who’s believing for healing.

Point being- serve someone else.


6. Praise God

Yep, even in the fear. Even in the storm. Praise Him. Thank Him.

Thank Him for what He's already done for you. Thank Him for what He's doing and for what He's going to do. And Praise Him for who He is!

Psalm 50:14-15 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.”



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10 Scriptures to Overcome Fear

10 scriptures to Overcome Fear

Matthew 10:28 The Message (MSG)

 “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

Isaiah 41:13 The Message

That’s right. Because I, your God,
    have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
    I’m right here to help you.’

Isaiah 41:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

 

Psalm 56:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

 

Deuteronomy 31:6 The Message (MSG)

 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

 

2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].

 

1 John 4:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].

 

Psalm 27:1, 14Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the refuge and fortress of my life—
Whom shall I dread?

Wait for and confidently expect the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.

Psalm 46:1-3 The Message (MSG)

God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

 

John 14:27 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] 2

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Pitter and Glink Perspective & a Freebie!

We are working so hard on a beautiful and inspiring adult coloring book for infant loss and miscarriage. We've put together a team of artists from across the nation to give grieving parents a tool for healing and meditating on God's truth.

I am so excited to give you a glimpse of the talent on our artist team for the this project. Bethany over at Pitter and Glink is one of our artists, and she has some serious God-given ability. I mean- does your Bible look like this??!

There's a link to a few free coloring pages below. Everyone thank Bethany!! Plus, check out her original instagram post for a great perspective on our fertility.

Bethany's Original Instagram Post HERE

"As someone who has struggled with infertility for years, I always pay close attention to parts of the Bible where God blesses infertile women with children. I know their pain because I've felt it myself. One of the recent @shereadstruthGenesis Devotions was about God blessing Sarah, an old woman who had already gone through menopause, with a child. When the messenger of God told Abraham that Sarah would bear a child, she laughed. I get that. It was a laugh like, "That is the craziest thing I've ever heard! Me? An old lady? Have a child?" I feel like it was one of those cynical, joyless laughs. When your heart has known the disappointment of not being pregnant month after month after month, it's easy to become cynical that there could ever be a different outcome. But the messenger of the Lord said, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" And I feel like this was said in that do-you-seriously-think-the-God-who-created-the-universe-can't-perform-this-miracle kind of voice. It's just that simple, y'all. Nothing is too hard for God. But the hard part for us is when He doesn't do that hard thing we've been praying for Him to do. It makes us doubt. It makes us angry. Sometimes it breaks our hearts. But He knows best. He sees the big picture, and He has a plan. We won't always get what we want when we want it. Christianity doesn't work that we. We get what we NEED exactly when we need it. And there will be tough times and there may even be what we view as unanswered prayers. This is earth after all, not heaven. But God is faithful through it all. He's on our side rooting for us like a loving father, and He's working things out for our good. Maybe not our good as in what we think is good and best, but His good, which is ALWAYS best." - Bethany

Check out Bethany's free coloring pages and printables HERE!



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Jenni's Fertility Boost Smoothie

First of all, YUM! Secondly, yum AND it boosts my fertility?? Count me in.

I have to say thank you to Dr. Jenni Blossom over at BlossomToBeFit for sharing this amazing recipe. If you are intimidated by these ingredients (admittedly, as I was), I highly encourage you to stick with us and give it a try! Go to your local health food store and don't be afraid to ask where things are! That's what I did, and I found everything I needed. It's delicious and can aid in conception!

This is Jennifer Blossom's photo.

This is Jennifer Blossom's photo.

Here is a link to Jenni's recipe! And please watch the video from this afternoon!

Jenni generously broke down the fertility health benefits for you below! I want to encourage you to go to the original recipe to see the measurements and amounts for ingredients...

  • Frozen Mixed Berries: Excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and prove to be an anti-inflammatory, which helps in creating an optimal environment for the egg.
  • Bee Pollen (*do not consume if you have a bee allergy): Helps to boost the immune system, packed full of vitamins + minerals, and helps to enhance conception.
  • Frozen Bananas: Packed full of vitamin C, B6, potassium, fiber, folate, and other high nutritional components; helping with hormone regulation and conception.
  • Spinach: Zinc, folate acid, iron, antioxidants, and powerful nutrition, helping to support the woman's body AND reproductive system!
  • Almond Butter: An excellent choice for omega-3 fatty acids! Almond butter is a "good fat" and helps with brain development (and your baby's!)  and helps to balance out the body.
  • Ground Flax: Another excellent source of omega-3s! Great for balancing the body and hormones, along with brain development (for you and your baby!)
  • Green Powder (spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass): A power source of energy, vitamins and minerals to help strengthen and enhance your body.
  • Almond, Coconut, or Hemp Milk (depending on how creamy you want your smoothie!): An excellent substitute for dairy, and packed full of powerful nutrition!
  • Click here for the recipe and to see the last ingredient that is high in antioxidants, vitamins, increases libido, and enhances the reproductive system!

Enjoy your Fertility Smoothie once a day!!

Source: http://blossomtobefit.com/2015/12/09/ferti...

Periscope Purpose

Hey guys! Do you know that I share encouragement, almost daily, for couples trying to conceive and dealing with loss? It's uplifting and always God's truth! 

I wanted to share the very first Periscope video I did so you can catch the vision and understand why I began doing this in the first place. Unfortunately, it does not come with comments and hearts, because at that point, I didn't know how to save the videos that way. But the point is, you can catch the vision for this whole project!

I want to personally invite you to join me LIVE. The cool thing is you can comment, ask questions, and get involved in the fertility discussions! If you want to join us, download PERISCOPE for iPhone or Android (or you can watch the daily replay on your Mac or pc at http://www.periscope.tv/laurenbourne). Lots of husbands tune in as well! It's a great way to let your husband in on this piece of your world. I share almost daily, and my aim is to always be encouraging and to always share truth. I remember when I was going through the toughest part of my struggle, I needed encouragement ALL the time! You are not alone!

Daily Encouragement through Infertility and Miscarriage (Periscipe- @LaurenBourne)