Friday, March 1, 2013

Guest Blog Post by Abby Brundage of the Spirit FM Mom's Squad Blog

A Sacrificial Lent

 

By Abby Brundage CLICK HERE FOR Mom Squad Blog
Considering a pregnancy takes three-quarters of a year, chances are, you're going to be pregnant for a particular season or holiday. One season that sticks out for me in both of my pregnancies though, is Lent. I was newly pregnant for the Lenten season of 2011 and this time I am in my third trimester. Both times, I feel like God has been sending me a message about how we act when that little life is growing inside of us.

A couple of days ago I was chatting with Julie Musselman, one of our Mom Squad Bloggers. I'd asked her what she gave up for Lent and how it was going. We chatted for a second about pregnant women being exempt from the fasting portion of the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting & almsgiving. My thought to share with her was that I feel like Lent is a great time to be pregnant because it keeps the self-centeredness at bay. An expectant mother comes in a very close second to a bride in the race for most irrational women on earth. In both cases, we give excuses - stress, most important day of her life (for the bride) and hormones, discomfort, "I'm carrying a life here!" (for the pregnant one). Yes, one of those scenarios seems a little more excusable, but it's still not nice! (acknowledging my use of a 5 year old's word)

I have really enjoyed the very gentle reminder during these 40 days that it's SO not all about me. God is kind; He doesn't whack me over the head with it or send a messenger with a snarky comment to put me in my place. It's just that constant nudge that while I might be "exempt" in a way, I still need to focus on others more than myself and that even more important than taking care of the human that is kicking me from the inside out at this very moment, is the need to take care of my relationship with Him.

Julie's reassuring words were, "You know that you ARE sacrificing more than ever at this time." I agreed, aware that my rear end & thighs were expanding and my back was aching, but my reply was, "Yes, but I don't need to make everyone else sacrifice along with me and make their lives miserable!"

The perfect example of this self-sacrifice even in the moments where it is not expected is Mary. She was in her first trimester and traveled to be with Elizabeth to help her with her final months of pregnancy. It's nice to think that maybe since she was going to endure some serious emotional agony("And a sword will pierce your very heart", Luke ch 2), that God had mercy on her and neglected to "bless" her with morning sickness, but chances are, she had at least a few moments of queasiness. She rode on a donkey for goodness sake!

She put aside her own needs and aches and took the long journey to serve. What a beautiful way to experience this season of sacrifice!
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2001 Julie Musselman pregnant with fifth child
 p.s. by Julie Musselman

After Abby and I spoke the other day I sent her my favorite scriptures for Pregnant Moms. Especially when I was pregnant with our fourth, fifth and sixth children, I needed to focus on the reality of the gift of life, rather than how tired or sick I felt. In those later pregnancies I was particularly besieged by well-meaning but completely annoying people who would comment things like:

"don't you know what causes that?"

"how many kids are you going to have?"

"boy you look like you are going to have the baby any day" (when I was 3 month pregnant)

"When's the baby due?" (when the baby was born and 4 months old)

I found that be reading these scriptures and repeating the TRUTH they contained, I could overcome my temporary feelings of discomfort in living a counter-cultural, but Joy-filled life with a big family.

Enjoy....


"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then am I strong."                                      2Cor 12:9-10


"I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."                             Rom 8:18



"I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. "        Rom 12:1-2


"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. "                   Col 1:24



"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of believers."     Gal 6:9-10


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