My Kevin Story

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.  Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)

Today we celebrate the high school graduation of our third child, Kevin Jon. We thank Jesus for this son who has brought us so much joy these 18 years.  It will be very hard to not have him doing home school any more!

Often I’m reminded how I was praying for other friends to have babies so long ago and decided to add my name to the prayer list, and God heard my prayers.  Perhaps some of you haven’t heard my Kevin story…so here it is…

Kevin has a big sister Kallie and a big brother Jacob. When Kevin’s older brother Jacob was just a few hours old, I was lying in the hospital bed holding baby Jacob in my arms. Right there and then God put the desire in my heart for more children.  Little did I know this desire would become one of the hardest prayers of perseverance in my life up until then.

When Jacob was half a year old, I started reading a One Year Bible, a goal I’d had for many years which I continue today. That same year I was introduced to prayer journaling and started jotting down my prayers. One of my main prayers was for friends having babies.  At one point I decided to add my name to my baby prayer list, hoping God would bless our family again.

When Jacob was six, I was reading my One Year Bible when a verse from  2 Kings 4:16 popped out at me that I had never noticed before.  “Next year at this time you will hold in your arms a son.”  I claimed this promise and a month later we were expecting!

I cried out to God with my voice—
         To God with my voice;
         And He gave ear to me.  Psalm 77:1 (NKJV)

Nine months after I underlined that promise, Kevin Jon came into the world. I was so happy that God had filled this desire of my heart after seven long years of prayer.  I used to sing Kevin a song, “When Jacob was almost seven, Kevin came from heaven…” I never thought God would make me wait longer than seven years to answer another prayer, but that is another story!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
      But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.   Proverbs 13:12 (NKJV)

We had prayed so much to have Kevin, I just knew from day one that I had to pray for him each day. But what do you pray for a brand new baby?  We know God has special plans for him, but what are they?  And so for many years, I laid my hand on Kevin’s head and prayed the same prayer over Kevin each night:

Dear Jesus, Thank you for Kevin. We love him so much.  Please keep him healthy and give him a good night sleep. Please guard over Kevin always with Your angels, fill him with Your Spirit, and help him always follow You.  In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Over the years I’ve added to that prayer things that are going on his life from his orange cats, to 4H projects, to his future.  And here he is graduating!  The prayers will just keep going as I pray for him to follow the straight and narrow path God has laid out for him.

I still remember the evening when he was seven years old, Kevin tossed me a note.  I opened it to find the best message ever: “Dear Mom and Dad, I want to be a Christgun.” That evening as we tucked Kevin into bed, his Daddy and I listened as Kevin asked Jesus into his heart. Another very special day was three years later when Kevin and his brother Jacob and Daddy and I were all baptized together.

Kevin is worth every moment of prayer. He is always here to help me.  He is the most caring to his baby brother and baby niece.  He traveled to Kenya on a mission trip.  He serves his community through 4H and his church with playing piano and running the sound system. His hobbies vary incredibly from entomology to robots to magic.  Kevin is a gifted speaker and I have always wondered what God’s calling will be on his voice.

Today is the beginning of a new chapter for Kevin and I will be praying for him all the way.  Go, Kevin!  We love you!  We’re so proud of you! We thank Jesus for you! Go light up the world for Jesus!

Love, Mom

xoxoxox

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

P.S.  Kevin was due on March 19th, 2000, his grandpa’s birthday, so we named him Kevin Jon after his Grandpa Jon.  This Father’s Day while we celebrate Kevin’s graduation, we also remember Grandpa Jon who is now in the arms of Jesus.

Scripture taken the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

 

 

Choosing Life

We have been with child, we have been in pain;
We have, as it were, brought forth wind… Isaiah 26:18 (NKJV)

A few weeks ago we had sad news from our daughter.  She and her husband were losing a baby at just 8 1/2 weeks in the womb.  I know miscarriages happen all the time, I know how awful it feels, because it’s happened to us three times.  Yet, the pain is still there when it happens again to another loved one.

Just a week earlier I had shared about our babies at a local church.  I realized as I was preparing for the talk, that I hadn’t cried in a long time.  God had allowed us a time of peace.  Then, boom (that’s how things always hit, isn’t it?), the heart-breaking news from our daughter.  A little grandbaby is joining our babies in heaven.  Our hearts were torn open once again. Our daughter put this beautiful post on her Facebook page:

How we pray for God to comfort them  and bless them with another sweet baby to ease their hurting hearts! I pray this for all moms who have lost babies.  May Jesus send a child for you to love and cherish. Just this month in my Samaritan Ministries prayer guide, where we pray for one person a day (and I only have a small portion of people whose last names begin with “W”), there were 11 babies and two were miscarriages. Many moms and dads are hurting out there.

For some people, though, there is pain through bad choices.  Woman have been lied to in the United States for almost 50 years that they have a choice to make for babies.  It is the serpent from Genesis whispering into Eve’s ear that he has something better for her. This is not new, for we read in the Bible verses that make me cry…

Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces,
And they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb;
Their eye will not spare children.  Isaiah 13:18 (NKJV)

Satan brings death.  Jesus gives life.  I exhort you to choose life your baby, no matter what. And if it is too late and the decision is behind you, come to Jesus, my friend, and find the forgiveness and healing for which you are longing.  His arms are wide open for you. Someday we will see all these babies in heaven! If only we could match all these babies with the empty arms and hearts that are longing for a child.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Oh, Jesus, our hearts break when babies die before they have a chance to be born due to miscarriage. It hurts that people are choosing to kill babies before they are born through abortion.  It’s unbearable to hear of little ones being hurt and killed.  We know we live in a fallen world where pain and sickness happen, but it still hurts.  Please wash away our pain. Forgive us.  Pour your oil of joy on our hurts.  Comfort our hearts. Give us beauty for ashes. Help us to honor the lives you have given us.   We look forward to seeing our precious little ones with You in heaven someday. Thank you, dearest Jesus.  

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

 

Praying for Babies, A Divine Appointment

Natalie's nieceBehold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)

My phone beeped with a reply from my friend, “Yes…What a divine appointment for prayer…Adelynn Scout was born yesterday (September 9…a month earlier than expected)…5 lb. 10 oz., 18″, and mom and baby are doing well. PTL!”

The morning of September 9th, 2015 during my TEA CUPP time with Jesus, I prayed for the names on my Samaritan Ministries prayer guide.  That day the names were Nicholas and Kimberly and baby due in October. They had the same last name as our cook and friend Natalie who worked at our church camp from 2006 to 2008. It was a long shot, with us living in Montana, Natalie living in Florida, and her family living in Illinois, but I thought I would ask Natalie anyway.

“Do you happen to have a brother named Nicholas?” I typed into Facebook messenger, wondering if she would think I was crazy.  “I just prayed for him and his wife and baby this morning.”

Now, you must know a little bit more about Samaritan Ministries to appreciate this miracle.  Samaritan Ministries is a Christian health sharing ministry.  Each month we receive the name of a person to send a check to for doctor bills and to pray for that month.  In addition, we receive  a prayer guide with the names of people to pray for each day.  These guides are typed up over a month in advance.  Our guide that month contained last names that began with the letter “C,” but this month we have the letter “B.”  So, the names you get will be different each month.

September 9th, was the last day of our August prayer guide which we had received a month earlier.  On that very day people all over the country (and even world) who received the same copy of the prayer guide were praying for Nicholas and Kimberly and baby.  And on that day, God chose to have this little baby be born one month early, a sweet and healthy girl.  I can’t think of anything more miraculous than that!

Over the past few years, as people were forced to buy health insurance, I’ve noticed an increase in young families on my Samaritan prayer list.  What used to be mostly health concerns, is now more than two thirds babies!  Isn’t that a joy?!

For each couple and baby I pray….please help the man to be a godly husband and daddy, please help the lady to be a godly wife and mom, and help her have a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.  And please help this baby to grow up loving and knowing you, Jesus. Raise up an army for you, dear Lord.  And I often pray a verse such as from Psalm 23…surely goodness and mercy shall follow this baby all the days of his/her life and he/she shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.

I’ve had the joy of being on the receiving end of baby prayers, as well.  We joined Samaritan Ministries way back in 2001.  The group was smaller then, so baby names were listed in the monthly newsletter.  I would read over all the names, lifting them up to Jesus, noticing how many were from the Bible, picking out my favorite names for our next baby I hoped for someday.  I remember the most beautiful name one month was Gloria Jubilee.  And each month I prayed that we would have a baby in the Samaritan newsletter someday.

In 2009 we finally had the amazing news that we were expecting! God heard our years of prayers!  But God had other plans. When I had the first doctor appointment at 3 months pregnancy, there was no heart beat.  A few weeks later I went through a painful miscarriage at our mountain church camp, going down the long bumpy road in an ambulance. We named our baby Gloria Anne, praying her short life would bring God glory.  The flood of cards from Samaritan Ministry members after that was a real blessing and comfort.  We suffered two more miscarriages in the coming year, naming those babies Angelica May and Gabriella Hope.  With each loss came more loving cards from Samaritan friends.

Our long time prayers were finally answered in 2011 when I was 45 years old, God gave us a sweet baby boy named Joel Kent.  Joel came out healthy and strong, but I had some complications.  Our medical bills for his delivery and my recovery totaled $30,000.  We are so thankful that Samaritan Ministries covered almost all of it!  We thank Jesus for all the people who prayed for us along the way, too, recognizing the divine appointment for prayer that comes with each name and baby. Today our little miracle is almost 4 years old.Joel at almost 4

It was praying for babies that started me on my prayer journey over two decades ago and keeps me praying today. Will you please join me in this divine appointment?

Today’s TEA CUPP: Are there some young families in your life? Please pray for them and their babies. Pray for those yet to be born. Keep praying for miracles.

This will be written for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.  Psalm 102:18 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.