prolife

Embrace Grace and Love in a Box

Enter the Embrace Grace Giveaway!

What is Embrace Grace, you ask? And what’s Love in a Box? I was asking the same things when the folks at Embrace Grace sent me a request to discuss their ministry on my blog.  They sent me one of their Fearless journals as well as a Pro-Love necklace.

Like this:

And this:

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From the folks at Embrace Grace:

Love in a Box is a pro-love initiative launched to help save babies and help moms get plugged into local churches for spiritual, emotional and physical support through an Embrace Grace group.

Boxes are distributed to pregnancy centers nation-wide and given to young, single women with positive pregnancy tests. The box is full of gifts that will inspire hope and impart love to a mom that may be scared for her future. Each box consists of a Fearless Journal and pen, a Bump in Life book, a baby onesie, testimonial letters of girls that chose adoption and chose to parent, an invitation to join an Embrace Grace group and a Brave Girl letter that can be written by YOU!

You have the opportunity to speak into the life of a mom that could possibly be contemplating a life or death decision. You can encourage, uplift and inspire her to choose life and to get plugged into an Embrace Grace support group at a local church.

We want to help brave moms choose life and get plugged into a spiritual family so they can be saved, discipled, mentored and be a part of a community that loves them the way Jesus loves.

Ways you can join in with this ministry:

  1. Start an Embrace Grace at their local church so young women with unplanned pregnancies have a support group.
  2. Partner with the national organization through prayer and support at http://www.EmbraceGrace.com
  3. Download and print our brave girl letter (http://egrace.co/brave) and mail to address below for us to place inside a Love in a Box.  You can mail your Brave Girl letter to:

Embrace Grace, Inc.
Attn: Love in a Box
700 W. Bedford Euless Rd., Ste. G
Hurst, TX 76053

Oh! And don’t forget to

Enter the Embrace Grace Giveaway!

Learn more about Embrace Grace and Love in a Box ministries to women experiencing unexpected pregnancy

My thoughts on the book and necklace I received in exchange for an honest review:

I’m impressed by the enthusiasm that is going into this project, that’s for sure.  I can tell there’s a great deal of heart and care behind it.  I do have a couple of misgivings, though.  I like the journal, but I think that’s heartily due to the fact that I already believe in God; the journal seems to be designed with a belief in God presumed–or presumed that you’ll play along in order to get the help being offered.  In short, I’m troubled by the feeling that this books was put together with the mentality that Simcha Fisher calls Making Poor People Pray.  That said, the bullet-journal style lists are tidy and encourage the recipient to look beyond the present moment’s anxieties, which is a neat way of inviting someone in a crisis to consider a future past the present pain.

Regarding the necklace, I like the design and the message.  I also love the idea of helping a pregnant woman feel more beautiful than she might feel when she first looks into the mirror in the morning after a night of discomfort in all its dimensions.  I’m wondering if a necklace made from other, more natural materials than the ones chosen for this particular design might make a better presentation.  I hate to say it, but there’s no other way: the necklace looks cheap.  I understand needing to make the ministry affordable.  However, I have to wonder if other equally-affordable materials could be chosen to create something beautiful… or have the ministry at the church dig deep and buy the woman a quality necklace, even sterling silver, to remember her courage for years to come… and maybe even one day pass down to the child she gave life because of it.

These are just my opinions, however, so your mileage may vary.  It does seem like a noble idea, one that I might tweak a little, if I ran the zoo.   My girls and I will be joining in by writing some Brave Girl letters ourselves.  I think that’s a neat way to encourage someone who’s scared to the point of possibly biting off her own arm in order to escape a trap, if’n you know what I mean.

I received these products from Embrace Grace through Front Gate Blogger Network in exchange for an honest review.

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Stand up for the unborn? I can’t even stand up for myself! {7QT}

Seven Quick Takes Linkup

It’s that time again: Seven Quick Takes Friday over at This Ain’t the Lyceum

-1-

It’s the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Decision.

-2-

Within the past 12 hours I’ve found myself in a situation where I either need to stand up for myself or lose a significant amount of money (money we paid to support a family member in an artistic endeavor when we could’ve spent it on, you know, replacing a couple of bald tires) in order to avoid having to rub elbows with my primary abuser for four-ish hours.

-3-

One of the reasons I think abortion is still a thing is because we women keep being told, “You can’t do that.  It’s too hard.”

-4-

Stand up to my abuser and tell her to leave me alone? Again? Because the first several times and some help from the police didn’t take?

I don’t understand why I have to.

In other words… I can’t do that.  It’s too hard.

-5-

If you’re inclined to say, “I could never _____” [have an abortion, steal a car, go bungee jumping, eat sushi, whathaveyou], then there’s some part of your heart that is hardened against mercy towards those who could.

Seeing someone through the eyes of mercy is not the same as condoning sin, however great that sin might be.

Seeing someone through the eyes of mercy is how God sees each one of us.

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 I did nothing to put myself in my current conundrum other than maintain contact with someone who doesn’t really care about keeping me safe.

I feel alone, trapped, and helpless.  Again.

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Alone, trapped, and helpless is how women facing unplanned pregnancies feel.

It’s an old Method Acting trick, but I think it’s one we could all use as we walk the boards of real life:

  1. See another character experiencing something you’ve never experienced, never understood.
  2. Identify the underlying feelings that character is experiencing.
  3. Identify a time in your own life when you experienced those same emotions.

And walk forth with mercy.

I wish someone would stand up for me, say they’ll fight my demons for me.

I’m sure women considering abortion wish someone would stand up for them.

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Why don’t people see that that’s what happens at the March for Life? Any time someone posts a pro-life meme on social media? Any time someone offers abortion workers a way out? Women a way out? Any time someone stands outside a clinic and prays for her to be braver than she ever thought she could?  Any time someone says, “Hey, you know all those chemicals and all that debris you’re putting into your body to make it malfunction? Maybe there’s a less self-destructive way to handle that.

I never very rarely put stuff like this on my blog.  Or anywhere.  You know why? Because I’ve been taught through experience that nobody listens to me.  That nobody cares if I’ve been hurt, because that’ll make the people who hurt me feel uncomfortable.  You know what I grew up with?

“Ouch! That hurts!”

“No, it doesn’t.”

 

Satan has put a lot of energy and destroyed a lot of lives to convince me that I’m not credible enough to stand up for anyone–especially myself.

Then again… Jesus didn’t stand up for himself.

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He asks others to stand up for Him by standing up for the least of these.  

He asks us to stand up for each other.  

Please pray that I can receive the courage to stand up for those who need me.

Please pray that those who need it would receive the courage to stand up for me.

And I will pray for you to have the courage to stand up where you are called and for you to walk in the mercy you need to stand up with compassion as well.

St. Agnes at the National Shrine

Dear friend and talented author Leslie Lynch, whom I interviewed yesterday, sent me this picture from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC.

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It’s St. Agnes, the patron saint of sexual assault survivors.  I don’t think it’s any accident that the March for Life happens the day after her feast day.  Thank you for the beautiful picture, Leslie.