Choose life

How many of us do you think will have the chance to speak timely words to a mother dithering on the edge of her pro-life / pro-choice decision? One in a hundred? Less than that?

I cannot tell. But I know this: Every day, my words and actions to everyone around me vote for life — or they do not. I can talk until the day dawns about the evils of abortion, but what am I doing?

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Sometimes I assume that being pro-life means I have to volunteer at my local crisis pregnancy center, march in Washington D.C, or become a foster parent. The Lord in his infinite wisdom and great sense of humor has led me on a couple of those paths—but it’s not really what I’m talking about. I am asking myself not if I am pro- the pro-life movement, but if I am pro-life. All life.

When was the last time I held a child to give his mom a break?

How do I respond to the screaming child (and her frazzled mother) in the next aisle of the grocery store?

On Sundays, do I watch the circus on the bench in front of me* with a frown? a smirk? or active compassion?

*Theoretically speaking. Usually I am the circus. Sometimes I’m the frazzled mother in the next aisle too: Come bring me coffee.

Am I warming my own children with love?

Am I willing to love a child who is not mine? my Sunday school student? my nephew? my runny-nosed neighbor kid?

What comes out of my mouth when I hear that Mrs. Seven Babies In About As Many Years is expecting her eighth?

Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
How have I enabled? What have I done?


Every time I celebrate a child, I am helping his mother to love him.

Every time I give her what she needs from me most—my T.I.M.E—I am helping her to keep him.


I may not meet the frightened expectant mother contemplating abortion, but every expectant mother, every overwhelmed mother, carries fears I cannot see. She needs to hear these words:

You’ve got this. I am so happy for you. I will be here to help.

That’s all I have to say.

How has your load been lightened by the people around you? How have you lightened the load for others?

17 thoughts on “Choose life

  1. This subject is very close and dear to my heart. I’ve struggled a lot in the past with wanting to do something GREAT and noble as an advocate for life. I have wondered why Jesus hasn’t given me more of a platform for supporting life.

    Instead, I have been called into what feels like a quiet and unseen world of raising my own children and extending a smile and coffee and my time and resources (which feels feeble) to the children (and moms) Jesus brings into my life.

    I couldn’t agree more with your words to a overwhelmed, expectant mom. I also agree, we all need to hear it because we’re all scared to death sometimes even if we wouldn’t even consider abortion.

  2. So. May I leave two comments? 🙂

    This scene immediately flashed into my mind when I read your question about how I’ve been supported as a mother:

    Upon hearing the news of my 6th pregnancy, a neighbor lady (who doesn’t even have a category for 6 children 🙂 ) gave me a big hug and said, “I am soooo excited for you!!! I can’t wait to see if it’s a boy or girl!!!”

    I was NOT expecting that kind of response from her. I can’t say how much courage and joy her hug and words brought to me in that moment.

  3. Thank you for the encouragement. When I was pregnant with our fifth (and last) and our youngest at the time was 6 months old, I dreaded telling people because I wasn’t so sure about it myself. A friend whose opinion I treasured said, Marie, that is wonderful! Her words boosted my morale tremendously!

  4. 🙂 This is so good. Balm to my soul, really. Because over the last 4 years, I’ve been the circus and the frazzled mom, too. I look forward to the day when I can be the one helping.

    How have others lightened my load? My first thoughts are for my wonderful church ladies (and mom and sisters, of course). They housecleaned, babysat, made meals, gave gifts, let my kids sit with them in church, made a prayer calendar so someone would be praying for me specifically each day, and they don’t freak out if I fall apart in Sunday school… These ladies rock. I wish every mom had church support like this.

  5. And for me….it’s loving on the children that make my classroom complete this year….including the kiddo who nearly smothers me some mornings because she wants love and time. Yes, good stuff here! Thanks!

  6. Love this. I have been blessed so many times by one of the older ladies at church who watches my circus every Sunday but always has a word of encouragement and blessing for me and my baby.

    Words are powerful. I wish I could say that my children always hear life giving words from me. Thanks for the prompt.
    Gina

  7. I add my amen to all the above comments. And your post was wonderful, Shari! I am one of those mom’s with a ‘circus’.:)

    Words of affirmation are priceless. As is a casserole, a loaf of bread, some cookies, or someone telling you they’re praying for you.

    I have been blessed tremendously over the years by family and church ‘family ‘. I wish all busy busy mom’s could be so blessed!:)

    Thanks alot!

  8. This is so good! On January 10, 2015, I was privileged to be on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington DC, next to a dozen other pregnant mommies, crying out to God about the curse of abortion in this country. God met with us in a lot of special ways that day, but the most significant to me personally was exactly what you described here… Not all of us can go advocate for life in a public platform, but every day, every one of us can choose life through the words we speak! And who can imagine the power of a life-giving word fitly spoken? Thanks for the beautiful reminder!

  9. Well said, as usual! It spoke this to me: how about life on the other end of the spectrum? What words can be spoken to an angry, uncooperative parent that would give life to the soul that doesn’t connect? I have a choice. Encouragement is still needed! Love your blog.

  10. Shari, This is what I need to hear! As I long for my own littles that as of yet God has chosen to say “no, or not yet” to, I still can choose to make a difference each and every day! I can hold up the arms of the mommy’s around me. Thank you for that encouragement!!

  11. Soooo many people have cheered us on in the past few months as we announced that our second baby will arrive only 16 months after the first. Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done had I heard snide comments, because we are still trying to deal with the aftermath and emotions brought on during that tempestuous first year with our oldest.

    People helped so much with my first. When she would scream for hours, my MIL would drop everything, drive 30 minutes, and take her out and walk with her. Once I attended a conference during this stage, and everything went fine until it didn’t and she screamed and screamed and screamed. A complete stranger came and took her from me–I was humiliated, but I also needed the break. During the months when sleep was so scarce it was a blessing to be able to drop her off at grandma’s when I was at the end of my rope.

    In a few weeks we expect to move and welcome a baby around the same time. Friends have blessed me so much by offering to help and checking in to see if I need anything.

  12. Two kiddos rescued from being condemned to live out their days in a horrible, evil “Mental Institution” where they would have been more than likely drugged and tied down in bed till they died. Two kiddos, going to school, learning to know about Jesus and to experience life and love! Two kiddos who so very easily could have been aborted due to their special needs, and indeed, had they been conceived in America, the odds are high that they would have been. I’m so glad their Mom’s choose life!

    One of the kindest, nicest things anyone ever did for me was a lady that my husband was working for sent a batch of fresh home made soup and a loaf of bread home with my husband after she found out we had a new baby. It touched my heart then, and 23 years later still touches my heart over and over. She had no obligation to do so–she had only hired my husband to work for her, but when he told her he had a new baby at his house, she sent home food with him. How amazingly kind that was!

  13. Yes, I agree so much with these words. We choose life in the way we love other peoples’ children and our own.

    The best thing others have done for me is shown an example of treasuring and delighting in their children as well as embracing and talking about motherhood–the sweetest parts and the messy parts. It gave me courage to love my own messy, beautiful, lonely, rich life with little ones.

    I really connected deeply with this line: “Every time I celebrate a child, I am helping his mother to love him.”

    When our last two babies were born we weren’t close to any family. Having people from church or strangers in town speak words of affirmation about our children and our family meant the world to me. Hearing that my baby (who I hadn’t planned on bringing into the world) reminded women struggling with homelessness of their own innocence and brought hope to them was one of the best votes for life I’ve ever experienced.

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