Tag Archives: Bible

Infertility in the Bible


As I was doing my Bible reading yesterday it suddenly occurred to me that there are quite a lot of women in the there who suffered from infertility. Yet these women were not forgotten by God, and were eventually given a child in God’s perfect timing. I believe that everything that is mentioned in the Bible is something quite important to God if He saw fit to include it in His Word. As I’ve struggled with recurrent pregnancy loss I’ve often found myself longing for the God of Hannah, and Sarai, and Elizabeth to miraculously come through and bring us a child. I stumbled upon this article and it seems that I’m not the only one who has thought this way. I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Alysssa who wrote this article on the blog When you Rise.  She has such an insightful way of looking at this topic. I hope you are blessed by this as I was.

The Bible and Barrenness — What does it have to do with Infertility today?

by: Alyssa

STRUGGLE #1: BARREN WOMEN HAVING KIDS. Have you ever noticed how many barren women are in the Bible? And they all miraculously have kids. Every single one of the Patriarchs has a “barren” wife: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel. Later we see Manoah and his wife, Elkanah and Hannah, and finally, in the New Testament, Zechariah and Elizabeth.

 
Let me tell you, after two years on the “trying for kids” roller-coaster my heart is raw to these miraculous stories. And at the end of each month my heart weeps as life pours out of me and my hope deflates. It hurts. Barrenness feels like death.
 
STRUGGLE #2: PROMISES OF CHILDREN. Have you ever noticed how many promises of children are in the Bible? I’ll quote just two:
 
Psalm 128:3-4 
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine 
   within your house; 
your children will be like olive shoots 
   around your table. 
Behold, thus shall the person be blessed 
   who fears the LORD.
 
Now, I don’t know if I even want my children to be quite like “olive shoots” (that implies a LARGE number of kids), but really, where’s the love, God? You tell me that the person who serves and fears you will be blessed with children. With the grace of Jesus I strive to be that person, so where’s the blessing? Why haven’t you “visited” me like you visited the barren women of the Bible?
 
Exodus 23:25-26
You shall serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.
 
And that Exodus quote was pretty fantastic, wasn’t it? Food for everyone. No sickness. No barrenness. Everyone lives to a ripe old age. Wait . . . that doesn’t sound like reality at all!
 
That’s because what we have here is a picture of restoration to how things used to be—a new Eden.  When God brought his people out of Egypt it was a mini-new-creation. But because of the messiness and sin of our world the ideal went unrealized. In the Exodus, God may have created a new people for himself, but he had not yet dealt permanently with sin.
 
This helps me understand these “unanswered” promises. Everywhere you find such fantastic promises in scripture—like Psalm 128—it is God painting a picture of Eden. Of the ideal that was lost because of sin, but that will one day be restored. And in the meantime we get real-life glimpses of it!
 
Let’s jump back to the barren women of the Bible, because they offer a few of those “real-life glimpses.” What do they all have in common? It’s that when God finally blesses them with a child, it is a VERY IMPORTANT CHILD.
 
            Sarah – Isaac (Patriarch)
            Rebecca – Esau and Jacob (Patriarch)
            Rachel – Joseph (his wisdom saves the known world from starvation)
            Wife of Manoah – Sampson (delivers the people from the Philistines)
            Hannah – Samuel (prepares the people for David)
            Elizabeth – John the Baptist (prepares the people for Jesus)
 
Do you see what is going on here? Barrenness—death—is emphasized in all these stories to make it really obvious that God is doing something miraculous in the world. God is overcoming death. These stories give us glimpses of Eden—of new creation.
 
I believe that Elizabeth is the last story of a barren woman in scripture because her son prepared the way for Jesus. After Elizabeth, there is no more need for “glimpses” because the new creation has come. Jesus has dealt death a fatal blow. With poetic symmetry, God chose to cure the barrenness of the world with a little baby.
 
Already but not yet. Baby Jesus brought with him new creation. Yet Earth is not Eden. Jesus, in his mercy, is letting sin and messiness persist for a time so that more people might come to know him. So in the meantime, his people live in messiness too.
 
Do I still weep when I read Psalm 128? Absolutely! Do I hope for the day that God will give me a glimpse of new creation in my own life in the form of a child? Yes! But I wait, knowing that my struggle with infertility is only a small part of something bigger going on in the world. And I draw hope from the stories of the barren women in scripture—not because I expect a physical child—but because they show that God is always on the move with something bigger than we in our pain can see.

Give Yourself a New Year’s Planning Retreat

 

Today I’m sharing a lovely blog that I read this week. It inspired me so much that I wanted to share it with you all. It comes from Keeper of The Home: Naturally Inspired Living for Homemakers. I know you’re going to love it as much as I did.

 

Written by Erin Odom, Contributing Writer

 

 

I have found that when I make the time to sit down and spend a few hours on New Year’s Day (or very close to it) to plan out goals for the new year, my year goes much more smoothly than if I just take each day as it comes and fly by the seat of my pants. 

Now, we can never totally predict what  a new year will bring (like little did I know during my 2010 retreat that I would spend the majority of that year pregnant and my goals would change to reflect preparing for a natural birth!), but having a flexible, workable list of goals to keep me accountable and on track helps me immensely–especially when the unexpected happens. 

And I’ll be honest. Last year, I did not give myself a New Year’s planning retreat. I had a 2 1/2 year old and newborn, and I spent the majority of the year overwhelmed and without much direction. As a Christian, I feel these verses from Proverbs 29:18 ring true: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” For me, having a written “vision” for the new year is key.

Image by alicja_sto

Where to Go?

For me, it takes getting out of the house. As long as I’m at home, I will be distracted by the needs of the house. Two years ago, I spent my retreat at Panera Bread. And I will probably go either there or a local coffee shop this year as well.

If you are able to leave your children with your husband or trusted family or friends, you could even take a mini vacation somewhere by yourself. If you live in a warm climate, sitting somewhere outside might be nice. Or, you may be a homebody and actually be able to think more clearly if you can just set aside a few hours at home–while your children are napping or are elsewhere with your husband or a friend.

Regardless, make (or buy) yourself a healthy treat and sip on a hot drink as you pray, dream, think and plan.

Image by ba1969

What to Take?

As a Christian, taking my Bible is a must, as I seek the Lord for what my goals should be. I also plan to have ajournal for jotting down notes, my laptop to type everything up once my notes are completed, and perhaps even my ipod to listen to some inspirational music.

If you have one, make sure to take along your homemaking binder. (And if you don’t have one, perhaps you can use some of your retreat time to put one together!) This year, I also plan on taking a printed out copy of Amy Andrew’s Tell Your Time eBook, as a big portion of my retreat will be working on time management.

Image by teyoo

What to Plan?

My goals/planning range from the physical and mundane to the spiritual. Some of what I hope to conquer during this year’s retreat includes:

:: Focusing on spiritual growth:

  1. choosing a scripture as my theme verse for the new year
  2. making a list of spiritual goals, like number of verses to memorize

:: Fleshing out growth goals for my various roles:

  1. making a list of goals as a wife, like being better about ironing my hubby’s shirts (because it makes him feel special)
  2. making a list of goals as a mother, like leading my children in a daily devotional
  3. making a list of goals as a homemaker, like developing a better cleaning schedule
  4. making a list of goals for my health–and the health of my family, like sticking to a realistic exercise routine
  5. making a list of goals as a professional, like setting up a Word Press site for my blog and editing services

:: Developing steps to reach the aforementioned goals–including books to read that will help me grow

:: Writing out a mission/vision statement for the year

Giving yourself a New Year’s planning retreat can be as simple or as detailed as you want to make it. The goal isn’t to stress yourself out, but to give yourself time to rest and reflect and plan–so you can breathe a little easier the rest of the year.

Do you give yourself a New Year’s Planning Retreat? If so, how have you found it beneficial?

Exceptional Womanhood

Yesterday someone was was asking me about myself. She asked what my passions were and what I did with my time. I told her about this blog, and all of you. I told her about school and how I was getting my degree in counseling. She asked what my goal was with all of that. I don’t know if I had verbalized it yet, but as I shared with her my love and passion for homemaking I realized how God has been pulling all of these things together for me.

I suppose its about time to come up with a mission statement for Homemaker Chic. My passion is for teaching women and girls the value and worth in being a homemaker. I want young women to learn that being a mother, wife, and all around Proverbs 31 woman is a wonderful and worthy calling.

Today in church my pastor spoke about being exceptional. He said that the only way to be exceptional in this world, is to be abnormal. To be different from the culture, and to seek greater things. While other women are reading 50 shades of grey and watching Magic Mike, I want to be reading the Bible, learning how to be more like Jesus and learning how to romance my husband. While other women are letting it all hang out, I want to be modest and pure.

Today women often find worth in being a sexual object, in being better or more powerful than men, in having a successful career. It seems to be highly abnormal for a young girl to say “I want to be a mommy when I grow up!”

I get the strangest looks when people ask what I do and I say, “I’m a homemaker.” The next question is inevitably… “So what exactly do you DO?” I don’t mind being abnormal, because I have a passion for families. Homemaking is a cornerstone to fostering godly well-mannered children, a peaceful haven for husbands, and a place of rest for the entire family. Even women who work can put their families first, my mother is a perfect example of this. She found a way to help my dad support the family, while also homeschooling her children and maintaining a lovely home.

I want this blog to be a call to cultural abnormality and exceptional womanhood. I want this blog to encourage women to build up their families and husbands- not tear them down. Let’s commit to being a different kind of woman. Let’s forget what society tells us we should be, and realize that God is calling us to something exceptional!

I know there are women out there who in the eyes of the world are very abnormal, but in the eyes of God are truly amazing and exceptional.

I’d like to dedicate this post to some truly exceptional and abnormal women in my life 🙂

I hope you ladies don’t mind me pointing you out!

Tammy, who is an amazing wife and mother. A sweet and loyal friend. Whose children are the most charming and well behaved boys I’ve ever met. Whose husband is a godly man and father. Who is an inspiration to me.

Ara, who beams with joy every time I see her. Who is a precious mommy, who loves her children and has committed to raising them in the way of the Lord. Who is a godly wife and a charming woman of God.

Cessie, who is a shrewd and thrifty homemaker. Who faithfully teaches and shapes her children. Who supports and loves her husband. Who has always been generous, sweet, kind, and modest. Who I have never seen without a smile on her face.

Danielle- my sister, who, though she is a single working mom, strives to teach her boys to be respectful men of God. Who puts raising her children before all else. Whose boys are brilliant and adore her. Who is one of the most thoughtful and creative women I know.

Phyl – my mother, who faithfully raised her children in the way of the Lord. Who still teaches me things daily. Who is a faithful student of God’s word, and a fervent prayer. Who has committed her life to strengthening marriages and families. Who is an incredible grandmother, still teaching and mentoring the next generation in our family.

This link below is to a talk given by Dannah Gresh who is a speaker on purity and raising girls and children to be godly. In this talk she shares the importance of family, and teaching our children to want a family of their own. If you have 20 minutes or so I highly recommend you listen to it. It really opened my eyes to the importance of family and what it means for our society.

Why Your Family is So Important – By: Dannah Gresh

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