Friday, October 31, 2008

Reformation Day

"It was 491 years ago today that Martin Luther nailed his world-changing 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church. These theses included rebukes to ungodly fear and superstition. Five hundred years ago, sometime near October 31, a baby named John Calvin was conceived who would dedicate his life to eradicating an ungodly fear of superstitious beliefs and proclaiming the gospel of grace. His emphasis on reformation, revival, and the sufficiency of Scripture had such far-reaching implications for nations like the United States that he has been described by Christian and secular scholars alike as the true founding father of America. The Reformers did something that was very scary to the world of their day. They stood against all forms of dark superstitions which grip the minds and souls of men. It was their emphasis on the fear of the Lord and the wisdom of Holy Scripture that was used of God to liberate untold numbers of men and women."

So, in honor of celebrating the German Reformation, I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther:

"Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sophia's Birthday

Sophia's Birthday


It's hard to believe that our little Sophia is now six years old. We had a fun family celebration, giving thanks for this sweet girl. Sophia is full of life and can brighten a room with her smile and big green eyes. She's a fast talker and pretty quick witted. She makes us laugh often with the things she comes up with, especially her conversations with her big brother Seth. She's also our child that loves math and will ask to do extra pages......even on the weekends. She also loves anything princess (surprise), just like all the other little girls she knows. Sophia loves to color and put together puzzles......I'll often find her in the school room by herself just quietly working on something! She's our Beauty!

Here are a few pics from her birthday! Sophia chose this Hat cake out of my favorite cake book. No close-ups this time, as I struggled to even get the cake done while feeling so sick. It was cute, but not close-up worthy! ;-)
Now the real fun begins......PRESENTS!

We thought this Toss Across game would be fun for the kids.....we were right......we could hardly get them to stop playing.......

Of course, there's always the necessities..........

A cute shirt from Gramie...........

Sophia asked for her own Bible.......the younger kids have been sharing the older girls' old Bibles, but she wanted one to call her own. We got her this Children's Bible (ESV), but it is a real Bible which was important to us..........she loves it!!!

We ended our evening with a family game of Toss Across. The kids loved it when Daddy and I went head to head. (I beat him, by the way!) ;-) This morning, the kids were already asking if they could pull the game out and play some more........I think it's a hit!
So, that was the last birthday of the year! We're so thankful for Sophia and the joy she brings to our family! Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Monday, October 20, 2008

For Moms

What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. —Martin Luther
You gotta love Martin Luther! This was especially encouraging to me today as I struggled to accomplish many things while feeling so sick! I hope it's an encouragement to you as well, sick or not! ;-)

Happy Birthday Sophia

Happy Birthday Sophia!

Thank you, Father, for six wonderful years with our little beauty!

Hopefully, I'll be able to post celebration pics a little later........so come on back!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Slow Fade

Slow Fade

Our sermon today was from Genesis 19: 30-38. Although Scripture refers to Lot as a righteous man, we're reminded of how easy it can be to slip into a life of sin and not realize how it took root! As our pastor exhorted, we must guard ourselves against sin. It can creep in slowly and gain a foothold in our lives if we're not careful. While driving home, and discussing the sermon, we were reminded of these lyrics.......thought they were quite fitting!

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Hope you're having a restful Lord's Day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Walk For Life

Walk For Life

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16


The Agape Pregnancy Help Center will be hosting our annual Walk For Life Fundraiser this Saturday in San Antonio. Please join us in our efforts to save the lives of precious babies by raising the necessary funds to keep our centers open. There are several ways in which to offer support. You can walk, run or crawl along with us, you can sponsor me as I walk for life, or you can simply donate to the Agape Pregnancy Center online. If you'd like to walk or donate, visit www.agapeprolife.org to get a sponsor form or to donate. If you'd so graciously like to sponsor me, email me at gsabo1@sbcglobal.net with your donation amount, your name, address and phone number.

Whether we want to think about it or not, the fact is, millions of babies are being killed each year due to abortion and we can't sit idly by and ignore it. Here are some of the ugly statistics:

UNITED STATES

Number of abortions per year: 1.37 Million (1996)Number of abortions per day: Approximately 3,700

Who's having abortions (age)? 52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions; Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.

Who's having abortions (race)? While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.

Who's having abortions (marital status)? 64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women; Married women account for 18.4% of all abortions and divorced women obtain 9.4%.

Who's having abortions (religion)? Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical".

Who's having abortions (income)? Women with family incomes less than $15,000 obtain 28.7% of all abortions; Women with family incomes between $15,000 and $29,999 obtain 19.5%; Women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38.0%; Women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 13.8%.

Why women have abortions: 1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

At what gestational ages are abortions performed: 52% of all abortions occur before the 9th week of pregnancy, 25% happen between the 9th & 10th week, 12% happen between the 11th and 12th week, 6% happen between the 13th & 15th week, 4% happen between the 16th & 20th week, and 1% of all abortions (16,450/yr.) happen after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Likelihood of abortion: An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.

Abortion coverage: 48% of all abortion facilities provide services after the 12th week of pregnancy. 9 in 10 managed care plans routinely cover abortion or provide limited coverage.

About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds, virtually all of which are state funds. 16 states (CA, CT, HI, ED, IL, MA , MD, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) pay for abortions for some poor women.
Statistical resource: http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html

Other resources: http://www.all.org/imnew.php , http://www.lovelife139.blogspot.com/ , http://www.nrlc.org/ .

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Change of Heart

Our Journey to Many Children


I am no stranger to large families. My mother is the sixth of fourteen children, my dad is the oldest of five, and I am the second of four. Even the generations before, there were many children in our family line. I grew up surrounded by lots of family and LOVED the chaos of family gatherings and reunions. My husband, however, is an only child, and so is his mother. You'd think that I was already signed up to have many children and that my husband would lean towards one or two. Well, that wasn't the case....


When Greg and I were engaged, I don't think we necessarily talked about a specific number of children, but I knew my husband was in the "I want 20 camp"......I just laughed, as in "yeah right"! Three months after we were married, we found out that we were expecting our first child. We were thrilled. Until.....I began death-like morning sickness! I was so sick for seven months. Continuous vomitting, dehydration, etc. After this, I KNEW I would not be in a hurry to do it again. Our daughter was born and we were very happy first-time parents. Yet, the memories of how sick I was haunted me. About two years later, I began feeling suspiciously sick and took a test. It was positive. Although I welcomed the "idea" of another baby, I was terrified of going through such agony again. And how would I do it now with a toddler? And to make matters worse, we were moving back to the states from England in just a few months. How am I going to handle a major move, plane rides, and a toddler?


The morning sickness intensified and I just took it one day at a time. Our little two year old spent most of her days watching children's videos and I cringed each time she said she was hungry. It was difficult to get up and prepare food. Greg was working 24 hour shifts, so when he was at work, he was gone ALL DAY!


It came time to move. I left England a month before Greg so that I could spend more time with my family before heading to our next base. I was four months pregnant, still sick, and was now going to travel back to the states with our daughter, by myself. UGH! Sixteen hours and three plane changes later, I made it home. Barely! That night, my dad offered to go get me something to eat and food actually sounded good. The next morning, I woke up and felt great! God was good and faithful and allowed morning sickness to last only four months instead of seven! Our second daughter was born and we were the honored parents of two little girls. I was content.


I think I immediately felt like two was enough for us, although I knew my husband wanted more. He never pressured or asked, but I knew his heart welcomed more children. As time went on and the girls got bigger, I began to enjoy the independence and the freedoms of having children out of baby stage. I also began planning my future which included finishing school and possibly a career in the future. I had all kinds of ambitions, goals and aspirations. And now that the girls were getting older, I could finally work toward these goals. By this time, we were moving again. Greg was getting out of the Air Force and we were moving back home. As soon as we were settled, I enrolled in school. Oddly enough, it was during this period of life that I began to question all of my reasons for only wanting two children. This was strange to me! I loved school, I loved the girls being older and I was set on being able to afford to send these girls to college. How would we afford more children? And, do I want to go through morning sickness again?

Nonetheless, my heart was being pulled in another direction. I questioned why I only wanted to have two children when I have a wonderful husband who wants more? Was God not faithful in getting me through morning sickness? Will He not provide for more children? Is pursuing a career what I really want to do? And is it God's plan for all of our children to even attend college? All these questions ate at my core until finally it was clear! God had turned my heart to welcome more children. Greg was elated!


We were living in CA at the time and getting ready to move back to Texas. We agreed that as soon as we got back to Texas we would try for another baby. The first thing we did when we arrived was shop for a hospital. Once we picked our place of birth (which didn't end up being the one we chose), and upon a friend's recommendation of a fertility book, we began charting and trying. ;-) To our amazement, two months later we were pregnant with our third child.

Yep, sick again. I survived and we welcomed our third child, a son, SIX years later! Seven months later, to our SHOCK, we were pregnant again! Fortunately, my good friend was pregnant too, so it made it a little less scary. Sick again, still nursing baby #3, survived again and welcomed our fourth child, another girl.


Okay, at this point, I'm not sure what our "plan" is now. We still hadn't come to the point of welcoming "any and all" children, but we weren't saying we were done either. So what we did was continue to chart. I would chart until I felt "ready" to be pregnant again. By now, I knew that God would get me through morning sickness, we knew He would continue to provide, and we were thankful for our four children.

Our fourth child was about 13 months old when we "put the charts away". Soon after, we were pregnant again. Yep, sick again and now living in a tiny rental home. Five kids, three very small bedrooms, no problem. Our fifth, another girl, was born and we were thrilled!


God continued to do a work in both of us concerning our view of children and what scripture says about children. Over and over, scripture calls children a blessing, a heritage! Although I think most people would have agreed that our quiver was certainly full and probably overflowing, we weren't content with that. Don't get me wrong, we were content with our five children, just not content with deciding five was "it".

During this time, I was at a HOPE meeting (our home school group), when a dear friend , the wonderful woman who leads our studies, shared with us her journey to having nine children. As a matter of fact, it looked (the age gap) and sounded a lot like ours. She shared of how Hannah, the mother of Samuel, prayed fervently for a child. She went on to say that she realized there were ONLY examples of women in the Bible praying FOR children! There is not one example that God gives us of a woman (or man) praying NOT to have children. Yet, we see in the Bible that there were many varied sizes of families! And being that we know modern birth control did not exist (although we know the story of Onan "spilling his seed", and God was not pleased), we can assume that God was in control of family sizes! This, in conjunction with God's Word referring to children as blessings, arrows and a heritage, was HUGE for me. God used my sweet friend's own story to continue writing ours! Thankfully, my husband shared the same conviction and we went on to have two more children. No charting, no worrying, just freedom. You see, for us it really is freedom. Since we welcome any child God is willing to entrust us with, there are no worries about getting pregnant. We just enjoy our love for one another and welcome "the fruits of our passion", as my husband so sweetly puts it! ;-)


We don't know what the future holds, but we do know we built our six bedroom home with the hopes of filling every bedroom with children. Yeah, I know, crazy huh? Definitely God! I thank Him almost daily for changing my heart, for my husband's loving patience, for friends who share a similar conviction, and for seven beautiful blessings.

If you know me, you know that I am NO supermom. I struggle daily just like every other mom does. I have days when I want to string these little blessings up by their toes or run away to a tropical island. But this I know......God is faithful, God has provided for our every need and then some, God has helped me not to fear morning sickness....too much, and God has freed me from the worldview ideals I held all those years ago. We couldn't be happier. There's nothing I'd rather be doing than raising and growing our heritage.


So, to end this story, I would like to happily announce the blessing of our eighth child......to arrive in June!

 Also, congratulations to Tiffany, Shannon, Janelle, Blair, and Stephanie G. who are also expecting in June! And to Stephanie C. who is due in May! Soli Deo Gloria!

UPDATE:  On April 20, 2015, we welcomed our 11th child....another precious girl.  We now have 8 girls and 3 boys.  I am 42 years old, so we'll see what God has in store for the future.  :)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Chey's Party

Cheyenne's Birthday Celebration


We had a great time celebrating Cheyenne's sixteenth birthday. She invited her closest friends and even a couple of MY (younger) friends whom she loves and has known for years.

We began the celebration with lots of pizza, Dr. Pepper, and cake!
Cheyenne asked for a butterfly cake.....I tried hard not to make it too little girl-ish......what do you think? Thankfully, she very graciously said she loved it! So sweet!


After stuffing ourselves with way too much pizza and cake, Cheyenne opened gifts. Thank you to her sweet friends who blessed her with beautiful gifts.

She loved this new red purse!

A new sweater from Celeste and much needed jeans from mom and dad!

If you know Greg, you know that he takes his presentations very seriously. He began with sharing memories from Cheyenne's early childhood........followed with praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father for the young lady Cheyenne has become.

He's our big, sweet sap! We LOVE him!

Daddy presented Cheyenne with a new Bible with her name imprinted on the cover.

I wish I had taken many more pictures.......I should be fired from future picture taking. The fun didn't end here.....once we put the little ones to bed we filled the table with LOTS of snacks and drinks. Just when we thought we were too full for more, we managed to find room for Touchdown Taco dip, 1-2-3 dip, popcorn, chips, Spur's Fancy, candy, more Dr. Pepper, Starbucks Frappuccinos and ice cream. We snacked on goodies while we played a very competitive game of Worst Case Scenario and then settled in for a movie. I only made it about 20 mins into the movie before Mom had to throw in the towel and call it a night!

Cheyenne, I hope your day was special and memorable. We love you and thank God for sixteen wonderful years!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

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