Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Understanding

For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:6

Well - if you want to learn a few things and be very humbled - try to step out on faith and follow God's will. That is what I have found out the last two days. I did some things that were VERY uncomfortable for me and I am thankful I did because I gained a lot from it. I did not gain the fact that I'm a great speaker - because I AM NOT. (Unless you like someone who rambles on and on and says "um" a whole lot and probably talks way too fast). I did gain some understanding and some compassion and a new way for me to give.

Today I spoke to a group of people from Baptist Children's Homes in 10 different states. They are interested in having web sites and blogs to raise awareness and donations for these homes. I was able to share how God has used my blog. I was so nervous but that wasn't the hard part of the last two days.
Last night I went to a dinner at a home for pregnant teenagers that is run by Arkansas Baptists. It is a wonderful place and I was asked to share with the girls who live there. I went to it just dreading it and frankly - with not a great attitude. I spend so much time praying for Godly couples who desperately want children and God is asking me to talk to pregnant teenagers??? What can I possibly say to them? I looked at those girls with a lot of judgement - at first. (I just want to be honest with ya'll). And then I heard a few stories of girls who live there or have lived there and it is heartbreaking. Those girls weren't given the chances or the love that I have been blessed with and God broke me. I can't stop thinking about them. I cried a lot when I got home last night just wishing I could go back and hug them and show them some love and I'm working on some plans for that.
I'm so ashamed of judgement I have carried in my heart but I'm thankful that God can push me to do things that aren't easy to humble me. I don't deserve God's grace and mercy but He freely gives it and wants me to share that with others.
We stayed in a nice hotel and they even put a little sign on Harper's bed! She was so good over the last two days. I was so thankful for her little life.
Before we left town - we stopped to visit one of my lifelong friends. She recently had her third child, Crosby and he is just a little younger than Harper and she took a BIG liking to him. I've never seen her really interact with many babies but she was all over him.
Here she is holding his hand. (Excuse the big sweet potato stain all over her outfit - it's impossible to keep that child clean. ha!)
And then she went in for the kill - putting her hands in his mouth and all over his face. He wasn't exactly thrilled by this girl touching him. ha! I thought maybe we could save these pictures to share in their wedding slide show one day! ha! (well - I'm always working on an arranged marriage for her since we aren't going to let her date).

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2

109 comments:

Cardinal said...

Way to go!! I'm sure your story is inspiring to many others and you can do a lot with what you are given. That little Harper is such a cutie!

McElroy Family Happenings said...

You are so precious, Kelly. I love reading your blog and keeping up with how real you are. I can totally empathize with you over all the spitting up, too, since my 18-month old had HORRIBLE reflux her first 12 months of life. Drove me NUTS! Anyway, thank you for sharing how God is growing you.

Kara said...

I know exactly how you feel...being a teacher, I have to raise other people's children all the time. I've had to change my attitude completely from when I first started. Now, I just try to show the kids discipline and love at the same time and pray they love me for it later! ha! I'm sure you did a wonderful job...you're so uplifting to the bloggy world! OH, and my Harper has that same outfit...too cute!

Jenglamgirl said...

Your speaking to many people means alot. You are a voice for them in a time when they need it. I am sure they gained alot having you there to teach, and speak with them. That is so great, good for you and all you do. Harper is sure growing fast, what a sweetie as always.

3 Blessings said...

There are so many times when God has touched my life in moments when I never expected to find lessons. It sounds like He is using you to reach these young ladies and that is such a blessing. Girls need wonderful Christian role models. Continue to walk by faith and He will guide you and lead you.
Blessings to you,
Amy

holly said...

I love the bible truths that you posted. I am feeling that gentle nudge from God right now too, and feel a lot more brave taking that faithful leap. I am a first year Bible Study Fellowship 2yr old leader. I prayed for this age group all summer and now the time is here! I am humbled that God put his children in my hands one day out of the week...I just don't want to let him down. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your outcome.

Jess :) said...

I'm so proud of you!!! :) I knew you'd do great and would touch so many people. I also love your constant honesty. We are all "real" people and do things we sometimes wish we hadn't...or say things we shouldn't...or even think things we know are wrong. However, because of God's grace...we are forgiven. Isn't God great?! :)

Anyway, I think you are an amazing role model for everyone!

Love and Hugs

Wendy said...

Those pictures are tooooo cute!

Mike and Molly Spivey said...

Kelly, I just love your post and your openness. You are one of the few blogs that I can read when it is a "Serious" post - does that make sense? I really enjoy your writing and love the pics of Harper - she is ADORABLE!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

WOW, I enjoyed your post today! Pregnant teenagers that is a tough group. I often think of teenage girls when my friends struggle with infertility. It seems to easy for them but I can hardly being a mom at 30. Think how they must feel. I cannot imagine their emotions. I will keep those girls in my thoughts and prayers. Great job stepping out of your comfort zone. It's tough but important. We have MOPS tomorrow. Maybe Evie can make it without a total meltdown.

Melissa said...

Kelly glad that you had a great couple of days. I bet you went through a world of emotions. Is Harper wearing baby leggings? If so they are adorable. You always dress her so cute! Big Hugs!

Chelsa said...

thanks for being so open and honest. i've been the girl w/ an unplanned pregnancy and the girl struggling w/ infertility and the girl who dealt w/ a miscarriage and the girl who lost a child... i've held a lot of titles in just the past 5 years, all having to do w/ a baby... i'd have to say that i felt so much shame finding myself pregnant. i have no excuses. i wasn't raised like that and i knew better... but it happened. and i'm just so thankful for God's grace... i think about the precious little boy that came from that unplanned pregnancy, and know that he is the sunshine in my life through the past very hard 3 years (my husband, my little boys daddy, and i married when he was 9 months... we were actually engaged when i got pregnant). i read a quote once by rick warren that said something to the effect of, "the child might not of been planned by the parents, but he was planned by God". that def. changed my outlook... God knew I was going to sin... and He planned Brycen to be born on Dec. 13, 2004 to Ryan and I... he wasn't an "accident" or a "mistake". Even though I've been in that situation I have found myself in judgement of the very same thing while I've struggled with infertility, miscarriage, and the loss of our precious Andon.
sorry this is a book!

Kari said...

He teaches us and corrects us so beautifully. You have a gracious heart, Kelly.

Amanda Rooney said...

Wow!!! I can only imagine the emotions you must feel!! So gald you were vulnerable and allowed God to use you in a new a fresh way...even out of your comfort zone. I pray the blessings overwhelm you!!!

Melissa Stover said...

I love her dress!

what you said here was very moving. i completely understand about bad attitudes and god is working on me with my issues too. speaking in public would be my worst nightmare.

Jenna said...

Love this post! Everyone tends to judge here and there, sometimes we don't even relize we did it! Anyways...I think this post is wonderful. It made me think alot!! Love the pictures of Harper and Crosby! SO cute!

The Pilston's said...

What I needed today!

Elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness, I am laughing so hard about your last sentence. That is too cute! :)

Kristin said...

I love your blog, Kelly, because no matter how big your blog gets, you are just you. I can tell you are genuine and real and I love that. I know those girls were so blessed by your visit.....I bet they will look up to you as a role model, the way a lot of us do. What I always think about teen girls who are pregnant is they could've taken the easy way out (abortion), but instead they chose LIFE and the Lord has to be so pleased with that!

Betsy said...

I know you did an amazing job with God's help! You go girl!

That last picture is hillarious! hahaha So cute!

Jennifer said...

So true, we all need to step out on faith more often. I know I need to. Thanks for posting Kelly!!!

Laurie said...

Great post. Love the picture of Harper checking out Crosby!

Melissa Miller said...

Too funny! I just adore that last one!
I hope you go back to see the girls again. I'm sure they would appreciate it very much.

~Blessings, ~Melissa ;)

Annie said...

Great post, Kelly! What an awesome experience for you...and I am adding Proverbs 11:2 to my memory cards... I want that one in my heart and memory for sure!!!
p.s. Harper's a cutie even with sweet potato spit up on her! :)

Paula Aspacher said...

my favorite part about judging is when you judge all day, not really being convicted about it and the bible reading for the night is about being judgemental.. God does have a sense of humor!

Emily said...

Oh, Kelly-you are so sweet. I too have struggled with speaking to groups, and the only way you get better is to do it again and again... it's so exciting to see progress in yourself!

You are such an inspiration and I'm sure you've touched those girls more than you'll ever know.

Carly Winborne said...

I received one of the nicest compliments recently. I have a couple friends who also follow your blog and sweet Harper. I can't remember which post we were talking about, but when I mentioned your name to this friend, she said, "Oh, I love reading her blog. She reminds me so much of you." Meaning me!! I about fell out, because what a nice thing to say! I'm not sure how true it is, but....I'm humbled nonetheless.

And then I read this post where you are challenged, uncomfortable and yet you still trust and obey (I've got that song in my head now!) and follow His direction. Oh, how I long to do more of that. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for your example.

PS: My children wanted to check on Harper again today. Haha!

The Smiths said...

Good job brave girl! I hate public speaking! Harper's the cutest!

Father's Grace Ministries said...

Very touching post, Kelly. The love and kindness we show toward girls like that, can help make up for the abuse and shame they may be carrying because of their upbringing and past. I know how blessed I am to have had good parents, even the fact that they are still married after 42 years of marriage makes me count my blessings.

May God touch these girls' hearts, that their children can come to know the wisdom and grace of God.
Claire

Amy said...

I know what you mean about the teenage moms. I have felt that way too because we had two miscarriages in a row and I could not understand why some people (teenagers) could get pregnant after having sex one time. AND, then end up with a healthy baby despite their unhealthy lifestyles (drugs, etc.) and I could not have another child and I watched everything I put in my body, got good prenatal care, etc. I know most of those girls do not plan to get pregnant and do not even want to have a baby and their lives end up being very difficult and they miss out on a lot because of being thrown into instant adulthood when they become parents. I would not have wanted that when I was a teenager. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Leigh Ann said...

I just love you!

Mary Avery said...

I think this just sounds wonderful! It does sound like it would be out of a comfort zone. God likes doing things like that! You've been able to do so many things through your blog...it's amazing! Those pictures totally should go in a wedding slide show!

Heather said...

I love these verses and love you! Next time, let's have that sonic date!!! :) I know God used you in a powerful way and isn't it cool that you gave to those girls, and yet God gave to you at the same time. He is so good like that!

Tara G. said...

I'm doing a study on revival and the thing that I suppose has struck me the most is that revival is a daily occurrence- not just the week-long meetings with a guest speaker. Every time the Lord quickens our heart and we humble ourselves to line up to Him, we're revived. Sounds like you've had some revival going on! PTL!

I'm a stain freak and I put a dish towel over my baby's lap/torso underneath the bib and it has not only kept their clothes clean, but it makes cleaning up the feeding chair much easier, too. (I also carry stain stick with me in the diaper bag- I know, a bit over-the-top!)

Todd and Courtney said...

So proud of you. Ive been thinking and praying for you every single day!

Lynn said...

Glad you were able to step out of your comfort zone. I'm not a good speaker either! I get super nervous.
I had to share a tip with you that I thought of when you brought up the sweet potato stain. The sun does wonders on stains! Especially stuff like food stains and baby poop stains. My mom taught me that when I had my girls and it really works! After I wash it (don't dry), I just lay it out in the sun and it bleaches most stains right out!
Blessings!

The Garners said...

This is such a great post, Kelly. Your willingness to serve wherever God leads is so awesome. I've been thinking about the girl you told me about all afternoon. She will be in my prayers, even though I do not even know her name.

Thank you SO much for taking the time to stop by and see us today--it was great to get to see you and to finally meet PRECIOUS Harper (or "Parker" as Alexee called her).

Jacquie said...

You have the sweetest heart...even though you have moments of judging others... you ALWAYS see God at work and how He's there for you. I love to read that in your posts.

Is Harper famous in LR, too?

I was arranging the marriage, too, when I saw the first pic of Crosby!

The Garners said...

P.S. I keep a calendar for Crosby's 1st year and I wrote "Met Harper Stamps for the 1st time today" on today's date...the thought actually crossed my mind--what if they get married and this was the first time they ever saw each other!? :) I'd be all for an arranged marriage!!!

Alex and Jill said...

I personally appreciate your honesty and I'm so glad you let God use you in speaking to a group of teenagers who probably feel lost and scared, due to their circumstances. Please let us know your plans on going back to minister to these girls and if there is anything we can do to help, k? I'm proud of you!! :)

And the pictures of Harper with that baby boy are hilarious...she is checking him out. HA!

Amanda said...

We just talked about judgement at last week's young women's Bible study. It's amazing how something so many were already thinking about is a topic you are dealing with. Sometimes, when I realize I am judging a group of people, I remind myself that if Jesus were looking for people to minister to today, he would seek out the very people I have pushed aside. I am so glad you were afforded the opportunity to share with girls who really needed it.

Amanda said...

Those pictures of Harper and Crosby are hilarious. Girl, I was so totally humbled - humiliated, really - today. I'm going to write about it when I can bring myself to share. Way to go for stepping out of your comfort zone to serve!

Nitzia said...

did you come to Little Rock? i used to help with the promise house fro the childrens homes before my second baby was born and they attend our church... i have definetelly learned so much from them, at first i had the tendency to judge them too when i just started working with them but then God really humbles us to love and care for these teens as i learned their stories and background... glad you got to spend time with these teens. You know Beth Moore always says too that she ALWAYS dreads to speak in public too and look how God uses this woman! in amazing ways... you are of them too!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

You just have the sweetest heart. To admit that feeling that I'm sure many of us have also felt, is such a vulnerable thing. I do so appreciate your tender heart, and know that may people were most likely blessed by your precious willingness to be there.

Vera said...

You are so precious, Kelly! I just love your heart. And your daughter - I mean, how cute can she be?! She could be completely covered in sweet potatoes and I wouldn't notice, because I'd be smiling at her sweet little face!

The B's said...

I am so glad your talks went well! I can't wait to see what other doors the Lord opens up. I have been praying for you!!!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I am so proud of you, Kelly!

I understand your feelings well. When I was trying to get pregnant all these teenage girls in our church kept popping up pregnant. I was so resentful.

You have so much life and beauty and hope to share with them, and again, I am so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone. God will bless you for it!

Katy said...

Kelly, thank you for sharing your story.
I'm glad you got to speak with the different groups and I'm SO glad that you got a different view of the pregnant teenage girls...it always makes me sad when I see a girl that is WAY too young to be pregnant with absolutely no help at all (I know some do have help, so I'm not categorizing all of them). Well, there's a LOT in this world that makes me sad. Turning to the Lord and helping others is a GREAT way to help turn a sad situation into something meaning and worthwhile.
I'm rambling now. Have a nice evening missy.
Come enter my giveaway if you'd like.

missleeannskidz said...

My Walt would be so jealous of those pics! You know he thinks he's the only one for "Hapa."

Just Breathe said...

God is always working in us. I am glad that he has touched you heart.

noahandlylasmommi said...

I like another reader said have been a teen mom, a mom who struggled with infertility and also had a miscarriage. I can see where it would be hard not to judge but we have to remember that ALL children are a gift from God. Whether it is planned or not, God knew those babies before they were even conceived. Sometimes it is hard to see His plans but we have to have faith because he is sovereign god and we really have no clue why he does the things he does. Anyway thank you for being honest. It stings a little to hear harsh comments about teen pregnancy because most people really have no idea what it is like.

KK said...

Oh Kelly- You are such a blessing to so many, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. So glad you were able to visit "J" and her precious family:)
You are wise beyond your years and please know I will keep those young ladies in my prayers along with you.
Thanks for all that you do.
"Jesus knows me...this I love"
Blessings always,
Kaye
Matthew 21:22

Emily said...

What a wonderful opportunity for you and an experience that you will remember and use throughout life. Loved the 2 verses in this post. Thanks for sharing!

Clementsville: Population of 4! said...

Kelly I'm so proud for you to be able to speak to young MOm's like you did yesterday. I got pregnant in college, I was only 19. It was the best thing that ever happened to my husband and I. We are still married and our marriage is stronger than it ever has been. We have gone on to have another boy and one day hope more children will join our family. Judgement is so easy, but I"m so happy for you to see another side. Every child is a blessing, no matter how they get to this world! I would not trade my life for anything and now they say I might not be able to have more children, so I see now what God did for me. He gave me children, yes at a young age, but He knew what my future held and all we can do is trust in Him!!

Love your blog!!

Katie

Traci said...

Thank you, I really needed this post today. And the sweet pics of Harper are an added bonus :)
Traci

Lindsee said...

Kelli, if we were all honest with ourselves, the truth is, we're human and at times we can all be judgemental! The hard thing is that when we don't humble ourselves, HE will humble us. No fun at all! I am sure you spoke encouraging and loving words to those girls even if you struggled. So proud of you, even though I don't know you, for getting out of your comfort zone and serving like that. That is hard, sister! Hard!

Those pics of Harper and Crosby are hilarious!

Love,
Lindsee

Lauren @ When Happiness Finds You said...

Public speaking is difficult - but growing spiritually and allowing God to change your heart is even more challenging.

I applaud you for allowing your heart to open to the girls so quickly.
Showing love and acceptance to pregnant teens is difficult for many women to do.

Powerful message here Kelly.

randifaypayton said...

Every child is Created by the same Lord. Each one in His image. He does not make mistakes-especially with His children. I was a teenage mother. Twice. The judgement was plenty, but it was the unconditional love that saved my life-and made me a MUCH better mother than I ever would have been. I was able to open up to those women and gain perspective I never had before. From the people who judged me I learned nothing except even deeper feelings of guilt than I already had, and how to judge them back in return. I'm so happy to hear that you were willing and that it affected you how it did! Amazing how God can stretch us with growth!
RF

Angela said...

What a wonderful reminder the verse out of Proverbs is. It is uncomfortably easy for me at times to judge those who I don't know (but boy I can sure assume all sorts of things about them). I am praying that God will give me His eyes to see others, that I would see what He sees, recognizing we are all His children. Thanks for being honest in your struggles...

Fua said...

This is my favorite post of all time.

I started reading your blog maybe 4 months ago, but I went back and read from where you just gave birth to Harper.

I have twin girls and they're born a month before Harper. What a blessing you are!

Andy and Wendy Ingram said...

Oh, Kelly, what a beautiful testimony of God working in your heart and directing your steps! We all need to take steps of faith like that and allow God to break our hearts for the things that breaks His heart. I pray and hope that God gives me "his eyes to see" like he gave you! It makes me realize that He is really the only One that refines us and transforms us and our hearts. He does teach us that he lives in our broken and contrite spirits, so thanks for sharing! Please continue to keep us updated on how God uses you to share His love and hope like you did with these young women. What a testimony of redemption for all and the grace and love of our God!

Paige said...

Your a very wonderful woman of the Lord Kelly and I thank him for precious Christians like you. Thank you for the opportunity to be able to read your blog daily and be inspired in so many ways.

Darla said...

Good job! So glad you did it.

God has so much to teach us, doesn't He?

Donna said...

HI Sweet Kelly, The Father is honing you in fire for great things! What a great inspiration you were to the young girls in that home. I know you would love to match them up with women on the prayer list wanting babies.
Harper and Crosby are adorable. Of course, I was hoping for Stellan for her arranged marriage ( those dimples!!) but Crosby is adorable. Definitely keep him on Harper's list.
Keeping you in my heart in Ga.
Donna

Phyliss said...

... so beautiful to see your grace and transparency in the Lord Kelly... xo

Kim said...

What an encouragement this story is for others to be bold and step out of our comfort zone. I cannot wait to see where the Lord leads you with this new connection.
Your transparency keeps us coming back for more.
Thank you for sharing your faith and family!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Rory said...

Kelly,

I know you probably don't watch much TV, MTV for sure...but there is a show on called 16 and pregnant...the last episode was so moving. The girl is from one of those families that you mentioned and decides she doesn't want to raise a child in that environment and gives it to a really nice couple....it makes me cry every time I watch it. It really gave me a new perspective on their situation, sometimes we forget that not everyone was raised with parents like ours and in a loving environment.

Mrs. Dunbar said...

Oh, I can't wait to see where God takes you on this new adventure. Although growing in Him is never easy, is it?

And, just and FYI, you know you blog too much when your 3-year old says, "I want to see what Harper is up to today."

Jennifer said...

Kelly, you are so sweet and honest! That's why I love reading your blog.

Lauren Thomas said...

Kelly,
I can completely understand your initial reaction to these girls. I have fertility issues and I used to feel the same......until I visited a community pregnancy center and my heart just crumbled for these girls. More than anything, they need someone to show them the love of Jesus. After all, they have enough people out there judging them. Love your blog!
Have a great week!

Becky said...

I can relate to your feelings. I see teens and unmarried singles get pregnant time after time and my sweet daughter so longs for another child and cannot have one. A dear friend is the head nurse on labor and delivery and she says that is the hardest part of her job.

I have strong convictions which is good, but sometimes people with strong convictions are very rigid in who they desire to minister to. Two years ago I acquired a co-worker with a different sexual orientation. The Bible calls it an abomination to God. Almost the only thing in the Bible that He does say He utterly detests. I grew to love this guy as a person and developed a burden for him. My concept of the cross and who Christ died for became wider. I knew the cross could cover his sins should he repent of them. I wanted him to meet my Savior. He got moved to a different store but I am thankful that God opened my eyes to the fact that there are many outside of my comfort zone and sense of compassion that need Him. Currently the soul He has laid upon my heart is of a different ethnicity.

Public speaking used to be hard for me too. It has become easier over the years - probably because I can write my text out and then pretty well memorize it. I am glad you had a new experience. That is how we discover our gifts you know!

Love Being a Nonny said...

Public speaking is not for me either. But I can tell you, if I knew you were speaking I would go listen. I would NOT expect you to be perfect. You are a mom, a wife, a child of God. You are not a perfect public speaker. As a mom, and a wife and a child of the King...I would know that when I went to hear you. I would just want YOU....with your imperfections. Somehow that makes me be able to relate. I feel quite sure noone was disappointed.

By the way, Harper's outfit today...hands down my favorite she has ever one. I love picture smocking!!!

Thank you for being obedient to God's calling to speak. Maybe He won't ask you again!:)

AJT said...

Thank you for your honesty and your testimony. I too have really struggled with judgement, resentment, and especially jealousy towards those young teenage mothers that were pregnant when I wasn't. Thank goodness for grace! Our God is so good and His mercies are new every morning.

Leigh-Anne said...

I think your such a wonderful mother and role model..I've been following your blog ever since you were pregnant with Harper and just decided to try and start my own..I know the feeling on seeing teenagers pregnant, I often feel myself being so jealous of them but then I try and think about my situation. I had my son young and now that I've lost two boys where would I be without him. So i'm thankful I did have him and adore every single second of him now...even with him becoming a teenager..ha...I look foward to seeing what you will do next!

Love from Dyersburg,Tennessee
Leigh-Anne

Lauren said...

Congrats on trying new things! It seems as though I always DREAD something new, but am so glad that I tried it later on!

LOVE the pix of Harper and her new friend!

Allyson said...

Thank you for sharing about this and being honest that sometimes when God puts in a certain situations we dont always have the right attitude about it. I have been doing things lately for the Kingdom but with a BAD attitude, boy do I need a major attitude readjustment!

Rachel H. said...

Thank you for sharing! And Harper is SO cute playing with the little baby! :)

Bethany at 3SonsPlus1 Crew said...

Good for you for stepping out in faith- God's strength and power are always seen more clearly through our weakness and humility.

Great post- it took me a long time to learn, and it's still hard to retrain my mind (and heart) with the true meaning of the passages about Jesus coming into the world to save us, not condemn us. Somehow we think that our judgments will push someone into the light, or that we're so much "better than" so and so because we have not engaged (or been caught) in a particular sin. We aren't here to judge, only to model Christ's compassion and mercy to the world around us. We'd be wise to save the judgments for God's capable hands!

Smiles and hugs from one sister in the Lord to another! You furthered the Kingdom through your obedience! :)

Danielle said...

Bless you for what you are doing. I was that girl w/ the unplanned pregnancy. I know God had his hand in it the whole way. My daughter was born when I was only 18, spent a month in the NICU and proved to be stronger than I could have ever imagined. She has had the most impact on everything in my life. Jenna is who brought my current husband and I together (he adopted herwhen she was little) and we've gone on to have 4 precious boys together. If anything Jenna is the best thing that has happened in my world b/c she started this whole journey of motherhood and has shaped my whole life. And I know God brought her to me for all of the most wonderful reasons.

The Neffs said...

I am glad that God used you to speak to the families you did. I am sure you did a great job and he gave you the right words to speak. I hope you enjoyed seeing your family!

Blessings from NC.
Ginger

Melissa's Thoughts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa's Thoughts said...

Thank you again for being so real with us. Sometimes when those dark thoughts enter my head I feel like I am a horrible person, but know that other struggle lets me see we are all here on this journey together.

spiritmom said...

Kelly...I wish you'd share a little more about how you got over the judgement feeling of the teenage mothers. I think a lot of us feel that way, I know I do. I am disgusted when I go to wal-mart and see the young girls toting the babies like a sack of potatoes, smoking in the car, etc. If you feel comfortable I'd love to hear how you got past that.

...Mrs. Southern Bride... said...

Great post. Loved reading about the Arkansas Baptist homes. I wish there was a way to volunteer for them!

Good Morning Sonshine: Stephanie Rodgers said...

You were awesome! God is certainly working through you. Being a former resident of the Arkansas Baptist Home for Children , it is nice to see how God uses more and more people to spread His good news :)

Jennifer said...

I love the AR Children's Home! Our church we grew up at in Benton does a lot for the CH. My grandmother's Sunday School class "adopted" a girl from there to take care of and visit and we ended up going to OBU together! That's when I realized how great the home was!
I'm so glad God used that opportunity to speak to you. I know it is hard to be humbled at times, but I am thankful you were sensitive to Him.
I LOVE the pics of Harper and Crosby! I can't wait for B and her to meet. You will not have to worry about arranged marriages at that point, because they will LOVE each other! Haha! :)

Chele said...

Your writing always inspires me Kelly. I often, too quickly judge when I should not. When I pulled up your blog today and read the Proverbs 2:6 verse I had to smile. That is the exact verse my daughter has been memorizing for her Upwards Soccer League. Maybe the Lord is trying to tell me something and I need to listen.
Have a great day!
Chele, KS

Sunny said...

God has been teaching me a lot about humility lately, so I know from "whence you speak"! It is a tough pill to swallow and it amazes me how intricate the ways are in which I was displaying pride. Things I never even thought of!

I admire your willingness to share Christ on your blog and to admit that you are human. We are not perfect - so all of us harbor judgment in some fashion. I'm glad you are using the conviction to better shape your behavior though. That is awesome! Don't let the devil have an inch by feeling down about your behavior, just let God continue using you by changing it. That's what I keep reminding myself. Satan somehow always knows how to wedge in a bit of shame and I don't want to give him an inch in my life.

I think that you were given a unique opportunity to speak to those girls. Women like myself who have experienced infertility always struggle with the pregnant teenager and how it's just "not fair". Compassion brings about a whole new attitude when you think of how these girls must be feeling and how scared they must be. But by the grace of God, I could've been one of them! I remind myself of that. I hope you'll keep us updated on the work God is doing in that place!

Big hugs to you!

Lauren Kelly said...

So proud of you Kelly for stepping out of your box. And sounds like it was such a humling experience for you!!! :)

Katie said...

Kelly, I am so excited for the opportunities God has provided you. And I love that He changed your heart and took away your judgement.

ps: I LOVE the pink rocking chair in the next picture! Where did it come from?? Although I love to see pictures of Harper, can you please share a picture of the chair itself. THANKS!

Queen Mama said...

I think it's impossible to not "pass judgement" at first. It is natural. But, I too was a pregnant teenager, my mother "made" me marry the guy and it was horrible. I didn't have that love either, she was never home. I am happy that you had a chance to go speak with them, that was very inspiring to them I am sure. I talk to young moms, pregnant teenagers, and such, to this day! I am re-married for 7 years and we have children together and he adopted my daughter.

Those pictures are wonderful! She's such a precious baby! :)

Mark and Emily said...

I have an idea...Dog B-day parties!?!? I know it's a stretch but it's a Friday post idea! Thanks for the greaet blog info!

The Bargainista said...

Kelly,
Being a former Teenage mom myself, I know what its like to have the whole world look down on you and judge you. Thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing with those girls. I think all too often people think that only married couples should have God's grace, but God made the babies of teenage moms for His plan, purpose, and Glory as well as those to married couples. Thank you again for being there for them and speaking to them and your complete honesty in the situation! I only wish I had someone that knew God when I was going through that time in my life....I might have come to know Jesus sooner than I did! :)
God Bless you!!
--Nikki :)

momMYsliceoflife said...

Kelly, I so appreciate your openness and honesty. I am glad that the trip went so well and that you felt God move you. You are such a kind hearted person.

As I read through the comments above about people hurting when they see a teenage mother with an unplanned baby after they or those they love have so yearned for a baby of their own, I just want to remind everyone that God's plan is greater than ours.

I have a beautiful little boy, Dylan, who has made me a stronger, wiser, better person all the way around. I was 16 when I had him. I turned 17 the two months later. Obviously, Dylan was not planned by me. But he was God's plan for me. Did I give up a huge chunk of my childhood to have and raise him? Sure, of course. But the path I was on was not one that God would desire for any of his children. Because of Dylan, I knew I had to set my feet on a straighter path.

Dylan has never gone a single day without being hugged, kissed, and told "I love you." I love him every bit as much as a mom who tried for years to conceive their baby. My husband and I had to work very hard and went through a couple of years that were trying, but we are doing so well now. We live in a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood and are just the average joes next door. Most people don't even realize that we are as young as we are. You know, its not something I ever talk about, because honestly there is so much shame that OTHERS put on the situation. But reading through the above post, I just want people to see the other side of this. There ARE happy-ending stories with teenage motherhood. I know with all my heart that Dylan was God's plan for me, and I feel no guilt that I was blessed with him, even if it was not my plan.

Suzette said...

That is awesome! Way to go Kelly! God is working in ya! Love the pics of Harper and her new boyfriend!! :)

Trac~ said...

Hi Kelly - thanks for sharing your story. However, could you kindly email me the place that you went and the names of the owners or whomever it was that contacted you - my uncle and aunt actually have a home in Northwest Arkansas that houses pregnant teens (they too are Baptist) and I was just wondering if you were at there house. Thanks again for being such a "TRUE" and "REAL" person and not just someone that you THINK we want you to be. You are a true blessing to everyone that knows you and loves you as well as those of us who are new to the blogging world and happened upon your website by accident - remember - there are no accidents -we are right where God wants us to be! Hugs, Trac~ :o)

Bonky's Mom said...

I used to stand in judgment of those same precious young ladies--particularly in high school b/c I was the 'good girl', you know?

And then God changed my heart somehow, too...Praise Him!

Funny how He works...you see, God has called us to adopt...so I have a whole different perspective on it now. While everyone is responsible for making their own choices...Once you start getting to know these women and what life has dealt them...that once hardened heart starts to see things very differently.

I'm thankful God doesn't leave us where we are...but changes us, you know?

Thanks for sharing!
Bonky's Mama

Jarvis Noelle said...

Thank you so much for your transparency. You're among friends here, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory!

I pray you get to return to those teenagers. I promise you, they will LOVE it! I'm an educator, and one thing I've found is that young people need our love...underneath those rough exteriors are scared babies! I can't wait to hear more stories!
~Jarvis

Prissy Southern Prep said...

I enjoyed this post, I emailed you regarding some parts of it. As always, Harper looks like a doll!

MandyJo013078 said...

Kelly - that is so inspiring. I'm sure that the Lord has a plan for you. I'm sure it would be hard for me to go into that situation as well since - I'm a single gal (on the prayer list for a godly husband) who wants to be married and have a baby. Just think of the ways you could bring God's grace to those girls and show them a different way of life. Possibly lead them to adoption for if they were open to that possibility? Or to help them be better mothers. How did you find out about the homes? Are there any in our area that might need ministry? I think working with girls would be hard but as you said humbling. I'm sure you're too busy to email back but if you posted a link on your blog I'd check it out to see if our church might be interested in helping the ministry of homes like this in our area.
Lots of love and prayers coming your way from MN.
MandyJo

Stephanie said...

Kelly,

I have followed your blog since January. It has offered me a lot of hope while my hubby and I were trying to conceive...which we did and are almost 7 weeks! yea! This blog post hits close to home with me because I am the director of an adoption agency and we partner with 2 maternity homes for unwed, pregnant girls. I find that sometimes people have a hard time understanding and have empathy for these girls and their situations. But, it isn't until you meet them and hear about their lives that you can understand why they are in this situation and why they need so much help. It's awesome that you have seen this and are willing to continue doing some sort of ministering to these girls. They are in such great need of love!

Trac~ said...

Hi Kelly - I got your comment on my blog -thanks for the info! Hugs, Trac~ :o)

taralynn819 said...

I went in for my first OB appointment last week, and while I was sitting in the waiting room I realized that about 75% of all the other pg ladies in the room had to be 17 or under. Hearing their immature conversations made me want to judge them. It's so hard not to!!!

So thank you for this reminder. I could have easily been one of those girls if not for grace!!!

Laura said...

Kelly - I have been anticipating for the last two days what God was going to show you through your obedience & faithfulness. What an amazing outcome!

And I just LOVE Harper's dress. I have a "thang" for smocked clothing and that dress is just adorable!

kb's blogspot said...

Great post: have you thought God might be using you to help these girls find loving, christian homes for their unborn babies? I know adoption is not for everyone, but just maybe this is a bridge that our Heavenly Father is in the process of building. Don't count anything out! I will be praying for these girls and the mentors in their lives. Our daughters birth mother was a teenage mom and it was amazing to see her grow through our experience together. God is the Great Healer and He always has a plan. Super cool your husband got to meet Stacey London!

Jesse and Susan said...

Kelly
Thanks for speaking to our girls on Monday night! You were such an encourager. When I spoke with you I had no idea that you would be the speaker. Our girls are special! I am so thankful that he showed you just how special they are! Thanks for sharing about our home. Who knows the Lord may use you to lead more to us. For one last thing....the red ruffle dress looks great on and well as in the pic! You are welcome to visit any time!
Housemom

Danielle said...

Thanks for your honesty! It's amazing to see where God will lead you. What a blessing you are to go outside of your comfort zone. I pray that you continue to let Him guide you and use you.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I was a teen mom (pregnant with first son at 16) with two little boys by the time I was 18. God used that time in my life to get ahold of me and I was saved through a teen mom's support group.

You are right that the majority of the time these are girls whose lives up to that point have not been easy nor have they felt loved. Bless you for being a beacon to them.

We truly serve a Romans 8:28 God!

MP said...

Amen "with humility comes wisdom.' Wisdom from the KING!
As for arranged marriages, sounds absurd until you have your first child (usualy a daughter) to see the benefit of it!!! :-)

Blessings on you and your precious family!