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God’s Exceedingly Abundant Mercy

To do it justice, Mercy’s birth story actually begins back in 2020. After being blessed with some time after weaning Steadfast to both detox and chelate from heavy metals, we were hopeful that God would create new life in my womb. But months went by. Months, and more months. Many women ache when another cycle cycles through and there is again blood, and with the blood departing the body, so hope departs the soul. I have been one of those women. I tried to rest in God's hands, thankful for my dear children and family, trusting in God’s timing. I even started a part-time job, which helped to ease the empty feeling. Yet, my womb continued to say, "Never enough."


Perhaps, something was wrong. In January of 2021, I went to my naturopathic doctor who took seriously my history and symptoms. She ran some tests. We waited weeks for results. I went to the appointment to receive my diagnosis: PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), a cause of infertility in many women. But, for me, God had other plans: the day before that appointment, I had taken a pregnancy test. It was positive. God had deigned to give me “the blessings of the breast and womb.” Another arrow in our quiver, another olive plant around our table, if, of course, the baby would continue to grow and be delivered from womb to world. And a diagnosis of PCOS made that a very questionable assumption.


My team of naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, and midwife cared for me well throughout the pregnancy, including getting me on progesterone right away in order to keep the pregnancy viable. It was a very uneventful pregnancy, and we were very grateful, especially after so many complications with our previous birth. I measured quite normally, despite some folks’ comments about how big I was carrying! First trimester, second trimester, third trimester. God is good, and we were getting close!


But no mama with impending labor and delivery is without fear. I struggled during that last month with a wide-range of fears, from the baby being born without a limb,  to being still-born, to dying in labor. It’s one thing to struggle with unfounded fears, but another know people in real life who have lived these fears, to know that these fears are very real possibilities. How would I manage to cope with not only the physical pain of labor, but the possible emotional losses that can only be borne from having loved? I found myself very grateful for a pastor I knew was praying for me, and the comfort of Christ’s love found in His body and blood in the days leading up to my due date. I also prayed a great big prayer, because as a child of the King, why not? Lord, let this labor and delivery not hurt! I know that doesn’t really happen, but I trust that You could make it happen. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. (Ephesians 3:20-21). But, not my will, but Yours be done. I did what I could to have a healthy pregnancy: I took my herbal tincture everyday, drank my pregnancy tea, and ate my dates. But, whatever would happen, we would be in God’s hands. Pain or loss, Or shame or cross, Shall not from my Savior move me Since He deigns to love me.


I awoke Saturday morning, Oct. 16, around 7:15 and needed to use the bathroom. I had a contraction on the way there, which was not all that unusual—I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for about a month whenever I moved positions. But this contraction was pretty strong. I counted to about 30 by the time it vanished away. After using the bathroom, I noticed some bloody show, and shortly after, felt another 30 second contraction—strong enough to make me pay attention. Back to my room, and another contraction. At that point, I figured I was not going back to bed.


The night before, I had ordered all of our groceries for pick up that morning, figuring it was pretty safe that I’d not be having the baby in the next 12 hours...Maybe I was wrong! Ryan was out of the house, picking up those groceries when I woke. Having gone back into my bedroom, I grabbed my phone and called the midwife. Normally, I’d have waited longer to be sure of a regular pattern of contractions, but they were close enough and strong enough I thought I had better give her a heads up, even before calling Ryan.


The midwife answered, huffing and puffing. I updated her about the duration and frequency of the contractions as she continued to huff and puff. I wondered what was going on, the poor midwife! Turns out, the Mankato Marathon had just started, and my midwife was running the 10K! Well, run faster, dear! In fact, I was not the only mama in the practice in labor. This amazing woman would finish her race, and just continue to run from mama to mama for the next 72 hours!


After I hung up with the midwife, promising to keep her posted, I called my doula. She would be on stand-by, ready to come when I next called. Finally, I texted my husband, who was patiently waiting for a week’s delivery of groceries for a family of 8 in the Walmart parking lot. He’d be coming home soon, and then, the fun of unloading the trunk could begin!


At some point between the bathroom and my bedroom, I saw my 9-year-old son making pancakes for the family in the kitchen. We smiled and he sweetly said good morning to me. All the kids seemed under control, and I went into my room, pulling out the bin of birth supplies from my closet. The contractions continued to be about 2 or 3 minutes apart, pretty much disabling me as they took place. It was as if I skipped early labor altogether and fast-forwarded right into the signposts of active labor! I stripped the sheets off my bed and made it again with fresh sheets on the bottom, a shower curtain in the middle, and brand new (bleachable) white sheets on top—no small feat for a woman 40 weeks along!


By about 9:00 a.m., my husband and children had put away all of the groceries, and the little ones had been sent out to the back yard to play. My teen girls were in the living room on the couch when I asked my husband to walk with me out in front of our house. I turned to the girls to ask that they keep an eye on the younger ones, and saw that my daughter’s face was all red—she had been crying. I was shocked and asked what was the matter. She said that Daddy had told her she couldn’t take a shower and it was very frustrating. I looked at her and paused a long time. I think I paused long enough to have a contraction. I told her I was in labor, and we were going to need all of the hot water for the birth tub. The anger melted off of her face, and changed from frustration to embarrassment. We told them we needed them to step up now, and help with the younger kids, and they rose to the occasion, as we had previously discussed. In fact, the children were thrilled to be herded downstairs to watch movies and eat the fun food I had purchased and placed in a bin for them. Later, I heard that one of my sons brag that he was the first to know today was the birthday for the new baby: he had come in a little earlier to get a drink, and had seen Daddy unpacking the birth tub.


I found some shoes to slip on—not an easy thing with my perpetually swollen feet. Ryan took me for a walk on the sidewalk across the street. During those contractions, I could feel things moving lower. The contractions felt more effective, and were increasing in length and intensity. We turned around at the end of the block, to walk toward home. As we did, I paused in a neighbor's driveway to breathe through a contraction. Unfortunately, a delivery truck from the street put on its blinker to enter that exact driveway at the exact time. I literally could not move out of the way! I tried, but my hips would not go! The driver looked extremely confused, and then drove way, rounded the block, and tried again. I was out of the driveway by then!


Around 10:00 a.m., we called to update our doula and she updated the midwife. The doula came over shortly. At this point, I’m not sure of the order of things, but I remember sort of walking around the house randomly, stopping for contractions against the coffee table and the cabinet in the bathroom. Ryan was setting up the birth tub, and I started to cry a little. I told the doula that I felt panicked. I knew from the signposts of labor that I was getting closer and closer to transition—the most overwhelming and difficult part. I didn’t want to do it, and it was already so difficult, how would I survive. Raelene assured me that the midwife would be to the house soon, and it would be okay. She and I went for another walk across the street while Ryan worked with the pool. While walking in the fall sunshine, Raelene rubbed my lower back. But, I felt distinct sciatica pain down my left upper leg during the contractions. Thankfully, it went away between contractions. I was so grateful to not have back labor that hurt the whole time, like I had for some other labors. Between contractions outside, I was able to chat with Raelene, and I felt mostly like myself, but reality was slowly slipping away and before long,  I needed to fold and collapse inside of myself to survive.


I wanted to get back into the house and be on my hands and knees for awhile to see if that might help the sciatica go away. As we were crossing the street back into my driveway, I was happy to see that the midwife had arrived and was bringing her supplies into the house. I headed to the bathroom, and groaned deeply during a contraction there—everyone seemed to make note of it, and they talked about it later as the beginning of transition. Next, I went to my bedroom floor and got on my hands and knees. It did seem to relieve some of the discomfort. The midwife came in and took my vitals, right there with me on the floor. The baby and I were doing great. I eventually landed in my bed and the midwife checked my dilation progress at my request. However, I didn’t want to know what it was. It might be too discouraging. However, I hoped I was at least at 5 cm out of 10. (I had been at a 2 at my appointment a few days earlier. After the birth, I asked how dilated I was at this point, and it was 7 cm.) I can’t remember clearly what happened next. But, I must have gotten out of bed again, and then returned, but on the other side of bed. From the nausea and panic I was feeling, I knew transition was imminent, and I knew from book learning, practice, and experience that I needed to be lying down in a runner’s position in order to relax and allow transition to pass through me, rather than fight it. There was absolutely nothing I could do. I had no choice but to give in, and cling to Jesus.


Around 11:00 a.m., I laid on my side on my husband’s part of the bed. Raelene brought me some notecards that I had previously prepared with Scriptural encouragement. I clung to these cards both physically and emotionally, focusing on one theme at a time as I breathed through contractions, now 90 seconds long.


What God ordains is always good:
Though I the cup am drinking
Which savors now of bitterness,
I take it without shrinking.
For after grief
God grants relief,
My heart with comfort filling
And all my sorrow stilling.


I groaned and moaned and blew raspberries. Waves of pain intruded my body, stretching beyond what could be possible. After grief, relief. There will be relief, soon. And a sweet baby.


The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
He will not, He cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
He never will leave, He will never forsake.


I squeezed the card, crumpling it as another pain overtook me. He cannot desert me. I flipped to another card with another contraction. Give thanks in all circumstances. A few years ago, I could not have given thanks, considering the suffering that seemed to tear through me. But the Lord has patiently taught me. Thank you, Lord, that I am safe, even in this pain. Thank you for the little one whose heart is beating. Thank you for a husband here. Thank you for these birth helpers. Thank you <breath> thank you <breathe> thank you.

Eventually, I turned onto my back so the midwife could check my dilation. Everyone seemed to think I could push soon. However, there was still part of my cervix that needed thinning out. Just a few more contractions on my other side, everyone encouraged. I turned over.

The wave of pain opened me up, vulnerable. I was helpless. I wondered about the animal noises I heard, and realized they were coming from my own vocal chords. There was no escape, only Jesus. My husband messed up my hair with a wet washcloth. My doula rubbed my back and I told her to stop, and my midwife looked in my eyes, nodding and encouraging. I read another card.

In Thine arms I rest me;
Foes who would molest me
Cannot reach me here.
Though the earth be shaking,
Ev'ry heart be quaking,
Jesus calms my fear.
Lightnings flash
And thunders crash;
Yet, though sin and hell assail me,
Jesus will not fail me.


Someone took the card from me and told me to relax my hand. The pains were low, so low, ripening, ripping. Jesus, calm my fear. Jesus, help me. Jesus, don’t fail me now. I can’t do this anymore!


I was rolled over: It was time to go to the tub and push. I remember saying very calmly, “Oh good. I love to push.” I don’t know if I was serious or not. But it felt like I needed to say something. The contractions were one on top of another. We only made it to the doorway, but Ryan, my rock, was there. He braced himself in the door frame and told me to relax into him. I moaned, and gave in, placing my whole weight in his arms. Oh Lord, help! Will this never end? I breathed, and breathed and breathed, the pain opened and opened and opened ‘til I couldn’t go on, but then, gradually died away.


I pulled off my dress. With the help of a stool and some people guiding my arms, I stepped into the warm, soothing water in the birth pool. There was a second midwife near the pool, as well as a student. My instinct was to float on my belly. I grabbed the side of the pool and held on. Another contraction came while I floated and tried to relax, but this time, I felt my body taking over and pushing out of my rear. I said, “Am I pushing now?” I remember nothing but silence for a moment, perhaps because it was so obvious that I was, indeed, pushing. Quickly, though, I was assured that I was pushing, and could push. Midwives were hovering around my rear, but (no pun intended) I really did not want to be in that position to give birth. I needed my legs to hold me up for squatting, to ground me. I thought about asking for music, but couldn’t remember how to. However, I did manage to call for the children to come up from downstairs. They (and my nephew) came up, and I remember telling my littlest ones that Mommy was going to have the Baby, and I would make a lot of noise because it was hard work, but we were all safe and it was okay.


I scooted back to the opposite side of the tub and squatted with the little seat under me. Another contraction came, and I concentrated, all the while noticing so many faces around me. I thought it was probably a good thing to not have invited anybody else, because it was already pretty crowded once my whole family crammed into the room. I moved my hand down low and felt; from another delivery, I remembered the little soft ripples covering a hard surface—my baby’s head, probably a little over an inch in diameter. I didn’t think there was any way that head could fit to get out of me. But the next contraction took care of that: as it rose in intensity, I pushed my hand in toward myself, as I felt fire down below as the baby’s head was born. I heard myself making noises, and even amid the fire, relief: I was almost done. The contraction receded, yet only the baby’s head was outside of me; the remainder of the body was still in my body, a miracle. It was a God-given pause, something I’d never experienced before with my 6 other deliveries. I wasn’t sure that was okay, but the team assured me it was. And, surely, when the next contraction came, the shoulders were assisted out by the midwife and the rest of the tiny body slipped out and was brought above the waterline. Never during labor had I felt my waters break. It must have happened during that final push! Before its first breath, the midwife peeled off the caul (amniotic sac) which covered the baby’s head and torso! The baby was handed to me and placed on my chest. I saw my doula taking photos, and I remembered at a previous birth I tried to smile for the photos, but this time, I didn’t need to act, I just felt so overjoyed!


It has never been an easy thing to keep myself afloat in a birth tub, all the while careful not to rub my recently stretched lady-parts in the wrong way onDSC 0328b the birth seat, and also keep my baby’s head above water. I was grateful to have my husband holding me up from outside the pool so I could hold the baby, and the midwife with an extra hand on the baby, too. In my mind, maybe about a minute went by as the midwives checked vitals and stabilized the situation. Then, I thought to scoot the baby a bit and see the gender. I announced that she was Mercy Louise. With choosing her name, Mercy Lou, we honor the memory of my mother in Heaven, Kim Louise, and remember God's goodness. "With the Lord there is mercy, And fullness of redemption." I was genuinely surprised, and delighted, that the baby was a girl!


My job wasn’t finished, yet. I still had a placenta to deliver, and it took its sweet time. I tried to nurse Mercy, since the uterus often contracts from breastfeeding. After much “coughing” and “hacking,” it came, and was delivered to a floating bedpan in the birth tub, which made me laugh. During previous births, it was somebody’s job to hold a silver bowl into which the placenta was placed. When we were preparing the kids for the birth in the weeks prior, Rose had enthusiastically offered to cut the cord. She did so while Mercy was on my chest in the tub. She remarked that it was much thicker than she imagined!


After the cord was cut, it was time to get out of the tub. My goal of isolating all of the messy, gooey, oozy stuff of labor in the tub had been met, and the water sure started to look nasty! Throw in a towel (literally) that was used to wipe me and the baby, as well as some stool from both of us, and the water no longer held the attraction it did before the birth. Mercy was handed to my husband, and the birth team grabbed some clean towels and helped me out. They offered a step stool, but I couldn’t figure out how to use it while keeping my balance. I paused for a long time, standing in the water. Someone suggested that maybe I was waiting for towels to be put down on the floor? I said no, I was just waiting to see if my hip would work, as it constantly gave out during that last trimester. Eventually, I climbed out, and was surrounded by people offering me towels, now that my modesty had once again kicked in.


I shuffled a few yards and sat down on some chux pads on my husband’s side of the bed. Someone helped me out of my wet top and grabbed a clean, dry pajama shirt for me. The children went back downstairs, waiting to be called again when it was time to check and weigh baby Mercy. I felt so happy and relieved that labor and delivery were done, and I had a healthy baby with all of her limbs. The birth helpers worked busily out in the dining room, cleaning up the birth tub and all of the equipment. The doula and Ryan mostly stayed with me and baby Mercy, as we worked to learn to nurse together.


The midwife checked my bottom and offered a stitch or two, if I wanted. But, I preferred to sit “like a mermaid” for a week instead. I have to say that this birth was the least traumatic to my nether regions, and I really felt no stinging at all, the peri-bottle an unnecessary afterthought. When my husband brought me the placenta smoothie, I drank it down like a big girl, with every hope from prior experiences that it would help ward off post-partum depression.


Once the house was cleaned up, and the first milk was drunk, the children gathered around my bed to see Mercy’s check-up. She seemed healthy in every way! Mercy was 21 inches long, with a 14.5 inch head, and 15 inch chest! When she was placed on the scale, I thought it said “10 lbs 15 oz”! In fact, it only said, “10 lbs 1.5 oz,” but that’s still a pretty big baby! I told everyone that she was our third largest child, but when I investigated later, it turns out she actually my second largest child, only to be beaten by her big brother, Newman, at 10 lbs 12 oz, holding the record for the birth center in St. Peter for several years! Grace gingerly placed Mercy’s first diaper on her, with Joy and Rose looking on.


The midwife went over some additional post-birth instructions with us. Very quickly, it seemed, almost abruptly, all of the birth helpers left our home. The next mama was getting ready to deliver, and they needed to go to her. It was just “us,” all 9 of us :) It was a quiet time for calling family and friends and sharing the good news of Mercy’s birth, but there was someone I couldn't call.


My heart hurt in what should have been an overwhelmingly happy time—I could not share the news with my dear mother. Mercy was my first baby since my own mother had her dwelling moved to Heaven. I touched Mercy’s toes, and wished my mama could caress them. She always had a thing for feet. I put Mercy’s hand in my own, and reflected that, this side of Heaven, my own mama’s hand would not hold Mercy’s. Yet, God from eternity knew this. He also knows another burden of my heart: We have only a few short years left together as a family in these “glory days” with all my children under one roof. Soon, my oldest will launch into the world. If there are to be more children, I want them now or never, to preserve my idol of family: all of us together. Surely, I am not getting any younger. My husband is nearly fifty. Will we both be around to see Mercy walk and talk and grow and love and marry and give us grandchildren? Perhaps not, just as my mother is not here to welcome Mercy at my father’s side. Or, Lord have mercy, will I outlive all my dear ones, to slowly have them taken from me, one by one, in our “brave” new world? The fear, the sorrow, is real. Love can be loss. Even a week later, my baby has grown, and we have lost the innocent moments of a newborn. My biological clock, and my familial clock, tick loudly. I ache for the ticking to quiet, to enjoy my new little one simply, without extra burdens. Denial will not make the issues go away. Only trust in God’s mercy can. The same hymns, the same Scriptures, that supported me in labor, will support me in life, and in death.


God is good. His mercies are new every morning. Whatever loss that love will introduce into my life, God knows and He gifts. Our times are in His hands. Not only did He mercifully answer my prayers of an exceedingly abundant healthful labor and delivery (even if not pain-free), He also sent Jesus to the cross to forgive me of my sins of idolatry, of always longing and wanting and never being content, of being fearful, and sorrowful and lacking in thanksgiving. I hold Mercy as a reminder of His mercy, His love, His patience to forgive sinners, even me, even Mercy, His own child baptized into Christ.


This Labor Day Means Medical Freedom for Our Workers

In commemoration of Labor Day 2021, Into Your Hands LLC has adopted a policy concerning vaccines, mRNA injections, etc., that respects the medical freedom of its employees, volunteers, and customers.

Specifically, we affirm:

  • the right to informed consent
  • the right to medical exemption
  • the right to conscientious objection
  • the right to medical privacy

Make this Labor Day a holiday that celebrates workers’ rights to medical freedom.

Adopt our model policy for your own business or non-profit organization.


Dr. Ryan C. MacPherson is the founding president of Into Your Hands LLC and the author of several books, including Rediscovering the American Republic (2 vols.) and Debating Evolution before Darwinism. He lives with his wife Marie and their homeschooled children in Mankato, Minnesota, where he teaches American history, history of science, and bioethics at Bethany Lutheran College. He also serves as President of the Hausvater Project, which mentors Christian parents. For more information, visit www.ryancmacpherson.com.


Informed Consent: What I’ve Been Saying for Years about Vaccines

As a college professor, workshop presenter, and writer, I’ve addressed topics in medical ethics for many years—including the topic of vaccination. In “Science 330: Ethics in Science” at Bethany Lutheran College and “Theology 5202: Bioethics” at Martin Luther College, I teach about the ethical principle of “informed consent.” This means that an adult should have the freedom first to become informed and second to decide whether to consent to any medical procedure for oneself. Or, in the case of parents, this means that dads and moms should have the freedom to become informed and then make decisions on behalf of their minor children. “Informed consent” is central to medical ethics, being recognized worldwide through such statements as the Helsinki Declaration. Sometimes this idea of informed consent also goes by the name “medical freedom.”

Of course, any freedom must be exercised within ethical limits; for example, suicide is wrong because it hurts, indeed murders, oneself and abortion is wrong because it hurts, indeed murders, a vulnerable person entrusted to one’s care. No amount of “consent” justifies a person in committing suicide or murdering his or her unborn child. In less obvious cases—such as whether or not to be vaccinated, given that vaccines have potential benefits as well as potential risks—it is generally best to leave the decision to the realm of medical freedom: adults decide for themselves and parents decide for their minor children. Informed consent includes both information and consent, and we may expect that consulting a healthcare provider would be part of the “information” stage, while we also should respect a patient’s right to seek a second opinion, too.

→ Click to Continue Reading →


Vaccinate or Not? Seven Reasons from Each Side

Let’s look at both sides of this debate by summarizing what people say in support of their conclusion, whether that conclusion favors or opposes vaccination.

Seven Reasons Why People Support Vaccination

In general, people choose to vaccinate themselves and/or advocate that others get vaccinated for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Medical Advice: Their doctor tells them to do so (and in the wake of COVID-19, just about everyone else is promoting the “get vaccinated” message, too).
  2. Vaccine Efficacy: They think vaccines have a good track record for preventing diseases, since they’ve seen charts of the downward trend in infection rates that correlate with previous mass vaccination campaigns. Often they have in mind effectiveness not only for individuals but for the population as a whole—herd immunity.
  3. Disease Severity: They are afraid of getting sick or dying or spreading diseases to others if they fail to get vaccinated, since they have heard about instances in which life-long complications or death results from infection.
  4. Vaccine Injuries: They have little to no concern for potential side-effects of vaccines, since they’ve been reassured by people or institutions that they trust that vaccines are safe, or at least that the benefits outweigh any harms.
  5. Natural Immunity: They have little to no trust in natural immunity against this particular disease, and they think that vaccine-conferred immunity is far superior.
  6. Abortion-Dependent Vaccines: They either are unaware that human fetal tissue has been instrumental in the production of most vaccines, or else they don’t care—and if they don’t care, it is either because they are pro-abortion anyway or else because they think that since those abortions happened in the past, there’s nothing wrong with benefiting from those abortions in the present.
  7. Mandates: They feel they have no other choice, since the law requires vaccination for their children to be enrolled in school, or since their employer requires vaccination for them to continue working, etc.

Seven Reasons Why People Choose Not to Vaccinate

In general, people choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Medical Advice: Their doctor shares one or more of the following concerns about vaccines in general (items 2 through 7), or their doctor usually recommends vaccines to other patients, but for this particular patient the doctor recognizes a condition for which vaccines would be medically contraindicated. In other words, their doctor takes a patient-centered approach, rather than a population-centered approach.
  2. Vaccine Efficacy: They question whether vaccines are effective in presenting infection or contagion, having read, for example, that many of the historical success stories have to do with diseases that already were on the decline due to natural herd immunity, and the vaccine merely finished off the downward trend; they also note that people who have been vaccinated still seem nervous about their own vulnerability until all their neighbors also get vaccinated, suggesting that even the vaccinated population does not fully trust in vaccine efficacy.
  3. Disease Severity: They are only minimally concerned about contracting or spreading the disease in question, since they consider the chance of infection to be low or the effects of the illness to be relatively minor or short lived.
  4. Vaccine Injuries: They have deep concerns about adverse side-effects, usually because of the prior experiences of their own families or their friends’ families, or else because they have followed the case files of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
  5. Natural Immunity: They trust in natural immunity, or in more natural approaches to boosting immunity (including herd immunity), such as nutrition or homeoprophylaxis.
  6. Abortion-Dependent Vaccines: They are aware that most vaccines depend upon the murder of innocent and vulnerable human babies (by abortion in some cases, but in other cases by vivisection of prematurely delivered babies—live abortions by Cesarean section), and they find it morally reprehensible to participate as beneficiaries of those abortions by receiving a vaccine produced in that manner.
  7. Mandates: Even if mandated by the government or their employer, they will assert their right to medical freedom, such as by taking the matter to court on the basis of a First Amendment conscientious objection or Fourteenth Amendment right to bodily autonomy.

A Third Option?

Just because the preceding discussion divided everyone into two camps, for or against vaccination, does not mean there can’t be a third option—or even a fourth.

→ Click to Continue Reading →


Greeting Card Sentiments

Into Your Hands, LLC offers blank greeting cards, many of which are “all occasion,” for purchase through Ad Crucem. The Christian sentiments below are available for customers to copy or paraphrase when sending an otherwise blank card. We pray that all your greetings may encourage others in the love of Christ!DSC07028


I am grateful that the Lord created you and has sustained your life. May He continue to bless you and preserve you in the year ahead! I am blessed to call you [insert relationship here]!

Get Well

May the Great Physician, according to His good and gracious will, preserve you—both body and soul—for His glory. I pray that your suffering may be redeemed, and you will feel better soon!


My heart goes out to you during this time of grief. May God, who took on flesh and all its woes to live, die, and rise again, hold you tenderly in the palm of His hand as you mourn. With the saints united, we look forward to the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come, thanks be to Christ!


Today, we celebrate God’s faithfulness in your life, having preserved you in your baptismal vows to your vows today! We pray that He ever strengthen and preserve your faith, through His means of grace! God bless you!


God is good, and His faithfulness endures forever! We pray that He will continue to work a good work in you, through your many and various vocations in life, serving as a blessings to others in the world! Congratulations!


Today, we witness not only the vows of two individuals, now bound together for life, but more so, an astounding picture of Christ’s love for the Church! We pray for your faithfulness to one another through both the joys and sorrows of life, and that God’s own unfailing love for sinners be constantly displayed in your union! God bless!


With the birth of your little one, God has show his marvelous handiwork! We pray for your child, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that God will be glorified in his/her life! We also pray for your family during this time of excitement and change!


Welcome to the family of God, little one! Through these waters of baptism, God has mercifully made you His own. We pray that you always cling to the promise He makes today: that you are His child, full, free, and eternally!


Marie K. MacPherson is wife to Ryan, homeschooling mother to their six living children, and redeemed child of God. They make their home in Mankato, MN. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator from CCLE, author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies(2016). She is also the author of LFL’s booklets The Story of Baby Shalom (2017) and Teaching Children Chastity: Talking Points for Christian Parents (2020). She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bethany Lutheran College, with Lutheran school certification and a specialty in communication arts and literature. Marie is an advocate for mothers, serving as a La Leche League Leader for over six years and a volunteer at a local pro-life pregnancy clinic. When she’s not caring for her own children, or the mothers of other children, Marie reads extensively, researching natural health, homeschooling, evangelism, marriage, and parenting. Read her contributions to Blest the House; The Hausvater Project; Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife; and Lutherans for Life. Follow her blog at: www.intoyourhandsllc.com/blog.

 Marie 39



Big Families Are Wonderful Because...

This excerpt from Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More has its focus on the blessings of big families! The trials and burdens that Mothers of Many face are numerous, but so are the joys! Like what you read? Consider other Mothering Many excerpts here on Into Your Hands, LLC website.

Big families are wonderful because …

… there is never a dull moment! You can change the world for Christ! No two days are the same!—Sheri

… God created and crafted each and every one of these precious children and we want all the little blessings He wants to give

us! How humbling that God has given me my beloved husband and my precious children.—Lissa

… there is never a dull moment. My kids don’t have to ever worry about finding someone to play with. My kids learn to stand up for themselves and be heard. They learn to be individuals and compete for what they want, or back down if needed. My kids learn to pick their battles. My kids learn that they cannot have everything they want. My kids learn to obey because Mommy and Daddy don’t have the time to say it twice. They will never be lonely and there will always be someone to lend a hand or to lead the way. We are almost guaranteed to have a house full of grandchildren visiting someday!—Shannon

… there is so much love and excitement and opportunity to show Christ’s love within the family and without. Big families stand out in today’s society just by being big! Use the opportunity to be a blessing to others.—Karina

… it’s so exciting to see the older children helping and loving the younger ones. Every time we have a baby, the whole dynamic changes and each person has something different to offer.—Ann

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… they provide a safe, loving atmosphere for kids. They teach Mom and Dad to put others first. There’s always someone to talk to or play with. They support each other in their walk with the Lord.—Kate

… children are a heritage from the Lord, a gift! They provide a means to bring our homes joy and are the means, at times, that the Lord uses to grow us and change us for His purposes.—Janet

… any size family is wonderful if they are serving the Lord God with all their hearts. The size of the family doesn’t matter. It’s being content with what God will give you and making Him Lord of your life in all areas.—Amy

… there’s never a dull moment!—Dana

… I have to keep dealing with my selfishness. I have to keep allowing God to strengthen me. I don’t ever get to think I can do this well without His daily help. It is great for my kids because they learn patience, sharing, and working together as a family. They also have built-in life-long friends.—Christy

… they are God’s gift. I will always have some family around, and if I get old and decrepit, I’m more likely to have family to help me.—Sharon

… God builds them, and all that He creates is very good.—Karol

… there are more hugs and love!—Tina

… you always have someone to talk to.—Harriet

… God gave each child to us in His perfect timing! There are few things that I am sure of, but this is one.—Diana

… the children always have someone to play with. It is never boring.—Mery

… you are surrounded by people who love each other. The kids always have someone to play with and they learn to get along with others in a good environment. In a big family, you have more people you can count on.—Betty

… when you’re a widow, you won’t be alone.—Reba

… there’s never a dull moment; everyone has lots of playmates; the energy and creative juices run high; there’s ample opportunity for everyone to learn relationship and teamwork skills; and one day we’ll be able to have our own musical band and informal sports team just with our own family!—Sarah

… they give each other strength when it is needed, laughs when times are sad, and hugs every day. Each child is a unique individual, something like his or her siblings, but offering something to the world and to the family that no one else can give.

… each child is a gift from God! These wonderful little beings are our reminder of all those He loves and calls His own. I love my children because of who they’ve helped me become. I am not the same person that I was in my 20s!

… they are a picture of God’s handiwork. Through them, we learn endless possibilities for relationships, support, creativity, self-reliance, self-sacrifice, service, and strength. A large family is a complex social network that is deep, fulfilling, and interconnected. We are provided for and we provide. When one falls, another picks us up. We learn that we can do without many things people think they must have: a room of one’s own, dawdling in the bathroom, new clothes, and the latest gadgets. We learn to share what we have and not to focus on ourselves.

… they are able to provide the support for other family members. More members in a family keeps the family from getting bored and keeps them on a God-fearing course. Chores are shared and life is never lonely.

… for the children: they develop relationships with each other and life-long friendships that are special and different from all others; they learn to respect others by dealing with their siblings on a daily basis; they will have several other siblings to help them with the care and decision-making when their parents age.

… for the parents: The pleasure it brings is priceless! To give children new life experiences, to watch their personalities develop, to teach them about their Savior, to watch their faith grow and see it in action, to have so many loved ones to share life’s experiences with, both good and bad. Truly gifts from God! To know that as you age there will be many loving hands to help you and many loving hearts to love you and pray for you.

… there are more people around to love and be involved in each other’s lives.

… as they grow, they become your friends as well as your children. They also learn to care for others and not just themselves. Sharing is also something that children from a large family do more automatically.

… they give you such joy and pleasure as you see them raising their own families. The love and attention from grandchildren is so rewarding!

… when they are small, they are fun (mostly) to care for. It’s exciting to watch them learn, to teach them, to know their friends. As adults, they are wonderful companions.

… eternity, baby! I’m taking them along, God-willing.—Betsy


Mrs. Marie K. MacPherson, vice president of Into Your Hands LLC, lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband Ryan and their children, whom she homeschools. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator (Consortium for Classical Lutheran Educators), author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More (2016).


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