Posted in My Faith, Uncategorized

Christmas Traditions during COVID-19 Pandemic

This year, the holidays look much different than they ever have. Not many are traveling to see loved ones. As a result, families are forced to reevaluate their Christmas traditions, or have to scale them back.

As for my family, I have four little ones to account for. I can’t skip celebrating Christmas just because I can’t see my extended family. My kids are counting on me, to have a nice Christmas.

How Our Traditions Changed

Throughout the month of December, we have accomplished many common Christmas traditions. These are not all of our traditions, but by far my favorite ones. Despite COVID-19, we have made the best of this wonderful time of the year.

Christmas Baking

As a family, we’ve made and decorated sugar cookies and attempted to make gingerbread houses. Instead of gingerbread, we used graham crackers, but had no milk cartons to support our structures. The kids loved to eat them, anyway.

As a small group of women, we had a cookie bake. It was fun to see what other kinds of cookies other families make at Christmas. We made enough cookies for the elderly and shut-ins of our church. I loved including my daughters in the project, taking the chance to teach them giving and generosity.

Buying and Wrapping Gifts

Since my family and I were in quarantine late October, early November, I got this done fast! Thanks to Amazon and online shopping, I was done with my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving!

christmas gift boxes under fir tree
Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

For those of you who know how much I procrastinate, this is a Christmas miracle!

As a result, I still felt a sort of guilt inside.

When shopping for household things or groceries, I would find something that could have been a perfect gift for a loved one, but I’d for sure overspent my budget. In hind sight, I should have made one for Christmas gifts.

Despite my previous notions, I didn’t feel done or a sense of relief to be done shopping.

No idea why I still feel this way, but it has been a good lesson in self-restraint.

It isn’t responsible for me to empty our bank account just to attempt people-pleasing success. Can you relate?

Wrapping Gifts

Don’t get me started on wrapping! Imagine an entire table full of gifts, halfway to the ceiling – and I wrapped them all! Well, most of them. Now that I think about it, I have run out of at least five rolls of wrapping paper, and used probably ten overall.

In my defense, some of them were used last year, and most were the character-printed, skimpy kind of wrapping paper rolls. I love wrapping gifts, but for the first time in my life, I actually got sick of wrapping. I still have to wrap two late coming gifts, and I just don’t want to. Pathetic, I know.

Christmas Caroling

Last but not least, is my favorite tradition. Whether it is at church, with friends, or with my family, I love singing Christmas carols.

black father playing piano with little daughter
Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

Yesterday, after church, a small group of us went caroling at the local nursing homes.

As a group, we went window to window, singing of our glorious Savior, Jesus, and the celebration of Him.

This by far, was the most impactful.

The joyous faces of those trapped in their room, waving and so excited to see other people, singing to them. I can’t tell you how good it felt to see my kids understand the reason we sang to them, and to feel compassion and cheer towards them. That is priceless!

Reflection

adult birthday birthday gift box
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

In hindsight, I think this is God’s way of teaching me a lesson.

Teaching me to be content with keeping things simple, not overdoing it, and not worrying about the impression I make.

Instead, focus on teaching my kids giving, generosity and putting others first, etc.

Most of all, teaching them Christmas isn’t about gifts or decorations or cookies.

people standing inside church
Photo by Blue Ox Studio on Pexels.com

Christmas is just that, celebrating Christ.

His miraculous birth and coming to us as a humble baby, so someday pay for the sins of the world, for all time!

Now, He worth celebrating!

Posted in My Faith, Uncategorized

Grief During the Holidays

Today, as I casually scrolled Facebook, I came across a post from a college friend of mine. Back in the day, he was on my brother floor in college, and married my college roommate, Jill.

In Memory of Jill

A year ago today, he became a widow. Jill lost her battle with cancer, and joined her Savior for eternity.

While I reflect today, about her life, and her impact on others, I am blessed to have known her – even for a short time.

Precious Memories

Remembering our talks in our dorm room. Her dumping as much white powder on the floor, to keep the bed bugs out of our room, it looked like a gingerbread house! Although, it worked!

The time she found a large black and yellow spider in her bed. As she had the top bunk, she jumped down so fast and screamed so loud, I couldn’t help but laugh so hard!

Even her suddenly streaking into her last floor meeting, as she was a senior that year, and the look on my female R.A.’s face was priceless!

I’m engaged!

In the words of Jill, “my roommate is freakin engaged! …alright ladies…this will be my 3rd roommate to get married, who wants to be next?!!! 😃 congrats Adrianne Meier!” I’m so glad she got her chance to be married to such a wonderful man.

One of my favorite memories, is being in gospel choir with her. She sang the solo in “Revelation Song” and I will never forget the power and authenticity in her voice.

Gospel Choir 2011-2012

Secondly, was her love for dance parties and late nights investing in the girls on our floor. Jill was a true friend and leader.

Finally, the time I delivered flowers to her, from her future husband, and the chance to see first hand how she felt about him. To watch their relationship grow was truly remarkable.

As a result, I realized why I feel so melancholy during the holidays. It is because I’ve lost so many people in my short life.

Those I’ve Lost

Following, is a list of the people I’ve lost in my lifetime:

  1. My paternal grandfather – I was two weeks old.
  2. My paternal grandmother – at the age of 6
  3. My uncle – cancer, died two days before Christmas
  4. My former pastor – home church
  5. My future father-in-law – cancer
  6. My maternal grandmother – right before I conceived my first child
  7. My cousin – died suddenly
  8. Two MS classmates in the same summer – one to cancer, one a blood clot
  9. Third HS classmate – ATV accident, Jr. Year
  10. Fourth HS classmate – missing and unknown cause of death
  11. Fifth HS classmate – suicide
  12. College roommate, Jill – cancer
  13. Miscarried our third child
  14. My husband’s paternal grandfather – one month after our 2nd child’s birth
  15. My husband’s paternal grandmother – in the same month her husband did, a few years later
  16. Husband’s uncle – cancer, during COVID
  17. Husband’s paternal grandmother’s sister-in-law (his great aunt) – during COVID
  18. Countless church members, from past and present churches

Sadly, I’m not even sure this is the complete list, but these were the pinnacle deaths I can remember.

Life Reflection

Ultimately, life is too short. Don’t waste your opportunities to love on someone, family or not. You have no idea how short their time here on Earth truly is.

Thankful for Jill

In San Diego

Back to my college roommate, I had no idea her life would end so soon. I’m thankful we’d visited her and her husband when we had traveled nearby.

I do regret not spending more time with her in the moment at college, but am so thankful God provided the opportunity to see her one last time.

Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving is approaching, I’m reminded to be thankful. Thankful for each and every one of those people I’ve lost. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to know them and be a small part of their lives.

However, I’m most thankful God has provided a way for us to see them again. How different my grief would be if not for Heaven and for eternity with God. I cling to that hope and have faith in what I can’t yet see.

Posted in My Faith, Uncategorized

Motherhood – “I need a vacation!”

A shout out to all you mamas (and dads) out there. Our job as parents is incredibly hard!

Today was a Nightmare!

Today, for example, my kids would not stop nagging, whining, and screaming over EVERY LITTLE THING! My brain literally feels like it is frying as the days goes on.

close up composition conceptual creativity
Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

As a mom, staying at home, an author working from home, in ministry with my husband – my jobs are never done.

I want to crawl into the fetal position and never get out of bed, when I think of all the things I should be doing, have gotten done, or will have to do.

I NEED A BREAK!!!!

As my mom always says, “Stop the world, I want to get off!” Yes, that about sums up how I feel this very moment.

“Mom’s Night Out”

From Youtube.com

Now, I’m picturing the movie, “Mom’s Night Out,” when the chaos of four different moms’ lives implodes all at once.

“I love my kids, I love my husband, I love my minivan – my mini van rocks! Then why do I feel this way (so unhappy)?”

Again, I love my family, I love my jobs, but some days are just too much.

Encouragement

sunset beach people sunrise
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

All I wanted to say was I hear you, I’m with you, and we can survive this season of our lives.

Let’s encourage one another in our victories and check in on one another regularly.

crop person touch palms with newborn baby on gray backdrop
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Above all, seek God’s peace and wisdom for ourselves and our parenting in the Holy Bible.

If you don’t know where to start, Proverbs or Psalms are good ones to try.

Be blessed, get rest, and give your children over to God. Only He can change their hearts.

Posted in My Books, My Faith, Uncategorized

The Saddest Month of the Year – October

First of all, I don’t hate October, what it represents just hurts my heart. My dad has an October birthday, so I have to enjoy it a little bit, lol.

Halloween

At the end of this month is Halloween, the holiday when evil, Satan, and godlessness is celebrated. As a Christian, I cannot support this holiday.

I do not understand the world’s fascination with death and destruction. Why do we celebrate it on Halloween, but then suffer the rest of the year, when someone dies? So much irony here.

Now that we have children in school, it is much harder to navigate how much to allow them to participate. For now, we’ve decided costumes and candy are okay, but are very clear in our explanation of the purpose and evil this holiday represents.

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness

For the entire month, primarily October 15th, is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month.

For those of you who’ve experience this loss, I host a private support group on Facebook. I share my own story and struggles, prayers for recent losses, and share other organizations resources for you to view. Please let me know if you would like to be a part of this group.

Sharing My Heart

Even though I partly promote this month for my book, The Miscarriage Project: Testimonials of Parents Who Found Hope in God, miscarriage is very close to my heart.

Can be purchased at thehavenblogger.com bookstore, or westbowpress.com or Amazon. ONLY 50% OFF and signed copies on thehavenblogger.com.

On May 9th, 2016, my life was forever changed. It was the first time I even felt God had abandoned me for real and not answered my prayers. Not true, but that’s how I felt at the time.

My Heart Now

Now that I’m expecting for the sixth time, has not changed the fear, anxiety and worry for this baby’s life. Once you’ve miscarried or lost an infant, that naive attitude of everything will work out and be alright, dies too.

Please pray that myself, and all those parents out there suffering, would find peace, comfort, love, healing, and encouragement this month.

Though this month weighs heavy on me, for two reasons, let’s not waste the time we have. Reach out to those who are hurting, in any capacity, and show Christ’s love to them. Be there, because no one else might.

Prayers & Blessings,

Adrianne Babbitt

Bold & Beautiful Inspirations Co.

Posted in My Books, My Faith, Uncategorized

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness

As the author of The Miscarriage Project, I’ve been thinking long and hard about October. October, for those of you who aren’t aware, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and October 15th is the remembrance day as well.

Even though it’s been almost four and a half years since my miscarriage, dwelling on the loss of a child still stings in my soul.

A Unique Kind of Grief

Losing a child is a unique kind of grief. Especially when you never got to meet that child. All of the what-if’s and shoulda, coulda, woulda’s of their life break over you like tidal waves.

A couple of friends of mine recently lost a baby. I can’t tell you how much hurt for them. Even though I’ve been through it, there is still part of me that doesn’t know what to say or do.

To be honest, I have been venturing back into our story, to dig up those raw, deeply hidden feelings. Following the miscarriage was a dark time for me, and I’ve been reminding myself where my friends are at, to help them find healing too. To process this unimaginable pain.

You’re Not Alone!

For those of you who are hurting, I am praying for you. You are not alone, and God isn’t punishing you. God did not create death. Instead, He is taking care of your baby until you meet again in Heaven. That may not always be comforting, but it might later on.

For those of you who know someone hurting, pray for them. Check on them, but also give them space. ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ and hugs worked great for me. Just being there and listening is enough.

My Story – The Miscarriage Project

If you are interested in learning more about my story, and those of nine others sharing their grief/loss journeys, I encourage you to check out my book, The Miscarriage Project: Testimonials of Parents who found hope in God.

If you order from this website, I’m running a 50% off promotion on the book right now. Also, if you order from my site, you receive a signed copy of the book shipped right to you.

In honor of our babies, and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, I wanted every couple who desires a book to have one.

Prayers and blessings to you all!

Posted in My Faith, Uncategorized

The BIG News is Here!!

For those of you who’ve normally kept up with my blog, must have noticed I haven’t written all summer. This is why:

1. We’ve Moved!

Towards the beginning of this year, I felt God was preparing my family and I for a big change. I had no inclination of what type of change this could be, but I felt many doors closing, and change imminent for us.

time for change sign with led light
Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

The Drama

As of June 5th, 2020, and in the weeks to follow, it was made clear to my husband his job was no longer secure.

Since his personal medical history was being called into question, in relation to his depression the last year or so, we felt it was time to begin our search for another ministry position and place to live.

man in gray long sleeve shirt sitting on brown wooden chair
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

This is a large reason I couldn’t bring myself to write to all of you. I didn’t know how to respond to this painful, hurtful, and enraging circumstance we found ourselves in.

I didn’t want to hurt our past congregation, because they had nothing to do with this.

The pastor, the head deacon, and another deacon are to blame for this outrageous, and illegal course of action. The church and these people are to remain nameless, for their privacy.

self care isn t selfish signage
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

The Cost

The most painful part of this whole ordeal was the loss of a close friendship, and leaving the close friendships that remain in tact.

Also, leaving an entire group of people, who’ve loved on us and prayed for us, but not being able to tell them the truth – the real reason we moved.

Now the truth is out. The Lord gave me permission to finally share it.

Finally, in my devotional today, I came across this verse:

‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. ‘ – Genesis 50:20

This seemed quite fitting for our situation this summer. Even though we were pushed out, under unfair and painful circumstances, God still means it for good.

My family, and Bold & Beautiful Inspirations Co., now reside in Wisconsin! So keep an eye out for more content and new books this fall!!

New Baby!

Most of you know this already, but we are expecting another baby! We found out shortly before the whole job drama blew up in our face, so we haven’t had much time to celebrate or communicate our joy to the world.

pair of white shoes on heart shaped wood
Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

I am in late February and no, we don’t know the gender yet! lol. Keep an eye out for that announcement in October…

New Vision

For Bold & Beautiful Inspirations Co., I’ve been contemplating a fresh vision. Being in a new place, a new ministry, and new stage of life, I wish to allow my business to grow as well.

Please join me in praying for direction and wisdom as I move forward. I pray my writing will change the world for the better, comfort those who are suffering, and inspire those who are lost and hopeless.

A portion of this new vision will be creating music videos on my YouTube channel, which I am very excited about! Also, finishing my chapter book I began in the spring.

Contact Me!

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to this blog: thehavenblogger.com, and to my business newsletter, THE HAVEN NEWS, to read more of my writing and keep up with news from Bold & Beautiful Inspirations Co.

To contact me directly, please email: boldandbeautifulblogger@gmail.com

Also, you can follow me on:

apps blur button close up
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Facebook:

Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/boldandbeautifulinspirationsco

Blog Page – https://www.facebook.com/thehavenblog

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/thehavenblogger/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/AdrianneBabbitt

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrianne-babbitt-900b831a7/

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTmLqdY_0-4DLrxTzHgbdCA

Music videos and other book sneak peaks coming soon!!

Posted in Book Reviews, Living BOLD, My Faith

“Unplanned” the Movie – I Finally Watched It…

As I’ve experienced a traumatic miscarriage, I hesitated. I convinced myself I couldn’t handle, avoiding it at all costs. But now I’ve watched it, and I’ll never be the same again.

My Reaction

To be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined, but I felt severely nauseous the entire time. I am so thankful for the woman, Abby, who was brave enough to share her story with the world.

“Unplanned” the Movie, 2019

No one should be badgered into keeping quiet about injustice. No one should be threatened for telling the truth. Abortion is murder, but abortion is also a deceitful lie that needs to be rebuked.

Abortion

Abortion is NEVER the answer!! Putting a child up for adoption at least gives them a chance to live!

Keeping your baby will bless you in a way can’t even imagine right now. No financial hardships or multitude of diapers can compare with how much that child will love you, and how much you love them.

Photo by Marko Tuokko on Pexels.com

My Story

Having lost a baby myself, through miscarriage, the scene where the woman, Abby, loses her baby and tissue fell out in the bathroom, hit me hard.

That was me. After two days of cramping, spotting, and an ultrasound, the dreaded moment came anyway.

My Baby, Timothy Lyle Babbitt, 9 wks. 6 days.
He was born on May 9, 2016.

I woke up in a pool of blood, screamed, “No God, NO!!” over and over again. I ran to the bathroom and my precious baby fell out of me. I went into shock and shook on the bathroom floor.

My husband took me to the ER, but not before I told him he was not allowed to flush that toilet.

They let me cry and talk to a nurse, but basically gave me strong ibuprofen and sent me home. I lost a baby, and that was it.

The Filthiest Burial

I was thankful for the doctor telling me not to try to find my baby – too tiny to find. I think that would have been even more traumatic for me.

Instead, my precious baby boy was buried by a flush, and taken to the sewer system. This memory haunts me to this day.

My Story
https://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/800343-the-miscarriage-project

This Has to Stop!

But to think someone would choose that on purpose, kills my heart every time. No one comes away from losing a baby the same. Either way the baby dies, the mother will never be the same.

Pray abortion clinics close for good. Pray abortions become illegal. But also pray for those who’ve aborted or contributed to abortions. God’s forgiveness is more than enough for them too.

Check out unplannedfilm.com or fortydaysforlife.com for more resources and information to make a difference!

Also, to read more on the subject, check out my previous blog post: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Posted in Living BOLD, My Books, My Faith

A BIG Ask: A Chance to Share Your Story!

For those of you who are God-led and willing to do so, I have a BIG favor to ask of you.

This is not mandatory, nor is it demanded. This is not a whimsical request or an impersonal one.

This request has a purpose. This request will change lives.

A New Kind of Project

Many of you are already familiar with my book, The Miscarriage Project: Testimonials of Parents Who Found Hope in God.

https://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/800343-the-miscarriage-project

Well, I am planning another book with similar format to this one, but not about miscarriage. This is about helping others through a different kind of tragedy.

Abuse comes in all kinds, but it is time to shine light into the darkness of our past. Healing cannot take place until we face the pain of our past head on.

My BIG Request

As a fellow victim of abuse, please hear my sincere request – to share your story, too.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

As a victim, you never forget, but you are not alone in your suffering. My hope is to inspire others who’ve been abused to find true freedom from their pain.

That’s why I’m calling this book, The Freedom Project.

Again, I’m only asking those of you who are ready and willing to share your story of abuse. I am not asking those of you still deep in the suffering of your wounds.

For this project, I am asking for testimonials of abuse victims who’ve found peace and healing through faith in Jesus Christ. Also, for people who’s goal in sharing their story is to help others.

Disclaimer

This is not to mudsling anyone responsible for abuse or use as an opportunity to play the blame game. All persons involved in sharing testimonies and all persons mentioned will be anonymous or names changed. This will ensure protection of privacy.

My Prayer for You

Finally, I am praying for all of you reading this. Whether you’ve been abused or not, we all have struggles. I pray you all find the freedom in Christ you’ve been yearning for.

You can email your story or any questions to: boldandbeautifulblogger@gmail.com

Photo by Nina Uhlíková on Pexels.com

Scriptures

Galatians 6:2 NIV

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

John 8:31-32 NIV

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

Luke 6:27-36 NIV

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith, Uncategorized

“I Still Believe” Movie, 2020

After watching I Still Believe tonight, I am in awe of the power of God, yet again!

I Still Believe

This movie is based on the true story of famous Christian singer, Jeremy Camp; of his rise to fame and his beautiful love story of him and his first wife.

My heart both hurts and is joyful. So full of the Holy Spirit, I can’t sleep without telling you all about it.

Our faith is strengthened by adversity and struggles, not cupcakes and unicorns- sorry to disappoint you.

During Quarantine

This time in our lives is so unique in that everyone is struggling. Everyone is acknowledging a common struggle and banding together to find hope.

The problem is, anything they find that’s not Jesus will disappoint and fail them.

Now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to share your faith. Time and resources are not an excuse in a quarantined world.

What are you waiting for?

Speak up and let your faith do the talking. Be real, be honest, be faithful.

Scripture

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
‭‭

2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/111/2ti.1.6-10.niv

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