He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord! Psalm 113:9
images: KARA HOEY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC models: KATIE CARPENTER & DAUGHTER makeup and hair: JANELLE CHRISTINE HAIR & MAKEUP styling: KARA HOEY
joyful MOTHERHOOD Let me proclaim this as loud as possible: motherhood is a joyful victory! My heart has been resonating with this celebration for a while now. For the mothers whose joy is complete, I rejoice with you. For the women who are living in a time of joy deferred, I share your hope – a robust and living hope. But may everyone who listens know the “yes” in my heart. Working with young families, I am privileged to capture their sweet love on camera. Every family’s story is different; every one touches my heart. I have met families celebrating their first child. Some have longed for a child for many seasons. Whenever any of them see that breakthrough, the celebration is huge. Then there are families that have experienced great loss. But for every baby born after such a loss, we shout even louder in celebration. Every single one of these stories is a beautiful testimony of God’s goodness. This week in particular – approaching Mother’s Day - my heart is bursting for every woman who is longing for a child. And so I will honor the beautiful mothers in my life – mothers whose children have arrived, or are arriving soon, and the women who are mothers-in-waiting whose children we are praying into this world. I am praying for you all. You who have been labeled barren, waiting for your own celebration, may you not be barren any more. You who are waiting, who have had to endure a long delay in conceiving your next child, may your joy come soon. Let your hope rest in the Lord and be resolutely firm and unwavering. No matter what comes against us, God is so much greater. On the days leading up to this Mother’s Day, I have added to this booklet several stories of women from the Bible. These women carry some incredible testimonies. As you read these stories, rejoice, be encouraged, and believe that what God has done for them He will do for you. Love & Big Hugs,
Table of Contents
Elizabeth’s Story PA G E S 8 -1 1
Sarah’s Story PA G E S 1 2 -1 5
Rachel’s Story PA G E S 1 6 -1 9
Rebekah’s Story PA G E S 2 0 -2 3
Hannah’s Story PA G E S 2 4 -2 7
Let Hope Rise PA G E S 2 8 -2 9
For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37
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Elizabeth’s Story Husband // Zechariah, a priest before God Occupation // Homemaker Difficulties // Old in age and barren Her Victory // Gave birth to a son, named John
read elizabeth’s story in luke 1:5-80
lizabeth and her husband Zechariah had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years. An angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah, saying, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.” Elizabeth became pregnant and believed that the Lord had shown her favor and taken away her disgrace among the people. Elizabeth gave birth to a son and her neighbors and relatives shared her joy. As the angel had instructed, they named him John.
Praise you Lord, for you are no t l imited by our physical limitations!
Sarah’s Story Husband // Abraham Occupation // Household Manager Difficulties // Old in age and barren; trouble believing in God’s promises to her Her Victory // Gave birth to her son Isaac in her 90s
read sarah’s story in genesis 11-25
arah and her husband Abraham had no children, because Sarah was barren. The Lord appeared to Abraham, saying, “I will bless [Sarah] and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her. Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.” The Lord appeared to Abraham a second time, telling him that Sarah will have a son the next year; this time Sarah overheard the Lord from the tent. Sarah laughed, not believing that she would have a child because she was 90 and Abraham was 99! The Lord was gracious to Sarah, and he did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son; at the very time God had promised him. As the Lord had instructed, they named him Isaac. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
Praise you Lord, for you can be trusted to keep your promises!
F o r y o u , O L o r d , h a ve m a d e m e g l a d b y w h a t y o u h a ve d o n e , I will sing for joy at the works of y our hands. Psalm 92:4
a joyful motherhood / 15
Take delight i n the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
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Rachel’s Story Husband // Jacob Occupation // Shepherdess, Housewife Difficulties // Young but barren and jealous of her sister Her Victory // She gave birth to Joseph after many years of barrenness
read rachel’s story in genesis 29-35:20
achel had to wait seven years to finally marry Jacob. When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, Rachel became jealous of her sister Leah who had conceived four children. Consumed by her great envy of Leah, Rachel told Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” In competition with one another, both Leah and Rachel gave their maidservants to their husband so that they could have more children. Eventually God answered Rachel’s prayers and gave her a child of her own, and Rachel said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” She named her son Joseph.
P r a i s e y o u L o r d , f o r y o u h a ve n o t f o r g o t t e n u s ! May we wait patiently for your perfect timing.
Rebekah’s Story Husband // Isaac Occupation // Household Manager Difficulties // Married for many years but still had no children Her Victory // Gave birth to twin boys, Esau and Jacob
read rebekah’s story in genesis 24-49
ebekah married Isaac when Isaac was 40 years old. Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of Rebekah, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant. During her pregnancy the Lord revealed that there were two babies inside of her. When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
P r a i s e y o u L o r d , f o r y o u h e a r e ve r y prayer and choose to bless your children!
“ F o r I k n o w t h e p l a n s I h a ve f o r y o u , ” d e c l a r e s t h e L o r d , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, p l a n s t o g i ve y o u h o p e a n d a f u t u r e . ” Jeremiah 29:11
a joyful motherhood / 23
F o r t h i s c h i l d I p r a y e d ; a n d t h e L O R D h a s g i ve n me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27
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Hannah’s Story Husband // Elkanah Occupation // Homemaker Difficulties // Her womb was closed and she was tormented by a rival Her Victory // She gave birth to Samuel, and three other sons and two daughters
read hannah’s story in 1 samuel 1-2
annah shared a husband with Peninnah; his name was Elkanah. Hannah’s womb was closed, but her rival Peninnah had several children with Elkanah. Year after year Peninnah provoked Hannah in order to irritate her. Hannah would go to the Lord and weep and would not eat. Elkanah loved Hannah, but was unable to comfort her. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” A priest near Hannah observed her while she was praying, and told her “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” The next day Hannah and Elkanah conceived and later gave birth to a son. Hannah named him Samuel saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” In time Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord.
P r a i s e y o u L o r d , f o r w e c a n l e a ve o u r problems at your feet and trust in your goodness!
Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5
Let Hope Rise HAPPY MOTHERâ€™S DAY! Today we join in celebrating every mother and mother-in-waiting. We celebrate the breakthroughs that have come for so many, even those that have been announced this very day. Choose to celebrate the many victories of those around you!
P r e ciou s One,
Choose today to believe in what looks and feels like the impossible. Let hope rise. Forgive yourself for anything that youâ€™ve done in the past and for any negative words that youâ€™ve spoken over yourself. Let hope rise. Choose to believe that your body can be healed to complete wholeness. Let hope rise. Believe that God is good and his will is for you to be fruitful and multiply. Let hope rise. Let your hope rest in the Lord and be resolutely firm and unwavering. Let hope rise. Rejoice in the testimonies, be encouraged by them, and believe that what God has done for them He will do for you. And when you receive your gift from the Lord, share your testimony, be open and real, so that others may celebrate with you and find encouragement for their own journey. Love & Big Hugs,
IF SOMEONE YOU LOVE NEEDS HOPE YOUR PERSONAL TESTIMONY TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS IF YOU ARE ENCOURAGED SHARE BY USING THIS HASHTAG ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, AND TWITTER:
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Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45
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