Category: Announcements

Bible Giveaway Results

I’m posting this only because I said I would reveal the winner today, and I didn’t want to leave a loose end. Unfortunately, nobody entered the giveaway, so there is no winner! Boo. 🙁

Oh well, looks like my husband gets a new Bible courtesy of I Do… Now What?. 😉 He’s been wanting a new one anyway, so I guess that works out.

Anyway, have a great week!

 

A Giveaway for Giving Tuesday!

biblegiveaway

Today is Giving Tuesday! After all the shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s about time to set aside a day for giving instead of receiving. Don’t get me wrong, I like shopping as much as the next person. 😉 But today, let’s focus on giving to others!

In honor of this day, I am offering a free giveaway. I’ll be giving away one of these Bibles from Amazon to one of my subscribers!

Here’s the catch–you have to enter to win. You can enter by subscribing for updates here on my blog. If you are already subscribed, you can enter by sharing my Facebook post about this giveaway. You can find my Facebook page here. After you’ve subscribed or shared, post a comment on this post to let me know. Then I will enter you into the drawing! A winner will be chosen at random next Tuesday, December 6th, at 5:00 PM. I will post the winner’s name on Facebook and Instagram, and then send the free gift–a beautiful new Bible. The winner will be able to choose which of these Bibles they would like to receive.

Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Compassion International for this Giving Tuesday. Compassion is a Christian organization focused on releasing children from poverty in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. They work by connecting sponsors with children, who develop a supportive relationship and correspond via letters. Sponsoring a child costs $38 per month, and provides the child with access to a local church-based program where they can receive education, health services, self-confidence and social skills, and a relationship with Jesus through Bible education and ministry. I have been a sponsor for several years now, and it has been such a special relationship and a way for me to minister to a child in need. If you are interested in sponsoring a child, you can get more information here.

Compassion also offers a gift catalog, where you can purchase specific items to donate to families and children in need. In the past, I have enjoyed purchasing things like newborn survival kits, a water pump, and livestock! These gifts can make a huge difference for impoverished families. Check out the gift catalog here. You can give a gift in someone’s name for Christmas!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

To My Dear Subscribers

Hello!
I wanted to let you know that I am moving to a weekly newsletter, instead of sending out emails each time I post. This way, I won’t clog up your inbox with multiple posts per week! I’ll be emailing my newsletter every Friday, starting this week, so keep an eye out for that.

Thanks for reading! You guys are the best.

 

Update!

Hello readers!

There’s going to be some changes on “I Do… Now What?” that I want to tell you all about.

As part of my plan to move into blogging professionally, I’m re-envisioning this space as a more targeted, practical source of ideas and inspiration for marriage, parenting, homemaking, and life with God. My posts are going to be more concise, frequent, and applicable. I’ll also be promoting some non-fiction ebooks that I’m planning to write. I’m excited to hopefully reach more people with these changes!

As for my personal journey and sharing my life online, I’m moving everything over to my new personal blog, HeatherWestropp.com. I invite you all to visit and subscribe for updates over there, if you’d like! That way, you can continue to read updates about what’s going on with me, Cory, and Cody. =] And that is also where you will find any fiction I have written, or will write in the future, as well as reviews for fiction books I’ve read.

I also have a third blog called Mindful Birthing, focused on pregnancy, birth, and early parenting, which I’m using to promote my new business as a Hypnobabies birth educator. If you’d like to follow that blog, you can visit and subscribe for updates at YourMindfulBirth.com.

Lastly, I’m planning to be active on social media and I’d love to connect with you.

You can like my Facebook fan page for “I Do… Now What?” here, and follow “I Do… Now What?” on Instagram here.

My personal Facebook page is here, and Instagram is here.

You can follow my Mindful Birthing Facebook page here.

 

I know this is a lot of information, so thanks for bearing with me. I so appreciate all of your support as I jump into pursuing some of my passions!

I’m happy to return the favor, of course. Please feel free to link up your own blog, website, or social media pages in the comments so I can subscribe, follow, like, and support you right back. =]

Racism Is Not Cool.

I don’t watch, read, or listen to the news regularly, because I feel it paints an excessively negative picture of the world. At the same time, all of the terrible things that happen in the world every day are still happening, and sometimes I can’t ignore them. As much as I’d like to pretend that the world is a good place, it’s frequently not. Yes, there is beauty and love and decency in the world; there is also hatred, tragedy, and terror. I choose to focus on the good as much as possible, but today I have to speak out about the issues of racism that are leading to brutal murders across our nation.

Racism is a huge problem in our country. I have not understood this in the past because I’d like to believe we’re better than that, and as a White person I’ve not experienced the reality of racism firsthand. I’ve tried to explain away stories I’ve heard, or brush them off as rare instances. But the reality is that racism, and particularly institutional racism, is very much alive.

My heart is broken at the horrific stories of Black people being murdered by police officers for no reason other than being Black. I thought I would offer a sort of tribute to all of the recent Black victims of police brutality by listing their names here, but I was shocked to find that the list was too long; I’m talking hundreds within the past two years alone. Not all of these hundreds of victims were purely innocent in the incidents that led to their deaths–many of them were breaking laws or making poor decisions–but they were all unarmed, and treated with excessive force which led to their deaths. I can’t help but think that race was a primary factor in these officers’ decision to use excessive force. A list of these victims can be found here: http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/.

The victims of the past week, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, did nothing to warrant the brutal murders carried out by the police. These victims leave behind families and friends, and potential futures that they never got to live out. My heart is equally broken over the tragedy of the police killings in Dallas. These brave men dedicated their lives to serving and protecting, and they too leave behind loved ones and lives that mattered. All of these events are disgusting to me, and the fact that it’s all over race, an innate part of a person’s DNA and culture, is unthinkable to me. How can we humans do this to each other? I don’t understand. It needs to stop.
I support police officers. I respect their bravery and appreciate what they do. I believe that there are many countless officers who uphold justice and rise above racism. I would not want to live in a society without police officers there to uphold the law and protect civilians from those who would harm them.

I also support the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement is important because yes, of course all lives matter, but black lives are the ones being systematically deprived of human rights and dignity. Angrily criticizing this movement in favor of the idea that “all lives matter” is ignorant to the fact that not all lives are treated as equal in our country. Yes, all lives matter. But they are not all treated that way. And that is simply wrong and unacceptable for us as human beings, and especially for those of us who follow Christ. We need to do better, people.

Ending on a positive note, I believe that we can do better. I know there are people everywhere who embrace other people of different races without a second thought, and I have hope that one day, this will be the norm. One day, all Black people could feel safe in our country and equally protected under the law. One day, all White people could shed ignorance, entitlement, and suspicion in favor of love and respect. We could live in peace and stop senselessly killing each other. That’s what I’m hoping for. A world without racism is one step closer to God’s will on earth. That’s my prayer today.

Praying for comfort for the families of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Smith, victims of this past week’s violence.

No Words

Hey. So I haven’t posted the last two weeks, mostly because I’ve been busy and also because I haven’t had much to say. But I just wanted to post something about the tragedy that our nation has been dealing with the last few days. Part of me thought that I shouldn’t say anything. I mean, what can I say? There are no words to explain the sadness, the despair,  the disgust, the fury, or the bewilderment that I feel when I think about what happened. There are no words that I can offer to bring comfort or healing or even distraction to others. There are no words to say at all, really. But I felt that anything, even just a short post filled with words that are not helpful at all, would be better than trying to ignore it.

So here it is.

I offer my deepest condolences to the victims of this unspeakable crime. These families are in my prayers. As our country and our world falls apart, my only hope is to draw closer to God and to try harder to love others every day.

 

 

Hey Mama

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, so I thought it would be most appropriate to write a little something for moms. I personally have three moms; my biological mom, my step-mom, and now my mother-in-law as well. Not only that, but I hope to be a mom someday, possibly of many; depending on our financial situation, my husband and I are thinking of adopting a fairly large family in the future, as well as having one or two children biologically. So, I thought I would take some time to ask myself what it means to be a mother— particularly, what it means to be a good mother.

I love my moms. They all offer something a little bit different, but very valuable. My birth-mom gave me life, took care of me as a child, and now provides much-needed support, encouragement, and friendship. My step-mom particularly helped me get through my teenage years, and has provided many years of great advice, guidance, and companionship. My mother-in-law did me the priceless service of raising my husband, including nurturing him through a long and difficult childhood illness and always making sure he was taken care of. She and my father-in-law continue to provide support for us while we are getting on our feet as a young family, which we deeply appreciate. There is simply no doubt about it; I need my moms!

I think that providing for the needs of a child is probably the most obvious and basic aspects of being a mother. Any mother worth her salt must be willing to do anything and everything in her power to make sure that her children have what they need. That often means self-sacrifice, something that every good mother experiences at some point. Whether it’s waking up at 4:00 in the morning to feed your crying baby, giving up your dream job so that you can provide for your children, or driving a mini-van, all good moms make personal sacrifices to do what is best for their children.

Other important aspects of a mother’s job are providing guidance, teaching, disciplining, and acting as a role-model.

A Godly mother teaches her children about God and the Bible. The family is the most important teacher for a child, and the best way to ensure that a child will grow up to love God is to make sure that they learn about Him early on. That means making God the center of your family and showing children what it means to have a relationship with Jesus.

A mother also must provide guidance and discipline, helping her children make good decisions and learn to be independent. When her children grow up, the mother’s job is to provide loving guidance and support; she no longer tries to control her children’s decisions, but instead encourages them to make good ones and offers help when they’re in need.

Finally, a mother is to be a role-model. Godly moms know that everything they do influences what their children will do, and they act in a way that honors God so that their children might do the same.

Clearly, the job of being a mom is no small task! It is hard work, involves a lot of discipline and sacrifice, and it almost always is a life-long job. It is because of this that I want to say thank you to my moms, and for all of the other good moms out there. Here’s to you and everything you do! The world would be a mess without you.

Before I end, I want to clarify two things. First of all, a mother does not have to be the woman who gave birth to you. A mother does not need to be a woman who gave birth at all! Childbearing isn’t what makes women mothers; it’s everything afterwards. Any women who nurtures, cares for, provides for, loves, and supports a child is a mother.

Second of all, no mom is perfect. Although I have described some of the key characteristics of what I feel to be the ideal mom, in no way do I expect any mom to fully live up to that. On the other hand, I passionately believe that a mom who follows Christ is empowered to do amazing things. God gives us the power to be the best people that we can be, not because we work harder but because He sends His Spirit to guide us. Through Christ, we can do all things, and that includes being amazing mothers. And when we make mistakes, which we certainly will, we can be comforted by the fact that God makes us new each day and it is never too late to be a good mom.

I am fairly certain that one day I will be a mother. I hope that when I do, I can take everything that my mothers have taught me— the wonderful, the good, the bad, and the ugly— and use that knowledge to be the best mother I can be. I know that with God as my guide, I will be a great mother. And until then, I will continue to watch in awe as women around me take on and embody the crucial job of being a mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!