Archives For Frontline Mothering

VIrtue conf worships session - audienceBy Lisa Cherry

As we are finishing up our month long series on Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate & HOT ROMANCE, I want to encourage our readers to continue these discussions both in their families and their churches.

Many teens today have so little influence toward a life of virtue.  Recently we heard from Laurie, the leader of one of our POTTS groups in Billings, Montana about a successful event called Virtue! for teen girls at her church. Parents mentoring teens is what it is all about!

I asked her to tell you about it, and her account follows. After you read it, maybe you can suggest for our readers other events you have hosted to disciple your kids. We would love to share those ideas here.

Dear Frontline Moms:

I am excited to testify about our second annual teen girls’ event called Virtue!  designed to equip, inspire, restore, and call young women out to be virtuous! This event was so much more than just a good purity talk!

God’s desire for all young men and women is not just to wait, but to prepare. This season of singleness is their God-given time to grow in their knowledge of Him. Paul writes to Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

• In the first message Sheri Cooper shared how God’s Word is to be our wall to protect the treasures that God has entrusted to us. As she talked about making small compromises, she slowly began to slowly tear down the wall.  Suddenly the treasure inside was vulnerable and exposed. She used a pearl to represent the mind, a gold chunk to represent the heart and a diamond to represent the body. Each girl chose one token to remind them to guard the treasure that God has given them.

• “Use Me” was the title of Ronda Kiesser’s message about Queen Esther.  She talked about what it would have been like to be Esther. Why was she chosen? Because she was in submission to God, and she was prepared. How can we be ready to be used of God? By being submitted to Him and being prepared! She used an acronym for Esther: E-Expect God to Move, S-Surrender to His plan, T-Trust Him to lead, H-Honor His authority, E-Exercise Obedience and R-Release the outcome to God.

• Next I shared a message titled “Identity Crisis.” It was from my personal experiences of God stripping me of what I thought my identity was, and how He had me surrender to Him so that I would only be identified in Christ.  Ten women wore beauty pageant style sashes to show what the world says our identity is found in, such as: brand names, our weight, our abilities or lack thereof, outward appearance, and so on. Those things are not who they are; instead their identity is who they are in Christ. Then taking those worldly sashes off, I brought one teen girl on the stage and began layering, one on top of another, beautiful sashes that said things like “Loved,” “Chosen,” “Royalty,” “Accepted,” “Friend of God,” “Holy,” “Forgiven,” “Anointed.” I topped it off with a tiara, and then all could see was who she is in Christ!

• Rosebud Madinger finished with an incredible message titled “Spirit of Abandonment Adoption.”  The Father’s love, she taught, is the kind that would never leave or forsake us even if people have. She spoke of her husband’s love for their daughters, and of Jesus displaying it on the cross, and then the freedom we have to receive adoption.

 • After each session the girls had table time where they connected with their table leader and journaled about what God was speaking to them.

• Other highlights were: incredible worship led by Kayla Kiesser and her band, an amazing fancy lunch, snacks and late night floats prepared and served by Peggy Sharbono, beautiful decorations and a super fun photo booth by LaVonna Robinson, a powerful drama by Alyssa Hall, special music by Hannah Kiesser, the Britt Nicole song “Gold” and the Deluge song “I Wanna Be Used by You.” Sarah Cattarin did an excellent job moderating as well! Last but not least, none of it could have been done without our event coordinator, Laura Hall.

• Most importantly, 63 teen girls’ lives were impacted by God’s love!  There were several salvations and rededications.  We pray that these girls will live holy lives, set apart unto the Lord!

Thank you for wanting to hear what is going on in Billings, Montana. Pray for us to be able to take this message beyond the four walls of our church. Also, we have an event coming up in May for girls in grades three through six, called “SHINE.” It is a very similar format, with age appropriate topics, but with the same heart behind it. Please pray for that event!

God bless you! I hope this inspires others!

Pastor Laurie Houde

• These messages are on at,  along with another message by Pastor Laurie directed to both boys and girls on “Preparing” not just “Waiting! Feel free to check them out! 

You can get your POTTS group kit here:

POTTS Group Subscription

ESTHERBy Lisa Cherry

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013 our family gathered at a gravesite to comfort one another and celebrate a precious life. In honor of that life, I wanted to share the words I read at that service....

To think back on the last week of our family's life is not easy
. One week ago today our world was shattered by a doctor visit and phone call.

No heartbeat.  When I heard the words, I am certain I was like the rest of you. Shocked. Outraged. Horrified.

How could something so final and so hopeless interrupt our family's peaceful world?

My first strategy was one of denial. This can't really be happening. Surely someone will wake us from this nightmare, and we will discover it is simply a cruel joke.

My second strategy was to fix it.
To find some way to pull Adam and Kalyn from the pain as quickly as possible, much like a firefighter drags a victim from a burning house. To snuff out the reality of death or at least to soften its cruel blow.

My third was to question it. Why did this happen to us? What did we do wrong? Where is our God in this horrible time of loss?

But, I must say, those strategies only produced for me sleepless nights and desolate, dead end roads in my mind that led to nowhere helpful.

So today I am eager to lead us toward a fourth idea. To embrace together where we are in our journey as a family and to dig deeper to see the Lord's treasures within our family's pain. To celebrate the beauty of a little girl's 16 week life who lived briefly, but purposefully before her God.

Esther Kate Waller. Second born daughter of Adam and Kalyn Waller.

My precious 5th born grandchild.

From whose birth I have gained so much.

From her life I learned.....the depth and loyalty of sacrificial love. I watched a young mother wail for her precious child, willing to exchange her own life for Esther's if she but could ....willing to accept any deformity or defect without question...willing to suffer any pain it would take.

She asked protectively to the few attendants near her birthing bed, "Who's taking care of my baby?" even when her baby had no breath to protect. And suddenly I understood in a deeper way what God revealed about Himself when He said... "Can a mother forget her baby?  And have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will never forget you. " (Isaiah 49:15)

From her life I learned....the unconditional acceptance and steadfastness of daddy love I watched Adam gaze at his little six-inch long, immaturely formed daughter laying in his hand and say, "I want to rock her." Proudly he cradled her on his lap as he gently maneuvered the stiff hospital rocking chair. Why? Simply because she was his. Precious. Cherished. And wanted.

And I understood deeper an unconditional love flowing toward another daughter who also is immaturely formed. "For how great is the love the Father has lavished on me that I should be called a child of God!" (1 John 3:1)  And that is what I am!

From her life I learned...the beauty of the mystery of life.
Where others could have callously termed her little body a “product of conception” or even a demised fetus, I clearly saw a baby. Perfectly formed. Full of energy and life when we peeked in on her via ultrasound at 12 weeks. Properly equipped by her God for a destiny of service to Him. My resolve to honor and protect human life is strengthened from just those few hours in the presence of little Esther.  She demonstrated concretely for me those words I sometimes abstractly quoted....."You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13-16)

From her life I learned...the reality of eternity.
For my Esther has entered into the place I long to be. I am comforted to know Ging-gi and Mom, my grandmas who held me, are holding Esther now. She broke through this earth into paradise before even having to suffer the struggles of this life...which is actually, not that bad of a deal! She won't need this Grammy to sing her Jesus Loves Me and read her the Bible stories. She already knows Him so completely she will be ready to show me around some day.

From her life I learned....the faithfulness of our God even when my human questions go unanswered. I will still trust Him even when umbilical cords get tangled around legs so tightly that little babies die. I will still trust Him when pain and sorrow are attempting to crush my soul. I know more clearly that right now I am "only able to see as through a glass rather dimly" (1 Corinthians 13:12) but someday, I will see in clarity as Esther, our sister in the Lord, sees now. Everything makes sense for her. And now she stands as a witness urging us on in our race to trust and serve the One she loves completely. (Hebrews 12:1)

From her life I learned....the sensitivity of human grief. Never have I known personally or seen in our children such raw human pain. I thought I knew....but Esther has caused me to grow the size of my heart exponentially. Often we sweep over what pain we don't understand. Truly broken hearts feel miserable. But a broken heart can also become a blessing in disguise. Soft and pliable, it is able to receive beauty for ashes. Joy for mourning.  And soon I will be able to comfort others with the comfort I have received from our Lord. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Esther, through your life, I do believe many other lives will be healed.

Adam and Kalyn, thank you for bringing this child into our lives. Her birth has forever changed our family. She has brought to us exactly what the name you gave her means....secret purity.

The world may never know her, but her destiny, her assignment has been magnificently accomplished. She has brought us secret revelations of the purity of our God.

My treasured grandchild, I love you with an everlasting love.

I miss you terribly. I hurt to see your mama and daddy cry. I deeply wish we could have watched you grow, running hand in hand with your big sister, Kyla. But today, we celebrate who you are in our family and honor what your little life has deposited in us.

Together, we say thank you God, for the blessing of our baby Esther Kate.

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Gratefully linked to: Tell His Story    Friday Favorite Things at Finding Joy    Faith Filled Friday  True Stories   Gratituesday  Thriving Thursday    Winsome Wednesday     Legacy Leaver     The Better Mom    Welcome Home    Modest Mondays
Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday
 Mama Moments Mondays   Soli Deo Gloria  

Related Posts:
Baby Esther’s Mom and Recovery
Esther’s First Birthday in Heaven: One Year Later
Kalyn is Almost to Birth!



My Experience With Pregnancy After Loss – A Reflection on the Last 8 months

photo(61)Lately it has been much harder than normal to sit down and organize my thoughts into a blog post. I can hardly believe we are in the final stretch of this pregnancy. The last 8 months have seemed like a blur in many ways. I have had so many things running through my heart, and my mind has been scattered much of the time. When I try to sit and reflect, I recognize consistent patterns of inconsistencies. :-) A big mass of conflicting emotions and thoughts.

I feel like I just have my eyes on September 2, and I am running(or waddling), struggling, striving to just GET there. To get to labor and delivery, have my baby alive and crying, and bring him/her home with me.

It might seem strange to the average mom, but sometimes this feels like a feat as large as climbing Mt. Everest. I have to remind myself that everyday, hundreds of women around the world are pregnant and give birth to living babies. It’s not so difficult. But my heart doesn’t quite understand. I wanted to share a few thoughts on what pregnancy after loss has been like for me…

Pregnancy after loss for me has been:

…Unspeakable joy for the opportunity to carry another child and continuing grief for the life I will never get to know. It is hard to explain the confusing, powerful, assortment of emotions that have been my constant companion since the beginning of this year. I have been stretched and challenged by this conflicting mix daily over the last eight months.

photo(60)…Days of smiling to the kicks of life in my belly and days weeping at the grave of my second born. Having a baby after the death of a baby is really such a gift. There is a renewed sense of hope in a way. And yet, there is this lingering (even deepened) sense of emptiness knowing that nothing will ever fill the hole left by my little Esther’s absence.

… A combination of moments that take my breathe away – like hearing the heartbeat for the first, second, third time – and moments that I literally can’t breath – like laying on the table while they try to assess and re-assess the health of my baby’s organs. I know pregnancy can always be a roller coaster, but the stakes just seem so much higher now. The ups are so high, and the downs are very low.

…Heart melting moments of seeing Kyla attach to this baby, and heart stabbing moments realizing what she has already missed. It thrills me to see Kyla run up and give my belly kisses, tell the baby how much she loves him/her, and how she will see them soon. Her fascination with babies and excitement over having this little brother or sister is so precious. Yet she should already have a little sister just turning one. I still feel my heart skip a beat every time she says, “Our baby Esther is in heaven” or “I want to go see Esther’s grave. I miss her.” How can a mommy heart fully understand? What beauty and yet what pain interlaced.

…Much easier physically, yet much more difficult emotionally. The uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy just really haven’t bothered me too much this time. I’m pretty sure I feel about the same, I’m just looking at it very differently. When my feet swell, all I can do is waddle, and bouts of sleeplessness set in, it seems so much easier to take it in stride. Instead of being concerned about weight gain, unsightly veins, or stretch marks, I just think about that little heart beating inside of me and these things all seem like such small prices to pay. Yet the emotional stress has been much greater this time around. I wish I didn’t know everything that could go wrong. I miss that innocence.

photo(62)…Preparing baby things while baby things still represent deep pain to me. This may be hard to understand, but let me explain. After losing Esther, seeing babies and baby things brought fresh pain to my heart. Every time I would walk by baby girl clothes, I would feel the ache. Sometimes I would completely ignore the baby department, and sometimes I would browse through, imagining what she would look like in the soft pink outfits. Every single time I have gone to buy something for this baby, I have found myself in an emotional war zone that many times has led to a tearful breakdown. Since baby stuff has been a “trigger” for this grief, getting ready for another baby has been a constant emotional trigger. I’m thankful for the patience of my hubby as he has lovingly helping me walk through this. You don’t want to know how many trips to a store or website it took me before I finally bought some baby clothes for this little one. ;-)

…Exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I can hardly imagine how wonderful it will be to have another baby in our home! Sometimes I feel like I could burst from the excitement. And yet I have hardly known this kind of fear before. I feel like I have to slay dragons every day. My heart and mind remember the trauma so intimately. I know that most people probably do not feel inclined to do kick counts in the middle of the night, but well, most people probably haven’t given birth to a stillborn baby either. Sometimes I have to tell myself to get a grip. This journey has required me to hold onto my God like never before. I often feel like a toddler holding onto their daddy for dear life. I am thankful for the steadfast nature of my Father God that has upheld me day by day.

photo(63)…Beautiful. I have been able to appreciate the wonder of this process like I never could otherwise. Every flutter, every kick, every ultrasound photo has inspired in me such an awe for the beauty of created life in the womb. How special to get to experience the fullness of this.

…Humbling. I have a very Type A personality. I like to be in control and know what is going on. This whole pregnancy I have felt pretty out of control, out of my league, and unable to figure things out myself. I have felt like my heart is sitting out in the open. I’ve realize that I am really unable to protect myself or my child. I have needed more support. And most of all, I have had to find a hiding place inside my Jesus to get through each day.

So many times this process has seemed like too much for my heart to bear…the waiting, the uncertainty, the what ifs. Yet God has upheld me day by day. He is so faithful. In closing, wanted to share a song that has meant a lot to me in the last few days:

You are For Me

My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

We are now 29 days away from the estimated arrival!  SO CLOSE!!! Thanks for your continued prayers. Pretty soon, I’ll be introducing a new member of our family! :)

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yin yang
By Lisa Cherry

Romance is often imaged by a bed of roses. And I think I know why. In romance, sweetness is often mixed with thorns!

Because we strive to lead our children toward God honoring marriages that are built to last, we need to ponder the reality of pain in the relationship process. As parents, we hate to see our own children suffer.

But as we realize that suffering is what often produces the most dynamic growth, we are forced once again to do the hard but right thing. Allow them to learn like we did!

1. Finding a Godly mate involves risk. Risk of rejection. Risk of mistakes, and risk of failure.

2. A prudent person seeking a Godly relationship will maximize the chance for success, while minimizing the risk of failure/hurt. Find your family's method that allows agape love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) to lead your heart and not Eros (erotic desires.)

3. Adolescence is a season in our lives when everything feels like it revolves around us and our self-identified flaws. Building a relationship on a foundation of two people's insecurity and self-seeking needs is a recipe for pain. That's one reason why waiting until adolescence passes and young adulthood comes before entering into courtship/dating makes the greatest sense. If your need for someone exceeds your desire to give to someone, you are not ready for your mate!

4. Getting hurt is no fun. But hurting another person is torturous. Ask the Lord to help you walk in His principles so you will live a life without regrets for your own behaviors toward others.

5. Every method for finding a spouse—including courtship—involves some risk for disappointment and pain.
Learning to handle disappointment and pain is good training for the reality of married life that has its shares of bumps and scrapes.

6. New relationships always go through an "awkward" stage. In courtship, we can call it "friending" where no one is ready to make a commitment just yet and each person must learn to guard their own hearts. But let's get real. Who enjoys awkward when it is unclear whether the relationship will last?

7. Giving your heart, your relationships, and your future decisions to the Lord and then expecting Him to direct your steps is prudent. Trust Him to guide and be willing to receive His wise answers through the voice of your parents and other authorities. He might say "no" when your heart screams "yes."  Or He might say "yes" when your heart says "I don't want to risk getting hurt." He is your best matchmaker!

8. Forgive freely. When others make mistakes or when we ourselves hurt another, the healing will only come when we release the offense and allow our hearts to be made clean and whole again. (Ephesians 4:32)

9. When you enter a relationship with the intent to find God's choice of a spouse for you, you will either be building a lifetime foundation with your future marriage partner.....or playing around with the emotions of someone else's future husband or wife. Set your heart to honor them just as you would want someone else to guard your spouse's feelings.

10. Learning to hear your Daddy's voice is your highest priority for Godly romance
. Your Heavenly Father reveals Himself as the healer of broken hearts. (Psalm 147:3). Run to Him—not your friends or another romance—to do what only He can do best.

These 10 keys are best shared BEFORE they are needed in the lives of our kids!

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The photo at the top of this post, “Yin Yang” is copyright (c) 2004 by Macrophile and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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I’ve extended our Valentine’s Day contest until Friday, February 22.  There’s still time for you to win a copy of Hot Romance.  Read more about it here.  To enter leave a comment on any post dated February 10 through 22.

But you don’t have to wait for the drawing.  Hot Romance is on sale!

It's only $10.00, which is half price.  Now through February 22 at our store.

God yearns to pour out His blessing of love to all who will receive it, and the Hot Romance DVD will give you the tools to start this discussion with your teens.

Hot romance front


This post is part of my series Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate? Here are the rest of the posts in this series:


Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate?
Two of Our Kids Found Romance!
Can We Divorce-proof Our Kids? Ten Strategies for Parents
The Word that Makes Us Bristle: Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids, Part 2
Should Finding a Mate Be Like Buying a Pair of Shoes?
Ten Things I Teach My Sons about Girls
You Can’t Make Me!  Teens, Romance, and Rules
The Top Ten Things I Want My Daughters to Know about Boys

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Gratefully linked to

Top Ten Tuesday    Works for Me Wednesday    Encourage One Another      Titus 2sdays    Wholehearted Home Wednesday   Wifey Wednesday  Thriving Thursday  Titus 2 Tuesdays    Loving our Children Tuesday

By Lisa Cherry

Yesterday I got one of those calls that all of us dread to receive. Tragic news that cut me off at the knees and took my breath away.

Our daughter, Kalyn, was at her routine 16 week prenatal visit with her husband, Adam. No heartbeat was found in their precious second born child.

My immediate wailing response shocked my two children who were within earshot of my phone. The air hung around me thick and heavy as I grabbed my coat and headed for the door.

Nasty, horrible questions began swirling through my head like unwelcome intruders. They barged in as through a cordoned off barricade.

“Why, God, why? And why could You not let me be the one and not my precious daughter?” seemed to scream in my ear as I attempted to maneuver my car down the driveway.

I instinctively knew my enemy's voice. Taunting and teasing me toward a dead end road of torment…when I sensed my Father's redirection….Run to Me, Lisa, run. I will hold your bleeding heart.

Our family is walking through a valley of grief this week that we have never walked through before. Pre-born life ended. A child.  Not tissue. With fingers and toes and a beating heart.

I am so glad I was privileged to see his or her tiny form flitter around that ultrasound screen just a few weeks ago. I thought it at the time to be routine and somehow common. But now as I anticipate our only meeting in a section of the maternity ward no one ever wants to visit, I see once again how fragile and miraculous life is. For today I choose to focus on the promise. Eternity. Heavenly presence. Divine comfort. Reunited hope.

It is in these raw moments of life when we have no answers that our praise and our thanks surely holds higher value.

God, comfort and strengthen our hearts. My precious daughter and son-in-law. My family and my friends. For sometimes in this journey of parenting the weight is surely too much for us to bear. Lift us up, Lord, on wings like eagles. And we thank You and praise You for Your mercy and Your love.

This is all for me this week. I had great plans for other posts and drawings and giveaways.... but that will all wait until next week. After we walk through our difficult journey together.

Perhaps you are walking through a difficult path in your home right now, too. If so, we would count it an honor to pray for your family as we ask you to pray for ours. Contact us here or through

Lisa with six sonsBy Lisa Cherry

I shudder at the thought of my six sons learning their views on women from hanging out in the sports locker room.......or from watching the latest box office smash......or from the posters in the Victoria's Secret store at the mall.

Years ago I figured that somewhere out there, the six moms of their future wives were hoping my boys would learn to set their sights on something better than the cheap counterfeits of this world!

The training of our sons must go deeper than a quick piece of advice while we hand them the car keys and tell them what time to be in. What they learn from us can either speak volumes, or be a dull whisper that barely catches their attention.

Most of our influence comes when we least expect it. I intentionally look for opportunities to impart these ten things to my boys about girls....

1. God has one for you if you are called to be married.  She will be your helpmeet—well fitting, completing and suitable. Together you will do great exploits in the Kingdom of God.

2.  Discovering her will be an adventure… a sometimes nerve-racking, knuckle-biting drama! Females have a flair for the dramatic. Let the process of finding her mature your relationship with the Lord. Learn to seek Him first so you can hear His voice.

3. On the way to discovering her, you will meet many counterfeits.  How you handle those not-the-one-for-you girls will likely determine your future.

4. Some of those counterfeits are sent by the devil to distract you or to destroy your calling and destiny. You will need the power of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of your parents and mentors to avoid the enemy's schemes. Remember your brother Samson.

5. Treat every girl you meet the same way you want the guys to treat your future wife. ←tweet  Paul gave the young man Timothy great advice when he said to “treat…younger women as sisters.” 1 Timothy 5:2

6. You can rule over your own emotions and hormones!  You are a man of God, not an animal. Sexual purity before marriage is not easy, but it is achievable through the leadership of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.  The self control muscle you learn early in life will be the same self control needed to keep your marriage strong.

7.  Set your heart to radically pursue God—not girls—in your teen years.  Passion can be recklessly wasted never to return again. One day, while you are running toward God's plan for your life, you will look over and discover the one running along side you who will be your life partner.

8. Turn your eyes away from immorality. Learn to guard your heart. You want to find a one-man woman so you must be the one-woman man now.

9. Prepare your fields now. Learn to be an excellent provider. After that you can prepare your house.  A woman needs a man who is ready to lead their home with excellence.

10. Listen to the team God has placed on your side
. Your dad and mom are your best coaches. Believe God will use them, as well as the other mentors in your life, to help you make wise plans for your bride. Trust the process. God's timing is always perfect.

How about you? What are you teaching your sons about girls?

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This post is part of my series, Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate? Here are the rest of the posts:

Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate?
Two of Our Kids Found Romance!
Can We Divorce-proof Our Kids? Ten Strategies for Parents
The Word that Makes Us Bristle: Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids, Part 2
Should Finding a Mate Be Like Buying a Pair of Shoes?
You Can’t Make Me!  Teens, Romance, and Rules
The Top Ten Things I Want My Daughters to Know about Boys

Don’t miss this special sale on our Hot Romance DVD:

It's now only $10.00, which is half price.  Now through February 14 at our store.

Hot romance front

Gratefully linked to  Top Ten Tuesday   Encourage One Another     Works for Me Wednesday     Wholehearted Home Wednesday

The Better Mom      Titus 2sdays     Modest Mondays     Marital Oneness Mondays        Mondays with Countrified Hicks      Welcome Home

Marriage Monday