Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

My roommate in college (and still great friend) Corie shared this with me way back in 1995 but it still holds true today!! May I live this boldly each day and teach my daughter to love God with all her heart, soul, mind and strenth.

“I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His and I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I'm done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.

My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.
I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He'll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!”

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Infertility Stinks!

Why Does Infertility Stink??

  • The dream you had of marriage then kids has been shattered.
  • Every month having to see just one pink line on the pregnancy test, instead of two
  • 16 and pregnant on MTV
  • The never ending question of "When are ya'll going to have kids?"
  • People telling you that you can't do a good job in children's ministry or as a teacher because you do not have children of your own
  • Baby Dedication
  • Mother's Day
  • Going to Babies R Us
  • Being told to "just adopt" and feeling bad because you don't feel led to do it.
  • Hearing the news that one of your friends or family members is pregnant. One one hand you are excited for them but on the other hand your heart breaks because you wish it was you. Then you feel bad for not feeling absolutely excited for your love ones, and then you beat yourself up for being selfish
  • Feeling like you must have some BIG SIN in your life or why else would you not be pregnant
  • Feeling like you are a science experiment
  • Having your most private parts of your body be on display for countless doctors, nurses and even pre-med students
  • Taking vitamins, hormones, and shots
  • Doubting your faith and wondering where God is in all of this struggle.
  • Seeing the "I'm so sorry" look in the nurse's eyes as she tells you yet again that you are not pregnant
  • Crying in the Wal-Mart check out line as you buy your "supplies" for your monthly gift
  • Hearing "We weren't even trying"!
  • Having your arms ache to hold a child
  • People telling you to "just relax and it will just happen"

These are all things that I have hated and still sometimes hate about infertility. Infertility is not fair, it stinks, it's heartbreaking and it affects you spiritually, emotionally and spiritually! Through my struggle with infertility the words of this song helped. My favorite line is "still I will praise you, still I will praise you!"

The biggest change in my relationship with the Lord that happened during my infertility journey was that my love for God is now based on WHO HE IS and not on what He gives me! Even though I have a child now, through the help of hormones, shots and treatment, my heart still aches. Because now that she is 18 months old the questions are starting up again...when are you going to have another one? So today as we sang the song below in church, God reminded me of the lessons of grace, mercy and faithfulness that He had already taught me. So today I can again say, "still I will praise you LORD!"


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth


Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Monday, June 14, 2010

A picture that changed my perspective

They say a picture is worth a thousand words....but to me this picture is a dividing line in my life. It is the point at which I went from a woman who said she was completely sold out to the Lord but really wasn't. A woman who would live like a Christian one day and a lost soul the next. A woman who would trust God in the good times put would easily turn away from Him when life was unfair. That woman with wavery faith was transformed through suffering and uncertainty on December 30, 2008.

My precious daughter was born, by emergency c-section, 10 weeks early! I had had it all planned out. She was not suppose to be born until March, so I was going to spend my Christmas break (I taught 6th grade at the time), getting my hair, toes, and finger nails done. I wanted to make sure I looked "perfect" when it was time to deliver. But oh, how God's plans are so much higher, wiser and more PERFECT then our plans could every be!

On December 17th, I was rushed to the hospital in preterm labor. I was then on bed rest for 2 weeks. The first 4 days of which I had to lay perfectly still and was not even allowed to go to the bathroom. So you can image how beautiful I looked and smelled!! God was humbling me, and teaching me day by day, hour by hour. Then on December 30th my miracle was happened. Ava Elizabeth was born! She has to stay in the NICU for 8 weeks and during that time God continued to grow and refine me.

All my past worries of what I looked like, what I acted like and what others thought about me went out the door. For my whole, almost 32 years at that point, I had been a people pleaser. My moods and decisions would change based on other people's opinions. I would be up one day and down the next. I would make a decision I "thought" was right one minute and then change it the next because someone in my life did not approve of it. That all changed when I had Ava. The only person I worried about was that little 2 pound 14 oz little girl fighting for her life in her tiny incubator in room 4 of the NICU.

Today I looked at the picture in my hallway of my chipped finger nailed hand being held by my precious, beautiful, miracle, life altering daughter, Ava! So who am I today. I am a woman that is bold, brave, and completely sold out to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Am I still a people pleaser? Well, sometimes, but not as often. Everyday I seek to be the mother of a daughter, who is a true miracle. A daughter whom I desire to lead, guide and direct towards an amazing relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Need a Speaker? Information sheet page 1


Abbey Medcalf Cooler is a dynamic and energetic speaker. She has a heart for women, whether young, old, married, single, a working or stay-at-home mom. Her messages are filled with encouragement, Biblical truths and humor woven together with her own personal experiences.

Abbey has a Masters of Arts in Christian Education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education from Gardner-Webb University. Abbey has served on the staff of First Baptist Woodstock as the Associate Director of Elementary Ministries focusing on the third-fifth grades. She has served on the staff at Noonday Baptist Church as the Preschool and Children’s Director before moving on to teach sixth grade at Cherokee Christian School. She is currently residing in Acworth, Georgia and is a stay-at-home mom. Abbey is married to Adam and they have a daughter, Ava.

“There is nothing quite like personal experience. Abbey has walked where many have walked, however her perspective was life changing.”
Dr. Johnny Hunt, Pastor of First Baptist Woodstock.

“Abbey brings three important qualities to the ministry table: experience, passion, and a love of God's Word.  All three are needed in ministry today.  She has a heart for seeing women of all ages impacted by the powerful Truth of God."
Kim Davidson, Director of Parent and Family Ministries
Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC

Need a Speaker? Information sheet page 2

Speaking Topics

Are We There Yet?
On our journey in the Christian walk some times God calls us to take scary steps. As we walk high on the mountain top and low in the valley,God may call us to step out on faith. Remember that God is the lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.

To Those Who Come Behind Us
As Christian women while we are living our lives and developing our own
Christian walks, let us not forget to look behind us. There are younger women behind us that need support and encouragement.

The Perfect Parking Spot
“That job is too simple...that job doesn’t give me the recognition that I need... I want to be like him or her.” This is what many of us say when we are presented with an opportunity to serve the Lord. Let us not miss out on God’s plan for our lives because we are waiting to be recognized for what we are doing.

Secure in Your Insecurities
“Not pretty, too fat, too skinny, too many zits or wrinkles, too flat” All of
us have insecurities. Let us look together at what God says about our value and worth.

She Was How Small?
My daughter was born 10 weeks early when I was just 30 weeks pregnant. While she was in the NICU I saw babies born as early as 23 weeks. These babies not only survived but thrived. This experience gave me a real view of the devastation of late-term abortions.

True Love Waits Until You Are 28!
Actually I had to wait until I was 29! Being single in “Christian land” can be
tough. Be encouraged to be faithful and pure to your values, to your faith and to your God.

Contact Information:
Abbey Medcalf Cooler
40 Thornwood Lane
Acworth, GA 30101

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My little miracle baby girl!

This is a picture of Ava and I during her NICU days!! For those of you that don't know she was born 10 weeks early and spent 8 weeks in the NICU. She is 17 months old now, walking, starting to talk and bringing joy to my life each and every day! It was not the path I would have taken, but I am grateful that God found me faithful! To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plan to prosper you and not harm you, plans for your hope and a future!"

The Chosen Mothers

By Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit.

Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a child with an illness." The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."

"Exactly" smiles God, "Could I give a child with an illness to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But, does she have patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she will handle it."

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has it's own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think her faith is strong enouch."

"No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps. "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see... ignorance, cruelty, prejudice... and allow her to rise above them." She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side."

"And what about her patron Saint?" asks the angel. His pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."