happy, happy birth-day!!

In case you didn’t get the me!-me!-memo, I’m turning 35 on Halloween. And I’ve started this birthday tradition. I sat here for the longest time tonight, wondering how to start this post. It means a lot to me, and I don’t want to mess it up. I just spent some time on my bedroom floor asking God to give me words, but.

Sometimes I wish he would just log into WordPress and write important blog posts himself. I don’t want to get in the way.

My heart is aching tonight for some women (and girls) right here where I live. They’re carrying tiny little babies in their wombs, but they aren’t celebrating with their husbands and friends about it.

They’re scared out of their ever-loving minds. And with good reason.

I get prayer requests (via e-mail) every week or so from the Pregnancy Decision Health Center here in Columbus. Girls and women who have called or come in to their office seeking help. No names or specifics but enough details to give shape to my prayers.

A single mom of 3 who is 9 weeks pregnant and not sure of the father of the baby.

A 14-year-old girl who is 18 weeks pregnant. Her mother has scheduled an abortion, but the girl doesn’t want to go through with it.

A 12-year-old girl whose 17-year-old boyfriend called in “to get this situation taken care of.”

I could cry. And sometimes I do. And I pray. And I wish I could do more. And I know that “Hey, sorry you’re pregnant, but here’s a book” is not going to make everything better for these girls and women. But I’ve got to believe that God is going to use my loaves and fishes to make a bigger impact than I know.

And with all of you chipping in, I just feel buoyed and encouraged, like maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference.

The president of PDHC is running in a Marathon for Life this Saturday. He’s asking people to donate $1 per mile toward PDHC, and I did that tonight. Maybe you’d rather not donate a book, but you’d like to donate some money straight to your local pregnancy center.

That would be awesome.

He also shared that every Tuesday at noon, he quietly prays outside an abortion clinic here in town for about an hour. He said that sometimes people join him, sometimes they don’t, but he’s never alone. He can physically feel God’s hand on him while he paces back and forth on the sidewalk praying. This abortion clinic is so close to my house. I think I might try to gather enough courage to join him sometime.

I know how “offensive” some pro-lifers can be/seem. I know the line about “why are we so fired up about abortion yet don’t care about the thousands of kiddos starving to death every day?”

I personally don’t think we have to choose between the two. Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us honestly have enough resources to help quite a variety of people. And ALL of them matter to God. And if you can absolutely, positively not afford to give a cent, you can pray. And pray and pray and pray.

So, here’s what I’m asking you to do:

1. Give $10 toward a copy of Expecting for a pregnant woman in need of HOPE. (Donate via paypal or contact me about writing a check.) OR

2. Give $5, and I will pair you up with another $5 donor to give a book. (Again, paypal or check.) OR

3. Buy several copies of Expecting from Amazon (for $10.19) and deliver them to your local pregnancy center yourself. (and please tell me about it!) OR

4. Buy a copy of Expecting for yourself and pray each week for a pregnant woman in poverty in a 3rd world country (I’m working on getting names of women in Haiti and possibly Kenya. This makes me so happy.)

5. Give some $ (any amount) to a person or organization that God has laid on your heart. And do it TODAY.

and 2 more things:

Leave a comment and share what you did so we can be encouraged AND tell one or two (or 500) people to pop on over here and get involved too.

Thank you, friends, for making my 35th birthday the best one ever! (no, it’s not until Sunday–I’m just making it strrrrrrrrretch this year!) Love you much!

46 thoughts on “happy, happy birth-day!!

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  5. jill

    What a wonderful idea for a birthday. I’ll have to find out more about this since it sounds great. When my daughter got pregnant, I took her to a local pregnancy resource center and it was not very good. In fact, my daughter ended up more upset and wouldn’t even acknowledge the fact she was pregnant. It took some doing, but I became her partner in pregnancy, and she is now the proud parent of an almost 2 yr old redhead. She is a cloth diapering, breast feeding, baby wearing, whole foods diet mom. In helping her, I too became those things. Of course life isn’t perfect, but I know God has a plan for us and our lives.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Wow, Jill. Your daughter is so blessed to have such awesome support from her mama. Praise the Lord! (and I’m so sorry your experience with the pregnancy center wasn’t a good one–hopefully that was an unfortunate exception and not the rule)

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  7. Christina Burt

    Ordered my copy, I’m going to put together a whole basket of goodies that a pregnant mommy would want and donate it in memory of Margaret. This is a wonderful idea. You know, my mom was 14 when she got pregnant for me, my grandma scheduled an appointment to “take care of it” and my mom refused. Praise the Lord for that! Now, at 50 years old she has 3 daughters and 11 grandchildren, 14 gifts from above that may never had happened had she been abortion minded! God is amazing, thank you for being so willing to do His work! TLBY

  8. Denise

    Hey you! I love you! I would like to donate a book! I will have the money for you Sunday if that’s ok..? I doubt I will see you prior to that…but please please donate one from me…

    is cash ok?

  9. Mrs. M.


    You are a wonder! I sent you my $10 via PayPal.

    If Jessi’s birth mother hadn’t had the courage and generosity to give her life, I couldn’t call her my daughter. The world is richer because Jessi is in it. If you can help one other woman during what must be an awful time for her, to make the HUGE sacrifice to bring life into the world, then imagine how many people will be enriched.

    Happy 35th Birthday!!

    Mrs. M.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thank you so, so, so, so much, Mrs. M! I LOVE Jessi’s story, and I love that God orchestrated everything so beautifully to bring you together. Makes my heart smile. Love you!

  10. Carrie

    Hey Marla, just sent you a donation toward a copy of Expecting! Thanks so much for using your b-day in such a giving way and for giving us the opportunity to join you! Wishing you a blessed birthday on Sunday!

  11. Lisa

    Hi, Marla, and Happy Birthday!

    Paypal wouldn’t let me leave a message, so I’ll just give you the names of two pregnancy centers around here.
    Liberty Godparent Home
    Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center

    I’ve been telling people about your book!

    Love ya,

    Aunt Lisa

  12. Sarah Harris

    Hi, I am your friend Megan’s sister, my name is Sarah and I just wanna say that I had a child out of wed lock and abortion never did cross my mind when I had my little girl. She is going to be 2 this coming Wednesday and I love her so much, she has changed my life for the better. I have gone back to school to continue my education to get a better career for myself and my family. I do have a fiance that I have been with for almost 3 years and he is also going to school while he works overnights at Wal-Mart while I stay at home with our daughter. I know I am one of the fortunate ones, because a lot of guys won’t stick around once they find out they get someone pregnant but he decided to and I am glad he did, because it would be so hard without him but even if he didn’t I still wouldn’t of had an abortion. Life can be hard at times, but what gets us through is God and love. I will pray for all those girls/women that you mentioned in your post. Your post was great and I am glad I read it.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thank you so much for sharing that, Sarah. And thank you for choosing the more difficult road. I’ll bet God is going to use that precious little girl of yours to touch all kinds of lives. Prayed for you just now!

  13. Lisa Wadsworth

    Has it been a year already? Happy Birthday! I would love to buy a book. I will bring a check to church. I will be in the 3s, look for me when you drop off Nina. Or I can mail it to you.
    Let me know
    Again, haveagreat birthday !!

  14. Alicia

    Hey there. I just donated via Paypal. Feel free to give the books to where ever God is leading you and thank you for doing this! Happy Birthday! 🙂


  15. Valerie

    I wish I could but at this point we can’t…. we have to sign papers within the next three weeks to finalize the adoption and at the time the remainder of the money is due…. we have no idea how we’re going to pull this one off.

    I will donate to our local center as soon as we can… and that’s the best I can do.

  16. Bethany Peters

    I have an extra copy of Expecting on my bookshelf that I’d like to donate. Can I bring it to you on Tuesday when we get together?

    40% of my profits from my apron and banner sales goes in my Acts 2:45 jar (Jen’s idea) so that I can have money to give when needs come up. It’s not much, but like what you said, God can use our meager offerings and multiply them through His power. I just did #5–I donated profits from 2 apron sales to a gal who is trying to raise money for a special needs car (she was in a car accident several years ago leaving her paralyzed from the waist down).

    Thanks again for the continual reminder to give and pray for those in need and not be wrapped up in my own little world of self-indulgence.

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