the gift of a birth-day

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! I have never loved Facebook more than I love it today.

How’s my birthday going, you ask? So far, so crappy. No, really. I’m working on an optimistic attitude, looking for all the happy. Looking, looking…

I went to bed at 7:20 last night. And got up at 10:30. That is a TON of sleep. And sleep? Not generally my activity of choice when my mother-in-law has graciously offered to keep our children for 2 whole days (!).

Anyway, I missed a Delightful Costume Party I’d been looking forward to for a month. And I don’t know that I’ll be going anywhere fun today (I guess I didn’t mention what my deal is–I have some sort of sinus infection where my head and ears feel like they’re going to explode).

HOWEVER, I have something fun I’d like to do right here from the comfort of my desk chair.

I’d like to give some unborn babies the gift of a BIRTH-day this year.

I’ve mentioned several times that I would love to give away thousands of copies of my book Expecting to mamas-to-be who weren’t planning on having a baby. Mamas who are young and/or scared and/or poor and/or unmarried. Mamas who know that the easiest thing to do (maybe the only feasible thing to do) would be to have an abortion.

My hope and prayer is that a pregnant girl would see the drawings of a baby in the womb, read the descriptions and prayers, and that God would whisper to her heart, “There’s a real baby in your belly. A person. A sweet, innocent little life that I created. Please give him the chance to grow up.”

Two moms of teenage boys approached me this week. Both of their sons’ girlfriends are pregnant. I sent Expecting to one, and I’m getting ready to send it to the other. The one girl already read the entire thing (in one day) and wants to come to church with her boyfriend’s family this week.

I can’t tell you how this thrills my soul. I want so badly for God to use my writing to touch hearts, change lives, bring people to Him. I love it when He lets me witness it happening.

So, here’s the deal: in lieu of a birthday gift (because I’m sure just about all of you were contemplating getting me one), would you donate an Expecting book to a scared, hurting mama-to-be here in my hometown Columbus, Ohio? (I’m going to give them to the Pregnancy Decision Health Center to give to the women who come asking for help.)

The books cost me a little over $8 apiece, but if you just donate $5, I’ll donate a book. (and put your first name on the From line if you’d like)

And then I’d ask just one thing more. Would you commit to praying for the woman who will receive your book? I dream of saving hundreds of babies from abortion, but then the reality hits me. How are these mamas going to take care of their babies after they’re born? And how are we going to help?

It’s one thing to be against abortion. It’s another to offer a viable alternative.

I don’t have the answers, so I’m just going to start here.

If you’d like to donate an Expecting book to a pregnant woman in need, click here and donate $5. I’ll write your first name where it says From (unless you specify not to). Your gift will mean that a little baby might have a chance to be born. Have a birthday. I can’t think of a better present on my birthday.

And then don’t forget to pray for the woman who gets your book.

On November 3rd, I’ll let everyone know how many books we donated–and I’ll include a little thank-you list of the donors’ first names.

If you don’t want to do Paypal, e-mail me and I’ll give you my mailing address and you can just send a check.

I don’t think I’ll be able to get tax-deductible receipts for this, but the tax savings on five bucks probably isn’t much anyway, right?

Thanks, friends! This is turning out to be a very Happy Birthday after all!

43 thoughts on “the gift of a birth-day

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  13. Sarah S

    Just sent in a donation for two Expecting books. What a fabulous, God-given idea! Thanks for allowing Him to work through you and bless so many people.

    (Tried to send this message through the contact form, but your CAPTCHA plug-in doesn’t seem to be working. Thought you/Gabe might want to know.)

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  15. Bethsportsmomma

    Maria-I was awoken tonight by the sighs of my 19 year old unwed, 36 wk pregnant niece trying to sleep in the next room. I decided to check Twitter and read your Tweet about giving away your books and came to read this post. It is an honor to donate several books to soon to be Mom in need. These women made a tough, life changing choice to save their previous newborns just as my niece did so I’m donating in her honor.

    P.S. The donation will be under a different email

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  17. Kelli

    I am so behind on my computer stuff, but I was praying for your birthday ALL day on Saturday while enjoying the day with my peanut. Praying that you have a better year than you could have ever imagined and fully living the year God has planned for you ahead!!! LOVE YOU FRIEND!

    PS – The paypal is in Chris’ name but it is from me 🙂

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  19. Omom

    I tried to write this thru the contact me…but I obviously am a nerd (or not nerd enough) because I couldn’t do it. Anyway.
    I would like to donate $5 to your donation and I would also like to buy one at regular price for a friend. Will you please email me how much and where to send a check.
    Happy Birthday

  20. Widneywoman

    Call Cheryl Bauman of at 918-296-3377 or direct at 918-232-2326 to get the answer to your question: What do we do with the pregnant girls and babies we save from abortions.

    Over 25 years ago, Crisis Pregnancy Outreach was formed in Tulsa, OK as a direct result of a woman going to have an abortion asking an abortion picketer if he was going to help her raise and support that child for the next 18 years. He was the then pastor of Christian Chapel. This team came up with creative answers each time a new need from a pregnant girl arose. Call Cheryl. She will know how to take the next step.

  21. Sarah Murphy

    Reading what you did for your birthday! Your goal for those books…I made it just in the nick of time. My gift is in honor of my birth mom who made the right decision by having me and giving me up for adoption. Without her decision I would have never been blessed with such a WONDERFUL MAMA! Thank you Marla for what you do! Happy Birthday!

  22. Jonna


    I don’t know if this has been mentioned already, if so… maybe it needs to be said already. I beieve that this book would be wonderfully useful to the Papa’s-to-be as well. There are so very many statistics of children without fathers and I believe that a portion of this reason is because of how NOT included they are in the process… their lives are forever changed as well and I bellieve that they need our prayers and support as well… just a thought….

  23. Lindsey

    You are such a giver! Thanks so much for giving this opportunity. I usually spend about $20 on my friends’ birthday gifts…though we’ve never met, I consider you a friend. The only thing better than giving a gift to one pregnant woman is giving a book to four pregnant women.

    Thanks again, Marla! Be blessed!

  24. Brownie

    I used paypal for a book to be given to an expectant mother. Just as was true in Sandi’s case I am thinking of the four babies that I miscarried and hope to see in heaven. I am thankful for the three children the Lord did allow me to have and hold till they were grown and having children of their own. The paypal site said to ship to me but of course that is not what I want you to do. It’s for giving. I love you and hope you will be feeling better soon.

  25. Cheryl Pickett

    Just wanted to pop in wish you the Happiest Birthday as you can possibly manage all things considered and to say I’m home sick too. Flu hit me earlier this week so won’t be able to do our typical Halloween stuff here either. I also love the idea you came up with here, so giving even though you’re feeling so yucky. Blessings on your endeavor.

  26. LAURA

    Hi marla….hope you hava happy happy birthday. dont forget what a beautiful 34 yr old you are!!! and remember; you seriously don’t look it at all! even more in real life 😉 i still think you look like yer still in yer 20s.

    anyways….just wanted you to know, that in our small town today i was browsing our cute lil card/book/craft/coffeestore and guess what i saw new on their shelves?!?!?!??! The Expecting book!!!!! 4 copies to be exact….i was so excited!!!!! I am thouroughly enjoying this book as we are at 23 wks with our little babe now in the womb 😉 And I am super excited to have them right here in town so if I need a quick gift, it’s the perfect one for a new mama!

    Thank you for blessing the world with this book….you are such a blessing!!

  27. Sandi Faulk

    I’m privileged to be in. Remembering you, and remembering the babies I lost to miscarriage that I never had opportunity to hold. May God use Expecting to give mommies the opportunity to hold their babies, and may He use all this to bring mommies, daddies, and children to saving knowledge of Him. Lord, make each young woman who receives one of these books a joyful mother of children.

  28. Stephanie your sister

    Happy Birthday big sis! I love you and miss you so much!

    Thanks for having the awesome idea of letting us donate books to these girls/ women. I never would have thought of it.

    I hope you start to feel better for the rest of your birthday! I’m praying for you!

  29. Conny

    Because I’m currently reading this book (I’m starting week 31 tomorrow!!) and am so absolutely overwhelmed by God’s design for pregnancy right now as I experience my own 3rd miracle, I’m donating 1 book too. It’s a GREAT idea.
    Happy Birthday – and hope you feel better soon!! God bless you & the girls who will be touched by your book. And thank you as I already have been blessed by it as well. 🙂

  30. Kaye

    Happy Day and please know I am praying for you to feel MUCH better VERY SOON!!!
    What a beautiful thing to do for this Health Center. I’ve entered payment info for 2 books and will pray for 2 young ladies that your books WILL make a difference in their lives and lead them directly to HIM.
    May you be blessed for blessing so many others.
    Matthew 21:22

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