Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

“Mama?” The one word that changed everything for me.


“Mama, I heard that women pilots in our nation’s air force have really struggled with this issue. They can’t fly in this condition, so some choose this course.” 

Oh, Daughter.

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

I had just been in church, the pastor’s words on freedom had taken my heart and mind soaring straight to this topic without him ever mentioning a single word about it. 

Why? I don’t know. God in me, it had to be.

Because I have no personal experience with this topic. I bear many regretful choices from my teenage life, and I’m thankful this isn’t on my list of regrets. But it could have been. Easily. So easily. 

Oh, Daughters.

I felt a whisper over my heart, “You better be brave, and bold, and obedient.”

I’ve hemmed and hawed around ever since, in a feeble attempt to be brave, bold, and obedient. Weeks have passed. Writing and talking it out turns my legs to jello, my insides to mush, tears me apart, rips my heart apart. So please know I’m not judging, but breaking. 

I thought over it all.

Oh, Daughters, I need to tell you something. Because some things one never forgets.

That picture that sits in my bathroom, on the side of the tub? You know the one. The sole purpose of that picture was decoration. Me, the amateur photographer, imagine that. Some fifteen years ago. It seems like yesterday. The day I sat you girls in a bucket for a picture. The dog’s water bucket, no less. You were in your pink swim suits, in the bathroom. Watermelon and polka dots. Cutest things. 

One goes in the bucket, then the other. Big sister’s legs are getting long. Just drape them over the side. I position those tiny legs and feet. “Smile for me. Say ‘cheese’ …” 

Big sister, make sure little sister …


Some time after, my friend who owned an adoption agency wrote to me. “Shelli, watch this video.”

Most people recycle plasticmilk jugs, sacks. Buckets, buckets, and more buckets.

I bend over, peering into the plastic to see something precious …

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

Beautiful eyes, beautiful skin.

Little tiny baby legs, feet, arms, hands …

And then my eyes become so clouded with tears I can no longer see.

My heart gasps and the sound spills out with my breath. My living breath. 

Oh, Daughters.

What could he have been? What could she have been? 

Google “baby in a bucket” … then Google aborted baby in a bucket” … one tiny word changes everything.

And just allow those images to sink in, into the marrow of your bone, your soul.

One baby is sitting joyfully with a smile, covered in feathers or covered in a ballerina tu-tu, tulle ruffles, all pink. Happy. In the other picture, the baby is doubled over. Pale. Legs displaced. Organs displaced, delicate and private parts that should be covered. Crimson paints the body. The baby in a bucket, like something you’d only see in a prison encampment. In a horror film. That baby never had the chance to know happy on Earth, to be snuggled, to wear a onesie, to be burrito-wrapped in softness.

In a bucket. Some things deserve a beautiful burial.

Oh, Daughters.

That young woman thinks she’s ejecting to safety, freedom, normalcy. And maybe she doesn’t realize that though she’ll be free of a live baby, she’ll be placing herself in enemy territory. I won’t pretend to know, but I hear it, read about it constantlythe pain, the torment, the regret.

No, don’t Google. Don’t allow those images to sink in. Because we get so accustomed to seeing the bad … and then it means nothing to us. The images don’t stir our heart, don’t make us sick, don’t break us, don’t make us gasp, don’t tear us apart.

The images should place our minds in a prison encampment forever. Maybe they do. Maybe they will.

Oh, Daughters, your sweet baby faces come to mind. 

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

And I thank God that two women gave you girls life. That they placed you girls’ tiny infant feet and tiny chunky legs on the side of life. These two precious women, who weren’t ready to be mothers, allowed someone else to be a mother. 


Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

Because that baby in the bucket could have completed someone’s family, someone’s life, made a family of three, given a sibling … could have changed everything for someone sunken low in the pit of infertility. 

Maybe the sole purpose of the situation is to keep another from loneliness, to bring life to the dead, to decorate someone’s life. Only God knows. But know this

One’s desperation could end another’s desperation. 

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President


I know life is messy, complicated, but it’s worth it. The situation can’t be kept a secret, but all secrets come out eventually. The closed always becomes disclosed. 

Oh, Daughters, I pray you never have to choose. I pray you always make wise choices. I pray you never hold a list of regrets.

But placing a baby is a critical choice. Fill arms, Daughters of this world, Daughters of the KingFill empty arms. Place that living, breathing child in living, loving arms, not plastic. That bucket—I pray you never allow to be on your list of regrets. 

I pray you recognize there is no choice.

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

Because some things should never be recycled.

Oh, Daughters, freedom of choice is not free. It’s never free to the one whose life was taken. The one who couldn’t choose. Life or death. The one who can’t speak “Mama” yet certainly can’t speak “life” yet. 

What could that child have been? The bucket child. Could that tiny, beautiful baby have filled the position of our nation’s first woman president? Just think of it. Can you imagine it?




Oh, Daughters. Where would I be without you?

And I know you. But what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t say

Choose life. Choose adoption. Choose family. 

Always. For Life.

Choose … 

One tiny word changes everything.

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

Oh, Daughters—She Could Have Been Our First Woman President

50 Shades

With all the hype of 50 Shades, I just left the theatre from finally watching American Sniper. I’m totally disturbed and need to be. Those are young men, giving their lives and sacrificing. True story. I sat through the movie, shaking my head the entire time. At the end, my heart was pounding. Everyone left the theatre in silence.

On Christian radio, music for Easter is already playing. I’m so grateful. It places my heart where it needs to be, heart pounding, hand raising, head shaking.

Do you see that Easter basket? As a child, I’d have about 50 shades of colors in my basket on any given Easter.

Do you see that car below? As a child, my fingers were nearly flattened in the car door. I cried my heart out.

Do you see that tree? As a child, I stepped on a piece of glass and there, I cut my foot. I cried.

Do you see that bike? That was my sister’s first bike. As a child, I didn’t get one when she did, and my heart hurt a tiny bit … because I wanted one, too. I probably cried.

Do you see that puppy? Her name was Happy. As a child, when my parents divorced, I never saw her again and never got to say goodbye to her. I cried my heart out.

We don’t always have a choice of the shades that get added to our life’s basket, do we? But many shades … we do choose.

What will we let slip into the marrow of our souls?

We must be careful what we let slip into the marrow of our souls.

I will be careful what I let slip into the marrow of my soul.

I’m thankful the sacrificial service of our countrymen slipped into the marrow of my soul. I’m on bended knee. More than 50 shades of sacrificial love.

My heart hurts to see The Passion of the Christ … to see what it must have been like for Jesus to be beaten and hung on the cross. But He did it to save us, to break our chains of bondage. He did it for love. Sacrificial love, more than 50 shades of sacrificial love. On bended knee, I will let that truth slip into the marrow of my soul.

Slipping into the marrow of my soul, God says true love is this—”Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” —1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

**With love to Christine Dorman for “50 shades of love.”


Bracing for good ol’ braces, both girls get x-rays taken. Facial skeletons revealed. One daughter’s chin appears thin and pointy. We laugh. Yeah, we never knew that little skeleton was in her closet. One daughter can’t quite seem to master the x-ray technique. We laugh more. Molds are made, and their eyes bulge from the daunting task. I cover my face with my new financial payment plan. Lord, please don’t let me laugh out loud. Don’t let me make them laugh. Don’t let me be the cause of them moving and messing up yet another x-ray. 

After arriving home, one daughter says, “Mom, he really wants me to go to Homecoming with him.” She smiles. You really like him, don’t you?

Sure, sweetie, you can go.” He’s a sweet boy. He loves Jesus. He’s been a good friend. I trust him with a valuable possession.

She smiles. She’s so thrilled.

“What do we need to buy?” I ask.

“He says I’ll need a dress.” She beams.

I walk upstairs and rummage through her closet. Just as suspected. We need something new.

With homeschooling, I’ve been out of the typical school scene for quite some time. I begin my Google search for: “Homecoming Dresses” … I ask a few friends.

As I pick my chin up off the floor, I wonder, will my daughter even be able to attend?

This Homecoming Queen did not realize what Homecoming had turned into … until now. Something has gone awry …

Things change. I’m not as young as I used to be.


And yeah, I’m probably more protective than most. Want a reason? Yeah, this girl has a few pointy heart-stabbing skeletons in her closet. But sadly, I know every one of them. They are uncovered in my heart, covering me in shame.

Friend to friend, I would never want you to know. Details are gut-wrenching to my heart. Who was I?

It all begins with … what are we willing to compromise? Do we know God’s requirements? Do we care? Do we know where God stands? Do we make His stand our stand?

The dresses girls are being requested to wear this Homecoming 2014? Baring nearly all or barely covering all.

Modest dresses are few and far between. The bare bones, barely covering all, will cost some $100-$400 today.

But my girl … we found her dress. Yeah, first store, first and only one tried on.

God with us. He is Emmanuel.

The dress is elegant … classic … it’s not revealing … the length comes down nearly to her knees … it swooshes like a bell … she won’t be top-tugging all evening. Yeah, I’ve seen that with other girls.


We found the sweetest sparkly, diamond type shoes with a small heel. More than $50.

And we found the cutest elegant, black thigh-length shorts to wear underneath so she can rock it, should she so choose, without rocking others. Without shattering her reputation. Without shattering God’s.


I’ve talked to my daughter, God’s daughter, about dressing modest. Our way of life all these years. And friend to friend, I am doing my best to pass down the hard lessons I have learned to my girls. Lord, don’t let the mistakes, the lessons learnedthe awful skeletons in my closetbe in vain. And thank you for letting me be your daughter.

Because she loves children, I remind her that every young man is some mother’s baby. If you had a baby son, daughter … dress like you would want a young woman to dress for your son, your treasured possession. She gets that.

Coming out into the world doesn’t mean we have to compromise or blend with the world. God says you don’t have to follow. Yeah, it’s a daunting task. But daughter, we need more leaders in our world.

Young daughter, do you know that you possess something sacred? Something sacred that only awaits your future husband.

Young daughter, you don’t want skeletons in your closet. Trust me. You don’t want to have to search for peace or wait to see how God will work all things together for good. When all purity has been stripped away, you don’t want to have to witness God fashion skin over the bony skeleton. But thank you, God, for fashioning skin over me.

You don’t want years of tears. Trust me.

Obey Him. The One True God. Master that x-ray technique by spending time with the Master. When you cover your heart and head with the plans He has laid out for you, young daughter. When you care more about Him than you do for others, or what you wear, or what others see.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.
If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces”
(Matthew 7:6).

No matter how far we’ve strayed or how many skeletons we have in our closet, God pleads, “Come home.” Come home to Him. Dress for Him. Be God’s Daughter. If we dress for Him, we won’t have to wonder if we’re appropriate. We won’t be covered in shame. We won’t take part in creating skeletons or more skeletons in our closets.

Our lives can be open books.

Come Home, daughters. God’s Home.
You are a valuable possession, God’s Daughter. A diamond. A precious jewel. Something new. You can be made new.

Don’t tarnish that.

Remember you are made and molded in the image of the One who made you. Things like that don’t change over time.

You only get this one chance in life. Regardless of your age, young daughter, be intentional how you live it. I wish I had been intentional.

Come Home.