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Monday, December 27, 2010

iPads & 1200 thread count bed sheets...

These two items are my new guilty pleasures. Both were Christmas presents. I say guilty pleasures because even though I love having them both, I feel like a total diva as I sit up in my king-sized bed that's adorned with newly washed silken smooth sheets, typing away and browsing the web on my iPad. Oh well. As long as I don't develop the heart or the personality of a diva, right?

Anyway, I don't want an entire blog post to be about my two newest material possessions. As excited as I am about them, I am even more excited about the life changes that are about to take place. And we all know the best way to document such things is by trusty ole' bullet points. In all seriousness, though, with the upcoming new year, I have plans to make some big changes, and I feel it's good to put these things down as sort of a means of holding myself accountable. <- and others, too, of course. That being said:

*I'm on my way to a healthier lifestyle. Physically speaking, I have a want to be more active, and a longing to feel better about myself. I'm tired of living day after day hating certain things about the way I look, but lacking the motivation or the will to change those things. It's time for me to get serious. Mentally speaking, I have to make changes as well. Its time for me to put my foot down and stop letting negative thoughts and insecurities hold me back. I want to look in the mirror and know without a doubt that my husband loves me, rather than question all the time. Sure I carry a few more pounds than I did when he first met me, but it hasn't changed who I am, which ultimately is the reason he fell in love with me to begin with. But that doesn't mean I let myself go (physically) either. I want to be my best physically and mentally for my husband, and more importantly, myself. So the new year will begin with a new running schedule, and I will kick it off in February with my first ever 5k run. I registered already. I'm excited. No turning back. Period.

*A few posts back, I wrote a little about some possibilities for adoption becoming a reality for us. Jeremy and I talk about it a lot, and really feel the calling on our life together to adopt a child. We would still love to have a biological child, but we know we have to wait on the Lord for that miracle. And we are both okay with that. As far as adopting, nothing is set in stone as far as details go, but we know we are supposed to move forward. I am so excited about what this year will hold. Just to preface, though, I hold no expectations. I trust that God is going to lead us exactly where we need to go. I know it's probably going to be a difficult, emotional and long road ahead, but we both just want to be obedient to what God has planned for our life as parents.

*We are also going to take as many opportunities as possible for 2011 to pay off some debt. I think throughout our relationship we've done a pretty good job of keeping the numbers low (and I have to say we have never owned a credit card to this day), but it will be a happy day in our household when a vehicle is paid off!! So here's to getting out of debt!

There is obviously more, but not everything needs to be put out there. I'm gonna leave it at that for now and go be a diva while I enjoy a cup of coffee in my bed with my iPad and 1200 thread count sheets :-)


Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a special day...

Back in 2003, I was a freshman in high school. This was me:



(I know, I know, I am so young...) I didn't particularly like the beginning of my first year in high school. It was awkward, kids were mean and snotty since they thought they were oh so cool, and I had just left my jr. high school that I loved so much. Needless to say, walking the halls at WFHS as a freshman took some getting used to.

Until I met this guy...

He was so cute to me, and not to mention a s.m.o.o.t.h. talker, and shortly after the start of our high school days, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Although we couldn't see it then, we were your typical high school romance: We would walk to every single class together; we would eat together in the cafeteria; we wrote notes to one another in nearly every period, and then desperately try and smuggle them into each others hand before the bell rang; we had our own secret spots where we could steal a quick smooch, then feel like total bad "A's" when we'd come out of hiding having just escaped getting caught; he was the baseball player, and I was a cheerleader; everyone knew us together, but hardly anyone knew us apart; we told each other "I love you", barely knowing what that really entailed; we had an "anniversary"; we talked on the phone for hours upon hours everyday after just seeing each other all day....I could go on forever. We were 4 years worth of mush for each other. And high school days after Jeremy weren't so hard for me any more. He made them easy, and fun for me every day.

I remember those days so vividly and how we made so many plans of how we would go off to college together (really it was I would follow him wherever he went), then get married, have kids...the whole works. We had set plans. We'd get serious about those plans for a minute or two, but then the next we'd be getting into our fancy clothes so we could go off to our ball, a.k.a our school dance, together. We made so many memories:

Our first spring dance




Before we knew it, we had been "dating" for 2 whole years! We celebrated every year, but this one was a big one. Jeremy planned a day in Destin where he took me on a sailboat dolphin cruise. I remember feeling that day that this wasn't just a temporary school yard relationship. I remember looking at him and being able to visualize me marrying this dude. He cared so much. He loved hard. He courted me and made me feel special. I felt beautiful with him. He was sensitive. I loved him.


We were inseparable


Our senior year was a big one. I think it hit us both that our school days were coming to an end. We were both scrambling to finish out the year with amazing grades, we were both haunted by the worry of getting accepted into college, we were trying to figure out how we were going to make those "plans" that we had set with one another come to fruition. Suddenly, things didn't look so easy anymore. But we had to put those thoughts aside to make one last beautiful senior memory: 12th grade PROM!!


In all actuality, our school prom sucked, but being there with my love was the highlight for me. We had made it so far. And Jeremy made the night beautiful for me.


To shorten this a bit, we graduated, moved in together, worked full time and Jeremy went to school full time, got our own apartment, and quickly became young adults. About a year after we graduated high school, Jeremy proposed to me. We were young, had no clue what we were doing or how we could afford such a thing, but one thing remained: We were crazy in love with each other, still, after so many years. There was no doubt in my mind that he was the guy I had always wanted. A year and a half of wedding planning led to this special day:

December 20, 2008






And here we are two more years later. That's a grand total of nearly 8 years together. Crazy! It amazes me that two 14 year old kids have grown into husband and wife. So all that to say:

Jeremy, I love you more than life itself. You are my first true love, and I am proud to call you husband. You have enriched my life, and I cannot remember it without you. Thank you for asking me to be your wife, and for wanting to spend the rest of your life with me. I know it has not always been perfect circumstances, but there is no other person I would rather walk these roads with than you. I am a better person because I married you, and I thank God for gracing me with such a beautiful companion. I love who you are and what you stand for. I love you so much, but my favorite thing is to stand here today and still be able to say that I am IN love with you. Happy anniversary, Love, and I can't wait for many many more!

Love,
Jessica Faith



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A little inspiration...

I came across this video this morning from a local church here in town, and all I can muster up to describe how beautiful this story is, is tears...lots and lots of tears.

Below you will find a beautiful, yet heart-wrenching story of a little girl named Serena who is battling a very complicated and debilitating disease. My heart aches as I listen to this little girl talk of her life and all she's been through already at such a young age. But her spirit and faith in God left me with a sense of peace, and a yearning to continue trusting and believing in the Lord through tough circumstances.

I may not know what you're going through, but I only pray that after you are finished watching this 12 minute testimony, that peace comes over you and that you may know that there is hope and happiness in Christ. I hope Serena's faith inspires you to believe for yourself of the miracles that are possible through our God. *If you think about skipping out early before the full 12ish minutes are up, you will be sorry. Just saying.
Be blessed by this:




Friday, December 10, 2010

A Re-post...

I am stealing this from a good friends blog because it cheers me up when I feel down.

So I encourage you to watch this clip. Let yourself be a kid for a few minutes, and dance and enjoy. Take in the words, and let them be truth to you today. Let go of those feelings of defeat, insecurities, and rejections, and just believe you were created for purpose...And whatever you are is exactly meant for you.

"Gonna keep my head up high, keep on reachin' high, never gonna quit, I'll keep gettin' stronger..."




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Poor hot glue gun...

I said in my last post that I was in the process of making other holiday crafts around my house. I didn't lie. It's taken me a week to complete two stinking things, but I'm happy to report that they're done! Thank you Jesus! Not only was my brain on the brink of exploding from ideas, but my blessed hot glue gun was too if he didn't catch a break!

First up, I wanted something cute to display Christmas cards on as we begin to get them in the mail. I saw a couple of cute ideas on-line, but wouldn't you know my husband came up with this idea when he spotted these cute little wooden letters in Hobby Lobby on a recent trip. I loved it and ran with it. Here is the result:



I need to decorate that table up a little more, but I thought it was so cute! I can't wait to put actual Christmas cards there =) Another perk from doing this project: our back porch now sparkles as if someone threw up glitter out there, thanks to the lovely glitter spray paint! Pair me with a couple cans of spray paint, and that's quite a disastrous combo! Enough of that, though, on to project #2!

You know that tree skirt I was saying I wanted to make? Well, behold:



Again, I love it. It took me 5 days, but it's done! I'm happy, husband likes it, and I know that glue gun is! Now if I could just keep the dogs away from it, we will really be doing good =)

I don't know what has gotten into me with all these projects. I've never been into this kind of stuff before, but I guess seeing what some of my friends have made, and realizing how inexpensive it is to make my own stuff, I've just become inspired. I have to say it has been a sort of therapy for me. It's definitely kept me busy. I have found a creative side to myself that I like, and it takes my mind off of those things throughout the day that could lead to a negative place. As I've said before, holiday seasons can be very difficult for me, and have taken a miserable toll in the past. But this year, however, I'm determined for it to be different. Focusing on the good things: I am blessed, I am loved, and then turning around and doing things for others.

Going through this journey of infertility, people will give you their "Oh, poor you" stuff from time to time, but I say this year, I'm gonna keep a good perspective, I'm gonna love hard and enjoy moments, and I'm gonna craft my brains out! Then, the only thing left to pity will be my poor glue gun! Haha!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas time is here...

Okay, so maybe it's not here exactly yet, but I'm hunkering down in preparation for it here at my house =) It's my favorite time of the year, and before our house was built, I set a goal for myself for this season, that I would set up a beautiful tree, and decorate for the holidays. And I'm happy to report that I am in full swing of doing just that!

I got an awesome deal on a fake tree yesterday at Target - $80.00 for a pre-lit...1 month before Christmas...amidst all the crazy shoppers!! We didn't have a tree already, real trees are out of the question because we have dogs, and lots of people suggested looking on craigslist, but I didn't feel like dealing with that! So once again, Target rescued me. Speaking of, so did Hobby Lobby later yesterday evening as I dragged my husband in just before closing so I could purchase our first ever ornaments!! (Mind you, this is the second time in 3 days I've made him go there with me. The first was so I could get some items to make my first ever wreath, which I will tell you about later.) Anyhow, we got our ornaments, made it to check out in time, and raced home so I could put everything together immediately. It probably could have waited until today, seeing as how we have much more time, but I couldn't help myself. I just get so stinking excited! So without further ado, fix your eyes upon Mr. & Mrs. Moore's first ever blessed Christmas tree:



I know it's not the best picture, but there it is! I still need a tree skirt, but I refuse to pay what stores want for them. I'm actually looking into making one, since I've discovered that I am more crafty than I give myself credit for...

Which brings me to my other project. I have been wanting to make a wreath for so long, and I've tried my hand at it once or twice, but it always ended in disaster. My previous creations were never worthy enough to grace anyone's door! So I started looking into my options again, and decided that I wanted to steer clear of the traditional wreath look. I stumbled upon a blog recently, and fell in love with what this woman had created. So I basically copied her creation, changing the colors a bit, and adding my own little twist here and there. I give her credit for this idea! I did not come up with it! You can see her blog post about it here. And now, feast your eyes upon what I ended up with:



It took me about 5 hours worth of work, but I could not be happier with the result. I was so proud of myself, I just sat and stared for a while once it was done. I know it sounds dorky, but I've never made anything so beautiful. I know it was not my idea, but still, I made it with my very own hands, and a few of my own little touches. So now, it adorns our media console so that we get an eyeful of it every day. And to that, I say: I don't need your $100.00 wreath, Hobby Lobby. I just need your craft supplies =)

Some of my next projects shall include a tree skirt, table setting, and something to sit on our plant ledges. Somebody get me a craft box!! ;)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holiday stuff...

Lots of things happening around here! November has been a crazy busy month for the husband and I, and blogging has unfortunately been put on the back burner. I have a feeling that's the way it's gonna have to be during this holiday season. It's difficult for me to put thoughts together when so many things are going on.

November for the Moore's has consisted, and will consist of the following:

*Jeremy got a new job
*Purchased a new used vehicle (he desperately needed)
*Went on an early anniversary vacation to the mountains
*I began volunteering at a free health clinic in town (which, holy crap, I was supposed to be present at 30 minutes ago..Well there's a great way to start out!)
*Leaving to go to Jacksonville next week for Thanksgiving
*Plotting my plans for my homemade Christmas gifts (which I also did last year, and I saved so much money and was so proud of my new-found craftiness, I decided to go at it again this year)

Okay, so it doesn't look as whirlwind-ish on screen, but add that to all the other daily things, and my heart starts to race a little. The two out of town trips are the kickers for us. But, however, this kind of business is my favorite kind. I love the upcoming holidays. I love the decor, the foods, the smells, the time spent with family and friends, all the different coffees =) Makes for a happy me.

As wonderful as they are, holidays can be difficult, though, for Jeremy and I (well more so me, but I know it's difficult for him in a different way). Anyone who has ever waited for a baby knows the familiar ache I'm talking about. Lots of babies are having their very first Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and New Years...opening their very first present, or wearing their way-too-cute, specially bought Christmas dresses or little man suits. We watch it happening all around us. It's so special, and I'm grateful to be able to witness the little lives around me, but that empty place inside cries out especially during these times.

And so I welcome the business. It sort of takes my mind off those things, and allows me to focus on what we do have. We'll be celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary next month, right before Christmas, and we'll be celebrating for the first time in our new home. We'll have our first Christmas tree together, and I plan to soak up every second of time together, decorating, cooking, and making memories that one day we will get to share with a tiny little thing, swaddled up tightly in a warm snowman blankie...maybe even wearing the worlds tiniest Mr. or Mrs. Claus suit...and I may or may not have a cd player blaring Christmas tunes from said little one's nursery...and I may or may not have plans to dress us all in holiday sweaters and have professional photos taken..and those photos may or may not grace our entry way...

Ok, so I got a little carried away..

Anyway, we don't know if that's what Christmas will look like for us when we have a baby, but my point is, hubby and I have to make the most of these times so that one day when our child is with us, we look back on happy times of Mom and Dad together. For us, as I've said before, that doesn't mean the ache isn't there. We just have to choose for ourselves what the best way to deal with that ache is...and for us that means to hold each other close, and love each other more than ever.



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hannah's Prayer...

I love the story of Hannah in the Bible. Although I cannot relate to what it's like for my husband to have a second wife, or what it feels like to be taunted by that second wife about not having children while she boasts of the ones she has, I feel her pain as I read her cries to God. I can relate to that. So many of us can relate. But Hannah's story is one of triumph. God gave her a son, Samuel. And in the midst of her rejoicing, she poured out this prayer of thanks to God:

I Samuel 2:
"Hannah prayed:
I'm bursting with God-news!
I'm walking on air. I'm laughing at my rivals. I'm dancing my salvation."

"Nothing and no one is holy like God, no rock mountain like our God.
Don't dare talk pretentiously - not a word of boasting, ever!
For God knows what is going on. He takes the measure of everything that happens.
The weapons of the strong are smashed to pieces, while the weak are infused with fresh strength.
The well-fed are out begging in the streets for crusts, while the hungry are getting second helpings.
The barren woman has a houseful of children, while the mother of many is bereft."

"God brings death and God brings life, brings down to the grave and raises up.
God brings poverty and God brings wealth; he lowers, he also lifts up.
He puts poor people on their feet again;
he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope,
Restoring dignity and respect to their lives - a place in the sun!
For the very structures of earth are God's; he has laid out his operations on a firm foundation.
He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step, but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark.
No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle!
God's enemies will be blasted out of the sky, crashed in a heap and burned.
God will set things right all over the earth, he'll give strength to his king,
He'll set his anointed on top of the world!"





In this season of waiting, I feel like I'm being prepped by God. It's like He is completely taking over my heart, my mind, and He's making this story into what He's always meant for it to be. This isn't my story to write. One day, when I stand with my child, it will be a testament to the fact that God is always faithful. My child will be a living testament of a miraculous, and Living God. He never stops being faithful, even in our waiting. He didn't stop being faithful to Hannah, or Sarah, or Rebekah, or Rachel, or Samson's mother, or Elizabeth, or the Shunammite woman...He remained true to who He always said He was. Who He still is!
When God decides to bless us with a child, I pray I am bursting with God-news like Hannah did! I pray I am bursting at the seams with even just an ounce of the gratefulness she had towards God. And in my waiting, I will cry out to Him, and I will wait expectantly for what I know He is going to do. I will let Him fill me and be the substance that makes who I am.


"He gives childless couples a family, gives them joy as the parents of children."
Psalm 113:9



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I've been following this blog for a while now, and I am continually inspired by this family's faith and perseverance through the journey they are on. I won't go into details of their story here, although I will encourage you to read for yourself and pray for them and their little boy, Bowen.

I read this post this morning, and couldn't help but to re-post the scripture they shared. It gives some insight and meaning to that familiar Sunday school song many of us sang when we were younger: "Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you, so let's just praise the Lord..." You know the one?

So a few directions:
1. Read this post

2. Think of those familiar lyrics

3. Read and meditate on Romans 4:16-25 (particularly the Message version), and then thank God for such a powerful word!

"This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way, and then simply embracing Him and what He does. God's promise arrives as pure gift. That's the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father - that's reading the story backwards. He is our faith father."

"We call Abraham "father" not because he got God's attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody."..continued...

"Abraham was first named 'father' and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples."..continued...

"Abraham didn't focus on his own impotence and say, 'It's hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.' Nor did he survey Sarah's decades of infertility and give up. He didn't tiptoe around God's promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said."...continued...

"Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right." But it's not just Abraham; it's also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.


I love it and hope you do too!
Be blessed today!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Isaiah 32

I had a sweet message this morning waiting for me on my phone. It was a message of encouragement to me, referencing Isaiah 32. It's one of my favorite books in the Bible because I feel so challenged and motivated when I read, and this scripture really got my attention this morning.

It's a call to the women of Jerusalem to prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit. It's basically calling them to give up their lives of complacency because the righteous King was coming to disturb their land. This scripture paints a scary image of what they were about to endure, but I'm sure it was a great lesson of what it really means to trust in the Lord. God was about to take them through some serious desert times, and a season of real mourning, but it was all in order to prepare them for the outpouring of His Spirit. And you see, that's the good part! Because you know what happens when the Lord lavishes His Spirit upon us? The things barren and desolate before will then become full of life and fruitful. And I love that! I need that! We all do.

So take a minute and read Isaiah 32:9-20 this morning. The NIV is great, but the following is from The Message:

"Take your stand, indolent woman!
Listen to me!
Indulgent, indolent woman, listen closely to what I have to say.
In just a little over a year from now, you'll be shaken out of your lazy lives.
The grape harvest will fail, and there'll be no more fruit on the trees.
Oh tremble, you indolent women. Get serious, you pampered dolls!
Strip down and discard your silk fineries. Put on funeral clothes.
Shed honest tears for the lost harvest, the failed vintage.
Weep for my people's gardens and farms that grow nothing but thistles and thornbushes.
Cry tears, real tears, for the happy homes no longer happy, the merry city no longer merry.
The royal palace is deserted,
the bustling city quiet as a morgue, The emptied parks and playgrounds
taken over by wild animals, delighted with their new home.
Yes, weep and grieve until the Spirit is poured down on us from above
And the badlands desert grows crops and the fertile fields become forests.
Justice will move into the badlands desert. Right will build a home in the fertile field.
And where there's Right, there'll be Peace
and the progeny of Right: quiet lives and endless trust.
My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood - in safe houses, in quiet gardens.
The forest of your pride will be clear-cut,the city showing off your power leveled.
But you will enjoy a blessed life, planting well-watered fields and gardens,
with your farm animals grazing freely."



I hope you've been as encouraged by this scripture as I am. Lets lift our heads today and know that this isn't just a cliche message of "everything happens for a reason..", but a true message and promise from God that He hasn't left us. Let us prepare ourselves for the outpouring of His Spirit, and trust Him that He is going to bless our lives.



Monday, October 25, 2010

It's gonna be alright...

Allowing people in, and sharing the details of the journeys we're on can be good and bad:

Good: to have an army of people surrounding you who support, love and pray for you,

-And-

Bad: there will always be those people who ask probing questions, insert their opinions without being asked, and forget to use their verbal filters when making unnecessary statements in your presence.

Obviously, I prefer not to deal with the latter, but I know and understand it's all part of the process. I would venture to say that I deal with those people better now than I did in the beginning. I will go even a step further and say that I appreciate them.

I had someone ask me yesterday how things are going for Jeremy and I (you know, "baby-wise"), and if we had given up hope. Even though I was annoyed with the way the questions were phrased at first, I welcomed the conversation. It felt good to talk about things. I was thankful that God let us cross paths yesterday, and even thankful for the awkward way such a very personal conversation came about. I think both parties learned some things:

For the other person, I think it taught them that unless you are, in some way, relationally close with someone struggling with fertility, starting conversation with questions like the above is probably not the most appropriate way. It can make for an uncomfortable environment, it can be off-putting, and could possibly offend.

For me, it sort of reaffirmed that where my husband and I are in this process is okay. It's kind of at a stand still (we have medical options that we are not supposed to go through with right now), and we know that is exactly where God wants us. We are taking this time and strengthening our relationships with the Lord, and with one another. The longing and desire is still evident as ever, but we also know that we have a beautiful future with children on the horizon. We still pray and ask God for our miracle baby, but we are content in knowing that He hears our cries and has already answered our prayers...but our answer doesn't always look like His answer. We rest in knowing that God is bigger than this. Bigger than we can ever understand. And yes, we still have hope. Everyday we have hope. And everyday we have to choose to lift our eyes unto the hills and declare where our true hope comes from in order not to lose our hope.

It was good for me to re-evaluate some things yesterday. It helped to hear myself say it. Sometimes, if things aren't happening, it's hard to keep focused on the fact that it's okay. And then one of those people come along and stir up the dust. You might be annoyed at first, but you might also walk away with a calming peace that has just reminded you once again that it's all gonna work out.


"So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever." II Corinthians 4:16-18 (The MSG)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hallelujah...

I don't know what to write. Sometimes a song speaks more than a blog post.



Who can hold the stars
And my weary heart?
Who can see everything?

I've fallen so hard
Sometimes I feel so far
But not beyond your reach

I could climb a mountain
Swim the ocean
Or do anything
But it's when you hold me
That I start unfolding
And all I can say is

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever's in front of me
Help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever's in front of me
I'll choose to sing hallelujah

The same sun that
Rises over castles
And welcomes the day

Spills over buildings
Into the streets
Where orphans play

And only you can see the good
In broken things
You took my heart of stone
And you made it home
And set this prisoner free

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever's in front of me
Help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever's in front of me
I'll choose to sing hallelujah

~Hallelujah by Bethany Dillon

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My heart and flesh may fail...

Sometimes I feel like I just have to accept being infertile for the rest of my life. It's like the more days, weeks, months, or years that go by without a positive result, the further away my belief in the possibility of having a baby becomes. I hate that. I hate that I battle so much with this unbelief. I've seen miracles with my own eyes, and I've heard SO many stories about the unthinkable becoming a reality in the lives of so many people. I believe God can heal in such supernatural ways, but for whatever reason I haven't believed it for myself. It's like I've made God in my life a God who is only there for others. Not for me. He's been a good story to tell, however, the story never includes what He has done in my life. Or I treat Him like a cute accessory that doesn't go with anything I have to wear, but goes with everything on someone else. I've dumbed down the things He's done for me as if they're too small to matter. I've chosen not to tell others about His majesty and redemption in my life because I'm afraid it's not going to be convincing enough to turn someone towards Him. And all I can come up with for all of that is...What the heck am I thinking?? How dare I do that to such a glorious and worthy being??

I cannot begin to describe the pain of the conviction I felt envelop me when God punched me in the face with this. The realization of the injustice I've done against my Creator was crushing. It broke my heart. It still saddens me to the point of tears as I sit here and write about it.

I don't know at what point or time in my life when I thought it was better not to share with people about the God I serve. When did I convince myself that the only parts of MY story that might mean something to someone are those parts that involve prosperity? Somehow I've accepted the lie that God hasn't been really working through my infertility diagnosis - the pain, anger, sadness, bitterness, and all else that comes with it. Somehow I've let myself believe that this road that I am walking will only be effective when I am holding my baby in my arms. I've let myself believe that God cannot use the ache for a child inside of me to witness to someone. And somehow I let myself forget all the other things I've overcome in my life ONLY because of Christ:

-the pain and chaos of finding out my dad, who had been my knight in shining armor my whole life, was terribly addicted to drugs...
-the extremely bitter divorce of my parents which was a direct result of my dad's addiction, when I was just entering middle school...
-being raped by a stranger just before my freshman year of high school, and accepting the advice by those closest to me that it was best not to talk about it...
-seeing my mom off to a rehabilitation center due to an ugly battle with alcoholism...
-continuing to watch my dad's life spiral out of control...
-finding out 6 months after getting married that my said husband had been lying to me about a horrible porn addiction...
-watching nearly every relationship within my family dissolve away because of stubborn choices to just continue to sweep years of pain and suffering under the rug...

And those are just bullet points. Through all of that I've never really let it sink in of how much God has redeemed my life. When I realize the weight of His impact in my life, I am almost left speechless. The love, mercy, grace, compassion, and blessing He has bestowed upon me is incredible.

-He's bringing my Dad out of that pit of addiction and slowly but surely turning his life around. And He's given me eyes to look upon my Dad with compassion and understanding, and our relationship has been strengthened.
-God has worked within my parents, teaching them to forgive one another. And although they're no longer together, they love each other from afar, respect one another as parents, and lend a helping hand to each other if needed.
-Through the rape, God has healed my heart, and I've learned to forgive. Through the pain and darkness of that tragedy, God gave me a heart for abused women and I've been blessed with opportunities to share my story with many. That was also the time in my life when God gifted me with my voice and a heart for worship.
-He healed my mom and brought her out of an alcohol addiction, and broke down the walls in her life that prevented her from letting anyone in. I've watched her grow and flourish in her relationship with Christ over the years, and she's able to talk about that time in her life now with a victorious tone, rather than defeat.
-The Lord restored my marriage even though I thought I couldn't continue. He healed my husband and is molding him into a man of God. God gave me the strength I needed to not give up on my husband. Everything in me wanted to quit, in fear of another man letting me down. However, the pain and despair was worth it all as I look upon a beautiful husband and marriage.

I say all that to say: God has brought me through it all. And He was glorified when I chose to still say: God is good. God is enough. God will take care of me. My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. I don't have to accept infertility as the outcome of my life as a mother. I don't have to believe the lies that tell me I'll never have a child. The lies that say it's impossible. I have to choose to glorify God through the pain of loss. Because the God I serve has already spoken over my destiny. The God I serve brought me out of darkness before, and He is doing it again. The God I serve has placed a word in my mouth that He is holding me accountable to share with the world. And that word is that the circumstances may want to hold me back, but The Lord is still good. His promises remain.



"Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25&26


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Power of Compassion...

My heart is breaking today. Breaking over the life of a beautiful woman who passed away Saturday night. A beautiful, vibrant, mother, wife, sister and child of God. My heart is breaking for her family, but even more for this woman herself. She and I didn't know each other that well, but we knew each other enough to care. Enough to speak and give a hug every time we ran into each other, enough to know a little background of our stories. And now that she is gone, it's ripping me apart knowing that it wasn't enough.

My stomach churns to even think that she will no longer be sitting in her familiar seat at church on Sunday. And it just reminds me of how loosely we throw around those "How are you"'s, and "How ya doin"'s, and responses like the typical "fine" and "good". When really, if we took the time to be intentional about conversations with people, and intentional about getting to know people, we might actually start to get honest responses. People might begin to open up more. We might actually start to share our hurts with each other. And then we might be able to recognize those windows of opportunity to really listen and be there for one another.

You see, I never took that opportunity with this woman. And I know I had SO many. She jumped at the chance to speak life into me...several times. I took it for granted. And she took her own life. I don't say all this to say that I would have been able to change the outcome. Maybe she would have never opened up to me. But it just sinks in how important it is to let people know you care. We can't continue to shut ourselves off to the hurts and struggles that the person next to us is quite possibly dealing with in secret. I've underestimated the power and importance of compassion.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
-2 Corinthians 1:3-4


Friday, October 1, 2010

Cheery Tunes...

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am in love with music. Always have been from as far back as I can remember. Music has always been a source of comfort for me. I've always been a worshiper, and nothing brings me more joy than to sing to The King. It's definitely a passion of mine. I've always been that person who may not always have the right words to say to encourage, but I sure can point you in the direction of a good tune to lift your spirit a little bit. Sometimes I even pray in song =) It's my favorite way to pray. Or how about my favorite times during the day: driving down the road by myself with the stereo volume blasting. <-Which leads me to my love/hate relationship with the radio...

There's not much I like listening to about the radio. I'm definitely a listen-to-my-iPod-in-my-car kind of girl. But most of the time my pod is dead, so I resort back to my love/hate relationship with radio stations that overplay the same songs day in and day out. Every once in a while, though, a tune catches my ear and grabs a hold of my heart and makes me want to throw my head back and sing at the top of my lungs. This is one of them:



I cannot express in words how happy my heart feels when I hear this song. The words are simple, the melody is catchy, and I. Just. Love. It. Yes, I know KLOVE plays it about 2,349,870,000,000,000 times a day, but I don't even care. It's a favorite of mine these days, and I recommend you like it too =)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Land Between...

It's a rough place to be. You know the place. Well, at least I do - (most people do, but for whatever reason we feel like we have to put on this facade that says we have it all together, when realistically we're all just big blobs of mess walking around). Regardless, it's a rough place to be. I imagine it as a desert, or valley, in between two bountiful and lush patches of land. Cliche or not, I imagine my life on a chart that looks like this:



It's no secret that life is full of the ups and downs. Much like the heartbeat on the above chart. You feel like you can conquer the world during those peaks, but in an instant, on the decline, life can leave you feeling so defeated. I've found myself in the desert a lot lately. Life has just been HARD. I feel like I haven't even been able to come up to breathe for a second. My heart has been so heavy for many different things, and aside from just a busy schedule, everything just feels so urgent and rushed. I know that God brings us to these deserts in our lives for a reason. We grow and come into who we are in Christ during these times, and I am so thankful. I know He is up to something. He's been stirring my heart a lot, and He's opening my eyes to so much.

I was talking with a man yesterday about this. God orchestrated our conversation in such a beautiful way. My heart was heavy as I was preparing for a night of worship, and as I sat there a man came up to me and started some small talk - you know, about the weather, the building we were in, yada yada...But suddenly it all shifted when this man spotted a book sitting nearby. I had never heard of it before, but he had recently read it and began telling me about it. He spoke of this desert he has been in for a while now, and although he didn't go into any detail about it other than it just being a "desert", I could feel the lump in my throat swelling. He began to sob, and I could just sense the weight of the situation all around us. I empathized with this man, because I too have been in a tough desert myself. But the beauty of it all was that as we sat there and cried, we both knew that it was okay.

Although it's difficult to be where we're at in life sometimes, God has brought us to that land between, and that means it IS going to be okay. After all, we're only traveling through these deserts. We don't stay forever. And all the while, God is right there with us. He never abandons us when our hearts feel dry. He's the One carrying us through. He never said it was going to be easy. He promised hardships and trials. But when we start to feel alone, or like He is too far away, He shows up to give us a fresh reminder of His love and mercy. Those bountiful, lush patches of land are soon coming. And even though I may feel like I'm holding on by a tiny thread, when I get there, this is all going to be worth it. I am so thankful for a God who loves me even if I cry and groan the entire way through the desert. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who invites me in even if the desert has me looking like a big blob of mess. And I am especially thankful for a Savior who doesn't stand tall with me JUST on the mountain tops, but walks me through the valleys too.

Isaiah 40:3-5
"A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
and the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I DID IT!!!!!

I finally did it.  I deleted deactivated my Facebook account =)  It feels good.  I've mentioned "wanting to" in previous posts, but couldn't work myself up to do it because I've just been holding on to several excuses that try and justify why I spend so much time on the darn thing!  But today I did it, and although currently I don't feel any different from any other day when I would normally log in way TOO many times, I know I will later.

Truth is, for me, I made it out to be like it was such a huge thing to bring myself to - "deactivation".  But it's so simple.  Everyone I "talked" to on Facebook, I really actually talk to in real life, so that's not going to change.  If anything, we'll probably have more to talk about now face to face!  <-Take that Facebook =)  Ahhhh..I like this already.

The husband did it too, but he beat me to it proved himself more brave than I last week.  So here's to us getting back to what's important in life...and less time on the computer...and spending our time wisely...and staying away from drama...and making real life friend requests...and real life invitations...*Cheers*

P.S...If you've been wanting to take that leap to take some time away from Facebook, but are in need of some motivation, let this song inspire you =)



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Taking off our mourning clothes...

I am about 3/4 of the way done with a Bible study I've been doing on my own in the book of Ruth. I say "on my own", but it's actually been with the help of author, Kelly Minter, and one of her titled "Living Room Series" study books. I can honestly say that this has been the most revealing and fulfilling studies I've ever done. And that says a lot being that a) I've almost completed the study, and b) I've been doing this alone, EVERY morning, in the mornings, with a cup of coffee, a notebook, and my God. It is that good!

If you're like me, and have never really read the book of Ruth, I highly recommend it. It's only 4 chapters long, but in those chapters you will find a heart warming story about enduring serious loss, finding love again, and creating lasting legacy in life. And I also recommend reading through it with the help of this study book. The study is split into six sessions (or weeks), one study per day, and there are even recipes included, created by the author herself - many of which I've tried and thoroughly enjoyed. Anyhow, like I said, I'm almost at the end of the story, and my lesson this morning really hit home with me.

I'm at the part where Ruth is starting to experience the possibility of falling in love again (she's been widowed for some time now). Well, there's a verse in chapter 3 where, Naomi (Ruth's mother in law), has devised a plan to set Ruth up with this prospective guy named Boaz. Naomi gives Ruth some directions on how to go about "presenting herself" to him. In these directions, she includes for Ruth to "put on your best clothes". My first time reading it, I thought nothing of it. Soon, though, as I read it again, and also what led up to this point, some things were made clear to me. I was reminded of the similarities to how we are today. For example, when I really want to impress my husband, I shower, put on my best perfumes, fix my face with my best make up skills, fix my hair so that every strand falls perfectly into place, and put on my best clothes. The intent is to be the most attractive and presentable to him, and I believe that was also the intent for Ruth, too. 
    
What really struck me, though, is what "putting on your best clothes" entailed for Ruth. Ruth was a widow. Ruth had experienced the loss of her life companion, her best friend, and probably her first love. And here she was, with the possibility of doing it all over again. I imagine she was probably still mourning that loss in her life. I would be. You probably would be too. Losing someone close to us is something we never "get over". It's something we never forget. But when Ruth "put on her best clothes" for Boaz, to me it symbolized taking off the old, and putting on the new. God had brought her to a place to start over. He had brought her to a new land, surrounded her with new people, and presented her with a strong, loving, and noble new guy. I read a commentary that stated it like this:

"It appears that Naomi is hereby advising Ruth to end her period of mourning over her widowhood and get on with normal life...It may well be that until this time Ruth had always worn the garments of widowhood, even when she was working out in the field. Perhaps this was the reason for Boaz's inertia. As an upright man, he would not violate a woman's right to grieve the loss of her husband nor impose himself upon her until she was ready. We know too little about how long widows would customarily wear their mourning clothes, but it may be that Naomi is now telling Ruth the time has come to doff her 'garments of widowhood'."

Though many of us have not experienced the incomprehensible tragedy of losing a spouse, or maybe just someone very close to us, I know many of us are familiar with a time of mourning something...of clinging, hoping, waiting, wishing, even praying for something. And I think, like Ruth, God is bringing many of us to a place and time of taking off our mourning clothes, and putting on the clothes He is giving us for a new day. That's not to say we forget our past, or give up memories of our past. Growth happens inside of us when we endure times of grieving. But I do believe that God is bringing us to that place where the thoughts and memories of what we've endured in the past do not sting anymore. Moving forward.

I think it's pretty clear that when we hold on to the hurt and bitterness of losing something, or someone, we shut ourselves off to letting God work in our lives. Don't get me wrong here - I think grieving is absolutely crucial in life. It's been very important to me in dealing with infertility. We are human, after all. We were created to feel things. I think it's unnatural not to feel sadness through loss and longing. And our grieving processes are all different. I don't think there's a stamp you can put on the process of how long to grieve, and I don't think it's something to be dealt with lightly. You don't just grieve for a bit, then miraculously wake up ready to move on. Loss is definitely something that has to be dealt with between us and God. I've found through my struggles, you cannot just keep covering things up. God has to heal us through loss. However, when we wrap ourselves up in our 'garments of mourning', we're unavailable for whatever else God has for us. In the study, Kelly Minter stated it perfectly by saying, "My simple hope is that when God has held us, healed us, and lifted our heads, that we'd be ready to move forward with Him; and though our hearts may always ache, we won't stay in our mourning clothes forever." 

I've referenced Isaiah 54 in a previous post, but I'm gonna reference it again because it applies here. In verse 4 of this passage it says "...and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood." It doesn't say we won't remember our widowhood, it says we won't remember the reproach of it. God may not remove the memory, but I know He is perfectly able to remove the sting out of it. And that's important because we'll never be able to move forward until we let go of the hurt and bitterness of what we've lost. But God makes us able to.

In the familiar passage of Isaiah 43:18-19, God says "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." My prayer is that we perceive it. God is handing us some new garments. He's taking us to a place where we remove the garments of mourning, and put on the garments of praise. We all have our past losses, heartaches, and stains. But I pray that when God brings us to that place of readiness, we can lift our heads and let go of our old clothes and enter into our new life.

II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Home invasions and adoptions..

About a week and a half ago, our house was broken into and we were robbed of some of our things. I came home after watching my kiddos all day, Jeremy was still at work, and I noticed some doors that lead into the house from the garage were flung wide open. I thought it to be strange, so I called Jerms just to make sure he didn't just forget to shut them when he left for work that morning. He remembered shutting them, and to be safe, he instructed me to keep him on the phone, keep the car running, and for me to get out and poke my head inside to see if the t.v. was still on the wall or not - a sure sign of a burglary. The horror that came over me when I didn't see our t.v. on the wall, still cannot be described. I started freaking out, ran back to my car, and Jerms told me to just start driving. Meanwhile, he called 911 and began making his way back home (a 45 minute drive!). The police were supposed to be on their way, but I had no idea of how long it would take them to arrive, and I had no clue of whether my pups were okay or not. *And let me just plug here that I have some pretty incredible friends, and if you don't have some, I encourage you to get some!* That being said, I called one of my closest friends who happens to live about 5 minutes away, to see if her husband was home and wouldn't mind coming over with a loaded weapon to clear my house. Like the good people they are, her hubby made it over quickly, and entered my house like a Navy Seal! Fortunately, no robbers were there, and my dogs were fine (other than being a little shaken up). My house looked like a scene from a movie - drawers turned over, doors and cabinets flung wide open...just a complete disaster. Soon, the police and my husband arrived home, and thus began a very LONG process that we still are going through. Our things have still not been located, they've arrested a couple of the men involved, and our insurance company is still working on a solution to get our stuff back or replaced.

Aside from the financial craziness of this situation, we also have to deal with the emotional and mental side of it all. Naturally, when something like this happens, you battle feelings of fear. Fear of it happening again, fear of being home alone, fear of the alternatives had one of us been home at the time...and all of it leaves a sick feeling inside. We had many sleepless nights after that. But there came a point when we had to make a choice to rise up and put our foot down. A choice of saying: You know what? This is my house! My home! A place where I refuse to live in a spirit of fear! A place where I refuse to let the devil dwell! This was a place where we began a new life together..a fresh start. We have made this our home, our safe place. And over my dead body will I let a spirit of fear take that away from us!It reminds me of the verse in 2 Timothy most of us learned way back in Sunday school:"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self discipline." And maybe it isn't speaking specifically to home invasions in this verse, but I think it applies! Fear is not of God, and I refuse to live that way! That's not to say that we live incautiously. We have since gotten a security system installed in our house, and it does in fact bring a feeling of security. It's much easier to sleep at night knowing that a very audible alarm is ready to go off the second an intruder opens/breaks any door or window. I pray we never have to experience that, but you know..just in case.

I have to give kudos to my husband, too, because the burglars would not be in jail right now if it were not for his intense awareness of his surroundings! The morning of the robbery, when he was leaving for work, he noticed a very suspicious vehicle parked on our street. I was already gone for the day, but he saw two guys in this car, and they saw him. It was suspicious to Jeremy because a) he had never seen them before in our neighborhood, and b) they had a makeshift plywood trailer hitched to the back of the car. He had a bad feeling in his gut as he left the house, and turned around once he got a ways down the street just to return and get the tag number. The car was still parked when he got back, and there was really no way he could get the tag numbers without looking suspicious himself. So what's a man to do? He left for work. Once we discovered what happened at our house, that car was the first thing that came to mind. He reported it to the deputy that came out, and they said they would be on the look out for that car. So then, fast forward two days later. It's a Sunday morning, it's 7:15 a.m., we're leaving for church, and as we back out of our drive-way, we see the same maroon car and trailer backed into another drive-way a few lots down from us. The house they were parked at was unoccupied and still on the market as far as we knew. So we drove around to check it out. We didn't see anyone inside the vehicle, and that bad gut feeling returned. We called the sheriffs office and they said they would be sending someone out. Jeremy then dropped me off at church and took off to go back home to really get the tag numbers this time. But, by the time he got there, there were 3 deputies with canines chasing after these guys. They had loaded stainless steel appliances from the house they were parked at onto their trailer. Two guys were arrested, and one got loose, but leave it to the genius criminals to rat him out! They still haven't caught him, but they're working on it. However, no one would be caught as of now had my husband not paid such close attention to those things. It used to drive me nuts at how "paranoid" Jeremy could be sometimes. And now, I kick myself for all those times I picked on him about it.

I'll update more on this issue as things evolve in our case. I've rambled enough on that! On a more random, and better note, though, we've been seriously looking into some options to adopt. I don't want to get too much into it right now, but it's looking like it may be a possibility for us, and we are seriously praying about it. It's definitely not a decision that can be made hastily or overnight. It's a serious commitment, and we have devoted ourselves to really seeking God about if this is what He wants for us. He has opened some doors in regards to this possibility, and He has placed the desire on both of our hearts. Please pray with us about it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Confusion??

I've been having a difficult time lately..A difficult time with not knowing what my purpose in life really is. I know I have one, but it's seemed to go in a totally new direction since I've so clearly heard God tell me "NO" to having children right now. Since the original placement of that calling on my life, I've been living my life preparing for just that..a baby. Preparing my life for children. Making decisions and life plans centered around my future kids. It was something that absolutely consumed me. And with each passing day without kids, I was overwhelmed by questions to God of "Why not?", and "When?", and "How?", and pleads of "Please", and "I'm begging You", and so on and so forth. To be quite honest, as much as I still desire to be a mom, pursuing a life filled with children that don't even even exist yet, has been completely exhausting, mentally and emotionally. It has left me feeling empty and confused, and even hurt and abandoned by God. So God awakened me, and told me to lay all of the above at His feet. Surrender every word, emotion, desire, and plan to be a mother at His throne. And He told me He would show me the way. So I did.

I'll admit, it's been loads easier to deal with, think about, etc...but now I'm struggling with where to go now? I desire so much to have more purpose and substance in my life, and I know the Lord does, too. But I'm feeling pulled in a ton of opposite directions, with no clear or obvious way to go. I've been praying non-stop about all of this: God, would you please open up Your door of opportunity for me to serve and be Your hands and feet in this broken world.I'm not praying this so that I can stop being bored. I'm praying this because I'm tired of living for myself.

Since all of this has been stirring, our finances have been tested like never before. Money that somehow used to be there, is somehow mysteriously disappearing, despite Jeremy's and my efforts to work more. Since the conference, I've been watching kids full time, but the extra money has done NOTHING. Jeremy has not lost any income, and our monthly expenses have not increased. We're not big spenders, and have recently cut out "eating out" from our budget almost completely. To some, this would seem like an obvious mis-management of finances, but we seriously cannot figure it out. Despite our efforts to find the answer or come up with a solution, deep down I have this feeling like God is trying to reveal something. I've prayed about whether I'm supposed to get a real job or not in the real work force again..I've prayed about whether Jeremy is being called to a different job, or different path completely...I've prayed about whether I'm even supposed to be in this country or not (I've never felt a calling to go out into the "mission-field" until recently)...I've prayed about whether God is telling us to quit our jobs and go into ministry full time...I've prayed about whether we're being told to move...on and on, and on and on...No matter what, we're not making any moves until we hear straight from God about it. But not having a clear answer, and feeling like I'm in limbo is making me crazy. I try not to worry, and when I start to feel fearful or doubtful, I turn to God. I know He is faithful and He will always provide for us, but not knowing is always uncomfortable for me. My life is taking on a whole new meaning, and I just want to know what that meaning is.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Surrender...

The Jesus Culture conference in ATL totally blew my socks off! Since I've gotten back home, many people have asked me about how it went, what I learned, etc., and I've found it very difficult to even put into words. So far, I've been able to come up with something like, *huge smile* "Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh." Sort of like a really long sigh. Kind of awkward, I know (for anyone reading who may have gotten that response), but I just don't know how to even summarize all that God did that weekend in one conversation. That being said, I think I'm going to have to break it up into several posts, which probably will not consist of any type of order or structure. However, I'm confident that with all God changed and is still changing within me, He will give me the perfect words for each upcoming conversation and blog post.

One could probably assume from this post title what I am about to say. But while I was away, God dealt with me hugely on the topic of surrender. I realized that my entire life as a "Christian" has never been what it needs to be. Up until recently, I have not given over a single thing to God - not a single circumstance, stress, need, want, relationship, angry feeling...NOTHING. I've said that I have, but my relationship with my Savior is not reflective of such an action. Because had I truly surrendered my life to Him, I wouldn't need to feel in control of every aspect of my life, because God would actually be in control for once. I wouldn't need to find my security in my husband, because I would know my identity in Christ, and that is all the security I need. I wouldn't need a drawn out explanation of why we've been told we need to go through specific procedures in order to have children, because I would believe beyond any shadow of a doubt that nothing is impossible for God. I wouldn't be scared or worried about every next step and place in my life, because I would be able to trust in the Lord and read his word to find comfort and peace. I've been miserable for so stinking long because I'm so tired of fighting for answers, and fighting to feel loved, and fighting for reassurance in this world, when truth is, I'll never find any of it without Christ.

This battle with infertility has been one of the scariest times in my life. It's terrifying to think that I may never give birth and get to experience all that comes with raising a child. The thought of never seeing what God creates with equal parts of me and my husband is gut wrenching. I look around at my friends and their beautiful kids, and I listen to them tell stories so sweet about their children that bring tears to my eyes, and I know there's nothing in life that I want more. And there's a problem with that statement.
How can I pray to God and beg him to bless me with a child when I don't desire a relationship with him above all else? Total surrender to Christ, in my life, means giving up everything - my relationships, my life plans, my rights, my pleasures, EVERYTHING - to follow Him. I can't keep living a life of contradiction, where I say I serve the Lord, but sacrifice nothing. I have been living a life of false surrender, and I have been mastered by anything and everything except by God. God is bringing me to a place where I don't just give him something to get by. He wants my surrender, and he wants it regardless of what I hope the future holds for my husband and I. Even if it means I never have children.

The wrecking ball that I talked about in my last post definitely came! I left that conference after every session feeling like I had just been beaten up. And it was like, even though I sat through most sessions feeling like the most horrible person to ever walk the face of the earth, God was in my ear the entire time saying, "I don't care...I love you...Come with me...Give it all to me...Burn for me...Start right now..." And I walked out with an indescribable feeling of peace. And as I laid my offerings before the Lord, I could feel the hurt, anger, and weight of the world being lifted. And I knew in those moments that this was the beginning of a new life for me...a life set apart and wholly surrendered unto God.

That conference does not get the credit for changing me..God does. He showed up mightily that weekend, and I am proof that when Kim Walker says in How He Loves that "...You're never the same after you encounter the love of God..." she is totally right. I'm a messed up human being, and God put me in my place, put me out of my comfort zone, and beat me up, but showered me in love and grace and mercy. He radically pursues me every day, and I owe my life to Him.

So as Chris Quilala so eloquently sings it:
"...So let this love be like a fire, let our life be like a flame, fill our souls with Your desire, let our passion bring You fame..."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wrecking ball...

..I have been referring to this term a lot lately, and it's because I feel like my life is about to wrecked completely by God. And that's a good thing. I think it's already begun, with our struggles with infertility. Actually, I don't even like phrasing it like that. I know what we have been faced with, but deep down I don't believe we are infertile. I just feel like God has got some healing to do in other areas of our lives before the little miracle is to come. God has been revealing to me that His answer to what I've been asking for (a child) is "NO" right now. And I know that because He has completely revealed important things in my life that HAVE to change. The Lord has been pursuing me for a very long time, and I have struggled to get away in fear of what may happen if I am not in control of things in my life. I have been afraid of what He might actually do in my life. But He has woken me up to this and I have been convicted again and again every single day. There is no question about it - Jeremy and I have faced some pretty hard times lately, along with MANY people we are close to. But I'm seeing now that God is not giving up until WE give it up and surrender to Him. I am nervous about whatever is about to come, but I know that God is good. So I am ready. I know it's going to be hard, but it's got to happen!

Tomorrow I will be on the road with two amazing ladies, and we will be on our way to a conference in Atlanta held by Jesus Culture. I have great expectations for this trip! After all, I was reading about the upcoming conference the other day, and this is what I came across:

"JESUS CULTURE CONFERENCES are about raising-up and releasing a generation of revivalists. Our passion is to ignite a youth prayer movement and release healing revivalists into cities and campuses across the nation.

For three days, we will be seeking God, training and equipping, praying on campuses, and ministering in the city. God wants to see cities in America completely saved, and He is raising-up young people who are passionately in love with Him, know how to pray, and walk in the power of God."

After reading that, I sat there in complete shock for what we are about to go through. The two words - Revivalists and Healing - struck me deeply. When we signed up for this conference, (and I feel I can speak for all 3 of us here), I think it started out with more of just a love for Jesus Culture music and a fun trip. I'm not sure we quite grasped what we were getting ourselves into! But now it's clear, I believe. Here we are, 3 women that God literally brought together, all facing similar battles, in desperate need of God's love and mercy in our lives. In desperate need for change and a mess up of any complacency in our Christianity. In desperate need of healing and restoration in our hearts, our minds, relationships, and most of all in our faith in Jesus Christ.

So my prayer for this trip is that God will completely wreck our lives so that we will not return home the same people! I pray we come back changed women of God, ready to share with the world of His faithfulness and redeeming love! Please pray with us!

See you all in 4 days! I'll leave you with my favorite Jesus Culture song now:



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Isaiah 54

Today has been a strange day.. Strange but sweet.. This morning I woke up to heavy rain outside, the house was quiet and dark. The hubbs had already left for work, and the dogs were quiet as mice. Strange because not many mornings in our household are like today's was. Most mornings, I'm up when Jeremy is getting ready for work, and the dogs are running wild through the house chasing one another (their early morning jitters). This morning just had a sweet vibe to it, though..and I don't really know how to explain it other than that. Just sweet. I started my coffee and let the dogs out to potty. Then I sat, in the dark with my Bible and read through Ruth because later in the day I was going to a bible study with old church friends where they would be covering that book. It was nice, and I had never actually read through all the chapters together before (there's only 4 for goodness sakes..shows how much I've neglected my Bible). Normally I would stop there, but I felt something pulling me to a passage of scripture that has weighed heavily on my heart lately. I've probably read it 20 times in the past week just because I feel like it should be the anthem over my life right now, and when I read it I feel so uplifted and ready to take on the world. But this morning was different. I wasn't going there because I wanted to. I felt like God was telling me to..like I could hear Him in my ear commanding me to read His words over again. This is the passage from Isaiah 54:1-3 in the Message:

"Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
Fill the air with song, you who've never experienced childbirth!
You're ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women." God says so!
"Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.
You're going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family."...


Picking back up in verse 7:

Your Redeemer God says:
"I left you, but only for a moment. Now with enormous compassion, I'm bringing you back.
In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you -
but only for a moment.
It's with lasting love that I'm tenderly caring for you.
This exile is just like the days of Noah for me:
I promised then that the waters of Noah would never again flood the earth.
I'm promising now no more anger, no more dressing you down.
For even if the mountains walk away
and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won't walk away from you,
My covenant commitment of peace won't fall apart."
The God who has compassion on you says so.


And this time, as I re-read through that passage, it was like I could physically feel God wrapping his arms around me..And a peace I have never felt before came over me. And I literally sat there for a good 15 minutes just soaking it all in. Every word that I had read (and I read it out loud) touched a place in my heart that I had kept locked up and would not let God penetrate. I mean, what a promise! He was speaking directly to me in that, commanding me to sing! Basically telling me to get ready for what He is about to do in my life! And although He hasn't revealed the "when" or "how" to me, His word says that I will need elbow room for my growing family! And He says that no matter what happens along the way, or who walks away from me, His love will remain ever present! All I could do was sit there...and cry. And it was so sweet.

So then I put myself back together and went to this bible study about Ruth. So I get there, eat a good lunch, catch up with some old church friends and family, and we sort of do an overview of the study. After the study, some ladies asked if they could pray over me and for what Jeremy and I are going through. We all sat in the living room as these women laid their hands on my stomach and spoke life into me. And God made his presence known again. Such a calming, such a peace came over me, and I just knew that He was right there. I've always believed in prayer, but I'm not sure that I've always believed in the real power of prayer. But today I physically experienced God. It was strange, but it was so incredible.

I don't say all that to say that God made me pregnant today, or that suddenly tomorrow I'm gonna wake up pregnant..but I know that it's coming. And just as I was on the brink of giving up hope and always questioning if it will ever happen for us, God made himself very real in my life today. He literally rained down in my life today. I felt Him. I read His words, and I felt His promises deep down.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

In need of a good cleansing!!

...A good spiritual, mental, and emotional kind of cleanse, that is! I've just sort of realized lately that I am in a serious funk. It's no good! I hate every part of it. And this is how I realized:

  • I've always been one to keep my house clean, but lately I just couldn't care LESS. I've let it get pretty down-right dirty, and it's taking everything in me to type this..because frankly, it's just embarrassing!

  • Everything my husband does annoys me =( And the sad part is, he is not doing anything wrong. He tries and tries, and I just shut him out. Poor guy. He is really so wonderful.

  • I have cried every day for let's see...ugh, I lost track of the number of days.

  • I wake up tired (if that makes any freakin' sense!)

  • I wake up sad

  • I wake up mad

  • My skin has broken out and is making me look like a teenage girl going through puberty. It's gross.

  • I'm gonna stop here because these bullets could go on forever, but it is really depressing. You get the point.


I just don't feel like myself. Granted, I know we've been through a lot lately, but I long so much to just be able to cling to the TRUTH that I know. But I've just felt such distance from God. Like He's too far away or something. I know He's not, though. I just need some refreshing, a renewing of the mind and spirit. Like soon.

Some friends and I decided yesterday to really start to work hard on getting our lives together. For me, it's starting with a purging. A purging of all the stress and negativity I carry around all the time. And it's gonna happen in many different areas of my life..including the almighty FACEBOOK. I haven't quite worked up the motivation to delete my entire account, but I have worked up enough to clean out my "friends" list. It felt SO good. What it comes down to is that I need to get back to the basics. I have to start living out my words, rather than just saying them. I am keeping the people who I care about, and who care for me, and aren't just requesting to be my facebook "friend" so that they can keep daily tabs on what I'm doing with my life and look at my pictures to see how much weight I've gained. My life has to have more substance than that. And eventually, I may just delete the entire dang thing. I'll feel on top of the world that day, haha.

Next, I'm gonna really get disciplined with prayer in my life. I mean, I definitely pray, and I know and believe in the power of prayer, but it hasn't been a priority in my daily walk with God, and I've felt such a strong conviction about it lately. That, along with delving into the Word consistently, and I should be good to go =)

Also, in July, I'm taking a trip to Atlanta to attend the Jesus Culture conference. Jerms and I have discussed and decided that this is something I need to attend by myself (meaning without him). It should be good to get away for a few days and really focus on my relationship with Christ. I've kinda lost it in all the hype of this mess we've been in. I've struggled with not knowing what my purpose is in life anymore. I feel like once I get my head screwed back on straight, I'll be a better wife, homemaker, and human being.

As depressing as this post may be, I have to keep it real. It's all about being transparent, right? I need God to move in my life, and He's only going to do that if I allow him to. So today marks the beginning of a transformation in me. I'm excited, and I'm scared, but I'm also ready. So pray for me. The devil's been stealing my joy lately, but I'm taking it all back! I'm climbing out of the pits (<- yes, that's plural), people!

"Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken, dry bones to dancing. Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise." Psalm 51:7-15 The Message

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Waiting for our miracle..

So it's been a few weeks since I last updated, and not much has happened since. After our not-so-good news we received, we both just needed a while to let things get back to normal (whatever that is). In the beginning it was very strange because we were in so much shock. It's definitely weird to look back over the time we've been trying to have a baby and think that had we just gotten that test done to start with, maybe we could have skipped a lot of the frustration and confusion that we dealt with along the way. However, it was never suggested to us before, and I don't want to waste time going over the "what if's" now. It is what it is, this is the hand that God has dealt us, and we just needed some time to get our hearts and minds back on track to see that no matter what has happened or will happen on our journey though this, God knows what He is doing. Who are we to question that??

Around the end of July, we will repeat the semen analysis to see if the results are the same. There's no known treatment for what they say my husband has, but my doctor recommended that over the next 2 months Jeremy should eat well, sleep well, exercise, etc. And maybe, just maybe, a healthier lifestyle may improve the motility of his sperm. However, along with all of that, I say that over the next 2 months Jeremy should pray, I should pray, our friends & family should pray, etc. And maybe, just maybe, God will answer some prayers that may improve the motility of his sperm. Other than the repeat test, we are unsure of what our next step will be. We definitely have options - IUI, IVF, and adoption - but none of those are attainable financially for us right now. And we both feel like God wants us to wait. So we're praying and waiting to hear what He wants us to do.

It's incredible how something so devastating has brought Jeremy and I closer. I love my husband. There is no other human being on this planet who I would rather go through this with. No other person would I rather wait with. Or hope with. Or pray with. None.

Please pray and believe with us.