weekend recap

this weekend was a good weekend.  i often let my fears and doubts take over my thoughts and rob me of joy, but there was no space for that this weekend.  i owe this great weekend of happy thoughts and good energy to several sweet women in my life.

friday started off right with a compelling devotion from a lifegroup sister.  this devotion was a sweet reminder that speaking words of truth and faith allows God to work in our lives.  here is a brief exert from the devotion:

did you know that when you speak words of faith, angels are commissioned to move on your behalf?  the Scripture tells us that God gives His angels charge over us… if we could pull back the curtain on the unseen spiritual realm, we would see a host of angels and heavenly beings watching over us.  that’s why it’s so important to guard what we say because with our words, we either open a door for God and His angels to move on our behalf, or we open a door for the enemy and the forces of darkness.

saturday was just as good.  hubby and i had dinner with some friends that we haven’t seen in a while.  this couple has been through a lot over the last few years.  they lost a baby full term.  having been through an early loss, i cannot even fathom how difficult this was and still is for them.  what’s amazing is how positive, strong, and encouraging they are.  our friends are truly a reflection of the hope that can be found in Jesus.  i admire the light and testimony that they are.  just spending a few hours in their presence truly lifted my spirits.

then on sunday, a sweet friend from church brought 5 books about infertility for me.  she has obviously been through a lot if she acquired 5 books on the subject matter.  i haven’t been able to start any of them yet, but the titles are all intriguing.  here they are in case any readers are unfortunate enough to be in a similar position and would like some reading encouragement:

  1. inconceivable – a woman’s triumph over despair and statistics
  2. moments for couples who long for children
  3. conquering infertility – dr. alice domar’s mind/body guide to enhancing fertility and coping with infertility
  4. the infertility survival handbook – everything you never thought you’d need to know
  5. hannah’s hope

i will share a review about each as i read them {don’t be surprised if it takes me a while, life seems to be extra busy these days and i’m a slow reader ;-) }.  i think i will start with number 4.  a further description on the cover caught my eye, “the truth about: the real success rate of fertility clinics, keeping your marriage intact, what kind of doctor you need, and not going broke.”  i’m especially interested in the not going broke part.  i’m so thankful we have insurance.  the cost of fertility treatment is outrageous.  expenses are adding up quickly, even with insurance benefits.

sunday was also awesome because we got to have brunch with a sweet couple from our new sunday school class.  i love that we are forming new friendships and bonds through our new class.

my my final thought for this post is that bad things happen in life.  no one is immune from the crappy hand that can be dealt.  knowing and hearing about others struggles proves this.  everyone has had or will have something stinky to deal with.  two verses that often come to mind address this phenomenon:

consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. {James 1:2-4}

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. in this world you will have trouble. but take heart! I have overcome the world.” {John 16:33}

happy monday!

tomorrow

dear {future} baby g,

tomorrow is a big day for us.  tomorrow your father and i have an appointment with my RE, his nurse, and the financial counselors at his office to learn about the IVF process.  i believe the technical term for our appointment is an IVF consult {sounds like another way to get a $25 copay and insurance payment if you ask me, but that doesn’t matter}.  tomorrow begins a new journey to your conception.  i’m praying hard that this part of the journey is the part that will finally fill my empty womb.  i’m praying that this part of the journey is the part when you will be conceived, baby g.

i’ve already done so much to try to conceive you, baby g.  i’ve had uterus surgery, i started taking a diabetes medication to help with PCOS, i go to acupuncture, i’m trying to take the extra carbs and sugar out of my diet by eating a {mostly} paleo diet, and i’ve gone through three cycles of fertility treatment.  this has certainly been an expensive and time consuming journey, baby g, but i’m willing to do whatever it takes to conceive you.  i would go to the moon and back for you, baby g.

i don’t know why you aren’t already growing in me, baby g.  i always thought you’d be in my belly by now.  last year i thought ‘certainly i’ll be pregnant by the end of 2013.’  when that didn’t happen, i thought i’d be pregnant by march.  when that didn’t happen, i thought surely by my birthday in june.  but that’s not going to happen either, baby g.  the IVF process is much longer than a typical monthly cycle.  maybe you will be conceived by june, but you certainly won’t be growing in me.  i have low expectations now, baby g.  it makes me feel hopeless.  but i know the Lord’s answer for your mama and papa to have you isn’t “no.”  i know He is just saying “not right now.”  it’s just hard when i feel like i’ve done everything i possibly can to help myself, but nothing seems to work.  the thing about our Lord, baby g, is that He can do amazing things.  i’ve seen His powerful hand working in my life, and i can’t wait to tell you all about Him one day.  He created our world, and the whole world answers to Him.  He can and will bring us together when the time is right, baby g.

i love you, baby g.

one thousand gifts: 52 through 62

most days, i have to make a conscious effort to stay positive.  i’ve said it before, giving thanks helps me focus on the good and keep faith.  thankfully i have this gratitude journal.  and so the list continues.

  • 52. Easter sunday and what it represents
  • 53. a great sermon on hope and the power of our Lord on sunday
  • 54. dinner with the in laws on saturday {happy 30th birthday, brother-in-law}
  • 55. dinner with my family on sunday
  • 56. electrolysis {eventually these mustache hairs will have to disappear}
  • 57. getting off work early on friday and spending time with the hubby
  • 58. encouragement from a friend yesterday
  • 59. an email from a sweet friend today
  • 60. building new friendships
  • 61. beautiful weather today
  • 62. half price Easter candy today {i do love a good sale}

all of this encouragement i mention has been great.  a constant theme is that God is working even when it feels like He isn’t and when things feel too messy for repair.  the beauty of our Lord is that He often works behind the scenes to weave even the {seemingly} crummiest details together into a perfectly crafted masterpiece.  i leave you with a snapshot {literally} of an awesome devotion i read over the weekend.  God knew the message i needed to read.

image

dear baby g

it has been easier for me to open up about my {in}fertility journey to friends and those i barely know than it has been for me to share this journey with family.  don’t ask me why.  i wish a knew, but that’s just the way it is.  but the beauty in sharing this journey with fellow believers is that i get great advice.

one of my lifegroup ladies suggested that i keep a journal “by writing letters to your baby.  write your feelings… what you imagine that new life being like.”  she also reminded me that “it’s ok to write frustrations,” and that this will help me “to build that faith and trust with God’s will for you and your baby.”  i like this idea, so i’m going with it.  welcome to the new series, dear baby g.

but before i can write to my future baby, i need to write to my first.

dear {1st} baby g – i miss you.  i would be 7 months pregnant with you right now if everything had worked out.  i’ve spent a lot of time mourning and crying over your loss.  even though you were not growing in me for long, you were there.  even though you were tiny and young, you were a life.  i believe you are in Heaven now, and i can’t wait to meet you when i arrive.  i often wonder whether you are a boy or a girl.  guess i will find this out one day too.  what i do know about you was that you made me tired.  i loved how well i slept while the pregnancy hormone was in my system.  sometimes i have a hard time turning off my thoughts and finding rest, but you guaranteed me a good night’s sleep {and several naps too}.  i miss you, 1st baby g.

renewed

this week has been a good week.  i feel refreshed and renewed, and i can attribute this to three things.

a, we are taking a break this month.  and to my surprise, this is a breath of fresh air.  getting poked and prodded at multiple times a month and giving yourself shots gets old.  as much as i want things to keep progressing forward, i’m thankful for this time to just relax.

two, i feel that my new acupuncturist has really improved my quality of life.  i feel amazing after the treatments i’ve had so far.  my anxiety literally melts away during treatment and stays away for a good 3-4 days after.  this is huge for me.  half of the battle is just getting my mind to turn off and not worry sometimes.  i feel like a new person, and i love it.

and d {that’s a little home alone reference for you}, with the help of a dear friend, i’ve finally learned how to pray about my {in}fertility situation.  i shared with another fellow believer my frustration in constantly bringing my request to God.  i posed the question ‘doesn’t He know my heart’s desire?  why do i need to pray?’  she paused for a few moments and then said, “i think you need to change you prayer.”  she went on to explain that we don’t know the journey and process i will go through to have a baby, but we know it will happen.  we talked about how the Lord is faithful and that He does know my heart’s desire.  we talked about how important it is to remain a faithful servant to Him even when we are struggling.  and then she suggested that i should start praying a prayer of thank you.  my thoughts were ‘but i have been saying thank you, i have been giving thanks for all of blessings He has already given me.’  while my mind was racing she continued, “you should start praying thank you, thank you God for the baby that i know you will give us.”  wow, i’ve never thought about it like this before.  i’m confident we will be parents when the time is right, so why shouldn’t i give thanks?  i do not know the form my motherhood will take and i do not know how long the journey to get there will be, but i know that’s where i will end up.  so it makes perfect sense to give thanks.  plus prayers of thanksgiving keep me positive, and i like feeling good.

several years ago, my pastor once referenced a verse during a sermon, and this verse now comes to mind.  i kept running across this verse whether through sermons or independent bible study, so i finally asked my pastor about his thoughts on this verse.  his response was “this verse has literally changed my prayer life.”  this verse is about confidence, faith, and trust in God answering your prayers in the way that He knows is best.

therefore i tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours {Mark 11:24}

i’m so thankful for my support system, and for my sisters in Christ who can give me the perspective i need.  happy thursday!

one thousand gifts: 43 through 51

just continuing my gratitude journal:

  • 43. beautiful spring weather over the weekend
  • 44. deepening relationships with our new sunday school class
  • 45. fun at a baseball game on sunday
  • 46. a new acupuncturist {not sure why i didn’t ask my RE who he recommended earlier in this process}
  • 47. less anxiety
  • 48. accomplishing goals at work
  • 49. choosing lighting for our {soon to be} new home
  • 50. meeting and snuggling our friends’ new baby
  • 51. celebrating new life with a few of my lifegroup ladies

my list is officially 5% complete {looks like it’s going to take me a while to make it to 1,000}.

to my prayer warriors following along, hubby and i have a few decisions to make over the next several weeks.  i welcome prayers for discernment and direction on next steps.

roller coaster & one thousand gifts: 31 through 42

this post will probably be messy, but my thoughts are messy right now.  we just experienced another disappointing cycle, and i have so many emotions.  if nothing else, maybe this post will be a testament to the true roller coaster ride that this {in}fertility journey is.

i’m tired.  i’m tired of being so hopeful and positive.  i’m tired of visiting the doctor as often as i do.  i’m tired of continually bringing my request to God.  i know He knows my heart’s desire, isn’t that enough?

i also have faith and confidence that one day we will be parents.  and while i wait for that day to come, i’m trying to remain faithful to the Lord just like job did.  i’m trying to praise God through the pain.

i am thankful for all of things that are going right in our lives.  i started my gratitude journal here.  in an effort to continue to count my blessings and give thanks in all circumstances, i have a few more to add to the list:

  • 31. the mountain getaway and spa day we recently had at the grove park inn
  • 32. our new house that we are under contract on
  • 33. a new, less stressful job coming soon
  • 34. the support of the {select} few coworkers that know about my {in}fertility journey
  • 35. my brother & sister-in-law not moving away
  • 36. seeing the Lord answer my prayer requests for friends
  • 37. seeing the Lord answer my prayer requests about a house and my job
  • 38. the warmer weather
  • 39. sleeping better at night
  • 40. the advice and perspective shared from those who have been on this journey before
  • 41. our oven being back in working order {i stopped counting after about two months of its hiatus}
  • 42. friends to carry my burdens

thank you to all of my friends and lifegroup ladies that reached out to check on me over the past few days.  after sharing my feelings with {venting to} a dear friend and fellow believer about my exhaustion over praying and hoping, i received the best response ever.  our conversation was via text, and she simply replied “i will take over! Galatians 6:2 :)”  i cannot do this alone, and there are no words to express the gratitude i have for friends like you.

carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ {Galatians 6:2}