Friday, April 25, 2014

Chazown – My Purpose

Chazown (pronounced khaw-ZONE) from the Hebrew, meaning a dream, revelation, or vision.

Several weeks ago, Todd and I had the opportunity to attend a seminar called Chazown at church.  The point of the seminar was to help you find your purpose in life.  Going into it, I was certain I was about to face one of my fears…that engineering isn’t my “calling.”  I just knew I was going to leave Saturday afternoon and tell Todd that I needed to quit my job and start working for a non-profit organization.  I was so wrong.  Instead, I realized that my purpose is to help those that are fighting the fertility battle to find joy in life.  (I still think there is a bigger life for me after engineering, but for now, it helps pay those IVF bills!)

I. am. so. excited.

I met with the LifeGroups pastor yesterday, and I should be ready to start a support group for women like me within next 2 weeks.  (For any of you Tulsa-area girls, I would love for you to join us.  If you don’t or haven’t suffered from any fertility issues but know someone who has, please, direct them to me.  This is not limited to those that use IVF treatments; I think that all types of fertility issues have things in common we can share.  You do not need to attend LifeChurch to be a part of this group, either.)  I will be leading the effort, and we will take it in the direction that is best for everyone involved.  I just think this is going to be an awesome, much needed outlet for those that deal with these issues on a daily basis.

We need this support!  Personally, I have been lucky to have friends that have gone down this path before me, but not everyone has that type of support group.  Fortunately, I have watched many of them leave these challenges behind, as well as watch my "more fertile" friends start their families.  It's hard for those that have left these challenges in the past to always remember the depth of the pain felt; they get busy with their new children or just with life, in general.  It's even more difficult for those that haven't been down this road to empathize.  When you’re still in the middle of the battle, you can sometimes start to feel left behind.  I want to start this group so everyone can have shoulders to cry on and friends to remind them that they aren’t alone.

Last night, I received a message from a dear friend that knows fertility challenges all too well.  (I won’t share too much of her personal details without her permission.)  She’s the type of person that everyone loves and wants the best for.  She was a very good supporter and encourager for me during both of my cycles.  Anyway, she has run into an unexpected struggle with fertility that she wanted to share.  Unfortunately, she lives an hour-and-a-half from me, so I couldn’t hug her.  As soon as I saw the message, I knew that all I could do was to cry for her and pray for her.  My heart was just broken.  Then, it dawned on me that this new group can provide for other women those hugs and those prayers and those tears from friends that truly understand.  She reminded me why I think this is so important.  (Thank you, friend, for trusting me with your story.  I’m sending you virtual hugs and lots of prayers!)

I really can’t wait to get this group going, and I hope that anyone reading this blog will pass along my contact information to those that may benefit from these newfound friendships.


On a romantic note, I am certain that I married the man that God made for me.  On Saturday, we went to see Heaven is For Real.  It was a powerful movie for me.  One thing it left me wondering is if we have a child in Heaven waiting for us to come Home.  I asked Todd this question as we were climbing into bed that night.  He reassured me that he thought we did.  Although we may have not been pregnant for very long last May, the doctors assure us that we were indeed pregnant.  Therefore, there is a little soul that found its way to Heaven.  This comforts me.  There is a child that is half Todd and half me spending their days playing with cousins and an aunt or uncle.  Even if God doesn’t bless us with a biological child on Earth, we have someone special we will get to meet when we arrive in Heaven.  This thought brings me peace.


On a sweet note about our church babies, I realized in Chazown that my second purpose in life is to work with kids.  I had already started to fulfill this purpose by teaching the 3-year olds in church with Todd.  Each week, I hope I bring a smile to some of those kids’ faces with my silly dances and high-fives when they answer a question correctly.  I know they make me smile and laugh…and occasionally gag when I have to wipe a snotty nose.  J  This upcoming Sunday, Todd and I will be out of town, and I am actually sad…like really sad…that I’m going to miss seeing their little faces.  Anyway, this past Friday, I had the chance to lead 2 extra classes for Easter weekend.  Todd was headed to get the kids, so I volunteered alone.  As I stepped into my second class, which happened to be our regular class, one of our little girls was in there.  I was so excited to see her.  I bent down to give her a hug, and she looked at me with sad eyes and said, “Where’s Todd?”  It just melted my heart in all the right ways.  She knew one of our names, and she was sad that half of our dynamic duo was missing.  <content sigh>

One a similar note, just a short week after Chazown, Jessah, at Dreaming of Dimples posted a blog entry called, what are you doing for others?  I thought it was pretty timely!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Answered Prayers

For a while now, I’ve been struggling with my religion.  It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s something I want to be able to admit aloud and to myself.  For many reasons, I’ve felt as if God had turned his back on Todd and me over the last few years.  Failing IVF cycles does not help that feeling.

We moved back to Tulsa in 2010.  Since then, we have half-heartedly searched for a church.  We tried a few churches in Jenks and my childhood church.  We tried some of them multiple times.  We really wanted one close to home, but we also wanted one where we felt at home.  We had heard of an outfit called  However, for years, we were unwilling to try it because we knew the pastor was broadcast in from the home church in Edmond, Oklahoma.  We would say, “How in the world can you feel a connection to a pastor that is an hour-and-a-half away from you when he preaches?!”  Then, LifeChurch opened a new location just outside my parents’/sister’s neighborhood, which is just over 3 miles away from us.  My sister and her boys started attending and something told us to just check it out. 

Oh. My. Word. Craig. Groeschel.  If you haven’t heard this man preach a sermon, you should treat yourself at least one time.  There is something about him.  I can’t even really describe how he transforms words and talks directly to me.  I’m pretty sure he’s been studying my life and has tailored every sermon I’ve heard from him to fit my needs.  There is a long-running joke that I make to Todd that the denomination he was raised in is a cult.  (It’s just a joke, so don’t take offense if you know what that denomination is and attend.  The joke is strictly based on how Todd knows someone at any church we attend, no matter where in the country we are.  It’s crazy cool…and very cult-like.  J)  Anyway, I told Todd after a seminar at church last weekend that if Craig handed me a cup of Kool-Aid, I would gladly drink it.  The man is powerful to me.  Now, don’t start wondering if I’m starting to worship Craig.  I just love listening to him preach.

All of that being said, my sister was the one that brought us to LifeChurch (thank you, Jenny), and Craig was the one that kept us coming back.  Plus, I really love the worship style because I feel like I can dance and sing loud and no one cares.  It’s very much the concert-type worship, but I love every moment of it.  Sometimes, when I put my hands out, I can feel the energy just seeping into me.

Around January of this year, Todd and I really got serious about going every week.  We didn’t like missing Craig’s sermons.  Our only problem was that we didn’t truly feel at home because it was so big and we were bouncing around between services so often.  For months, I had been feeling like we were missing out on something more.  We decided to join a LifeGroup for blended families.  That was the start of the snowball.  We are now teaching 3-year olds every Sunday at 8:30 a.m.  Then, we attend the 10 a.m. worship.  Last, we greet at the front doors at 11:30 a.m.  The blessings we are receiving from the time we are giving are more than I can explain.  My cup runneth over.

First of all, our babies!  We have the cutest 3-year olds in the Tulsa area.  I wish I could post pictures, but I’m sure their parents would not appreciate that.  However, I’ll tell you that their hugs and their touches and their attention starts my week off in ways I haven’t felt in years.  These kids pose challenges that we have to face each week, mostly about how to get them to watch our 20-minute “movie” and answer at least one question correctly.  Did you know that one of their daddies actually built the ark?!  See?  I tell you…precious!  One of the boys squeals when he gets excited.  I must admit that I’ve been tempted to squeal along with him, but that might push Todd over the edge.
I think I’ve already explained how service has touched me.

Greeting.  I thought it would be the smiles I got from dozens of people heading into church that would be the game changer here.  However, that doesn’t even begin to touch Shayna.  Shayna is our new friend that we met the second time we were “on the job.”  She suffered from infertility for years and is now a proud mom of a beautiful, 7-year old boy.  Shayna’s advice, friendship, and love have hit me deep down.  I’m so very grateful for God bringing her to me.  (I have another story about how God put her in my path at a different event, but that will be in the next post.)

We have finally found a church where we are sublimely happy.  <sigh of relief>  We plan things around being there for our serving times.  As I said earlier, we went to a seminar at church last weekend about finding your purpose in life.  (After a call with a pastor tomorrow, I’ll be more prepared to share the details on that.)

God may have not answered our prayers for a healthy baby just yet, but He’s definitely answered our prayers to show us He’s still there…working His little magic on His timeline!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Free IVF Book Download & No New Information

Yay!  I love free stuff, and I love to read.  This is the best offer of the week.  Sweet Jessah at Dreaming of Dimples is offering a free download of a book to help increase your IVF chances.  I know there is a lot of information on “The Internets” about this subject.  However, if Jessah says it’s a good book, I trust her.  This girl knows IVF!  I'm pretty sure that if she told me that jumping off a bridge would get me pregnant, you would find me floating in the Arkansas River tomorrow.  I’ll be reading this ASAP!

On another note, sorry I’ve been MIA again.  We took the kids skiing in Colorado last week for their Spring Break.  Plus, I feel completely overwhelmed at work.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to do a recap of our trip soon because there isn’t much new information on our IVF journey to write about.  We are still waiting for financial information from Tulsa Fertility Center.  They are trying to put together a package deal for us because this next round is going to be so pricey, and insurance covers a big, whopping 0%-goose egg of our expenses.

Hope everyone in blog world is doing well.  If you’re bored, come on down to Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and help me complete some projects!