And then my heart skips a beat.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Me: Do anything fun?
Teen: Not really.
Me: Have anything fun planned for tonight?
Teen: Not really.
Me: Did you talk to that boy you like?
Me: Would you like me to leave you alone?
Teen: That would be nice.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
This is so beautifully written that I feel like I shouldn’t add any of my own comments. Although these words make me ache inside, it’s a good reminder to me that I’m not alone. We all need that reminder from time to time. Usually more often than not.
Remembering the 1 Samuel 1 Woman this Mother’s Day
Do you remember the excitement you had when telling your husband, best friend, sister, or parents that you were expecting? Do you remember how pregnancy changed your body–it was just a little at first, but then as your baby grew, so did your belly and you rejoiced with each belly rub, or picture taken to show the progression? Do you remember the emotions you felt when your miracle kicked for the first time? Or had the hiccups?
What about when your baby would move inside of you at the sound of your voice? How about the overwhelming sense of joy you felt when you gazed into their eyes for the first time and counted their fingers and toes?
Now try to strip yourself away and imagine never having those memories or experiencing those climatic moments. Take a moment to close your eyes and place your hand over your womb while imagining the pain of hearing a doctor tell you that the chances of conceiving are less than 3 percent, you do not mature eggs for ovulation, your husband has zero sperm, or your pregnancy is no longer viable and you will miscarry.
Imagine yourself in your second or third trimester going in for a routine doctor’s appointment expecting to hear the nurse tell you that there is a healthy baby developing perfectly, but the only thing you hear is the silence followed by a muffled voice telling you there is no longer a heartbeat. Imagine instead of picking out your child’s first outfit, you choose a casket. Try to imagine the pain associated with never knowing what it will feel like to have your child’s arms wrapped around your neck and you’ll never get to hear the sound of their voice or look into their eyes. Better yet, your beloved infant will never get to look into your eyes and see the love you have for them.
No one wants to imagine these moments or feel this type of pain for even a second, but for some women, it is their reality. It is their reality that often paralyzes them with worry as they fear of never being able to experience motherhood. It is their reality that keeps them set apart and always on the outside looking in while attending social gatherings. It is their reality that makes being able to get out of bed and attend a church service on the second Sunday in May an unbearable and tearful struggle.
The fears, worries, and painful emotions are magnified and intensified as many women who are struggling with infertility attend a Mother’s Day church service. For those who have suffered a miscarriage, still birth or experienced an unsuccessful adoption, watching the baby dedication is like pouring salt into their wound and as each mother stands to be recognized and receive their gifts, shame covers those who are forced to be left sitting, unqualified for such honor. Even for those who are strong in their faith, this day is not easy and I know many who will intentionally avoid getting out of bed and going all together. But it shouldn’t be this way. These women should feel invited and be able to run to the church on this day for prayer, peace, comfort, and hope instead of crawling underneath the covers and feeling left behind.
Therefore as your church celebrates Mother’s Day this year, I encourage you to please take the time to also remember and give special attention to those who are still waiting for their miracle, or who have experienced a loss through a failed adoption, miscarriage, or still birth. For instance, if during your Mother’s Day service you normally ask mother’s to stand while others remain seated, secretly lowering their heads, I encourage you to instead expand to appreciate the contributions of all women because it extends to teachers, pastors, neighbors, aunts, sisters, Godparents, foster parents, or anyone who has loved with a mother’s heart. If you are a church leader, I encourage you to openly pray for them, encourage them, and ultimately remind them of the hope they have in Jesus.
This Mother’s Day, I encourage the church to celebrate the Proverbs 31 woman and give her the love and attention she deserves, but in the process, please don’t forget the 1 Samuel 1 woman who is quietly sitting in the back, wiping away her tears.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
You know, what I imagine is that it's like starting to put numbers or ratios to scenarios now rather than hope for the best. And how to deal with that I'm sure is very difficult. Best case/worst case scenario type things and how to deal with best/worst when it happens. Because one of them is going to happen. However, in your heart of hearts, I know you're thinking positive somewhere in there or at least hoping for positive thoughts to resurface. It just may be a period of time of doubt or what-ifs. Which I'm sure is normal. And soon enough, you will be back to thinking positive. Because there's no good in worrying about the negative, but how can you not? That's what worry is. I read your blog today. So let me be positive for you when you can't. Or Todd. And you will come back and join us when you can. Because I think positive thoughts for you every single day. Even Rob does. Something happened on Saturday and we were driving in the car and he said you know, I really want this to happen for Laura and Todd and I'm being very hopeful that it does. My point is, you have lots of people being hopeful for you and if you need to worry or be realistic, we're holding your place.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Faith by Elisha
Have you ever asked God for something but didn’t believe or have hope He would make it happen? Maybe it was while sitting in the bathroom getting ready to take a pregnancy test or perhaps a more serious situation in which you were pleading desperate prayers for a loved one while in the waiting room of a hospital. No matter the scale of seriousness or reason for your prayers, have you ever felt as though they never left the four walls of the room? It was as if they would just hit the wall, bounce back and smack you in the forehead. I know I have…
There are many reasons as to why our prayers seem to be unfruitful, or go unanswered, but I believe one of the main reasons they might not get answered is because we have doubt in our hearts and we lack hope that the God we say we trust, will even come through for us.
But wait! What?! I do have hope when I pray! Okay. What kind of hope do you have when you pray?
When you pray do you feel like you are standing at the “wishing well” just tossing up your prayers “hoping” God might answer, He might hear, or He might come to your rescue?
Or when you pray, are fully confident and waiting with a positive expectation that God hears you and will answer? This type of prayer is filled with the biblical definition of hope and it doesn’t include thoughts afterwards of “might“, “maybe”, or “will He or won’t He”.
The definition of hope in the bible is to have a joyful, confident and positive expectation of good
So let me ask again, what kind of hope do you have when you pray? Still unsure? This entertaining and less than two-minute skit below should help you decide if your hope is “wishy washy” or that of confidence…
But is praying with hope in God, or expectancy that He will answer THAT important? Isn’t it better to just not get your hopes up at all so that if your prayers aren’t answered their won’t be as much disappointment? Let’s take a look…
James 1:6-7 tell us the importance of having a confident and positive expectation (hope) that good will happen when we pray. Scripture says this…
YIKES! It seems as though if we want to receive anything from the Lord, than we need to get our hopes up…we need to raise our expectation level!
Each morning I wake up saying prayers filled with expectation. Prayers such as, “God, I am expecting to be amazed and in awe of all of the great things You will do today.”
I can’t guarantee that if you expect a certain answer each time you pray that you will always get what you ask of Him in the time frame that you want it. But I can guarantee you this, if you stop standing at the “wishing well” and are saying prayers filled with faith and with a confident and positive expectation (with hope), then your percentage of answered prayers will increase dramatically. I have seen it in my life and in the lives of many others.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” ~Romans 12:12
So back to my original question, what kind of hope do you have when you pray? After you say your prayers, are you waiting with a joyful and confident expectation that at any moment God will turn your situation around for the good? Or do you end your prayers with thoughts of “Well, God might answer…God might do this for me…If I expect little then I won’t get hurt…”
Be expectant! God loves to answer hopeful, expectant, and faith fulled prayers!
What situation in your life are you praying for God to change? Whether it is conceiving a child, healing in your body or of a broken heart, a financial breakthrough, restoration of your marriage, or a new job, I encourage you to wait in true biblical hope because “The Lord is good to those who hopefully and expectantly wait for Him.” (Lamentations 3:25 AMP).
*I do want to emphasize that not only must we have biblical hope that God will answer, but we must be willing to wait for His answer in His timing. Always be persistent in prayer just like Romans 12:12 points out.*
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The Mom’s Club: Outside looking in
I imagine they are exchanging stories of when Sally started walking or how old John was when he said his first word. I can bet they are also giving tips on getting their toddler to eat or exchanging advice on the best methods of discipline. One mother might be getting ideas for their child’s first birthday party, while another is discussing her plans for having baby #2.
I could go in, most of them are my friends, but what would I contribute to the conversation? Our lives are so much different and despite being of similar age, with similar education levels and interests, I am now “set apart”. Infertility sets me apart. It didn’t used to be like this. In fact, at first, it was Sarah who was “set apart”. She was the first to have a child and was unable to go to dinner because of the difficulty in finding a babysitter or there was not enough money due to the extra expense of diapers and formula. But the tide has shifted and Sarah is no longer alone as more of the group friends now have babies. It’s no longer Friday night group dates but Friday morning play dates.
It’s one of the hardest things to deal with when your friends all start moving on to the next stage of life, having children, and although you are trying, it simply isn’t happening. You start to feel excluded. Sure they are still your friends, but as their conversations shift from which new restaurants to try, to which breast pump works the best, you realize you are being left behind…whether it’s intentional or unintentional, it’s happening.
What do I do? Should I ‘borrow’ a child and join them on Friday’s? Maybe I should find new friends who don’t debate cloth diapers versus disposable or jar baby food versus fresh? While I am not into feeling ‘phony’ by borrowing another child, I am also not into finding new friends. Infertility has robbed me of so much already that I don’t want it to rob me of my friends as well.
So as I stand outside on this Friday morning looking in the window as if a child staring into a candy store , I
These “official members” are loaded with resources and now is the time for me to gather advice while kicking up my feet, sipping on my hot coffee, enjoying my pastry, and not having to worry about whether my child is
Don’t stand on the outside looking in, despising this time as a “non-member”, but rather embrace it and learn all you can now, because one day you will be an “official member”. You will be the one passing down helpful advice while drinking cold coffee, sharing a pastry with your toddler, and chasing little Billy Bob, who is holding a sharpie marker, down the hallway.