Let it be so, Lord.

As if he wasn’t grown up enough already, my little brother is now a husband.

brother

The groom was handsome, the bride stunning, the wedding lovely. {And the cake delicious, of course.} *wink*

One of their best friends from college officiated the ceremony. It was his first wedding, but you would have thought he was a seasoned pro… and as I sat there, just two days past our 4th anniversary, I thought so much of what he said to Caleb & Jessica was so timely, so true. As they repeated their vows to one another, Chris and I held hands & I couldn’t help but think back to our own story of for better or worse, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad, in joy as well as in sorrow. When he said that love isn’t something we fall into or out of, but an action that we choose I said a silent amen. As he talked about how marriage is a picture of God’s love and commitment to the body of Christ, I marveled at the picture of love God has given us…at the seriousness of this role we play as husbands and wives. When he told them that when the hard times came, as they most surely would, they were to think back to this day and to this covenant commitment they made…to trust God and love one another through it…I had to catch my breath a little bit.

Part of me wishes they wouldn’t ever have to go through those hard times. It’s not something you normally wish on others, especially those you love. BUT, because I know that struggle in marriage and life is inevitable…and that through it you can draw near to Jesus, become more like Him…the prayer changes from one of safety and comfort to one of unity and strength in Christ.

Caleb shared with me before the day before the wedding that throughout their engagement, although most people would congratulate them and wish them well, they would follow it up with some sort of a slam on marriage. It happened over and over again he said, and he & Jessica found it to be both sad and discouraging. It made me pause and wonder what picture of marriage Chris and I had portrayed to them over the past year. The year that more times than not felt like “worse, sickness, poorer, bad, sorrow.” {Even though it feels more than a little dramatic to type it out that way…} I hope they still saw the joy, the good, the love. I hope they still saw Jesus. Marriage is hard sometimes, yes, but it also incredibly beautiful and one of life’s greatest blessings.

So what I wish for them…for their future, for the marriage, for the family they will build together…is Jesus. Even at our best, we are still a broken people, but with Jesus the gaps are filled, the hurts are healed. With Jesus struggles have meaning and joys are felt more deeply. Jesus is the source of love, the one who makes it possible for us to choose love on the days our spouse is anything but loveable, as He first lavishes love on us. Jesus is the hope and strength they’ll need to have a marriage of peace and contentment, and He is the one who will direct them as they build a life that glorifies God.

It’s what I wish for Chris & I.

It’s what I wish for the marriages of those I know and love.

And ultimately, it’s the kind of life I pray my children will have one day.

Lives and marriages filled to the brim and overflowing with Jesus.

Let it be so, Lord.

Blessed am I.

 

What a week, what a year.

Today is the husby’s and my 4th wedding anniversary. {And, in just two days my little brotha’ will be watching his own bride down walk down the aisle!} June brides are especially beautiful, if I do say so myself. *wink*

Here are a few pictures from our big day…

wedding1 wedding2 wedding4 wedding3

The ‘MASH’ meme was just for fun of course. It took me back to my elementary days…

Today Chris stayed home from work {to be explained momentarily} so we lounged around, did some housework / packing for the wedding weekend, then went off for an evening on the town. Since Chris always likes my ‘relaxed’ look best, I put on my “My Husband Rocks” t-shirt and off we went! First to the gun range, where I started off terrible and eventually got my groove on enough to throw down an amazingly solid grouping. {Never mind it was from only 3 yards.} Then to Target for a few wedding necessities {dress socks, eyeliner, nail polish…you know} and anniversary card shopping.

Chris had already bought my card, along with a beautiful bouquet of lilies. {The traditional 4th anniversary gift is flowers…and yes, of course I had to tell him that.} I hadn’t gotten one yet, so I told him to get lost while I looked. 😉 He kept walking by like a total creeper, so I finally just told him to come on over. We ended up having a moment of brilliance…and came up with an idea that will probably become a tradition in our household. I love giving {and getting!} greeting cards, but they are so darn expensive! So he stood by me, and each time I found a card that expressed my feelings for him, he would read it and then put it back. This went on for a little while…serious cards, funny cards, sweet cards…I got to ‘say’ so much more to him than I would have had I just given him one card. Eventually he found one that he deemed his favorite. We read it again together, I took his picture, then he put it back and we moved on with our shopping. Genius!

wedding7 wedding8

Chris with his card…not sure if he is wanting to laugh or cry in that last pic…

We wrapped up the evening with sushi and Starbucks…we really had a nice time together. *blush*

wedding6

4 years of bliss & blisters! {Chris coined that phrase today…it’s pretty fitting.}

So yes, it was a good anniversary…which followed on the tails of a roller coaster week. {And a roller coaster year, but that story isn’t a new one.} As I mentioned in my last post {which I *just* posted, although I wrote it last week} we have been considering a potential match, and Chris had a job interview. Since his interview last Thursday, our days have been filled with waiting.

Waiting on the doctor to review the embryo information…

Waiting on the interviewer to get back with Chris about whether or not he’s hired…

We finally stopped waiting to tell our parents about the match and let them know what was going on {our reasoning for not telling didn’t prove to be solid and sensible over time}, which helped some with managing our thoughts and anxiety, but there have been some tough moments of wondering when we were going to hear something. To hear anything.

Yesterday Chris finally got a call back on the job, and was told that they went with another applicant who had more experience. It was very disappointing for us, and I worried about the effect it would have on Chris. Which is why, in the name of good mental health and a happy anniversary, I asked him to take the day off of work and spend it having fun with me. The only stipulation was that he didn’t mope around and dwell on the missed job opportunity. He was quick to take me up on the “get out of work free” offer, and he held up his end of the bargain today.

Frustratingly, we are still waiting to hear from our doctor. He has had the information for a week and a day now, which is a long time considering Chris and I were supposed to have a week to make the decision to move forward with these embryos or not. Our agency has been very understanding and encouraging, I just wish I was feeling the same level of understanding from the doctors office end. I don’t like to seem like a pushy person…and I’m sooo non-confrontational…so trying to kindly and yet firmly communicate the urgency this requires has been a challenge for me.

Through the reading I’ve done this week, God has been speaking directly to the areas of waiting and trusting, of focusing on today, of patiently watching Him to see where and how He’s working. Without it I probably would have been a mess, so I’m thankful that He is so faithful to give me what I need each day. I have moments when I fail at it miserably {as evidenced by a few times this week} so I’m also thankful for His grace and mercy.

At one point today, as we talked about the ‘bliss & blisters’ of the last 4 years, we had a moment of honesty with one another in saying that this season of uncertainty doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime very soon. We each took a deep breath and reassured one another that we’re in this thing together…that we’ll be alright…that God has a plan and a promise to work good into everything we go through, so long as we keep our eyes and hearts focused on Him.

So year 5, here we come. We’re learning to take *all* that God’s hand offers us, and my prayer is that we will fight the hard times less and embrace the joyful times more fully.

wedding5

My favorite marriage quote…

Blessed am I.

Wowsa.

*Originally written on Tuesday, June 17th*

Yesterday I was posting crazy talk about Facebook posts and #summerhousewife and that refining little thing called waiting. And today, we received a potential match {pending our doctors approval, our approval, and a Skype conversation with the genetic family} and Chris got a call to schedule a job interview.

Wowsa.

Let’s start with the potential match.

We’re not telling our parents until we have an official match, so that’s hard. We are trying to manage our expectations for what it should feel like when we’ve found ‘the ones,’ so that’s hard. I think in some way we are expecting love at first sight or fireworks or an instant “YES!”…but I’m not convinced that it will be that way.

So instead, we took stock of our initial reaction. Info on the embryos looks good from what we can see…they’ve been frozen longer than we {or our doctor} would like, but I’m hoping the rest of their stats will be strong enough to give our doctor warm fuzzy feelings. {Or at least ‘yes, these are solid embryos’ feelings.} The family looks nice; we enjoyed reading their letter and looking through their pictures…they are quite different from us, I would say. Not sure how essential it is that we feel some big connection with them…maybe it’s more about building a relationship as babies come along and grow.

They did write about the importance of laughter in their family, which is obviously big for us, so I think we can definitely come to be friends with anyone who shares that sentiment.

We agreed to sleep on it, then if we still feel comfortable with everything, go ahead and have our doctor look over the embryos information tomorrow. Chris was hung up a bit on moving forward with embryos while there are still so many questions in regards to his job…but we tried to just breathe deeply and pray and not overthink it too much.

I haven’t posted about this much…if at all…but Chris was told several weeks ago that the office he works for is going to be closing. We don’t know the definite timeline {it’s a government thing} but we know it’s coming, so the job search has begun. It’s been stressful and a battle against the depression that has a tendency to pull at Chris, but I also see it as an answer to prayer for so many reasons. I have *full* faith that God is working in this situation, and I know that what God has for us is always for our good. So I’m trusting and praying and waiting/watching to see what He’s up to.

So I gotta say, it was pretty darn exciting when Chris got a phone call tonight about the job he’s really been interested in. He has an interview later this week…it’s good stuff.

I can’t help but notice the timing of everything…not trying to get ahead of myself, just keeping my eyes on God and wondering if the next steps, the next pieces of the puzzle are being presented to us.

Time will tell! 🙂

Blessed am I.

*follow-up post immediately following…

30 by 30.

Once upon a time, before I was blogging here, there was another little space on the internet where I wrote my thoughts on this and that. {Which somehow ended up being female facial hair more times than would probably be considered normal.} I kept up with it for 2 years and really enjoyed writing on a regular basis. Then this crazy year rolled around and I stopped for a while. When I was ready to start writing again, I needed a more private space to work through my thoughts…so a new blog was born.

A few days ago a friend of mine asked “So whatever happened to your 30 before 30 list? Weren’t you blogging about that?”

Oh. *Ahem.* Yes I was.

I decided to revisit ‘the list,’ which was made at the tender age of 27 and a half. {Ha!} If I had remained a bit more focused on my goal, I probably could have knocked several more of these off of the list already. As it is, I think it could be fun to try and accomplish a few more…even if I have to modify them a bit. Now that I am at the more seasoned age of 29 and a half, I know that flexibility is a key to success. Or something like that.

Plus I’m thinking that it could prompt some fun things to think about / do while we are in this season of waiting, right?

Anyway, here’s the list.

1. Run a 5K

I’ve walked in one…it’ll probably take a few walk/jog tries…and potentially a little training  on my part. But I want to run one.

Completed: October 6, 2012…You can read about it here and here. 🙂

2. Ride in a hot air balloon

Got this one planned for August of ’12, weather pending. 🙂

I can’t believe I never got around to writing about this…Mom and I finally took our hot air balloon ride in June of 2013!

3. Read through the entire Bible

Made this goal when I turned 27, working my way towards it everyday.

Completed: January 24, 2013…What a blessing! Read my belated post about it here.

4. Attend a High Tea

I’ve got a collection of *fabulous* hats that would be perfect for a tea party…anyone interested in going with me?

Completed: August 2012…It was absolutely *lovely* dahling…

5. Do 30 random acts of kindness

I’m looking forward to this one…Chris and I have had a lot of fun together when we’ve suprised friends / strangers in the past.

6. Pray for the entire world

This is one of the challenges extended by D. Platt in his book “Radical.” There’s another book that is supposed to help with this, so that’s going to be on my Amazon wishlist. (*Note: Oh boo. I actually did get this book, and start reading/praying through it. I just didn’t make it very far. It ended up being more of a challenge than I was expecting. All is not lost yet though!)

7.  Learn how to decorate cakes

My mom has a knack for this, and I think it looks like a helpful hobby to have. Plus a yummy one. 😉

8.  Publish a piece of my writing

I’ve got one particular piece in mind, and I’ve talked with several people lately who have given me a few publishing tips. We’ll see, we’ll see!

9. Go to a drive in movie & make out with my husby

There’s a drive-in movie theater in a town near ours…I’m thinking of loading up the truck with blankets and pillows and acting like teenagers again. Is that too much information? *wink*

Accomplished summer of ’13, but I gotta say…Chris hated the drive in. I’ll probably never get him to go back… 😦

10. Help support a missionary

A family from our church is raising funds to become MAF pilot missionaries in Africa. We’ve started supporting them through prayer and a small monthly financial contribution, so this goal is more about continuing our relationship.

I think we’ve been doing this long enough to mark it off the list. 🙂 I was also able to help meet a need that they had for their children, so that was a blessing to be a part of.

11. Take a cooking class

Always wanted to do it, never quite made it happen. Not sure if it will end up being a girls night or a date night. Maybe both!

12. Learn how to coupon / price match

Planning on starting this one in July of ’12…looking forward to a little help from a local lady who has got it down to an art.

Completed: Fall of 2012…I’m no expert, but if you wanna read the secrets I’ve learned, then click here. 🙂

13. Travel east of Texas

I’ve traveled west…northwest…and south. But never east. There are too many beautiful places and things to see on the East coast not to go, plus Chris has family there. Definitely looking forward to checking this one off the list! (Nooot sure I’m going to be able to pull this one off by my birthday. Should I have included alternate activities on this list?)

14. Go camping

How have I never been camping? My bff and I tried to camp in her backyard once as junior high girls…but ended up going inside for the comforts of air conditioning and a bed! Not sure if it’ll be my thing or not, but I won’t know until I try!

15. Host a movie-night in our backyard w/ a projector

We’ve got a great backyard for this, now if we can just track down the projector and a nice fall evening we’ll be good to go.

We have hosted many wonderful parties…4th of July (with a guest magician!), Cinco de Mayo Murder Mystery, 1st Birthday Mustache Bash for my nephew, plus a variety of others. I say those count. Plus, I helped host a movie night in my friends backyard. That’s probably as done as it’s going to get. 🙂

16. Have a caricature done of Chris & I

I’ve had a caricature or two done of me before (always a focus on my big forehead and big front teeth), but I don’t think Chris has. It would make a great piece of wall art for his office.

17. Cook something edible in the crock pot

To give myself credit, I can make queso and a pretty tasty taco soup in the crock pot. Let’s just say I’m looking to expand my repertoire.

I’ve accomplished this enough to mark it off {thanks to both Pinterest and the help of a few good friends sharing their tasty and easy recipes with me} but the crock pot still isn’t something that gets used with a whole lot of regularity around these parts.

18.  Completely unplug for a week…and try to convince Chris to do it with me!

No tv…no computers…minimal phone usage. I’m sure it will be scarier for him than it will be for me. I may need some divine intervention to make this one happen!

This one is a bit of a stretch…but we got rid of our DVR and extended cable package, which means that we watch TV about 90% less than we used to. {The old way of watching TV…no going backwards, skipping commercials, recording favorites, or looking at the schedule…is no fun at all.} And when we took the ‘staycation’ to the lake recently there wasn’t much of an internet signal. Chris was computer free for over 48 hours, and we were on our phones very minimally. Since I’m the boss of this blog, I say it counts! 😉

19. Teach Huxley agility training

I think he would be so good at this, and I know he would love it. I wish I lived in a place that would make this one easier to accomplish! (Yeah, nothing has changed about where we live…and Huxley has gained some weight…so yikes on this one.)

20. Get back to my wedding weight

Eh. Sadly I think I’ve gained somewhere between 15 and 20 pounds. It. Must. Stop. Granted, I was down a little from my normal weight on my wedding day, but it’s a healthier place for me to be.

21. Be significantly along our way to paying off our student loan debts.

Doing what we can do, looking forward to paying off the first of several in Sept of ’12. We’ve got a plan and we know the Lord is on our side, so we’re just doing what we can do and trusting Him to care for us!

We have made a lot of progress on this one. Currently we’ve only been paying the minimums {as opposed to throwing as much extra on there as we can get} but it’s because we are saving for a baby. 🙂 Lord willing, it looks like we will be able to pay our adoption and medical fees as we go, so our prayer is that we can complete all of that without adding any debt.

22. Ride on a train

Mom and I have discussed doing this on one of our mother/daughter trips. Luckily for me there are some local options…this one should be fun!

23. Learn to play the piano

Alright, so I’m not looking to become a professional or anything, but I’ve always wished I had learned how to do this. Especially since Nicole Nordeman is my singing idol. Maybe I’ll start on the keyboard or something.

24. Memorize scripture

Not going to go through excuses as to why I don’t have many verses memorized, but coming to realize how important it really is. (Working on this one already this summer…)

25. Learn how to make home-made cleaning solutions

I’ve seen a lot of this on pinterest, and it looks like a cheaper / safer way to clean up around here. Why not give it a try?!

Check and check. I’ve made laundry detergent, carpet cleaner, and a variety of cleaners using vinegar. My favorite go to is half part white vinegar to half part blue Dawn dish soap. It’s takes the elbow work out of cleaning!

26. Make a rainbow cake

This sounds like an easy one, but with me…you never know. Have you seen these on Pinterest by the way? So cool!

Completed: January 2013…I bumped up the challenge level a bit and make it a rainbow SPRINKLE cake. Boo ya. To be as cool as me, click here.

27. Go on a mission trip

Letting the Lord lead on this one…

Another stretch here, but I’m going to count working at VBS. I was serving Christ within my own community, and that is a mission field as well. I would love to go on a mission trip in the future, and feel sure I will, but I don’t see the opportunity for it to happen before January.

28. Make a wreath for every season

I’ve almost got a banner for every season, wreaths are next. Got a lot of great ideas in mind!

Didn’t do this one. BUT, I did rethink it and decided there are some flaws to this plan. Mainly storage. That’s basically a wreath per month, and 12 wreaths would take up some space. Instead I made a burlap wreath as the base, and I can change out the bow according to different seasons / holidays. That feels much more doable.

29. Learn how to shoot a gun safely and confidently

Chris is really into guns, so it wouldn’t hurt me to show some interest. Also, I just watched a freaky episode of Army Wives, and training in how to shoot a gun saved their lives. Probably not the most rational reason to learn, but nonetheless. (I am improving on this, but I need more practice. And Chris always enjoys when I shoot with him, so spending more time together is another win.)

30. Get laser hair removal for my mustache

Does it bother you that I reference my mustache on a fairly regular basis? It drives me crazy, no doubt, but I guess I just figure that it’s better to laugh about it than cry about it. I get quite a few “Living Social” / “Groupon” deals regarding this, so one day I’m going to jump on one!

****

So there we are. Looks like I’m halfway done.

Good times to come!

*Wink*

Blessed am I.

 

Giggle with Wild Abandon.

I’ve been wanting to write a bit about our recent “Staycation” to a nearby lake.

Today was a good day…the husband had a successful interview, I had girl Bible study time, we had an enjoyable evening, and then we decided to wrap it up with a hearty argument over what can best be described as a misinterpretation of important information presented. {I could describe it in a worse way, trust me.}

*Sigh*

I hate it when good days go bad.

So as I logged on to the old bloggaroo here, I began pounding out a vague and frustrated post about how this husband of mine can…oh, wait a second. Almost slipped there.

As much as I like to think of this like a ‘diary’ or journal…it is still a public space. I don’t want to, for lack of a more comfortable word, slander him in that way. And as much as I want to sort through my feelings and thoughts, it probably wouldn’t do me much good to pound out in writing exactly what he did that frustrated me beyond belief. Is that really something that I would want to go back and read later?

In that spirit, I deleted the post I had started and decided that maybe tonight is a great time to write what I wanted to about our ‘Staycation.’ To build up instead of tear down. To work at softening my heart instead of justifying the hardness that tries to sneak in.

With that in mind…

Last weekend, my parents rented a cabin on a lake that’s about 30 minutes from where Chris & I live. We went down and stayed with them 3 nights/3 days, and my brother & his fiancée came for part of the time as well. None of us are ‘lake people,’ this was the closest we’ve ever gotten to camping, and we weren’t totally sure what we were going to do the whole time we were out there. Over the course of the long weekend, we ended up doing a lot of eating {seriously tasty eating}, relaxing, visiting, and game playing…with a little trail-walking, go-carting, and lake floating mixed in. It really was a lot of fun, and I was happy to have felt as though I really got to go on a vacation this summer. {I didn’t think we would get to budget wise, and I wasn’t quite expecting a trip so close to home to really feel like a vacation – but it did!}

Score one for the staycation…and way to go Mom! She did the majority of the leg work {as in, basically all} and made it a great weekend for our family. I appreciate it so much!

One of the parts that I really want to hang on to…that I feel is most relevant for what I most commonly write about on this blog, is just this brief moment in time that happened as Chris & I drove out to the cabin at the lake…

I was driving, so he’s in the passenger seat. Sun streaming in, on our way to a vacation adventure {but without the stress of having to drive super far or do tons of planning}, he’s taken a day off work. Lately he’s been listening to Hootie & the Blowfish a lot, so he started singing a song that was in his head. It started out nondescript enough, but soon he was in full entertainment mode…belting out that song and hitting notes that shouldn’t exist, all while making the craziest faces. It wasn’t long before we were both just rolling with laughter…the kind that is completely legit and carefree. The kind that reaches your eyes and the corners of your face. The kind that is full of wild abandon…the kind where you are in the moment, and the moment is sweet.

In thinking back on that moment, I came to realize that what made it feel so darn good…so special…so familiar and yet wistful…is that moments like that have been hard to come by in the days of late.

Don’t get me wrong. We laugh together. A lot. Everyday really.

But times have been hard. This last year or so has been a struggle. Not without it’s joys and triumphs and God’s glory…hear me on this. It’s just that, without a doubt, it’s been the toughest year of my life. Facing infertility, fighting the depression that threatens to gain a stronghold on this husband of mind, relying on a multitude of people…doctors, social workers, agencies, genetic parents – most of whom are total strangers…to help us grow our family, an incredibly challenging Kindergarten class for me & a job that will no longer exist for Chris in the next year or so…it’s been a lot to sort through. Most of the time I feel as though we’ve caught our breath, but still haven’t fully regained our footing…

And I didn’t realize, until that moment in the car, how much I miss laughing…like that…with my husband.

I guess this is part of growing up. Some of the naivety we had when we were dating is gone, somewhere in the midst of jobs and a marriage life settles in and there are responsibilities and expectations and anxieties and misinterpretations. And in the hard seasons, laughs don’t always consume the moment…

This post is turning out to be sad, and that’s not how I intended it to be. I wanted to remember a happy moment. And I do believe with all of my heart that days are coming when we will giggle with wild abandon again. This is a season.

So I will remember that crazy husband of mine belting out Hootie songs on the days when this season of trial & hurt threatens to steal our joy. I will thank God for the gift of marriage, that He doesn’t leave us alone in this world, and that He has a plan that weaves good & glory into all things. And I will look for opportunities to laugh every chance I get…until the day when laughs come more readily/often than tears.

That day is coming. A new season is on the horizon. God is at work.

Blessed am I.

Hot mess.

Today I was doing this summer housewife business like a boss.

Which leaves me with two questions.

A) How do I keep up with all of this during the school year? {Oh yes, I remember now…that’s how I earn those dark circles under my eyes.}

B) How do people with kids keep up with all of this? {That lingering questions leaves me with a shiver…}

I mean, I worked so hard today I didn’t even get a nap.

*wink*

The weird/not cool/I-need-to-get-over-myself thing about suddenly being off for the summer and having the ability to manage my time more as I wish also means, as I learned today, that I want to post an abundance of Facebook posts about everything I’m doing. And since I do enjoy the hashtag, I even catch myself thinking in twitter talk. {And I’m not even on twitter!}

Off to our ‘Weird Animal’ VBS, rockin’ my garage sale cheetah vest… #dontyouwishyourvbsteacherwascoollikeme

Meal planning, grocery lists, and Wal-Mart…oh my!

Who has two thumbs and picked THE MOST DELICIOUS WATERMELON OF THE SEASON? #thisgirl #twiceinarow #ilovewatermelon

There is a big ball obstacle course {from Wipeout!} on Steve Harvey?! Oh the things I would do to get my hands on one of those…

Pinteresting it up with my banana oat non-muffin muffins recipe and pink lemonade pineapple punch {served in an adorable little mason jar, of course} this afternoon…glorious! #summerhousewife #yum

and later… Turns out non-muffin muffins with no flour or sugar are….quite bland. #wompwomp

How does this dog have any hair left? It looks like I killed a small animal in our front yard! Off to get this puppy into the bath…

Multiply = truth, truth, truth #francischan #davidplatt #discipleship

A little yoga while dinner is in the oven? Don’t mind if I do…

and later… Oh lawd have mercy, I shouldn’t take 10 months off of yoga. #notflexibleatall #corpseposeismyfavorite

Pioneer Woman ‘crash potatoes’ are a hit at the Thompson house…and I successfully cooked in the crock-pot without burning the meat to a crisp! #heatherforthewin #summerhousewife

While all of that is legit {I had a highly productive afternoon…it was my first of the summer and will likely be my last} it also would have been seriously annoying to clog up people’s news feed with that junk. {Which could be made only more annoying by A) even more hashtags, or B) an ungodly series of emoticons following each update.}

And also, why do I feel such a compulsion to update everyone on everyone little accomplishment? Was anyone going to bring me a cookie?

{No seriously…I wonder if anyone would have brought me a cookie? Hum…maybe I’ll start adding #ifyouareimpressedbringmeacookie to every post I make from now on. That requires far more commitment than simply hitting the like button.}

It’s sick, these things Facebook makes me want to do.

As it is, I only posted once. And it was about VBS. So I felt like that was acceptable.

#selfcontrol

#gag

#thispostisgettingawayfromme

Sooooooooo anyway.

No new news on the embryo front. I fight to lay down my feelings on that…somewhere around 2-3 times an hour. But only during my waking hours, so it could be worse.

Just like that ol’ nasty desire to post pictures of my dinner to FB, the urge to have a meltdown every time the ding alerting me that I have a new e-mail turns out to NOT be from the agency is ever present.

God is good though, He mercifully and lovingly sustains…and calms…and focuses me. I love that He has taught me a new understanding of ‘give me this day my daily bread.’ Some days I fail miserably at it and try to demand more from Him, but I’m learning that He gives me all I need. In His timing.

I keep adding to the list of verses I want to meditate on and memorize, but so far God hasn’t let me leave this one. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

In case you haven’t figured it out {how you could have missed it after my facebook-update-running-commentary, I don’t know} I like control. Productiveness. Schedules and plans. Cookies. Waiting is not high on my list of favorite things.

All of this to say, if some posts sound like I’ve got it together…like I’ve got this infertility / adoption thing all figured out…then just know that by myself, I’m a hot mess. Any semblance of gracefulness in this wait is from Jesus. Some days I walk easily with Him in this area, other days it is a moment by moment struggle to die to self and live joyfully and peacefully in Him.

I may contact the agency later this week…if I haven’t heard from my contact lady. Try to get a better understanding about the process on their end and see if she has any feedback for me on why the families who have seen our profile haven’t requested to match with us…but only if He wants me to. 

Still figuring out the line between what I need to understand in this process and what I need to trust and submit to Him on, I guess.

Blessed am I.

#youdeserveacookieafterreadingthispost

#wink

 

Not Showing, But Still Glowing.

Last night we had a BBQ with some of my favorite people…there was food galore, fun, talking, and big sun hats. {Okay, so it was just me with the sun hat, but whatevs.}

There was also another pregnancy announcement.

I mean, how fertile are these people I’m friends with anyway?!

So at this point, I’m clicking through my friends trying to decide if there are any more possibilities of announcements in the near future. Out of my Sunday School class…no. Two girls are preggo, one just had a baby, and one is going to pop any day now. Outside of my class it is a possibility…and among my other friends there are a few more who are trying. So the answer is yes. Undoubtedly more announcements to come.

It’s like in college, when you would drool over pictures of rings while all of your friends were getting engaged.

Only now, I’m drooling over babies. Which is kind of payback…because when I hold babies, they generally drool on me.

😉

No really, all is well. I had a brief moment of watery eyes {someone was cutting up onions…I blame that!} and then snapped out of it. Found a job to do while the pregnancy talk was going on, and had a little pep talk with my other friend who is waiting on a birthmother to choose them. “Look at all of these announcements!” we said…”Surely ours will come soon, and it will be one big babyfest around here!”

Then today, I was reminded again of how it all really is about perspective. Breakfast on the patio with one of my dearest, sweetest friends…who is single. This woman who would make an amazing momma, yet doesn’t know if she’ll get that opportunity. I’ve wanted to tell her, to voice to her that I think of her often in that struggle, that I recognize the pain she must feel. So I did…and my heart was broken for her all over again as she acknowledged the hurt and moved the conversation along.

I’ve been re-memorizing a verse the last few days…meditating on it and trying to really let it sink in to my heart. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

God has been speaking to me in a fresh way through this verse. TRUST…even when you don’t understand. ACKNOWLEDGE Him…in all things.

So with all of these sweet mommas and precious babies…whom I love…with all of these questions and hurts and hopes…I can trust. I can acknowledge that God is God and that He is good and that He is working.  And through that acknowledgement and trust, hopefully I can speak life into my friends hurting heart, speak encouragement into these new mommas adventures, and speak peace into the heart of my husband and our marriage.

Not showing, but still glowing.

That’s the goal.

Blessed am I.

 

Start a bonfire.

One of the things that I love most about blogging is how it has the ability to connect you, even in just these small little ways, to others who are experiencing the same kind of crazy, messy, beautiful life that you are. For me, it has been so encouraging to read and interact a bit with several strong, yet at the same time vulnerable women who have the courage to put their own struggles & joys & questions & fears & acts of obedience {and occasionally acts of disobedience!} to our God out there for others to read. Infertility, IVF, all sorts of different adoption routes…I just love the honesty and realness. It’s good stuff.

Recently I linked over to a blogger/author named Natasha Metzler…I’ve been reading here and there on her blog for the last week or so, and read her book “Pain Redeemed: When Our Deepest Sorrow Meets God” while swinging in the hammock one evening. Although our stories aren’t so much the same, it was incredible to read the conclusions that she has come to about God and infertility…because many times I could hear my own understandings reflected in her words. I love that. She also gave me insight into the world of depression…which I experience through my husband, and am still very much learning to navigate those murky waters.

After finishing that initial read, I went back through and took notes of the parts that really spoke to me {I’m such a book nerd!}. I can’t put them all on here…there were 9 pages in all…but I have them written in my journal and continue to think on what God challenged me with through her words. In the coming days, I plan on reading portions of it {specifically those that speak to the pain, bitterness, and lies from the enemy} to the husband. My prayer is that it will spark conversation and hopefully resonate with him…speaking God’s truth to his life in this area will not return void. I believe that.

A lot of what she said also tied in directly to the ‘Secret Church’ study I went through this year…so it was exciting to make those connections and further understand some of the truths I’ve been chewing on in the last month or so. {Specifically referring to the parts about the cross and death being at the center of our Christian faith…} Annnnd “1,000 Gifts”…saw nods to that as well. {I just *love* it when God brings His truth together…grounded in His word. It’s exciting to me!}

Below I’ve combined several quotes from her book that I thought were so beautiful…so challenging. I want to remember them for a long time.

“There are times to clean up our dreams to make room for miracles. We have to gather up the deadness and start a bonfire. Let the ashes paint the canvas of our lives.  ….  The miracle will be the redemption of our pain, not the absolution of it.   ….   Every miracle contains sorrow, for without pain there is no need for a miracle. But they also contain redemption. The kind that is so full of light and beauty that it hurts to look at them. ….  Only in emptiness can we be filled. Only in the burning of our dreams can we glimpse the redemption that God offers.”

– Natasha Metzler

So to the bloggers out there who stop by or follow…who comment words of encouragement…who pray for me on this journey of infertility and embryo adoption…who share your stories {the good, the bad, and the ugly!}…thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been encouraged by you, challenged by you, and reminded that I’m not alone in this walk because of you.

I recently heard it said that our Christian faith is meant to be lived out within the context of community…thank you for being part of mine.

Blessed am I.

 

Such Is Life.

 

May was a crazy busy month…wrapping up a school year is always that way. Since that first match opportunity {which we declined}, all has been quiet on the adoption front.

I had really been fine with that…a lot of other things to focus on, after all…but in the last several days a lot of people have been checking in with me to see where we’re at. And honestly, it’s made me start to become a little antsy.

I finally gave in and e-mailed the agency to see how it’s going on their end. Nothing wrong with that, right? She said to call or check in whenever I wanted/needed to…

Sounds legit, except that I feel like I’m sitting by the proverbial phone…just waiting for it to ring. {In reality I’m carrying my cell phone around with me everywhere I go and hearing phantom alerts that I’ve received a new e-mail.}

Sad, I know.

I have a friend who is going on 2 years of waiting for a call that a birthmother wants to match with them…I can’t even *fathom* what that feels like for her. It has to be my 3 weeks of waiting feelings x about a million.

I’m doing a lot of praying…a lot of asking and thanking God for His provision for today {aka – daily bread}…a lot of slowing down my breathing and heart and mind. A lot of reminding myself of the purpose of all of this is to glorify Christ…and praying that I will do that gracefully as we wait to here more.

Waiting and praying. Trusting in the hallway {or maybe on the porch…with a glass of sweet tea} until God opens a door. That’s where I’m trying to rest…{I did hear back enough to know that a new family is looking over our profile currently…praying!}

*******

On the infertility front {and as those of you who have been there can attest, that is a distinctly separate beast from the adoption front} there have been a few bumps in the road lately.

Tis the season of life…for pregnancy announcements! In the last couple of months there have been several pregnancy announcements…one of which a surprise {even for them!} from some of our very best friends. I didn’t skip a beat when I found out the big news…but although Chris reacted well initially, he still had a couple of days of sorting through the emotions it brought up for him.

Part of it was *totally* my bad…I knew that they were expecting, but didn’t tell him privately. They ended up telling him when we were all out together. When we got home and I figured out that the news had upset him…I honestly felt surprised. I hadn’t really seen it coming…I guess I blindly assumed he was in the same emotional place I was. {How dumb of me…seriously, we are hardly ever on the same emotional page…}

He worked through it, and I’ll know better next time.

Other than that there have been twinges of “and they get to have a baby?!” when I’m in a restaurant or store and see some parent/child interaction gone wrong…which I know is evidence of a prideful heart on my part. :/ Moments like that don’t usually cause me to become super upset…it’s more like they make me shrug and scratch my head in confusion. I get past them.

So yeah. Such is life. It’s messy and not always explainable and sometimes joy comes hand in hand with pain…but thankfully nothing is wasted. My God uses it all.

Blessed am I.

 

Sweet Summer.

This past school year was…hard fought.

I’m so glad it’s over.

Professionally…hardest year yet. Hands down. And I’ve worked in a tough teaching environment before…on a management level…but this beast was about a group of kiddos coming together in a just nooot good way. They challenged me to the MAX. I spent basically every day in total survival mode, which is not where I like to function, to say the least. God got us through it {I can’t even say that it was gracefully on my part} and I pray that He filled in the gaps where I was totally failing and losing my mind.

Did I mention that I’m so glad it’s over?

And yes, for those of you who have visited my blog before and recognize that it’s all about my journey through infertility/adoption, my hardest year professionally just so happened to be my hardest year personally as well. Double whammy.

God is good though. He was before, He was during, and He is now. His goodness…and mercy and overflowing grace…gave me strength and kept me going.

How do people make it in this crazy world without Him?

So here I finally find myself…officially, completely done with another school year…summer stretching out before me. I feel like it deserves a good cry over a pan of brownies {happiness? relief? shock after the trauma I’ve just been through?}…but I have a headache as it is and there are no brownies in this house.

What’s a girl to do? 😉

Blessed am I.