Sunday, December 12, 2010

Upcoming events

I've been posting quite a bit when it comes to neat things I've seen or heard but I've failed to give a good update about our journey with infertility and PCOS thus far.

Two weeks ago, I joined weight watchers. When I heard that the new weight watchers takes protein + carbs + fat - fiber, I was sold. This is the equation of a pcos diet. As of today, I am down 9-10lbs. I'm happy! I'm thrilled! I'm optimistic.

This Friday I am going to my infertility appointment and I'm only a smidge nervous. I'm very curious as to what will be said, done, discussed, etc... and of course my homework.

I'm happy to report that I had my very own period and ovulation this month.

All on my own.

No inducements necessary.

I know God is getting us there, this is just SO exciting!

I believe. I can honestly say, I believe.

While I'm Waiting - John Waller

My doctor!!!

Inspiring video

Friday, December 10, 2010

A breakthrough requires a trial to break through.

It would be nice to simply wake up one day and suddenly be a mature Christian, but in order to grow up in God, we will have to go through trials. There is no other way to grow strong spiritually than to go through trials.

1 Peter 5:10 says, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. You may not like trials, but this verse says that when you are going through trials after you have suffered a little while, you will grow to be firmly rooted and grounded (strong, firm and steadfast) in God.

Similarly, James 1:12 says, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. Here again, you don't get the rewards (the crown of life) until you have persevered under trial and stood the test.

So, learn to be thankful in your trials, because in order to get your breakthrough, you need a trial to break through.

Therefore, don't be discouraged during times of suffering. Know that after you have suffered a little while, God himself will make you strong firm and steadfast.
Your gifts can take you somewhere, but you need character to keep you there.

When a person, especially a minister, is very gifted, others often flock to that person. However, he or she must have Godly character in order to remain humble, so that the ministry won't turn sour.

If you have great gifts and you are waiting for God to promote you and wondering why He doesn't, check your character. Examine your Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Do you walk in love with others (John 13:34-35)? Do you purposefully look for ways to bless others and reach out to people (Luke 10:30-37)? Do you try to serve and put others first (Mark 9:35)? Do you keep your word and do what you say you will do (Psalm 15:1-5, especially notice v. 4)? Those are the key elements of character necessary for successful, lasting ministry.

Integrity, excellence, and faith are the only things that can keep you steady in the storms of life. If you lack those, then you lack Godly character.

If you lack character, then you may end up doing more harm than good to the name of God. Although your gifts may take you somewhere, you need character to keep you there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

To worship God you must go beyond words to speak with your heart. You can mouth the words of a prayer all day long and just waste your time, unless you also speak with your heart. And to speak with your heart means to embody first.

If you pray for love, be loving.

If you pray for wealth, be generous.

If you pray for health, practice health yourself.

What is your favorite prayer? How can you begin to embody it?

Monday, November 1, 2010

I saw this today and absolutely loved it, so I thought I'd share.



"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truths and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)

When I was a kid, I had tapes of the music I liked. When I was in college, I had CDs. The point was, when I liked a song, I had to buy the whole tape or CD to get that song.

Sometimes you could buy the cassette single and sometimes you could get lucky enough to tape it from the radio. (Anyone else remember sitting by the radio waiting to catch your favorite song so you could hit record?) But for the most part, you had to buy the whole enchilada.

A funny thing happened when you bought the whole tape or CD, though. Not always, but a lot of t he time you found other songs you liked by that artist. Your eyes were opened to other possibilities. (Hang on... I am going somewhere with this...) You discovered a song that you felt like no one else knew about but you because you didn't hear it on the radio. It became personal because it wasn't popular. It was what you found when you were looking for something else.

Now music has changed. One of my kids hears a song and within moments they can get online and have it downloaded to their iPod for $1. No trip to the mall with your hard-earned money, no waiting for your mom to have time to drive you. Just a few clicks and press play. And you also don't have to buy anything you didn't want or know about. You just got what you wanted, when you wanted it. It has revolutionized the music industry. But is it necessarily better that way?

I spent time last week going back through old songs I loved, many of which were songs that were never popular, that most people never heard o f. I found them because I had bought the whole tape of some band's latest release. I like them so much because they weren't popular, therefore they didn't get overplayed. They felt mine.

How often I want my faith the way I want my iPod—instant gratification without having to wade through the unknowns. I want what I want when I want it. Point click and play. I don't want God to require me to buy the whole album—to deal with the parts I don't know or like, to take the time to listen to things I might not want to hear.

And yet, I gained a lot from wading through the stuff I never would have tried without being forced. There were unexpected treasures to be found, surprises I ended up valuing more than what I originally set out to find. I wanted to be a mother but I didn't want the sleepless nights and being stretched to the point of breaking. I wanted to be married but I didn't want to learn how to get along with another person day in and day out, to discover what sacrifice really means. I wanted to be a novelist but I didn't want to have to work so hard to make it happen. I wanted to lose weight but I didn't want to exercise daily or control my cravings. I wanted what I wanted, and God used those desires to build my character along the way, and draw me closer to Him in the process.

Call me old school (you wouldn't be the first) but I don't want an iPod faith. Just because it's more convenient or faster doesn't mean it's the best way. Sometimes being open to what you weren't expecting is the best way to find what you were looking for all along.

Dear Lord, help me to remember when You ask me to wait it is for my best. Help me to trust in the process You're taking me through. And help me remember that You are on the other side of every trial, waiting with a new perspective, a new vision, a new hope. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

God is good!!!!


I am feeling GREAT!!!

I've been on medication now to help with some of the issues with PCOS for about a month now and I'm really feeling great!

I need to say, I was terrified of the medication. I'm on glumetza which is metformin, however, it's digested differently so I don't have any of the nasty side effects.

I started off on 500mgs for the first month and I'm now on day two of 1000mgs. So far so good!

In another month I'll go up to 1500 and eventually 2000. I really am feeling great. I never knew I felt bad until I felt this good. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

::LOVE this poem:::

I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart. I am never without it. Anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling. I fear no fate for you are my fate, my sweet. I want no world for beautiful you are my world, my true. And it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you. I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart. - E.E. Cummings

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just Calling On His Name ..
"When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."
...
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say. "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow."
~ ♥ Maya Angelou

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Your Grace Is Enough by Chris Tomlin

Indescribable by Chris Tomlin

Closure.

I've been so busy lately!

I didn't forget about this blog, but I've needed some "me time." You know, time to get my thoughts together.

I'm pleased to announce that I finally have answers.

Yes, answers. In regards to infertility!

Basically, my body is doing the opposite of what it should be doing.

I'll spare you all the scientific details.

I'm so GLAD to have discovered that none of this is my fault. ((It sometimes felt that way.))

Basically, I'm on several medications right now to get things right.

I could have immediately gone on provera + clomid, but I declined.

I'd like to try this option, "option B" for a while.

The doctor feels that if these medications work for me and things get situated, there is no reason why we won't be able to conceive NATURALLY!!!

I'm SO excited and feeling VERY blessed.

Soooooo as of right now, I have until December 1st on these medications.

I'll be going back for bloodwork probably in November to see where I'm at.
I'm REALLY looking forward to the future now.

So far, there are no real major side effects with the medications (some hot flashes, though) - which is nice!

God is good.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Know any TEENS?

The beauty of my online graduate course right now is that I'm able to choose from a variety of selections offered to us as to what we read for each component of the course.

I am yet again blessed to have discovered an amazing book.

It is called, "Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations" and is written by Alex and Brett Harris with a Foreword by Chuck Norris.

It is a book written by Christian teens but is not just for Christians and not just for teens. It's a wonderful book (non-fiction) and there is a website to the book.

Please feel free to check it out! :)

http://www.therebelution.com

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Prayers of Thanksgiving!

God is so good!

He has blessed a dear friend of mine tremendously. Her husband has landed a new job/contract and it's just what they needed. I'm so thankful for their happiness! I've been worried about her a lot lately and I'm just so glad to see things are looking up for her.

It's nice to have this good news. Things have been rocky on some fronts, but I trust God and know He will continue to speak to my heart and lead me/us in the right direction. I have so many things going on (not all Internet worthy of being posted) but I am finding myself thankful for the release of writing into my leatherbound journal.

Thank you, God, for blessing me, my friends, and my family.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A thought....


This probably sounds completely ridiculous.... but I'm really appreciating what God has done for us. Us meaning me, you, all of us! The thought of Christ on the cross to save US is a powerful thought, there's no denying that. BUT... ever since I fractured my ribs I feel more connected ((if that makes sense)) to God's plan.
I'm completely aware of how odd this post may be.
My ribs hurt. They hurt BAD. I have a high tolerance for pain and I'm really not wimpy when it comes to pain.
Last night was a rough night sleeping. Instead of getting all sorts of angry about not being able to find a comfortable sleeping position, I focused on how much Christ went through for me, for you, for us. Two fractured ribs is nothing compared to the pain of the Crucifix. God is good. Even when ribs are bad.


Monday, July 26, 2010

TRUST

"Whosoever trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." --Proverbs 16:20

"Those who look to Him are radiant."- Psalm 34:5a

Be content with what you have, for God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid." - Hebrews 13:5,6

Right now... I find myself thinking that if I didn't Trust God... I'd be a complete mess. Trusting in God is pretty much one of those things that falls under the category of "easier said than done" considering it's human nature (or so it seems) to doubt.

Things on my mind and heart these days:

  1. The future... uncertainty is scary.
  2. Upcoming medical appointments. My fertility appointment went very well and I feel 1000% trust in my new doctor. I also have found myself filled with faith that we will get there. But knowing I have more appointments coming, and the uncertainty that comes with waiting for test results... it's frustrating. Thank God for God! That's for sure!
  3. Being overwhelmed - I'm taking two graduate course right now and I love them but the workload is intense.
  4. Health/weight loss - I need to make sure I'm being careful in this department. I've managed to fracture my ribs (OUCH!) and I'm not completely certain about exercise possibilities.
  5. Relationships - I'm still struggling with the fact that someone I saw sooooo much good in has taken a turn for the worse. All I can do at this point is pray and give it all to God.
  6. My desire to become a mother is increasing and at times I feel incredibly optimistic, but there are times where I'm down-right scared. Prayer is an outlet.
  7. I participated in my first PCOS webinar tonight and was blessed with the opportunity to network with a variety of women. I look forward to getting to know these women more.
  8. I'm very torn with a moral dilemma. The more I learn about PCOS, the more I tend to look to the past... I feel as if it would be beneficial for me to write to my past physicians and tell them about my diagnosis and how they missed it and urge them to take their patients seriously. Of course the letter(s) would not sound as negative as it may be coming across here... I know I can't change the past but if I can prevent another woman from being heartbroken - it's worth a shot!

Feedback, please!




Thursday, July 22, 2010

i am a little church

i am a little church (no great cathedral)
i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

Edward Estlin Cummings

Wild Geese

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Still I Rise

Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gracia - William Tell Overture

I have NO idea as to WHY the William Tell Overture comes to mind when I think of my journey with infertility thus far... ESPECIALLY yesterday.

Longer post is in the works!!

God is good.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What I am dealing with...

Tomorrow is the big day.

Tomorrow I will find out if kids are really going to happen for us or not. It's absolutely nerve-racking. However, part of this experience has been beneficial to others. What I mean is... I'm educating people.

Here is what I am dealing with: PCOS + HYPOthyroidism = Infertility (at least for me) I am also dealing with a not-so-good set of genetics from my husband's side.

So... what is PCOS?
PCOS is Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome.
Below are the symptoms and I've noted next to them if I have them or not.

· Irregular periods or no periods -- my period has always been irregular from day one. It has not made one bit of difference if I was 105 pounds or 205 pounds. It doesn't make a difference. At one point I went over ten months without a period. NOT good.
· Painful or unusually heavy or light periods -- when I do get my period, it's very painful and it's just a terrible experience. When I was in high school, it was so bad that I literally was stuck in bed all day. In college, it seemed to get a little bit better but I learned of herbs to help me deal with it.
· Irregular or absent ovulation -- YES. Sometimes I ovulate, sometimes I don't, and sometimes I go over-board and my hormones are all over the place. I had labs done two years ago and was told that my bloodwork is never normal, it's either above or below. Fun news: I could end up with twins.
· Hirsutism (hair on face, stomach, thighs, arms, breasts, etc.) -- Luckily, I do not have these symptoms as bad as other women with PCOS. My upper thighs are hairy but I shave. I do sometimes wonder if my eyebrows are a factor because I get waxed twice a month
· Alopecia (thinning hair or male pattern baldness) -- NOPE
· High blood pressure -- NOPE
· Infertility -- YES
· Obesity (especially around the stomach) -- YES. This is infuriating to me because from the time I was a TEEN I would tell my family doctor and any doctors I met when I moved out that I wanted to lose weight but it was just so hard. They'd recommend a diet or a pill or an activity but never took me seriously. At one point I was on a weight loss pill and it literally almost killed me. I went off that pill and went to my current doctor who was FURIOUS I had gone so LONG with this issue and no serious attention. She diagnosed me with PCOS.
· Difficulty losing weight -- YES. In addition to this, I have hypothyroidism which is an added kick in the face.
· Insulin resistance or hypoglycemia -- Not that I know of at this time, but it's possible I may find out I am at my appointment tomorrow.
· Fatigue --YES Anytime I'm feeling tired for more than a week, I call the doctor and order up some labs. 9 times out of 10, my thyroid is out of whack
· Depression, anxiety or SAD (seasonal affective disorder) -- ANXIETY, yes. I do not suffer from depression or SAD. I do have anxiety. I get nervous/anxious over silly things. For example, when I was at the airport waiting to board the plane for Ireland - I was anxious. I called my husband to look up my seat number and my mom's seat number because I wanted to make sure we were next to one another. I had a panic attack climbing the Blarney Castle (it's funny now...)
· Mood swings, some women report feelings of anger or aggression -- YES. I do get moody from time to time, but luckily, I have learned to control this. I take a breather and just think about my emotions. I'm very blunt, but I attribute my bluntness to this symptom.
· Acne -- I had bad acne as a teen. I do tend to have a few pimples now and then but nothing too major.
· Ovarian cysts -- I've lucked out in this department
· Skin tags --NO
· Acanthosis nigricans -- NO
· High cholesterol levels --NO
· Decreased sex drive --NO
· Excess "male" hormones, such as androgens, DHEAS, or testosterone -- YES. I have had elevated testosterone but it was not elevated enough to be considered serious
· Decreased breast size -- YES. My breasts have not grown since 6th grade. I'm barely a B cup
· Failure to maintain a pregnancy -- YES
· Enlarged ovaries --YES
· Enlarged uterus -- YES

NOW in addition to this, I also have hypothyroidism which is not uncommon to have with PCOS. It's also not uncommon to have RA, asthma, or IBS with PCOS.
Here are the symptoms of hypothyroidism which is tested easily by a blood test. [Testing for PCOS is done by what I call "naked time" in addition to blood work.] I have put my commentary next to the symptom.

--weight gain -- YES
-- round or puffy face --YES
-- thinning eyebrows -- NO
--low sex drive --NO
--dry or thin hair --NO
--bloating -- YES
--thick skin --YES
--cold intolerance --YES
--depression --NO
--cold hands or feet -- YES, feet
--joint or muscle pain -- YES
--thin or brittle nails -- Not really


Now, I know this entry is already lengthy.

This week has been very trying for me.
Lots of things are stressing me out and I've been VERY anxious.
I think the best way to go about this is to make another list...
  1. Computer virus was the start of it all. I am taking an online grad class and lost some (not all) of my work due to a virus. If you know me, you know I take my schoolwork very seriously. I was really upset that I had to start all over on two assignments and now I'm feeling behind and overwhelmed
  2. I have been having this cough issue for a while now and they can't get me in for an upper GI until the 27th. This is highly upsetting to me because I've been having issues for almost 7 months and nothing is helping or working.
  3. My entire schedule and plans for the week pretty much went down the toilet. Yesterday, I woke up to rain... in my third bedroom. The ceiling looks like it may collapse and I had to get all of my books and things out of the room. It was bad. Chunks of ceiling just kept coming down and there's not much to do when the rain won't stop. Luckily, it's being looked at tonight.
  4. Bloodwork - this is the big one. I had bloodwork done last week and there is something wrong or something going on with it. I'm so frustrated. I always talk results on the phone but these results are for "in person" and that's really annoying to a person with anxiety issues. I'm worried.
  5. Tomorrow is the big appointment. As much as I'm faithful and as much as I believe in God, I'm still scared. I want to be a parent. I want to experience pregnancy and child birth. But as you can see as I noted above - I'm up against a lot. So of course...
  6. I'm not sleeping well at all.

I don't like feeling scared

I just need to keep my focus on GOD and know that my job is to just get to this appointment and he will take care of the rest. I'm just worried and anxious ... all while trying to remain optimistic.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010




“It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. ”

—Muhammad Ali

Monday, July 12, 2010

Is there a cream for that?


This past weekend has been completely... emotional for me. On many levels. For starters, someone I've been friends with for quite some time just up and ended our friendship. No real reason. No explanation. Nothing. Through the powers of social networking, I discovered she no longer wants me in her life and I don't know why. It hurts, but I need to trust that God will enlighten me. I am now on the hunt for a new Godmother for our future child. Some may think it's silly to have Godparents lined up before we even have a baby, but we truly want Godparents to be there for this entire journey. The man I chose to be Godfather is amazing. He has been my best friend for over 15 years and I'm blessed to have him in my life!
Secondly, it truly has come to my attention that no one understands infertility unless it's been experienced. For the past 4+ years, my husband and I have been through disappointment, heartache, and pain. We never once expected to have difficulty on the road to parenthood. However, for some reason people feel that they have a right to speak of our marriage without us there. And even though it is hear-say, it's still hurtful. I am struggling big time trying to understand this. We are very open about our struggles with infertility. Why not come to US to talk to US about it? If you are curious or would like to have a conversation, have it with US. We're very open about it. We have nothing to hide. There is no shame in this. I feel bad that people have been made to feel as if they are the "middle man" because these other two people haven't got the courage to speak to us. And the reason WHY they do not come to speak to us is because of a situation that came about over 18 months ago. Luckily (if I can even say that), these two people are aware of this blog. These two people live together so I'm fairly sure one of them will see this. This is my PLEA to please STOP discussing our marriage and infertility with others. It is hurtful. A marriage is between two people and God. No one else. We openly and willingly speak of infertility in hopes to provide compassion, help, guidance, faith, and optimism to others. Please PLEASE stop putting other people in the middle and come to me directly. If I lived closer, I'd ask this in person. And if I see you at the next family function, I feel the right thing to do is to confront you on this. I do not like speculation, theories, and random gossip ... if you really want to know how we are, what is going on and what we're preparing for - ask us.
In addition to the lack of understanding and compassion when it comes to infertility, I think there is an aspect of false-faith. Just because IVF and IUI are successful, it doesn't mean they are always successful. Being a critic on the approach someone is or is not taking isn't exactly kind. I'm exhausted of people saying to us, "Oh still no kids, how about that IVF?" It's just not that simple.
Lastly, I'm scared. No... scratch that. I'm terrified. This week we will be getting reports of testing back and meeting this new team. I don't know what to expect. I don't know what my future holds. I just know that I've been having dreams filled with babies. Dead and alive. And they're scary. I have dreams of feeling my baby kick, feeling little waves of movement, dreams of feeling radiant and ready to be a mother. But then I dream of seeing a baby and it's clearly my baby. And I have my hand extended for the baby to grab. And it doesn't happen. The baby coos and coos and wriggles and wraggles alone in a crib but doesn't see me, doesn't grab me, nothing. I don't get it. It's not easy for me to admit fear. But I can admit faith.
I just know God is going to provide for us.
I just know God has a plan for us.
I just know God would not put these desires in us for nothing.
I don't know if I'll ever have a biological child of my own.
I don't know if I'll ever experience the miracle of giving birth.
But I do know that God has blessed me with the longing to be a mother. God has blessed my husband with the longing to be a father.
God has blessed us with an incredible marriage and relationship.
God has blessed us on so many levels. He will provide.
I just wish I wasn't afraid. It seems hypocritical. I have high faith and high fear. I wish there were a cream for these things to just make the negative go away.
It reminds me of Forrest Gump: "Dear God, Make me a bird - so I can fly far... far, far, away from here." But instead I want to say, "Dear God, Make my fear fly. Fly far far away, far far away from here."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I don't know how many of you work with a youth group or know someone who does, but this link was shared in my class I thought it would be nice to share in case anyone is doing a youth group/book club type of thing. :)

A wonderful book!



Hello, hello! Many of you know that I absolutely love to read and I love to learn. LOVE it! I am presently taking a class on young adult/adolescent literature and I think I may be in heaven. I have been reading so many wonderful things. I'd like to talk about a book by Katherine Paterson called "Jacob Have I Loved." If you're reading this and thinking, "Hey... that sounds a bit Biblical..." you are definitely correct! (Read Romans 9:13 and Malachi 1:2-3 if you're up for it.)

This story is beautiful. Hopefully you do not mind - but I am going to cut and paste what I wrote for my class below. I fell in love with this story page after page. It's truly beautiful.

I read Jacob Have I Loved in one sitting. It's such a wonderful story.

If interested, you may want to read Romans 9:13 after this post. This story is the story of growth. It's a story of learning to follow your dreams and acknowledging/accepting that change can be difficult. It is a story of growth on many levels. It is beautifully written.

1. Coming of age novels deal with characters finding their voice. Analyze the growth of the main character in your selection.

Jacob Have I Loved is the story of Sarah Louise Bradshaw also known as "Wheeze" and her struggles as the twin sister of Caroline. She lives on an island off the Chesapeake Bay called Rass. She is a tomboy, while her twin sister is the complete opposite. She helps her father with crabbing and her best friend is a boy named Call. Caroline is pretty, talented, and eventually leaves the island to pursue a career in music. Caroline is "the favorite" while Louise often feels alone and struggles with her identity as well as her faith. In addition to these struggles, Call ends up "leaving a boy and returning a man" by joining the Navy. In the midst of these changes, Louise struggles with her senile grandmother and the hopes of her parents. When Call returns home from the Navy, it becomes very clear that he and Caroline are to be married. "Wheeze" ends up thinking about what she wants for herself and her future. She begins to realize that she needs to stop doing what she thinks others want her to do and do what SHE wants to do. This realization becomes very clear in a conversation with Call and the Captain as well as conversations with her parents. She decides to go off to college and study medicine in hopes of becoming a doctor. In the end, she becomes a nurse/midwife and finds herself happily married and fulfilled. ((I spared the complete ending for those of you who want to read it.))

This book was definitely a "page-turner" for me. It was neat to see how "Wheeze" developed. I loved her inner-dialogue and I found myself relating to her personally on many levels (feel free to ask how if interested). "Wheeze" went from living in the shadows to shining on her own. Katherine Paterson's words flow from sentence to sentence and page to page. There were several instances where I found myself laughing out loud while at the same time crying for this character. It was beautiful to see how "Wheeze" became more and more independent, more and more determined, and more and more in control of her destiny.

2. What areas of growth, that the main characters experience, are lessons of life that young adults all seem to experience?

I feel this story would make a great gift for any struggling young woman. I'm not so sure if this story would touch a male reader. However, the message is universal.

The main character grows and develops from girl to woman - literally, and figuratively. She goes from being a puddle duck to a swan. She learns to take control of her life. She learns to set goals for herself and go after them. These are all lessons of life that young adults seem to experience.

As a high school teacher, I have the honor of seeing my students grow from grades 9 through 12. They go from 100% dependent to 1000% independent just like Wheeze does in this story. They, like Louise, go from caring about what other people think to caring about what THEY think.

Like "Wheeze" my students learn that the beauty of this world is that we are all different and the challenge is to accept it. There is beauty and pain in change. There is beauty and pain in difference. This novel is nearly 70 years old but has the power to truly touch your heart.

3. Today's teens issues are very different than a generation, or further, ago, yet surprisingly the same. Where do you see the commonality of today's teen issues that the characters in your book selection faced?

I see first hand that today's teens issues are very different than a generation or further ago. I am 28 years old, only about 14 years at most older than my students. I am constantly made aware of how different things are for them at this age than they were for me. It's scary, actually. However, there definitely is a common ground expressed in this book and in my classroom.

For starters, the need for acceptance and assurance. Kids like knowing they are important. They like being heard. They don't want you to just listen to them, they long to be heard. You see shining examples of this throughout the novel. The main character wants to be known for HER not for her sister. I personally found myself relating to this. I venture to guess that teens today also relate to this longing of self-identity. Growing up with a last name like Szczurek (my maiden name) it was very hard escaping from my older brother's "wake." He and I are complete opposites. I love him, but he's made many many mistakes and as a kid in grades 1-8 I found myself having to proove that I was not like "that Szczurek boy." The main character did this same thing in the novel. My students do the same. They long to be THEM but at the same time they want to be identical to their friends. Even if they are an only child, they still struggle.

In addition to finding oneself, there is also the issue of family and faith. Closeness. Further growth. Being there for your family even when you'd rather be somewhere else. Figuring out what you believe. "Having it out with God" in a sense. I know I personally have had these struggles. Self-doubt. Worry. All of these things are present not just in this story but in life at any age, but especially during the teen years.


4. How comfortable are you in dealing with these as a classroom teacher?

I am VERY comfortable in dealing with these issues as a classroom teacher. I don't know how I do it, or how I did it... but I have a way of making my students feel comfortable in their own skin. I allow them to vent and open up. I let them spill out everything in their mind and we talk things out.

Grant it, there are times where I listen to my students and find myself silently praying at the same time. The issues of today are the same as those of yesterday. However, I also feel that there are new issues with this generation which are hard to adapt to. Sometimes my kids mimic me at the end of a day when we're lined up at the door and I give them advice for the night as the bell rings, "Do a good deed before bedtime. Love each other appropriately! Make good decisions! READ!"

I think as a teacher it is important to realize while their issues are not necessarily our issues, they are still important. I feel this book also represented this thought.

I absolutely loved this story. I think it would make an excellent gift for a "Sweet 16."

Monday, July 5, 2010







I’ve never been surprised by God’s judgment, but I’m still stunned by His grace.

Ireland slide show

Clouds of Ireland

video

I'm still here!

I want to apologize to my readers for a huge gap in posts. The fun part of my absence is I was in Ireland for eight glorius days. It was BEAUTIFUL and I can't wait to go back! The not-so-fun part is while in Ireland, someone very near and dear to me passed away. And on top of that, I've been sick and juggling doctors appointments with jet-lag. I'd like to give a huge "Thank you, God!" to the inventors of NYQUIL for knocking me out for over 18 hours. I've never once in my life slept for that long and I will admit it did HELP!

I am back, and will be trying to post pictures when my head is not buried in a book. I'm taking an online literature class right now and I've been LOVING what we're assigned to read. Yes, part of heaven for me is a good book! :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thankful!!

Joy is FILLING my body right now!

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!

Why? I shall tell you!

  1. I weighed in this morning to see a number I have not seen in... oh... I'll guess at least three years. ((After our first miscarriage, my hormones went psycho and my weight just went up up up practically overnight)) Sooooo...........YES, I've hit a new weight loss goal! Whooo hooo!!! I'm thankful for this because if you know anything about PCOS let alone PCOS with Hypothyroidism... you know that weight loss is a challenge. The typical "healthy" person can lose 1-3lbs a week if they put their mind to it. However, we pcos-ers... it takes some effort. I've lost this weight with no medical intervention other than taking my thyroid meds which really are not for weight loss. I was floored when I saw the number. I set my goal this summer to be able to fit into some of my clothes in the attic which are stored in the "gee I wish you would fit" bin. I haven't set a specific "number" to my goal as to what weight I'd like to be, I just want to keep getting smaller - and so far - so good! Ideally, if I lose 10lbs this summer, I'll be thrilled! We shall see!
  2. Yesterday, I called the fertility doctor back. I made the appointment. This took soooooooooooooo much courgage on my part because with the powers of google... I knew I'd have a phone interview. I made it very clear that I'm READY to be a mommy. I made it very clear that I believe when a positive is reached on a test it indicates a BABY and a LIFE and I can't be bothered with "oh its just a fetus" talk. THEY understood. GOOD sign! Last year, I was invited to do a study at a very well known facility and they seemed to have no respect for a life (in my opinion) - I just couldn't put my body through that. My appointment is for July 16th at 1:15pm. They could have had me in on July 2nd but I'll be fresh home from Ireland then and I need time to do the "pre-appointment" chore list.

This is really happening.

I just know in my heart and in my soul, that God is going to bring me a baby.

I don't know how, but I know God has put the desire to be a parent in me for a reason.

I'm feeling very optimistic. Although, I must confess - some of my pre-appointment chores do make me nervous. I felt very respected during the phone conversation and I just feel very good about all of this right now.

God will provide.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From a fellow blogger

A fellow blogger friend wrote the entry below and I asked her if it was okay to share it with you. She gave me permission... so here it is!


Jesus I trust you.
I remember your promises.
Your faithfulness amazes me each and every day.
Even when my heart is filled with doubt you remain.
Steadfast...standing in the gap for me.
Oh Lord I am honored to be called a daughter of God.
I am blessed beyond measure to be held in your hand.
I know that before you even formed me in my mother's womb you knew me.
You knew everything about me.
Nothing that has happened in my life and nothing that will ever happen in my life is a surprise to you.
Just as the sun rises each morning so is your love for your children.
You know my heart.
You know my hopes.
You know my dreams.
You know my fears.
I search to know your heart.
I run with every fiber of my being after you.
May your wonders never cease in my life.
May I grow to love you more with each passing day.
You are my God.
You are my love.
You are my life.

Just sayin' (TMI)

I know God will provide...

I know this.

But sometimes I really wish I had two things:
1.) a magic door in my home... all I'd have to do is close my eyes and picture a destination, turn the handle, walk through, and voila! I'm there. And...
2.) a crystal ball or something magical (I've been reading fantasy books lately...) to see my future

And here's why...

It is past 2am and I am up... VERY AWAKE and throwing up.
It's a great time, really (SARCASM).
I don't know why I'm throwing up. It's a bit of a puzzle.
And any past pregnancies (obviously unsuccessful) I had nausea but pretty much didn't throw up unless there was some sort of terrible terrible smell (like coffee) that set it off. And further more to add to the weirdness, as idiotic as this sounds, I'm just puking. I don't feel sick. And I'm not crying. And as lame as THAT sounds, it's true... typically if I throw up - I cry. Even at age 28. Don't know why, but always have.

I've thrown up 4 times in the past hour and it comes on like BAM!

I've had a few chats with God but I think He may be out to lunch or forcing me to Trust in His plan. I got the message, God... now may I please go back to bed?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Faithful Aerobics - the power of knees

You can not deny that prayer is powerful. It is.

Prayer is powerful.

Take a looksie at Matthew 7:7-8...

Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

If you ask a loved one for something, a favor, or even a bite to eat... chances are the request is going to be granted. With Father's Day approaching, it's important to recognize not only your father here but your heavenly Father. God answers prayers... akk you need to do is ask. Have a conversation with God. "Ask and it will be given to you..."

If you have a minute, take a looksie at James 5:16 ... Elijah demonstrates an important lesson on prayer.

It is no wonder that in Matthew 21:21, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done."

Prayer is powerful. When you have unwavering faith in God, He will answer your prayers. That's why you stand tallest on your knees.

Keeping faith is a challenge...

When do YOU struggle with faith?

I struggle when I fixate on the future. I know I shouldn't fixate on it, but it's a hard habit to break! I wonder, "Will this doctor help me?" "Will this upcoming Father's Day be my husband's last Father's day without children?" God will get us there. God will get you there. No matter where there may be.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cool!


I saw this at the Salvation Army last week, it was on their cash register.
Thought it was super cool and photo-worthy for sure!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Relationships - Blessings of Friendship




WARNING: this post may be all over the place as it is after 2am and I can't sleep....
If I had to choose one of my greatest gifts from God, it would be the relationships in my life. 100% certainty.

God has put some truly wonderful people in my life.
I'd like to write a bit about my Pastor whom I also consider my friend. And I think there is a difference. You'll see what I mean as you read on.
((Again, I warn you... it is after 2am so this might be scattered))


I met my Pastor over six years ago. I'm trying to do the math in my head as to how long I've known him - but it really doesn't make a difference. He's a huge blessing in my life. That's what counts.


As silly as this sounds... when I meet someone for the first time - I can tell immediately if the person is going to play an important role in my life. I knew immediately when I met my Pastor that he would be someone important to me.


What I love about my Pastor, my friend, is that he is incredibly kind.
His kindness and dedication to his faith and our Church is admirable.
He is devoted to love and to the Lord.
When you are in his presence you truly know that he is a man of God.
There is nothing fake about him.
Through the years he has grown into a friend.
With the powers of e-mail, texting, etc... he has helped me turn into a better Christian woman. ((Side note: I'm originally from Philadelphia, my Church is in Philadelphia, I try to get there once a month, I now live in Amish Country and I'm yet to find a Church here that feels like home.))
I used to fear religious leaders. I grew up Roman Catholic (I'm now Evangelical Lutheran) and I never felt that a Priest or Deacon was someone I could turn to for help on any level. I don't think this is true of all Catholic Churches, but definitely of the one I grew up in. There is no fear of my Pastor.

As my friend, he is honest. He is honest as a Pastor, too. But as a Pastor, he keeps his opinions to himself whereas as a friend - he delivers them.
He's not afraid to call me out on things and he's not afraid to ask me "Do you want my opinion as your Pastor or as your friend?" He's not afraid to tell me if I'm in the wrong and he's not afraid to tell me what's on his mind. I'm not afraid to tell him, either.

He's not afraid to speak what is on his heart and his mind. I need that in a friend. I'm just lucky enough that he's both to me.
He is respectful. What we chat about stays between he and I. I don't have to feel scared to tell him anything ((I used to feel frightened in a previous Church of violations of discretion and confidentiality.)) He doesn't judge me. But as I've said, he's also not afraid to speak what's on his mind.
I was thrilled to hear the Word tonight. There was a focus on being a mother and a focus on worry. ((1 Kings 17: 17-24 and Luke 7:11-17)) The sermon was absolutely wonderful ((as usual)) and spoke to me on several levels.


I found myself sitting in the pew alone just taking it all in.
Listening to the message that God is at Work always and forever.
That it's all going to be okay because God is in control.
Give your worries to God... He can handle it.
After Worship tonight I just felt so REFRESHED.
Even now, I can't sleep because I just feel that GOOD. It's nice.

After Worship, Pastor and I ended up going out for a light bite to eat and we were able to catch up and talk one-on-one.
As I grow through the ups and downs (more downs than ups) of infertility, he has been there for me. And he knows I'm worried and scared of the next steps. I just needed to get some things off my chest. Things needed to be expressed face to face and I'm blessed that he was there to listen.

He frequently changes hats from Pastor to Friend. Another one of his gifts. We chatted about relationships, love, marriage, forgiveness, hopes, fears, journeys. I was able to just spill my guts with everything that has been on my mind.

What I love about my Pastor is not only does he listen to you, but he truly hears you.
God has truly blessed me with wonderful people in my life. I think God saw that in the past I had issues with trusting in priests/deacons. I know it sounds silly but I feel like God led me to this particular Church.
I'm not trying to be mushy mashy.
I just wanted to express my gratitude to my Pastor, my friend.


So to my dear Pastor (you know who you are) - I want to thank you for always being there for me. I want to thank you for helping me grow in faith and for helping me be a better Christian. I want to thank you for being a friend. Thank you for listening to me and hearing me. Thank you for your words of comfort, your honesty, your opinions and your prayers. Thank you for your guidance. Thank you for your honesty, your discretion, your faithfulness. Thank you for your kindness and your loyalty to the people in our Church. Thank you for your sense of humor. Thank you for being real and true. Thank you for bringing me closer to God - especially when I'm down and out about the heartaches of infertility. Thank you for loving me when I don't love me. Thank you for spreading the Word. Thank you for your sermons. Thank you for being you. You are a blessing in my life and you are deeply appreciated. God has blessed you with a wonderful gift and I'm sure I'm not alone when I thank you for sharing it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:34 - NIV

I think the point of this passage is that God knows us, He knows what we need.
We need to not worry (easier said than done) and not feel anxious (easier said than done) and trust that God will take case of us. Our tomorrow is not just ours alone.

Getting rid of worry is definitely not easy. Some would argue that repentance is necessary and then then realigning our heart with God’s promise to meet our needs.

Worry is a touch emotion. No matter how close I feel to God, I still tend to worry even though I know in my heart and soul that God will provide and that God is steering me in the right direction.

Translation: Emotions are tricky!!!

It's the simple things...

Sooooo cute!!!

http://www.wimp.com/babymoose

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Joy

“Joy is prayer - Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. She gives most who gives with Joy.” —Mother Teresa

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The beauty in ... fruit!


Galatians 5:22-23 ~ "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

In other words... GOD wants YOU to be GOOD!

Think of it this way, if I had two bananas... and one was completely rotten and the other looking oh so yummy... which one would you want?

Life is a bit like these bananas. You have the good yummy people and you have the bad yucky people. We've got the good and the bad. The issue is how we deal with those people.

Negativity is never good. But we all struggle with it. Tis true.

Sure, I have this wonderful blog that you are reading right now but guess what... I definitely get negative from time to time.

I need to remember that God wants me to be good fruit. God wants US to be good fruit.

Paul writes to us in the Bible about the Fruit of the Spirit. He talks about the way Christians should treat others and how we should do things that make God happy with us. Paul did NOT promise us that it would be easy.

If there is anything I have learned in life, especially the past 12-24 months - it is that negativity is just not good for your body, your soul, or your surroundings (including people).

Faith goes a long way.

I mean seriously... if you told me a year or two ago that I'd see God's love in a strawberry....I'd think you were crazy.

But then again, in reality it doesn't matter how I see or feel God's love. What matters is that I know and you know that it is there.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Change

You'll never change your life until you change your choices.
If you want something in your life to change, then you'll have to change your choices and actions. That is because doing the same thing will never get you different results.

In other words, what you do -- the choices you make, the way you treat people, the attitudes you have -- all impact your life. If, by your actions, you're sowing bad seeds, then you'll reap a harvest of those things. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Therefore, if you want to reap abundant harvests in your life, start sowing abundant seeds. That may require changing your choices; but until you change your choices, you'll never change your life.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Through the Rain...


There's something wonderful about rain this time of year.
The way it feels on my skin.
The smell.
I absolutely love rain this time of year.
It's comforting.
It's cooling.
It's special.

You can't help but FEEL God's Grace in the rain.
Does that sound silly? ....Perhaps it's just me.

Today the rain came down... and it was wonderful.

It was REFRESHING.... on many levels, not just regarding temperature. With excitement, I grabbed my husband and off we ran in the rain.
The glorius rain.
Splashing in puddles like a child.
Laughing.
Holding hands.
Getting completely soaked and not caring.
Ah Rain. A blessing indeed.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mother Teresa

"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating and building, others could destroy overnight. Create and build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you have anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
--Mother Teresa

Psalm 27:14




'Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!'
Psalm 27:14




It seems like waiting is quite possibly one of thee most frustrating things someone has to do when in my situation (re: infertility). I am one of those people, yes THOSE people who likes to have answers immediately. I mean, why not? Hungry? There's a Drive Thru right there. Need money? Swipe your card at the ATM and voila! Got a question? Hello, Google!


I've been thinking a lot about the blessings in my life and the blessings to come.


I am blessed to have amazing relationships.


My marriage is strong. My husband, my rock.


My family is the definition of love.


My friends are amazing.


My co-workers are awesome.


My relationship with God is much better now than it has been in years.


I'm blessed with so many wonderful gifts.


Sometimes I feel guilty (yes, you read that right).


Here I am in a great marriage, making good money, having great family and friends and despite the infertility issues - I'm in relatively good health.


Who am I to want more?


But I know in my heart that God is calling me to be a mother.


I know it.


It's not just a biological desire. It's a feeling God has blessed me with.


I'm not ashamed to say I need help with waiting on the Lord.


Definitely not ashamed. He knows I'm impatient and longing.


He knows my desires (He gave them to me!)


I just need to trust in HIM and HIS time.


We'll get there.




2:12am and pondering...

This is what being awake at 2:12am leads to... deep thoughts whilst surfing the Internets. I've been sick lately and woke up at 1:31pm. The excerpt below made me think a lot about expectations. Especially expectations for young women and teens. What do you think?
-------
"God's sacred intent for us goes far beyond just saving
sex till marraige, wearing one-piece swimsuits insteads of
skimpy string bikinis, or idolizing Christian bans instead
of secular ones. It is not just making sure we tack on some
Christian morality to our self-indulgent lives.

His sacred intent for you and for me is nothing short of
absolute abandonment to Jesus Christ, entire separation from
the pollution of the world, and ardent worship of our
King with every breath we take.

Yes, it's a huge vision-one that is contrary to everything
our culture presents. In our modern world, we as young
women seem to be presented with only two options for our
femininity-we can either embrace the sensual, sexed-up
version of womanhood glorified by pop culture or we can
go the opposite direction and trade in perfume and makeup
for grit, grunge, and guy-like behavior.

But both of these options cause us to completely miss out
on the glorious pattern God designed for our femininity. We
were created to shine with heavenly beauty, to radiate with Christ-
like feminine loveliness, and to sparkle with the lily-white
purity of our Prince (Jesus). We were created to be set-apart
for Him.
-Excerpt from 'Set-Apart Femininity'"

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Loving Alyssa

I wanted to share the email below with everyone.
My friend Alyssa is truly a blessing in my life.
She and I used to work together and we don't get to see one another as often as we would like - but she's always been there for me. She's the definition of a true Christian woman and I absolutely adore her. She's a blessing to me.

I am so excited to hear that she is pregnant. It's not easy for me to become excited for pregnant women, but Alyssa is a different story. I'm truly excited for her!! I felt her email was just so kind, so heartfelt, so wonderful and caring.

God sure has blessed me with some amazing friends.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey there,

Just wanted to shoot you a quick message. I just got caught up on your new blog, and saw your post about accepting help in making your dream come true. I just wanted to say... I don't know, is congratulations appropriate?? Haha... maybe good luck, or hooray... I don't know...I'm just HAPPY FOR YOU, there, that's it! I'm happy for your possibilities and potential. I have been thinking about you a lot lately.

I wanted to tell you this in person, but I just honestly don't know when we'll meet up again, so I'll just say it. I'm pregnant. And it has been weighing on me, because I feel guilty about it knowing what you're going through. All of me hurts for you. I read your posts and blogs and just know what a battle this has been for you, for years, and I know it's just not fair. I never know what to say, and feel like anything I could muster would be trite and shallow, and unknowing, so I just don't say anything at all. But I have been grieving with and for you. I am so impressed with the courage you've shown in giving it up to God, but I still can't help but feel like you must be hurting, deep down. And I so wish I could just take it all away.

I haven't even mustered up the courage to tell most of my family yet, because I just wanted to talk to you first. I can usually talk about most things with lightness and humor, but I feel like that would be such an insult to you. And I just wanted you to know that I feel your pain. And I worry about you, and I think about you, and I care about you. And I know what a blessing I have been given, and it's not something I take lightly. And it's a blessing that I know one day will come to you.

I am so excited for you and this new journey you're starting. And I hope it ends with the best results.

Love,
Alyssa

Friday, May 28, 2010

Great quote!

"Do more than belong: Participate. Do more than care: Help. Do more than believe: Practice. Do more than be fair: Be Kind. Do more than forgive: Forget. Do more than dream: Work." -- William Arthur Ward

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Comments..

I'm new to using blogger ((for the most part)). When someone comments, I always reply. But my question is... why is there no "reply" button? Do people know I'm replying to them after they comment? Do you get an email or something about it? Just curious!

I can only imagine...

... this is going to sound incredibly morbid, but bare with me - please!

Today as I was driving home from work, a car pulled out in front of me. They really were lucky I swerved because it could have been an accident.

No one was hurt, everything is fine. It was just CLOSE.

I thought to myself, "Geez, they didn't even look - that was close!" Then I thought, "Thank God I'm safe..." and then these thoughts about death came on. Yes, death. The big sleep.

So I was actually thinking about death as I was driving home and it hit me. I'm not scared to die.

I'm not.

Now, I'm not saying I'm ready to die. I'm not saying I want to die. What I am saying is perhaps 6 months ago, my faith was not that strong. I've always been terrified of dying. And I shocked myself as I thought, "I don't want to die, I'd miss Mark and I'd miss everyone in my life... but it sure would be neat to meet God."

For the first time in my life, I'm not scared of death.

If I were to die today, I could honestly say I'd be "ready" to meet God even though I feel like my "work" here is not done. I truly believe God has a lot in store for me.

It's hard to explain. Is it possible that a lack of fear in death means strong faith? I think it is true for me.

It reminds me of the song, "I can only imagine..."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Currently reading...


I am currently reading the book above and it is SO UPLIFTING! It's one of "those books" where if I even began to describe it, I'd end up babbling on and ruining the story for you. It's an amazing and uplifting story and really makes you explore your self as self and as a Christian.
There are certain parts of the book which talk of the music played during their "mission" and I was especially drawn to this song. It's called "In the Secret" and I just love it!
I love that God gives me ways to escape. Whether in prayer, solitude, in reading or in music. God is good.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Journeys


Lately, I've been spending a lot of time on cloud 9.

I feel as if God has provided me with clarity and courage. I had an important doctors appointment on Monday night.
((Perhaps, back-tracking is necessary. Sunday was Mother's Day. Mother's Day is so very difficult for my husband and I. It brings on a sadness in us.))

I feel as if God took my sadness from Sunday and turned it in to courage for Monday.

At my doctor's appointment, I finally came forth with my desires and my decision. ((Well, my decision that my husband supports....))

I explained to the doctor that I was tired. So tired. So tired of this empty womb. This fight has been long and hard and I'm FINALLY willing to accept additional help (hence clarity and courage).

She listened to me as I sat there in the robe and just poured my soul.
She really listened. God blessed me with a wonderful doctor.

She even consoled me because I was literally shaking like a leaf during the entire exam. You see, I have a "fault" (if you want to call it that). I am amazing at helping anyone and everyone before myself. So for me to admit I'm going to need further help is a huge huge ordeal.

We decided we're not going to do this alone. Not only do I have my hubby and my God on my side - I am now in the process of forming an official team of doctors to help us.

PCOS is so highly misunderstood.
Infertility is so highly misunderstood.
But what IS understood is that we are blessed.

I called the insurance company on Tuesday and the road I have chosen is pretty much covered. I'm so blessed to have finally had the courage.

I know that there will be some road blocks ahead of us.
I know that there will be some pain involved.
I know that this isn't going to be an easy road.
But I also know that God is on my side.
My husband is on my side.
And I've got several angels watching over me.

I'm so thankful that God has provided me with the courage to move on... to move forward. I know He'll be with me... with us... on this journey.

It's not going to be easy.

And I know some people are quite weary.

But God is on our side.

Not just a deck of cards...




this has been coming through on facebook and on email forwards.


I like it!



Friday, May 7, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Challenges...

I'm curious to hear what challenges YOU (yes... you... the one reading this) face with infertility and or faith. This blog was originally designed for me to help grow in my faith. And lately, my struggles with infertility go hand in hand with my faith.

I just know God has a plan for me. For us. For you. For everyone.

I also know that my infertility can be a burden to some. In some ways, yes, it is a burden for us. But more so, it's a heart ache and I think there is a difference.

Sometimes I feel like people truly do not get the struggle unless they have been through it or if they are going through it. Sometimes I feel like our infertility is an inconvenience to people (mainly my husband's family - I didn't follow their traditions by getting pregnant immediately)

So .... what challenges do YOU face (in infertility or in anything)
What verses of the Bible do you turn to for strength?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friends











I am very blessed. I have AMAZING friends. I love the people I work with. I love the people in my personal life. I just feel very blessed. Today, I received sad news about a friend and her baby. I was a bit down and later in the day a dear friend came by with a gift for me and I was so surprised! A present is always a treat, but a present on a gloomy Monday - wow! This is what she gave me and I LOVE it. I have it in my bedroom so I see it when I wake up... and I see it when I go to bed. So thank you my dear friend (you know who you are)!








Sunday, April 25, 2010

The big question...


On May 10th I have a very important appointment with my docs.
Very important.
VERY important....
And lately I've been thinking about one main question.... and to some it is kind of silly. But here it is: How much should I let God and how much should I let science? It's a bit of a debate. Some say, it's all up to GOD. Some say, God invented science. Needless to say, I've got a lot to pray about between now and the 10th.
So is there a debate?
Do I just let God or do I let science?
Or does science help God?
Discuss if you dare.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great song!

I was looking up some videos by TD Jakes and ended up stumbing upon a song called "No less than a woman" by Lady Saw. Click here to see/hear the music video. The lyrics are here.

I really like this song and found it to be uplifting.

Adoption has been on my mind a lot lately...

I wish I knew where God was calling us... part of me thinks I'll have children naturally - but I'm also reading "Finding Me" by Rosie O'Donnell (giving her a second chance) and her experiences with adoption are SO inspiring.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adoption

Just to clarify: I do believe in adoption. I feel adoption is a wonderful wonderful blessing. I am NOT against adoption. Adoption is something my husband and I need to investigate further literally and emotionally. I didn't want my previous post to sound offensive towards anyone who has been adopted or has adopted. We are all for it! In a perfect world, we'd have our own biological baby and then adopt a few years later. But you know how the saying goes....

"Man plans - God laughs."

I know God will lead us to the right place. There is a baby for us, we know that. The question is how this baby will come to us. :)

What NOT to say

I think it's important for a husband and wife to have TIME to be husband and wife. Going from the transition of dating to marriage is serious. I wanted to make sure we focused on US and OUR marriage before running around like crazy planning for a baby. (I mean heck, we just got done planning the wedding). I also feel that a marriage is between two people and God. No one else. This is why it will be quite rare for you to ever read a post from me about marital things.

With that said... there are things people need to learn JUST NOT TO SAY...EVER. Here are some examples:
1. Never ask a woman her age or weight.
2. Never ask a woman why she is single.
3. Never ask a woman/couple WHY they are without children. It's rude, and not your business. We live in a world where people assume that you're infertile if you are child-free. HOWEVER, some people make that choice to be child-free.

In addition to this, there are things that should NEVER ever be said to a woman dealing with infertility. So here are some of those things...

1. "How long have you been married? No children?"
-- It's been my experience that people who utter these words truly have no clue about you and really deserve no comment at all what-so-ever.

2. "Stop stressing. Go on vacation. Have some wine. It will happen."
Ummmm... no. Not quite. Going on vacation isn't going to make my ovaries or uterus perform properly. Going on vacation isn't going to land me in aisle three of BabyLand. And when you want a child so badly, it's part of your HEART and part of your SOUL. It's a DESIRE. And it doesn't go away. That desire can be confused with stress.

3. "What if you try to lose some weight?"
Really? So if I weigh 94 pounds I'll have a child? Good to know. Taking on the roll of doctor is never wise. It's been my personal experience with infertility and my team of doctors that a healthy diet and weight being maintained is more important than dropping a few pounds before conception.

4. "Just stop trying!" This also goes along with "I knew this one couple who...."
which is also known as the encouragement urban legend. It's almost as if people become automatic fiction authors. If it were really that simple to "stop trying" ... chances are people would take the advice.

5. "You're still young. You have time."
Actually, age is a huge factor with infertility and options. Get the facts before uttering these words.

6. "Ugh! No kids? Want mine?"
This statement is usually made with a little laugh afterwards. As if an infertile woman wants someone who is frustrated with parenting giving them advice. Don't offer your children to me. It's sweet, but a bit sick.

7. "My husband just looks at me and I get pregnant!"
Really? Do I need to elaborate on how wrong this comment is???

8. "Well, it was just a miscarriage - it wasn't really a baby, just a fetus."
No, no, no, nooooooooo, NO. Sperm + Egg = baby. It's that simple. Going through a miscarriage is a terrible experience. There is pain on every level and you just don't "bounce back" from it next cycle. It's a life. And it's lost. It's hard.

9. "Just don't become like Octomom!"
I really don't know what this means. Is someone saying you don't deserve more than one child? Or are they saying they don't want you to have multiples?

10. "You guys make good money. Why not do IVF?" IVF is something my husband and I haven't even begun to touch yet and with good reason. I read the following sentences in another blog and couldn't agree more: IVF is a long and arduous procedure. It taxes a womans body and her emotions in a way only someone undergoing it can understand. It puts strain on your marriage. It's very expensive. It is often not covered by health insurance and there is no guaranteed outcome. Not to mention the ethical issues to tackle with embyro creation and freezing and what to do with them once done...

11. And last but not least.... the ever so common ... "JUST ADOPT!"
For the record: I am NOT against adoption. I think adoption is a wonderful thing. HOWEVER, some women want to experience all of motherhood. I want to experience every month of pregnancy and all the milestones of being pregnant. I want to give birth. I want to nurse. I also want a child of my own flesh and blood. Would I ever adopt? Yes. Definitely.

My frustration when people say "Just adopt" is that it's almost an insult - in my opinion and experience - anytime this has been said to myself or my husband... it almost felt like our struggles weren't taken seriously. I think adoption is a wonderful and beautiful thing. I have several friends who are adopted and know several people who have adopted. Adoption is GREAT! It's just not the greatest thing to bring up to someone with a fresh wound related to infertility. I'll probably post more about adoption in later entries. I need to pray about it before I post about it though.


I do believe God has a plan for everyone.
I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball to see what was in store for us and our struggles.

So to my friends out there dealing with infertility... have you ever experienced anything like this? Did I miss anything?

Since joining weight watchers...