Tips For Travel Success {Vol. 2}

As I have mentioned, I am taking two trips this fall, one to Dallas, TX and the other to Washington D.C. As excited as I am for both, I am especially nervous about the Dallas trip because I will be travelling by plane and BY MYSELF!! This may not seem like a big deal to most as I am sure others have been on a plane by themselves numerous times, however, I have not. I have traveled by plane twice ever once in 2007 and once in 2008, both times with my husband. He knows what to do, he knows how to navigate through a busy airport. Luckily enough for me, I got a direct flight so I won’t have to worry about any layovers and run the risk of missing a connecting flight. But as I plan for this trip I have come up with some things that I have found to be super helpful and even some answers to questions I have asked.

Tip#1: Download the App. As soon as I booked my flight, I downloaded the Delta app. It doesn’t give me a whole lot of info, I am sure it’s there if I need it, but all I had to do was log in and all of my flight info is right there. It’s nice when someone asks what time my flight leaves or lands, etc…it’s right there. It’s not one of those moments where I have to look it up when I get home or jump through a bunch of hoops. Also, download the app for the airport if it’s available. This will help you to know traffic getting in and out, if any of the parking lots are closed down, if there are any weather issues or flight delays. This may not be info that I need right now, but it’s good to know and have ahead of time.

Tip #2: Check Airline Rules. Most people probably already know the rules of airports and airlines. I feel like most of them are the same across the board. No liquid over 3 ounces, no weapons, only one carry on, etc. What I mean, is check the specifics of that airline. Delta charges for checked bags, so I am going to do a carry on. Being that it’s just a weekend away, I think I can make this happen. You might wonder why I picked Delta if they charge for baggage..well they had the best deal on a flight and I know that Delta has a reputable business so I’ll be in good hands. But not all airlines charge for baggage. This is good to know ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly financially. It may also help prepare you how to pack. If you’re travelling with a significant other or a family, $25 each adds up quickly. Another thing to check are the carry one rules. Delta, as I am sure, most other airlines, allow you one personal item such as a purse, or laptop bag, and a carry on. So I will have my purse with all my essentials and then my carry on. A larger purse or backpack can also help you pack more efficiently so you don’t have to check baggage. One thing I did not know is that a jacket or umbrella does not count as a carry one so it’s an added bonus. So if it’s raining or cold…go ahead and bring your jacket, you don’t need to worry about stuffing it into your bag. Also, my husband told me and I confirmed this on Delta’s website, that with carry on baggage, sometimes the plane may not be able to accommodate carry on baggage due to airline size, so they will give you something called priority checking. Where they give you a pink tag and you “check” your baggage with the flight attendants and they keep it up in a separate area of the plane. Before you get off the plane you hand them your ticket, they hand you your bag. Much like a coat check at a restaurant. It’s no charge but still allows you to carry on and not have to wait at baggage claim. All in all, just check your airline’s website or call them so that you can be as prepared as possible.

Tip#3: Ask questions of others. Like mentioned above, I’ve never flown alone, so I am quite nervous. I have been asking my husband every question under the sun. Even posing questions to the Facebook group I am in for this trip. But I think this helps you get prepared. I asked Rob about security and check in. He said to check in electronically if you can (I can through my Delta app!), and just have your ID out and ready with your electronic (or paper) boarding pass. He also said to don’t look nervous and just listen to what the TSA officers tell you to do. He said that most things are completely random, so don’t be surprised if you have extra security measure to go through. If I hadn’t asked, I would have not known that I could be chosen to do this and I would be a nervous wreck. So ask questions, even if they seem dumb. Better to know ahead of time ! Questions I’ve asked others: Do they allow snacks on the plane? If so, do they have to be in a ziploc bag like liquids? Can you take makeup on a plane? Does it have to be in my “liquids bag”. What if something doesn’t meet the proper guidelines? Do they make you throw it away? See dumb questions!

Tip#4: Be flexible. I am not one to be flexible. I like to control things and have a plan for everything. However, I am realizing after talking with Rob that I really do have to be flexible. You don’t know how long the TSA line will be. And even though I’m doing everything right, doesn’t mean that someone else is. Are they causing commotion, taking too long, do they have liquids and things have to be inspected? So that’s why they tell you to get there 2 hours before your flight. Also, if for some reason your seat gets switched or they switch you planes, just deal with it and move on. Don’t cause a scene and go ranting on social media. That doesn’t help. Just comply with them and all will be good.

You may be thinking, duh, Linds, I already knew all this. Well somebody may not and now I am hoping they do. So good luck in your travels. Enjoy it. Don’t stress. Use some of these tips to help you be better prepared and to enjoy every second of your trip!

(Stay tuned for future posts on carry on packing and travel by car for my D.C. trip! )

Perfect Joy

I love quotes. I am always taking screenshots of quotes I find on Instagram. They always give me something to write about and spark my creativity. That being said, I found one recently that says: If we wait for perfect, we’ll never find joy. BOOM! Aren’t I always preaching about joy! If we wait for perfect, we will never find joy. This was posted on Elizabeth Laing Thompson’s Instagram (@elizabethlaingthompson). But isn’t this just the best quote. I feel like we are always chasing perfection. I know I am. The perfectly cleaned house. Everything perfectly organized and put in a place. But I find that this just stresses me out even more! Trying to put everything where it goes and rearranging things to make it work. Balancing my checkbook to make sure it comes out to a T, or even organizing my closet by color of the clothing items. This gets tedious. I do know that sometimes these things ARE necessary for calm and peace. I recently cleaned out our downstairs hall closet and now I feel great. Things are in there nicely. It’s easy to find and I even found that I was able to trash/donate a bunch of stuff. It’s amazing. You can now see the floor of the closet.

What I am getting at is if we’re always chasing perfect…then we’ll never be happy. God doesn’t expect perfection. He knows that we’ll make mistakes. He designed us with flaws so that we learn and grow. Are we going to Him, though, when things get rough? When things are looking pretty dim, are we calling out to our father? I know I am trying! I am remembering in every dark and stressful situation to just look up and know that my Lord is taking care of this for me. He would rather see us being our own unique selves and instead of trying to be a perfect version of somebody else. I heard a talk one time in which the woman said “God don’t make no junk!” That’s so true. He designed you in HIS image. If he was perfect then he would have made us perfect! But I think that perfection makes things boring. It’s ok to make mistakes and wrong decisions, as long as you’re overcoming them. Are you happy and joyful? Or are you stressed and beaten? Jesus is the only one who knows what true stress looks like. He carried that cross because we’re NOT perfect. He carried that cross because people who came before us made mistakes,  and sinned, that’s why we’re not perfect. But you know that Jesus will always forgive you. He wants you to be joyful. He wants you to find the best in each day. He wants you to live as if it is the best day of your life.

So, when that time comes along and you think that things are falling apart and nothing is going right, just remember these three little letters J-O-Y! That’s all you need! Find that joy and all that perfection nonsense will seem null and void!

Psalm 30:5 Joy Comes in the Morning!

Joy is one thing I love. It is what I am on the search for every single day. My Instagram bio says “joy finder” as a descriptor. That’s what this entire blog is about….finding JOY! So you might find it as a surprise that today is a day that I do not feel so joyful. I feel kind of disappointed, bummed out, sad. Not for any reason in particular, just some small circumstances that caused me to be upset. I am not one that gets offended easily. I appreciate people’s opinions and view points, even if they’re different than mine. I like hearing what people think. I am not one to worry about how I look in public because I fear what others might think of me. Now don’t get me wrong, I have had those sweatpants-t-shirts-dirty-hair-in-public moments and I always run into a coworker or somebody I know, but I also don’t generally care. Friends and co workers have both seen me in better form and not to mention, it doesn’t matter to them why I’m dressed that way. So no matter times we say we don’t care what somebody else thinks, I think a teeny tiny little part of everybody cares a little bit.

Today I feel a little bummed out due to some circumstances for an upcoming event. I was not getting the response I thought I would get and it made me look at my friendships, it made me question myself and how I am with my friends.

Psalm 30:5 says: Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning! JOY COMES IN THE MORNING!! How awesome is that? God is telling you, it’s OK to weep. It’s OK to be sad and bummed out and disappointed in friends or family or your job or whatever. You may cry, scream, yell, curse, whatever, but it’ll only last through the night because joy is coming. When you wake up the next day you will have joy in your heart again. You will have awoken another day. You will have taken more breaths and opened your eyes and able to get up and go to a job and use our brains and skills everyday. That right there is enough to be joyful about.

So today I might be feeling a little blue and every little thing that happens may bother more than it should, but that’s OK, that’s human nature. It’s also OK because I know that my joy is coming. I know it’s there. I know that there are so many joyful things in my life that I just have to seek them out. I know that I can open the Word and I will find joy in several pages. This verse in Psalms alone tells me that joy comes in the morning!!

Your takeaway? Always. Be. Joyful! I know it’s hard sometimes. I know it hurts sometimes. I know that friends and family and spouses may hurt you or upset or disappoint you. Work is stressful, finances are are a mess. I get it. That’s been me. That’s me right now, but know this your joy will is coming. Your joy will be found. Press into the Lord and trust him and he will make sure your joy comes back full swing!

Stay hopeful because joy awaits!

Gratitude vs. Faith

I have written a lot about faith and gratitude. These are two things that I am trying to have more of in my life and things I want to instill in myself. There was this quote on Instagram from Terri Savelle Foy that said: Thanking God after he answers a prayer is gratitude. Thanking God in Advance is FAITH. I love this quote. We always thank God after something good happens, right? Thank you, Lord for protecting my child. Thank you, Lord for me not catching the flu, etc. But do we ever thank God in advance? I know I am still working on this one.

Faith is my word of the year, actually the word of my life. I am trying to have more faith in all areas of my life. I am such a control freak and always have to have a plan for things, but faith is not like that. Faith is not being able to see what’s on the other side and just taking the leap. Faith is knowing that God’s got you even when you feel like he doesn’t. Faith means you leave it all up to the Lord to take care of. He will let you know if you shouldn’t be doing something, or if you should stop leaping in faith.

So, how often do we ask God for something and then say, ‘thank you in advance’? This is something I am always working on. I am always asking and praying, but I am also trying to remember to thank him ahead of time. It is no secret that having  a baby is my heart’s greatest desire. So thanking God in advance for my baby may seem weird, but it’s what he wants to hear. It is telling him that you have the faith that he will provide. Thank you, Jesus for my baby! Thank you for providing the finances for our next FET. Thank you, Lord for making us a family! These are things one would normally say after something has been received, but why not now? Why not give him your thanks NOW?

God wants to know that you have faith in him. He has an entire book of promises and none of us are ‘too good’ or ‘not good enough’ for those promises. We are descendants of the people of the Bible, so why would those promises not be for us as well?

So here I am, thanking the Lord NOW for babies that I don’t even have yet. Thank you Jesus for these babies you have given me. Yes. I am believing for more than one baby, so I declare thanks for the babies and thank you for helping me to grow spiritually through you in this process. Thank you for motherhood and for fatherhood for Rob. Thank you for picking out the most perfect babies to bless us with!

Thank him now! You won’t regret it!

How Long, O Lord?

I was at another loss as to what to write about. I feel like I have several things I want to say, but it’s all just jumbled up in my head. I have a small journal I kept during my IVF cycle with timeline, Bible verses, etc. along with some other things. I also have in it a bunch of potential titles for this blog. When I finally decided on Joy Awaits, I figured I would hang onto those titles to see if they would spark a blog post in the future. So glad I did. As I was going through this journal I see a letter that I wrote on May 1, 2017. The day I started this blog. It was a letter to the embryos that were just transferred into me. It was a letter asking them to please stay in my womb and that Mommy would take care of them and keep them safe for the next nine months. Unfortunately, as I wrote in the past, those embryos did not survive and I lost my short pregnancy. I had to relive it all over again. I am now in tears and trying to keep them from pouring down my face while at work.

I’m kind of mad at myself for stopping to read it. As soon as I saw the title at the top of the page I should have kept turning, but I was drawn to it. I read it, tears filling my eyes. Those were my real emotions and thoughts at that time, on that day. I am so sad that we couldn’t keep any of the 3 babies we’ve lost. I’m sad that we haven’t been able to try again since then. I’m sad that we have to start all the way over with raising funds. But what I am happy about? That I still have 5 frozen embryos so the amount of money we need seems manageable. I’m happy that I do still have chances and that all is not lost. I am happy that my little poppy seed sized babies are living with God because that is where I believe they went when they left my body. I am happy that I have taken and continue to take measures to make sure I can maintain a happy and healthy pregnancy.

So, I ask as per my title today, how long, O Lord? I don’t know how long. It has been 7 long years of wanting a baby. We were so close both times and we lost it. When will I ever experience pregnancy to it’s fullest? When will I be able to hold MY baby in my arms? How long, God? Only he knows that, not I. I wish I did? I sometimes wish I could even just ask..is this even going to happen for us? I know that I may not like the answer but at least I’d know to stop spinning my wheels. Or can you at least give me a timeline, Lord? Will it be another 2 years? If so, then I’m just going to stop obsessing over it and then prepare myself for that event. But these are questions that we are not meant to know. God wants us to press into him harder and even more. He wants us to fully trust him and to believe him and his promises. It sucks waiting this long. It sucks not knowing. It sucks spending all this money for a possibility. But what doesn’t suck is my God. My God is bigger than any mountain that stands in my way. I  just need to remember to command my mountain to move and let God be seen!

How long, O Lord? I don’t know. But I’ll be right here waiting!

Attitude of Gratitude (Pt. 2)

I had mentioned in my last post about gratitude that I would be talking about it more and more because it is definitely something that I need to remember. It is so easy for me to complain about things and Lord have I ever been doing so recently. Just over the weekend my husband and I got into two arguments over things that you would not even think would be argument worthy. In light of these things it is easy to grumble and complain under your breath, but I have had to turn my attitude around. As hard as it may be sometimes when w are frustrated with our spouse, are we grateful that we have a spouse? Yes. Absolutely! How many women are longing for that husband? How many just want to meet a guy to get to know?

So I have decided to list out a few things that I am grateful for today and pray that you find things on your heart to be grateful for today, even if it’s something small and it’s coming out of darkness or sadness. Just show gratitude for that one small thing and thank the Lord for it and I can tell you how amazing you’ll begin to feel.

  1. A slow work day right before the 4th of July holiday to get caught up on things.
  2. Getting off work at 3:15 so I can get some things done around the house and still make dinner before fireworks tonight.
  3. The fact that our doctor is only charging us $2400 for our next FET.
  4. Our condo. A friend moved into a very large, beautiful house over the weekend. Jealousy crept in just slightly then I stopped, thanked God for our 2 bedroom condo and praise Him for allowing my friends to buy this house!
  5. Being off work tomorrow to enjoy a beautiful summer day and celebrate the 4th of July holiday.
  6. A country in which I am free to worship and where we are entitled to free enterprise. No matter who our leaders are or if you agree with them or not, we are still a FREE country!!
  7. Coffee! It was hard coming to work today seeing so many others off work, so that first cup of coffee was amazing
  8. Being able to go for a run/walk later this afternoon.
  9. Getting some cleaning done yesterday and being able to clean and organize my bedroom.
  10. Starting to get some things crossed off of my to-do list and finding the time to do so.

 

Thank you , Lord for these things and for being in my life. Thank you for allowing me have all of the things I have and thank you in advance for all of the things you will give me in the future. You are a great and powerful Lord in which I am so grateful to praise and worship. Thank you, Jesus. In your name. Amen!

Great Things Take Time


I, just today, came across a quote on Instagram that said “Don’t give up, great things take time.” As soon as I read that, I knew I had to post about it. I know a lot of people who are longing for their babies, but others are longing for a spouse, or the perfect job, financial stability, a new place to live, etc. The list goes on. All of these things we would deem as “great”. But when have any of us had things just handed to us? Maybe we have, I don’t know. You hear that a lot that people had stuff handed to them and never had to work a day in their life. If that’s the case for some, then that’s OK, but that’s not the case for most of us. I don’t think things are “handed to us” anyhow, as much as, maybe it was what God’s will was for that person. It’s interesting to think that there are so many of us yearning for babies but each one of us has a different plan and path. God already knows what that is. I just find it interesting that God can keep them all straight and knows exactly when to give you something.

I have had several dreams and goals over the years. I still have them and am still praying over them and wanting them to come to fruition. This blog, for example, is something that I started in maybe 2015. I had wanted to chronicle our infertility journey. But I found at that time, my heart wasn’t really in it. I couldn’t really come up with a good name. I wanted it to be a funny and l lighthearted twist on infertility, but one thing was missing…I hadn’t even had an infertility treatment. We struggled to conceive naturally for about 5 years at that point, but I had just seen a fertility doctor in in January. So it wasn’t until then that we knew we were dealing with infertility. What was I supposed to even write about? My first post was a mile long. It was everything from around 2010 up until that point. It was too wordy, which if you know me in person and have ever talked to me, you know that I talk about a mile a minute. My heart just wasn’t as in it as I thought it was. My computer wasn’t very good then, I didn’t have the desire to keep up with it. So I just stopped. I still always wanted to write one, but I needed guidance. I needed direction. This was a dream that God let me keep, but he just wasn’t ready for me to have it yet.

I began to become very involved in the TTC community on social media last September (2016). I joined some Facebook groups an was making friends. My faith strengthened, I began reading more Christian and faith-based infertility books, I started connecting to the world. That was it, I definitely wanted to write a blog! So after several months of arguing with myself, and trying to come up with the perfect name. That was the hard part. I scratched down so many options. I couldn’t start a blog then just change it all of a sudden, could I? I didn’t know.

The whole point of this is, I love this blog. I love writing it. It is still new. I am still using the free web design that wordpress gives you. I still have “.wordpress” after my domain name (even though I want to change all that). But all that doesn’t matter. This great thing took time. It took God’s time. He wanted me to have it, just not when I first wanted it. He kept it burning in my heart and let me have it when he was ready and when he thought I was ready. I think he let me come across Romans 12:12 and come up with the name Joy Awaits because I was ready. I had something to say now. I have grown and matured, even in that 2 year time span. I love Romans 12:12. I had not heard it until that point. Isn’t it interesting how God puts the exact scriptures that you need at exactly the right time.

So friends, here is what I am hoping you take away. Hang on, don’t give up…all great things take time. Our babies will be great, but they’re coming. God is making them perfect for us. He didn’t want me to have the three that I lost. He wanted them. So even though I have fertilized “children” in a freezer 40 miles away, God is still protecting and looking over those babies and designing them in his image. OK, well maybe he’s already designed them, but you get the picture. I could have them anytime I want, but why are the finances an issue? Because God is not ready for me to have them yet, so he’s not allowing the finances to come together as quickly as  I’d like them to.

So hold on lovely friends. Your great thing is coming! Don’t. Give. Up!

Writer’s Block….

Part of blogging is always having something to write about. The other part is writer’s block. I was so excited when I started this blog almost 2 months ago and just had ideas and topics pouring out of me that I could write about. Now, I just feel stuck. I considered doing a fun, lighthearted post but I wasn’t sure if that would work either. I had a great weekend, but nothing of note that would really be blog worthy. So now here I am sitting here with nothing to write about. How many of my other blogger friends can relate to this?

Then I got to thinking how great life is. I can be a complainer, believe me, I can be. I complain about not feeling well or it’s too hot/too cold, I’m hungry, etc, as I am sure others do as well. Then I realized, what is complaining really? Why do we even need to? God has given us another day on this earth! He has allowed me to open my eyes, wake up and live another day! There is nothing to complain about there! Today is a gorgeous 75 degrees outside. It is June. Late June. Summer, and it feels like spring or even parts of fall! It’s so weird, but so pleasant. We start Mega Sports Camp at church tonight, so it’ll be nice. I have a large leadership role. These are all amazing things in my life right now and things to be so grateful for. I am sure I’ll have the complainy thoughts tonight that my feet hurt, I’m exhausted from running around, I’m hungry, etc. (Yes, I think about food a lot! 😉 ) But I know that when I step back and really look at my life I will have nothing but praise for the one who gave me this life. The one who said, “you know what, Lindsay? I want you to live another day. I want you to experience more things, so here ya go!”. Isn’t that just amazing?

So, my writer’s block might be in full force today, but I think that as long as I have a heart of gratitude and always show that praise to the one above that I’ll always have something to say, or even, write about!

When Your Heart Hurts For Others

I have been sitting here all day trying to figure out what to write about as nothing was really jumping out at me. Now, that it’s afternoon, something has. Here in Cincinnati, we had a situation 2 years ago in which a police officer shot and killed a man at a traffic stop. We’ve seen it all over the news all across the nation in so many other cities. This one hits close to home because it’s in my city. That’s so weird, these things don’t happen here, do they? Yes, they do. This post is not a political post or how any one feels about this situation or who is guilty and who is not guilty. The point of this post is to say that my heart hurts. It hurts for the cop, it hurts for the family of the victim, it hurts for my city. The 2nd trial ended today in what the judge declared as another mistrial. That’s not bad, but that’s not necessarily good either. We may never know what those jurors talked about for those 31 hours in deliberation, but all I know is that this young cop’s life is forever changed. Every time they showed him on the news, he was sullen, his head down, tears in his eyes, face so broken. That’s to be expected. The family of the victim, having to relive losing their loved one all over again, horrible. A city that is divided in this. A city that half think the cop is guilty and half who do not, then you have some of those who waiver back and forth or don’t have an opinion. That’s me, I was not there and do not know what went through either person’s head. All I know is that it is now my job to pray and pray BIG! God is the only one who can heal this. He can heal the heart of the cop and the hearts of the family who lost their loved one. He can heal the hearts of the city who want to sling arrows at others. So now we must rally together and just pray. Pray for ALL involved, not just the one who’s side you may take. I will never indicate what I think about this case as this whole thing has just made me sad from the beginning and has made me only want to talk to God about it. God is our ultimate healer. And yes, this bad thing happened, was God there, he was but we live in a broken world where sin is prevalent. Sin is everywhere and we probably will never escape it. But Jesus! Jesus can heal that sin. He has before when he was nailed to that cross. He will wash away any sin and help us to feel whole again.

So even as I sit here with a hurting heart, I know that my God is bigger and will heal us all. My prayer is that he allows everyone to be safe in this city as people begin to find out results. I pray that God lifts the people involved up and wraps his loving arms around them and only lets go when they feel better. I pray that the Lord rejuvenates them and helps them to be able to move on with their lives in a manner that is best for them. I pray that there are no threats or hate against others and that we can begin to lay this to rest so that the victim can rest comfortably in heaven and his family can have some closure. I pray that the cop does not have to go through this again and relive it all over. I pray that the family doesn’t have to relive it.

We will never know what exactly happened that day. We will never know what thoughts were going through either person’s head. That’s why I don’t pay attention to media and cameras and court reports, I pay attention to God and how he’s speaking to me through this. I do not know any of the people involved, but God wants me to pray for them, he wants me to lift them up and only show love to them.

I live in a great city and love it so much. I want it to stay the happy place I moved to 10 years ago.

So if you don’t mind, please throw a little prayer up over the next few days as our city heals from this and that we can move on.

In Jesus’ name!

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