Healthy Attitude in the Midst of Waiting

We are all always waiting for something, aren’t we? Whether it be a new job, the approval for a home loan, a special vacation, or, for me, a baby! I have been waiting for a baby for over 7 years. I have endured much in my wait, impatience, heartbreak, hope, renewed hope, joy, excitement, financial strain, and so much more. Waiting is hard and it can be gruesome.

As mentioned before, we have gone through IVF which ended up in miscarriage. We did a frozen embryo transfer, which also ended up in miscarriage. Two “sure fire” things that gave us 80% chance of getting and staying pregnant. A dream we’ve had for so long, ripped and taken away from us. Still waiting.

I got the title of this from something a friend said to me last week. We were texting about her recent pregnancy loss and some of the emotional struggles she is dealing with. She has a 2-year-old son who she is so grateful to have, but her desire for more children is still there. She texts me, “but you and Rob have gone through so much more”. I reassured her that her feelings still mattered and that whether we’ve gone through “more” or less, it doesn’t matter, we’ve still both dealt with waiting and pregnancy loss and I know that my babies are still coming. Her very next text to me was, “you have a very healthy attitude!” That was an interesting way to put it, but it’s so true. My response to her was that I had no choice but to have a healthy attitude. This healthy attitude breeds joy. It helps me to continue to enjoy the things I’ve always enjoyed in my wait. It’s helped me to know that my miracle is still coming. The enemy wants me to be sad and defeated and completely torn up about this. He wants me to continue to mourn over my losses and he wants to constantly remind me of those losses. We are transitioning into our next transfer and are so blessed and grateful for that. Why would we want to muddy that up with thoughts of what happened in the past?

So those words, “healthy attitude”, continue to stick out to me and it’s something that I strive to continue to have through this process. Having my eyes fixed up on the Lord while I walk the path before me is the only way I will get through this continued wait and know that my desire is waiting for me on that road somewhere. It’s been a long road, but it keeps going. It is endless. So as long as the Lord keeps leading me to my baby, I’ll keep following.

Keep that healthy attitude no matter how much stress your wait may be causing you. It will help you find joy in the wait and will bring you so much peace that the days of the wait will just tick away and your end result will be yours!

Am I Mad at God?

Just reading this title, I am sure you all are probably thinking that this is going to be related to our fertility. Actually, it is not. I mean, I guess it is, but not in today’s reference. I hate saying that sometimes I am mad at God, but it’s true. I am sure we have all gone through that. Someone told me once that your relationship with God is just like any other relationship? Have you been mad at your spouse? Yes. Have you been mad at your mom? Yes. Have you gotten over it and moved on? Yes. Same goes with God. It’s ok to be mad at him. He’s a big boy, he can handle it. The thing is, you just can’t stay mad at him.

My husband has been having  a hard time coming upstairs to bed. He always falls asleep on the couch and I get angry when I wake up in the middle of the night and he is not upstairs with me.  And as to not air my husband’s dirty laundry, I’ll leave it at this. I pray. I pray. I pray to God to help him remember to come upstairs when he feels tired.

Last night, I was angry with God. I was angry that this happens all the time. I was angry. God, I am asking…why am I not receiving? I am seeking you and your guidance….why am I not seeing good resolve?

As I attempted to fall back asleep and upon waking up this morning, I had the lyrics to the song by Hillsong in my head called “Oceans”: Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders. That part just kept playing over and over. I always wake up with some random song in my head that I am sure is attributed to a dream I had the night before or maybe a song I heard right before bedtime, but I couldn’t figure this one out. We hadn’t sang it at church in a while. It is on my playlist but not one that I have listened to recently. Then I had to take a step back and look at those lyrics….spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.  That’s it! Trust without borders. Our trust for and in God should be limitless. It should be more than I think I can ever give. I should just walk through life and just know that God has got me, so I don’t even have to worry about anything. That’s what I needed. Was that song, that part of that song in my head coincidentally? Probably not. I think that was God saying, Linds…follow the spirit. Ask it to lead you. You will see that my trust is limitless and that it’s always there.

I know that it’s hard to remember this when our prayers don’t get answered at the exact second we pray them or when we want them to, but it’s important to remember that God hears them and remembers them. Can you imagine the number of people praying all day every day? That’s a lot of prayers that God has to tend to. Is one more  important than the other? Not to God, they’re not. He is the one who decides what we get and when we get it.

So, even though it may be a work in progress for my husband and our communication when it comes to his sleeping patterns, I know that God is working behind-the-scenes to make sure this prayer is answered and that our demons are cast aside.

Three Month Blogiversary

It may seem a bit weird that I am acknowledging my 3 month anniversary of blogging, but I am! I started and wrote my very first post on May 1, 2017. A friend of mine told me to write for a few months just to get some good and usable content and then tell the world about it. I’m a bit nervous to release this to others, but at the same time I am excited. I feel like I have written some good stuff. Some lifestyle, some faith, some fertility. It’s my heart. I know that not everyone will read this, and not everyone will even like this, but part of being a blogger is being able to be vulnerable and being able to put it all out there for the world to see.

I had this idea in my head that I wanted my blog to look a certain way before I showed it off. I wanted it to just say, no wordpress after it. I wanted it to be organized and nice looking, but this is real life. The free layouts for now. I don’t know what my blog will look like in the future, but I know that God will allow this blog to reach others in a way that it needs to be reached. He will allow it to be read and fall onto eyes that need to see it.

So, please pray for me as I prepare to “launch” it this week! I am praying it gets some positive feedback and that it begins to grow! I know it’s a process, but I trust God to be in this process and take this blog to wherever he feels it should go!

Worship His Holy Name

There is a song that we sing in church often that has the lyrics “worship His holy name”. Worship and praise are two component of having a relationship with Jesus that I am working on daily. Everyday I am reminded of God’s greatness and all that He does for me. Just waking up and being able to go to work is a blessing in itself. I think oftentimes we pray to God for things we want or need and that’s great. That’s what we should be doing, but are we praising and worshiping him after those things have happened? I know I am getting better and better at that.

There have been times when I have prayed very small prayers and God answered. Here is an example. I was driving home once in a huge rain storm. It was the kind of rain that the highest setting on the windshield wipers didn’t work and you still couldn’t see. It was horrible and scary. I was white knuckling the steering wheel. I couldn’t see. I just kept praying, “God, please allow this rain to let up and let me get home safely.” I couldn’t find a spot to pull over as it was hard to see and I think I was on the highway, anyhow. I knew I still had some time before I would get home, so I just wanted the rain to let up. Eventually it did and I got home safely. As soon as I was able to turn my wipers to a lower setting I just sat there driving saying “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for keeping me safe! Thank you for stopping the rain!” I am not against the rain, but this torrential downpour was scary while driving! Some may say that wasn’t God and that the rain just stopped or as I drove further I was getting into areas of town where rain was not on the radar. But I still say it was God. He could have had it rain my entire way home. Every area of the city could have been rained on, but it wasn’t . He kept me, as well as many other drivers, safe!

I bring this up today, because as some of you may know, we are working to do our next FET (frozen embryo transfer) in August. We got a very good quote from the doctor’s office but it expires at the end of August. I became very stressed out and had no idea how we would get $2400 together in a month! Well you know what? We did! God provided! We had friends go above and beyond our expectations. We had friends working their tails off to do successful fundraisers and we even had some anonymous donors who gave us money with no recognition! It was absolutely amazing. Our doctor told us we could put down $1500 and pay the rest in $300 installments over the next few months. We appreciated that offer but did not want to do it as we just wanted it to be paid for and not have to worry about an extra expense the next three months. I just kept asking God to bring us as close to our total as he could so that we would not have to cover much else. Well He gave us exactly what we needed. We are beyond grateful of everyone’s generosity but most of all, for God’s provision.

I don’t know why I ever doubted this. If God did not want us to do a transfer in August then I feel like He would have shut that door quickly and would not have let the money come together, or would have put some other roadblock in our way. But he didn’t. To me, this is God saying, “yes! You can have this!” I will probably never know why he didn’t let us have it the last two times, but I am confident that he will this time. Maybe he just needed us to let go and trust him a bit more.

So what I am saying to you is to praise Him! Praise Him ALWAYS! Keep praying, but don’t forget to praise him when those prayers are answered and dreams come to fruition. God wants you to be happy, but it’s not always when we want it! It’s when He wants it for us!

Half Way to Christmas 5K

I have a love-hate relationship with running. I hate it while I’m doing it and always want to quit or slow down to walk or just plain stop. But then when I’m done I love it and I’m like, “yeah that felt great. I love running. I can’t wait to do it again.” This past weekend we ran the inaugural Half Way to Christmas Half Marathon (also a 1 miler, 5K and 10K). I most definitely ran the 5K while Rob, of course, ran the half! Who doesn’t love Christmas? And who doesn’t love celebrating it in July?! Ok, so I wasn’t really that much in the Christmas spirit just because of how hot and humid it was outside. Here is my recap of the race.

The packet pickup was super easy and quick. You got a lot of swag. They gave us an ugly Christmas sweater in tech t-shirt form, some bells for our shoes, a pint glass, and our medal. They were only giving out medals to the first 400 who signed up so to make sure those people got the medals, they put them in our packets! They had a table set up with Nutcrackers which is my favorite Christmas decoration of all time! 

 I don’t normally fuel up for a 5K, but I realized that with as bad of weather conditions it was going to be, that I should make sure I am much better prepared. I am happy that I did because I woke up with this bad headache that morning, all I wanted to do was stay in bed.

Here are a few of my favorites:

 The morning of was very rainy and just muggy. They even had a half hour delay on all the races. They posted this on their Facebook page but if you didn’t check, you didn’t know. So, it was a lot of waiting.

The 5K and half marathoners went out at the same time. They were both out and backs. That was the first time I had done and out and back. I liked it but at the same time it was just a long stretch. It was along a bike trail so the people who had already turned around to come back were running at you. Not a lot of space to move. There were no cones or anything to signify one lane over another.

The view was beautiful. It was a scenic view over the Little Miami River in Miamisburg, OH, which is about 45 minutes north of Cincinnati.

 I had to do a run/walk, which I was ok with as  I haven’t run very much throughout the summer, but I still go it done in 37 minutes! With about a 12:04 pace, which I think is pretty good!

 After I was done, I was able to go up and watch the 10K and half marathoners finish their race. I was able to watch Rob come down the last half mile. He said it wasn’t his best race and he had some cramping occur, but he was not expecting to PR. I still think he did great and pushed through really well.

 It was really fun as they gave us drink tickets to trade in for one free beer at Star City Brewing Company. They even had a full buffet breakfast, Christmas music and Christmas cookies! That was my favorite part! I was going to get the cookie. It was advertised that the cookies would be on the course at the water stations along with the music, so that was kind of disappointing, however, I am happy that they didn’t have the cookies at the water stops. Can you imagine the cramp you’d get from doing that?

 All in all it was a really fun race. I love Christmas, so to get around Christmas in the middle of summer was fun. Would I do this race again? I say maybe…still only the 5K. Rob is not sold on doing it again, but I am sure I could talk him into the 5K, or maybe with a group of friends!

 Until next time. Merry Christmas in July!

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 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!

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