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!

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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!

Thirsty For More

Thirsty for more was the title of our sermon last week at church. We are currently in a sermon series for the summer called Psalms of Summer. We are going over different psalms each week of the summer. This one I really liked because our minister talked about craving, clinging, and covering as it relates to Psalm 63. He outlined each of these three things as our thirst for more time with God. He described craving as a thirst for God. What are ways we are feeding our craving? What can we do for our soul daily. Then he talked about clinging, how even in our darkest times, we are still under God’s wing and have to hold on to Him until the storm passes. The third point he made was about covering, that God will cover me and He will deal with others the way He sees fit. It’s not for me to do it.

So, thinking about this sermon, the part that sticks out the most for me is the craving! I do crave God, but I haven’t fully developed ways to thirst for Him. I tell myself everyday, I even pray to God to help me make time with Him more of a priority. Keep my phone in a different room and tell my husband that I just need 30 minutes to myself to read a devotional, and really delve into it. To pray, or just talk out loud to God, or to sing and worship or journal or even do a Bible study. I always tell myself that I don’t have time, but the truth of the matter is, I DO have time, I’m just not making the time. I heard a talk once where the speaker had said something along the lines of, if you put it in your calendar, you’ll make it a priority. How many of us use calendars, whether paper or electronic and rely on that to keep all of our appointments straight? I know I do. All the time. I was just looking at July and was shocked at how few things I have on my calendar for July right now. But if I didn’t have it, I would probably forget half of what I am supposed to do. So, why is time with God any different? If “Time with God” was on my calendar from 4:00-4:30 every day. A time when I know I’m home and haven’t started my evening yet…would I do it? I certainly hope I would. This speaker I was mentioning before, she used the example of cleaning out her bathroom makeup drawer. She and her teenage daughter shared the drawer and stuff was so cluttered and neither of them really wanted to clean and straighten it. They thought they didn’t have time and that it would take forever. So she decided one day that from 7:00 to 7:20, she would block out that 20 minutes and clean out the drawer. She put it on her calendar as something she had to do. Once she got in there she realized that it only ended up taking her around 13 minutes to do! She just saved herself 7 minutes!

Now, I’m not saying that I, or any of us, should short change our time with God. What I am saying is that those things we always say we “don’t have time for” we actually do, it’s just prioritizing time.

So here is my challenge to you if you don’t already do it, pick at time, even for just 15 mins (that’s the amount of time I am starting at) and do something small. Read a devotional or other Christian book.  Read a few Bible scriptures, pray, anything that will grow you spiritually. Find a time of day that you know you can do it everyday. I would say 9:00 every night, but some nights I’m not home at 9, but 4:00 most days I am home as I am just getting home from work! Tell your spouse and kids what you’re doing. Tell them that you just need some mommy time, or wife time or alone time, call it what you want and put Dad in charge, or if you’re like me, just let hubby be. Ask him to give you just that 15 mins. He probably won’t even realize you’re gone. Go somewhere in your house that is not a distraction….an office, a spare bedroom, your bedroom. I have found that my bedroom is not good because I lay on my bed and get too comfy and then I reach for my cell phone every five minutes. But maybe you have more discipline than I do!

Go for it. Let’s do this together. Let’s feed our cravings and really thirst after God. Let’s fill our soul with good stuff and really develop ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I am excited to see what He does in my life and all of the things that change! Ready. Set. Let’s do this!

Pray About Everything

I think it goes without saying as a Christian, that you should pray about everything, but I don’t just mean the big stuff like job stress, a baby, finances, etc. I mean everything. I got sunburned on just my shoulders over the weekend. It didn’t hurt too badly last night, but it stung a bit. I put aloe vera gel on it and it soothed it, however, that wears off after a while. I said a quick prayer, “Lord, please let this sting go away so that I can get a comfortable sleep without any pain”. And you know what? I was able to sleep without my sunburn being bothered. I’m not saying it’s as easy as that every time. Sometimes you really have to pray and pray hard and faithfully in order to see the results of your praying. What I am getting at is, if it bothers you, pray about it. If it is causing any stress or anxiety or uneasy feelings…pray about it.

Today, a situation from the past in regards to a family member who passed away, came up. Someone out of the blue messaged me asking about something involving that person. I did not know what to say or how to respond so I encouraged her to reach out to the family member who is overseeing this person’s estate. It kind of gave me some anxiety and an uneasy feeling. Right here in the middle of work..I prayed. I prayed for peace and comfort for me and my husband. Peace for the family of the deceased person and peace for the person who sent me the email. I am not sure what the purpose of the email was, if it was informational, if they were trying to get more information, or figured since I was not directly involved with this person, maybe I can be an ally, I don’t know. I may not ever know, but God does. So I took it to Him. I’m letting him guide me and give me the right words to say to this person should they reach out again. It is not a bad situation, not one where anyone is going to be harmed, but it is more of an emotional situation. God knows my emotions and he knows that I have a heart for everyone and that this will bother me for the rest of the day. He wants me to take it to him in prayer so that he can deal with it. I imagine God sitting there and when someone says that opening line “Dear Lord”, or “Dear God”…he puts his ear out with his hand up to it ready to listen. He can differentiate between all the people talking. Then I imagine a transcriber typing all the prayer requests out so that he can have a file and tend to them one by one! haha. I know it’s a funny image, but it’s fun for me to imagine that. Maybe that’s why it takes a while sometimes. He has so many people to tend to, that he needs time to sort it all out and deal with each situation one by one.

Another thing that is weighing on me is a fundraiser that a friend is offering to have for me to help with our 2nd FET cost. She is so confident in her product (31 Gifts), and is an amazing sales woman, but I worry. I worry that people won’t come. I worry that people won’t want to buy the stuff because it’s a bit pricier. I worry that people will have the thought….I have already helped them so much financially, I am not sure I can do anymore. I worry that because there is a mutual friend hosting a girls night the next night that people won’t want to come to mine the night before. I worry. But God can take that worry from me. I go to him, even about something like this. Lord, please let people come, please let them have the desire to want to come and spend time with me and help us out. Lord, please….as I continue.

This may be a post that is kind of mundane, but it was sitting on me today to speak about prayer. Where two or more gather, I am there. If I have friends praying for our future as parents and the funds to come together for FET, then I know the Lord will be there and he will provide in whatever way he sees fit. Of course I would love to have success at this 31 party, and of course I want God to be there, but if he doesn’t want it to happen,  I pray that he makes it clear before that day.

The whole point in me writing this today was, one, I was not coming up with anything else to write about. Two, I have had several prayer request come my way and I need to be reminded to spend some meaningful time in prayer so that others are blessed by God’s good graces, and three…I just need things too. I need to cry out and praise and let go of my worries. God is the only one I know who can take my worries away, so why not let him have the burden, and I live my life the way he wants me to.

Prayer changes everything. Just gotta stick with it!

For we walk by faith, not by sight- 2 Corinthians 5:7

I am sure that 2 Corinthians 5:7 is a verse that many of us have heard a hundred thousand times in our Christian life. I know I have. I don’t even think I realized it was a Bible verse when I first heard it. I used to be a part of a direct sales company and speakers at conferences would always rattle off this “quote”. It was months later that I realized it was spoken word in the Bible.

I write about this today because I am trying to increase my faith. Faith can be a scary thing. I am the type of person who always like to be in control and have a plan for things. I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of girl. We took a very spontaneous trip to Bristol, TN for a NASCAR race about 10 or 11 years ago and I was freaking out the entire weekend. We didn’t have a tent to camp so we slept in the car, had no cooler or food, it was horrible. My husband loved it but I hated every minute of it. Let me tell you that since that time I have planned out every other trip (hence the post this past Monday).

One thing about this verse that strikes me is the “not by sight” part. What?! You want me to walk into the future without knowing what’s to come? You want me to just keep walking? What if there is  a ledge and I fall? What if there is a wall and I run into it? This is all rhetorical, of course, but you get what I’m saying. Yes we will have walls to try to avoid and ledges to not fall off of, but that is where God comes into play. He already knows our journey. It’s just our job to follow the path he leads us down. Sometimes that path will be scary. It may be dark, an windy and have hills and curves, but it’s our road, the one designed for us specifically. When we trust that God has it all taken care of, then that’s how we can walk by faith! I talk about this today because I took a big leap of faith today by purchasing my ticket to the Moms in the Making conference this October. It is in Dallas, I live in Cincinnati. I will have to fly. I don’t even have a plane ticket yet as I am cringing as I look at the prices and try to figure out how to pay for it responsibly. But you know what? I took that leap of faith! I am trusting that God will provide for me in whatever way necessary. He always has, he always will. I think it is clear that he wants me to go to that conference. When it was first announced a few months ago, I got really bummed out because the very next weekend we are going  to Washington D.C. for Rob’s first marathon. There was no way we could make it work. Rob and I talked about it several times and he suggested I just go by myself. I was going to bring him and he was going to spend time with his brother who lives in Dallas. He decided it was best for him to stay home and rest up being that his marathon is a week later. When he said that, I got kind of excited. Oh my gosh! I can go! This is great! So I have been paying more attention to conference details and looking at travel arrangements.

The conference tickets went on sale today. They’re $89, which is the cheapest they will be and they are only this price for 2 weeks. Normally I would turn my nose up at $89 and think that’s crazy expensive. I would never spend that on a concert or any other event. I’d see the price and just move on, but not this time. First of all, the girl running the conference told us about it well in advance, so it was no surprise. Secondly, this conference will be an investment. It is going to be something that will pour into my heart and fill my life with so much. It will give me more faith, life-changing faith. I will make friends and meet friends in person face-to-face. These will be women who are facing and have faced the same battles of infertility that I have. We are all in this together.

So, did it freak me out to click submit on the payment? Yes, of course it did. I am a money/budget freak. I worry about money all the time. The organizer of this event, Caroline, quoted someone saying that “money is the stupidest excuse you can have to not attend and event like this”. Not this particular event, but any kind of Christian conference like this. This the faith I was talking about. I am trusting that this $89 will give me what it promises. I am trusting that the women planning this conference will pour into us the way they promise. And I just trust that this $89 will be the first of many times I will pay this for conferences. I could have waited until next Friday when I got paid to do it, but I took that leap of faith. If I didn’t do it now then something else would have come up and it wouldn’t have happened.

What are you praying for? What is a dream on your heart? Are you afraid to take that first step? Do it, I promise you, it will be worth it! I feel like, God would have shut the door on this if he didn’t want me to go. He wouldn’t have let me search for hotels or have the funds to day to buy the ticket, or anything else. I just hope I followed God’s lead and didn’t make my own rules. haha. So I encourage you to take a leap of faith in something in your life. Big or small, just go for it!

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