Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Running With Perseverance

           Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. 

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1b).

We are only on day 3 of the online bible study, and I have already learned so much about myself and how I respond to things (ie, what triggers my "unglued" moments  and that it's okay to take baby steps . . . as long as I'm moving forward and making progress . . . imperfect progress).

As I focus on the memory verse from Hebrews, I can't help but think back (I mean, waaaaaay back) to my high school days. I ran cross country my junior and senior year (hence the reeeeeeeeeeeeally old pictures),  and at that time in my life this verse meant everything. Not only did I apply it to daily training or the 2.5 mile course I ran for a meet, I also applied it to daily life, which I thought was real hard at the time. Looking back, I can say that life was much simpler then, especially since I did not know then what I know now.

It's been several years since my running days, and I've had many unglued moments in that time. Frankly, I haven't really liked the person I've become in the last 18 years. Rather than focus on God and His path for my life, I've tried to devise my own path and follow it. Well, as you can imagine (maybe you can relate?), I have ran in to roadblock after roadblock after roadblock. Sure, I’ve had happy times along the way, but in all of this“racing” I can attribute the good times to running with the Lord and the bad times to running my own path.

At this point in my life, I find myself desperately seeking the Lord’s guidance. This weight of empty arms has become more than I can bear. It’s become a “hindrance” to moving forward. It’s “entangled” my thoughts, and it’s kept me from running towards my Heavenly Father.

In chapter 1 of Unglued (page 14), Lysa TerKeurst says, “God gave us emotions. Emotions allow us to feel as we experience life . . . God gave me emotions so I could experience life, not destroy it.” That right there, that last part, EXPERIENCE LIFE, NOT DESTROY IT! It’s like being given permission to show emotion without any shame.

After reading her quote yesterday, here is what I wrote in my journal:

            I only get one life on earth and, by God’s grace, I will have eternity with Him in heaven.  While this may not be the path I would have chosen for my life . . . Sidebar: my path would have been the easy way of finding a Godly man, marrying that Godly man, becoming a mommy without any physical setbacks, and setting out to live the happily ever after with my family. . . anyway, I digress . . . while this may not be the path I would have chosen for my life, I know He allows me to express my feelings freely while on the path I'm currently running.  Even Jesus expressed His emotions while here on earth (John 11:35 says “Jesus Wept”).

My takeaway today on Lysa’s quote is on the “destroying” part. We should not use our emotions to destroy our lives.  I admit that I have let my emotions destroy life for me for the last 3-1/2 years.  I’ve let the heartache of being childless eat away to the very core of my being.  The crying and anger has left my insides in pieces. It has left me unglued!

            Now I want to turn my emotions into something positive. I want to use these emotions to experience life.  Does that mean this path I’m on is going to get easier? Will it mean that I won’t have any more unglued moments?  I’d like to say yes. But, realistically, I am human. God gave me grace though. He tells me it’s okay to fall as long as I get back up and make progress. I will persevere. He will be there to catch me if and when I stumble.

            Our memory verse this week, Hebrews 12:1b, fits my life’s race to a capital T.  I have been weighed down by my own baggage—it is a hindrance. And, the sin of bitterness, anger, and jealousy entangles me and has kept me from moving forward to the purpose God has for my life.  But, now I am lacing up my running shoes, ready to take HIS path by storm, and running this race with perseverance I can only find by following His Word!

Progress  . . . imperfect progress! It may be just a little progress made by teeny tiny baby steps, but I am trying. I am moving forward. I may fail tomorrow. I may have an unglued moment next week. But, I am living with the intent of staying focused on God's path. Satan may try and entice me with a shortcut, but I want to stay focused on the prize, the plan, the purpose God has for my life. At the finish line, I want to hear my Father say, well done daughter!

I’ll close my thoughts with one more motivational verse I used as a runner. I think it too is applicable to life's race.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (1 Cor. 9:25)

Too all of my fellow "Unglued" sisters (and brothers), may God bless you as you make imperfect progress in your own race. Keep on running!!!!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

His Heavenly Food

For the last 18 years, I have been living for that special "someday" in my life. I am 36 years old now and realize that I have not really lived my life but instead have been waiting for (and trying to control) 'my' idea of the perfect someday to begin. For me, that someday always included being a wife and mother. When I began this blog three years ago, in August 2009, I was so full of hope.   I had been married for nearly a year, and a few months earlier my husband and I had begun trying for a baby. Flash forward 3 years and 4-1/2 months later, we are still here with empty arms and burdened hearts. 

It has been a rough journey. It has been a journey that I have sat and analyzed over and over and over again. First, there was the denial stage. Surely there wasn’t anything wrong with us. Surely God would not deny me a child since I had believed HE placed this desire in my heart…this desire that I have had since I was 5 years old. I mean, I was the child who told my parents that they had to hold on to all of my toys because someday I would be bringing my kids to their house to play. That was how sure I was that I was meant to be a mom.

Discouragement set in after a year of trying. I was 33 at the time and I knew that “elderly” age of 35 was creeping up on me. I knew that fertility began going down at that age. We saw a specialist, and he confirmed we did indeed have some problems. Of course, because of the lack of insurance coverage and the fact that we are not made of money, I knew in my mind that we probably would not be able to go too far with treatment. My husband looked at things very differently than I did. Whereas I would have done anything for a child, He told me that he was not going to go into debt to have a child. To me, that screamed, “I do not want to have a baby so let’s just get over it and move on with life.” And, because, when I first met him, he was not sure he wanted children, I just figured this was an easy “out” for him. Resentment set in for me. It was at this time that I told him that, “I refuse to live in a childless home.” Yes, it came out as horrible as it sounds! Having both been married/divorced before, we knew what was underlying for a statement like that.

It was last year when we were pretty much on a break from everything. I had quit my job (yeah, I know, people would ask why would you do that if you want to have money to “try” for a child?). I loved being at home. And, truthfully, my dream always included being a state at home mom. Sadly, when I was feeling better about things (getting out of a rough job), my husband found himself in a horrible spot in his job. Things got progressively worse for him. It all came to a head in April 2011.  We felt like we had no hope at all. We were unable to start a family, I wasn’t working (by choice), my husband hated his job and it was taking a physical toll on his body, etc. The list seemed to go on and on and on. All I can really say is that satan was ever present in our home at that time. And, we were not wearing the proper spiritual armor to ward off his demons.

It was a couple of months later, in August 2011, that things began to look up. My husband had interviewed out of state for a job in Omaha, Nebraska. We were prepared to “go” if that is where God wanted us to be. But, we knew that He would have to work out all of the details. And, long story short, He did. Within a matter of months, we were packed and moved and renting a place in Omaha. My husband loves his job. We’ve bought a house. I have a job at a church that I love. Things were indeed beginning to look up.

We decided to see another fertility specialist here in Omaha and resume treatments. Well, that didn’t go so well. We tried in July and August 2012, and due to financial reasons, we just decided it was time to give up. This doesn’t mean that I have given up hope that God has a child for us. It just means that it is time for us to move on. Right now, I am in the process of rebuilding myself. I have fallen away from God. I have been a Christian for most of my adult life, but I have not been obedient to His word. For too long and in far too many ways, I have tried to control my destiny. I must admit that there is a piece of me that is scared I have missed out on my opportunity to ever be a mom simply because I made the wrong decisions earlier in life and tried to control the outcome.
 I’d like to say that things in my marriage have been great, but I would be lying to myself. We have had a rough go of it. Infertility (and finances) has only added to the stress of everything. It’s like we are two people who love each other, but we have become strangers to each other. I know that we need to work on our relationship so that we can strengthen it. After all, if God does bless us with a child (biologically or adopted), we need to be ready. I am living in expectation that God will move, but first I need to follow Him. He has always been there, and I’ve felt His presence.  I’ve just been too stubborn to walk in obedience to His Word.

I’ve never been a consistent blogger, and I don’t have high expectation for myself now that I will blog on a regular basis, but I do hope I will begin to grow in my faith and share that on here. I’m hungry right now. I’m feeding on scripture. I’m trying to soak myself in the Word. I desperately want to obey and follow Christ. I pray that my husband too will seek shelter in His Word. I pray that I can put on the spiritual armor every day and keep satan from seeking his evil influence into my mind and the mind of my husband. I am still weak. I am still human. My heart is still bitter and jealous and empty. But, as I continue to feed on the Word, I am finding strength and healing for my heartsickness.

I am getting ready to begin an onlinebible study following the book "Unglued" by Lysa TerKeurst. I am so excited! Over 13,000 women in all parts of the world will be following this study. God Bless Melissa Taylor and her group for putting this together. God Bless Lysa for writing the book. I am looking forward to worshiping God and to “virtual” fellowship with other believers. I know that I will learn things, and I hope that I will find the words to share on this blog. Maybe another hurting soul will find help from them.  Regardless, I know my heavenly Father is, and will continue, speaking to me. He is satisfying my hunger with a plate of His heavenly food. To that I say Bon App├ętit!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving me and for showing such grace when I didn’t deserve any at all. I have been a child, kicking and screaming on the floor. You’ve been a loving parent just trying to show me the easy way. But, in my defiance, I tried to run off and do it myself. I got lost….and scared…and lonely. You allowed me free will to do this. Father, please help me turn my will into following Your Will for my life. I’m still afraid of the outcome because of this addiction, this desire to have a child, that I’ve had consuming me for so long. If it is not in your will for me to have a child, please help me accept this. I trust that You will show me what is in store my life if I will just let go and trust in you. Father, please also lift up my husband, James. He too is a lost soul who loves you. Father, please help me extend the same type of grace to him that you extend to me. I am not here to change him, but I want to change my life and live for you. Thank you, Father, for your unconditional and everlasting love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

We are all mothers

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mommies out there! You are blessed beyond measure, but I know there is no need to tell you that. My thoughts are especially with those who have mommies in heaven, are mommies to angels in heaven, and those still waiting. Unfortunately, we are the ones who often go unrecognized on this day. Our arms are empty, but it doesn't mean we do not have the heart of a mother. I found the following on an online message board (can't remember where). I think it says it perfectly!

Thoughts on Becoming a Mother
Author Unknown

There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though there are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.

I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed.

I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.

I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor , friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.

I have succeeded.

I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.


Monday, May 2, 2011

So Many Hurting People

Again, it's been awhile since I updated here. One of the blogs I read on a regular basis, Kelly's Korner, does Show Us Your Life Friday. This past week she created a "Day of Prayer" post for people to leave their prayer requests. There are so many hurting people. I too posted a prayer request. After reading some of the trials others are going through, my own trials seem so small. But, our God is a big God and sees everything. Nothing is to big for God. Even though satan's attacks are very real right now, we have a great defender on our side.

Anyway, as I was reading some of the prayer requests this morning, the song "His Eye is on the Sparrow" came to mind. This is one of my favorite songs. I went to Youtube and found the song so I could listen while reading and praying. I hope that these prayer requests soon turn in to praises. I don't even know who reads my blog, but if you stumble across this post, won't you consider praying?


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life is what happens . . .

Wow! It's been a long time since I last wrote anything on my blog. I guess I won't be qualified for any blogger of the year awards. A lot can happen in six months (since I last wrote), and of course, a lot can't happen.

This morning got to thinking that had the IUI we had in June 2010 worked, we would be very pregnant now, possibly preparing for a birth at any minute. But, God had . . . and still has . . . other plans. Needless to say, we are NOT expecting a little one.

I've always liked the quote, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans" because it is so true. I know that I'm not in control of my own life, yet I go about life as if I were. And, what happens? Well, life just goes on until one day you wake up and realize that in some ways it has passed you buy. The last six months have been like that for me. I guess, if I were being completely honest, it has been that way for the last two years. It's as though I have been living in some kind of fog.

I think I had written before about wanting to quit my job and apply for the mommyhood job. Well, my application for the mommyhood job has not been accepted as we all know. But, I did quit my job. As of December 1, 2010, I have been an unemployed SAHW. Now, I know that it can't always be like this. In fact, just this past couple of weeks, I have tried to crawl out from under the rock where I've been hiding. I've been looking here and there for jobs. Of course, I've grown accustomed to this "staying home thing." And, seriously, it is probably not good for someone like me.

I will be the first to admit that I am a homebody, a hermit. I like to be in my home. And, when I stay here for so long, I do not want to leave. In fact, today I have to go to the dentist and am so dreading having to put my make-up on and do my hair. But, when I'm out and about I do feel better. Why am I like this? I think it only contributes to the depression I have felt these last couple of years while trying (unsuccessfully) to conceive a child. And, life just keeps on going while I sit here and sulk.

I mentioned that I have been out of work since December. Well, let me run down the last few months. The first few weeks were nice. I was taking it easy. And, since it was the holidays, I was enjoying the days by baking up a storm. Then, we hit the post-Christmas/New Year's blues. Blah!  I really didn't want to do anything except sit in my recliner and watch movies. Towards the end of January, I went back to my hometown (McCook, NE) for several days. I enjoyed spending time with my 87-year-old grandmother. We just talked and talked and talked. She has written down several of her "growing up" stories so I enjoyed reading those and asking questions. Staying with her was something I'd been longing to do for a long time. She has six children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. So, being able to have one-on-one time with her was nice for a change. I also saw my parents. It was very low-key and just what I needed.

When I got home after my long adventure, I knew it was time to do something. Of course, I also knew that I needed to start looking for work. I didn't do too much of that. But, I did began to get my house in order. i felt so accomplished when I got my pantry organized. I even have everything written down. Of course, I still need to add it to my computer inventory list and then start meal planning. Sigh...I am such a procrastinator. But, I always have the best of intentions!

Here we are in the middle of March. I am looking for work, but first I have to revise my resume. Holy Cow! That has been a process in and of itself. As previously mentioned, I'd really like to find something that allows me to work from home. Not sure what I'm going to find, but that is my hope.

I know this is a completely rambling post, but I figure that's kind of how life has been the last few months. We have decided we're going to call the endocrinologist (fertility doc) and have another IUI (more depending on the outcome). Last time we had one, got depressed, and just took a break. This time, we need to move forward. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel. I know I need to be more upbeat, but I feel beat down. I do hope I can start looking for the positive things in daily life. I do hope I can find some friends (real life or online...doesn't matter at this point). I just need someone in our corner.

Anyway, I'm not going to re-read this (yet) so who knows what I've said. I've gotta go anyway. It's time to do something with my hair and face. Have a good one!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Make yourself at home . . .

It's been a very long time since I've posted on this blog. Honestly, I've been in a pretty serious funk the last several months, but I'm trying to work my way through it. I started a new recipe blog, Dining with the Davis', and have been spending more time working on it.  But, that's not what this post is about.


I'm so excited that Kelly has started up her "Show Us Your Life" series again. This week it's "Show Us Your Living Rooms." Well, since my living room is relatively clean today (company is coming soon...ha ha), I thought I'd share. Our house is pretty small and the living room definitely has that cozy feeling. It's not my dream house or dream living room, but it's comfy for me. Welcome to my home . . .

IMG_1789Since we live in a bi-level home we technically have two living/ family rooms but only use the one upstairs.This is the view of our entryway from upstairs.

IMG_1781At the top of the stairs are our bookcases, which I am almost embarrassed to show you. By the way, we do not have children (yet) but do have four animals. This is the reason for the baby gate.

IMG_1792Here is another view. The bookcases are seriously in need of re-decorating. This is on my project list. The plan is to remove most of the books and movies. I’d like to add some more “decorative” things but nothing too knick-knacky. If you have any great ideas for bookcases let me know! IMG_1780 Looking into our living room from the top of the stairs. It looks like a Lifetime movie is on TV.

IMG_1768Here’s another view. Notice the ledge in the background. We added that about five years ago. It  certainly makes the once-empty space more lively.

IMG_1769This is a view from the kitchen. Oh look, Haylie Duff is on today’s Lifetime movie.


Another view of the ledge and my comfy recliner, which my husband hates. Oh well, he doesn’t have to sit in it. We picked that rocking horse up at a garage sale, and that’s my Raggedy Ann doll. I look forward to snapping a picture of our “someday” child sitting next to these. The other stuff on the floor belongs to the dogs and cats (our “now” children).IMG_1773A view from the living room looking into the kitchen. This is not how our couch normally looks.

IMG_1774My husband’s friend used to work in a cigar shop. When the shop went out of business his friend bought this shelf. My husband acquired it when his friend moved out of the country.

The items on the shelves in our living room have significant meaning. Here are just a few of the special things. . .

IMG_1775Our wedding album. We’re coming up on two years.

IMG_1776Our cake topper

IMG_1777Our toasting flutes and wedding certificate (inside silver holder)

IMG_1793 Our hourglass from the sand ceremony on our wedding day. I just love being able to turn it over and over again and again and watch the sand flow.


IMG_1794 IMG_1796

I discovered pottery painting a few months ago (great therapy). The plate is the first thing I painted. The bottom two items have to do with our hopes and dreams for a future child.

Well, I don’t think it’s fair to give you a tour of our home without truly keeping it real. So, here are some “behind the scenes” pictures of  what you would truly see when walking in to our home . . .

Brandie making herself at home on the couch . . .

IMG_1785Autumn cleaning out the empty peanut butter jar . . .
 IMG_1787and Archie and Sophie wishing they were outdoor cats.

So, there you have it. That’s my living room. And, if you made it to the end of this post then i should offer you a great big slice of this . . .


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Where Do I Apply?

From the time I was a little girl, I used to play "mommy" and "wife." I would cart my dollies around and speak with my imaginary husband. I know that I was just emulating what I saw when I looked at my mom and her adult friends. I wanted to be just like them when I grew up. I never had younger siblings and was never around babies, with the exception of a few friends that had their own younger siblings. Oh how my sister and I tried to beg my parents for a baby brother. I wanted a real live human being to "pretend" with.

I always knew that I would be a mommy someday. Of course, I didn't know when that someday would come. I am quickly approaching 34 years old (as of August 6, 2010), and I'm still not a mommy. I really wish I did not dwell on this so much. It's like it has become this disease that has overtaken many parts of my life. I'm trying to cope but only going through the motions. I am feeling restless because I feel like I'm standing in the wrong line to fill out a job application that I may never be "hired" for.

About a year ago, I was feeling restless. At that time, we had been trying for a baby for approximately four months. I was still hopeful and optimistic that our time would be soon. That is not to say that I am not hopeful and optimistic now. It's just that now we are well past a year of trying. Not to mention,we know the "numbers" in relation to our bodies. Anyway, back to "about a year ago" . . . I had approached James with the idea of becoming a semi stay-at-home wife. We both knew that we were trying for a baby and didn't know when that time would come. We also knew that things in our household were unsettled due to our busy schedules. To get right down to it, I was (and still am) tired of the corporate work world. I wanted a break. I wanted the opportunity to run my household as a business. I wanted to be there as a support system for my husband, the main breadwinner in our family. I had dreams of keeping the house clean, putting food on the table, keeping our money in line (with savings all around), and just not being tired. I was going to give my self until March 2010 to figure it all out.

Obviously, March 2010 has come and gone and we are now here in July. I am still restless.I don't mind my job, but there are several things that make me feel uneasy when I go to it every day. I would actually love it if I had the opportunity to work from home. Even better, I would love it if I could work from home on a part time basis. Call me a homebody...yes, I know I am . . . but I'm just tired of it all. I'm tired of driving 30+ minutes to work (one way) every day. Blame it on my small town roots. Everything in a small town was do-able. Even when I lived in a mid-size town I didn't have to plan around the long commute and/or being away from my house the entire day.

So, what do I do? Where can I apply to be that SAHW? Of course, I'd love the opportunity to be a SAHM. I am doing my best to trust God for that time. For those who think I'm whining and don't want to put in my share in the work force, you are wrong. I do want to contribute to society. I just don't want to keep going about it the way I have been. It's wearing me out. I love to be creative. Perhaps I can find my niche somewhere else. But, i need the chance to refuel so that I can find the drive and ambition to set out on following my dreams. For now, I will continue to stand in line for the job I want while putting my time in at a job that pays the bills, puts food on the table, allows me to buy the things I need. . . all while zapping my energy, my time, my spirit, and my creativity.