life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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The Big News.

I’ve just been seized with the desire to update my blog for the first time in months, and I thought I’d better take advantage of it before the moment passes!

Life has changed tremendously for Dayne and myself. After months of fertility testing for a conclusive diagnosis of what was wrong with me (everything with hubby is fine), we finally said “see ya later” to the fertility doctor and decided to try to get pregnant naturally. We were trying to trust the Lord (key word: “trying”) that if He wanted us to have children, we would one day… and if He didn’t, we wouldn’t. This wasn’t as easy for me to accept as it was to tell myself. Our plan was to go back to the fertility doctor in 3 months if nothing happened.

Our biggest hope, though, was to get pregnant without the doctor’s help. We didn’t feel this was necessarily an obtainable goal, given the evidence that I don’t usually ovulate on my own. After all the diagnostic testing with the reproductive endocrinologist, I was diagnosed with “mild” PCOS: although my glucose, insulin, and male hormone levels were all normal, my body wasn’t naturally producing enough progesterone and estrogen for my cycle to complete.

Anyway, during that first month away from the doctor, I busied myself adjusting my lifestyle: I had gone to a PCOS nutritionist who advised me to eat as many whole, natural, organic foods as I could, avoid as much sugar as I could, and switch to full-fat dairy (including Greek yogurt for added protein). I was dutifully shopping at Wegman’s and actually using an app called Shopwell (www.shopwell.com) to decode food labels. Hubby & I also invested in an elliptical, which I figured was not only better for my joints than a treadmill, but would be safe and low-impact for me to continue while pregnant. I really disciplined myself to use that elliptical, which surprised both Dayne AND myself. I was determined to correct my PCOS naturally as much as I could.

We were really trusting God during that time. I can’t say I wasn’t emotional about it and didn’t have a difficult time doing it, but I really wanted to give God the space to work since we’d been going to doctors and trusting them for almost a year.

To make a long story (and a lot of tears and a wasted pregnancy test) short, somehow I got pregnant during that first month. We were both in shock when we saw the pregnancy test with “Pregnant” clearly emblazoned on it the night we got home from Easter dinner.

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I am now 17 weeks & 3 days along with a healthy baby growing in my belly. It truly is a miracle.

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Baby K. says, “Hi!”

So that is The Big News! I am keeping two written pregnancy journals, and most of the details of my pregnancy and doctor’s appointments have gone in there, but maybe I will see this blog as a good place to record some of those things as well. I have just struggled with updating because most of what we went through was so private (and then the pregnancy was sort of a secret for the first trimester).

I do, however, think it’s good to share our story and what I was feeling with other couples who may be facing similar obstacles. I am beyond thankful that we got pregnant when we did and we didn’t have to go through more complicated procedures and lots of time waiting – but I did go through many of the same emotional struggles we would have gone through had we been trying to get pregnant the entire year. I’ve also tried to really digest what it means to fully lean on the Lord, no matter the outcome. It’s hard to watch couples who love God and would be great parents struggle to get pregnant, and it’s hard to understand why. It’s hard to watch a mother go through a miscarriage. It’s even harder to trust that, in the midst of these heartbreaking circumstances, God has a plan that is bigger than we can sometimes understand. I really had to trust that if we couldn’t have children, that God had a reason that I couldn’t see, even though I desperately wanted to become a mother and I saw that as my life’s purpose. I would have struggled for a long time (possibly the rest of my life) getting along with God if He had denied me the motherhood I really, really wanted. I don’t know how I would have dealt with it, but I was prepared to go through it.

I also want to mention that I am keenly (perhaps too keenly) aware that something could go wrong, that I could miscarry this baby. I know women who have had stillbirths. Even beyond delivery, I know that something could happen to our child any year of his or her life. This is what really puts my trust to the test… and reminds me that I am not God, and will never be God. I cannot protect my baby from everything, and even a mother does not love her child perfectly. God loves perfectly and deserves our full dependence… we are stewards of His child, really. And that gives me peace.

To everyone praying for a baby or a child, my heart aches for you. I pray the best for you and your family, and I pray that God would be close to you.


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God Blesses Our Obedience

I had a girls’ night in with a dear friend of mine this past Friday, and she told me all about the decision God was asking her to make in one of her most important relationships. Evidenced by the amount of tissues we went through, this was not an emotionally easy or pleasant decision. In fact, it was a pretty rough decision given that she was going to have to trust God – not to give her what she wanted, but to give her what He knows is best for her in the end. In fact, that is having to trust God’s character more than anything else – that He is good and that He has our best interests, and the world’s best interests for that matter, at heart.

It wasn’t easy to watch my friend go through all the hurt that goes along with obeying what God was calling her to do, and part of me wanted to “fix it” for her, which in my limited human view would have been NOT making the decision and keeping the potentially destructive yet quite comfortable patterns going.

However, both of us had full confidence when she left that night (despite strong, selfish emotions) that God is sovereign and that disobeying Him leads to deep heartache…

Saturday morning, my husband and I got up early to go to marriage counseling. (Yes, we go to marriage counseling. It is awesome. I fully recommend it.) Anyway, in retrospect of the last few weeks, I realized that I had obeyed the Lord and grown in faith. I know because I never would have done anything like this naturally. I took a difficult situation that I felt VERY strongly about, and I surrendered my feelings about it to God and to Dayne and waited. I gave Dayne weeks to ponder the decision we had to make together without inserting my two cents everyday. I prayed through it and prayed for Dayne’s wisdom in making the decision. I talked about the situation with others in an honest way without putting Dayne down for having a different viewpoint (showing respect for my husband). And when it came time to make the decision, I gave Dayne a few days’ notice that we were going to have to talk soon so he could wrap up his thoughts and bring it up when he felt comfortable. And it came out in marriage counseling that he really appreciated the way I handled the situation. We were able to make a decision together quickly after our counseling session and now we are on the same page as a team with a beautiful compromise that I couldn’t have envisioned for us…

Last night, I was feeling really discouraged and anxious around the time I was going to have to go to youth group (I’m volunteering as a leader with my church). I didn’t feel well yesterday, and a lot of thoughts were running through my head about my health situation, my job, my friends, etc. I talked with Dayne about how I was feeling and how I wasn’t sure if it was worth it for me to be at youth group anyway, since I haven’t gotten to know the girls very well yet and it didn’t feel like we were getting the chance to connect. Dayne reminded me that it’s only the third week (see how my emotions run away with me?) and that I have to keep trying. I almost turned around twice on my way there. In fact, I warned Dayne that I might be coming home. And I had to pull over at one point to gather my thoughts and calm down. BUT I felt an extra push to go the second time I tried to turn around, and I went. And wouldn’t you know – I got to have some good conversations for the first time with four girls last night, and I finally learned ALL of their names. I love ministry and encouraging younger girls in their lives and walks with Jesus, and I know God has gifted me for it. I just have to learn to step forward in faith (with a little push from my husband) when my selfish emotions tell me to walk away. I really felt like God clearly rewarded me for obeying Him last night…

I got to catch up with my good friend from Friday night on my drive home from youth group. She told me all about how well things went when she went forward with that difficult decision. Beyond her wildest expectations. And I can clearly see God working in her life and in that relationship, and it is thrilling…

Whatever God’s calling you to do in your life, keep walking with Him. He won’t leave you when things get tough.

I’ve almost finished the Old Testament in my Daily Walk Bible (I’m in the book of Zechariah). Even in some of the most trying of times for the Jewish people (God’s temple being destroyed and the exile in Babylon – the consequences for all of Israel’s idol worship and sins), God kept promising them that He would establish a remnant in Jerusalem, and He would be with them, and He was going to send the Messiah to take care of their sins once and for all. On the other side of Jesus’ sacrifice, I can see just how faithful God has always been to His people. All He desires is for us to fix our eyes on Him and to walk in obedience with Him.

“Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. … Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” – Deuteronomy 11:16, 18-19 (NIV)

“But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge…” – Psalm 141:8 (NIV)

“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” – Isaiah 46:8-10 (NIV)

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

“Becoming a Christian has been likened to taking a step into the unknown… and landing on a Rock.” – today’s Daily Walk Bible devotional


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Unity & Trust, Peace & Joy

Here I am again, a day later, blogging.

I guess sometimes you need to vent about something to feel right again.

Life is good today. While work was a bit rough and I felt a bit off all day, there were some definite bright spots in between 8am & 4pm. For example: chatting with Dana in the morning, getting some solid work done, finally receiving the school’s updated phone list (yippee! Seriously), and my friend Ashlee bringing me a cranberry-orange smoothie from Panera and chatting with me at the end of the day.

I also got a good start this morning with my Daily Walk Bible. I’m up to Genesis 15, and it’s really cool to see some themes start to emerge:

  • Yesterday we studied the building of the Tower of Babel, when God noticed the power of man’s UNITY and pride and decided to disperse them and confuse their languages (Genesis 11). It was interesting to ponder how we are still in a state of confusion and dispersion today, which leads to a lot of worldwide misunderstanding and conflict. The most fascinating part is recognizing that we have greater unity in Christ than we’d ever have in human unity. God’s plan all along is for a more perfect unity through Himself.
  • Today we studied God’s call to Abram to pick up his family and his possessions and move to a land that God would show him (Genesis 12). What?! This proposition would never fly in Lisa Land. I’ve noticed that I am far less TRUSTing than Abram. I am a planner through and through, and the idea of starting something so revolutionary while only knowing the first step throws me because it is so counter-intuitive to me. However, this is the FAITH God calls us to have! “…Without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6). Will I recognize my lack of faith and move forward in complete trust in God? I could think of one major area in particular where I struggle with this: our search for a house. I was thankful for the opportunity to talk this through with Dayne tonight, especially because he’s reading the same passages each day with me. I think we have a fresh perspective on our house hunt in 2012, and I think I have the motivation to be more calm and at peace and patient with wherever God leads us.

After work, Dayne was supposed to be out til 7, so I actually summoned the energy to go run some errands! I read a great article today entitled, “You Never Marry the Right Person“, and was so excited about it that I decided to buy the book at Barnes & Noble: The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. CANNOT. WAIT. to read it. I also picked up The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht, because I read great reviews of it and have been wanting to read a new novel. And I bought a new journal for notetaking during sermons, prayer requests, etc. for 2012. I write everything down.

I *also* ran to Target and finished buying my husband’s surprise birthday presents!! His birthday is February 6th.

…Feel free to leave him love notes, as long as they’re not too lovey.

The day settled with cheeseburgers and corn for dinner, made by my hubby, with our conversation on what we’ve been reading in the Bible and the catch-up of our days. In case you’re wondering, Dayne had a good day, too. I’m proud of the fantastic job he does at work and thrilled that he is such a great provider. I’m a blessed lady.

Well, my blog friends, that is about all I wanted to say. I needed an encouraging day pretty badly, and God gave me one. I am thankful for my many blessings tonight, and I even have the energy to stay up a little later so that I can write this blog and start my new journal.

I hope you’re all feeling some peace and joy today, too — though those words are often on Christmas cards, I am feeling them ever-so-strongly tonight.