Monday, February 27, 2012

God wants ALL of our hearts

Today, as I go through my morning ritual, I find the monthly gift of a period has graced itself once again in my life.  I every so often wonder, each month, if by some miracle of God I might some day experience the joy of unexpected pregnancy.   One that no one would know about, a secret that I could spill out to my husband in some form of surprise that I could watch his jaw drop to the ground and help him pick it back up.  The one that I could teach Mallory and Lena how to be little mommies to a real baby, instead of their toy ones.  Just an unplanned gift from the Lord. 

I know a lot of women go through that as they are at the end of the "starting their family" and entering into the building stages with any of the gifts God has given.  The wondering what it would be like to have just one more.  We have been spending the last year clearing out our baby stuff little by little.  My heart and quiver is full.  But I do sometimes wonder... what if?  It has been 11 + years of Nick and I never getting pregnant on our own trying.  Not once.  And I am at peace about it, but I think it will be a question that will always linger somewhere in the back of my mind.

As I opened up my email this morning, I received a comment from someone that listens to the infertility song that I posted on you tube.  I wish I knew her.  I wish I could hug her, and pray with her and for her.  Because my heart aches for her this morning.  She has waited 5 years for a baby.  5 years.  In life that can feel like an eternity.  I waited 4 before I held my beautiful Josiah in my arms for the first time.  I wouldn't want to have imagined tacking another year or more on to that.  But yet it is something none of us really have any control over.

As I have started writing this blog I know of some that have read it that have been aching for a baby, and God has granted them that heart desire.  And I also know of some that have had their heart broken again and again as they wait and wonder what in the world God is doing. 

I don't understand infertility.  But I do understand what God does with a heart that is broken from it.  He longs for us to Love Him first.  To surrender a plans to an even greater direction that we can't even imagine.  It will look so different for every single woman that goes through it.  But He takes us to that place of complete surrender and reliance on Him because He loves us and does want to give us those desires of our hearts.  But our deepest desire is HIM.  HE needs to be our EVERYTHING.  No matter what. 

That is where He has placed me at time and time again.   I remember watching the movie Facing the Giants after I had been given both Josiah and Ava, and although I liked parts of it, I rolled my eyes at the end of it.  I felt it was an unfair story.  Not everyone has that happy ending of "if you do everything you are suppose to and love Him and choose to honor Him no matter what," you don't always get pregnant.  It is not the recipe for success in it.  A part of me wished they could have shown the couple not getting pregnant and still being amazing in their faith and love for the Lord. 

But see, in a way, I got my fairy tale ending now too.  How do I write out my dream come true knowing that it doesn't always work this way?  But Mallory and Lena are what God did in my life, and so I am praying over how to share their story.  Because it is an amazing story to me.  A story where God took so many of my unspoken hopes and dreams that I had put on the shelf thinking that they were closed chapters in my life, and He gave me one of the most beautiful experiences in my life.  One that I can't ever take for granted.  One that I know not every person gets.  But for some reason, He chose to shower me with a rich conclusion to our family start.  I feel so humbled that I was given that gift. 

I hope and pray it blesses you as I share, and encourages you to trust Him regardless of the outcome. 
So in the upcoming blogs, I will be sharing my Mallory and Lena story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An extra opportunity to love

Valentines day is my favorite holiday ever (with May day being a close second). I grew up in a family where my parents really made it special. One year my mom did a scavenger hunt with socks and chocolate... So many of my favorite childhood memories are wrapped around that day.

On my counter now is a bouquet of red flowers from my parents and chocolate and play do for my children that my sister just dropped off.

I know some people might say Why celebrate valentines day because you should love those around you all year long... Why need an extra day? I would like to say the same argument could be made for all other holidays aka why thanksgiving, why not be thankful all year? My heart behind the matter is why not take an extra day to show love? Love is God's greatest gift!

I think where valentine day gets a bad rap is when people put their hearts into being loved and receiving the extra attention and love, and when people ley them down they get heart broken and disappointed(not that I know this from experience or anything lol). Instead we need to turn it into a chance to look for those around us that could use the extra love and surprise them with an unexpected blessing... Or whatever God may lay on your heart.

I am a romantic at heart in a big way, and have had my heart broken on valentines day before. But I also know some of the best valentine days I had were when I got to take the focus off myself and put it where it needed to be: on loving God and through Him loving others. So I pray for you all today that God would bless you with a beautiful Valentines day, and encourage you to keep your eyes out for others that could use some extra love!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Unwrapping His unexpected

I am sitting at the airport waiting to board A plane to start my journey home. My heart is brimming full of joy and awe over this weekend. The best way to describe the experience: it was like unwrapping a bunch of beautiful gifts that the Lord had planned out in advance for me. I am so undeserving and beyond grateful for what an awesome Creator God we serve. 

This weekend started with arriving Friday morning to the beautiful sunshine in California. After we were checked into our hotel Monica and I took a walk and had us some In and Out (we justified splitting a chocolate shake because we did walk there;)

We arrived back at the hotel and got our packets for the weekend. Seats had already been saved for us by my dear friend Hannah. At our table sat 5 moms from Oregon and 5 moms from California and we shared the common bond of wanting to raise our children to love the Lord, and knew our inadequacies without Jesus. And for the next 24 hours we got to glean and be the Titus 2 young women soaking up words of wisdom and encouragement from moms that have walked these steps before us.

We had the chance to share a little bit about ourselves at the tables we sat at.
One of the gals from California started sharing how she has four children, her oldest son was named Josiah and that she has another son and then twin boys to finish her four. Later her sister leaned over after a time of worship and said that I harmonized just like Amanda. As we talked more throughout the weekend we discovered we both had our children enrolled on part time private part time home school education. Then she shared she was running a half marathon the next day, which is again another common bond. By the end of the conference her friends told me they were glad I lived in Oregon or else they would never see her anymore. To which I laughed and said that I would just join their group and hang out with all of them. I noticed that we even had opposite initials. Mine are k.a. and hers are a.k. As we hugged good bye, she smiled and said to me "good bye sister from another mother!"
Truth be told, I found a lot of sisters from another mother this weekend. I have sorely missed this type of fellowship and was so grateful for it this weekend.

I know some have asked me to share about what I learned at the conference. I not sure exactly what to share, other than these things. We need to find those Titus 2 "older women". And we also need to be them. We need to remember unless we are filling ourselves daily in the Word we cannot be pouring into our children and husband the love that they need. We cannot do things on our own strength. Find creative ways to make memories in our homes, and know that God gave us the children we have to parent. He chose me to be a mom to Josiah and Ava and Lena and Mallory. Parenting will look differently in each family, so not to judge one another but to support one another in love. To follow Jesus and pray we can reflect Christ onto them.
To dream again, and dream with my children. I want to start finding out what Josiah and Ava dream and hope for and think about. I love to travel, I hope to someday plan trips for our family to go on and explore new places. Most importantly in that to commit my dreams and hopes to the Lord, asking Him what His dreams for me are and see what He does. I did this in high school and God actually did fulfill every one of those hopes and dreams (including getting to meet Twila Paris after a concert).

I am excited to be able to start seeking God out on the what next for our family.

Last night when the conference was over, Monica and I got a rental car (a fun green Kia Soul)

and drove to Huntington beach. I bought a frivolous pair of red Toms wedges that I love. We meandered through beach clothing shops. Then I faced my fear of the oceans ever since the tsunamis in Japan happened, and we walked out on the dock over the ocean and ate at Ruby's Diner.

These little adventures fill my soul with so much joy.

This morning I woke up once again to beautiful sunshine and enjoyed a run. Then I came back to the hotel and got ready to go to church.  Monica and I stopped for breakfast at Corner bakery, then we hopped in our green boxy fun car and headed up the freeway to Paul and Rachel's church.

Words can't explain how I felt when I saw them. But I will try anyways.
I was nervous. I wore my beautiful snowflake necklace they purchased me for Christmas (it only seemed fitting).
Paul and Rachel took the boys up front and shared the story of how God brought them their boys. I cried. We prayed for them as a church congregation. I know they are well loved and supported.
We went out to king's Hawaiian grill for lunch. The boys are beautiful. Paul and Rachel shared how Taylor is more wiggly and the mover. How Aiden snores and how Taylor snorts. They are all so unique. Aiden does have similar features to Mallory, but when he opens his eyes they look very blue. Taylor and Lena have similar cute poochy lips. Meeting Paul's parents was another gift. These little boys are well loved and Paul and Rachel are more than we ever could have dreamed of when we were praying for the right couple to receive these embryos. To play a part on God's big plan on the other end of adoption is truly an honor and to have a couple so willing to embrace us and call us their family in front of their church congregation is... Indescribable.

Thank you for all your prayers and support and encouragement to me in this weekend. I am so beyond filled and ready to get home and love on my beautiful family!
May you truly be blessed, and may God give each of you dreams to entrust Him with and then wait and see what He does!

Getting to hold Aiden James

Paul and Rachel and Paul's parents, Aiden & Taylor's Papa and Mema :) 

Start of a NEW Family

Getting to hold Taylor Adam