Where's the Baby?

27 January 2014


I don't talk about our plans for baby much, and that's because for a while we've had none. My husband and I stopped treatments more than 2 years ago and we were on an indefinite break. I used that time to strengthen my relationship with God and to get my body back. We knew that IVF was the next step for us but we had absolutely no peace on when that would be. With all the highs and lows we've face since the beginning of the new year we never thought we would be heading in that direction in right now 2014.

Just this past week we had an IVF consult that included blood work, a review of our TTC history, and an ultrasound. We are still waiting on some of the labs to come back but so far everything looks fabulous. I also had a saline ultrasound to make sure everything would look good moving forward that was also fine. My new doctor is awaiting the films from my HSG a few years ago as she believes she may have uncovered a real diagnosis for our currently unexplained infertility.

So what does this all mean? It means that in a few weeks or so we could be beginning our IVF treatment. I had no idea that things would move this fast and I can only credit the ease of it to God. Our doctor has talked to us about what to expect and a few of my beautiful TTC sisters have already sent me tons of encouragement as we move forward. Finally we have peace, a great doctor, and most importantly guidance from God on which path to take.

So to answer the question "Where's the Baby"? .......the baby is on the horizon.

We are super excited and I hope to have more news to share with you all in the weeks to come.

Faithful Friday: The Accident II

24 January 2014

A few days before Thanksgiving my car decided that it wouldn't crank up. Thankfully I had done all my grocery shopping before hand but I needed it working for a date I was having with Kasey outside of the city. I had the car towed to a local Chevrolet repair shop in hopes that it could be fixed before the holiday. The mechanics had other plans and my car was out of commission for a whole week before they even looked at it.

When they finally ran a diagnostic test on my car they couldn't find anything wrong, and miraculously they were able to get it to crank in one try. I paid them the price for running the diagnostic and picked up my car. It seemed like it's normal self, but every time I went to crank it I was nervous. Ten days before Christmas I was packing my clothes and preparing to head to sunny Florida. I was excited to see my family and to soak up the sun. I was also getting ready to celebrate my blog anniversary. Then I got the news from my husband that while using my car he had been involved in an accident. 


Apparently on his way to run an errand he hit a huge patch of ice and the car lost control. It swerved and then flipped to the side. He had no injuries, no other cars were hit, no property was damaged - the airbags didn't even deploy. He told me that he could feel an Angel holding him in the seat because through all of that he did not move in the car at all, it was as if he was still driving straight. He was trapped in the car because it was on it's side, a stranger came and opened the hatch to my car and let him out. When he climbed out the person was gone, he didn't even get to say thanks. Thank's to God he was okay, he'd come close to being in an accident in November when two cars were drag racing on the highway. My husband is a very good driver and hardly drives my car but when he did this happened. I felt like I couldn't catch a break - I had been going through insane amounts of spiritual warfare since November.

I was grateful that my husband was okay, and as soon as I was able to see that he was fine my mind immediately switched to dealing with the car. My vehicle was 7 years old, still perfectly new in my eyes. I drove it off the lot in December 2006, it had about 5 miles after being tested. It never had any accidents or major repairs. Once we moved to NYC I only drove it when I needed to visit IKEA, do wedding photography, or grocery shopping in less than favorable weather. So that amounted to maybe once or twice a week. I was so angry that all this was happening when I was supposed to be enjoying myself and preparing for a wonderful vacation. I asked God why did this have to happen? Why now? I didn't want anything to put a damper on the time we had set aside to relax and see our families. I didn't want this to be on my mind.

I held my breath for a few days - waiting to hear news back from my insurance adjuster on what was going to happen with the car. I got a call the day before we were leaving to say that the car was a total lost. How? It had minor damage, nothing that I could see told me that it would be totaled! There was a broken window, a flat tire, and  a few cracks and dings to the body. Did I think the repairs would be expensive? Yes. But that's where full coverage insurance comes in. I stewed in the news and then hopped on the flight to Florida. On the plane I was a ball of nerves and I am never nervous when I fly. I started crying and I couldn't make myself stop. I opened my bible and read John 14:27 my go to scripture for times where I feel I don't have peace. Then I went to remove an index card from a space in my bible and it was pointing to Romans 8:28.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28 NIV
I have read that scripture countless times but this time it really resonated with me. Even with a series of unfortunate events God would work this all out for my good. So why should I worry? God had all the answers. Only God know why my car didn't start when I tried to drive it back in November, only God knows why of all the times I drive the one time my husband drives the car got totaled. Only God knows.

I read scriptures for about an hour on the plane, until peace washed over me. My focus shifted to surprising my family and going back to our home. On vacation I was consumed with family time, decorating our home, cooking and eating good food. I didn't think about that car not even once. When we finally flew into New York City I got a rental vehicle just in case I needed to go anywhere. A week after picking it up my insurance called to say that the car was deemed totaled and that they were ready to settle. By this time I had chosen my one word and decided to surrender it all to God. I waited for the numbers and praises to God they wanted to give me almost double of what my car was worth. I thanked them and told the where to mail the check. Part of me was still worried about securing a new vehicle but I knew that God would come through.

My husband had been researching cars since the accident. Last weekend he asked me if the Acadia was still my dream car. I told him yes and he took me a GMC dealer that he'd been speaking with. I was asked to chose a color and must have equipment while the dealer and my husband negotiated prices. After about an hour my husband had successful haggled the price of the car down by about 8 thousand dollars. I was astonished at how God was working in him. The dealer came to shake my hand and to congratulate me on the new car. I was bewildered at first but then I smiled and shouted hallelujah. Everyone in the dealership looked at me and laughed but I didn't care. They had no idea how much I had been going through, they had no idea how much I had been leaning on God to get me through, they had no idea that God had worked this all out for my good.

My old car has been picked up and taken to the car graveyard.

And on Wednesday we went to pick up my brand new dream car.

I prayed over it and asked God to let it be used for his glory. I thanked him for the future that we will have with the car, the weddings I will work, the babies I will drive around in it, and all the other works I will do to bring him glory. I thanked him for the path we had taken to get here. It may not have been ideal but his ways are always best. I am working each day to live surrendered to God. My only worry is where I will find parking for this huge thing when I am out working or grocery shopping in the city. Ha!

Your Turn: Has God worked any less than favorable situation out for your good? I want to hear about it!!

Can you see my Insecurities?

22 January 2014

Sometimes I can't hide my insecurities. Sometimes they stand in the way like big road blocks in my life. Even with my faith being the strongest it's ever been there are times that these insecurities still rise to the surface. I am a strong person and I hate to admit that there are a few things that I feel insecure about - but dang it I do!! They have not driven me to a place of hopelessness or fear because I am constantly praying them away, but I am tired of thinking about them.

Before I went to Florida I could feel the enemy trying his best to put a damper on my trip. The first leg of my Christmas was trip was supposed to be spent with my dad. You may know a bit about our relationship from previous post, if not read here. Long story short my Dad and I have not seen each other in 8+ years. I won't give him all the blame in that because I did shut him out, but I have been trying really hard and it seems like I keep hitting a wall in our relationship. This Christmas he lied to me again, he stood me up. Almost instantly the little construction workers who live around my heart began building up a wall. I have been praying to God to help me get these construction workers under control and to order them to tear that partial wall back down. My relationship with my father brings up many of my old insecurities. His rejection of me and love for my sister makes me feel like I am not good enough - even when I know that's not the case. Being open to reconciliation to someone who has hurt me countless times before is so hard, but I know it's the right thing to do. I also know I have to guard my heart. I haven't reached out to talk to him because I have said what I had to say, but if he tries to call to apologize I am willing to take his call.

After I managed to shake off the feelings about my Dad - I made it to Florida to spend time with my favorite people, my maternal family. I had not seen some of them in a few months but I knew the questions were coming. When are you guys going to have a baby? My younger cousin recently had a baby with his girlfriend and I just hoped that since there was a new baby in the family the occupancy of my uterus would not be questioned. Low and behold the questions came like rapid fire even from people who'd never asked me about a baby before. I couldn't help but have a sinking feeling of inadequacy. My heart wanted to scream give me a break - I wish getting pregnant was easy for me, but it's not. I know that at 26, 27 in a few months I will be the person who got pregnant the latest in life in this family but this is the hand I have been dealt. It's been a hard road but I have learned to embrace the journey that I am on.


In the past both of these situation would have possibly sent me to a dark place. The rejection I feel from my father would have hardened my heart. The inadequacy I feel from not being a mom would have widened the gap between my family and I, but my faith in God has made all the difference. I can honestly say that even while feeling a little insecure in the moment prayer reminded me of how valuable I am to God. Without a Father and without a baby I am his creation and he loves me for who I am, flaws and all. My sweet friend Caroline shared this post, just as I was writing this one. When insecurities arise it's good to remind ourselves of who's image we were made in.

I have been studying the story of Gideon with my small group. His story is that one that was made famous in the movie 300. Gideon was a lowly farmer who God used to do big things. After God told him he would be a mighty warrior he still felt inadequate, but God equipped him and made him great anyway. He reminded Gideon that his image was not the one that he sees of himself but the one that He, the Lord God sees. This year in my goal to surrender I have decided my insecurities are one of the first things that I have to let go of. The old me was insecure, but I have been made a new person in Christ. Will these insecurities go away completely? Maybe not because the devil is a liar and likes to use lies to hold us down but I refuse to be a slave to insecurities when I know how God sees me. I am Overcoming the Lie with my friend Ashley again this year. I will not let the enemy speak into my life and I will not allow him to corrupt my God-image. I am not the rejected daughter of an absent father, I am not the woman with the empty womb - I am the daughter of the King!

Your Turn: Is there anything that you feel insecure about? How are you handling these insecurities? Have you taken your insecurities to the KING?



Change

20 January 2014

Last year for the first time ever I decided to sit down and make resolutions - instead of calling them New Year's Resolutions I called them my life resolutions. This list was not just things I accomplish that year but instead things I wanted to continue throughout my life. This year while flying to Florida and reading scriptures to chose my one word, I decided that along with my life resolutions I wanted to set some goals. These goals are things that I want to accomplish specifically in this new year.

While I believe my life resolutions are important they are things I will continue to develop over years of practice and dedication. I set goals for this year because I want to see the changes that have taken place to help me get closer to my life resolutions. In May of 2012 I only set one goal and that was to journal to God every single day, so far I have succeeded at writing to him for 611 days. The goal of journaling has helped me to spend more time in God's word and in his presence and I hope that my new goals will push me even closer to him and living a fulfilling life.


WANT: what I really want in 2014 is
-     To travel more.
-     To birth a child and become a mother.
-     To fix up my living/dining room.
-     To continue blogging.

NEED: what I really need in 2014 is
-     To deepen my faith in God - reflect on his promises.
-     To become closer - spend more time studying his word.
-     Continue journaling to God. 
-     Do better at:
     Saving money.
     Unplugging from cellphone and computer to spend time with my husband.
     Finishing DIY projects.
     Reading my collection of books.

SHARE: what I will share in 2014 is
-     Christ.
-     Resources - time and money.
-     Love.

SUCCEED: in 2014 I will succeed at
-     Being more loving.
-     Living fully surrendered to God.

-     Spending more time in his word and ministering to others.

-     Breaking a Bad Habit: Complaining/Worrying
-     Learning a New Skill: Hindi
-     Being more like: JESUS
-     Doing Good Deeds: Serving the community via small group.
-     Visiting a new place: Canada
-     Reading the first book on my list: The Help
-     Writing a Letter: to Baby FixIt
-     Trying a new thing: Thai food

Your Turn: What were some of your goals for 2013? How did you do at keeping them? Did you make any goals for this year? If so what are some of your goals? Is there anything new that you want to try this year?

Faithful Friday: I've Been Healed

17 January 2014

I've been healed!

Those were the words that ran through my mind when I ran up a flight of stairs in the subway without wincing in pain.

Let's rewind to May of 2012. I was in an exercise boot camp class and as I was doing step ups I lost my balance but refused to let myself fall. In doing so my leg twisted and I heard a pop, my knee felt strange but oddly enough there was no pain so I kept going. Over the course of a few days I continued to work out on that knee and the pain increased.

Finally my knee had enough and it decided to swell to double it's size and put me excruciating pain. At that time I felt it was necessary to visit the doctor. After an X-ray confirmed my knee was not broken I was told to see a specialist and to get a MRI. Said specialist would not schedule an MRI until my knee was no longer inflamed.

One week later I had an MRI that revealed that my knee was not broken, but I did tear the cartilage called the meniscus. I was given two options.

Option 1: I could have surgery to repair the tear.

Option 2: I could have physical therapy and hope it would heal itself.


I immediately scratched out Option 1. In all my 25 years of life I had never had surgery. I had every single tooth and digit God gave me - I'd never been operated on. I happily chose option two. Before I could get my therapy started I got that call from my husband that he had secured us a new home in the city. In June 2012 my torn meniscus and I took a wheel chair assisted flight into the Big Apple.

Thankfully the weather was similar to Florida during that season but there was a huge question of how I would get around this city while having my knee strapped into a immobilizer. When I was picked up from the airport and taken to our apartment for the first time I was grateful for the elevators that greeted me. And even though the thought of swapping our home for an apartment made me cringe I was grateful that the apartment was only on one level. I didn't have to ouch my way up and down the stairs. I didn't need to bring all my belongings down stairs so I could languish on the sofa. I could get to the kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom just by hobbling back and forth.

Once I began my physical therapy I had belief that my knee was on the mend. I wanted to be better so bad that my mind believed that I was better during the therapy and then when I was back home my knee would swell again and the pain would be more intense than ever before. I continued with therapy because I was told it would be uncomfortable but after a few weeks I would feel relief.

Well after a few weeks I was still in pain. I had another MRI and a new pain prescription. The news was in, the stubborn meniscus didn't like the idea of Option 1. It was clearly going to take Option 2 to get the little sucker back on board.

So I began pondering the idea of Option One. Meanwhile my husband and I were getting acclimated to our new church. We joined a small group and heard a testimony of healing. With this man's testimony rolled in Option Three. I've always known that God healed people, I've always known that people went to God for healing, but I never though of it for myself until that moment. It had been nearly a year since I was injured. I tried physical therapy, holistic practices, and even lost weight in hopes that my knee would heal. Losing weight help to lessen the pain but nothing made it go away. I was tired of needing meds and I was tired of wearing that stupid immobilizer. So Option 3 was literally a Godsend.

The man who shared about his healing revealed that he learned about Option Three (supernatural healing) at a healing service at a friends church but he was afraid to go forward. He was having problems with his feet. He had numerous surgeries and therapy and was at his wits end. After watching all the people be healed at the service he wanted healing so badly. He went home and got on his knees and asked God to heal his feet. His feet were not healed that day or the next - so he asked again. He was still not healed - he revealed to us that even while asking for healing he wasn't expecting it. He didn't believe it would happen. Then he came before God and apologized for doubting him and again prayed for healing. When he awoke the next day the pain was gone, it had been a total of one week. He has been healed....he walks fine everyday at church even plays which the kids during flag football. God granted his request. Just like he's done for countless others.

Mark 5:25-34 The Woman With the Issue of Blood
Matthew 8: 1-4 Jesus healed a man with Leprosy
Matthew 8:5-17 Healing a Servant

My church doesn't offer healing service but the minister urged us to bring request for healing to God. To speak with authority over our bodies so they would align with God's word.

I went home that night and pondered on Option 3. I spoke to no one about it but I decided that Option 3 would now be my Option 1. In the morning when I awoke I got down on my knees. Yes I put pressure on the knee that had been giving me trouble for so long. I prayed to my Daddy and asked him to take away my pain. I asked him to heal my knee so that I could be normal again and so I could resume my life as a helpful wife. I asked him to heal me because I was tired and most of all to heal me because the lesson of trust and surrender had been ingrained deeply in my soul. During the time that I was hurt I relied heavily on my husband to care for me. I couldn't call a single soul to take his place because I had no one. I learned a lot before Option 3 was revealed to me. When I got up from my knees the right knee creaked and pain resurfaced. I still had hope that I would be healed. As days went on I continued to lose weight and at every creak and twinge of pain I told my knee it had been healed. I spoke Psalm 30:2 over and over again.



One day as I was coming from a hair appointment I tried to run for the subway train and nearly fell on my face in pain. I didn't make it to the train - instead I got to sit on a bench in pain while waiting what seemed to be the longest 5 minutes for the next train to come. I cried a little. I felt discouraged but still prayed and believe that my knee would be healed. 

I had quit physical therapy but kept an appointment for my pre-surgery MRI. The night before my MRI I shot a wedding for the first time in nearly a year. My knee felt like it was on fire. I went home took pain meds and iced my knee. I prayed for God to take the pain away just so I could sleep. I had my MRI the next day and was told they would call me with results and to discuss a date for surgery. 

The call came and the news was that my tear could not be found. My meniscus looked perfectly fine

I was bewildered. In fact I was speechless.

The nurse said my therapy must have finally worked - unbeknownst to them that I had not seen the therapist since my last MRI which at that point had been months ago. I just absorbed the news and thought back to the night before when I was in tons of pain. How could I have been in pain if my knee was fine...in fact why was it hurting me now. The pain in my knee was a dull ache and again I remembered Option 3 and prayed the pain away. Two months ago up some of my records and for that final MRI I had in August and the record said unremarkable. While reading it I bent my knee back and forth. I have done photo work a plethora of times since then. I never needed my immobilizer, stabilizer, pains meds or compresses.


This past weekend I had a déjà Vu moment. I got my hair done and as I was coming up the stairs I heard the train coming. I ran up the stairs and onto the platform - I slid in between the doors just before they closed. I made it on the train and in that moment I knew I had been healed! 

Some might think it was a coincidence but I know that I received true divine healing from the Lord. For me there is no other explanation even the doctors were amazed.

Your Turn: Have you or anyone else you know been healed supernaturally? Is there anything you need God's help to heal?

The Highlight Reel

15 January 2014

Sometimes life can be really amazing! Things can go so well for months on end. Everything can seem so perfect and then swoosh - it's is turned upside down. I've been having a really hard few months and many times I found it hard to stay joyful. I've been plagued with a series of unfortunate events. Nothing life threatening but definitely a few things that made me say why me? Well I know why me, these events are things that specifically challenge me as a person and help me grow into who God is wanting me to be. I know this because most of my unfortunate events occurred in areas where I have prayed for growth.

Does that make it any easier? No, not really but it does keep me hopeful.


Even while facing hard days with hard decisions I can find joy and blessings in my life. I try my hard not to focus on the bad because it's easy for me to get lost in it. 

With this in mind I try my best to write things that incite joy, hope, and faith. That's not because everything is perfect in my life - but because I have the tendency to dwell on the negative, and thats not what this space is about.A friend of mine mentioned something to me a few weeks about people not being authentic and only sharing the best parts of their life. Her comment made me wonder if I am being transparent enough with you all. I believe I am, but I wanted to say as a reminder that all that glitters isn't gold. We all read blogs out there from women who seem to have perfect lives. Some ladies seem to be Betty Crockers, Coco Chanels, Mother Teresas, Martha Stewarts, or Anne Geddes but I assure you that we all have different things we are facing in our lives - every one has a struggle whether it's on their highlight reel or not. Its not my intention to create a picture perfect life and I am sure its not their intention either but nonetheless sometimes you only get what's on highlight reel.

It's like when you see a movie preview they usually show you the best parts to draw you in. Showing the best parts doesn't mean the bad parts dont exist. I don't think movie previews are made to deceive you but instead to help us see that the good outweighs the bad by far - I believe this is true for our lives as well. The good things I have been experiencing on the day to day - tremendously outweigh the bad, so there is no sense in adding them to my highlight reel every time. I also believe there is no point on dwelling on the negative because it keeps our minds and hearts from expecting the positive.

As I work on incorporating my word for the year it's been clear to me that I will have to say "So What" to unfortunate events and replay my own highlight reel to remind myself of how blessed I truly am. I will still share the not so good events that I feel are helpful to you all. I do believe that many of my negative experiences are not only for my own growth but to aid in he growth of others. It's my goal to be authentic and transparent in all that I share here - while still keeping some intimate things between myself, my husband, and God. 


How comfortable with you when it comes to sharing the negative experiences in you life? Are you an open book or do you keep bad experiences close to your heart?

A Huge Surprise!

13 January 2014

Happy 2014 my dear friends. I know we are already 13 days into the New Year but this is the first time that I have actually had a chance to think about it. I have missed you all so much. I've missed blogging in this space. I've miss sharing my life. I've missed connecting with you all via comments and emails I've just missed a whole lot!

If you didn't know I stepped away from the blog so that I could prepare for a surprise trip to Florida. My mom had been complaining about how we never missed a Christmas together and how this would be the first time that ever happened. We didn't plan on being able to visit for the Holidays because my husband works a lot and we weren't sure if it would be worth it to make a three day trip. I had been a little sad on Thanksgiving so this trip was a gift to me as well. A few days after Thanksgiving my husband told me he managed to get three weeks off for the holiday and that we were going to Florida. 

So a few days before Christmas we weaseled our way into the Miami International airport. I told my husband on the flight that my Mom would feel it when I landed. He just laughed but sure enough when our flight touched down a little after noon my mom sent me a text. She had no idea that I was there but how ironic that she text me while my plane was taxiing around the runway. Our Goddaughter's father came to pick my husband and I up so that we could surprise my family. After unloading our stuff we headed over to see my Mom.

I made sure to pack keys to their house and gently put my key in the lock. I thought they were downstairs watching TV but apparently they we're cozied up in their bedroom watching a movie. Any how I don't need to narrate just watch this video. It's a little dark and short but you can see the emotion it was an awesome moment. The voice in the background is my older brother - we startled him half to death. My dog Sydni visits with them for the winter because of her asthma.


While I was away from the blog I spent time soaking up the sun in the Sunshine state. I saw my entire family and friends hence the reason for the blog hiatus, I wanted to spend every moment of the two plus weeks being present. Not just physically present but I also wanted to be mentally present. So unfortunately that meant limited emailing, blogging, and social media access. This was totally hard because I wanted to fill all of my friends in on how wonderfully the trip was going. Not to mention my sweet Santa Clause got me a new iPad that I wanted to try out. However I resisted sharing tons of photos and tweets so that I could give my attention to those people who were present with me. I even managed to give my full attention to my in laws and I was totally grateful to God for the time we spent reconnecting. 

Here are a few of the highlights from that trip.

Heading to the Airport.

Back in our Home for the Holidays


Christmas Day

Loving on our Godchildren PJ + Ellie
 
Girls Day Out


Dinner with the Inlaws

 Knaus Berry Farm, Amish Owned Organic Baked Goods & Produce

And that was all that I got pictures of.

How was your holiday? Did you spend it with the people you love?


Free

10 January 2014

Fashionable, boisterous, friendly, big yet small, crowded, noisy and full of beauty - This is NYC.

Hey my loves!! This Friday I am linking up with my beautiful friend Aimee from Dear Harper Blog to bring you Find Beauty Friday. The purpose of this linkup up is to find the beauty in your life, capture it, and share it with others. Share your beauty by linking up below.
Dear Harper





P.S. If any of you are interested in getting free Beth Moore E Boojs check out this link here to download them to nook or kindle. You can download the books to your iPad or iPhone if you have the nook or kindle app. Click here to download.
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