Friday, February 3, 2017

here comes the baby...

I contemplated for a long time whether or not I should post Davis’ birth story (guess that's a thing people do). Before he was born I daydreamed about how and when he would arrive, preparing myself for worst case scenarios (because I am totally fatalistic in my thinking). So, here goes:

Got induced. (not because we really needed to, I’m just impatient and 41 weeks to wait for a baby feels like a freaking eternity. whatever, I do not need to defend myself to you.)

Didn’t go as planned.

Had emergency c-section.

Cried because it sucked and ITS NOT WHAT I WANTED (sorry, dealt with some postpartum depression. not fun. don't be afraid to ask for help, mmkay?)

Kissed and loved on sweet baby boy in the hospital for 4 days.

Healed physically and emotionally from unwanted c-section.

6 months later and baby boy is still alive. he’s sleeping. he’s adorable. and I do not even care anymore that nothing worked out how I wanted.

We feel incredibly blessed with our little man. God is good, not because of anything we have done. we don’t even deserve His goodness. But he love us and I am eternally grateful. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

waiting on our little man.

It seems like a long time ago that I wrote about our pregnancy announcement. But, these last 38 weeks have also flown by. We are only a few weeks out from meeting our baby boy and I can’t even begin to describe all of the things I am feeling. Today, I am currently feeling annoyed. Annoyed that I have so much pressure and annoyed that he hasn’t even made an effort to come any earlier. Rude. But, I am asking Jesus for help to not complain--simply because the gift of this baby boy is a true blessing. We are over the moon excited to meet him, to hold him, to kiss him, to hear him cry, to introduce him to Tripp. From the moment we found out we were having a little boy, I struggled to dream up a nursery for him. I struggled because I didn’t even know where to begin. I struggled because, uhm, he is a baby and he simply won’t care at all. Even when he is able to care, he won’t and he will destroy it. But whatever. I realized that I couldn’t obsess over it, because those details didn’t necessarily matter. What I did want was a space that I felt comfortable to be in, a space that I could nurse him and rock him and pray for him. 

We had some maternity pictures taken a few weeks ago. I hadn’t planned on having any done. I haven’t felt the prettiest or the cutest being pregnant and I really didn’t think I would want to document any of that. But, I thought I might regret it if I didn’t have something to remember this season by. So, my friend took some pictures of me and Dustin, of the nursery, and of Tripp. They turned out great and I am so thrilled that we got them done. Mer did a great job of capturing parts of the nursery that I love as well as our little family. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

a yes.

when you are thinking about trying to get pregnant or you are currently trying to get pregnant, its hard not to day dream about what it will feel like when you finally get a “yes.” will i cry? will i scream? will i laugh? will i tell my husband right away? and when every month for a year (two years, 5 years, fill in the blank years) the answer is “no,” it’s hard to even conceptualize a yes. it’s hard to really believe that it could actually happen. 

for me, i expected a “no” every time i took a test. i expected the digital test to say “just keep waiting,” or “not yet.” like i really believed those tests could say that, like they were a magic 8 ball or something. which i realize is completely unrealistic.

so, there we were. it was october. the royals were in the world series. we took a few months off from trying so that if for some miraculous reason we did get pregnant, we could still go to my brother’s wedding in California in May. those months off from trying were so great. it was so freeing and it was so restoring to step out of it and see how God was changing my heart. it was cool to see God’s faithfulness that up until that point, every month that was a no, just somehow made sense. that i trusted God knew what he was doing even when it hurt and sucked and i couldn’t really comprehend it at all. those few months off were restful. i was still building a business that i had started and i felt so much peace and thankful for a season of rest; continued dependence on God. And Him, in His goodness, was so generous to give us that time. But deep down I was so fearful that come May, we would still be trying.

but november. this month. this was the month we could find out if we got pregnant. was i hopeful? absolutely, yes. was i fearful? goodness, yes. i remember praying and pleading with God multiple times, “God, i just don’t know if I can do this month after month again. I just don’t think i can handle it. I trust you. I trust you. I just am so scared.”

on november 16, dustin left early to go to breakfast with a friend. i decided i would take a test even though my period wasn’t supposed to come for 2 more days. but it was all messed up and late in october and for some reason i was like “what the heck? I am used to seeing a no so this will be fine.” so i took a test. a cheap test from the dollar tree. those have clearly pointed to “no” many times, so i figured it would tell me the truth. i trusted those things. This time: “do i see a faint line? i doubt it. it’s gotta be messed up. but it looks faint.” so i got out a clear blue digital test that i had from a previous hopeful month. tested again. Pregnant. “What? this is a joke right? is this real?” i remember putting my hand over my mouth in compete and utter shock. i started crying and laughing awkwardly and saying “thank you, Jesus.” for about 3 hours i kept this news to myself. just pacing the floors and praying and crying and smiling. all of the things and all of the feels. i think i was experiencing them all. 

I eventually surprised dustin with a little royals world series shirt (because we conceived during the world series--i think thats the coolest part). and he was thrilled. and we were in shock.

here we are now. just over 12 weeks from that day. almost 17 weeks pregnant. still asking God for help to trust him. still praying as we have waited for first doctors appointments and first ultrasounds. even as i write this, i am over the moon excited and scared and thankful and grateful. grateful because we didn’t do anything different. we didn’t just “trust God more” or “pray harder” or any of that crap people (mostly “Christians”) say. Did we pray about this? yes. all of the time, tearfully and joyfully. Did we trust God? yes, with His help because left to myself I wanted to be in control because i believe i knew what was best for me. but so thankful for that yes. the yes that has forever changed our lives. a yes that will be a constant reminder of one of the hardest years of our lives, but oh how we have gained so much: a deeper dependance on a good and Holy God and a reminder of his goodness even when we are undeserving. yes.

and while we celebrate, i am acutely aware of those who are still waiting on a yes. i struggled immensely while deciding to announce our pregnancy at all. i know what it is like to sit on the “no” side of things. to watch as those have tastefully announced pregnancies and those who are constantly posting about the complaints of pregnancy. i’ve seen these. i’ve cried. and have rejoiced. we decided to privately announce to close friends and family, then to share it here. praying that even as it may sting some, that you can rejoice with us, knowing and trusting that i know the fears that come with each passing month of a “no.” when i have gotten to see miracles happen with those who have tried and tried and with those who have lost and gotten pregnant later, i realized that all of it--the good, the bad, the ugly-- should be something that we share and walk with one another in. we all need support. we all need encouragement. we all need to be reminded that we aren’t alone.

Monday, October 26, 2015


This week marks 1 year of trying to conceive for me and my husband. I had it marked on our calendar because I was hoping we wouldn't make it to that point, but here we are. Our story at times seems so small compared to the years of struggle other couples face, but I've come to realize it's just as much real and hard and I've learned to let God meet me there. 

I would have never imagined in a million years this would be part of our story. I never imagined the countless months of hope that led to disappointment. I never imagined the sadness I would experience when best friends and acquaintances announced pregnancies. I never imagined asking God over and over, "why?" Even when we have had questions answered, I never imagined the rejoicing that would take place in my heart all the while, crying and hoping that it would be different.  I never imagined, at the same time, how I could experience the joy in the midst of what has felt never-ending. I never imagined sharing in heartache with a good friend who has suffered lost. I never imagined what a year of TTC would have done for our marriage, drawing us toward one another in ways we never expected. I never imagined being brought low to a place of utter dependence of Jesus. I never imagined God peeling away the layers of my heart to see Him as a good God and not as a cosmic joker who is watching me and laughing at me. That's not who He is. I've come to trust that those things are not a part of His character. I'm forever changed because of that truth. 

I never imagined any of that. I imagined having a baby right now. But that's not our story. My heart is so thankful. I'm thankful because while we still hope and pray for a child, however that may come, we have a good God who weeps with us. A God who cares for us. We have a God who longs for us to find comfort in him. 

I write this not for pity but to declare the hope I have in Jesus. I write this to proclaim the goodness and graciousness of our God. I write this for women and families who feel isolated and alone in a similar struggle. I write this to rejoice with those who have struggled and now rock a sweet baby to sleep in their arms. I write this to encourage those who feel utterly hopeless--that there is hope and it's found outside of ourselves in the person and presence of Jesus. A hope that's enteral, a hope that's life giving, a hope that sustains and is never lacking. 

I write this as a testament of God's grace that he breathes life into things that were once before not found. 

So as you wait, and I wait, as we wait together, may you be reminded you aren't alone. It's okay that we are sad and that we cry out and that we ask "why?" And it's okay to ask for help and to reach out to a friend or someone you trust. 

Let's not hide. Let's talk about our hurt and our pain. Let's share in the burden of this together. I'm a woman who longs to have a baby, who struggles with infertility and who knows a fraction of what it's like to experience the cycle of disappointment. I know that I'm not alone. Let's walk through this together. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

no-bake cookies & the wilderness

Over this past year, no-bake cookies are my go-to. Not like my go-to when I’m hungry or when I want something sweet (well, maybe sometimes). But they are the treat I make in a hurry when we have friends coming over or my girlfriends and I get together to watch The Bachelor (or chocolate covered strawberries--but those are a different story). No-bake cookies are delicious and easy to make (aka hard to screw up). But in all honesty, most of the time I screw them up. I like to play this game of “Oh, I have most of the ingredients to make these. I’ll try this other thing instead of these other things and it will work great.” Except it doesn’t. It never really does. They are either too runny or too sticky. We eat them anyway. 
This happened to me just last night. For months I’ve been thinking about how my experience with no-bake cookies is much like my life in the wilderness right now. 

This past year has also been a season of waiting, disappointment and uncertainty. Dustin and I have been trying to get pregnant for just under a year. It’s not hard to bring people into this, but as a I type I am actually experiencing a tightness in my chest (or it could be the no-bakes I made last night that ended up giving me heartburn--I’m deflecting, really). It’s been a hard season. Hard, because I feel like trying for almost a year doesn’t even come close to what some couples experience. I feel the temptation to suppress or tell myself “just get over it. ______ has been trying longer” or “our experience isn’t nearly has difficult as ______.” It’s been hard because I’ve been brought low to a place where I am constantly crying out to God to give me answers and when He doesn’t, I doubt his goodness. It’s been hard because I’ve felt broken, isolated, and shameful for something I ultimately have no control over. I feel like I’m in the wilderness. Walking and wandering. Looking for a fresh spring just up the way, only to find more desert. Only to be disappointed. Only to look to Jesus to satisfy me while experiencing sorrow and frustration and fear. 

Sure, the wilderness doesn’t seemingly represent my traumatic and delicious experiences with no-bake cookies, but in many ways, it does. Every time I try and alter the ingredients just slightly, they don’t turn out how I think they would or should. They are different. They still taste good, but they are dissimilar. It’s humbling. It shows my lack of trust with a recipe, believing in those moments what I am going to come up with is so much better. As I’ve been in the wilderness this last year, I’m reminded of how I try to look to other things to satisfy, thinking at the end of the day I know what I’m doing and God doesn’t. I often don’t trust his goodness and his faithfulness so I try to conjure up my own ingredients, my own contributions, my own devices to make things the way I want them to be--it doesn’t work. It turns out messy, it turns out ugly. 

“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.  And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word  that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years.” (Deut 8:2-4). 

God is a good father. That is who He is. He is faithful. He hasn’t left me (us) to ourselves.  As I continue to walk in the desert (I’m still there), I can continue to cry out and ask Him why. I can be sad and hurt and frustrated and weary. And (at the same time) I can trust him. He’s meeting me there. It’s brutal and and it’s ugly and His faithfulness still tastes so much sweeter than anything I could have come up with myself. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

twenty fourteen: waiting.

We are obviously nearing the end of 2014. My natural inclination for the last, however many years, has been to reflect on the year: the ups and downs, God’s faithfulness, and fun times that I don’t want to forget. 

This year feels different though. I’ve had the same desire to reflect, but am avoiding it with all that is within me. I think God, in his graciousness, has been peeling back these layers of realization that I don’t want to reflect on the end of the year because 2014 didn’t look the way I wanted. 

2014 has been hard. I know there have been so many other people who have experienced pain, heartache and disappointment in much worse and life-changing ways than I have. But I am so prone to disregard my own feelings sometimes because “I know others have had a much harder time.” 2014 has been a constant push for me to recognize pain and hurt in my own life and deal with it. Not just deal with it by announcing to maybe my husband or a close friend that I have been hurt (I’m pretty emotional so this tends to happen more often than not). But like, actually sitting in that hurt for a while. I don’t ever do this (maybe because I’m scared or it’s emotionally draining or whatever). I just don’t ever let myself feel the weight of how I am feeling or what I am experiencing.  I get hurt, I cry, I ask Jesus for help, and I guess I just keep telling myself, “Okay, now get over it. You’ll be fine.” And most of the time, because of God’s goodness, I am okay. But this year constantly revealed dark places of my heart that are hurt and God is relentlessly drawing me to himself to trust him with my feelings, trust Him by acknowledging hurt, and trusting Him to put me back together.

2014 felt a lot like a huge waiting game. Waiting for a possible job opportunity. Waiting for the possibility of a baby. Waiting to finally feel healthier, only to mess it up again. Having a job I’m totally not in to, only to fight to trust Jesus with my future. 

I am more and more aware of how much unrest has crept into my world this past year.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30) 

I am learning that this promise is for me too. Not just those who work hard and are tired. But for me, too. Jesus isn’t telling me here to “get it together” or “come to me when you are ready to trust me.” But even when my heart is so weary and so heavy and so pissed and frustrated, he still calls me to come to him. 

This Christmas season, by what I believe is the sure goodness of God, has been surprisingly relaxing. Every year I am praying for time to slow down and enjoy the advent season. To be honest, I don’t think I prayed for that this year. I’m pretty sure I just hopped right into this season under the pretense that it will be like every year prior; busy, stressful, fattening, yet fun. However, I was quickly reminded of the fact that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in me and God’s grace to me this season has been showing me that he is faithful even when I totally neglect to come to him for help. He is good to give us a season in which we can really reflect and meditate on the waiting of what we even celebrate at Christmas; the birth of the Savior of the world. 

Waiting sucks. But I believe God is faithful in the waiting. Think about all of those years people waited for God to fulfill his promise of his Son. Can you EVEN imagine that waiting game? The anticipation, the weary hearts, the frustrated souls, the faithful followers who passionately longed for God to break in and rip us apart with the grace that we find in Jesus.

On Sunday night, I found myself anxious and overwhelmed for the week to come. I am considering different job opportunities and I am a little stressed out and a lot not trusting Jesus. Then, Monday morning I woke to find out the kiddo I nanny was sick and his mom didn’t need me to come in. This maybe doesn’t seem like a big deal to anyone, but to me it was yet another example of God’s faithfulness. I am so quick to feel entitled to these moments where I get this unexpected break and get to just hang out and do whatever. But I was overwhelmed with the small details of my life that God cares about.

I wish I could say that upon realizing all of these things about God’s faithfulness and his goodness to me totally changed how I feel about 2014. But since I am doing this new thing where I allow myself to feel things that I would normally push aside, I can be honest and say that I’m praying for God to help me trust his faithfulness. As 2014 quickly comes to a close, I need more than ever for Jesus’ grace to rip me to shreds and continue to show me my need for him. If that looks like a crappy 2015, then so be it. There is nothing sweeter than my need for Jesus, the one who gives rest. The one who came to save our souls. The one who is coming again. 

Friday, May 2, 2014


we all know those people who are so nice. they speak and have a softness to their voice and a patient tone. even when they are “mad” you have trouble noticing because their state of “mad” is like your proudest moment of being nice to someone. i’m not mad at these people (however, if i am being honest i would love to hear them just really get angry). in fact, i find my heart inclined to be a little envious that they are so nice. i don’t understand how they are so patient and so sweet. i find myself racking my brain, tempted, wanting to know the 5 steps of sounding nicer to people, having the perfect tone when talking to people. 

the last few weeks i have been wrestling with my lack of gentleness or my increasing expertise in gentleness(less) towards people. my husband, my mom, my friends. i was discouraged. maybe in more ways as i reflect even now, i am discouraged. as a counselor, i find myself always talking with people. sometimes i probably don’t know how i sound. maybe i come off as harsh. especially when i talk to dustin and i hear him say, “okay. alright. okay.” in a tone that would sound as if i have just scolded or harshly instructed him. my heart aches in those moments because the last thing i want is to be heard in that way. my heart’s inclination is to get mad at him for responding to me in such a way, but these last few weeks i’ve been given grace to see things from a different perspective: maybe it’s me. maybe i sound harsh. how did that really sound?

as i was reading 2 timothy 2:22-26 this week, solely by coincidence (well, God’s sovereignty of course) i was encouraged by my need to ask God for help here…

[“And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth...” ]

even approaching others with gentleness is something i can’t muscle up on my own. i need the Lord’s help. fairly often i find myself in situations that i need to confront someone, comfort someone, or speak truth to someone -- which is really just living life in community with other people and having conversation. and oh, how often i am not gentle. i’m harsh. i’m impatient. i’m quick to assume something about the other person. oh, how the Lord is being gentle with me as he is making this aware to my soul. how transformative it has been to watch the spirit work even in the last several days.

instead of looking to those people who are nice and friendly and who i become easily envious of, i am free to ask God to help me be gentle. i don’t have to look to 5 steps for becoming a nicer person because at the core of who i am, i’m terrible. i am in need of redemption in the way i even talk to people. though, even in harsh words and hateful tones, my identity doesn’t change. i am still a daughter of the most high. i am still accepted and deeply loved by the Father. it’s because of Jesus’ perfect life, death and resurrection that i am even able to share in God’s grace while his spirit enables me to be gentle.

i’m thankful for moments that i see my sin, i see my inability to be gentle with others when left to myself. it’s there i see my deep need for dependence on a gracious, merciful, forgiving, patient, steadfast God.