Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Don't Want to Forget

It's been a whirlwhind of a few weeks. We're moved into our new house, although I wouldn't say "settled"- there are boxes everywhere. I'm not posting pictures just yet- definitley not picture ready just yet.

We returned from Central Asia really late Friday night, but all our luggage didn't make it with us- only 2 of the 8 bags (mine came!) so saturday was spent driving around the Houston airport looking for the remaining bags. By 4:00, we had all but 2 of them (but we had david's) Sunday was our first day at our new church. Jet lag wasn't bad, except I've been waking up at 4:30 the past few days.

I'll post pics of our trip, but right now I just need to process/write out my feelings/thoughts about the trip. After this trip, I've been on 5 of the 7 continents. This trip was different from any one I've ever been on. Never in my life have I felt so unprepared physically, emotionally, spiritually for a trip. I think part of it had to do with moving 5 days before we left, but most of it was because it was a vision trip and we weren't really sure what to expect or what we'd be doing.

We spent 3 days in a village in Central Asia, at a women's center for mother's and children. Many of these women were forced to choose Jesus over their family. I had no idea that the Muslim culture is based so strongly on shame and honor.

Here are a few things that I don't want to forget:
  • seeing a sheep sacrificed for Korbidanite (festival remembering Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac) and knowing that I'll never look at the Cross the same
  • Being on the receiving end of hospitality and servanthood
  • Holding a precious woman as she cried as she told me about something that happened to her as a young adult that she has never told anyone; seeing the relief and freedom on her face
  • Hearing story after story of rejection being replaced by redemption
  • Seeing a true miracle- a little boy who was healed after being born paralyzed. He's walking, running!
  • Knowing that a smile is universal- no matter the language
  • How I felt as I held a little girl as she fell a sleep in my arms
  • Realizing that "stuff" is just "stuff" and less really is more
  • Hearing the story of my new friend Norbideck- how he came to know Christ from Islam and what it cost him
  • seeing God move in ways I never thought possible

Saturday, September 21, 2013

When God Moves

I just realized in the 1 year since we've been married and I started this new blog- I've posted 10 times. Blog fail! I'm really hoping to get better at blogging- writing, pictures, etc. I've spent a lot time on the road lately and I have a lot of blog ideas rolling around in my head.
Hubby and I recently celebrated our 1st year of marriage! Time flies when you're having fun. We celebrated low key with a fishing trip to Grand isle- we're also going to Disney World in January and that's kind of our anniversary/Christmas present. We didn't catch a lot of fish, but it was nice to get away and just relax, spend time together and I love seeing D in his element- the great outdoors. We also ate our cake topper and surprisingly, it was really good. I loved our cake!
A lot has been going on with us and it's all good- just a lot at one time. I was telling someone that when God moves, He moves fast and furious. This is no exception. We were originally going to Asia on a mission trip with our church in July. Well, in May, the tickets jumped in price and there weren't enough people to go on the trip. We had money donated for the trip and it felt like we were in a holding pattern. We looked at other mission opportunities and nothing felt right: either too expensive, time off of work, just not a good fit, etc. Well, in late June, our missions pastor approached us and told us that the airline tickets drop significantly in October so they were looking at doing the trip then plus a few more people were interested in going. Donations continued to come in and we now have our trip fully funded. We leave Oct. 10.
Back in mid July, D received an email from a church about 2 hours from us saying they had received his resume for youth minister position. We get these emails all the time and there's usually no follow through. Well, about 2 weeks later, he got a phone call from the pastor and search committee and ended up having an impromptu phone interview. 2 weeks later- email inviting us for an interview, 2 weeks later, offering him the position and set up in view of call for Sept 15. Sept 15- unanimous decision to call him as youth minister- originally wanted him to start Oct. 1, but agreed to wait until after we got back from Asia- as in the day after  we get back. We have about 6 weeks to get things ready to move and oh, throw a trip to Asia in the mix!
God's hands is all over this ministry position and move. The night we interviewed, they drove us around town and showed us a few houses that were for rent or sale. I saw one and fell in love with it on the outside- went home and looked at pictures- we both fell in love with this house. It's perfect- everything that D wanted in a home, plus everything that I wanted- and a 4th bedroom for an office- I'll  be able to keep my job and work from home. Last Sunday after church, we were able to look inside the house. Oh my- love it! We called the owners and talked to them about the house and then called the realtor on the way home to see about listing the house. This week has been a whirlwhind of meeting with the realtor, getting pre approved, talking to the owners, trying to come up with a plan and start packing our house.. put our house on the market Oct. 1. Everything is falling into to place.
In the beginning of the week, I was so anxious. Everything is happening so fast and all at one time. But that's usually how God works. Slowly I'm letting go of control and feeling the anxiety lift off and feel peace flood in. As I was driving one day this week, I was just reminded of God's faithfulness. This first year of marriage has been tough: financially, emotionally, just getting used to each other, infertility,not knowing what God was doing or where He would lead us. Then all of sudden (well not really all of a sudden in God's time), the pieces fall into place. I'm so thankful that God sees the bigger picture and gives us just enough light for the step that we're on. He has unfolded each piece of the puzzle to reveal a greater story, a greater masterpiece. It's beautiful. I can't wait to start this new season of life with my husband, serving together with him, learning to trust God more and more.
A few prayer requests:
  • As all of this change is happening- we are still going to Asia. It's hard to focus on that and be in a mindset of getting ready for a mission trip when all this other is going on. Pray that we will focus on getting our hearts ready.
  • My house to sell.
  • getting moved and everything involved with that
  • Transition as a minister's wife- this is a big move and big transition in general but I'm excited and a little nervous

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What I Wish You Could Understand about Infertility

Please understand this is not directed at any close friend or anyone who reads this (all 2 of you!) but mainly I'm writing this to clear my head after a recent conversation I had with someone.

What I Wish You Could Understand About Infertility

  • That I really would like to have been married for a year or a little longer before trying to have a family, but I got married "late" in life (not really, but by southern standards, 31 is late!) and we want to be young enough to enjoy our kids.
  • Sometimes medical issues prevent us from being able to follow our "timelines." With my medical history, we weren't really given the option to wait.
  • telling me to stop stressing about it will not help me get pregnant any easier.
  • I've always wanted to be a wife and a mom and the fact that it's going to be a little more difficult for this to happen is harder than words can ever fully explain
  • I love being married and love life with my hubby and just the two of us, but I can't wait to see him as a dad. I'm kind of excited to think about life with three.
  • I know a baby changes everything but just because you became a parent much sooner than you and your spouse had planned and it's been a hard adjustment for you,it  doesn't mean my marriage will be miserable.
  • I do not need to nor do I want to hear about how you knew a few couples who struggled to get pregnant, did all the infertility stuff and then when they just "let it go", they got pregnant. (even if I know one of these couples and know their story.) This is my probably one of my  biggest infertility pet peeves.
  • This has been one of the biggest tests of my faith and it's definitley "holy sandpaper."
  • There are times when on the outside I look like things are fine, but on the inside, they're not.
  • But above all, I want you to understand that I believe that God is bigger than infertility. He can heal me and let me have a child biologically and I'll praise Him..but if He chooses to use adoption as the way for us to be parents, I'll praise Him for that too. Above all else, I'm praising Him regardless for He is a good God.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Infertility and a new focus

Again, I know it's been a while since I've posted- life is moving at an incredibly fast pace (more so that I care for) plus things have been rolling around in my head that I don't know how to put down just yet. I saw where Kelly from Kelly's Korner was doing a link up about infertility. So here goes.

We got married in September 2012 and immediatley began trying to start our family- mainly because we knew that it would likely be very difficult to conceive due to my history and because of our ages- we were 31 and 32 at the time and we wanted to be young enough to enjoy our kids. I knew that it would likely take some time and honestly, I was kind of hoping to be pregnant by our first anniversary or somewhere near that time. In February 2013, I had exploratory surgery to address some of my previous medical issues. The surgery removed a lot of adhesions, which explained some of the issues I was having. My OB felt like we needed to go ahead and be aggressive with starting our family and recommended starting Clomid and that I might need to see a specialist.

I was shocked and just numb. There was no explanation for things and I just felt stuck. In March, I decided to go ahead and call to get a referal for a specialist. It was a complete God thing that I was able to see the specialist because the others I had contacted- the wait time was 3 months to a year. Dr. Issacs was 2 weeks. We met with Dr. Isaacs and he made us both feel at ease and did not think things were as bad as my Ob had thought. He gave us a good plan of action and explained everything. I was finally able to start Clomid in the end of May- it was a waiting game to be able to start it due to very crazy cycles. I did it and the side effects were horrible. I didn't get pregnant but Dr. Issacs felt like I had responded well to it and wanted to try 2 more cycles.

I wasn't sure if Clomid was exactly what we were supposed to do. We had already decided that Clomid was our only option and if it didn't work, we were moving on to adoption. We had planned to have biological children and adopt so this wasn't Plan B for us. I can't tell you the bundle of nerves and emotions that I've felt over the past few months- very up and down. "Are we doing the right thing?" "Is this what God wants?" "What do we do?" over and over again. Once I felt like I had answers, I would crumble.

We decided if round 1 of Clomid didn't work, we would see that as God's answer and move forward with adoption. When it didn't work, I can't tell you the relief that I felt in just knowing that we had a plan and for the first time in months- peace.

One thing that carried us through this is the prayers of others. I've tried to be pretty open about our infertility because I truly believe this is something that God has given us to bring Him glory. Not long after my surgery, I shared with our life group at church (through choked tears and the verge of the ugly cry) what we were facing. I knew the only way we would ever get through this was through the Lord and people praying for us. I told them "I don't know why He's chosen this road, but all I know to do is to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking." They have been faithful to pray for us and ask how we are doing. I have to keep reminding myself of this and let God carry me some days.

Adoption is definitley in our future. I'm just not sure when. I told my husband that God can heal me if He chooses to and I'll praise Him for it, but if He doesn't and we become parents through the blessing of adoption, I'll praise Him for it too.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

It Isn't Supposed To Be Like This??

I'm a newlywed and according to Southern tradition, I married "late in life." At age 31! I know, it's not old, but when you're raised in the South everyone assumes that you'll be married at the ripe old age of 21 and be done with babies by 30. Not sure why it's that way, but it is.

Nothing in life has turned out the way I planned it to be- nothing. I had it all planned out: go to college, meet my husband at the BCM, be married by the time we finish grad school, have a family- all by age 30. I went to college, met wonderful guys at the BCM (none of who were my husband) earned a bachelor's degree, had my master's degree at 22 (2 weeks from turning 23), moved 200 miles away from home, went on bad date after bad blind date and didn't meet my husband until I was 30 and we met on! God had other plans and looking back I wouldn't change a thing. I learned so much in single years and really began to embrace God's best for me.

Now is no different- well, I'm trying to embrace God's best for me and His plans. Key word: trying. At my follow up appointment for my surgery, the reality of infertility became real. After it all sunk in (and it still is sinking in), I kept thinking : "It isn't supposed to be this way." Part of me was angry because I felt like i had done everything right: waited for God to bring me my husband, honored Him in our relationship and in our marriage, so why shouldn't having a baby be easy? My amazing hubby said something recently about our lives and our faith. He said "I don't want easy. I want to honor God. I want His will to be done." Yikes. Tough words to swallow but so true.

I was able to share with our life group last week about our infertility. It wasn't easy but I felt like the best thing I needed was for people to pray for us. I could barely get the words out, but i did. I said that the utmost thing I wanted was for God to be glorified in this. I'm not sure why He's chosen us to walk this road, but i want to walk it well. It's hard. It's not pretty, it hurts like crazy and it makes no sense to me. But I do know this (and I have to keep reminding myself of it a lot!) that God is a good God and He is sovereign. He's in control, I'm not. I had coffee today with a friend from church who experienced infertility before having her little boy- it was so good to be able to talk with someone who's been there- to remind me I'm not nuts. She gently spoke truth that I needed to hear, reminding me that God has not forsaken me.

It isn't supposed to be like this, but it is...and God is bigger than my infertility and my dreams. He is bigger.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I know it's been a little bit since I've's this crazy thing called life that gets in the way. It's been a busy month/months. My dad had surgery to remove his prostate and a tumor on his kidney almost 4 weeks ago. I can honestly say that I witnessed a miracle there: the doctor said the kidney tumor was the size of a tennis ball and that by the time any symptoms developed, it would have been too late. He had a rough first few days, but almost 4 weeks later: he's driving, getting out and about and getting stronger each day. I made a quick trip home last weekend because I was about an hour away from them doing a conference for work and he asked specifically to see me..always a Daddy's girl.

Work has been busy, but a good busy. I finish up one family's home study and I have 4 more right behind it. A good problem to have. One of my families brought their little girl home from Ethiopia last week and then I finished post placement with another family that adopted from Ethiopia: can i tell you that I love my job!!

We had another "first in marriage" last week, our first real test of "in sickness and in health". I had surgery last week for suspected endometriosis. (Can i just tell you that sometimes, I don't like being a girl??) I had this same procedure when I was in a senior in high school and knew that I would likely have to have it again in the future. Funny, how "in the future" doesn't really mean a whole lot until that future actually has a face, a desire, a time. I probably needed to had it done much sooner than I did. The surgery wasn't too bad- and the doctor removed a lot of "stuff" that didn't need to be there.

  I knew that having children would likely be difficult, given my previous history. It's just that after the surgery, I didn't realize how difficult it would be. I wasn't prepared for the emotional aftermath of the surgery. Suddenly thoughts that had never crossed my mind were there, i was a blubbery mess at the dinner table (while my sweet husband just let me cry), it was overwhelming. I know I'm probably putting the cart before the horse and making things worse by worrying before I have my followup with the doctor, but it's real to me. Suddenly, I feel like a grownup. Infertility. There i said it. But it's okay. I have no idea where the road will lead, what giants I will face, but I do know this: my God is bigger than infertility, bigger than my fears, bigger than all of my unanswered questions. His timing is absolutley perfect. I'm not walking down this path by myself. He is with me..I just have to walk with Him, letting Him lead the way.

 Our first post op outing to Orange Leaf
Right before surgery and the loopy drugs

Friday, January 4, 2013

Getting to Know me!

I love blogging and reading others blogs. I'm a really good lurker, though- not a good commenter. Recently, I feel God stirring in me to revive my blog (well actually I made a new one, since I'm in a new season of life.) I need to take some time to process what all this will look like..but I feel change coming in all areas of my life. Love how God is always at work. But I do know this: I want to be able to connect with other women, to live out a life where grace flows daily, where it is beautiful in His sight, even when life isn't always pretty.

So I thought I'd tell a little bit about maybe if I get new readers. :)

  • I'm a newlywed. I met my husband on, only to find out that about 10 years earlier, we both did summer missions with our state Baptist Collegiate Ministries (but in different places) in 2002. There's a poster with  both of our pictures on it! We knew alot of the same people, were raised in towns cities nearby and when we met on match- were living only 2 hours away from each other. Our love story is truly written by God!
  • I'm an adoption social worker and I absolutley love it. I love anything and everything about adoption (well most of it- except for the hard stuff and adoption fraud- another story, another post!)
  • I'm a city girl married to a total deer hunting, fishing loving, total outdoorsman self proclaimed "redneck." When we got married, I inherited a camoflauge recliner, a growing antler collection and an 11 point buck named Sparky who hangs on my wall. (Our next house will have a man cave!)
  • I'm slowly becoming outdoorsy. Hubs bought me a pink fishing pole for my birthday and we went fishing on our honeymoon. I have been in the deerstand but no gun yet. I wore these really cute camo rain boots with a heel! I told him if I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning and freeze my tail off, I was going to look cute doing it. It's  now a joke with his family about my boots.
  • I love LSU football. I'm an LSU grad too.
  • We plan on adopting one day, just not sure when.
  • I'm addicted to chocolate chip cookies.
  • I love to sing.
  • My favorite color is purple.
  • Life has not turned out at all like I thought it would, but I'm so thankful that God knows what He's doing..His timing is perfect.
  • I love to craft, although I'm not very good at it.
  • If I werent' a social worker, I'd be a writer or speaker.