Monthly Archives

March 2014

Infertility, Marriage

Just Around the Riverbend

March 12, 2014

 

Remember that great Disney song from Pocahontas? Just in case you developed amnesia, here it is:

My favorite lyrics?

“Should I choose the smoothest curve
Steady as the beating drum?
…Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver God
Just around the riverbend?”

For whatever reason, despite my preference to choose the smoothest course, Jesus typically makes me take the roundabout way. Typically I hate it in the moment…but I look back after the wild ride is done and thank him for taking me on yet another adventure.

Something has been coming up in prayer lately. Not anything huge. Actually quite small. Kind of like what Elijah experienced:

“And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-12

What’s the still small voice been saying, you ask?

It’s been telling me that one day…just around the riverbend (weeks, months, years, only God knows how long my wild riverbend of infertility is)…my circumstances will change.

I will likely either be a mother someday, God will change my heart’s desires and reveal something else I am called to do as a wife, or he will give me supernatural strength and courage in this cross. I am confident that His will isn’t to emotionally rake me over the coals for the rest of my life until I die. Yes, I feel stuck in a never-ending, grueling, suffocating, heart-breaking, Bill-Murray-Groundhog’s-Day-esque, brutal place. But it won’t be my forever. There is a life beyond this riverbend even though I am clueless to how it will play out.

How will I look back on this time of waiting?

I don’t want to get 20/20 vision someday when I am cozily on “the other side”  and look back and regret how I lived my life through this trial.

Will I look back and see a girl desperately needing a hug on a constant basis? Will I look back and see someone who wallowed in near-despair for years on end? Will I look back and wish I had been more generous with the gift of myself to others despite being in tremendous emotional and physical pain? Will I look back and see a girl who fell for the Devil’s lies more often than she clung to eternal truths of her Almighty King?

Will I regret how I lived my life?

I don’t want to regret it. I want to live my life in light of the truth that this isn’t the end of my story. That infertility and all its emotions aren’t my eternal destiny. That God does have a plan for me despite my ability to see or understand it. That I am going around a particularly arduous riverbend that has another side to it even though I can’t see much right now.

If I live my life in light of those things…it will likely change how I spend the time waiting.

Sure, I will definitely have highs and lows, as to be expected. I am not superhuman. If I lived in this confident trust and hope, I would be at peace far more often than not. I would strive more eagerly to carry my cross with Jesus and to offer it up for others. I would want to make each day count and not live my life for some fantasy future that isn’t reality (yet). I would calm down and not get so frantic or anxious. I wouldn’t be able to regret this time, knowing I fought hard to look at Jesus as we hung and died on this cross together.

Lately, I read this blog post. It affirmed what I’ve been thinking in prayer. I see how beautiful life “beyond the riverbend” is for this woman who battled her way through 5+ years of infertility. I know that type of sweet redemption is possible for me even though it won’t be her same story. Or anyone else’s story. I know who my God is. Nothing is impossible with him.

For now, I continue winding along on the riverbend of infertilty. 

“Is all my dreaming at an end?”

No. It’s not. It appears that everyone else is on the smooth course but take me on the crazy route, Lord. The one that bends and curves and even has a terrifyingly steep waterfall. I trust you will my good. That there is life around this riverbend. That all my dreams aren’t at an end. You will take care of me. Help me choose truth when I want to choose lies. Help me keep my eyes fixed on you and not what other people’s lives look like. Help me to operate out of a spirit of trust and not a spirit of fear. Then, and only then, will I be able to look back on this time in our journey together and not regret how it was spent. Your will be done.

I know that I will look back one day and thank you for this path you’ve chosen, even if I can’t thank you today.

Marriage

Little Happies: Skiing and Adopt A Blogger!

March 10, 2014

It’s time for the second round of Little Happies! I’m linking up over at Blessed to Be and you can join in the fun too, if you’d like!

Yet again I am happy for this post – to get me thinking positively and begin appreciating the Little Happies in our life. I absolutely, positively need to focus on the good in our life…

–one–

skiing

Jonathan and I decided to take a day off this week and hit the slopes at Loveland Ski area. It was a beautiful 50 degrees, partly-cloudy/sunny day. One of my goals this year was to get Jonathan to transition from a beginning skier to a novice. By mid-day we were skiing blues consistently and Jonathan was doing really well! Part of our fun was pretending like we were in the Sochi Olympics. 🙂 Afterwards we went to Beau Jo’s Pizza because they make a really good gluten free pie! Overall, a great day that left this wife very happy.

–two–

ebay

I love love love to wheel and deal. It might be my favorite of activities. Lately, this passion has been taking the form of selling items on eBay. This week I sold a Patagonia dress I haven’t worn in 4+ years for $25.99. Yes, I bought it for more than that years ago, but it served it’s purpose and I got good wear out of it. I was actually getting ready to donate it when I thought to list it. Glad I did!

–three–

Shaun T

The start of Lent. I am just really excited about some of the things God has called me to do this Lent – all of them centered around resurrecting my prayer life and intimacy with Him. That makes me so very happy and I’ve gotten a lot of consolation about it. Also, Jonathan has had a lot of success professionally this week with a project he’s helping execute – Lentsanity. If you know us, we are fitness gurus, specifically loyal to Shaun T’s programs (Insanity and most currently T-25). To our delight, on Ash Wednesday, Shaun T himself tweeted with #Lensanity. It was a great blend of our fitness and Catholic world all at once!!!

–four–

lent post

This blog post. WOW WOW WOW! It is going to make this Lent all the more powerful for me. In a weird way I felt like I’ve been in Lent for years…and this post helped me see why this liturgical season is oh so close to my daily life.

–five–

12 years

After the Oscars and 12 Years a Slave winning “best picture” we just had to see it.  We watched it this weekend and it was really intense. It didn’t make me “happy” per say (actually quite the opposite) but it was really well done. It’s frighteningly based on a true story. I think it’s important to understand history and what our American ancestors experienced through the real stories…and this movie accomplished that. I highly recommend it (not for children though, as it’s rated R for many reasons).

–six–

truvia

They now sell Truvia at our local Costco!!! It’s the best stevia-based sweetener (stevia is plant based and NOT chemical based) I’ve had that’s on the market, so I am very excited. It happened to be $4/off per box of 300 packets…so I bought two boxes. We officially have enough sugar packets for my coffee for well over a year!

–seven–

I’ve been making more and more connections with some really awesome gals via the world of infertility blogs. I completely wish we didn’t “meet” via these circumstances but I am really grateful for their support, encouragement, and prayers. It’s amazing how through infertility, I feel an instant connection with these ladies. Who knows where our friendships will end up or if we will ever meet one another face to face… we shall see where God’s providence takes it all! I am grateful to know each of you and walk with you in our/your journey toward God’s will.

Catholicism

#ashtag

March 5, 2014

 

Here are our ashes from mass today! I got the #mushroom shaped and Jonathan got the #cross shaped.

What did you get? For more shape possibilities, check this blog.

ashes

 

Here’s a pic of the whole gang at the Denver Support Center:

work ash

May Lent be a time of growing closer to Jesus and father from the things keeping you from him! God bless and have a fruitful Lent!

Mission

Lentsanity!

March 4, 2014

Jonathan here. One of the projects I’ve been working on a lot lately with FOCUS has been Lentsanity, our campaign to help you make this Lent the best one yet. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of the really fun aspects of the project, including:

Two of the first three blog posts of the campaign. Check them out!

An Illustrated Guide to Lenten Fasting & Abstinence

The 8 Types of Ashes You Might Get on Ash Wednesday

The Meat Police

I wrote the script and starred in this fun video.

phone with Lentsanity appThe Lentsanity App

I found an app company to work with, worked out all the details and kinks in creating and deploying our app, and now I’m updating it with content as Lentsanity rolls on. The best part of the app? It will pop up a notification before lunch and dinner on Fridays during Lent to remind you not to eat meat! (Make sure to say YES to push notifications, or you won’t get the reminders!)

It’s available for both iOS and Android. Download it today by searching for Lentsanity in your app store or by visiting focus.org/lentsanityapp from your smartphone.

Daily Dose

Each day of Lent (except Sundays) we’ll be posting a short reflection to facebook and to the app. I got to write the reflections on sacrifices. They’ll be published throughout Lent, so be sure to check those out as they come out.

Keep up to date with everything Lentsanity by liking FOCUS on facebook, following FOCUS on twitter, and by reading the FOCUS blog. We’re also collecting everything at focus.org/lentsanity and in the Lentsanity app.

Infertility, Marriage

Adopt-A-Blogger!! THANK YOU!

March 3, 2014

I am humbled, honored, and so very excited that Jonathan and I have been chosen to receive prayer during the month of March through the Adopt-A-Blogger efforts over at This Cross I Embrace!

Honestly, the timing couldn’t have been better. I’ve been nearing the end of my sanity with infertility. We just began praying a 54-day rosary novena begging for Jesus and Our Lady to show us how to carry this cross in a way that will make us holy OR to remove the cross and fulfill the desires of our hearts. SOMETHING! ANYTHING! THROW ME A FRIGGIN BONE DOWN HERE! That’s a glimpse into my sanity slipping away! 🙂

Thank you for those joining us here at True, Good, and Beautiful for the first time. I would love to give you an intro into who we are, how we met, and what we’re facing in regards to infertility. Conveniently I just wrote it all down recently in an interview about infertility, so feel free to check all four posts out! We’ve officially been TTC for 2 years and 4 months. We have faced a number of health issues – PCOS, Endometriosis, Endomitritis, LUF Syndrome, Low Post Peak Hormones, Uterine Polyps, Uterine Septum, Possibly Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Fatigue, etc. My husband has a varicocele – his counts are normal but motility was low-ish. I am on a LOT of medicine for the above conditions but it seems like the biggest kicker is LUF Syndrome right now.

So while you are praying for us this month, here are a few specific intentions to include:

  • My ability to choose JOY despite the circumstances of my life
  • My ability to be content with God’s will as it presents itself each day
  • My sanity
  • Miraculous healing (hey, anything is possible!)
  • A breakthrough with treating the LUF Syndrome that will allow my body to effectively ovulate
  • Discernment as we begin the Adoption process
  • Discernment as we consider future surgeries/medical treatment
  • Strengthening of our marriage on the dark days
  • Ability to allow the Lenten Season to help me unite my suffering to Christ’s

I have a few Patron Saints you can tag team with in prayer. They may be worn out from my badgering though! LOL!

  1. Saints Joachim and Anne (I was born on their Feast Day…they themselves miraculously had our Blessed Mother, so IF was close to their lives)
  2. Saints Philomena and Blessed Chiara (on a low low low day this past September I got onto a saint generator website and said “God, give me a saint to guide me at this time.” I picked two for myself and Jonathan. Saint Philomena is a patron of sterility and Blessed Chiara’s own parents were infertile for eleven years before they received the gift of her. WOW! A sign of hope.
  3. Blessed JPII. We were married on his first-ever Feast Day back in 2011. He’s our boy.

Thanks to all who join in prayer this month! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. God bless!

Infertility, Marriage

Little Happies: I LOVE Olympics

March 3, 2014

Recently I ran across an awesome post over at Blessed to Be. The small things in life can often be hard to see or take joy in. Particularly, there are days I feel infertility is like a black cloud that always looms nearby, darkening even the best of times. Ugh! In her post, she talks about the temptation to live for the “next big thing” in life. I absolutely relate to that temptation and wish I could resist it more often than I do. Doesn’t it always appears that other people’s lives are simply falling together with simplicity and ease?!?!

Don’t we all know that guy/gal/couple/famliy? The “perfect” ones.

Brady-Bunch-Banner-the-brady-bunch-30271545-640-300

It only takes one person or couple to make it seem like that is EVERYONE else’s reality. And actually – that fantasy person or couple – doesn’t even exist. Things may appear a certain way on the exterior but let’s be real, life isn’t perfect and everyone undergoes suffering in their life. It may vary in appearance and degree, but it’s always there.

Nonetheless, her Little Happies post was something that really excited me. It made me want to begin looking at the little blessings in my daily life…hopefully I can consistently focus on those and not on the stream of endless bad news in the world of our fertility. I know that if I take the time to look at these little happies, not only will I be a much better person, but I will likely see God pursuing my heart in ways I am blind to currently. Without further ado, I wish to share some recent Little Happies:

–one–

lego movie

The Lego Movie. Not only did we see this hilarious, tear-jerking movie recently but we got to see it with some stellar friends AND it was in the theater that had super duper nice leather reclining seats! To really top it off, we all texted to follow the theater on social media, and each got a FREE small popcorn. That’s a big deal, my friends.

–two–

US

I never take the time to find good music. Thankfully I am married to a man who makes it a priority to discover good music. He has paid attention to what I like over the years and now can predict songs and artists I will fall in love with immediately. He’s like my own personal Pandora station! The newest addition to our musical enjoyment is Us. Check out their website. Make sure to listen to No Matter Where You Are. It’s on repeat at our home.

–three–

sochi

The Sochi Olympics were so much fun to watch together each evening. This may sound weird but it’s nice to have something planned to look forward to each evening when we come home from work. We do try to have a weekly date night and to hang out with friends on the weekends but as an infertile couple, there are times that the evenings feel so long. And alone. So the Olympics were a rallying point for the evening and something to look forward to each day.

–four–

We’ve started having conversations about beginning the adoption process!!! This makes my heart so unbelievably excited, which I truly see as confirmation from above. We are uncertain as to the timing…this Spring? Summer? Next Fall? One year from now? We are weighing this decision among other large choices like buying a home and possible job changes. Even though this subject is SUPER exciting and life-giving to me it’s also invoking some fears. I want to make sure we follow God’s will and timing in the midst of all these big decisions. Nonetheless, just the conversations about possibly adopting bring me joy.

–five–

DASANI-Sparkling

Have you ever drank a carbonated, flavored Dasani? We are obsessed with these and have been buying them in bulk at Costco. We may or may not have 50 cans in our refrigerator. I think they are awesome because they have the carbonation/fizziness I crave sometimes without any sugar or even fake sugar. Win!

–six–

shoes

I found a pair of Cole Haan black ballet flats at our local thrift store. If I bought them on Amazon they would have cost $147.50…but I didn’t pay anywhere close to that. I paid a whopping $14.95 for these designer shoes and they honestly look like they had NEVER been worn. Boom baby!

–seven–

OK this is more like a BIG happy – I was chosen to be the Adopt-A-Blogger to receive prayer this month over at This Cross I Embrace! A whole month of prayers/sacrifices from others as we fight the good fight with infertility. I couldn’t be more humbled, grateful, and honored. Jonathan and I literally just began a 54-day rosary novena about our infertility and begging for clarity in where God wants us to go. The timing of everyone else’s prayers during the month of March is impeccable.

That’s a wrap up for my Little Happies this time around! What have your Little Happies been lately?