Prayer for Today – Zephaniah 3:17

  

Lord, thank You that You are a strong and mighty warrior, that there is a non-passive, passionate, and he-man heroic side to You that involves war and victory. Thank You that we get the benefit of victory and salvation in You. Thank You that the gentle and meek and humble side of Your character can also quiet us with Your love. The fact that You delight in us – the minutiae of our lives – and rejoice in the details of our lives is incredible. 

Let us hear and experience Your song as You sing over us. 

What a picture of tenderness and yet courage, vulnerability and power, quiet and loud, meek and might. We love You Lord. Amen. 

  

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God inhabits our praise

“The Lord inhabits the praises of His people” (Ps. 22:3)
  

Let that verse get down in your bones today.

The very presence of God physically dwelling, richly inhabiting, taking up residence IN OUR PRAISE. 

I picture songs weaving the fabric, words hammering things into place for His seat, hushed murmurs sanding down the wood of His throne, loud cries painting the colors that richly adorn, quiet tears becoming the jewels that bedeck His dwelling place. It is so beautiful. 

Why would He do that? Come and inhabit our praises? Come here to this place – broken earth and broken people? Emmanuel, God WITH us?

It’s almost too precious to grasp. 

And yet He does.  

 
  

Happy Father’s Day – 2015

Happy Father’s Day to my daddy who has always been my hero: He was the cool college kid my mama fell in love with, the Air Force jet fighter pilot who earned the call sign “Grit” for “integrity,” the gifted multiple-graduate-degree-holder, the attorney and young partner named a “Best Lawyer in America” year after year, the Christian example who talked Apologetics at the dinner table and raised us on C.S Lewis and Tolkien. 

He’s the daddy who prayed, worked hard, always made it home for dinner, jumped on the trampoline, swam in the lake, rode the zip line, and took interest in what interested us kids – be it ballet or baseball. He’s my daddy and I am so very thankful for him this and every day.

Here’s the link to my current fave. It’s called “Good, Good Father” and my friend Pat wrote it.

What a blessing to have an earthly father who points me towards my Father in heaven.

Happy Mother’s Day – Repost

This is a repost from last year, because today is a day for CELEBRATING!


 

This may seem a bit odd in the middle of a series on fertility but it’s really not! {You can follow along by reading Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6 – or read the whole series here.}

First of all – Happy Mother’s Day to my mama – the best mama in the world! Equal parts funny, brilliant, comforting, discerning, encouraging, witty, wise, and beautiful, she is a charitable/ philanthropic wonder who could run a small country in an organized and easy manner. Her achievements from teaching to parenting to lawyering to cheering to churching to listening to mission-leading to volunteering to party-hosting – are really too many to list. Suffice to say, she is incredible woman, wife, mother, and confidante. Mama, I love you! We’re spending the weekend with Grant’s family – Janice: I love you, too! More on that when we get back!

Second of all – my personal journey with fertility has everything to with celebrating mothers! 

Through the ebbs and flows of my own emotional journey with fertility, I can pretty much say I’ve been genuinely happy for friends who’ve announced their pregnancies and delivered precious little ones. Let me give you a hint: it’s NOT a comparison game. I can rejoice with them because I truly believe what the Bible says about children – and for the same reasons I’m looking forward to watching our family expand in the future, I’m happy for them! It’s not me vs. my friends; it’s us – women – linking arms together; not competing against one another, but rallying around one another. I celebrate new babies the same way I would a friend getting a promotion, buying a house, receiving a surprise anniversary trip, or any of the other things in life we women are so great at celebrating!

We have a choice. In that, we have the opportunity to thwart satan’s efforts and really, truly, deep-down-in-our-toes CELEBRATE this milestone in a friend’s life just like any other. {Or we can pout, we can compare, we can be robbed of a shared joy; we can alienate ourselves from our friends and family or make them walk on eggshells – none of which quells the desire in our heart as we patiently wait.} I choose joy! I choose to celebrate! I choose life!

Children are:

a blessing (Ps 127:3), a gift (Gen 33:5), an inheritance (Ps 127:3), a treasure (Ps 17:14), a reward (Ps 127:3), a heritage (Ps 127:3), a crown (Prov 17:6), a joy (John 16:21), a miracle (Ecc 11:5), an honor (Jer 30:21); they are wonderfully made (Ps 139:14), called forth (Isa 43:5), appointed (Jer 1:5), knit-together (Ps 139:13), blessed (Prov 20:7; Deut 28:4), comforted (Isa 66:13), consecrated (Jer 1:5); they help sanctify us (1 Tim 2:15), they are peace-giving (Isa 54:13), encouraging (Ps 8:2), truth-speakers (Matt 21:16); children are a sign of prosperity (Deut 28:10-11), a promise fulfilled (Mal 4:6), a love that multiplies (Isa 51:2).

Mothers: I am grateful for all that you do in raising your kids. I’m impressed by the way you make it all work. I’m perplexed at how well you all make it look easy – especially because I know it’s not easy! I am proud of you when you take time to love your husbands and I’m giving you imaginary high-fives every time you pour out sacrificial love on your families.

You are the domestic warriors fighting for your children’s futures, graciously modeling Christ daily, molding the minds and beliefs of the next generation, carrying tiny hearts and souls in your hands. You guys amaze me. I am so glad to call you friends. Thank you for all the thankless work you tirelessly do.

Here’s to YOU! 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

{Read the next post in this series here.}

Fertility Update – IVF

If you’re new here, we are in the midst of a joyful, hard, chaotic, wonderful season of waiting in terms of fertility. I’ve written of our 5+ year story on this blog, so you can catch up by reading Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6, and a quick post on Mother’s Day – or the whole series here.

InVitro Fertilization (IVF) is such an interesting thing. Miraculously, through advances in science and the breath of life that only God can provide, we can now mimic natural conception outside the body, and then place this newly formed embryo (blastocyst, technically) back into the mother’s womb, hoping and praying that it results in a successful pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Wow.

I have had my own journey with the idea of IVF. Ask anyone who’s done it – the reality of IVF is: IT’S A LOT. IVF is a lot to consider, a lot to take in, a lot to wrap your head around, a lot for your body (hormone shots multiple times a day for weeks), a lot to process emotionally, a lot of doctor’s appointments, and a lot of dollars {Forbes}.

After much prayer and a 3 day fast, in November of 2014, we decided to move forward with IVF.

We had *kinda* known that this day was coming, but the idea of facing this invasive and highly-technical procedure, and the reality of it are two different things.

How He sustains us in incredible to me.
We were praying for breakthrough and rest:
     Micah 2:13
     Exodus 14:14

Ultimately, the embryos did not make it to transfer. Our failed IVF attempt ended just  after Thanksgiving.

I’ll include the text we sent to those friends and family who’d been praying for us:
Welp. Our IVF cycle is officially over: the embryos didn’t make it to transfer. I can’t say we’re not heartbroken, but I can say we’ll be ok – not yet but we will be. Psalm 13 is a short 6 verses; it begins with sorrow and anguish, but ends with “But I will trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.” We’re living in the “and if He does not” part of Daniel 3:17-18 and claiming that He is still God and He is still good. Grant’s taken the day off and I think we’re just gonna “be” today, you know? Thanks for YOUR prayers quietly guiding us through this journey. xoxo
The day we found out, after having had nothing to eat but our tears, we called in a to-go order at Waffle House. Walking in, I got several sweet text messages from friends that made my eyes well up with different kind of tears: deeply grateful ones. As I was about to hand my card to the girl behind the counter, I realized the irony of the moment:
I am almost a country song: standing here in my pjs, crying, in a Waffle House.
And I wondered what I would say to this bewildered girl if she dared to ask me what’s wrong or if I’m ok. First I thought I’d say:
This is the worst day of my life.
But then I really thought about it – and I know we’ve had some rough days – so was this really the worst? So I quickly revised in my head (thankfully the sweet girl did not ask):
This is one of the worst days of my life. 
But as I pondered it further, this thought truly inhabited me:
If this is one of the worst days of your life, all in all, you have been blessed.
And it hit me softly, that overwhelming thankfulness that allows us to worship in the midst of great sorrow, to praise God in the midst of deep pain, to rejoice despite not knowing why or for what or how long.

I’m not saying it’s been easy, but I can say I have never been more confident in God’s timing.

We have talked and prayed and cried since then. But that still, quiet confidence in God who delights in the details, writing the pages of our story {not on tablets of stone, but on our hearts}, guiding the seasons of our life, has sustained us and we are grateful.

I don’t know what’s next.
I don’t know if or when we’ll do another cycle of IVF.
But I do know one thing:
     God is good
     and can be trusted
     and is worthy of our praise.

There’s a quote from C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia that I love:
-Yes but is He safe?
-Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He isn’t safe! But He’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.