Renewed Focus…for this blog

I have not blogged in a couple weeks.  In part, I have been busy, but I have also been taking a step back to catch the vision for why I invest time in blogging.  It does take a good deal of time and energy.  Here is what I have come up with as I have mulled it over.   We were not meant to walk this path of life alone.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says it well, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”   Pity the one who falls and has no one to help them up.   We need each other.  The struggles of life are overwhelming if we do not have others around us to encourage us and lift us up when we have fallen.  I see blogging as an opportunity to encourage and build up.  And thankfully, as we offer encouragement to others, we ourselves find encouragement.   I firmly believe that the lessons we learn from the battles we fight are not limited to the specific obstacle we have fought.  I started this blog because I have passion for encouraging those who are struggling with infertility, but I have chosen not to dwell specifically on infertility as I have written.  I plan to continue putting infertility in its place.  I do not believe it is healthy to keep our mind focused on the challenge we are up against.  I believe we are better served by focusing our energy on the One who can help us overcome the challenge.   So I hope that if you have found your way to this blog because you, too, have struggled with infertility, that you know that my heart is with you.  I hurt with you and for you (in a healthy way).  I will trust God to fill in the pieces and help you apply the truth you read to your specific circumstances.  Occasionally, I will use the[…]

Pursued

In one of my earlier posts, I wrote about how blogging feels a bit vulnerable.  It is like journaling in public.  Most of the time, I am happy as a clam to “journal in public” because I firmly believe that if we are free to be raw and honest, we offer others the opportunity to learn with us and get to know us.  Our experiences may not be the same, but the lessons are similar.  In the end, God wants us all to realize his passionate love for us and have the freedom to express our growing love for Him, wherever we may be at on the journey with Him.   I want to let you know up front that this post, in particular, feels vulnerable.  In many ways, I feel healed from the lies and questions I have wrestled with over the years when it comes to this topic.  But today I am grateful that God is thorough and does not want to leave even the tiniest piece of decay (lie) in my heart.  Maybe he has a little work to do in your heart, too?   This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a 27-hour Christian youth event called Acquire the Fire (ATF) in Lansing with our youth group.  The theme of the event was “Relentless Pursuit.”  God is relentlessly pursuing each one of us and he longs for us to pursue him with that same relentless passion.   The word “pursue” has always evoked emotion for me.  I have not known what it looks like to be pursued by a person until recent years, so I found it difficult to grasp the concept of God pursuing me.   As women, one of the major ways we learn what love and pursuit are is through the men in our lives.  If those men set poor examples of love, it can be more difficult to imagine the great and powerful love and pursuit of God.   My story:   I have a dad, whom I dearly love and I know loves me; however, he has lived a 3-5[…]

Said No One Ever

I love all of the comments I see (mainly on Facebook) that end with, “said no one ever.”  They make me laugh.   The latest ones:   “I love snow in late April!” said no one ever.   “I’m glad it’s Monday,” said no one ever.   “No, I don’t want a large sum of money just given to me,” said no one ever.   Here are a few I have come up with:   “No, I don’t want the freedom to eat all the junk food I want without gaining weight,” said no woman ever.   “I don’t want to feel respected,” said no man ever.   “I don’t want to be pursued emotionally,” said no woman ever.   “I would love to walk the path marked infertility,” said no one ever.   The fact is, there are some things that we can all agree on – at least to an extent.  Some might be leery of a large sack of money ending up on their doorstep, but if suspicions were laid to rest, most people would be grateful for the extra, unmerited cash given to them.  Every man I know needs and wants respect.  Every woman I know wants to feel emotionally connected to people in her life.  And I have yet to meet someone who has dealt with infertility and enjoyed it.   I think we can all agree that infertility is a form of suffering.  The diagnosis, in and of itself, is an indication that the body is not functioning as it was created to function.  Living with the diagnosis and understanding the implications lends itself to additional suffering.   How do you handle suffering?   I do not think there is a cookie-cutter description for how to suffer well, but one thing is certain:  Our response to suffering will either add to our suffering or move us in a direction of finding comfort.  Some of us like to complain.  I get that.  Some times it just plain feels good to lament.  There is a place for that.   Some of us give too much attention[…]

Spring Cleaning

I really do not like to clean.  Hear me now, I REALLY do not like to clean.  I like to have things clean and organized, but getting everything into that state is no fun at all.  When I was young and would go visit my dad, my mom would gut and clean my room while I was gone.  I would get so excited to come home to a freshly organized room.  Each time my mom got my room in order, I vowed that I would try my hardest to keep it clean because I really did prefer my room that way.   Now that I am older and a stay at home mom, a lot of my time is spent keeping my home in order.  That part of my “job” has had the potential to cast a shadow over my existence.  I have often looked upon my state in life as though I was stuck spending the majority of my time doing things I do not like to do.  It is a glum outlook, to say the least.   Lately, I have had a huge motivation to rid my home of as much stuff as I can.  I want to simplify.  I have it in my mind that if I have less stuff to maintain, it will be easier to keep everything in order.  Let’s hope that is the case.   Ridding my home of stuff has caused me to think about the value of ridding my mind of the mental clutter.  What about all the time I have spent lamenting the fact that I have to spend a good chunk of time cleaning my house?  That is some valuable mental space being occupied, leaving no room for productive, life-giving thoughts.   Sometimes we need a little “Spring cleaning” in our heads.  It is easy to keep thoughts around in our heads for too long.  As they sit there, they clutter the mind and make it hard to decipher where the good stuff is.   I have never seen the show “Hoarders,” but I can only imagine the homes of[…]

Boss of My Life

Thursday, I had an interesting conversation with my daughter as I was trying to help her learn a valuable lesson about responsibility.  I had asked her to clean her room at the beginning of the week and every day since.  She MAY have cleaned up a few things over the course of the week, but her room was still a disaster.  In the spirit of Love and Logic parenting, Todd and I are committed to not nagging our children to do something.  We present the options and give them choices.  Alliyah had the opportunity to clean her room all week.  She chose not to seize those opportunities, so on Thursday she was presented with a natural consequence from her week-long choices.   We were going to watch a movie as a family.  Usually when we have family movie nights, we make smoothies and popcorn for dinner.  Yes, that is our dinner – don’t judge.  I told Alliyah the plans and that we would start everything at 5:30.  I let her know that I hoped her room would be clean in time for her to join us.  She was NOT happy about the natural consequence that was being spelled out.  She said to me, “What if I promise to get my room clean tomorrow?”  I explained that she had been given all week to clean her room and had not yet done so.  Her rebuttal, “But I didn’t promise to do it the other days, like I am for tomorrow.”   Unfortunately for her, the promise of procrastination was not going to work, so for the next hour she whined and cried while working on cleaning her room.  She let us know that she was frustrated in more ways than one.  At one point she whined, “I wish I could be the boss of my own life.”  I knew darn well what she was getting at.  She wanted to be able to do what she wanted when she wanted to do it – and that did not include cleaning her room right now.  I explained to her, “Daddy and I are[…]

Welcome to unwaveringhope.com!  I am so glad you are here. This space was created when my life story was not following the path I expected.  For years, infertility was the main topic of my wrestle.  These days, I find myself sorting through the mental chaos of mothering, wife-ing, friend-ing, teacher-ing, daughter-ing and what-is-my-life-purpose-ing.  As I try to steady my thoughts and park them in a healthy place, God has made one thing clear:  maintaining hope in Him is the key. Check out my blog for a window into my story.

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