Promised Land

Did you know that it is officially “Infertility Awareness Week”?  In honor of that fact, I decided it would be fun to share with you all the story I submitted for a contest with the Fertility Center of West Michigan.  It is a 100% true story, my story.  I had to leave out many of the details, but you will get the gist.   The story:   We literally had one opportunity to get pregnant in June of 2005, and low and behold, we learned on July 2 that we were pregnant with our firstborn, a daughter.  Since we seemingly had no problem getting pregnant the first time, we were quickly puzzled when the reality that building our family may not happen in our way or in our timeframe.   When our daughter was about a year and a half, we started trying for another child.  Like many people, we wanted our children close together in age.  Every month that ticked by felt like time running away from us and we were powerless to stop it.  After a year of trying, we sought medical assistance with Dr. Dodds and the Fertility Center.   We were hesitant to seek medical assistance for fear of trying to “play God.”  Were we trying to make something happen, trying to take control?  Would God bless it if we got pregnant this way?  Many other questions wrestled around in our heads, but we received an encouraging word from a friend that has forever had an impact.  He said, “Since we know that it is the heart of God to bless us with children, I would do anything (morally) to make it happen.”  Hearing these words gave us the encouragement to keep moving forward without doubting whether or not God was with us.  He was and IS with us.  We were seeking life (a child) where there had been death (an empty womb).   God is the life-giver, and he sometimes uses medicine to make that happen.  We are so grateful he has.   In the summer of 2007, we thought the dream of owning a[…]

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[…]


I woke up this morning and I did not want to get out of bed.  I did not have a lot of motivation or ambition for today.  I have to take a thyroid medicine every morning that forces me to wait a half hour before I can eat breakfast, so I often use this as an excuse to lay in bed for that extra half hour.  Yet, as I lay there this morning, I realized that I actually had a pretty busy day planned, so I got up and took a shower.   The shower is a good time to think.  I found myself feeling very depressed, and it bugged me, so I was doing some mental wrestling in the shower.  I have been depressed all week, and I do not really know why, but I wanted to figure it out.  If you think hard enough, all of us could probably come up with a significant list of things that could cause us to be depressed.  Today, I did not have any major issue that was causing me to be depressed.  I just felt down.  I felt like there was a constant cloud that would hover overhead.   In an attempt to try to motivate myself, I found myself thinking things like, “What is it all for?  What is life all about?  What’s the point?”  Life felt kind of pointless and meaningless, and I thought if I could remind myself of the answers to the above questions, then I would have the drive to overcome the cloud of depression.  Instead, I kept coming back to that word: meaningless.   I have always really resonated with the Book of Ecclesiastes.  A lot of the questions that Solomon (I think that’s who wrote it) asks are similar to the ones I have personally wrestled with.  If you have not read Ecclesiastes lately or ever, I recommend carving out a chunk of time to read it.  Solomon, who achieved all kinds of wealth and position in the world and was granted the gift of wisdom, wrestles through all of these “What is the[…]

Welcome to!  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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