renewed hope.

It amazes me how quickly we can pull our eyes off of Him, without even realizing it, and fall into funks! Man! I was overwhelmed (in a GREAT way!) with the amount of comments, messages, IG messages, emails and texts received as soon as I posted my last post. Your words literally made me realize how the devil had taken a hold of my attitude and OF COURSE he would be sneaky enough to pull me down without even realizing it was him. I feel foolish! I know better than that! And yet, just like that “wahhhh wahhhh”. Debbie Downer Chelsea comes out and makes you all depressed too. Sorry peeps! Thanks for pulling me off the ledge, away from the black hole, and bringing me back to the light of HIM and His promise for us.

For anyone in a present day funk, here is a summary and clips of the encouragement I received…written to myself for those days when I need to re-read it. : )

Delay may not mean denial. Keep praying. We can only find abundant living in HIM. Sometimes in order to experience what He has planned for us and our lives, we have to go through the trying times. It teaches us to give thanks in all circumstances. Only HE can provide us the freedom from the worry and desire to plan our lives. God has never removed His hand from our situation. One day, we will look back and see His mighty hand richly moving in our lives. NOTHING can separate us from His love. Infertility never will. In fact, He tells us that in all things, we are more than conquerors! On the days when it seems tough to pray, turn it over to God. Let the Holy Spirit intercede for you. God cares, SO much. Infertility isn’t a curse. It’s a disease brought to the world because it’s a world of sin and sickness, grief and despair. And God mourns with us as well. However, He promises to bring GOOD out of every situation and He will.

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3 ESV)

There are so many blessings all around me. I was temporarily blinded by ME and took my eyes off of Him. So, to balance out the depressing blog from last time, I wanted to share with you so many JOYS of the last few weeks! Because when we are in a funk, we need to take our eyes off our funk, off the “horrible terrible no good very bad life” and focus them on ALL that He has given us. Because it reminds us in Philippians 4 to ”Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Prayers without thanksgiving are sure a selfish balance!

Let’s see …

Baby Ritchie got its first baby gift ever! A dear friend, Megan, sent this book and man! If you haven’t read it, have some tissues around when you do! (Speaking of Megan, say a prayer for her today as she is having her 2nd IVF egg retrieval!!) Anyways, it is so sweet and was such a special gift to receive in the mail. I can’t wait to read it to our baby one day!

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Two words that brings blissful tears to the eyes – Chicago. Pizza. More specifically Lou Malnati’s. I arrived home a few weeks ago to find this package sitting on my porch. Our friends Candice and Will and their precious baby Liam sent Josh and me two pizzas that were literally eaten within a week. SUCH a special blessing and one the our taste buds will forever be thankful for.

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Date nights! It seems like so often in the world of infertility the things that you look forward to all have to do with medical stuff! Doctors appointments! Yeah! First day of a new cycle! Yes! Transfer day! Hurray! So it’s always a lot of fun to do things that are completely non-related to the consuming TTC world. Josh and I got to sneak away to a movie last Friday which was such a blast.

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I am also so excited about some plans we have in July! I had been wanting to get away for a night and have some time where Josh and I can just be US. Sneak away from the IVF stuff and celebrate his birthday (turning 31 on July 8th!) and our anniversary (8 years on July 2nd!). However, when you are knee deep in infertility bills and costs, it’s really hard to feel like you can spend money on non-medical stuff sometimes. Your brain always kicks into the “what if…” gear and we feel responsible to keep saving in case we need to do a 4th cycle or for that baby that will eventually come. So in order to get away and still feel like we are being responsible, we decided to collect spare change from around the house and brought it to the bank. We had over $167 worth of change! Yahoo! And we cashed in a few credit card points and are now able to sneak away to a downtown Minneapolis hotel for a night and enjoy a dinner out. We used to go to this hotel for our first few anniversaries and I am excited to go back and have a carefree evening using “free” money. (What I tell myself, haha!).

our 2nd anniversary spent at the hotel :) We were babies!

our 2nd anniversary spent at the hotel :) We were babies!

I had a friend from Instagram also send me this book. (Thanks Allison!) It has been such a wonderful book to read and I highly recommend it!

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It’s heirloom tomato season and  that makes me very happy. I feel like I have eaten my weight in tomatoes and basil that last few weeks.

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I saw a fish in a sink used as a decoration at a restaurant yesterday and that brought on a giggle. It’s these little things!

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My sister and I had a wonderful Father’s Day with my dad on Sunday! We got to pack a picnic and head out to Lake Harriet for a fun day. I am so very blessed with such a great supportive, loving dad.

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And of course, always thankful for this tiny little silly peanut puppy of mine.

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The list could go on and on. I really can’t thank God enough for all I have been blessed with. And even when my heart longs for a child, to expand our family and to use the gift of motherhood that has been placed in my heart, I CAN and will be content in all circumstances … because He is in total control! That fills my heart with peace. When I try to make it all better and rely on myself to sustain me, well, Monday happens.

I started my shots this morning and with it, was filled with JOY and PEACE as I trust in Him. I pray this is the last “first shot” for a long while and am ready to tackle this next month. Our transfer is scheduled for July 18th – less than a month away!! So exciting! Keep us in your prayers as we travel down a slightly new road with this Frozen Embryo Transfer and all the emotions it can and will stir up.

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As I close, I just have to share this clip from an email I just received – not only was it so perfect to read this morning (Thanks Tiffany!) but it is so perfect for so many of us in whatever life is throwing our way….

“So as you begin the shots & FET process today, please remember that God knows what He’s doing, even on days when we think He doesn’t or maybe he’s got you confused with someone else’s plan. He does, we’re just scared for our own hearts, once bitten twice shy, so to say. All I know is that He sees, and so do we, that while you’re afraid, you still stick your hand back out there bite or no bite, you show up and do your part. God is faithful, He will meet you half way.”

He is meeting us all. We gotta keep on trusting, walking, and obeying. And He will be there for us throughout all of it! My heart is at peace.