guest post: natalie brenner writes.

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month and I was touched by the invitation to guest post over at ‘Natalie Brenner Writes’. It’s important to bring awareness to the fact that miscarriages happen and even more than that, I love coming along side of those going through pain and grief and reminding them they aren’t alone. I invite you to hop over to ‘Natalie Brenner Writes’ to read my post about the tunnel – the tunnel that is life after a miscarriage. I hope that if you can relate, that it gives you hope today in the goodness of God. Thanks for reading!

“I’m so sorry to tell you …”

All the phone calls started the same way. In some cases, I was anticipating this call, the bleeding had already started. In others, the hope levels had risen high enough in my chest to anticipate a different set of words coming from the doctor’s mouth. Either way, the outcome was the same. “This pregnancy is no longer viable. I am sorry to share that you are miscarrying.”

Numbness set in. Tears flowed. Questions started flying up to God faster than my brain could think them. My heart would pound loudly. I’d feel sick to my stomach. “This is happening. I am losing my baby.”

{click here to continue reading} 


online ‘in the wait’ community group.




Happy Sunday friends! I am excited to share with you that an awesome new part of the In the Wait study is coming soon – an online community small group! Yes, that’s right! So many of you have asked for ways to connect with other women doing the study and so that’s just what we are creating!

Starting on November 8th and going until December 19th, those who have a copy of In the Wait will receive an invitation to a secret online Facebook group. Each day there, me and another one of the book’s authors, Holly, will help to lead conversation and discussion about that days devotional. This will give you and the other women in the group a place to start sharing, opening up, and talking about what you are learning.

The purpose of this group is to build community, help create accountability, encourage you right where you’re at today, and provide you with a safe place to process through what God is teaching you. All women, in all different seasons of waiting, of all ages, who have the book, are invited to join! And the timing of this study is perfect. It will usher in some daily quiet time during the busy holiday seasons and into advent. I truly believe God is going to move and stir in your heart as you continue to press forward into His.

If you are sitting there with your book in hand, thinking, I already started mine!, please, continue on! We would love for you to still join the group and go through with us what you learned! If you have been waiting for the right time to start it, perhaps November 8th is it! If you haven’t yet ordered a copy, but are interested in joining this, I will share below all of the details on how to order (plus a limited promo code to get 10% off!).

If this is the first time you are reading about the In the Wait devotional, you should know it talks to women like you and me, women whose lives seem to weave in and out of seasons of waiting. It could be an exciting wait, like for a wedding day to arrive or a new house to close; a mildly annoying wait, like waiting for the end of a school semester or working to pay off a small tedious loan; or, chances are, it’s a hard, stressful painful wait. Family health scares, infertility issues, wondering if you will ever find someone to marry, heart-wrenching marriage battles, or chronic loneliness. The reality is, seasons of wait have the potential to take our minds hostage and leave us exhausted and burnt out, feeling like we are living life in one big transition moment.

Our goal for this study is to show that we can take these seasons of waiting – exciting, easy, hard and painful ones – and grow closer to God in them. It is possible to live life FULLY while being in an unknown season. Some of you have asked what the book is like on the inside and how it works. Here’s a sneak peek at the beginning pages that explain what you need and how the days are broken up!

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So, with that said, join us for this online community group starting November 8th! Pray about it and see if God is nudging you to take this step towards Him. If you are reading this and don’t have a copy but want to take part of growing your relationship with Jesus during your season of waiting, you can order your copy below. Shipping is FAST and, perhaps you want to gather up a few of your friends and go through it together. I find that having others in my life going through something with me is so helpful.  (Orders over $50 in the US are FREE shipping!).

Even better, for ONE WEEK ONLY, if you use the promo code TRIALSBRINGJOY at the checkout, you will receive 10% off your book order! YAY! Also, I am running a giveaway over on Instagram for a free copy and if you win it and have already purchased the book this week; your order will simply be refunded. I wouldn’t delay on ordering if you want in since supplies are limited and going fast! (You can find me and details for the giveaway over at @Chels819).

Click here to order:

If this is something you are excited about, help us spread the word about this community group – repost this image on Instagram or any other social media website to help spread the word.



That’s all! I’m so excited to engage with each of you and chat about our seasons of waiting. God has BIG things in store for each one of us as we push past the worried, anxious and overwhelmed season of waiting. With Him, we can claim victory and find a joy-filled life no matter what our circumstances are.

wave of light.

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Today is such a special day to me. Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Today connects so many people together in one beautiful, special day of remembrance. Today we gather together those who are grieving, those who are supporting and those who love, and we remember the too-short lives of lost babies and infants, all while spreading awareness, hope and compassion.

I wrote these words last year and want to share them again this year:

So often we comfort widows, cancer victims, and orphans – all who are beautifully deserving of love and care. But more often than not, there is a group of people who suffer without anyone around them even knowing, ashamed to speak of the sadness that they feel, stripped of the public title of parents or saddened to have other children who will never know they had another sibling. The New York Times last year said “Unless you wear a T-shirt emblazoned with your children’s names or tattoo them on your wrist, you rarely speak their names aloud no matter how much you need or want to tell others. And for women who have struggled with pregnancy loss, there seems even less place to mention the love they feel for babies they will never have.”

There is a special way to offer support tonight, to a community of men and women, moms and dads, people just like you. Tonight from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, in all time zones around the world, you can light a candle to remember the babies who have been lost from miscarriages, ectopic and molar pregnancies, born stillborn or lost to infant death. By keeping your candle lit for an hour, it creates a “wave of light” across the world and is a beautiful, touching, moving tribute to the families who have suffered. It’s not an image that will likely ever be seen, but if you are home tonight, even if it’s not at 7 pm, please, light a candle for those who have lost their precious babies. It would mean more to me, and others like me, than you could ever imagine.

Each family’s pain is unique. Each life, no matter how short, was meaningful and special. 4 weeks, 40 weeks, 4 hours old, 4 days old. Each life creates a ring of love around the parents hearts, changing us, reminding us all of the precious gift of life. So again, I humbly ask you, please, light a candle with me tonight, even if you have not lost a baby. The support and opportunity to spread love and compassion means so much.

I love seeing the pictures that you text, post, tag me in and email. Truthfully, it’s like a small celebration for the 3 babies we lost to miscarriage and every embryo God has created, and every one we had transferred. We fell head over heels with each of these little lives and to know that others are thinking of them and others like them tonight brings tears to my eyes typing this. Thank you for helping us honor their short lives tonight.

Can I humbly ask you to take this one step further? If you are a friend, family member, blog follower, or have even just stumbled upon this post today, would you say a prayer for us tonight as you light your candle? Would you whisper up specific words for us, Josh and Chelsea, to our gracious Father on our behalf? Even in a 5 second prayer, there is power. We would be so appreciative and don’t take your offering lightly, as I know He doesn’t either. Thank you. So much.

To our own babies lost, oh sweet babies, I love you so much. Rarely does a day go by where I don’t think about what age you would be or what milestone you would be hitting. I daydream about what color your hair would have been – would you have had Mommy’s childhood ringlets? Would you have liked to read, color, make noises? What would you have thought about your fursister Cali? She would have loved you. What would your giggle have sounded like? Would “mama” or “dada” been your first words? My heart is with you little babes. You are never forgotten and are so treasured. I know I say this often, but I truly can’t wait for the day our family is reunited in heaven. I can’t wait to hug you all. I am so thankful that you are in the glorious presence of Someone who loves you even more than we do. Love, Mommy 

Friends, today is a beautiful day of remembrance. I am so thankful this day exists. Thank you in advance for celebrating with us tonight. We love you all.

– Josh and Chelsea 

hold them


Don’t you wish we had a Magic 8 ball that we could shake? One that would tell us our future, you know, for planning sake. Or perhaps God could rent a skywriter for the day and with smoke, transcribe the answers we are looking for in the sky.

I’m with you. I struggle when I feel a little restless, uncertain of what lies ahead, feeling naked with my plan stripped away from me. What’s next? I ask this question to God on repeat so much that I have started to sound like a talking, squawking parrot.

Have you been there too? Do you ever feel like a little kid sitting in the back of the parent’s car.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

How about now?

Where are we going again?

How do we get there?

Are we there yet?

When are we turning? 

I am thankful that God’s attributes include compassion and patience, but I am sure at times He gets exasperated with me.

Child! Trust Me! I know where we are going. We aren’t there yet. Just stop talking for a minute and listen for Me to lead the way.

I was having this conversation with Him this morning when I flipped to my Jesus Calling devotional. I had to chuckle when I read the first line: “Trust Me enough to let things happen without striving to predict or control them.” Ahhhh, so this is where active trust comes in.

I’m in a season right now where I don’t know what’s ahead. My heart is torn between a lot of options for our future and I feel restless not knowing which path to choose. Even more frustrating is that God isn’t making any particular path very clear to me. Instead, He is answering back that I am supposed to wait in this season of unknown, intentionally NOT choosing one of the paths in front of me. That is hard for me! I don’t mind waiting with direction, but waiting without direction makes me itchy, clammy, and a little discouraged.

Yet, God has continued to reaffirm that this place is exactly where He wants me. He wants me to stop and learn to wait for Him, to trust Him enough to be okay without knowing the future or being able to control it.

I love Psalm 37:5: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” It seems SO simple when we read it, but it’s not easy! But I know He honors this act of faith. The thought continues further down in verse 7a – “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him….”

Stillness is never easy. Being in a season of unknown can be exhausting, but I am learning that it’s only tiring when we allow it to be. I am wasting a lot of energy squawking like a bird and screaming like a child in the car when God is just telling me to be still. Stillness, in fact, should be the least exhausting action at all! Stillness involves rest, restoration, and listening. Even my vocal cords should be getting a break! (Imagine that!)

Psalm 38:9 seems to perfectly describe my prayer at the moment: “O Lord, all my longing is before You; my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes – it also has gone from me.” Ever been there? Maybe you are there right now. Maybe you have vulnerably set your longing before Him. You know what? He hears our sighing. Perhaps your heart is throbbing and you feel so tired and weak. He is with us.

Read these words from Psalm 40 with me today (I found strength in reading them outloud) and claim the victory that He has promised!

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” (v.1-3)

Seasons change. Trusting in Him is not purposeless or pointless. He lifts us up. He steadies us. He fills our mouths with a new song. And in the end, as a result of our patience, our steadfastness, our trust, He is glorified! Doesn’t that make it all seem worth it?

Lord, help me to commit my ways to You. Help me to trust in your promise to act. Allow me to be still and wait patiently for you. Amen.



fur mama giveaway.

Oh I am SO excited for this one friends! If you know me at alllllll, you know that my fur baby, Cali, is insanely precious to me (bordering obsessive) and that I love being her fur mama. Another thing I love is mail and encouragement. So imagine my DELIGHT when I saw that Fertile Box’s October TTC Care Package was made SPECIFICALLY with Fur Mama’s in mind! ALL THE FEELS. (And it can be made for a cat or dog mom too!)

Crystal sent me and Cali this AMAZING Fur Mama Care Package and we couldn’t love it more! So, I couldn’t let the day pass without sharing this awesome box with you AND of course, inviting you to win one for FREE! (More details on that later!)

(Side note: If you aren’t trying to conceive and still want this box, you can! When you order it, simply add a note that you aren’t trying to conceive and she will omit the TTC-related items, as well as allow you to add an extra quote print of your choosing. HURRAY!)

Let me walk you through this awesome box. Gah, you’re going to love it!

My box arrived and was packaged so cute and carefully. Take a peek!

Cali was immediately interested and of course came over to help open it! First we opened the Fur Mama Survival Kit.


Inside was: 2 flower and bow collar attachments, a package of homemade dog treats (which has been Cali-approved!), an adorable Snoopy halloween toy (with a squeaker, which we have been hearing all weekend in the most adorable way), and some fall doggy bags.This bag was a home run!!!!!



Next we opened this box:


Inside was this PRECIOUS paw print necklace in silver. I’m swooning!

Next we opened this Trick or Treat bag.


Inside was some special treats for me – a face mask, a KIND bar (my favorite kind too!), some Kettle Pop gourmet gum, and of course, you can’t do fall without some pumpkin spice! I can’t wait to try this Tazo Chai tea!


Next up, unwrapping this:


It held this ADORABLE Fur Mama tee shirt! The shirt is so soft! They offer sizes S – 2XL. I can’t wait to iron mine and rock it! You can count on seeing a selfie on Instagram this week for sure. (Just realized this image is a little blurry but you get the picture!)

Next up – this 5 x 7 quote print out. I love how she adhered it to the box so that it shipped safely. Just love it!

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Last up was the TTC part of the package, which again, can be omitted if you aren’t TTC and replaced with an extra quote print out:

The front of the package looks like this:

And it’s filled with 5 ovulation tests, 2 pregnancy tests, and of course, baby dust!

Seriously – you guys. This will put a smile on ANY Fur Mama’s face! The card in the box says it all: “For many of us … the only thing keeping us sane on this difficult journey to parenthood is the unconditional love of our fur babies….We may not be human mommies yet, but we’re wonderful loving Fur Mama’s!”

If you are supporting someone who is struggling to start a family and know that they would love this Fur Mama package, order them one. Seriously. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about someone going out of their way to acknowledge how much of a mom you can be to a pet.

Every month has a different theme for the Monthly TTC Care Packages and this is the only month to order the Fur Mama collection and they will sell out, so don’t delay! Head over to to place an order! There are two versions of the box, this FULL version ($36) which includes everything pictured, and the MINI version ($26) which has everything except the t-shirt. Seriously, for everything inside, it’s a DEAL!

BUT WAIT! Because I love you guys so much, and Crystal over at Fertile Box is so amazing, we are offering my readers a special promotional code for a FREE “Refuse to Sink” silver cuff! All you have to do is enter the Promo Code FALLBONUS when checking out.

Every month there is a different theme to the packages so if you aren’t a fur mama, or if you want to spread some love next month or over the holidays, keep checking out for updates. There is always something new and it makes this journey so much more bearable.

Now, the GIVEAWAY!!!!!

This giveaway is being conducted entirely through Instagram, so head on over to my account @chels819 to enter. Rules to enter:

  1. Follow @FertileBox and @Chels819
  2. Like the Giveaway Picture
  3. Tag 3 friends that you think might be interested!

That’s it! But for an extra 3 entries, repost the Instagram picture (pictured below for an easy save and repost) and use the hashtags #fertilebox #FurMamaGiveaway. (if you are set to private, direct message me a screenshot of the post.)

So easy! We are drawing the winner at the end of the day FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9TH so don’t let time get away from you! This honestly is the funnest giveaway EVER and I can’t wait to spoil a special fur mama with this package. (By the way, we are giving away the FULL version! Whoop whoop!).

Okay, what are you waiting for? Go enter and/order! Before they are all gone!

Use this Image on Instagram to repost

Use this Image on Instagram to repost

(Also, congratulations to Amy L. who won the In Due Time book giveaway! It’s not too late to buy a copy for yourself – head on over HERE to purchase one for yourself in paperback or for your Kindle! Thanks again Jen for sponsoring that giveaway!

guest author: embracing the unknown.

Hey friends! I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Jen Noonan, LPC today! Jen has just recently released her first book, In Due Timeand we get to celebrate that with her today. Jen is a passionate advocate for primary and secondary infertility and I have loved getting to know her and her story better. I’ve not only asked her to share a little bit with you today, but also, we are hosting a giveaway to win a copy of her book! YAY! Entry is simple – all you need is an email address! The giveaway is open now until the end of the day Saturday, October 3rd. Good luck!


Click Here to Enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click Here to Purchase: buy through Amazon* 

Now without further ado, join me in reading Jen’s post for you on Embracing the Unknown.

Winding road

“If I had a crystal ball that could tell me we’ll be successful, I would relax.”

I uttered this statement to my husband on more than one occasion during our journey. I would have given anything to have known what our family planning outcome would be. My stress and anxiety levels were through the roof during these times, and I assumed that a guaranteed assurance of success would allow me to move forward in life; a promise that I’d be “okay.”

What I failed to realize was that I was and always have been “okay.” But that’s another blog post for another time!

I can recall multiple times throughout my life when I stressed about outcomes. As far back as I can remember I was worried about the future.

Will I get into my university of choice?

What am I going to do with my life after I graduate?

Will I find a partner to spend the rest of my life with?

Will I get into grad school? If I don’t, what will I do career wise?

Looking back, these questions seem petty in comparison to what I eventually stumbled across. But they didn’t seem petty at the time. They elicited raw emotions, and I spent a great deal of time focusing on their potential outcomes. The anguish of my eventual “what will happen” lasted a lot longer than anticipated, and it took me quite some time to embrace not knowing what might happen.

I had a plan – a plan that is divulged time and again in the fertility community. Our plans might not be the same, but they are very similar. They involve creating a family with at least two children. We assume it’s going to happen when and where we want it to. As the months and years go by, panic sets in. The unknown appears frightening and we become gripped in fear of what might not lie ahead for us. We obsessively focus on our shattering dreams, and find it difficult to embrace our unknown future.

This was nothing new to me. I have always attempted to control my life. I grew up in a household where I was raised to be independent and rely on myself to make things happen. And so I did. I took charge of my life and attempted to steer it in the direction with the most favorable outcomes. On the outside I might have appeared to be driven, but on the inside I was a chronic worrier. If things didn’t work as expected in those situations, I felt defeated. It took a while, but years later I realized and appreciated that these situations always had a favorable outcome, maybe just one that I hadn’t anticipated.

Embracing the unknown is not straightforward, and it is not easy. It involves putting your trust in God, a higher power, or whatever you wish to call it. It involves trusting the process, knowing that you will be led down your own unique path. And in the end, things might not turn out exactly the way you expected, but hopefully you’ll be able to look back and realize that it worked out the way it was supposed to.

Now, I can appreciate that cliché “Everything happens the way it’s supposed to” is sometimes difficult to accept. Especially for those who are in the infertility trenches. It’s often the LAST thing you want to hear from those who are on the other side.

Said another way, we are not in as much control as we think we are. If we can learn to trust the process, we will notice our hearts beating a bit slower, our anger subsiding, smiles appearing on our faces more often, and our cortisol levels dropping.

I have not mastered embracing the unknown. When you’ve spent the majority of your life worrying, it’s a challenge to completely shut off. It’s a work in progress, but one that I believe is invaluable for moving through future obstacles.

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Jen Noonan, LPC

* I am not receiving any compensation for this recommendation or link. As always, I am simply providing you easy access to add this resource to your library!