Scratch, scratch, scratch.
I looked up from my book to see Cali standing at the back patio door, begging to go outside to watch for squirrels, her usual daily activity. I grabbed my book and walked over to the patio door, opening it and watching her dart down the stairs, ready to cozy herself into the blades of the grass and snoop. As I walked over to the top of the stairs to sit, I realized my feet were wet.
“Did it rained?” I asked myself.
It was then I realized it was raining, so lightly, so mist-like, that I didn’t even realize it. I stood there for a while, watching Cali scout out which squirrels to keep an eye on, realizing with a towel, I could stay out there too, as that mist was that gentle.
A few minutes in, I realized while I could handle the gentle mist, my book pages could not, and so I called Cali back to the top of the steps and ducked inside my house door to watch her from within.
It was then I realized how quiet it was.
It was if the world had turned off its noise. The birds, who usually sing and chirp and call loudly in the field and forest next to our house, were silent. The normally noisy neighborhood filled with children’s laughter and parents calling out, were gone. There were no sounds of lawn mowers running, bonfires crackling, car horns blaring or airplanes flying overhead. It was if the whole world came to a halt, all because of this mist.
I sat there, inside my house, observing how wet everything was getting, even though the mist was so fine. I was awe struck at the silence, the beauty of the quiet. The air was still. I couldn’t help but feel God in that moment.
It reminded me of 1 Kings 19:11-12:
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
If you are anything like me, sometimes you look for God in the big places. We expect Him to be loud and forceful, shouting at us what to do next or shaking us so greatly we simply know. But that moment profoundly reminded me of the gift, the importance, the peacefulness of silence and stillness. And how, when things are quiet, our souls tend to notice more. The sounds of nature began to pick up as the mist died down, and I noticed the deep ribbeting of the frogs start first. Then there was a brave bird, who popped out of the bird house in our yard and made the first call out to his friends. I noticed the squirrels began to kuk and soon over it all, I heard a voice begin to perform sporadic, loud, beautiful, African tribal calls. I had no idea what neighbor it was, someone calling out from inside an open window, but paired with the gentle silence, the voice, the sound, the abstractness to my ears, it paired so well with the world around me.
So often, I think we walk into our day and we simply hear noise. The world throws so much at us, blending together phone calls, text notifications, car horns, chatter, phones ringing, minds running, radios playing, tv’s turning on, birds chirping, coffee brewing, dogs barking …. And we simply become accustom to trying to do life over the noise. We cry out for answers to God –
Should we list our house?
What school should we send out kids to?
Are we supposed to be considering adoption?
Do I take this promotion knowing it will be more hours away from home?
Is it time to start volunteering?
Should I marry him?
What do we do if this next fertility treatment doesn’t work?
And then, because we have so much noise in our life, we can’t find His voice. We assume He isn’t willing to get involved or nudge us. Maybe we aren’t spiritual enough. And so we live in a world with a conflicted spirit, searching for guidance, desiring to hear Him, but we get nothing.
Ah, sweet sister, we have forgotten about the value of stillness. Silence. Stripping away all the other noises in our hearts and lives so that we can hear the sound of His gentle whisper. It may take some work, but our God is SO ready to respond. We have just desensitized our souls so much to His nudging that we have forgotten what silence is like.
That misty, rainy Monday reminded me so much. It was a gift.
In Shauna Niequist’s new book Present Over Perfect, she says “He has all the time in the world to sit with me and sift through my fears and feelings and failings. That’s what prayer is. That’s what love is … He is love itself, grace embodied, holding the fullness of who we are – strong, weak, good, bad, wild, fearful, brave, silly – in his hands. He can be trusted with every part of it, the silly and the enormous.”
I want to encourage you today to find some silence. It’s hard in this swirling world. But make the time. Perhaps it’s as simple as driving with your radio off. You don’t even need to pray or think. Just get comfortable with the silence – the buzzing of the cars next to you, the occasional horn honk, the squeal of your breaks. Tune out the big stuff and quiet your soul.
“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength….” (Isaiah 30:15)
Breathe deeply. He is there.
FET Update: YOU GUYS. This is crazy! I shared with you last month that we have a plan and it is well underway! I am thrilled to share that I am officially weaned off of birth control pills, which make me crazy, and have transitioned to Lupron and the full lining-building regime. A mini summary of everything so far:
- My baseline ultrasound went great. Lining is nice and thin and my labs are where they need to be.
- I have lowered my dose of Lupron to 5 units, where it will stay till we approach transfer.
- In addition to the Lupron, medications this cycle include: Metformin, Estrace 2 mg (estrogen), Del Estrogen 5mg injections (more estrogen), Vitamin E (800 IU daily), baby aspirin till transfer – Lovenox injections after, Viagra vaginally 4×25 mg day (this is SO weird for me, but apparently it produces a rapid and profound improvement in uterine blood flow, which in cases of implantation failure in the past, enhances endometrial development – we will see!), Endometrium (vaginal progesterone), and Progesterone in Oil injections. As we approach transfer, we will be adding in steroids like Medrol and Prednisone, Tetracycline (antibiotic), Pepcid and Claritin (antihistamine protocol). Yes, I do have a daily chart with what to take when, since most of these are administered anywhere from 1 – 4 times daily. My brain forcibly needs to stick to this schedule!
- What all this medicine is doing: Essentially we need to shut down my ovaries from producing any eggs (known as suppression) while making my uterus think I am producing eggs so that it’s thickens my lining for possible embryo implantation. All these meds work hand in hand to put my body in an immediate menopausal mode (no eggs), while getting my uterus ready for our babes. (Hence the immense amount of progesterone and estrogen). The other medications treat my Factor V (blood clotting disorder) and the steroids/allergy meds will help me body from rejecting the embryos once transferred. (This is a new protocol for me).
- How I’m feeling: overall okay/good! I started back up at acupuncture since that seems to help with the terrible Lupron headaches. My lethargy has been through the roof, but it seems my body has gotten used to a slightly slower pace and I am learning in this season that rest is a good thing. I’ve slowed down on intense cardio and have been enjoying daily walks with Cali. My ovary area is very tender and I feel uncomfortable sitting at times. Basically other than occasional headaches, I am mainly just super tired.
- Diet changes: no caffeine (occasional chocolate still okay right now). Drinking coconut water daily to maintain hydration and electrolytes and drinking 1 cup of Pomegranate juice a day (for lining).
- Our next appointment is on the 20th to see how my lining is doing. Prayers are always appreciated!
- And lastly, I just need to give one giant THANK YOU for those of you who faithfully and routinely check in on me. It’s incredibly kind and overwhelming to see different people message me each day offering their prayers and seeing how my body is doing adjusting to these new meds. It means more than you know. You demonstrate regularly that you don’t need to be going through infertility to support someone who is. You don’t need the “perfect” words to say in order to say “I care, I am praying.” This means the world to me, so thank you. <3
- As of now, we are still set for a transfer in the next couple of weeks! While our transfer day continues to be calendar set for October 3rd, my doctor has informed me that as soon as they can see everything is ready, it’s time! So if that day changes at all, you will be among the first to know. :)
Thank you for caring as much as you do!
Don’t forget to sign up for the TTC Mug Exchange if you haven’t already! Sign ups close 9/20 and we already have over 500 women signed up! Whoa!