the hallway.

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A few years back, my mom gave me this wooden sign that now sits by my kitchen sink: “Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway”. It’s become a favorite sign for me to read on a daily basis while I’m washing dishes and I routinely ponder what it looks like in my life.

I envision a long hallway with a locked door at the end. Have you ever stood in that hall with me? Trying to open a door that doesn’t seem to be budging? Perhaps you can relate in the desire to have a baby. Or maybe on the other side of the door is the spouse you’ve been praying for or the job promotion you deserve. Whatever it is, you can see it – some days you feel like the doorknob is wiggling, and yet, you can’t get in the door. So in the hallway we sit.

I turned 30 last week. T H I R T Y. At first I was nervous about entering this new decade, the one that now requires me to check off a new age bracket, start seriously thinking about eye cream and even renew my driver’s license. Thirty.

I didn’t anticipate it, but guess what? I love being 30. Like, L-O-V-E it. It seems crazy that an age can bring with it such a wave of contentment but I am so fully embracing this new decade that it scares me a little. I am doing this. I am being and enjoying life, with all its unknowns, even here in the hallway. Perhaps I am still running off of birthday celebration fumes, the aftertaste of parties and cards and hugs. But it feels deeper than that – it feels like a fresh start.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Our speaking pastor, Jason Strand, mentioned it yesterday in his sermon and I absolutely loved what he said after: You don’t need to be thankful FOR all circumstances; you need to be thankful IN all circumstances.”

You know what that means? We don’t need to be thankful for the hallways – infertility, singleness, job loss, health issues … but we do need to be thankful IN the hallways. There’s a big difference there! Being thankful in the hallway starts with our attitudes, how we view our circumstances, and what we choose to focus on. Our pastor continued by saying “Happiness isn’t getting what you want; happiness is enjoying what God has given you.”

So good.

What is your hallway today? And how are you learning to embrace it and find joy in it? I promise, no matter how lost we feel, God sees us there in the hallway. We haven’t gotten stuck in a maze and disappeared from His sight. Maybe that locked door isn’t opening anytime in the near future. Or perhaps it never opens but another one in the hall does. Or maybe, it opens tomorrow. Either way, we can’t waste today forgetting that it’s possible to praise Him in the hallways.

Now a note to myself:

Dear Future Chelsea, remember this moment. Remember the contentment you have in the hallway. Don’t lose sight on His goodness as you wait. Keep your perspective upward and when you slip, which will inevitably happen because you’re human (and hormonal), come back to Him and keep praising Him. He hasn’t let you down and He won’t start now.

Love, 30 years + 5 days old Chelsea

Have you gotten a copy of the In The Wait devotional book yet? Don’t miss your chance! Preorders close THIS Wednesday and then the book won’t be available for purchase again until September 14th. Plus, you get freebies if you order now! Check out this post for all the details + your chance to order.

Interested in hearing Pastor Strand’s entire message? Click here to listen. 

day of hope.

Today is a special day. Yes, it is my birthday and I am so blessed and grateful for all of the love you have sent my way via posts, texts, emails ,cards, etc. I am feeling loved and celebrated and am so appreciative of your kindness. But the second reason today is special is that it is the Day of Hope. This day, originally started by Carly Marie Project Heal, is about coming together as a whole community to openly speak about the children who left the world too early – perhaps due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early death, and celebrating their short lives. I want to take just a short minute to remember our special and loved 7 embryos we transferred through IVF and the 18 embryos that never made it long enough to be transferred. We honor and celebrate the short lives of these sweet babies of our and know that a reunion in heaven waits for us one day.

December 2012

December 2012

May 2013

May 2013

July 2013

July 2013

Because its hatching, it almost looks like a little snowman head on top! We loved Gods sense of humor.

October 2013

A Day of Hope – as a Christian, these words weigh even more heavy on my heart as each and every day is a day where we have hope. Hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation and to expect with confidence. You may remember my post from November 2013 where I talked about the hope we have in God – the CONFIDENCE we have in Him because of Him. It seems only fitting today to repost the verses I shared then as a reminder of the true hope we have.

“So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” Psalm 31:24

We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.”  Psalm 33:20-22

“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

“You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed.” Psalm 119:114, 116

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 11-13

“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?” Romans 8:24

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Lord, thank you, for always proving faithful in providing our hearts the hope we need to keep moving forward. I am ever so grateful.

Alright, well, just so you know Friday Favorites is taking a vacation this week, so check back next week for a new post. If you are celebrating the Day of Hope today as someone on the “inside”, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you remember your lost little one(s). They knew nothing but love and will always be remembered. Hugs!

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