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

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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!!!!!

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Next we opened this box:

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

Next we opened this Trick or Treat bag.

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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:

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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 http://www.myfertilebox.com 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 http://www.myfertilebox.com 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 post: not just a beauty blogger.

Happy Tuesday friends! I am excited to share with you a guest post I wrote over at Not Just A Beauty Blogger today! I connected with Nikol several months back (you will love her!) and am honored at her invitation to share with her readers. The post is about how I have been learning to wait with God and not just waiting for God, including some practical tips on what that means for me. I hope you will pop on over and check it out!

Click Here to Read

Until next time ….

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falling into fall.

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Goodness, it’s been a while since I last posted. Hello fall! I have enjoyed the mini break but am pumped about jumping back into the blogging world again! Woot woot! I’m baaacccckkkkk!

I feel like I need a brief catch up post before getting into my regular writings, so here’s the top 5 questions that have come my way lately:

  • Are you pregnant? No. I promise, silence in my case does not mean I am hiding a big secret. My silence has merely been enjoying the break of it all and disconnecting a bit from the whole TTC world. While I am not pregnant, I can celebrate the fact that this PCOS gal has had 3 natural and regular cycles since going off of letrozole in June. Exciting? Most definitely.
  • What’s next? We are not sure exactly truthfully. I can share that our plan is to potentially, God-willing, directed and provided for, do one last IVF cycle this winter before hanging up the towel on medicated cycles. While I’m not sure exactly when that would be, I do promise to keep you in the loop if and when things progress. Our hearts have always been to act along side of God’s will, plan for us and to be wise. We are trusting that He won’t fail us now. Your prayers for us to have wisdom are always greatly appreciated.
  • Where can I get a copy of In The Wait? YES! It’s back in stock! You guys, remember how I got to help co-author a woman’s devotional? I am still so excited about what He is doing with this project and want to get it into the hands of everyone who struggles with living life fully while waiting. Keeping in mind that this is not my product (meaning I don’t make money based on its sales), the reason I am so passionate about sharing it with you is because it’s good, Godly, life-giving stuff! I have seen how He has already used it and know He will continue to do that. So if this devotional sounds like a good fit for you, I encourage you to check it out. You can read more about it here or click here to purchase.
  • What are you learning? Right now God is teaching me the fine art of not knowing the future and trusting in Him. I have to admit, at the moment I feel a little wobbly, unsure of what’s ahead and simply praying that He would guide me into tomorrow with confidence. I don’t have a particular work project on my plate, or cycle information, or book going on. I am just being and trying to savor this season with wise stewardship. Challenging, yes, but full of opportunities to refuel.
  • When’s the next TTC exchange? Mid October! I can’t wait to kick off our annual TTC Mug Exchange and swap cute coffee/tea cups from around the world. Exchanges are always a highlight of the year for myself and many others, so keep your eyes open for more details in the coming month! (This link is just to give you an idea of what last years was like! Hold off on sending any info in until this years is formally announced and details provided. Thanks!)

(Speaking of mugs, I finally added a page to track my own Starbucks City Mug collection. Feel free to check it out!)

And because I can’t NOT show you Cali’s FURst day of school picture …. here it is! Heheh! Seriously though, cute right!?

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That’s all from me today, but don’t worry, I’ll be back soon! In the next month I’ll be sharing some fun guest posts, hosting several different kinds of giveaways, and as always, sharing my heart, mind, lessons and laughs with you all. Happy Sunday!

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. 

watering.

Cali and I just came in from our small garden, a basket full of tomatoes and lettuce and onions and herbs. When Josh and I planted, eerrrrrrr, when Josh planted everything at the beginning of the summer, it was hard to see how the tiny plants would ever produce anything.The sprinkler waters them, Josh trims them back and pulls off fruitless branches, in fact, he even installed a special gutter ledge to prevent the rain from pounding their tender leaves. (We can see who has the green thumb here, don’t we?) We wait. And we wait. And nothing seems to happen. But now, here I stand today gathering ripe tomatoes and lush lettuce and bundles of herbs. We can barely keep up with it!

“What do we have here today Mom?”

Then we have my actual flowers – the potted kind. I am the one that’s more responsible for these than Josh. And, shrug, they are nearly all dead. Watering with the hose seems like so much work. The water can takes forever to fill up. (Ridiculous I know.) Every time it rains, I pray that there are large gusts of wind that will blow the rain water to every plant, covered by the porch or not. I get lazy and then, well, the plant dies.

When we water ....

When i water ….

when we don't.

… when i don’t.

Josh will point out that my flowers are dead and remind me that I should water them. I begrudgingly get the hose and watering can out the next day and drown them, praying that this watering brings them back to life. Luckily, it usually works until about 2 weeks later when Josh reminds me again that my plants all look dead. I have great intentions at the start of the summer to water regularly and rip off their heads when they die, (I believe the technical term is deadheading), but then I get so lazy, certain they can sustain on their own.

As I harvested the tomatoes today, the thought flashed through my mind of how often life feels like a plant. One day we are looking at a circumstance and it feels so small and empty, impossible. We see no progress being made and our efforts to make it grow seem meaningless. But we stay persistent and then, suddenly, it happens. That first tiny flower, a sign of what’s to come. Then another. And another. And before you know it, that circumstance feel like a lush garden, fruit coming off the plant every day. But that fruit doesn’t just appear. It comes as a result of patience, watering, intentional grooming, and the routine of putting into it when you don’t yet see an outcome. Are you waiting for fruit today? That promotion to come or perhaps your walk with God to grow closer? Maybe it’s a new diet or fitness routine or trying to break a bad habit. Keep putting in. Keep working hard, even when it doesn’t seem like it’s paying off. Stay focused to the end goal – the harvest. Water your skills, your body, your mind, your spirit each day and wait. It will come!

Likewise, don’t be like me, never watering the plant or taking care of it and expecting flowers to bloom. Don’t expect an outcome when you don’t put in the work. Yes, it may be hard. Yes, you may feel lazy. I am right there with you!

I go through days where I expect the watering of my soul from last week’s devotions to carry me over to today. But then when a sharp word comes out of my mouth or my spirit would rather turn on secular music than worship music, I realize how dry my “soil” has become. My patience for people starts to wilt and only God can refresh my decaying mess. The reward of being rewatered and cared for feel so good, but wouldn’t it just be easier to keep the plant alive in the first place? For me, YES!

Think about it today friends. In what area of your life do you need to be reminded to keep your watering up? Your work isn’t in vain, your patience hasn’t been dismissed. You will reap a harvest. And also, in what area of your life do you need to start taking better care of your plant? Start watering it. Begin investing in it and then keep it alive with daily care.

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”  Galatians 6:9 (NASB)

Now, I’m off to figure out what to do with all these tomatoes! If only mozzarella grew on a bush …..

10 things and summer in a nutshell.

Excited to share a featured story over on EmpowHER today! The response from the community has been so well received and you are to thank! Thank you for sharing articles like this which foster awareness, education and help guide relationships and conversations. Keep the warm, open, honest and loving conversations going … your words make a difference!

10 Things I Want Other Women to Know About Infertility

“Infertility is a path that can be lonely, long and bumpy, filled with good and bad days. Throughout the battle, I’ve connected with other women, women who understand how it feels to be on this rollercoaster. Our emotions, feelings and thoughts are often similar and below is a compilation of our voice to share what we want others to know about infertility. Welcome to our world.”

Click here to continue reading 10 Things I Want Other Women to Know About Infertility

And with this post comes AUGUST! Whaaaaattttt?!

A few peeks into my month ahead:

1) I turn 30 on the 19th. I am all like:

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Birthdays are a favorite of mine as I am a words of affirmations and receiving gifts love languages gal. Birthday cards, notes, and “thinking of you”‘s make me giddy and fill my tank for a long long time. I LOVE IT!

2) Global Leadership Summit! I am hitting up the satellite conference here in Minnesota … anyone else attending? Can’t wait to hear some great speakers!

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3) New York City baby! Each year my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and me take in a long weekend in a new place and this year, its New York City. I have never been to the Big Apple and am pumped! Do you have any must-do’s while traveling the city? Food? Shops? Must-Stops? Taking suggestions here!

(I may have binge watched Gossip Girl in preparation.)

(I may have binge watched Gossip Girl in preparation.)

4) The In the Wait devotional pre-sale open on the 19th as well! I shared this tidbit on Instagram earlier this week: “I {l o v e} how God takes our lives and weaves them together in a way only He can. Over the years He’s brought this lovely group of women into my life – all walking different stories, yet all understanding that there are lessons to be learned in trials and seasons of wait. We’ve all been there – wondering what the future holds, navigating how do we get over “t h i s” hurdle in life, figuring out what His peace and power look like in action. He started stirring our hearts and the #InTheWaitStudy began. It’s with these strong, godly, beautiful women that a 6-week devotional began to form, all of us taking what He’s teaching us in our own very different and unique seasons of wait and putting it down on paper … FOR YOU! { h u r r a y ! } I can’t wait (hehe, punny!) to share more with you in the upcoming weeks! Preorders for this devotional start on August 19th …. Who’s ready to dive into with us?!” Don’t worry, I will keep you ALL posted as more details unfold. For now, pop on over to the website to learn more and sign up for special offers and sneak peeks!

The lovely “In the Wait” gals! Beauties arent they!?

Otherwise, to catch up on life quickly, here’s what I’ve been up to:

Spending time at the cabin with family and friends.

Spending time at the cabin with family and friends.

Dinner dates with lovely friends.

Dinner dates with lovely friends.

Observing my sister attempt to groom Cali. It sort of worked.

Observing my sister attempt to groom Cali. It sort of worked.

Spending time at the golf course with this stud. I even golfed my first golf game yesterday! :)

Spending time at the golf course with this stud. I even golfed my first golf game yesterday! :)

Reading, sunning and enjoying the cabin lake breeze.

Reading, sunning and enjoying the cabin lake breeze.

Teaching Cali about patriotic pride.

Teaching Cali about patriotic pride.

Meeting friends new babes.

Meeting friends new babes.

So many happy hours and coffee dates. Love! Satisfying to my heart, soul, and belly.

So many happy hours and coffee dates. Love! Satisfying to my heart, soul, and belly.

Watching Shawn win the Bachelorette ... and realizing he looks like Alf.

Watching Shawn win the Bachelorette … and realizing he looks like Alf.

Antiquing, garage sales, rummage sales, thrift stores ... you name it, I went there. And probably bought it. Gulp. #changepurse

Antiquing, garage sales, rummage sales, thrift stores … you name it, I went there. And probably bought it. Gulp. #changepurse

Learning and playing new games - Sequence is my current crush! I need to find it at a garage sale! Keep your eyes peeled MN friends ...

Learning and playing new games – Sequence is my current crush! I need to find it at a garage sale! Keep your eyes peeled MN friends …

Attending one of my moms infamous themed dinners with my aunt, uncle, grandparents, cousins and family! SO. MUCH. FUN.

Attending one of my moms infamous themed dinners with my aunt, uncle, grandparents, cousins and family! SO. MUCH. FUN.

Eating. So much eating.

Eating. So much eating.

One thing that’s not on the top of my list – doctors appointments and fertility discussions. And can I just say, for now, PHEW. It is SO nice to have a break, one where the dates aren’t catching up to me and my brain isn’t foggy with medicines to align my cycle. Taking the summer off was the best idea ever, Yes, fall will come at some point and with it some significant time of prayer for direction, but for now I am just living and boy, is it nice! (Plus its SO refreshing to not be talking about it all the time too! FREEEEEDOM!)

Thanks for reading this obnoxiously long post. Check out the link above if you haven’t already. Otherwise, I look forward to connecting again SOON! For now, I’ll leave you with this stinking adorable snap of Cali sunbathing today. It just cracks me up!

TTC Greeting Cards.

Two things that most people know about me: 1) I love mail and 2) I love encouragement. So imagine my delight when I learned of a gal who designs cards on Etsy for those specifically try to start or grow a family. You guys, you have to check out Kristy’s site HERE.

Even better, we are teaming up to host a giveaway for 2 FREE cards from her shop! The drawing winner can select any two cards of your choosing from her Etsy store to be sent to you. You can then choose who to spread the love to! WINNING!

All you have to do to enter is hop over to Instagram and “like” the giveaway photo on my account (@chels819and follow both her (@ttcgreetingcards) and myself. Then, to earn extra entires, repost the giveaway photo using the hashtag #TrialsBringCards. You can earn even more entries by tagging a friend on the giveaway photo, one tag per comment, unlimited entries. The giveaway will run today (Monday, July 27) until Friday, July 31. Don’t have an Instagram account? Then just “favorite” Kristy’s Etsy account  – it’s so simple – and leave a comment here on my blog that you have done so! Can’t wait to see who the winner is! The great thing is that anyone can enter because it these cards will be passed on to someone in need – so you don’t have to be necessarily TTC to win! (But I’ll be honest, they are so pretty I am tempted to frame them haha!)

Even better? These cards are beautiful quality, so even if you don’t win, I encourage you to order some cards from Kristy. There are so many varieties, all PERFECT. (Plus, ordering supports Kristy and her husband in their long journey to growing their family too! There are an unending amount of wins here!). Trust me, you won’t regret checking out all the varieties of cards on her site. I’ll go on the record to say that receiving one of them in the mail would brighten my day SO much – I know others will feel the same way!

Happy entering! :)

TTC Greeting Cards

miss conception coach.

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I am so excited to be a part of Miss.Conception Coach’s Online Fertility Conference! This conference is hosted by Chiemi, aka Miss Conception Coach, where TTC bloggers are rallying together for 3 weeks to share our stories, perspectives, popular blog pieces and offer support to those around us. Basically it’s three weeks of inspiration, hope and sisterhood all within a community of women that bless me every day. How could you go wrong??

Today is day 2 so you’re not too late! And I am honored to be featured today on the website, sharing a popular piece from last year, reminding those struggling to start or grow their family how normal they are. I would love it if you would click over and check it out! And while you are over there, I encourage you to look at all of the wonderful resources available as well. You won’t be disappointed!

To Read More: Click Here 

Can’t wait to continue reading all of the blog pieces that are ahead of us! And check out Elena’s day 1 piece from yesterday too – a great one! If you are looking for more ways to connect, check out Miss Conception Coach on Instagram (@missconceptioncoach) for support and resources as well! (And while you are there, connect with me too! I’m @chels819!).

Happy reading! :)

chelseaday2

 

 

jaws.

animals-BlacktipReefShark-header-web For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a healthy fear of sharks. And by healthy, I mean I am worried about sharks attacking me in swimming pools, around water vents, in lakes or rivers, most definitely in the ocean regardless of the water height, and yes, understanding that even fake sharks could become dangerous and deadly.

I believe an early viewing of the movie Jaws may have had something to do with it, although like all good parents, mine fast forwarded through so much of the tv-version movie that I had just enough to worry about in an excitingly obsessive way. (And also had a total meltdown the first time I saw the non-fast forwarded through version). Sharks have always intrigued me and I have written many papers for school, collected shark teeth and can give you detailed run-downs of all 4 Jaws movies. (skip Jaws 2 and never waste your time on Jaws: The Revenge.)

Riding the Jaws ride at Universal Studio in Florida when I was in elementary school was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, but one I was determined to overcome. (I did say my goodbyes beforehand though. One kid at school told me someone got thrown off the boat by mistake and the fake Jaws munched her up before they could retrieve her. I was certain my death was near.) But thankfully, despite some hysterical sobs and an offer to stop the ride, I did make it through.

All of this being said, last week Josh and I ventured down to sunny Florida and spent the day at Universal for our anniversary. I knew the Jaws ride had closed much to my dismay. However, I wasn’t anticipating him to be hanging by the Universal “lake”. As a nearly 30-year old adult, walking close to him was terrifying. I likely sounded like a shrieking dying varmint. Thankfully our walk by him was early and the park area was nearly empty.

Take a picture with him!

Josh and the park photo attendant cheered.

No thanks!

My football field length viewing of him was more than close enough and I was sweating more than I should have been for 9:00 am.

Honey, just get a little closer, you can do it!

Josh kept cheering, standing on the other side of the big killer while I would take one step forward and run 3 steps backwards. I was painfully aware that this made no sense at all. I could see the confusion on the park attendants face as she watched me do an awkward side dance between the plastic Jaws and the freedom that the street 100 yards away was bringing.

You got this, just get a little closer. He’s not gonna get you. Come on babe!

Josh was giddy at the thought of me overcoming this fear. I wanted to throw up in my mouth. (Disgusting I know. Fear will do that to you, right?) Finally, after 100 mini mental pep talks and Josh chanting in the background, I made it to the beast. I stood about 5 feet away and smiled prettily for the camera. Except neither Josh nor the attendant would take the picture.

Um, move in closer.

I can’t.

You can. Just don’t look at its really sharp teeth. (Park attendant – not helpful.)

(me wheezing)

Finally I got close. I mean, really close. I don’t think I was breathing and I was certain at any time 1) another shark would jump out of the water behind me and pull me in; 2) that this plastic Jaws was mysteriously animated somehow and would lurch at me, accidentally catching my hair in its teeth and kill me; 3) it would fall off the hinges and crush me. An unexpected way to die by shark but very possible in my world.

Now touch it!! Go on honey! Just put your hand up and touch it!

Josh was shrieking out encouragement and hysterical watching this entire thing take place. Again, can I just mention how thankful I was that no one else was around? Except that park attendant who had nothing helpful to say.

Whooooa, be careful! He’s looking at you!

I couldn’t touch him until said unhelpful park attendant shouted out three insanely helpful words.

Close your eyes!

My hands flew up to my face. I was wearing sunglasses! No one would ever be able to tell if my eyes weren’t open! And with that, my eyes quickly closed and I was mentally moved away from the situation that I was about to touch Jaws. My hand came up and rested on his cold, clammy, killery cheek and the camera’s clicked.

Boom.

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I walked away with a pride. I did it! I overcame my fear! I was still alive! And I had proof! Of course Josh walked up to him and made a visit to Jaws seem like he was saying hi to a minion, but I was on a high. In fact, they even talked me into another picture, this time with Josh, and I fell naturally into a runners stance. HA!

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All of this being said, I learned an important lesson about fear. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and do it. That thing that you are certain you can’t overcome – the move, the doctor’s appointment, the battle towards weight loss, the reconciliation phone call – just close your eyes and do it. When we stare the problem in the face for too long, it grows and with it, the fears grow. The “what if’s” become so long, engulfing us in worries and anxieties and almost always, the thoughts of failure. So let’s eliminate those from our peripheral vision. Let’s only lay our eyes on the prize – what do we need to do to overcome it? Is it making a phone call? Is it saying “yes” to something that scares you, yet you know you need to do? Is it finally scheduling an appointment to get that mole checked out or looking up the lab results the doctor’s office posted?

Isaiah 41:10 (GWT) beautifully reminds us: “Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand.” We don’t have to be afraid because He is next to us, supporting us, strengthen us and walking with us. Close your eyes today and feel Him. He is there! Slow down your mind long enough to realize His hand has never left you and never will. The thing you fear may not be easy. All things considering, my visit to Jaws is minor in comparison to real fears – fears of diagnosis’s, miscarriages, lost jobs, divorce battles, dying parents, difficult bosses. If you are at one of those draining crossroads today, be encouraged that you can go forward. It may be by closing your eyes but don’t stand still and soak in the terror. Grab His hand, listen to His encouraging words and move closer to that Thing. He will protect you in all your ways!

Okay, now back to Shark Week …

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eva’s world interview.

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I am excited to share an interview that I recently did for Eva’s World, a fertility community striving to help those who are trying to conceive. Eva’s World features some wonderful resources and stories and I am honored to be able to share a bit about our journey, some resources I suggest, as well as how I incorporate my faith in it all. I would love for you to head on over and check it out!

Direct link to my post: Infertility Will Never Win Over Her Faith

Also, if you want to check out some of the other TTC stories shared, click here for a great list!

I hope all have a great week! I am so thankful for all the encouragement that came my way last week – you all are a gigantic blessing to my heart! This will be a great week, I can feel it already!

XO,

Chelsea