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

lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Nat King Cole once sang “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer….” and here we are, right day smack in the midst of summer and it feels a lot crazy, a little hazy and not enough lazy. I always seem to hit a blogger slump in the summer. When the sun is shining and the patios are open, the inside of a coffee shop just doesn’t seem as tempting as it does in the winter. I can’t seem to figure out a way to write outside while being able to see my laptop screen and so instead, my notebooks are scribbled in and my computer is tucked away. I have SO much to get out and am enjoying the days of processing and building. Watch out fall, it’s gonna be a good one. :)

In the meantime, I do keep churning out work, just not as frequently as I’d hope. I am excited to share with you a sponsored piece today that ran last week on EmpowerHER. Yes, this is a shameless plug. (*cringes*). If you’d like, pop on over to the article and give it a read, a share, a comment. I’ll forewarn you there will be another piece in another month, an upcoming podcast with Beat Infertility and a devotional launch in a few weeks. I KNOW! It’s been a crazy summer even if this blog only has once-a-week love. Thanks for bearing with me.

Article link: Are You Dealing With Infertility? Remember You’re Not Alone

So what am I learning in all of this crazy?

That there are seasons. So many seasons. There are days and hours where I feel like I am peeking through and gaining upward momentum. Other days I feel like my patience has been drained. Moments where I am over it all, other moments the ache seems more real than ever before. All in all, life is beautiful, good, stable and invigorating. Being off of hormones makes me feel like I am waking up a little more each day. My body is confused, having gotten used to the added progesterone, estrogen and hormonal supplements. The cold turkey shock has it going through its own version of mending, but here I am, 30 days clean and finally breathing a little more slowly. Often times I reach this mountain top and wonder how I make it through a medicated cycle. Feeling not-crazy is so so nice. (Granted, my not-crazy can still be crazy.)

Real life is messy. Messy. A popular word we read often in posts, devotionals, blogs. We relate – oh, yes, messy – but what does that even mean? Is everyone’s life THIS messy? Do certain relationships seem this difficult for others? Does the idea of meal planning seem too much? Are you too failing at maintaining friendships, house chores, errands? Does your brain ever get going on the hamster wheel late at night? Do you question ‘what is next’? Does your quiet time go through ebbs and flows? This is messy. This is LIFE. It’s beautiful and it’s painful. The hard moments and seasons makes the good ones even more special. Keep going. Acknowledge the messy. Define what messy means to you and embrace it. Continue to fight. Keep seeking God in the mess. Find a few moments to be quiet and listen. Listening makes the mess seem less intense, even when it’s still there.

Even in the busy, even in the mess, even in the days where life seems a bit harder than you remember, press in. Join me in continuing to move forward, even when it seems like you are being pushed backwards.

Until next time. XO!

Chelsea

miss conception coach.

fertilityconference

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

in the clouds.

While in Hawaii a few months ago, we traveled the Waimea Canyon, stopping throughout the winding roads, walking to lookouts and rest stops. The views were spectacular, evident that there not only is a God, but that He is a powerful artist. One stop in particular stands out though and that’s because when we arrived, we were in a cloud.

As we stood at the top of the cliff, we were surrounded in white, a surreal mist-like feeling wrapped around us and we struggled to see through it. We could tell from our surroundings that there were beautiful mountains and a beach on the other side, but from where we stood, we just saw traces of color and this white fog.

I feel like I am back on that mountain again, wrapped in a cloud, unable to see the other side, slightly blind, completely helpless. And instead of the cloud rolling out, as it began to in Kauai, the cloud just seems to be getting thicker.

The doctor confirmed today what we already knew, another failed cycle, a big fat negative, more dreams snatched away. We didn’t even tell anyone we were cycling, my strength was depleted, my words few, my body exhausted. The thought of being asked one question about it, let alone having to answer it made me feel anxious and drained. So instead, we partnered up with the Lord and endured what we prayed would be a successful cycle.

And now, here I sit, not pregnant, waiting for the bleeding to start, with a stomach covered with the most massive bruises I have yet to see, colorfully reminding me in a sea of black, blue, yellow and purple that this didn’t work. And here in the cloud I sit.

I prayed walking into the appointment this morning that the blood draw would go smoothly and instead, was met with 4 painful needle sticks in order to find a vein that could produce any blood. “Your veins in your arms have formed scar tissue from overusage.”, the first nurse explained. I felt like I returned the statement with a numb smile, knowing all too well how much these arms of mine have been used for blood work.

I don’t have the strength to be angry, it’s an emotion far too exhausting. I just feel a weariness that is indescribable. People try to relate, but no one can really understand until you have been here. My heart feels battered – 6+ years of trying, 13 or 14 medicated cycles, countless IUI’s, 4 IVF cycles, 3 miscarriages, unending baby showers, newborn hospital visits, meals cooked, photos looked at on facebook and instagram, first birthday parties attended – all have taken its toll on the capacity I can hold. I. Am. So. Tired.

My friend Candice texted me last night and said “Sometimes it’s so hard to understand the story He’s asked us to receive…” and it all clicked for me. I am so tired of this being my story. I don’t want to receive it anymore. I want God to remove this burden of motherhood from my heart, to change the genre of books in my library, to reroute everything. This isn’t me! I don’t think like this, I can usually see the silver lining, but this week just seems a little harder.

And yet, as I was driving today, thinking about how I felt like I was stuck in this cloudy mountain, this chapter (Psalm 121) came to mind, spoken straight from His Spirit to mine:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—

he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

With the simple words of “I lift my eyes up to the mountains”, I was reminded that there is something above the clouds, I just have to look up. Right now it seems that I am searching in a fog for my surroundings, but instead, God is there, reminding me that He watches over me, that none of this has escaped His sight and that there is a break from the clouds slightly above me head.

My help is not rooted in me or my capabilities to see the beach from where I stand. My Help is rooted in the one who stands above the mountains, who formed the clouds, who parts the skies and who has never left my side, even when life’s circumstances weigh on me.

In a Bible study I am doing this summer, I read these words: “God gives power to the faint. Admitting weakness gives way to God’s strength. Courage is not the absence of fear but the presence of faith despite fear.”

Did you need to hear that as much as I did? How many of you are standing with me in the cloud, feeling a little lost, a little overwhelmed and desperate for your story to change? Can I encourage both of us today to remember that “He who watches over you will not slumber.”? Even in the moments where is feels like all He is doing is slumbering, can we stand together in faith, believing that He is true to His word? That regardless of how we feel, feelings can’t be trusted, only He can be trusted.

To those surrounding me, can I ask (beg) you not to talk about this failed cycle with me? I am doing everything I can to gather my strength to make it through the next few days as the reminder of this failure pummels me physically. I don’t know if my heart can handle a sympathy text or “how are you?” question. (And if you do, then I will feel obligated to reply and I just don’t have it in me.) Please, just pray. If you are looking for a way to help, the greatest thing would be to join my heart in petitioning to the Lord that He allows these clouds to pass by quickly. He is faithful, even when it is hard to see. I am firmly believing that He will replenish my soul, hopefully sooner rather than later. I’m praying for you too.

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(Update: everything in me wants to yank this vulnerable post off this blog and archive it away from the public eyes. But I pray that God can use it to touch just one person reading today … If its you, it’s worth it.)

june giveaway.

You know what I love? Reading something that makes you feel a little less crazy, a whole lot understood and helps you through the messy journey of infertility. A few months ago I shared a book during a Q & A series that did all of that for me while also encouraging my faith and validating the fact that you can be a Christian and still wonder “why”. The book is called Every Drunken Cheerleader … Why Not Me: Wit, Wisdom & Warmth from Your Fertility Challenged Friend by Kristine Ireland Waits. First of all, can we just giggle at the title? I think it just goes to show you the humor she has, which is laced throughout the pages. Anyways, I am sharing this with you because Kristine has graciously offered a signed copy of her book to the readers of this blog in a giveaway that I am so excited to host! If it was possible to place this book in each of your hands I would, but at least I can make one lucky person’s dream come true!

To enter, all you have to do is leave your name and email (so I can contact you if you win) through Rafflecopter. You can earn more entries by sharing or following, but if you simply just want to throw you name in the hat, it’s super easy! Oh and because reading also requires a good cup of coffee or tea, I am throwing in a $5 Starbucks gift card for the winner too! A free signed book + Starbucks? What’s not to love!?

Enter now by clicking this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will be drawing the winner and announcing on Tuesday, June 9th so don’t miss out! This contest is limited to those in the USA mailing area however for those who are interested in purchasing this book directly, head over to her websiteBarnes and Nobles,or Amazon  to order a copy (it’s print to order so don’t let the “temporarily out” scare you off) or download it on your Kindle today. If you enjoy reading my blog, you’ll click immediately with Kristine! Good luck and happy reading! :)

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costco lessons.

A few weeks ago I went to Costco. On a Sunday. At 11:30 am. Yes, I see my mistake here, especially after driving around the crowded parking lot for 10 minutes trying to find a spot that wouldn’t require me to pull out my walking shoes. (Ha, kidding, I don’t own walking shoes.) But I was in a good mood and ready to handle the crowds so I could grab a few things.

Well, the place was a zoo, like, even zoo-ier than normal. (I was reminded quickly of my brilliant idea to suggest a ‘sample lane’ for those who wanted to snack and linger and a FAST PASS lane for those who didn’t. Great idea isn’t it?!) But as I bumped carts and grabbed my items, I was amused watching the chaos go on around me.

And so, with my 5-6 items, I headed to the checkout, where it appears that on this particular Sunday, Costco was attempting to compete with Black Friday lines. After glancing at lines 10+ people deep, I picked my lane and got ready to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

It was clear there was an issue with the registers on all the lanes. The beeping and error messages were ringing loudly and the people around me were getting exasperated. I putzed on my phone, determined to wait this out. (After all, organic eggs and a lifetime supply of cottage cheese can’t be purchased anywhere, ha.) I started to eavesdrop on the conversation behind me. It was a dad with his two daughters, likely about 7 and 4. The youngest daughter was nestled in the cart half asleep, while the older daughter gabbed away.

Daughter: Hey dad, guess what?

Dad: What?

Daughter: I love you

Dad: I love you too.

Daughter: Let’s play the armpit game.

Dad: Okay.

Giggling, squeals, I got bumped. (I did look behind me to see what this game entailed. It appeared to be her raising her arms as he would try to sneak his hands under them in order to lift her up before she could put them back down. It was cute.)

A few minutes passed.

Daughter: Ugh, this is taking forever.

Dad: It sure is taking longer than we expected isn’t it? What a good time to practice our patience!

Daughter: Well, I have been really patient Dad.

Dad: I know you have, you’re doing a great job. It looks like it’s going to be a little bit longer but that’s okay. There’s nothing we can do about it, is there?

Daughter: We could tell them to get some more registers and then maybe it would go faster.

Dad: That’s a great idea, we could tell them that. But how would we want to say it?

Daughter: In a nice voice.

Dad: You’re right. I am sure that the people who are working right now are feeling really tired because they are so busy. But when we leave, if you feel like it still, you could make a suggestion to them.

Daughter: (pause) They probably already thought of that idea.

Dad: Sometimes there is nothing that we can do to fix things and so we just have to be patient, huh? We can make a suggestion if we say it nicely, but sometimes the suggestion doesn’t fix things right away. So then we just have to wait, knowing it’s out of our control.

Daughter: (longer pause) We will get there eventually.

Dad: Exactly. I’m really proud of you for waiting calmly. Let’s just focus on having a fun time in line, okay?

Daughter: Okay! Let’s play the arm pit game!

And just like that, the moment was over and the arm pit game began again. We all went back to waiting and I wish I could tell you the line picked up. (It probably took about 45 minutes) But the conversation between that dad and daughter has stuck with me.

Sometimes we have to wait. Situations are out of control and there is nothing we can do to fix it. Those are the times when it’s really easy to whine, complain, make irritated comments and melt down. But that dad reminded me that sometimes all we can do is stay patient.

I wish I would have turned to that dad and told him thank you and also complimented the way he patiently and lovingly parented his daughters. It would have been really easy for him to let out exasperated sighs and spout off less-than-kind comments to the workers. But instead, he used it to teach his kids (and me) the importance of waiting things out, simply because we can’t do anything else, understanding that we will eventually “get there”.

Galatians 6:9 says it so well – “So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.”

My encouragement to you today dear friend, is don’t give up. I am preaching this to myself today too. Let’s not tire of being patient, of doing good, of monitoring our attitude and continue to push on. We will reap a harvest when God’s timing is perfect. His Word is reliable and so we strive on, we push forward, we practice patience and we trust Him to come through for us. He will, I know He will.

To the dad in that Costco line, thank you.

PS – I am incredibly behind on comment replies and email correspondence. The embarrassment of being so behind has kept me offline for too many days now and I am SO sorry. I am finishing up a few exciting projects and wrapping up a work contract and then have BIG goals to get back to you. Please know I read every comment, email and pray for you often, even if my typed replies are lacking. It means NOTHING about my deeply grateful heart! XO!