first date.

Josh and my first official date was on Valentine’s Day 2004. No pressure for a first date, right? This date was about to set date precedence for our relationship moving forward. (Plus, we hadn’t had the official DTR talk yet! Oh the horror.)

Anyways, we knew we liked each other and we knew that we wanted to spend Valentine’s Day together (well, I am not sure we said that out loud, but I was thinking it), so I was thrilled when Ritchie IM’ed me (ahh, AOL Instant Messanger) and asked me if I would go out on a date with him on Valentine’s Day. “I would love too!” I wrote back, probably with a lot of !!!!!!!’s and some creepy smiley faces. Regardless, all he told me was that he would be picking me up in the Olson lobby at 3:30 and to be ready for a surprise evening. I had no idea what we were doing, although my friend Katie did but she was sworn to secrecy. (Luckily she helped me picked out an appropriate outfit.) Saturday came fast and at 3:30, I was ready in the lobby. Katie was instructed by Ritchie to take a picture of us and then hand over the memory card. Our first “couple” picture together. Cutttteeeeee. Of course I wondered what the memory card had to do with it, but was too excited to over think it.

We got into Ritchie’s car (the black fancy new Jetta that introduced us) and off we went towards Indianapolis. We talked in the car, listened to some acoustic music and then finally, 45 minutes later, pulled up to … Walmart. Ummm. We went inside and back to the photo area (phew), where Josh handed over the memory card and asked them to make us 2 copies. We would be back in an hour and a half. “What is going on?” I thought, “I hope that was a good picture and my hair looked cute!”

From there we crossed the street and pulled up outside the new restaurant that was the talk around Indiana at the time, Texas Roadhouse. We had spoken about it in December, so I was pleased that he remembered that I said I would like to go there one day. Not only that, but he made reservations (which they took at the time), and we were seated promptly, while many other couples gathered at the door.  (HA! Suckers!) We were immediately introduced to the rolls with cinnamon butter and it was one of my first chances to observe the amount of food Josh can consume when he likes something. “Look at him eating a dozen rolls,” I thought, “That is soooo cute.” Dinner was very fun and before long, we were departing and heading back to Walmart. After picking up the pictures, (whew, my hair looked decent), we drove for 15 minutes and pulled up at our next destination – a Barnes and Nobles. Now, for those who know me, I adore bookstores. In fact, they are one of my favorite places to go and the fact that after a couple months of knowing each other, with no local bookstores nearby, he knew that I would love to spend some time at one, made me glow. I was instructed to pick out a book, any book I wanted, and that he would buy it for me. I spent time slowly grazing through the aisles until finally I settled on a book – The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber. (I have to be honest, the only reason I got it was because it was on the New York Times Bestseller list, was impressibly thick at 894 pages, and to this day, I have not read past the 1st page. Did you know that Josh? Sorry.)

It can’t get better than this! I thought as we got back into the Jetta. We were then off to a mall, where we went inside and headed towards … Build A Bear. Now, I remember telling Ritchie in passing at some point, that I had never been there, but was shocked when we walked in. Once we were inside, he told me we were creating stuffed teddy bears for one another and that’s where the photo came into play – we were going to bury one inside each bear to create a time capsule of our first date. (Seriously ladies, I was swooning.) A short time later, we had chosen and constructed each of our bears, loaded them into their new boxed home, and were back in the car.

I really thought the evening was coming to an end, but we were now entering downtown Indy. Josh led me down the street to a …. Starbucks. (BE STILL MY HEART!) Ritchie knew that I never got Starbucks while at Taylor (After all, this nearly was the closest one to school an hour+ away and luxuries like lattes weren’t on my college budget). A delicious drink later, we stepped back into the street where a horse and carriage was awaiting us. I’m serious. I know this part of the story sounds too much like a movie, but its true. We had a horse and carriage take us around downtown Indy in the crisp February evening with our hands warmed by our Starbucks. It was such a perfectly wonderful first date, one that would be hard to live up to, but he still surprises me like this to this day. We still have our teddy bears and I am always brought back to the memories of that date when I see him. However, what I remember the most about that date was not the events or purchased items, but the thought out details that came from knowing me, from the bookstore to the Starbucks, and the amount of fun we had together. That has never changed.

Imagine my horror when I gave him his gift later that night, once we were back at school. A fish. A goldfish to be exact. I named him Jaws to be humorous. To this day I have NO idea why I thought a messy college guy who lived in an off-campus apartment with another equally messy guy (sorry Becker), would want an aquarium with a goldfish. But that’s what I got him. And I told him it was our love fish. (This must have been around the time How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was popular – was I thinking it was a love fern?). Regardless, the next morning Ritchie called to tell me our “love fish” died overnight. Luckily, the second one I bought him (yes, of course I replaced it) lived a little longer. Yet, still, to this day, we have decided fish aren’t for us. Thank goodness our dog is still alive.


I haven’t posted in a while and it wasn’t intentional. To be honest, I am enjoying the quiet this month has had to offer me mentally and physically after the cycle was canceled. Now, of course I would rather have a chance, but it has been so nice not worrying, thinking, or over analyzing. I have been able to spend a week simply being. It’s been a eye opener in remembering how crazy I can drive myself throughout this process. Not counting days, taking temps, or swallowing pills has its perks – sanity!

As I think about the desire to have a child, as of late, the warning of idolatry comes to my mind and it made me stop and think. The definition of idolatry is typically equated with a type of religious worship; however, there is another meaning which defines it as an “excessive devotion” to something. It’s been a good reminder that TTC has the potential of creating an excessive devotion or strong dedication to something other than God. It’s possible to get so wrapped up in the events of the days and months that your focus shifts from being devoted to Christ, to being devoted to having a child. We have to daily act with an intentional-ism to not allow our Thing to become an idol.

I am not saying having a desire for children is idolatrous – I am simply being called to remember my powerlessness in making this happen. I know many of you are struggling with a certain stage of life you are in. And some of you are thinking it’s impossible to be satisfied until your Thing has been answered. I know in my heart that Godly contentment with our stage in life is possible. I have seen the stage of infertility become a beautiful time of friendship, support, family and growing in my marriage. I have seen this stage set up ministry opportunities that may not have otherwise been there. I have seen God call me to do things that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had a child. Regardless of His timing to fulfill my heart’s desire to have a child, I know that is preparing me now for what is to come.

In the book of Philippians, Paul writes this letter to his friends and it echoes what is in my heart tonight: “I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.”

I believe the calling for Josh and I to become parents is God-ordained, but I also believe that the calling has to be in line with complete satisfaction in Christ. While I am not sure why God is allowing the unfulfilled desire in our lives, I believe that his reasoning is consistent with His character. What a beautiful thing.

Meeting Ritchie.

Friday. I love Fridays. I love knowing the weekend is nearly here. Saturday’s usher in the ability to sleep in, a great weekend church service, the freedom to wear sweatpants all day, the lack of work stress…Today in particular I am celebrating passing my PHR certification exam. YIPPEE! So, in the spirit of celebration, I am taking this day off from posting about TTC and instead, sharing the story of how Josh and I met. I figure Friday’s are the perfect day to read about a good old fashion love tale. Enjoy!

The year was 2003. Trucker hats, low cut jeans, and slim fit tees were in. R. Kelly’s “Thoia Thoing” was playing on the radio. Location: Upland, Indiana at Taylor University. The city of … well, not much, other than Ivanhoes where you could get 100 different kinds of shakes and sundaes. Enter Chelsea, 18, college freshman. Enter Josh, 21, college senior.

My friend Katie and I were hanging out with a friend from our brother floor who persuaded us to break from the standard Friday evening plans of hanging in the dorm room during open house, to run up the road to get a slushy with his friend “Ritchie”, who just got a new car. Although I was feeling slightly unsure about leaving my neat dorm room that was waiting for visitors to venture out to see a new Jetta, we decided there (literally) was nothing else to do, so we went.

*Vroom* Up pulls this cool college guy (A SENIOR) in his hot black, 2 door Jetta. With his tight Hollister shirt and slightly tilted trucker hat he grunted “Sup ladies.” (at least that’s what I envision). Katie and I tumbled into the back seat, our friend Jamie taking the passenger seat and off we went to the gas station.

Now I truly don’t remember much about the car ride. I just remember being dropped back off at the dorm 10 minutes later, Coke slushy in hand and trampling back up to the room. Then casually, about 15 minutes later, Ritchie casually just happened to be walking through our floor for the open house and stopped in.  I think he probably just stood there, thinking he was cool. “Whatcha guys up to?” I remember him saying, this look of interested indifference on his face. “Uh, nothing.” I probably stammered back, doing my best to flirt but feeling totally intimidated by his (perceived) coolness.

Fast forward 30 minutes. After confirming there was nothing to do, Katie, Jamie, Ritchie, and I decided it only made sense to get back into the Jetta and roam around the cornfield filled streets of Upland in search for a cow to tip. (Um, naturally and only after dressing in black.) After driving down dark roads (it was probably close to midnight), we decided there were no cows around, much less, did we have knowledge of how to actually tip a cow should we find one. (This was pre-iPhone age of course).

So instead, we pulled over, got out of the car and safely decided to lay in the middle of the street to watch for shooting stars. I remember nothing more from that night other than a lot of laughs and letting my arm casually brush Ritchie’s as we laid on the gravely road.

I have no idea what it was about that night, but I remember arriving back to the dorm and telling someone with a certain confidence that I would marry Ritchie. I am positive I got some weird looks from my floormate, but I just knew. It sounds corny but from there, it all fell into place.

We met in November. We started dating in February. (Our first date is a story I’d love to share with you sometime.) We were engaged in August. It sounds crazy, even to me looking back, but I can see God’s hand in our relationship and all that He has done in us to prepare us to live life together. As we approach our 7 year anniversary this July, I couldn’t have imagined a better partner. He makes me laugh. He knows me better than I know myself. He finds joy in making me happy. I am so blessed to have him in my life. Love you “Ritchie”!

Here is a brief timeline of our relationship via old pictures…gotta love it!

One month as friends … not dating yet but “crushing”!

Our first date – Valentine’s Day 2004

We were cool. We bowled together and wore matching shirts. Ah, young love.

My first visit to Minnesota – picking strawberries!

The night of our engagement – I had no idea!

So happy together!

Starting to prep for becoming a Minnesota Wife!

Silly faces :)


The best is yet to come!

my plea.

There is this little valley that I hit sometimes. I’d call it self-pity but this valley runs a little deeper than that. I struggle to find a word to describe it and the only word that comes to mind is grief. I try push that word away, because it usually is associated with death, but now as I sit and think, it’s the only word that is fitting to how this valley feels.

Grief is defined in multiple ways, but the two definitions that stick out to me are “deep or intense sorrow or distress” and “something that causes suffering”. This cycle was canceled for us. The news shared was yes, I have a follicle developing, but that my lining is “not a healthy one and even if implantation does take place, would result in a miscarriage since it does not contain the nutrients necessary to grow a healthy baby.” AHHH. Hearing these words were so disheartening, and frustrating. (Now, granted, I know that there are many others out there who have been through or going through things far more devastating and frustrating. I am not trying to minimize others life experiences, but simply share my own. My intentions are not to be “dramatic”, simply authentic in expressing how this feels.)

I really don’t know what’s worse while TTC – having hope that this may be THE MONTH or having no hope that it could happen. My heart is heavy. Waiting is so difficult. We aren’t sure the next step yet – do we try this again? Do we skip to the last option? I simply don’t know yet. I want to grieve the passing of this month and the hope that it initially offered. I want to yell about the fact that I went through the stupid, icky medication for no reason. I want to cry because now we have to wait some more. I want to curl in a little ball and give up. My heart is suffering. I feel angry that I continue to pray and others continue to pray and yet I am not seeing tangible outcomes. (Then I am reminded that is not why we pray.) I am praying the SUN STAND STILL! (Joshua 10) I am praying for what seems like the impossible. I am trusting, I have faith, I am standing. And still – another month trickles by with no answers. It feels defeating.

I am thankful for the positive people I have standing around me. For people who remind me that it’s “good news that my body is producing what it wasn’t”, reminders to “keep the faith!”, “it’s not hopeless”. I need these people to keep feeding these truths into my head when I feel completely drained and not able to do that myself.  This week I have become my own worst enemy. I felt so angry on Monday. I gave myself permission to be angry but not stay angry. The anger has diminished and now I am in the valley of grief. It will pass. This cycle is unfortunately one I have become used to. It doesn’t make it any easier though. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings said “Sorrow was like the wind. It came in gusts.” That is accurate of this week for me. Some hours are good, others I can’t shake the pain of losing another month and having a wasted cycle. “Grief floats off, spreading out thin like oil” (Elizabeth Bishop). My frustrations are just enough to touch each aspect of my day.

One of my best friends sent me this prayer on Monday and it has become etched on my heart:

Almighty God, we do not ask you to lift us out of life, but to prove your power within. We do not ask for tasks more suited to our strengths, but strength equal to our tasks. Give us the wisdom that inspires and the strength that endures. And give us, O God, the grace of Jesus Christ, who wore our flesh like a king’s robe and who walked the ways of earth like a conqueror in triumph, and who lived and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”

I know this trial is making me stronger. I plea with God – I don’t want to be any stronger! I am strong enough now. What do I need to be this strong for!? While the answers aren’t always there, still, I continue to pray. I continue to try to lift my eyes towards Him. I am thankful for the positivity others are pushing my way this week. I need it. And still I remember “nothing is impossible with God.” and with that, we wait some more.


As I sit down to write this, I am distracted by our outdoor bird feeder and the swarm of finches that are currently attacking it. My peripheral vision keeps catching dashes of bright yellow and I keep pausing my thought process to watch them. They seem carefree, dashing over to the bird feeder, then popping over to the bird bath, then clinging to an evergreen branch as the wind whips around them. Then repeat. About 9 of them, a few even taking cover underneath the bird bath as it provides shade from the blazing sun.

This passage from Matthew (6: 26, 30-34, The Message) came to mind as I observe these little birds.

“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds…If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting , so you can respond to God’s giving . People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

I love the wording of what Matthew was trying to get across here. It was like God was sitting next to me talking. Chelsea, don’t worry about what tomorrow holds. Don’t get caught up with the anxiety of your doctor’s appointment. Don’t doubt that I am providing for you in a rich, unique way. Focus on ME, not on what you want from Me. I am providing for you all you truly need and am here for you.

Isn’t that a beautiful promise? We have our next doctor’s appointment tomorrow where we will find out if any follicles developed. If so, then we will look at my uterine lining to see if it is the right thickness to proceed. I didn’t realize that having an overabundance of follicles is a bad thing and the doctor can “cancel” a cycle if there are too many in order to do “due diligence” in protecting against multiples. (which I truly am thankful for). So tonight we pray the Goldy Lock’s prayer of having everything be juuuuuuussstt right. I’ll keep ya posted.

So, I have to be honest – I broke my first action item on my list within the first week. (DARNIT!). It seemed like a relatively simple one: “Stay off of chat rooms, websites, and forums.” Laying in bed the other night I wanted to Google a question I had about uterine thickness (a concern the doctor had going into this particular cycle) and BAM. First answer showed a forum where a woman had a similar question as me and, from what the Google teaser showed, also was planning a similar process as me this month (same medication,  shot, and intrauterine insemination procedure (referred to from here on out as an IUI)). So I clicked. (Shame on me.) I read the question and the answers that proceeded and did get some helpful information. Then I noticed the post was from 2007. Her summary at the time shared their length of time trying (2 years), that this was their 3rd cycle of the medication and her 3rd IUI, all failing in months past. Wow, I thought, I hope this posting month was her month! So I clicked on her current profile, waiting to see a picture pop up of her and her darling son or daughter, maybe 2 by now. Instead, I saw that her profile was last updated May 12, 2012 and that they were beginning their 50TH medicated cycle to conceive #1.

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

I clicked on her profile for HOPE! Not for the devastating news that someone just like me was STILL WAITING. After 7 years! I clicked off the website immediately, as if I had accidently opened up a naughty website or something. I starred at my phone in the darkness and felt my Hope Candle blow out. And I realized it was the workings of the devil. I caved to the pressure of doing what I know causes me to doubt God and then was surprised when he used it as a working to discourage me! Tsk tsk Chelsea!

I sit by and watch so many others TTC and feel a wave of hopelessness wash over me after each one tells me this was not their month. When will it finally be someone’s month!? My heart cries out to God. I need hope that this will happen for someone. That you can move out of this circle! But I am reminded very quietly that my hope is not to rest in this woman whose story is/was similar to mine. That it is not to rest in the stories of my fellow TTC friends. That my hope is to rest in the One who knows my story better than me. Who promises that “nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37).

So here is to another week. A week filled with hopeful answers and news. A week where I am in tuned with God’s promises and am not discouraged by any part of my journey. A week where I can pause to watch the birds and remember that I count to Him far more. *picking up my glass* Cheers to a good week! (It is National Iced Tea Day after all!)

check in.

Midweek check in! Week is going well. Luckily this cycle I am not struggling with some of the “annoying” side effects of last time. I am not nauseous, haven’t thrown up, and don’t have a constant headache. YEAH! I like to think of that as answers to prayers. However, I am dealing with HOT FLASHES and thought I was going to faint at work the other day. That was fun. But other than that, the only other, and biggest, side effect is ultimate exhaustion. I think there is exhaustion and then there is this. Whoa, it just drains me. But the great news is that tonight is my last night of these meds and then I get a break for a week …. Yippee! Be praying for follie development over the next few days – we will find out next week if this cycle is working.

I listened to a great sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick on Monday that gave three frames of reference to show us what God is doing while we are waiting on Him. They were so good that I wanted to share (thanks to for this summary!):

1)    God’s transportation system operates through hubs and spokes. He used a running analogy of an airport to describe what God is doing while we are waiting on Him. The airline industry is set up using a “Hub and Spoke” model. That is, if you are traveling somewhere that does not offer a direct flight, you will need to fly to a “hub” airport and use a connecting flight to finally get to your destination. You may have experienced something similar in your own life. God will often take you somewhere that feels like it’s opposite to where you are going. As Pastor Steven said, “Often you have to go through (the process) to get to (the place) because there’s something God wants to do in you first.”

2)    God doesn’t put you in a holding pattern to punish you, but to protect you. When you’re stuck in the process between the potential and the perfection, you can find yourself caught in another level of frustration. Habakkuk 2 says that God will certainly not delay. Yet sometimes, you can find yourself in God’s holding patterns, where the destination is in sight, but God is taking you the long way around instead of landing you when you would like. As Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3, God is never slow to respond to us. Although it may seem like it, He is never putting us in a holding pattern to punish us, but rather to protect us. God’s delays are not denials. Continuing with the flight analogy, God cannot land you at your destinations until He determines you are ready. He has the vantage point to determine whether or not the conditions are clear enough to land. Pastor Steven challenged us to believe that it’s better to be late for the destination He has for us than to not arrive at all, or to not be ready when we get there. God is simply making sure that we are prepared to maximize what He has prepared for us at our destination!

3)    Trusting in God means crossing over the supernatural date line. When you find yourself doing all that you can do, praying all that you can pray, but you are still waiting on God, it’s easy to ask, “O Lord, are you not from everlasting (Habakkuk 1:12)?” In fact, God is everlasting. He exists outside of our understanding of time. 2 Peter 3:8 even says that a single day for us is likened to one thousand years for God and one thousand years for us is likened to a single day for God. Pastor Steven used an illustration of his recent trip to Australia, where he crossed over the “International Date Line.” Since Australia is 14 hours ahead of our time zone, Pastor Steven explained to his son, Elijah, that it was tomorrow in Australia and Elijah asked, “Daddy, can you tell us what happens tomorrow?” Since God exists in eternity, Pastor Steven suggested that our prayers cause us to cross over a “supernatural date line.” We often worry because we simply do not see how God is going to bring about what we believe He has prepared for us. However, Romans 4:17 states that God “gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they are.” You may have questions about how God is going to orchestrate your circumstances to fulfill His promises for your tomorrow. But through His word and the power of His Spirit, He will carry you through to tomorrow!

I just loved this message and again, it amazes me how when I need to hear it, God cues up these sermons and readings right on time. So as we continue to wait for our Thing, and you for yours, I pray that you continue to trust God. It’s not easy. Some days I just feel really defeated. The zip is taken out of my step. I am snappy and frustrated and feel like there is no end in sight. But I trust God’s promises to be true and He will come through. What the final outcome is, we don’t know. But I do know that regardless of what it is, that God will continue to be there for us and that’s all we need.

For those of you who are joining in this journey and getting to know me better, here are 5 random things about me:

1. I am addicted to pens (G-2 0.38) and notecards.

2. My puppy Cali (not really a puppy since she is 6 years old) is my “child” and I am slightly obsessed.

3. I will always choose salty over sweet, unless pancakes are involved. Then it depends on the day.

4. I need at least 6 pillows to have a good nights sleep and my own blanket.

5. I collect Starbucks City Mugs and Baby-Sitters Club books.

moving forward!

A quick update: the test for a chemical pregnancy came back negative and we have the GO flag to start a new cycle! The fact that it was negative despite the signs is a powerful answer to prayer. It’s easy in life to become so fixated on the “big thing” that you are praying for, that you forget to be grateful and recognize the little things. (Yet it’s in acknowledging the little things that you realize they are big too!) Knowing I can start the medication tonight is a relief. I am mentally prepared for another cycle and physically ready to get it over with. My gratitude to God for not having a ‘delay of game’ flag thrown is immense.

At church tonight we sang a song by Brandon Health and I felt like these words, similar to the entire message of my blog, echoed deeply in my heart. “Come to me weary now and I will lay you down. Throw all your cares aside, you will never be denied. Come set your burden free, you will be safe with me….So don’t you worry ’bout a thing, I’m gonna get you through the night. I know you’re scared but it’s gonna be alright. And if you wake before the light, don’t be afraid, just call My name. I’ll hear you pray, I’m on my way.” Don’t you just love when songs speak to you like that? I think God must chuckle at me daily because there truly is a “song of the day” every day. But I love that He uses others lyrics to encourage me like that.

So with that said, we are continuing to pray expectantly for this cycle. I have 5 “action” items for myself this month to help keep me mentally, physically, and spiritually ready. In the spirit of full disclosure, I share these with you. I will:

1)      Bathe daily. KIDDING. I do that already. Just seeing if you are still reading.

Ok for real. I will:

1)      Stay off of chat rooms, websites, and forums. Satan uses it as a tactic to discourage me in seeing others who aren’t/weren’t successful. I will not dabble in it.

2)      Eat balanced and healthy, while drinking at least 80 oz. of water each day. Making sure my body is physically prepared for this is important and can be hard to prioritize in the midst of “cravings”. No soda! Only 1 caffeinated beverage (tea/coffee) a day.

3)      Commit to at least an hour of 1-1 time with the Lord each day. Whether driving and listening to sermons (Craig Groeschel and Steven Furtick are my two personal faves), journaling, reading His word or being silent, this has to be a minimum priority for me to stay connected to Him and continue to defeat the devil.

4)      Pray daily for those women who have shared their infertility struggles with me. I currently have 8 friends TTC unsuccessfully – if even one can get pregnant this cycle, I feel like the hope will echo to others struggling. Join me in lifting up these friends as well.

5)      Blog at least twice a week throughout this cycle to keep you informed on how to pray and encourage.

It’s game time (again)! We are ready – I know you guys are ready to walk with us again as well. If I had black face paint, I’d streak it on my cheeks and proclaim “LET’S DO THIS! PREGGERS ON THREE!” (Sorry, I know my sister Courtney hates that word, which just makes me want to say it more.)

One —- Two —- THREE! PREGGERS!

finding renewed strength.

I have typically thought of the act of “waiting” as an act of passivity. However, I am learning more and more that waiting is a verb of action. Especially when it comes to waiting on the Lord. You have seen us waiting for the last 4-5 weeks. Waiting to have a child. Waiting to start a cycle. Waiting for the medication to kick in. Waiting for side effects to appear. Waiting to find out if the medication is working. Waiting to find out how the uterus looks. Waiting to see if the follicle got to the right size. Waiting to see if it developed into a cyst. Waiting to see if I ovulated. Waiting to see if I got pregnant. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Now, God has us patiently waiting to see if my body is just being weird this new cycle or if I have had a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy simply put is one where the egg is fertilized and implants, however “dies” and does not result in a live pregnancy. This is somewhat common – most women have natural hormones that would flush this chemical pregnancy out, most of the time without even realizing at one point they were pregnant. (This typically happens when someone is a week late for their period.) Anyways, due to some symptoms and ultrasound results, they think that this may have happened to me. Either that or I am just being weird, which well, has never been a surprise. (There is no chance of an active, healthy pregnancy this month).

The doctors office is currently running blood work that will give us a definitive answer and those results will come back between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm tomorrow. If the test comes back negative (pray for that!), then I am able to start a new cycle of the medication tomorrow. This month will also hold for us ovulation stimulator injections and insemination. (Ewww, a gross word to read and write, I admit it.). If the test comes back positive, then we wait some more. We have to wait a minimal of 30 days to see if my body will naturally push the miscarriage. If nothing happens then I get to (*sarcasm*) take the 10 day hormone pills (Provera) to induce a cycle. Or they will put me on birth control for a month or two. All of that would be TBD depending on the results. Either way, you can clearly see why we are praying that a chemical pregnancy did not occur.

I am doing surprisingly well for the blow I feel like was just possibly delivered. Thinking about having to wait 30-60 days to start another cycle is devastating and at this point, I can’t go there. In all reality, I nearly want to give a cynical chuckle at the left hand hook I didn’t see coming. Well played, I think, Truly caught me off guard on that one. Didn’t realize that was an option! I carry no bitterness though. I know that again, this is out of my control.

“How can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.  Even youths will become weak and tired and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

(Isaiah 40:27-31 NLT)

Here is what I know. I know that God sees my troubles. He is there on those days (like yesterday) where I feel moody and weepy and physically drained. He is not tired or weary. He understands and knows all. He continues to give me power and strength. I love that it says even the YOUTH (me!) get tired and weak. But here is the active part of waiting … as we wait – we will soar on wings like eagles, we will walk and not grow weary or faint. We have to walk. I have to keep walking.  It doesn’t say sit still and do nothing and you will have it all. It says we are to actively trust, actively turn our weary hearts to Him, actively push forward and walk, run even! TRUSTING that with Him, we will soar.

It would be easy for me to sit back, cross my arms and say “I give up. God, you aren’t listening. You aren’t doing anything.” But there is NO strength in that. The strength comes from actively pushing forward and having faith. “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God!” I have seen. I understand. I have experienced. I AM experiencing. When these times come at me from left field, I continue to keep my chin up. I have to continue to trust, to have confidence, to put my faith in His deep understanding. Don’t get defeated or discouraged in your situation dealing with your Thing. Keep moving. Keep handing it over. Keep battling the negative thoughts the devil throws at you. When they attack your mind, those negative “What If” thoughts, shout “I’M NOT GOING THERE!”.

Here are things I am thankful for in the midst of this: A God who continues to give me spiritual and mental peace when my body is weary; A Husband who is so faithful and consistent in his support and understanding – who prays so specifically for us, who loves me unconditionally regardless of moods,(cheerful or well, not), who has an incredible servant- heart, who is positive and listens and matches my passion and longing for this child; For my Family who prays consistently, offers words of encouragements, are incredibly supportive,  are always ready to feed me (Thanks Mom!), and who smatters my counter with cards filled with positive, encouraging words and my nightstand with “storks”; For my Friends who without fail text and call to check in, offer to help, send a joke or something to make me smile, listen to my frustrations, and validate my feelings; For my Work Folks who allow me time to run to doctors appointments and put up with random sets of tears in meetings …. The list could go on and on. Inviting so many of you in on this journey with us has been one of the best things that has happened to us.

My love language is words of affirmation and receiving gifts. Gary Chapman defines those two as: “Words of Affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.” and “Receiving Gifts: Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.” The words of encouragement spoken lift my spirits far more than any of you realize. The small tokens of thought, whether it is the cup of Starbucks or pastry hand delivered, a Facebook posting or status comment, or a card sent in the mail – the thoughts and sacrifices touch my heart so deeply.

So where does this leave us? It leaves us waiting for a phone call tomorrow with results. Negative = good and a new cycle of the chemotherapy medication starts tomorrow. Positive = unfavorable news that results in more waiting.

I shared some song lyrics on Facebook yesterday by Ginny Owens – if you want to listen to the song, click here and enjoy. One of my favorites!

I love the part at the end, where she says “When I cross over Jordan, I`m gonna sing, gonna shout. Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down.” So true and so we keep the faith, we keep walking. And we know we are truly never really by ourselves. What a comforting thought on those days that feel dark. Hang in there with us!