Monday, September 24, 2012

A Struggle with Infertility

Have you ever wanted something?  Like really wanted something?  Maybe a car, or a new house?

For me, it was a baby. It has always been a baby.  When I was growing up, we had a Career Night in our children's program at church.  Some kids dressed as teachers or police officers.  I went dressed as a Mom.  To me, a Mom was the best “career” anyone could have.  My Dad worked for his sister, and my Mom was “paid” to stay home with us.  To me, that counts as a career.

When I got married, my husband and I decided we wanted to wait to have kids for the first year.  After that year, we got very excited because we just knew we would get pregnant right away.  After the first month, and being a few days late, I cried harder than I ever had before when Aunt Flo showed up.  That same month, a newly wed couple announced they were expecting.  I was so happy for them, but I was hurting so much inside… a pain the others around me couldn't understand.  But, we thought, “Oh, well, next month is a new month.”  We were told, “It takes a few months for your body to adjust after birth control.”

I love to work with children, and especially babies.  But, because of our struggle to conceive, I struggled to work with children for several years.  After about three years of not working in a nursery, I was asked to volunteer in the church nursery.  I was so excited to hold a baby and play with the kids.  Within minutes of taking in the first baby, someone walked by and, full of good intentions, said, “Are you practicing?”  I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide.  Other things were said as well, but most were along the same lines.

My first Mother's Day after we got married was no big deal.  I was still on birth control, so I totally accepted that I wouldn't be pregnant.  The next year, our church gave out flowers to all the mothers.  I wasn't a mother, so I didn't expect a flower, but someone decided I needed to be told I wasn't a mother.  I cried the rest of the day over a comment that didn't need to be made.  The next year, someone sought me out to give me a flower – I still have it.  And again, I cried the rest of the day. 

Each year is different.  Some years, I hide to avoid dealing with my situation. Other years I cry in front of everyone.  This year, I had to leave church because I couldn't control my tears.

After several years had passed and still no baby, I began an internal struggle.  I trust God has a plan, but I don't know what that plan is.  People give me advice, but nothing changes.  God is the only One that can change my situation.

I was a nanny for about 14 months.  It was by far the best job I have ever had!  But this experience taught both of us that we would not be able to foster.  We have seriously considered adopting, but we would not be able to give a child back after caring for it and loving it as our own.  I also will not nanny again.  It has been an almost daily struggle to deal with this unusual loss.  However, I would nanny for Baby Boy again in a heartbeat!!

Cross : cross Stock Photo
Before I go on, I want to clarify a few things.  My pain does not equal anger or bitterness.  I may struggle to keep back my tears, but I am not angry at God or other women who can have children.  Each time a friend or acquaintance announces a pregnancy, I do get excited for them, but also hurt on the inside.  I had to block all the week-by-week pregnancy apps on Facebook because so many friends were expecting.  In order to remain happy for them, I had to remove the constant reminder.

Also, my husband and I did not have insurance until just a few months ago, and did not have the finances to be tested.  We do not know at this point why we cannot have children, or if we simply don't have children.  I did have a medical procedure done a few months before our wedding, and the doctor said there was a 10% chance that I would not have children.  Sometimes, that 10% looks really big!

Through my struggle to conceive, I have learned to trust God more.  My husband can hold me and hurt with me, but he can't change it any more than I can.  Only God can.

I began a study of barren women in the Bible.  You may think of Sarah, Rachel, and Elisabeth, but there are so many more:  Rebekah, Ruth, Samson's mother, and the Shunammite woman.  God blessed each of these women with children that went on to do great things.  There are many promises throughout the Bible specifically for the “barren woman.”  God gave promises to the Israelites about their new land and His blessings on it (Exodus 23:26; Deuteronomy 7:14).  I love what Hannah said after she gave birth to Samuel, “They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased:  so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble” (I Samuel 2:5).  God also gave promises to barren women in general.  Psalm 113:9 says, “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the LORD.”

I know that if it is God's will, I will someday have a child of my own.  If it is not His will, then He has a better plan for me.  I do believe God will give me children in His time, but I will trust Him and love Him even if I don't have children.


Written by: 
Pastor's Wife

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Newest, Grandest News :-)


Today I wanted to tell you about our latest news... our newest, grandest news. Exiting as this news is, I'm also a little trepidatious. Let me explain why...

Francis Nichol

In 2005, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby. We were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to God! We were going to have a baby!!!

When our baby was eight weeks, five days old, we had a miscarriage... our first. It was devastating.  So many people tried to help by saying things like, "You can always have another one", "Well, at least you were only 2 months along instead of 8 months", and "Think of all the people who can't have children... You're lucky that you can get pregnant!"

They WERE trying to help... but it didn't help. My heart was broken, my hopes were dashed, and my uterus, which had been carrying a baby... our baby... was empty.

What I really needed was time... time with God, time with my husband, time alone... time to heal. I needed to quit hearing people talk about my baby... my baby... as an IT. My baby was a living person... a very real, living person, not an IT. I needed to be loved, but I needed people to quit reminding me about my loss.

Yes, I know there are people... many people... who suffer from infertility. I know there are people whose arms ache to hold a precious bundle of joy of their own. I knew that then too, but knowing that didn't help me at the time.

Sierra Rennai

We soon got pregnant again, and Sierra was born March 6, 2006... healthy and screaming her lungs out.

Manasseh Ephraim 

A little over a year later we got pregnant again, and that baby is also awaiting us in Heaven. By this time, we had dealt with the first miscarriage. We had learned to rest in God. We had come to realize that in allowing us to lose our baby, God had opened a very special doorway through which we are able to help others who have gone, or are going, through a similar experience.

After we lost him/ her, we named the baby Manasseh Ephraim, which basically means "Let go, and let God". The night we lost the baby, we went to the revival service that was going on at our church, and the preacher preached on how God brings tough times into our lives, but that He always brings us through them and how, on the other side of the valley, we find ourselves closer to God. Isn't it just like God to lay the very message on your heart that you need to hear?! He had based his text in Genesis in the verse where God tells us about Manasseh and Ephraim, thus the name.

Hannah Marie

Soon after, we got pregnant again. After many attempt to come early and forcing Mommy onto bed-rest for 2 months, Hannah came on July 7, 2008 at 10 pounds and an ounce.

Rebekka Ruthann

When we got pregnant a fifth time, I just KNEW we were going to lose this baby too. After all, that was the pattern: lose a baby, have a baby, lose a baby, have a baby... Surly this would be another loss... but we didn't lose the baby! Rebekka was born on July 14, 2011 after an uneventful pregnancy!

Introducing Peanut! :-)

Well, you guessed it... We're pregnant again! Normally, I wouldn't tell people this early, but I've decided to give it to God. What good will worrying do anyway? Prayer, however, is the key. If it's God's will that this baby make it, we'll have another bundle of joy... or two (My oldest has been praying for twin brothers for about a year and a half now... and we all know how God likes to answer the prayers of children! LOL) around Mother's Day. As of right now, I'm due May 13, 2013, but my due date always change to an earlier date, and my babies almost always come late. :-)...

Introducing a New Series!

I wanted to give you that wonderful news, and I also wanted to inform you that I'm going to host a series on infertility on the blog. I'm not sure when the posts will be up. There are a few ladies who are writing about their personal experiences with infertility specifically for this blog, and I'll post them as soon as I receive them! I'm excited about this series, because, although it's a hard topic, it's a problem many women face. We that have children can't really grasp the things they go through or the pain they endure... I'm hoping this series will open our eyes a little more, allowing us to see into the heart of the ladies around us who suffer from this painful condition, so we might know how better to pray for them.

Also, please keep me and the newest Peanut in your prayers as we trudge this wonderful journey again.

If you have any comments you'd like to add, please do. If you are someone who struggles with infertility and would like to write a blog post on the topic, please inbox me on my facebook page,

Thank you all for your prayers, and God Bless!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Unfinished Projects

Many people, when starting a job, don't realize that the completed job will bring them so much satisfaction! I kind of feel sorry for those people who never finish anything. What a sad state that must be, to have so many unfinished projects laying around, staring at you... taunting you... I know what it's like, because I have a few of those myself!

Aren't you glad that when man fell in the Garden that God didn't just say, "Oh well! Guess that didn't work out... Moving on now..."? Aren't you glad that when Jesus was tempted He didn't give up and go Home and leave His sinless time on earth as an unfinished project? I don't know about you, but I am so very happy that Jesus didn't come down off that cross, calling 10,000 angels to come destroy the world and leave our salvation an unfinished project! I'm glad He didn't decide to stay in Heaven with His Father instead of coming back to life and leave our redemption an unfinished project! God is so good!

One of the things we see in Scripture is that, as a homemaker and virtuous woman, we have a lot of mandates upon us. If you're a wife or mother, then there are even more. 

The Proverbs 31 virtuous woman  is hard to find, which is very sad, but she is who we should strive to emulate. A virtuous woman protects the heart of her husband, adds to the finances of the home through hard work, and takes care of her own--even in the middle of the night. She cares for the poor, offering them food and raiment. She makes sure she is modest, even if she has to make her own clothes for that to happen. She isn't idle, but has a clean and very well-run, organized home. She seeks God and teaches Him to her children. She is truly a virtuous woman.

What if this woman left her tasks undone? What is she left all of her duties to become unfinished projects? Odds are, her heart would be straying toward another man and other men would be straying after her as she wore the latest fashion with its skin-tight pants and blouse that shows off enough cleavage to form the Grand Canyon. If she didn't care for the finances of the household, she would probably detract from them instead, being one of those woman who buy everything they see whether they have the money or not. Her servants and family, after working long, hard hours, would come home to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they made themselves because Mom spent all day on Farmville and is still not at a place that she can stop without losing everything she has worked so hard for. The poor would continue to walk around hungry, naked, and destitute. Her house would look like a tornado had trashed it, and her children would grow up without knowing God or seeing Him in her life. What a sad life for her... for her husband... for her children... To have all of those unfinished projects...

Let's not drop the ball... Let's not leave any unfinished "projects". Keep your eyes on God, your goal on the prize, and your hands busy! Don't let anything... especially your husband and children... fall by the wayside. And... if it already has, pick up the pieces and decide that from now on, you are going to finish every project God sees fit to give you!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Teaching Your Children a Second Language is Vital!

If you talk to a man in a language he understands,
that goes to his head.

If you talk to him in his language,
that goes to his heart.
(Nelson Mandela)

Is it really important for our children to learn a second language? Why not wait until they are older... you know... High School level... Besides, if they learn a language now, they are going to have to learn a third language in High School since it is required by law in our state that each child have a high school level class in foreign languages in graduate!

We start our children out young. From birth they start learning sign language, and now, at 1, 4, and 6, we are learning Spanish. This is Sierra's (6) second year of Spanish. Why?

Children are able to learn a new language a lot easier if they learn it before they reach adolescence. At these young ages, their brain is still developing, and the language "department" of their brain is still accepting new words and phrases as their "first language". Before adolescence, children learn second languages at an alarming rate and retain it better, because their brain sees it as learning their mother tongue.

Learning another language opens up a whole new world for your child. Learning about a different culture, different dress, different foods and customs... these all add to who a child is. In learning about the different cultures, they also learn to be more accepting of other people, regardless of their race, sex, tongue, creed, or culture.

Teaching them another language... or two, or three, or... invests in their life. With extra language skills, your children will have more opportunities... greater opportunities. Bilingual adults have more of a chance of getting hired. Most colleges and graduate schools, these days, require that a student have at least two years of foreign language under their belt before they will be accepted! Also, being fluent in another language gives your child the unique opportunity of studying abroad.

The sad truth is that out of the 66% of the world's population that is at least bilingual, less than 30% of them have English as a first language, and even a smaller percentage is American. There are people all around us that speak another language, and many of the do not speak English. As the world's population grows, the world is shrinking. Are you going to let your children be unprepared?

You live a new life for every new language you speak.

If you know only one language, you live only once. 
(Czech proverb)