Tag Archives: motherhood

No more, No less

IMG_1416Okay, so I realized that my so-called #Influenceconf recap was more like an introduction and not really a comprehensive reflection of all that I “got” out of the conference. I stand by my statement that to sit and flesh out everything from my notes would totally cause Wordpress’ word count to overload and shut me down. BUT, I can do better.

I’ve read and re-read my notes from the amazing sessions & speakers at the Conference to help myself remember. I want to remember the moments and the words spoken. Those words that caused my stiff, tired, skeptical face to wrinkle with emotion, realization and truth.

I do not want to forget. I want those arrows of truth to not just simply pierce my heart, but I want those words to be burned into my mind and heart until they are another thread in the fabric of me.

“There’s nothing you can do to make God love you less AND there’s nothing you can do to make him love you more.” – Hayley Morgan

When Hayley said these words, explosions went off in my heart. I’ve often heard that we relate to God like we relate to our dad, and that is totally true for me. I’m a people pleaser for sure, but I long for my dad’s approval in every thing I do. I’m 31 years old and even still, when I sit down to talk to my dad, I become the 10-year old girl who just wants to hear him say, “I’m proud of you.” The thing is, my dad loves me so much, and I’ve never felt that there was anything I could do or not do that would make him love me any less or any more. But somehow, that feeling gets lost in translation when it comes to how I relate to God.

Here’s what I need to learn and I do not want to forget: “You are loved. Before you even start your day, you are loved. God cannot stop loving you. You are His creation and he created you with a specific purpose. Your purpose is not for perfection. He’s already perfect. It’s time to stop chasing perfection, and start chasing your purpose.”


I decided to go to Jamie Ivey’s session on Shame & Identity. Admittedly, I only chose this session because Jamie is the sister-in-law of my conference roommate, Joanna, and because I didn’t want to go to a strategy/business session. As Jamie began to speak, I sat in that room and realized I didn’t choose that session by happenstance. I was destined to be there.

“The places you feel shame are the areas where you are falsely trying to find your identity.”  – Jamie Ivey

My identity (and your identity) is already defined as a child of God. I am (and you are) His creation and His workmanship. Before this session, I didn’t think that I struggled with shame.

But I do. I sat in that session and the tears started welling up in my eyes as the layers of hurt began to peel away.

For the past 7 years, I have felt ashamed because I’ve not been able to be a mother. I’ve not been able to conceive a child. I’ve not been able to adopt a child. I’m not a mother. 

On that day, in that session, LIGHT was shed on the shame that I didn’t even know I had. Light was shed and I began the slow process of breaking free from those chains of guilt.


While I didn’t *think* I struggled with shame, I KNEW for a fact that I struggle with fear. Fear paralyzes us from realizing and knowing who we really are and what we can do.

“…faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” {Hebrews 11:1} There’s really no room for fear when you’re living a life of faith. God is already at work ahead of us. It’s time to pitch our tents in the unknown and trust that who we are & what we do matters to God.

“Choose Purpose Over Perfection” – Lara Casey

The lovely Lara Casey hosted an Influence Network members-only session and this was more than just a talk or lecture, this was a grace-filled therapy session. This was an invitation to dig deep and to reflect on not just the “what”, but the “why”.

Chasing perfection only makes us feel more inadequate, more irrelevant, more disappointed. Chasing perfection is asking for payment instead of grace. Choosing purpose over perfection means accepting grace and trying things we could never do on our own strength.

Pitch the tent.

To fear something means you respect it. You give it value. The things we fear are the things that have influence over us now. My husband calls them “red-faced monkeys.” If you ignore them, you render them powerless, even if they still fling poop at you! (he’s so funny<3)

It’s time to flip the script. It’s time to shed light on the lies and fears that have paralyzed me.

I’m afraid of being not enough. Not creative enough. Not funny enough. Not pretty enough. Not lovable enough. Not enough.

I feel like for the past 7 years, I’ve been standing in a room with millions of women saying “I want to be a mother,” but no one hears me over the voices of others. I’m afraid that God doesn’t hear me. I’m afraid that He’s forgotten me.

But I know.

It’s time to flip the script. It’s time to build on the identity God has already created for me, and it’s time to start chasing the purpose HE has for me.

Today, I’m saying NO to the fear of never being a mother because I know that is not where my worth lies. 

 

Diary of an Infertile-Myrtle: Part 1

photo
Not necessarily the most uplifting subject to start your new blog with, but it’s a topic that’s become a reality in my life. And, well, it’s something that is so brushed-under-the-rug, despite the growing number of women that deal with it every day. I feel it’s time to shed some light. In order to shed enough light, I think this post will be in 2 parts.

Part 1: My Story

1,825 days
43,800 hours
60 negative pregnancy tests
4 failed IUI’s 

That’s the number of days and hours my husband and I have struggled to start our family. It’s the number of days and hours we’ve tried to adjust our diet (one word…YAMS), adjust our timing (totally romantic  & sexy to talk ovulation with your spouse), adjust our “positions” (he he he) and adjust our thinking (we CANNOT force this to happen, one way or another).

It’s the number of days and hours we have cried, prayed, made ridiculous “deals” with God, cried some more and watched every single one of our friends have children (round 1, 2 and 3) of their own. It’s the number of days and hours I’ve had to chin-up…to attend (and sometimes plan) each of my friend’s baby showers and subsequently, their child’s birth. It’s the number of days and hours I’ve had to grin and bear the seemingly never-ending conversations about pregnancies, child-birth, baby advice, etc. It’s quite the paradox to be absolutely ecstatic for those around us experiencing the miracle of birth and at the same time, utterly destroyed in the depth’s of our souls.

It’s the number of days and hours we have managed to find reasons to smile, to recognize blessing after blessing hiding in the nooks and crevices of our lives, and yet continue to long for the day when we can screw up parenting with our very own children. For the most part, I’ve stopped planning how we would announce our pregnancy (but I have about 100 different creative ways if anyone is interested) and stopped wandering in the baby aisle planning what cute outfits our little one would wear. One thing I haven’t stopped is buying children’s books. I’m obsessed with the amazing illustration work in children’s books and well, it’s the one thing I let myself get away with collecting for our child-to-be.

DISCLAIMER: Funny things happen when you struggle with infertility. You find yourself thinking terrible thoughts, becoming hyper-sensitive to every baby around you and feeling utterly hopeless. Some of the things in this blog post may offend, especially if you are pregnant or have children already. My sincere hope is that you meet me halfway. I will try to temper my sometimes overly-cynical-infertile-banter, if you will try to empathize with the brokenness that comes with this unfortunate – and often unacknowledged – diagnosis. Also, these are my thoughts & feelings and do not represent every infertile woman in the world. We don’t all look alike.

Season of Waiting

This time of year is particularly difficult for Jay and I. Frankly, every holiday that revolves around children (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.) is painful. This is the season of Advent…the season Christians celebrate the anticipation of Jesus’ birth. Lots of baby talk. Granted, the baby talk is about Jesus Christ, but talk of blessings, miracles and birth…it’s all painful to hear.

Christmas card after Christmas card arrives with everyone’s cute-as-can-be kiddos front and center. Hear me when I say that we LOVE and celebrate our friends’ children so much, but it does not change the heartache we feel as we make our family cards – lamenting the child(ren) we do not have. Facebook & Instagram have just become a form of “emotional cutting”. I try to stay away, knowing the risk of seeing an overload of adorable baby pictures that might send me overboard…but I cave.

It is Well

I am thankful and somehow, by the grace of God, I find myself content with this life I’ve been purposed for…even hopeful. I have a smokin’ hot husband with the biggest heart in the world. I have two adorable, yet crazy Beagles that make me smile. I even have a kick-butt job where I get to work with children on a daily basis. I’ve grown weary of the pain and the mourning. Enough is enough.

“Acknowledgement is the first step to healing.”

After five years of silent heartache, I finally decided to reach out. I had heard of an infertility support group that was starting at a local church and I felt led to go. I knew, however, that once I walked in that room with those women, I was officially acknowledging that I had NO answers, NO remedies and NO way to MAKE myself get pregnant. I was officially acknowledging that we were infertile and I needed support. I needed help to find my voice. My infertile-myrtle voice.

This small group was the BEST thing that has happened to me in this season of heartache. God has been trying to heal my broken heart and this group helped me take the first step towards that healing. I realized a couple of things in the 9-weeks of meetings:

1. I’m not alone. 
There we were, 10 women – all different shapes, sizes and ages – who all were struggling with the same issue. Some had been trying for 6 months to conceive, some 6 years. We all wanted children and for some reason or another, none of us could have them. These women helped me find my voice…they helped me put words to my pain and begin that healing process.

2. There’s a breakdown of understanding.
Infertility is not something that is (or has been) talked about – truthfully and openly. In my parents’ and grandparents’ day, these things were most certainly not discussed in public and I think, unfortunately, it continues to carry that same social stigma. I think, more often than not, women who struggle with infertility are misunderstood…and consequently, women who try to sympathize and say the “right” things to an infertile woman are also misunderstood. I want to remedy that if I can. I want to talk openly and not be ashamed by this condition that I did nothing to deserve and at the same time, can do nothing to change.

3. There’s always hope. 
The end result may not be a child for Jay and I. We may never have children. Even as I type that, I’m shaking my head in opposition that this can’t possibly be true. Even in the face of this intensely emotional trial, there’s always hope. There’s always God’s promises. And when He makes promises, they always happen…they may not always happen like we think, but God’s love and promises for us never fail.

IMG_0725

God has made Jay & me a promise. It’s a great story too, one I will share soon. Stay tuned for part 2: “Keep & Give”…

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
– Luke 1:45