In today’s podcast, you will get a chance to listen to why women struggle with not feeling enough and how Christ gives us strength in the areas of our lives that we feel the most shame. We discuss what it looks like to practice spiritual order and how God promises to provide us everything we need to live full, satisfied lives. You will also get a chance to listen to my interview with Hollie Wynn, who shares her story on why she got breast implants and then chose to have them removed. We all have our own struggles with not feeling enough with our bodies and she has an encouraging message of what it means to listen to your body and love yourself at any size. We pray that this message will remind you that “hope does not put us to shame.”
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Maya Angelou says there's no greater agony than an untold story. I've lived in silence for weeks now, swallowing down a story too private for blogs and Facebook. Because this private situation consumes me at the moment, I cannot speak well about much else. I've become mute. Perhaps if I share my story, I'll feel free to move past it.
Today, I am 11 weeks pregnant. Sort of. It is not a viable pregnancy, but my body hasn't figured that out. And so for weeks, I've managed nausea, soreness, fatigue -- the regular gamut of first trimester symptoms -- all without the exciting promise of a child, which would make these ailments worthwhile. Every night, terrible images of half-formed babies fill my dreams, and every morning I wish for any symptom of miscarriage... not because I didn't want this child. I desperately did. But I'm ready to move forward. Yet, instead of cramping and bleeding, I get more nausea, fatigue, and a uterus that is growing still steadily enough to make my clothes fit poorly.
Don't get me wrong. I am positive that God will turn this all around for good (Romans 8:28). I know He's allowing this hardship out of love, even if I don't yet see the benefits of this frustrating phase. I also know there are women in far worse situations than this. Women who deliver stillborn babies in the ninth month. Women who wait a decade for pregnancy. Women who will never know the joy I feel as the mother of two sweet girls.
Still, I'm exhausted and sad. Yet I feel guilty for grieving... like I should be tougher than this. I wish I knew anyone personally who had gone through this same thing. What I would give for a quicker miscarriage.
My greatest comfort is that it is the Advent season. I serve a God so mighty, He will wipe out every trace of sickness and brokenness and damage in this world. Yet, rather than doing this through lightning bolts from Heaven, He was personal. God came down as a weak human embryo, and because of that, the death of my little embryo will be redeemed. This pain I feel now will have purpose.
Every night, I curl up in bed with one hand on my thickening waist and sigh sad. An empty pregnancy hurts like empty hope. And I remember that, other than Christ, whatever we hope for in this life is as empty as my womb now is. Hope in anything but Jesus leads to pain, disappointment, wasted time, shattered dreams.
But while the Earth may crumble around us, there was a Baby who did come. Emmanuel, God with us. And while He came small and humbly, He is unshakeable, eternal, reliable, our hope, and our God.
"Jesus is my hope
and I know He stills the wind
so take my very life away
as long as I get Him"
Tables tell stories--good and bad--and no matter what story-table we come from, we have the second chance option: to choose (this very day) to use our tables for good.
Today I'm excited to introduce you to my friend Sue Donaldson from Welcome Heart Ministries. Sue is graciously giving away an "Invited" necklace to one lucky reader! Enter into our giveaway in today's post and learn more about how to tell a story that matters at your own table.
It’s the week of Thanksgiving, which means your kids are officially out of school or in their final days before Thanksgiving break. If your family is like mine, you are so ready for some time off from school so you can eat delicious food, catch up with family and friends, and begin your Christmas shopping (and decorating!). While it is easy to fill this week with lots of activities, the thing that I cherish most about Thanksgiving is it can be a time to rest. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is taking a nap after lunch on Thanksgiving Day!!! While I know that there is so much to do and so little time before Christmas, here are three fun things you can do with your kids this Thanksgiving that will remind you to rest, be grateful, and enjoy your time off from work and school.
I’ve never been great with my prayer time. It is usually sporadic or from memorization. I tried praying before bed each night with my husband but one of us would usually fall asleep before we finished. I’ve tried having prayer time at a scheduled time when I’m at work but someone always calls or an e-mail has to be answered. I’ve told people that I would pray for them and honestly forget. I’ve felt terrible about this because I’ve experienced how prayer can grow premature babies, keep a marriage strong, and build community.However, I’ve needed help being consistent with prayer.
To make prayer a priority in my life, I’ve found three useful tools. Continue reading...