hannahs hope

I Used to Care {A Moment of Honesty}

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I thought I’d share some thoughts on this infertility journey. I’ll go ahead and warn that some of the things I say may sound “hard” or “harsh” at some moments, but they’re true nonetheless.

I’ve gotten questions from friends, family members, and others I know going through fertility struggles, mostly centered on “why are you telling people this?”, “what will others think?”, and “are you just telling people to draw attention to yourself?” These questions have crossed my mind and no I’m not trying to embarrass myself or anyone else in the process. I would rather be “normal”  and easily conceive just like others and not “draw attention to myself.” I used to care what other people think….I didn’t want to be the topic of someone’s gossip hour (especially people who barely know me or people from high school I haven’t talked to in a long time), I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me (and I still don’t)….. all I wanted was for people to know our story, know who we are (specifically our love for Christ), and let others closer to them that are also struggling with fertility know that they are not alone. I’m also praying that if anyone comes across a mother desperate and contemplating adoption, they can let her know of a wonderful couple in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that would give this baby a life that honors God :)

I think that when we are trying to support someone who’s going through infertility, we don’t know what to do or say. We try to be supportive by reminding ladies/providing “helpful advice” that it is His timing and not ours or that if we “let go and let God” it’ll happen. Let me just say that as a woman of faith and God, I know this. I feel bad when my instant reaction is getting irritated when someone would say this to me or say “well so and so waited about 9 years before they had their kid, your time will come.” It would make me feel like I wasn’t being Godly by accepting this friendly advice. Unfortunately, the emotions and hormones of infertility will make us feel this way. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t remind people of these things, but I can assure you that most of us ladies going through the trials of infertility know this. I KNOW that God has a plan for us, and yes I KNOW that it will be in His timing. However, this doesn’t take away the knee jerk reaction of feeling sad or irritated when people say these things to me. The ugliness of infertility is that some days we are open to this advice and other days it may rub us the wrong way (hello hormones and emotions!). The best support that people have ever given us has been letting us know that they pray for us and sharing scripture supporting God’s promises. I’ve also felt a natural bond with my sisters in Christ who have also gone through the struggles of infertility.

If I had to be honest, I’m thankful for my infertility. Don’t get me wrong, the cost of treatments over the past 2 years have not been easy but if we had gotten pregnant right when we wanted to right when we got married, I don’t think that we would be the parents that we aim to be today. I’d continue to feel as if I were my own god, having the “perfect” life that I created myself with a dream job, hilarious husband, beautiful baby, etc. I have full faith that God has been using this season of our life to work His completion in us and remind us that He is the provider of life, my Creator and Lord . I know that His timing is perfect and complete. I feel 100% confident we will have a biological child but I also know that we are likely called to adopt as well. The fun part is trying to figure out which path God wants us to travel first to build our family of 12 children (just kidding). I don’t know the timing but I know that He will answer.

If you are currently struggling with infertility or are a friend or family member who is wanting to support a loved one dealing with infertility, I highly recommend the book Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss. It has specific sections for “burden bearers” – those looking on the outside wanting to be supportive while avoid being unknowingly offensive or for lack of better words, avoid sticking your foot in your mouth :)

hannahs hope

Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it. – Psalm 37: 4-5

Good Friday

good friday

Good Friday, friends! Oh the price that has been paid for our salvation.  Though I know I am thankful, I often question if I acknowledge this sacrifice enough and give thanks daily, hourly, or any other frequency of time. Though the truth is that we will never be able to repay the glorious price for our salvation, we can provide thanks and gratitude through a relationship with our Savior. Just think, if someone you knew from church, a book club, work, etc., saved your life in some type of unimaginable circumstance, wouldn’t you want to thank them daily, or thank their family daily? I honestly believe it would be my first waking thought every single morning. Gone would be the urge to roll over and check my phone, email, etc., but first would rise the gratitude that I am here another day, due to the price and sacrifice made by someone else.

In a moment of honesty, I know that this is not what happens to me every day when I thank Christ for His gift of grace, mercy, and salvation. This morning I was looking through the Proverbs 31 Ministry site  and saw a post that completely convicted me:

But I’d Rather Sleep Than Pray

Wow. Just wow.

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter, ‘So, couldn’t you stay awake with Me one hour? Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’” Matthew 26:40-41 (HCSB)

Even on the day before Christ was crucified, His disciples fell asleep on Him. When we think of ourselves as body, soul, and spirit, we must remember that when our body and soul (mind) are hungry, they get loud. However, when our spirit is hungry and thirsty for the Word, it gets quiet— we must be intentional in providing our spirit with the Living Word…and this process takes denying our body and soul of its wants and needs at times so our spirit can get the “first drink”….for me this might mean denying myself of the sleepy moments in the morning that kept me from the Word. As you go through your day, please take the time to say thanks on this Good Friday. I also invite you to read Karen Ehman’s full post, “But I’d Rather Sleep Than Pray” sometime today…. it is truly wonderful.


Thoughts on Answered Prayers

faith food and family

I realize that sometimes I’m guilty of not realizing the solutions and opportunities that God puts in front of me when I pray about certain things. Over the past six months I’ve realized I needed to pray with more of an expectancy that God WILL answer me (and anyone) with His will and plan for me versus praying with expectations that God will do “x,y, and z” all under my circumstances. I think it’s difficult for us to pray words of praise when God closes certain doors for us, whether it’s a job opportunity, a failed relationship, or other circumstance. Learning to be thankful for closed doors so that we have open arms and hands for the opportunities God does have for us has been a challenge that I am starting to overcome.  Continuing to have faith and hope in the unseen is so important to having a faith that gives breadth and life to the miracles that God can give us.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6

Our very own Tuscaloosa campus pastor for Church of the Highlands shared a message with our church this past Sunday on having Faith that Honors God. If you have any time to watch, please do. I promise it will feed your spirit!


Starting Faith, Food, and Family

photo (1)For those of you that know me, you know that I have always loved blogging and making websites. In high school, college, my twenties, and professionally, I’ve always had some kind of online presence sharing anecdotes, advice, rants, raves, and anything on my mind. Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of managing my nutrition-related blog, A Filipino Foodie. As much as I love it and will continue to keep it going, I realized I wanted a place to appropriately document scripture that inspires me, food and recipes that make my mouth happy, and our story as a family that aspires to have children. I realize that this blog is likely to be a hodgepodge of things, but I’m excited about all of the possibilities. I can’t promise I’ll be brave enough every time to talk about our struggles with infertility, but I do promise that I will thoughtfully pray and share certain things that could benefit other people.

Our church is currently doing a message series on miracles leading up to our Easter service. Like many people, I feel like this series was made just for me. If you have any free time this week, I invite you to watch this series. We currently have the first message from Pastor Blake Lindsey online for folks to watch.
miraclesI thank you all for joining the Faith, Food, and Family community! I can’t wait to share my story with you! For now, I will leave you all with one of my favorite verses in the Bible:

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect results, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4