The Best Yes

Now what?

What do you do with this crazy, amazing, plot twisting story that God gave you? I know the God pleasing answer to this big question on my heart is to share my story.

But am I the right one God?  I often feel so unqualified. Surely there is some other person out there who struggled with infertility that is more articulate, put together, wise, better versed in the Bible than me. And probably washes their hair on a regular basis. I’m sure they could do a much better job than me. Then I think, but I am qaulified. God qualified me by giving me this story uniquely to our family to be used for His glory. And maybe there is a girl, or two, out there who can identify more closely with me than the perfectly pressed, freshly washed haired infertility advocate I envision.

One of my very favorite parts of the Sarah’s Laughter support group meetings was the beginning. Beth started us off with some creative theme that tied into infertility and always pointed us back to scripture. Sort of a mini-Bible study session. I loved this. I loved being in a room listening to people talk about faith and God. Besides church on Sundays, this was the only time I was ever around conversations like this. And I really craved hearing about how God was working in other people’s lives. It helped me be able to see how He was working in mine too. It allowed me to see how much God cared about infertility. When I “graduated” from the meetings, I really missed these wisdom filled conversations. This past March, as sort of an extension of Sarah’s Laughter, they started up a Bible study on Tuesday nights held at the center. I wasn’t sure if I should do it because it was a several weeks, once a night commitment. I knew it would be healthy to have something outside of the house, away from the babies, for just myself. I knew I would be doing something God honoring with my time, an activity that would fill my soul. So I went. And I’m so glad I did. For me, the hardest part is just walking out the door, taking those first few steps.

I’ll make a confession here friends. It was easier to feel closer to God in the struggle. Walking through infertility, I felt God’s presence. I saw God in my everyday. I found it easy to turn to Him, to seek Him. And I don’t want that to stop because He answered my biggest prayer. I still need Him everyday, probably more now, just in very different ways. I don’t want to only turn to Him when I need something from Him. So I’m trying to figure out how to stay close to God. His presence in my everyday is still there, it is just revealed differently to me after infertility. On the very first night of the Bible study, Sherri- the leader- had unmarked gift bags lined up against the wall. Each gift was different and had a specific quote on a note card. She felt God telling her not to assign the gifts, she wasn’t even sure who was coming, and let us choose the gift ourselves.

My gift had a note card that read

“I hear your prayers. Not one gets past my ears. Wait on me. My timing is perfect.”

It also had this book   IPRAYEDFORYOU

I was the only one in the room who received this. Here was God saying to me this Bible study is exactly where He wants me to be. It was a God shout out like “hey girl, I’m still with you. I still see you and hear you. I’ve got your back. This is right for you.” The study focused on Lysa Terkeurst’s book, The Best Yes. I read this book a while ago and LOVED it. I love anything by this lady and her ministry. Oddly enough, I had to give a neighborhood Bible study on this very book (recommended by me) about a year before a “small no.” It was right when we were beginning the IVF process, and along with life in general, I was spread too thin to be able to do it with a loving attitude. I think God was saving it up for me for THIS Bible study. The timing was right this time around. I was able to receive certain parts in this season of my life, that I wouldn’t have a year before. I really enjoyed each woman that was a part of this small little Tuesday night study. We answered the big questions about what fulfills us. We discussed how to be intentional in our Yes’s. Allowing spaces in our schedules and choosing wisely. The answers to these questions look differently for each of us. Margo said yes to starting a blog, yay!  yall go read it! All For The Love

Now what? Walking in this new season of life, what does serving God look like? What is a Best Yes for me? Things are different, I’m not attending church consistently and we took a break from serving as a greeters, which I miss so much and one day want to return to, two things that filled my tank and connected me to God. Sherri suggested that I ask Him! Duh, why didn’t I think of that? Ask him everyday, Lord how can I serve you today? I’m figuring it out. The biggest answer I have felt placed on my heart is through my babies. And as Sherri said, motherhood is a ministry. Staying home and pouring love into them is right where I need to be for our family, at this moment. I struggle with not being able to contribute financially to our household, and this will change one day when I return to work, but right now this is my best, Best Yes.

Saying yes to opportunities to share our story is another Best Yes. This is where I get a little uncomfortable. Talking about our journey is very emotional. My voice always gets a little shaky and my hands get really sweaty. This is where I battle with feeling unqualified. I also never want to come across as someone seeking attention, saying “look at me, look at me, look at me” My intentions with saying yes to these opportunities is to say “look at God yall” I never want this platform to be seen as self serving. I share because the purpose of our story is to offer hope and encouragement. To show those in the thick of it, like we once were, what can come out of the wait. And as scary as it is for me, if one person who reads about what God has done in our lives, or hears about it, and decides to join a support group, puts together a Baby Steps 5K team, ask friends and family for help, or just reaches out to one person and opens up about their struggle then I have done my job. If I reach someone, it is worth it. We recently sat down with the local paper, The Advocate, and the local news station, WBRZ, to share our story. I applaud anyone who wants to shine a light on infertility, whether it is a story about Go Fund Me and crowd sourcing, or showing a well rounded picture of what infertility looks like. If I can help them achieve this and spread infertility awareness, sign me up! Our story remains the same, so I am only sharing what I have said many times before, but I know every opportunity reaches a different audience. Still to this day when asked what it felt like to have people fully fund our fertility treatment in a matter of weeks, I can’t help but cry. Thinking about that question, even over a year later I am still overwhelmed. I do not think that feeling will ever go away. And I don’t want it to. I always want to feel so unbelievably grateful, all the time. Saying yes to these opportunities can also look like grabbing coffee with someone really struggling with infertility and just listening, or a friend who is having a procedure done and is nervous about it. It is saying yes to writing letters of appeal for friends wanting to adopt, or be chosen as recipients of fertility grants/treatments. It is purchasing tshirts, or picking up something at a garage sale that is raising money for a couple’s fertility treatments. It is simple text to a friend that says, I’m praying for you, I’m thinking about you.

I always want to be a part of Sarah’s Laughter, in whatever capacity they will have me. Serving in this ministry, giving back to a group that helped me tremendously, will forever be a Best Yes. They are stuck with me. I told Beth, use me however you need me. And I really mean it. If it is speaking at a support group, I’m there. If it means stuffing cups, or writing little encouraging notes, to go to infertility patients during National Infertility Week, count me in. If it means taking out the trash to the dumpster, I’m your girl. Helping Sarah’s Laughter is being so intentional with my time and worth any minute I’m away from B&E.

I do still feel God has placed this blog on my heart. I am just very unsure of where to take it, or what it should look like. I guess I would like a crystal ball to see the end result. When really my job is just to take the next step, and write the next post. I’ll see how it naturally unfolds, which may end up being a slow phasing out. I do feel encouraged to continue to share when I read a comment from someone that I do not know. The other night I was on my way to grab dinner with friends when a number I did not have saved in my contacts called me. I am a big call screener, so it is a call I would normally let go to voicemail. But I picked it up, and on the other end was a girl I went to high school with that I had not spoken to in years. I assumed she was calling to sell me Plexus or something (I’m an awful person. And I’m really sorry for thinking that friend) so as I was bracing myself for the sale, she told me how she has followed my story and through me connected to the Sarah’s Laughter online community. Yall, I was speechless. I just listened to her talk about her journey. I was amazed at her strength and perspective on their struggle. I really don’t think I could have even said anything any better than what she was already saying. It actually encouraged me! I am so thankful that she took the time to track my number down, and call to say hey because of you, I connected with people who supported me. It came on a day that I really had been questioning if I’m doing the right thing being so vocal about infertility, if I should stop blogging because what more do I have to say. Her phone call motivated me, I felt like it was more of a pep talk she gave me! And because of that phone conversation, and comments from people that I do not know, I’m going to continue to give this blog my Best Yes.

I want to leave you with something that, Shelley Giglio, recently shared during a conversation on Jamie Ivey’s podcast, The Happy Hour. If you are like me and wrestle with feeling unqualified, I hope what she touches on speaks to you as much as it did to me.

God uses people who feel so disqualified in life to do the most amazing things…People who were unexpected, that totally were discounted because of a thousand reason, like they are definitely not the right person. And then God says it is them. Some of that is His ability to do whatever He wants, through whoever He wants. And some of it is that He picks sometimes the least likely, I think, because it allows for Him to be big in the story, not the person… He’s like the story is going to be about me and not about you, and your ability. Its going to be about me, and my ability. Then you realize, oh, everybody is qualified. ” – Shelley Giglio

 

 

 

Three Months

It is hard to believe that Bennett & Eliza are three months old! And actually will turn four months at the very end of this week. It has been the fastest three months of my life. Will and I go back and forth saying to each other, “I can’t wait for them to be big enough to _______” to “I don’t want them to get bigger!” Keeping up with monthly updates of them on the blog isn’t something I can accomplish, but I can give posting three month re-caps of their sweet little lives an honest attempt. I’m not exactly sure the direction of this blog, but I still feel called to it- more on that in an upcoming post that I need to sit down and write! So I’ll test out the waters with this post and see how it is received. Every three months also doesn’t seem like it will be oversharing or over posting about B & E. I’m hoping to create a good balance.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This past weekend we dedicated them at our church. I did not realize how much joy this day would bring us. To stand up in front of our congregation, with our entire family present, holding OUR babies and dedicating them to God was powerful. I wish I could have held a sign for all of the people seated walking through infertility that said, “I understand how this might hurt your heart more than you know. This did not come easy for us. One day this will be you!”

Months 1-3:

Bennett: After days full of crying, and getting through lots of tummy issues we are finally in a good little groove with Bennett! Once three months hit, things just changed. Out of the two, he is the more demanding one. However, he has the silliest little grin and when he is happy, we are all happy! I have a feeling he will be our entertainer. He is so much fun to play with and he thinks I am hilarious, who doesn’t like to be around someone who thinks you’re funny? When he is awake, he is constantly moving and loves kicking his legs. He has also turned into such a good sleeper. He loves (and NEEDS) his naps. The second I put him down, his eyes are shut. He wakes up with a huge smile. We are always trying to figure out exactly who he looks like. He got his blue (very dark blue) eyes from Will, but other than that he resembles my side of the family, at least for right now.

Eliza: She is the prettiest, sweetest little girl. We had some trial and error with Eliza’s reflux before finally finding the right fit/combination of formula and medication. Out of the two, she is the more even keeled child. She doesn’t seem to mind that her brother often gets held more when it’s just the three of us at home. She is, for the most part, content and happy. Her smile will melt your heart. However, this girl has got some lungs. She is harder to console than her brother. With Bennett, you have to figure out what he doesn’t like, fix it for him, and he’s good. With Eliza, good luck. She isn’t the best sleeper/napper, and fights her sleep often. She can, however, sleep anywhere- a recent Easter egg hunt and the baby dedication both perfect examples or her snooze anywhere capabilities. She has the sweetest little voice and is much quieter than her brother, who is very loud! She loves to be held and is such the snuggler. She looks a lot like I did as a baby, but she has her Daddy’s pretty blue eyes and nose. Out of the two, I think her looks will be a better combination of Will and me. She has always been bigger than her brother (even at each ultrasound) but not by much. We are always trying to figure out what color her hair will end up being, I’m thinking it’s on its way to lightening up to match her blonde eyebrows and lighter lashes.

They both smiled at 8 weeks. Started sleeping through the night at 11 weeks. We transitioned to cribs when they turned 3 months, and it’s trickier than I thought, especially after having a nice two weeks of them sleeping through the night. But we are getting there and staying consistent with it. They are both sleeping very long chunks, it’s those last two hours from 5-7 a.m. that they aren’t always sleeping through. At three months, they have started to recognize my face and Will’s face. And they have finally noticed each other! It is THE sweetest thing to see them smile at one another. They have found their tongues, can’t stop putting their fists in their mouths, and are blowing drooly bubbles. They have been swatting at objects hanging from their play mat, and are just now starting to grab and hold them. Tummy Time. It’s a work in progress! Eliza does just fine, but Bennett is not a fan.

Having them on a schedule is key. I know this from all of the twin mom advice I received, so I’m not saying anything new here or reinventing the wheel! This means they eat and sleep at the same scheduled time. I put together a list of my top ten items that we have used daily/weekly/often during their first three months that have made life with twins easier. Some we have used from day one and some we recently started using. I thought this list might be helpful for any expectant mom of twins! Or anyone looking for a gift for an expectant twin mom! Continue reading

Two Different Birthdays-The Birth Story

hospital4Their birth story. I’m going to touch on it! I think with twins there is a natural curiosity about a lot of aspects, including the birth, and I absolutely do not mind sharing. I never understood the swapping of birth stories. Now having experienced it, I think it is because not one is the same, and they are each very beautiful. Which is unique and cool and neat. Walking through infertility, I really didn’t care to hear about birth stories. So here is your pass if you do not want to read, I get it sister. I’m going to leave out some specific, not so pretty, details but I will include certain medical terms, so if that makes you uncomfortable, again I get it, do not pass go. This is such a good way for me to be able remember what I haven’t already forgotten. Here is your out! Continue reading