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Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

meet rosie, al and luis

Rosie, Al & Luis: The Family-To-Be!

My dear friend Rosie is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.  She has been my companion on this unfortunate road of fertility treatments.  Her husband, Al, is one of the most dedicated husbands I’ve ever met – it is his delight to just be with his wife.  They are a couple that we simply marvel at and are encouraged by.

In their quest to become more than a family of two, they’ve suffered the loss of two babies, Katie and Daniel, in the second trimester of Rosie’s pregnancies. With other on-going fertility challenges, Rosie and Al had been considering fostering children. It has been their hearts desire to have a family and God answered their prayers!

Al’s older sister had abandoned two of her children with Al’s mother.  Struggling to find the energy to raise her grandchildren, Al’s mother asked Rosie and Al if they would be able to take the youngest, Luis.  Sweet Luis has not had an idyllic life: his mother tested positive for cocaine when Luis was born and he was even an innocent participant in a drug raid. Being shuffled between homes and parent-figures has taken a toll on the little guy.

After thinking and praying about this, Rosie and Al consulted a lawyer and determined that they would raise Luis and adopt him!  Luis is a vibrant, sweet little 3 year old guy and I truly believe that his life will be infinitely better because of Rosie and Al’s love.  It will be quite a beautiful family!

So here is my shameless plug: in order to get legal guardianship of Luis, they have to run ads in the newspapers and pay for a lawyer.  The cost is $1,500 and they are very humbly asking for assitance in achieving this goal so that they can provide Luis with a permanent, loving home.  If you are interested in helping out, please visit their blog. At the very least, they would greatly appreciate your prayers and thoughts.  THANK YOU!

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I read a book called Lamb over the weekend.  The author, Christopher Moore, put together a hilarious take on Christ’s life as told by Christ’s best friend, Biff.  It was gritty and colorful (both in its telling and in its language – read: lots of swearing and sexual situations).

I loved that the story was gritty because I believe that life is gritty and raw.  I believe that more often than not, life is messy.  Life is change and evolution and growth and development and loss and loosely controlled chaos.

We are all on the verge of being tagged out of this great game of life – and yet we mostly live our lives with a somewhat misguided belief that we are immortal.  That’s why we’re shocked when something bad happens.

Sure, there are some of us who are better at faking the control.  There are some who might say, “aw, Em, cute – but I have this all wrapped up!”

But I believe for the rest of us, despite our best efforts, we often find ourselves putting out more fires during the day than checking things off of our “to do” lists – and that’s ok.  My dad liked to quote a Beetle (or someone) who said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

So I loved the grittiness of Lamb.

And I loved that Jesus had a sense of humor in the story.  Yes, the book still portrayed him as innocent, but I loved that his best friend taught him sarcasm (which he used very moderately in the book).  The Bible is great at telling us a lot about Jesus – what he did, his virtues and character – but I kind of wonder about his sense of humor.  Was he playful?  Did he ever play pranks on the disciples?  I wonder if he ever short sheeted Peter’s bedroll or teepeed John’s tent.  Did Jesus spend time on the banks of the Jordan, hanging out with his friends and pondering some of the great mysteries, like: if Elijah and Moses were in a cage match – who would win?

Why does it matter if Jesus had a sense of humor?  I dunno.  I guess I just like the idea of knowing the person of Jesus – I like to imagine what it would be like if Jesus walked in the door and said hello.  Would he have a booming voice or a quiet disposition?  Would he shake my hand or give me a big hug?

I loved that Lamb painted a picture of Jesus that was so much richer than what I am able to glean from the Bible because so much of the Bible gets lost in cultural translation.  Perhaps there ARE elements of Jesus’ sense of humor embedded in the stories about Him – but humor in each culture is so subtle, it’s hard to pick up just by reading without studying the culture further.  And we all know that when you have to explain the joke, it really becomes less funny anway.  I am sure “That’s what she said” would be completely lost on ancient Jews.  And I can only imagine how future generations will interpret our jokes.

But I also felt convicted while reading Lamb.

Not because I was reading a story that was an irreverent and somewhat scandalous telling of Jesus’ life, but because as I read this story,  I was struck by Biff’s unbelief.  I don’t want to ruin the story in the case that you decide to read it, but generally speaking, I was surprised that this character Biff could literally WALK with Jesus for practically of his life and so miss the point on so many occasions.  It reminded me that I often miss the point.  It reminded me that I so frequently forget who Jesus is and get distracted by my own selfish desires.

I don’t know if the author intended for this result – I think the author wrote this book to provide a humorous explanation for what happened to Jesus between the ages of 6 and 32.  And perhaps the author knew enough Christians to know how many of us often spend all of this time learning about Jesus and God and MISSING THE POINT; there are so many of us who KNOW much, but BELIEVE little.

The disciples didn’t always understand what Jesus meant, but they believed in Him.  They were willing to stake it all on Him.  They believed He was who He said He was.

So yeah – I liked Lamb. It’s not for everyone, but it’s great satire.

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Physically, mentally and emotionally, it’s been rough.  It hasn’t been a crisis of faith, per se, but rather a crisis of HOW to have faith.

I believe in God, check.

I believe that His son Jesus is my Savior, check.

I have found, though, that I sometimes have a hard time figuring out how to look at our recent heartbreak and ongoing struggles to become parents and understand how to deal with it as a Christian.

When I am worked up about everything, I find myself tossed about by these storms and unable to find my bearings.

Which brings me to my aviation metaphor.  Ahem.

As a pilot, Frank has trained extensively.  When he first trained, he learned how to fly visually.  Flying visually is exactly what it sounds like – he would fly only in conditions (clear days, generally) that allowed him to identify landmarks and (most importantly) airports by sight. Flying on clear days is lovely, especially in small planes.

But as a committed pilot with aspirations to fly for airlines, Frank had to take his aviation training to the next level.  He had to learn to fly using only the instruments on the dashboard of the plane.  As part of his training, he actually wore a hood that didn’t allow him to see anything except the instruments in front of him.  He had to do this for two reasons: 1) because sometimes what you think you are seeing is not the whole picture and 2) because sometimes he has to fly in conditions where he won’t be able to visually see landmarks.

One night Frank took me flying.  It was a gorgeous night with a layer of low white clouds under a dome of shimmering stars.  Since there are controls on both sides of the plane, Frank let me take the “wheel” and instructed me to orient the plane so that it would be level with the horizon.  After a few minutes, Frank pointed at one of the instruments that showed how level the plane was relative to the earth.  Even though I thought I had the plane level with the horizon, I was very wrong.  The horizon I thought I was following was really a cloud, not the actual curve of the earth.

It is not enough, sometimes, to fly on sight alone.

Frank’s aviation training is a great metaphor for the grossly uncomfortable position that I am in right now.

Most of the time I can walk in my faith by “sight” alone; I either hear from God or I see landmarks from Him that point the way.  The answers are, for the most part, obvious.

Right now, though, we are stuck in the midst of storms and can’t see the ground or familiar landmarks.  Flying visually is not an option.  We have to rely on faith and the tools that God has given us.

I guess it’s a good idea to keep my seatbelt securely fastened, eh?

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long time between posts

I know that I’ve had a long time between posts recently.

Part of it is because I’ve been busy.

But most of it has been because I’ve had a lot on my mind.

And not just about ice cream, although I think about it often.

So I promise a big update (as in lengthy – not as in important) coming soon.

It will be chocked full of pictures.  Amazing moments (ahem – I’ll snap a few of FK making me dinner…mm!).

But until then, please pray for my friends Aaron & J.  J is very sick and could use all the prayers in the world.

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when to say when

Knowing when to say “when” is not my strong suit.  Ask my husband.

I am the queen of bad timing and timing misjudgments.

My timing issues tend to center around my inability to leave the office, but have also seeped into other areas, including when to leave a party, when to leave church, when to leave dinner, when to go to bed… etc, etc.

And when to let go in an argument.

I have to say I’m getting better at the last one.

Ask my younger sister Cait, she’ll tell you that I used to always try to get the last word in ALWAYS.  I’ve been like that since she’s known me.  Her first day home from the hospital as an infant and she was like, “darn, girlfriend, have a bottle and CHILL!”

When should I let go of the fertility biz?  When is enough truly enough?  How many shots, scans, opinions, tests and screenings can I handle?

This isn’t to say that I think we are at the end of our time in fertility treatment world.  I’m not ready to give up yet.  I know Frank isn’t ready to give up either.

But I know there is  a chance that a time might come where I might have to recognize that we fought the good fight and there is no more we can do or pray for, at least regarding having a biological child.

At the end of the day when I am beyond tired, that is usually when I decide to bake cookies, wrap Christmas gifts and wash the floor.  When I should rest, I find that I am too tired to sit still.

That is why I worry that God will give me all the cues that we cannot go any farther, and I will miss the cues because I am too tired to see them – too focused on searching for the solution, the next option and the next treatment to realize that the game is over and the crowd went home.

After reading a few blogs about women at varying stages of this process, with several of them undergoing treatment for three to five years, I just can’t even fathom what that is like to go through that emotional and physical marathon.

I am amazed by God’s tremendous grace and blessing.  God gave me a husband who is an expert at knowing when to say “when.”  Frank puts 100% into everything he does, but he knows when a situation is done.  He knows when the party is winding down, when the game is over and when it’s time to turn the lights out and go to bed.

So we’ll keep chugging along and I’m hopeful that if I miss God’s cues, Frank will see them.

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bah.

I don’t know what else there is to say about the BFN today.  I was hoping that some elegant words would come to mind, but most of the words that have come to mind have been less than elegant.

Mostly the words are born out of frustration and anger.  Oh, and a ton of sadness.

This month was more difficult than most.  It marked a full year of trying.  Yes, I totally understand that most people try for a year before they think something is wrong and get checked out.  We were just fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough that it was evident that we had a problem on our hands four months in to trying.

For the past eight months I have been on and off of Clomid.  I have been stuck and poked and prodded countless numbers of times.  I am pretty sure I could give myself an ultrasound if the technician were to accidentally pass out.

This is not how I imagined how this process would go.

I know that I am blessed beyond comprehension in so many ways.  I remind myself of that daily when I get sad or upset about this situation.

But this situation just sucks.

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BFN

I’ve learned a lot of fertility lingo in the past year.

TTC = trying to conceive

Luteal Phase = time between ovulation and the next menstrual cycle

Trigger Shot = an injection of hormones to trigger ovulation

BFN = Big Freaking Negative pregnancy test

Today was another BFN.

I don’t even know how many BFNs we’ve had in 2009 because I had some weird cycles – 12? 13?

It’s getting old.

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