Perfect Way to Start

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The other day I heard the most beautiful song.  I have listened to quite a few miscarriage songs and just plain old encouraging-in-the-midst-of-pain songs.  But this one is by far my favorite.

Craig Aven writes songs for each of his children.  Last year his wife had a miscarriage.  Later in the year she had a second one.  This is a song he wrote to his unborn children.

I love his intro in the beginning as well.  Some of the most powerful words I’ve heard since losing our babies…”This is not something that we should be ashamed to say hurts us.  Losing a baby.  Because it’s valuable and precious.”

I have listened to this song several times already and I always end up sobbing.  This is so beautiful.  So sad and yet so happy.

My babies are so so missed on this earth.  But I am happy that they so quickly got to experience the joys of heaven and they are able to sit in the lap of Jesus Himself.

-Bonnie

15 Things That Make Me Happy

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Recently I have been trying to find ways to reduce stress and focus on the positives.  There are so many things that are so simple but bring so much happiness.

It is incredible how the things that go into your mind affect your attitude, your mood, and even your health.

So in thinking about things that make me happy, I decided to compile a list of those top 15 things.  Drum roll please….

what makes me happy

#1 – Llamas

llama happy

Seriously, look at that face.  And the cute way they
chew all sideways and stuff.  I want a pet llama.
Not even joking.

#2 – Camels

camel happy

Along that same line, I like camels.  They make me happy.

#3 – Eyeliner

makeup happy

I couldn’t find a good picture of just eyeliner…but here you go.
I don’t wear makeup often, but when I do, the eyeliner is
my favorite part.  Then mascara.  They both make
me happy.

#4 – Dogs

dog happy

Yeah, I had to put another animal.  Dogs
are by far my favorite animal.  I had the best
black lab ever before we were married and I
still miss that guy.

#4 – The laughter of children.

child laughing

Seriously, there is nothing better than hearing
the giggles of a child.  Personally I think the Wingman
has just about the cutest laugh ever, but
I might be a little bit biased.

#5 – Talking with a friend

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Whether it’s a phone call, text, or Skype, I love a good
conversation with a friend.

#6 – A French manicure

french manicure happy

I don’t go to the salon often, but I love me
a good French manicure.  And if there are extra fun
designs, that’s a bonus.

#7 – Cuddling with my husband

cuddling happy

I love cuddling with The Pilot.  It’s one of my favorites.

#8 – Well-written things

book words happy

That moment when you’re reading along and
you have to pause for a bit to take in the wondrous
way the author crafted a sentence.  That makes me happy.

#9 – Batman

batman happy

Batman.  Need I say more?

#10 – Heels/wedges

shoes happy

I love a nice comfortable pair of heels and wedges.
It makes me so happy to put on a pair
and dress up a bit!

#11 – Typewriters

typewriter happy

Someday I will own a wonderful vintage
typewriter.  I hope.

#12 – That sense of accomplishment when you complete something

life happy

#13 – HuHot

I don’t have a picture for this one, but HuHot
is an amaaazing Mongolian grill.

#14 – Amazon

shopping-cart-151685_1280

I love shopping on Amazon!!  There are so many
great things on my wish list.  Mostly books,
but lots of other fun things too.

#15 – Laughing

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I don’t laugh nearly as much as I used to.  Which makes
those moments when I do all the more amazing.  I
love the freeing feeling of laughter.  The instant
stress reducer.  That feeling of bonding with someone
over a humorous moment.

So there you have it.  15 things that make me happy.  What are some of the things that make make you happy?

-Bonnie

Fertility, Pregnancy, and Birth Summit

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I wanted to take a quick second to let you all know about this fantastic upcoming resource for those who are TTC.  The Fertility, Pregnancy, and Birth Summit will have a ton of experts speaking on all things related to trying to conceive.

I first heard of the summit from Heathir from Natural Fertility Info.  She is one of the speakers.  If you’ve never heard her speak, you need to!!  She is an amazing wealth of information.  In addition to Heathir, there are thirty (yes, thirty!!) other experts who will be sharing.

The summit will begin on February 1.  And it is FREE!!!  (From the promo video, it also sounds like there will be giveaways!  Yay!  ;) )  Sign up here.

I don’t get anything from sharing this….I just wanted to make sure I am spreading the news so that as many people as possible can gain from this awesome event.

Hope to “see” you there!

-Bonnie

Every Day Is a Step of Faith

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The past few months have taught me about faith in ways that I never understood before.

step of faith

Faith is not always big and bold.  Faith is not necessarily unwavering.  Faith is not an absence of emotions in the presence of trust.

Wayne Grudem defines faith as follows…

“Trust or dependence on God based on the fact that we take him at his word and believe what he has said.”

I always had a picture in my mind of what faith looked like.  And that picture was always of a bold confidence, an unwavering peace, a complete and total trust.

Lately my faith has looked quite different.

Every day in life is a step of faith.  And for me that has become even more true since losing my two children in miscarriages.

I have struggled with a lot of crazy anxiety issues since my losses.

I could lose another pregnancy.

I could lose the Wingman.  Something could happen to him.  I have had very vivid images of terrible things happening to him that tear my heart in two and cause my chest to tighten.

It is almost paralyzing.  And you know what can sometimes make me even more scared?  The thought that if I follow God, He might lead me through that.  Of course, the reality is that even if I don’t follow God, these things could happen.

But that thought of releasing control to God can be hard.  It takes faith.  Faith to wake up each day and say, “I am in Your hands.  The Wingman is in Your hands.”

Faith is stepping out and following Him, even when your steps are small and faltering.

Faith is being bold enough to step foot out of the door, knowing that a car crash could take the people you hold most dear.

Faith is allowing someone to babysit the Wingman, knowing that he could have a terrible accident while I’m gone.

Faith is getting out of bed to face each day.

Because all of those things require me leaning on the Shepherd’s staff.  It requires me to say, “God You are the One who is holding us in Your hands.”  I barely have strength to lift my head and look at the path.  Sometimes I am scared to look at the path.  But I cling to His staff and I say, “I don’t know if we’re going the right way, but I know You can see this entire path, with all its twists and turns.”

Sometimes I think that means that my faith must be the size of a mustard seed, because it isn’t that bold, unwavering confidence.

And sometimes I wonder if that means my faith is strong, because I have experienced some of the deepest pain of my life and yet I am still choosing to say, “God You are good.  Your ways are good.  Lead me.”

Whether it is mustard seed faith or mountain moving faith, it is some sort of deep.  A depth that I have not experienced quite like this before.

So this is me….embracing my mustard seed.  This is me getting up each morning.  This is me allowing my son to still be a 2 year old and not stifling him in the name of protecting him.  This is me continuing to plan outings and ways for my son to thrive.  This is me pursuing fertility health so that I can hopefully get pregnant again.  This is me, in all my vulnerability, handing God what is most precious to me.  My family.  My husband. My children.  My son who I have here every day….my babies in heaven….and my future babies.

-Bonnie

From Around Blog Land

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Being Still When God Makes You Wait –  Don’t push for answers.  Just be still.

Choosing the Struggle – “In those times when we can’t find it in us to choose joy, when we can’t count our blessings for the crashing waves before us, when we feel incapable of making a choice at all, maybe it’s enough just to choose the struggle.”

 

2 Views – A powerful poem about two ways to view life.

Confronting the Lie: God Won’t Give you More Than You Can Handle – “Not only am I okay asking those questions (of God), but I think there is something holy and sacred in being courageous enough to ask them. Don’t be fooled, those questions are only to be asked by the courageous. It is easy to spout trite Christian platitudes designed to make people feel better with bumper-sticker theology. But insipid axioms do little in the face of the actual brokenness of the world.”

On Letting Go – Another really great poem about letting go and embracing change in your Christian walk.

Resent or Embrace – How to respond to your spouse’s seasons of life…especially when their season of life looks better than yours.

How Good Parents Miss Child Sexual Abuse and 5 Questions to Change That

For Better, For Worse

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Weddings are kind of weird things for me right now.

I currently have a few recently married friends and engaged friends.  I look at them and see the love filling their eyes.  With joy and hope infusing everything about them.  With an entire future spread out before them.

For Better for worse

2015 was a weird year for me.  It was a really great year, as I came to see and understand new depths of the hope, grace, and freedom in Christ.  And it was also an extremely horrible year as we had to say good-bye to two of our children.

Sometimes when I see the newly-in-love couples, my heart wants to scream at them, “You don’t know what’s coming!”

Financial difficulties.
Death of loved ones.
Dreams ending.
Health problems.

There are host of things that most couples will go through at one point or another in their years together.

I think back to our own wedding day.  When we were so happy and the joy of the years of our future spread out before us.  We had no idea what was in store for us.

I don’t intend that to be a bad thing or a condescending, “Just wait until you get to where I am.”  Because…

That joy is a beautiful thing.  And after the hardships we have been through, culminating most recently in our two miscarriages, I have seen even more what it means to grow in our love for each other for better or for worse.

Worse will come.  Worse has come.

But in a way, that worse is also the better.  It is the worse that draws us closer to each other, that brings us to the better.  It makes me love my husband in a deeper way that I cannot even begin to describe.   The worse and the better are intertwined.

Yes, sometimes my recent pain and grief have me wondering what couples will experience down the road.  I want to warn them, but I don’t know what I would say.  I guess I do know what I would say.  Cling to that for better and for worse.  It will test you like you cannot imagine, but it has the capacity to draw you together like you cannot imagine as well.

So, pledge that for better and for worse.  Look with joy and wonder-filled love at your amazing wonderful person you are going to spend your life with.  Because that is the person who will be there with you on your worse days.  The person you will be there for on their own worse days.

Love your love.  It is amazing right now and it will continue to be amazing.

-Bonnie

 

Blessed by a Stranger

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Have you ever had a moment of discouragement when you suddenly realized….God sees and He cares?

blessed by a stranger

A few weeks ago I was having one of those days.  You know the one.  The one in which you haven’t gotten much sleep the past few nights.  You’re sick.  Your child is sick.  Your child is cranky.  You’re cranky.

One of those days.

After a failed nap attempt, I decided that I had had it.  I loaded the Wingman up in the car to go pick up fast food.  Yes, that happened.  Not even ashamed.  Fast food may not be good for you, but sometimes it can be very good for you.

We rolled up to the In-N-Out drive-thru.  (If you have never experienced the goodness that is In-N-Out, get in your car and drive to the nearest state that has one.  You will not be disappointed.)  The Wingman started crying because he wanted to get out of the car.  I looked like a hot mess with my frazzled hair and sleep-deprived eyes.

I ordered our food and then waited to pay.  As I get closer, the girl at the window gives me a big smile and then hands food to the person in the car in front of me.

Finally it was my turn.  I handed her my card as she repeated my order back to me.  And then she said, “Your order has actually already been paid for.”

I sat there stunned for a minute.  I said “thank you” to her because I had to thank somebody.  And then I drove to the second window.  It was there that I almost started to cry.

I struggle with God’s sovereignty. I admit it.  Did God divinely appoint me to go to In-N-Out that day and just happen to get in line behind this black truck?  Did God send that truck there at precisely that time?  Or did He “merely” allow it to happen?  Or did it just happen?

Honestly I don’t know.  But I know that whatever the answer is, God is good.  Whatever the answer is, God saw that and He knew that it would happen.  He knew how much I needed encouragement that day.  And in that moment I could feel God’s love toward me.  God loved me through a stranger that day.  His eye is on the sparrow.  And His eye was on me in that In-N-Out parking lot.

So on that day I was blessed by a stranger.  And I am so thankful for what happened.

Have you felt God’s love through another person?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

-Bonnie