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Archive for the category “Friendship”

One of Those Days


Today is one of those days where I would love to hide away on a deserted island with absolutely nothing “baby” around. Yes, it’s another month where Aunt Flow arrives instead of a “Big Fat Positive.” I was really hoping for a Thanksgiving announcement, but that just won’t be happening. I really have no eloquent words or thought provoking paragraphs to write down. All I have is raw emotion and an admittance of wanting to pitch a temper tantrum that would make a two year old in the midst of “the terrible two’s” look pretty angelic. Will it solve anything? No. Will it make me feel better? Probably not. But that’s where I’m at. For the moment.

I am trying to remind myself of the message I preached this past Sunday. I spoke on the story of Hannah and how there is grace in the struggle, in the sorrow, and in His sovereignty. To be honest, though it’s hard to see it at the moment. Do I know it to be true? Yes. But can I see it right now? No. All I can think on is how I desire to have a child with my husband and nothing is happening. Nothing. And my mind begins to go into panic mode thinking of how I am about to be surrounded by pregnant family members during the holidays, and I want to scream. Can I eat my dinner in a closet somewhere? Oh, and let’s not forget that the media had to share that Kelly Clarkson is pregnant.

Yes, I know that I sound like a little kid pitching a fit. But this is real. This is something I never thought I would have to deal with personally. This is one of the most draining and difficult things I have ever dealt with, and well as I put it earlier today, it sucks. As I type this I want to breakdown. The depths of my soul cry out for Jesus because I don’t know what to do. He is the only place that makes sense even though I feel like He isn’t making any sense. I know deep down that He makes perfect sense despite my feelings. So into Him I will continue to press.

http://youtu.be/JmVxRl5bc4Y

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The Taboo Subject of Infertility


This week I have found myself surrounded by baby announcements, pregnancy announcements, new births, baby birthday pictures, and other “baby” things. Yes, I tend to notice these sorts of things more so than probably a few of you. You see when you struggle with infertility, whether it be first time infertility or secondary infertility, you notice everything “baby.” With all of that being said, it has prompted me to write this blog post. I have felt like sharing this for a little while, but have always hesitated and held back. So, today you get it in all of its glory (or lack thereof).

For those who do not know what it is like to struggle with infertility, it can prove to be very difficult when trying to offer comfort or help to someone who is struggling with it. And although the intentions may be meant in a very positive way, sometimes words spoken can actually do more harm than good. So, here are some things to consider when you are trying to comfort or help someone who is struggling with infertility:

1. Do not say, “It’s not the right time yet.” Ummm, you basically just told this woman who has been trying to conceive a child for who knows how long that she got the timing all wrong. And so this woman is now going to think about the 16 year old cheerleader at the local high school who just found out she is pregnant, and question why it was the “right” time for the teenager but not for her. This statement offers no help or comfort at all.

2. Do not say, “God knows what’s best.” I know you mean well, and I know that God knows what is best for His children, but making this statement to a woman struggling with infertility sends the message that maybe God doesn’t think she will make a good Mom. I know, you are probably thinking that is crazy, but it’s true. That is exactly where her mind will go. She will begin questioning why God is “punishing” her instead of taking your words as an encouragement.

3. “You can have my kid(s) anytime.” A woman struggling with infertility does not find this humorous. It’s not funny, no matter how much you try to laugh about it. A woman struggling with infertility would gladly take all the children in the world, but making these kind of statements comes across as a slap in the face more than a funny joke.

4. Do not say “Just relax. It will happen.” I’m sorry, but for the past who knows how long this woman has done everything she can think of trying to conceive. When all you want is to get pregnant and have that precious bundle of joy of your own, it kind of consumes you. Relaxing is meant for a vacation, not as advice to a woman struggling with infertility.

5. “You already have a child (children), why would you want another one? Just be happy with what you have.” Oh, our children mean the world to us. It has nothing to do with not being happy with what we have. We have a desire to be pregnant again, to feel that sweet precious life growing within our womb again, and to add to our family. We want to be “fruitful and multiply.” For those of us who struggle with secondary infertility, we still love the children we have. Please do not treat our desire as something negative.

And lastly, here are some things to consider when dealing with a woman struggling with infertility:

1. She is hurting deeper than you realize. She may smile at you. She may go to the movies and laugh at your jokes, but deep down she is hurting. Infertility is a pain that goes way deeper than surface level. So when a woman who struggles with infertility tells you she is “fine,” know that deep down she is not fine. She just doesn’t want you to know that.

2. She truly wants to be happy for you. For those of you who are becoming first-time parents, or expecting another addition to your family, a woman struggling with infertility genuinely wants to be happy for you. It is just hard. Seeing or hearing about your pregnancy announcements, pregnancy updates, baby pictures, and other things of that nature is hard for her. It is a reminder of what she so desperately desires for herself, yet has not yet obtained it for whatever reason. So, don’t take offense if she kindly declines from your baby shower, baby’s birthday party, or ends up hiding your posts from her Facebook newsfeed. It just hurts too much at the time.

3. Women who struggle with infertility are everywhere. Infertility is kind of a taboo subject that doesn’t get talked about a lot. But there are more women and couples struggling with infertility than you realize. They are in your neighborhood, at your job, in your church, in your community, and even in your family.

Women and couples struggling with infertility need your love, understanding, and prayers. If you don’t understand what they are going through, simply say that and pray for them. If you don’t know what to say, share that in a nice way and pray for them. Love on them without being awkward.

I hope this post helps someone, whether you are a fellow woman struggling with infertility or someone who knows someone who is. Please feel free to reach out to me if you struggle with infertility, or if you just want to understand a bit more. I welcome questions, tears, vents, and comments. Praying for my fellow women who long for their child of promise.

Jaclyn

Breaking Comfort Zones, and Experiencing Grace and Love


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Yesterday was a day where I felt the Lord leading me out of my comfort zone, yet again. You know I have discovered that when God moves you out of your comfort zone in one area, more than likely He is about to move you out of your comfort zone in another area of your life. And it is really futile to resist, because one way or another, you will be moved out of it.

So, back to yesterday. I felt the Lord nudging me to check up on a friend who has just had a baby. I have not been a very good friend in checking up on her consistently, as it has been difficult for me. Not that I am not happy that she is experiencing one of the greatest joys a woman can ever know, but simply because I have found myself in a place that I never thought I would ever be. The place of secondary infertility. (If you haven’t read my story on this, I encourage you to go back a few posts and start from the beginning.) It’s not that I am not happy for my friend. It’s not that I am mad at her for getting pregnant and having this precious baby. It’s just a hard and difficult area in my life that I have to daily work through (some days are better than others). So, we have texted back and forth during her pregnancy and since her baby boy’s arrival, but I will admit I have been guarded. I have tried to pull back. I have even been a bit snotty. Yes, I am confessing here and being real with you guys. I have my faults and weaknesses just like anyone else, even as a Pastor’s Wife.

But yesterday as I was getting ready for church, I felt the Lord nudging me to check up on her. You know just to see how she was doing and how precious baby was. I tried to resist a bit, I admit. But I sent the text. We texted back and forth, and then it happened. The Lord had to do it again. The Holy Spirit was prompting me to apologize. Say what? Yep, He was telling me I needed to apologize for my behavior. I was like, “Seriously, Lord. Do I have to? (Just like a kid, right?) I mean, this is going to be uncomfortable.This will not be easy. It’s going to be awkward, God. What if she is mad at me? What if she shares with me that I have hurt her feelings or something? God, I will be exposed!” yea, all those thoughts went through my head. As I stood there with my phone in my hand, staring at our text conversation, I did it. It was hard. It wasn’t easy. It was awkward and uncomfortable. As I waited for a reply I even began replaying the conversation with God in my head. Then came the reply, ” I appreciate your apology. I know it’s been rough on you, and I think about that (and you) all the time.” What? Her accepting my apology really wasn’t took me off guard. It was the next statement. She was thinking about me. Even with my wrong attitude, she thought about me and my feelings. Talk about humbling. It still gets me as I look at it this morning. It’s not surprising in a way that this behavior is out of character for her. It’s surprising in a way, that despite how I behaved she never thought ill towards me. How Christ-like is that?

Does this mean, that my struggles with my feelings about my infertility are gone? Not at all. But I do feel a sense of peace and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. God doesn’t push us out of our comfort zones as a means of torture. He pushes us out of them as a means of growth. He wants us to grow and blossom into the men and women of Christ that we are created to be. And we can’t do that in our comfort zones. I was hit with the uncomfortableness and the awkwardness yesterday, but most of all I had to face my own sin. I had to come face to face with my wrong attitude, and admit that I hadn’t been acting in a way that was Christ-like. And you know what I got in return? I got the love of Christ overflowing back to me. I received grace and love.

I pray that when God nudges you to step out of your comfort zones, that you are obedient. I pray that you experience the grace and love of Christ overflowing back to you as you break the bounds of your comfort zones. I pray that you choose to offer grace and love to those who step out of their comfort zones with you. Comfort zones are meant to be broken so that God’s love can be made known.

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

New|Year|New|Things


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Here we are. New Year’s Eve 2012. For some of us 2012 was fantastic. New job. Promotions. New home. New car. New relationships. New family members. New faith. Love. Health. Happiness. For others of us 2012 was difficult and heartbreaking. Loss of job. Loss of relationships. Loss of family members. Loss of faith. Loneliness. Depleting health. Sadness.

Whatever 2012 held for you, whether it was full of joy or full of sadness, it is curtains closing time on 2012. The sun is setting on 2012, and tomorrow the sun will rise on 2013. A new year. A new opportunity. A year that will bring many changes. A year that will bring new things for all of us. So, I pray that we not close out 2012 feeling discouraged. Feeling discouraged that if 2012 was a great year that 2013 could be the year that everything falls apart. Feeling discouraged that 2012 was a more than difficult year and that 2013 will only hold the same. No! I want us to leave 2012 and enter into 2013 full of optimism & hope. Full of life & wonder. Full of excitement.

My friends, 2013 is going to be our year! It’s going to be awesome! It’s going to be powerful! It’s going to be full of goodness! So hold on to your hats, because 2013 is going to be full of life, and it’s going to be AMAZING!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19, NIV

Grace & Peace,

Jaclyn

It is Time To Take Action


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I just finished reading a friend’s post on why she cares so much about health and fitness, and it got me inspired to share in my own space.

Last week there was a lot of talk about the Victoria Secret’s fashion show. That one hour even caused quite a stir. Some people were all excited and couldn’t wait to see the “angels” strut their stuff on the runway, while other people were busy posting “angel bash” all over social media. There were even posts from fellow Christians urging people (women in particular) to not watch the show and to focus on scripture that pointed to who God really wanted them to be.

As my friend pointed out in her post, I completely agree with the fact that God is concerned about our heart. Yes, He is more concerned about our character more than if we own designer clothes or wear a size 2, 6, or whatever. But I also agree with my friend, in that God is concerned about our health.

Come on, scripture does point out that our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit. So, if that is true, why wouldn’t we concern ourselves with our health?

Did you know that over 65% of Americans are considered overweight? Did you know that over 33% of Americans are diagnosed as being clinically obese? 95% of all prescription drugs are lifelong drugs.

Do these statistics shock you? Do they cause you to get a little angry? I really hope they awaken you to the problem that we are facing in our country. What we are putting into our bodies is not solving the problem. It is only fueling the problem! We aren’t taking pills to make us healthy. We are taking pills to maintain our sickness!

I don’t know about you, but this makes me mad. I mean, I know that there are times when medication is needed, so don’t get all in a tizzy and send me “hate mail.” But I do believe that medication needs to be our last resort.

Imagine if what you ate allowed you to stop taking some of the medication you are currently taking. Imagine if your kids weren’t sick as often just because of what they are eating and how active they are. What if you didn’t have to take numerous trips to the pediatrician for that nasty bug that just keeps coming back?

What if we just started living healthier lifestyles? What if we told the pharmaceutical  companies and major food companies that we were done being duped? What if we all banned together for a healthier country for our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren? The possibilities are endless!

So, what did the Victoria Secret fashion show have to do with this post? Well, I actually was one of the ones who was turned off by all the “angel bashing” going on. Yes, there are models who are not living healthy lifestyles and aren’t modeling what it means to be healthy, but that is not the case for ALL models. And just because you are a size 0, 2, or 4 doesn’t mean that you aren’t healthy. I will be honest, I wear a size 2 and 4. I don’t share this to boast, but I share it as a way to say I don’t abuse my body to be this size. I work my butt off every day to be healthy. That includes working out, eating clean, and drinking plenty of water. It doesn’t come naturally for me, and I don’t go to drastic measures to be a certain size. And I am sure that some of those Victoria Secret models do just the same thing.

It is time we stop making excuses for being overweight and unhealthy, and call it like it is. It is time we start caring about our health, and stop trying to sweep it under the rug. It is time we woke up to the reality that we have an epidemic on our hands. It is time to take action.

If God cares about me, that includes my health too. There is not one single part of me that isn’t a concern to God. God cares about you too, and that includes your health. So, my question to you is this. Are you ready to take action and stop with the excuses?

Grace & Peace, Jac

God-Given Dreams


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Do you dream? No, I’m not talking about the kind that you have when you’re sleeping. I want to know if you have the kind of dreams that set your heart a flutter. The kind of dreams that cause you to be a better person. The kind of dreams that you are determined to see become a reality. BIG dreams! Dreams so big that they almost scare you. Dreams so big that you have no idea how they will become a reality, but you just know they will.

These kind of dreams, my friend, are the dreams that I believe come from God. I believe these kind of dreams are “God-given” dreams. We have no idea how the will become reality, but yet we know they will. And I believe the reason that we “just know” they will become reality is because GOD will make a way. He will make the path straight. He will guide our steps. And He will go before us making a way. Yes, only God-given dreams can be BIG! God is big, so I wouldn’t expect the dreams He gives to His children to be anything but BIG.

So, what are some of your God-given dreams? Let’s share!

Some of mine are to be a Mommy again, to become a certified personal trainer, to minister alongside of my husband preaching the Gospel.  Ok, now it’s your turn…..

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Till January


This chick is such an inspiration & encouragement to me! She has been a great mentor in my own health & fitness journey. In this video Michelle explains the importance of getting connected with a Challenge Group now. If you are ready to “JINGLE all the way” through holidays instead of “JIGGLE all the way”, comment or message me! I would love to connect you with my Challenge Group!

Think Before You Send or Receive That Picture


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What would we do without our cell phones, right?!? We use them to receive and send emails while on the go. They help us stay connected while we are away from our home, or even work. They are a way for us to be able to call when we are in an emergency (like when our car breaks down). As a parent, they are useful to keep up with your kids when they are away from you. They also make sharing things simple, like pictures and videos.I love it when I get pictures and videos of my nieces. I get a good laugh when my friends send hilarious pictures. And I enjoy sending pictures of our kids, pets, and happenings to my friends and family.

But let’s be honest, not all pictures and videos sent and received via cell phone are good. I am saddened and heartbroken at the very thought that there are teenagers sending and receiving some of the most vulgar pictures to one another. Sexting has become so casual with our young people. First came the texting of inappropriate words, but now words are not enough. Pictures must be sent and shared. It is sickening actually.

As a youth minister I use to share with my youth (a lot) that one of my pet peeves was to see half-naked pictures of teenagers plastered on their Facebook walls and other social media outlets. (I think I have shared this before in previous posts, but it bears repeating). I am sure they probably thought to themselves, “Oh no, here she goes again. We are getting the ‘don’t stand on the toilet half dressed and snap a picture of yourself to post on Facebook’ speech again.” I’m sorry, but I’m just not one to let things that slide. I can’t ignore it. I loved my youth, and I wanted them to know that they needed to love themselves enough to not display such pictures for all the world to see.

I don’t think some teens get the fact that not only will the person they sent the picture to be able to see the picture, but anyone that person decides to share it with, and whoever that person shares it with, and so on and so on. It is a never ending cycle. It is not as casual as some may think. Sexting is like a virus. It spreads rapidly, sometimes without you being aware of it.

Let me talk a bit of straight talk here. Girls, that guy that you just sent that picture of yourself to (you know, the one you wouldn’t want your Dad to see), I know he told you that it was just between you and him but honey, he LIED. Oh, he might be the first to see it, but all of his buddies and their buddies, and quite frankly anyone he might think will get a kick out of seeing you that way, will also get a peek at you. Do you really want that? Do you really want just anyone looking at you? Also, just a little heads up. That guy won’t delete it from his phone either. He will save it. And yea, his parents will find it. They will see it. AACK! And if they know who you and your parents are, they will let your parents know. So now, the picture you wouldn’t want your Dad to see (and he doesn’t want to see it either, trust me), will be made known to him and your Mom. Oh dear.

Guys, you know that picture of that girl that you just received on your phone and you can’t wait to share it with anybody willing to look? She is someone’s daughter. She is much more than the picture she just sent you. I mean, props to you I guess for making her believe what an “honorable guy” you are, but she will see through you. You think your  a “man” because you have that picture? Think again dear. Real men don’t devalue and degrade women like that. Is your Dad taking pictures of your Mom like that and sharing them with anybody and everybody? Don’t think so. And speaking of that, what if someone was passing around a picture of your Mom like the one on your phone? AAACK! It doesn’t settle too well with you know does it? Also, do you really want to risk the chance of having that girl’s Dad come after you? Do you want your parents to see what is on your phone, and tell her parents? Do you want to risk the chance that you could do some jail time, and/or have to be a registered sex offender for the rest of your life? I mean, what about your football scholarship? College? Dreams? Future? Is that picture really worth the risk of forfeiting it all?

Oh, don’t think that I don’t know that it happens the other way around. I know guys send girls pictures just as vulgar. And I would say the same things as I stated above, in that scenario. My point in posting this is not to make anyone feel awful, but it is to open the eyes of those sending and receiving such pictures and/or videos. Sexting isn’t casual. It is serious. And just as with anything else that is serious, there are serious consequences. No picture is worth forfeiting your hopes and dreams over. Please think before you take that picture. Think before you send that picture. Think before you receive that picture. You are worth so much more than you realize.

Grace & Peace

Setting Goals


ImageSetting goals is something that I have never really mastered a self-discipline for. That doesn’t mean that is something that I do not work on though. And it definitely doesn’t mean that I cannot develop the self-discipline to set goals. Sometimes I think we use the whole “lack of self-discipline” as cop-out. I think it is over used really. At least I I know that I have over used it at times. (“I really don’t need to eat that cookie, but I just can’t help myself.”)<——That would be me at times.

But here I am blogging about setting goals, yet I am admitting that it is something I struggle with. As a business owner (yes, I am my own boss), I need to set goals in order to help move my company in the right direction. As a wife, mother, Christian, friend, and any other role I find myself in, I need goals to help move me in the right direction. Imagine if no one ever had any goals. Scary thought, I know. Goals are important. Goals are necessary. Goals are good.

So, I thought I would share some of my goals that I have set for myself today.

1. Workout

2. Drink my Shakeology.

3. Check my emails, and other important biz related things.

4. Post on social media (yes, this is a goal if it is used properly).

5. Post photo for the Rocktober Fit Challenge on Instagram.

6. Read over Challenge Group Invitation Guide.

7. Email invites to participants of Challenge Group.

8. Clean the house.

9. Blog.

10. Community Group

Whew! Some of the things listed on this list can be checked off, while there are still a few I have yet to do for the day. Setting goals helps to keep me focused. It helps to keep me on track. If any of you are like me, it’s not hard to get off track and lose focus. So, what are you waiting for? Set some goals for yourself today! It feels really good marking them off your list once you accomplish them! BONUS!

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

Just Say No to the Shortest Shorts of All


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“Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who has the shortest shorts of all?”

Today’ post is all about the fashion. But don’t get too freaked out by the picture above. I am not posting this pic as a way to announce that this is a fashion trend that I am in love with. Actually, I absolutely cannot stand this fashion trend. I mean really, since when did pockets being longer than the actual pair of shorts you have on become a good fashion idea? In my opinion, and I am sure Joan Rivers and the other members of Fashion Police would agree, this is a huge fashion disaster.

Our oldest son plays football, so most of our Friday nights include the family being at his football games. Now I will go ahead and admit that even though I am a girl born and raised in the south, I do not have a love for football. I could care less really. I go to support our son, and that is about it. I couldn’t tell you who has the ball, what call the ref just made, or what play the players are playing out. So, as we sit in the stands watching the game, I tend to people watch. And this fashion “NO” is one I see too frequently on the teenage girls (along with shirts that offer no support and leave little to the imagination).

As a parent, I am appalled at the sure thought that these girls walked by their parents and got the okay to head out for the evening. It saddens it me to think that these young girls think that dressing in this way is ok. As a youth minister, I use to tell my youth that one of my biggest pet peeves was to see half dressed pics on Facebook that the teen girls were posting. I am sorry, but we live in times where we are all more accessible to more people than we realize. And not everyone who sees your half dressed pic, or who sees you half dressed out in public, is your BFF. I would have been snatched up real quick and would have never made out the door in shorts like the ones pictured above.

Here are some tips on knowing if your shorts are too short to be worn out as a fashion statement:

1. If you have to constantly dig them out of the crevices of your body, then it is time to toss the shorts. I am sorry, but there is just no lady-like way to say this.

2. If your shirt is longer than your shorts and people have to constantly question whether or not you even have on shorts, then it is time to toss the shorts.

3. When you put your hands by your side and your shorts are way above your fingertips, then it is time to toss the shorts.

Modesty is really a lot more fashionable than leaving little to the imagination. So, ladies please respect yourself enough to cover up.

Grace & Peace, Jac

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