Live Simply

Journey of faith, fitness, family, fashion, and fun

The Choice is Yours


We all have a story. We all have things that have taken place that have left us broken, left us wounded and scarred. These things can either cripple us or they can propel us into greatness.

We have the choice.

My past is pretty broken. There are some very dark times. There are some gray times. And yes, there are also some bright times. I can either cling to these past moments and allow them to break me down, or I can use them as a springboard to become who God created me to be. I can use them to help someone else.

I choose the latter. I choose to not be broken and beaten down by the things of my past. I choose to not be embarrassed of where God has rescued me from. I choose to see God working for the good in my life.

Friend, the choice is yours. You can cling to your past and let it beat you down, or you can choose to focus on the good that God is working in your life. Which will it be?

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My Joy


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I saw this picture as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning. I stopped. I read. I read it again and again. The caption under the picture read, “Let something steal your joy, and you let something steal your strength. Ann Voskamp” That statement struck a chord with me. I had let something steal my joy this morning, and I was sinking fast into a deep dark pit of self-pity. I was angry with God and wanted to fuss Him out. Oh, I have no doubt God can handle my temper tantrums. He’s a big boy, I get that. But why would I resort to doing that? Is it’s God fault? No. Is He the reason for heartbreak? No. Is He the reason for my hurt and pain? No. Does He understand it? Yes. The enemy is the one who comes to kill, steal, & destroy (John 10:10), not God. The enemy prowls around like a lion looking for those he can devour ( 1 Petter 5:8). Not God. Christ came so the I may have an abundant life (John 10:10). He wants to give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). He is life, love, and joy. He is hope. And if I give in to the schemes of the enemy then I have allowed the enemy to steal my joy, and therefore steal my strength.

I believe it was no coincidence that I saw this picture in my feed this morning. I believe it was a word from God. He was reminding me of where my joy comes from. He was reminding me that I must be strong and steadfast. He was reminding me of His great love for me.

I pray this blesses you today, for those of you who needed this word too.

Grace & Peace, Jac

Marriage is Far More Valuable than a Piece of Paper


I saw something yesterday that disturbed me, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. It was one of those premade quote pictures, and it stated something along the lines about how marriage is just a piece of paper and all you really need is love. Well, a relationship that has a good love going on is great. Nobody wants a relationship that is loveless. But to go as far as to say that marriage is just a piece of paper, well, I have to put the brakes on that one. It makes me kind of sick to my stomach to think that someone has created such a cheap view of marriage.

If you have ever read any of my blog posts then it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I am a Christian. Yes, my faith forms my belief of marriage and shapes how I view it. And yes, I am divorced, so let’s not start trying to throw that rock around (I remarried, by the way). I realize that some of you may not share in my opinion, and I won’t think any less of you for that. But for me marriage is something that should be held to a very high standard. Our society has cheapened it and made us believe that it is far less valuable than what it really is.

God designed marriage. Therefore, I believe, if God designed it then it must be important. It must be much more than just a piece of paper. And if I am to walk with Christ than I must value it more than I would a piece of paper I wrote on. And even further, if I am to walk with Christ I must value my own marriage to the point where I take my vows seriously. I must honor my husband, love him, submit to him (oh yea, I went there….but not in the “I’m his dog” kind of way), cherish him, forgive him, share in his burdens, share in his celebrations, and so on. If I get mad at him over something, I don’t need get my pants in a wad and tell him that our marriage is just a piece of paper and means nothing. I don’t need plan out a divorce plan just because he doesn’t share the same opinions as I do. I don’t need to teach our children that marriage is nothing more than a piece of paper.

Nope, I am in for better or worse. I am in for the long haul. Yep, Brian isn’t getting rid of me. Ha! I don’t want to treat our marriage cheaply. I don’t want either of us viewing our marriage as merely something written down on a piece of paper. I want us both to see how sacred our marriage is. Yes, marriage is SACRED. God holds marriage very highly, and that is how I want to see it too. Look, let me just go ahead and tell you that I am beyond crazy about my husband and love him more than I could put into words. I couldn’t imagine not being married to this man. Maybe that is why I see our marriage as more than just a piece of paper.

I want our children to grow up and have spouses who love the Lord and hold marriage as sacred as it should be held. If I want that for them, then I have to lead by example now. I know I will probably step on some toes here and cause some of you to block me or unfriend me. That’s cool. Blessings to you friend. But I need to share what I feel isn’t said enough when it comes to marriage and relationships. If you are a Christian, then you can’t have a live in boyfriend or a live in girlfriend. If you are a Christian, you can’t divorce your husband or your wife just because you don’t feel like being married any more. If you are a Christian marriage is held to be highly sacred and something you don’t treat cheaply.

I know I have done a lot of rambling and it probably feels like I have been on my soapbox FOREVER, so I won’t keep you much longer. But if you are still reading this, I want you to know that you are treasured and loved child of God. He loves you with an incredible love, and He wants the best for you. That is why He has created marriage to be so sacred. He knows that divorce, adultery, sleeping around, and “shacking up” aren’t the best, and that is why He has given us guidance in these things. Is there grace? Absolutely. God is a God of second chances, so you can always come back. He will always wrap you in His arms and offer you His grace and mercy. But in order to receive His grace and that second chance, we must first walk away from what led us in the opposite direction. Then we must humbly come to Him in repentance and ask Him to show us the way.

So they are no longer two, but  one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate. ~Matthew 19:6, NIV

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. ~Ephesians 5:31, NIV

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

Faith in the Raw


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his quote sums it up almost perfectly for me. No matter how many times I have told myself, “I will just give up. This is too hard,” I can’t throw in the towel. My desire to have a baby with my husband isn’t a desire like walking into Kohl’s and seeing that beautiful Vera Wang handbag that I would love to have. It’s a desire that goes much deeper, and one that can’t fully be expressed in words. So, here I am. Another month. Another cycle. Part of me wants to throw in the towel and just say, “Screw it!” The other part of me says, “You can’t give up. You want this child. Have faith.” 

Faith. You would think that as a Pastor’s Wife and Christian I wouldn’t struggle with faith, right? Wrong. I struggle with having faith just like anyone else struggles with it. There are times when I have incredible faith, and then there are times when it is difficult to even have the faith the size of a mustard seed. Today is one of those days. It’s been over 3 years and nothing has changed. I have no answers as to why my body isn’t conceiving our desired child. No magic tricks to share that got us success. No babies to even speak of. Just the same charted cycle month after month after month. The same “negative” pregnancy tests. The same ovulation predictor kits letting me know that there is nothing wrong in that department. Just the same. 

This morning I read from Hebrews 11, and verse 11 struck me. 

“Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word.” Hebrews 11:11, Amplified Bible

 

It is sort of obvious as to why this verse would stick out to me, right? I know. And then again this verse also had me telling God, “Please Lord, please don’t let me have to wait till I am as old as Sarah before I receive my child of promise.” Seriously, this is a concern of mine. I have shared it on numerous occasions with my husband. I want that “physical power” that Sarah received. I want her faith. But wait, didn’t she laugh first? Didn’t she think it to be a joke? Yes, she did. So, then where was her faith? Maybe it was in the fact that in the back of her mind she continued to cling to her desire, and when God shared that she and Abraham would have their child of promise she clung even tighter to that desire and hope. She may have been laughing on the outside, but maybe in the depths of her soul she was shouting, “Yes, Lord! Yes! I believe it! I receive it!” Maybe. Just maybe. 

I can share from my own experience that even though my husband and I have three children between us, the desire to have a child together is strong. Our desire to have this precious child doesn’t mean that we don’t love the three children we have now. Our child of promise is wanted. It is already loved. It is prayed for. My soul yearns for this precious child. My heart longs for Ada and/or Liam (maybe the Lord will choose to bless us with just one, or maybe He will bless us with both). 

So even though part of me is screaming, “Screw this! I am done! I have had enough of this emotional roller coaster. I am sick of the same crap every month. I am tired of seeing pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, gender reveals, and the likes plastered all over my social networks, all while I am over hearing dying inside. I have had enough of it!,” I can’t ignore the other part of me. The other part that whispers, “Don’t give up Jaclyn. It’s not a lost cause. Your pain will turn into joy soon.” And it might sound weird and crazy to some of you, but even though there are times when I am so mad at God and want to scream at Him over this pain, He is where I find the greatest comfort. I can do nothing apart from Him. I am afraid of the dark pit I might find myself in if I let go of Him for even one second. So I cling tighter to Him. I rest in Him. I bury my sobbing heart in Him. And I allow Him to hold me while I break into a million pieces. And He lets me. There is no other place that makes sense for me to be than in His arms. It is the only place that makes sense. 

I will continue to press on in faith even on the days where my faith isn’t even the size of a mustard seed. Why? Because I know my God is greater than any pain I might have. He is bigger than any doubt. He is more powerful than any disappointment and discouragement I might face. He is my God who loves and adores me no matter what. He is making a way even if I can’t see it. And He is forever faithful. The enemy will not have the victory because I am the precious daughter of the Most High God, and in Him is where I find my strength, hope, and faith. 

Stamp of Approval


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We all want a “stamp of approval” on our lives. I mean nobody likes to be told that how they behave, how they parent, how they treat others, how they live their lives, and anything else that involves their decisions is well, let’s just say not up to par. I will admit that I don’t like being told that some of my decisions and choices aren’t always the best, and sometimes I have issues with authority (oops, how did that skeleton get out the closet). But lately, I have felt God making me more aware of that fact that not everything people do in their lives has His official stamp of approval. Oh, we like to put it there though don’t we?

How many times have we done something, said something, or behaved a certain way and thrown God’s stamp of approval on it knowing good and well He was probably shaking His head at us the entire time. I mean, come on. 

I have noticed a lot of “stamps of approval” lately that have been placed by human hands, not God’s. It upsets me, and it breaks my heart. Since when did we become so blind to the fact that if it isn’t in line with God’s Word then it does NOT get His stamp of approval? 

You can’t live with your significant other and have sex outside of marriage, and turn around and proclaim that God is in control of your life. No. God’s Word is very specific when talking about sex outside of marriage. Scripture tells to even flee from the very hint of sexual immorality. Shacking up with your significant other before marriage falls into this category. So, I am sorry, but God’s stamp of approval does not get placed on this. 

You can’t cuss and drink like a sailor, and then turn around and sing God’s praises. “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.” (James 3:10) “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery;” (Ephesians 5:18) God’s stamp of approval doesn’t get on this either. 

Divorcing your spouse because you “fell out of love,” or for any other reason other than abuse, adultery, or abandonment, and then saying that God is opening up a new door for you. No, God’s stamp of approval doesn’t get on this either. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:9)
I realize none of this is like swallowing sugar….more like salt. It’s not easy for me to type this. I am more of a warm and fuzzy kind of gal, with a side (ok, maybe an extra side) of sassiness. But it really breaks my heart that God’s name seems to be placed just about everywhere now. We like to think that if we include His name then everything will be ok. 

Look, I am a divorcee. I went through a divorce, and I know the pain that it brings. It’s not easy. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I won’t go into details of that chapter of my life (that’s another post), but I will share that it was a hard struggle for me. And I also know that divorce was never in God’s plan. Ever. God is not an advocate of divorce. Just like he’s not an advocate for shacking up, cursing, drunkenness, wrong behavior, nasty attitudes, lying, cheating, stealing, and the likes. 

Oh there is grace. His sweet wonderful grace. And we can have it at no cost to us, well let me take that back. His grace is freely given to us, but we do have to lay down our pride, self-centeredness, and our ego. We can make poor life choices and be forgiven. God doesn’t turn His back on us when we make decisions that don’t line up with His Word, but that doesn’t mean He approves of them either. So, maybe instead of putting His stamp of approval on it, we should strive to make better choices and seek His way. Maybe instead of looking at our poor choices and thinking to ourselves that God orchestrated the chain of events (you know, so we can feel better about ourselves), we should ask Him to show us His way apart from those poor choices. 

I am by no means perfect, and I don’t have everything figured out. God knows that, and I would never claim to be the girl who has it all together. Really, I am a broken soul in desperate need of my Savior everyday at every moment. I fail Him daily. I make poor choices. I hurt people. I don’t always have the best attitude. I can be snotty and plain out rude. I don’t always love my spouse like I should. I don’t always give my kids my best. And there are times when I try to put God’s stamp of approval on things I have done so that I can feel better. I confess. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t mean it’s ok. I cling to Jesus everyday because I know if I don’t, I will slip right back into the pit He rescued me from. And it’s a dark pit that I don’t ever want to return to. 

Friends, this post isn’t meant to be judgmental or cause you to have a pound of guilt strapped around your neck. And isn’t meant to make you feel bad about yourself. This post is as much for me as well. My prayer is that this post will cause all of us to take a good hard look at our life choices before we try to put God’s stamp of approval on them. And if they don’t line up with His Word, I pray that we wouldn’t try to force His stamp of approval on them. I pray that we would seek His way above our own way, even if it isn’t the easiest or most comfortable. I pray that we would rest in His grace, love, and mercy, and trust Him to always lead us in the right way. 

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

Grace & Peace, Jac

He’s The Remedy


I am going to start this post off by getting the ugliness out of the way. I didn’t sleep very well last night, at all. I was having some pains that were making it difficult to get comfortable. At 1:30 am my eyes popped open, and I wrestled with myself to go back to sleep. There was no way I was going to get up and do anything at that time of the night (I mean, those days are long gone). I finally got myself back to sleep only to have my eyes pop open again at 3:40 am. Ugh. This time it was a combination of needing to go to the bathroom and Alaska (our husky mix pup…..she is almost 7 months old, so get a picture of Godzilla in your mind) whining at my feet. I got out of bed and headed straight to the bathroom. I thought I would figure out Alaska’s problem after I dealt with mine. Alaska surprised me as I came out of the bathroom. She was sick. Again, picture Godzilla being sick. At 3:40 am, this dog had to get to sick. Really? I mean, doesn’t she know people sleep at that time of the day? So, half awake I proceeded to clean up her mess, only to discover this wasn’t the first time she had been sick while I was getting my beauty rest. Seriously?!? After I got everything cleaned up, Alaska and I headed back to bed. My alarm woke both of us up at 6:30 am, and we started this cycle all over again. Alaska, this time, was escorted outside so that she could be sick to her heart’s content without having to worry about having to clean it up. (Yes, I do have a heart and I love my dog dearly. Don’t start thinking I am all Cruella Deville over here.) Let’s just say the spring in my step this morning hasn’t been very “springy.” More like a zombie walk where one foot just gets dragged along for the journey. 

It was finally time to take the kiddos to school. Austin, Kirstin, Princess (the Chihuahua), and myself loaded up in the car and headed to school. I felt like it was a David Crowder Band kind of morning, so I hooked up my iPhone and played a bit of the Remedy album and a bit of the Church Music album for our morning commute. God has such a way of speaking (or singing) into our lives at exactly the right moment and with exactly the right words. We tend to miss it at times, but this morning I heard Him loud and clear. As the music played my attention was perked when the song “Remedy” played (from the Remedy album). 

He is the one Who has saved us
He is the one Who forgave us

He is the one who has come 
And is coming again
He’s the remedy

Oh, I can’t comprehend
I can’t take it all in
Never understand
Such perfect love come
For the broken and beat
For the wounded and weak
Oh, come fall at His feet
He’s the remedy
He’s the remedy

 

I began thinking on how the worst of days cannot compare to the saving grace and saving power of Jesus. He is the remedy for it all. He comes in like the knight in shining armor and makes everything right. Not even a lack of sleep stands a chance against Him. 

Then, my attention was drawn again to the song “Shadows” (Church Music album), as I heard these words:

Life is full of light and shadow 
O the joy and O the sorrow 
O the sorrow 

And yet will He bring 
Dark to light 
And yet will He bring 
Day from night 

When shadows fall on us 
We will not fear 
We will remember 

When darkness falls on us 
We will not fear 
We will remember 

When all seems lost 
When we’re thrown and we’re tossed 
We remember the cost 
We rest in Him 
Shadow of the cross

 

Again, God was reminding me that He has me. Zombie walk and all. He has me in His hands, and He’s not letting me go. No matter if I am plagued with a lack of sleep, unexplained secondary infertility, not feeling good, and whatever other situation and circumstance I can find myself in, He has me. 

I can rest in the shadow of the cross, knowing that Jesus Christ is the remedy for it all. He makes all things new. ” See, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) He makes wrongs right. He turns darkness into light. He holds me safe in His arms despite the chaos that may surround me. He brings joy where there is pain and sorrow. He brings hope when it seems all hope is lost. He brings love where there seems to be none. He brings grace where there is shame. He is the remedy. There is nothing too great for Him. 

Come fall at His feet, He’s the remedy. He’s the remedy. 

Listen to Remedy here:http://youtu.be/4DPdWn7m3I0

Listen to Shadows here:http://youtu.be/7TF35CmGB4k

Something Beautiful


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Yesterday I had this picture in my mind as I listened to NEEDTOBREATHE’s song, “Something Beautiful.” I saw this picture in my mind, but the woman at the feet of Jesus was me. I was at His feet completely broken and sobbing, just in need of Him and His touch. As I listened to the song over and over again, I was consumed with His Presence. I could feel Him with me in my car as I listened. He was all around me. He was with me. 

This journey of infertility has been a difficult one, to say the least. It is not one of those journeys you expect to find yourself traveling. You don’t pack your backpack with everything you will need, put on some form of protectant cream, or even pack snacks to enjoy along the way. No, you just find yourself on the journey somehow. Unprepared. No protectant cream and no snacks. Some days the journey isn’t as hard to get through, while other days feel as if you are traveling through quicksand every step of the way. 

This song, “Something Beautiful,” spoke to me yesterday as I was driving. And I found myself having a spiritual experience with every word. 

 

In your ocean, I’m ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin’ on my feet
It’s like I know where I need to be
But I can’t figure out, yeah I can’t figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There’s only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is risin’ quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can’t be sure when it will subside
So I won’t leave your side, no I can’t leave your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn’t live like this
I wouldn’t stop until I found something beautiful
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won’t have what I need

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful 

It’s amazing to me how God uses the littlest things to speak volumes into our lives. There in my car, through a song, He spoke to me. He touched me. He assured me that despite this difficult journey, He’s got me. He loves me. He adores me. And He knows my brokenness, my hurt, my sorrow, and my desire. There in my car, I was somehow at His feet. I was reaching out to Him as He was reaching out to me. There in my car, He reminded me I am His beloved no matter if I find myself in a valley or on a mountain top. 

And as I continue to walk this journey for who knows how much longer ( I pray I do not have to wait till I am as old as Sarah or Elizabeth, Lord. Please.), I will continue falling at His feet singing, 

Hey now, this is my desire Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful To touch me, I know that I’m in reach ‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful Oh, something beautiful

 

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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

I Am Spoiled


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As I was preparing the coffee pot this evening for mine and Brian’s evening cup of coffee, I got to thinking about how over the years I have been accused of growing up a spoiled little rich girl. Yea, for some reason some people have actually been offended by my aspirations to better myself, get an education, and live a certain lifestyle. I will admit, this usually makes me pretty defensive. But this evening, I began thinking about it a bit more. I am going to take it as the Lord opening my eyes to how “spoiled” and “rich” I really was growing up, and still am.

I grew up with loving parents who provided a roof over my head, clothes for me to wear, and food for me to eat. My parents taught me manners and proper social etiquette. I was raised to believe in Jesus Christ, and taught Christian values and morals. (I may not have always followed them as a teenager, but I came back to them when I woke up from my selfishness.) My parents never let me do without the things I needed (there is a difference in what we want and what we need). I didn’t get a horse, a brand new car, or every thing I thought I just had to had. My curfew was earlier than most of my friends, and I wasn’t allowed to watch certain shows.

So yea, I would say I was pretty “spoiled” and “rich” growing up. Probably not in the way that the world deems spoiled and rich, but I was spoiled with LOVE. I was rich because of the upbringing I had. My parents never gave me a reason to question whether or not they loved me or wanted me. I was cared for, loved on, and nurtured in the best way. I was brought up knowing the love of the Father, how important faith is, and that our hope is found in Jesus.

And now, well, I am still spoiled and rich. I still have faith, hope, and love. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes to wear, and a family who loves me. I may not have the wealth of Bill Gates or the fame of Taylor Swift. But I have a God who loves me more than I can comprehend, and He has blessed me beyond measure.

So yea, I guess you can say I am still a spoiled little rich girl. 🙂

Keeping the Faith


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This verse of scripture is one that might seem a bit odd for my post today, seeing as though I am not posting in celebration to an announcement I have been longing over three years to announce. I don’t have that announcement yet. No clever “we’re having a baby” announcement. No cute picture of a tiny pair of TOMS in the middle of my feet and my husband’s feet. No picture of an ultrasound showing the beautiful picture of a miracle made reality. None of that.

No, this post is one of sharing my struggle of a desire still being unfulfilled. A heart left empty yet again. A longing still aching to be made reality. Another month of a heart breaking into a million tiny pieces that nothing and no one can put back together. Not even all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could fix this. It is a pain so deep and so real that it can’t be understood by anyone who has never experienced it. And still a pain that I believe can only truly be understood not only by those who have experienced it, but also by only a woman. I don’t think men can even fully understand the full extent of a heart broken by this desire to have a child.

So, why this verse of scripture then? Why would I choose a verse that is used in celebration? I used it partly because I am told over and over again to keep believing. Keep having faith that my child of promise will come. Keep clinging to my Heavenly Father and trust in Him, that He hears my prayers and is answering them in His time. And the other part is because when this child of promise is made a reality, this will be the verse of scripture painted above his/her crib. It will be not only my reminder of a promise fulfilled, but it will be there as a blessing over my precious miracle.

Call my crazy if you want. Honestly, most days I question my own sanity in more ways that just in this. Again, some days are easier than other days. Some days I can go without shedding a tear over this, and other days it takes all I have not to burst into uncontrollable weeping much less even get out of bed.

Yes, I have a beautiful daughter that I am thankful for. She is a blessing. So, please don’t  be one of those who questions why I would want another child if I already have one. All I can tell you is that I have a longing and a desire to be a mother again. I have a longing to feel a child growing within my womb and to experience the miracle of birth with my husband. And it isn’t one that can be satisfied by anything else. It isn’t like wanting an ice cream cake, and instead choosing a cup of greek yogurt. This is much deeper.

I am told, “in God’s time,” “keep believing,” “you have to have faith,” and “don’t think negatively.” I know all of these are said with well-meaning intentions, but honestly it doesn’t do anything for my deep hurt. Do I believe God can work miracles? Absolutely. Do I have faith that God will one day bless me with my child of promise? Most days. Do I enjoy feeling down and heartbroken? No. But I am human, and I fall short more often than I would like to.

I know I am probably all over the place with this post, but that is how raw emotions are. One minute you feel this way, and the next minute without warning your emotions are on the way opposite side of the spectrum.

I have names for my children of promise: Ada Willow Turner and Liam Eli Turner. (Again, call my crazy if you want to.) I pray that Ada and Liam would grow inside my womb to be healthy, strong, warriors for the kingdom of God. I pray that God will bless me with these precious miracles soon. I pray that my body is healthy enough to carry them and support them. I pray that my broken heart would be mended by the discovery of one (if not both) growing and developing within me. I pray that my sorrow would be replaced with joy. I pray that the enemy would not steal this precious gift from me.

So, 1 Samuel 1:27 is appropriate for this post. To serve as a reminder for me to not lose hope despite how I feel, and to speak life over what appears to be without life for the moment. I must keep believing. I must stand firm in my faith. I must not let the enemy use my emotions to cloud what I know to be true. I must continue looking to the Lord and seeking His face always.

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