National Infertility Awareness Week: My Husband’s Diagnosis

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In recognition of National Infertility Awareness week, I’d like to give honor where honor is due. To my husband, Edward, who was diagnosed with infertility almost a year ago.

He is a rock. He is strong. He is resilient. He is faithful. He is steadfast. He is hopeful. How he’s been able to see the silver lining in all of this is beyond me. But he has no idea how God has used him to increase my faith.

This past weekend, I took a three-hour drive all by myself to attend one of my closest friend’s baby shower. Edward had to work and couldn’t take off. And honestly, I was looking forward to the time alone.

I needed the open road, no distractions. During this alone time, I started telling God how I felt about all this infertility stuff. How I didn’t understand why He couldn’t just heal Edward. How I didn’t understand why Edward. This guy, who has a pure heart, all the intention in the world to take care of his family, can’t have kids easily. WHY?!

The resounding question: WHY?!

I truly felt (kinda still feel) angry for Edward. Yet he is completely full of faith and hope. Despite hearing the worse news any person who desires children can hear, he believes wholeheartedly that God will keep His promise to us.

I’m the one who questions. He’s the one who continually trusts. Anxious versus peaceful. That’s how I’d describe our personalities. It works. And somehow God knew we needed each other.

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In that moment of asking God, He quieted my questions with “I knew this would happen, Theresa. I had Edward in mind. I knew he’d meet you. I knew you’d be angry. And he’d be at peace. I knew he would need the fight you bring. And you’d need the calm he brings. I didn’t bring illness to his life. I brought you to him. His helper. The person who would be able to go through this with him”.

What a revelation! I can’t help but cry as I write this. You see, Edward may have been born with infertility issues or it could’ve developed with time. Who knows. But, what I do know is that God didn’t cause this. In fact, before Edward was born, He knew how and when He’d bring about the miracle. And if God chose me to be the vessel to bring about the miracle, then I humbly accept the call.

Now more than ever, I believe that God isn’t in the business of causing pain or affliction. He’s in the business of restoring, providing and giving life. He joins people together and provides the resources needed. Not every miracle looks the same. But it doesn’t make it less of a miracle.

I want to encourage you and let you know that God knows the need, the desire, and the intention, of our hearts. And He will always show up when those things are aligned with His perfect will. Your miracle, our miracle is in the works. He knows. He is working on it. And He may be using you as the vessel for that miracle.

With all my love and appreciation,
Theresa

P.S. I’ll be blogging each day this week in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week. (Did you know it affects 1 in 8 people?!) Some of the posts will be about what’s next in our personal infertility journey, free artwork to encourage those struggling with infertility, and important facts about infertility. Hope you stay tuned!

 

3 Things that Build Lasting Relationships

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Let’s stop for a minute and think. Our lives revolve around interacting with other people. Some people we like and others we don’t. Some interactions are good and others are not so good. I wish all the relationships in my life were pleasant and easy. The reality is that relationships, whether it’s your marriage or a friendship, take effort. And whether we like to admit it or not, our relationships matter and mold who we are.

The effort we put into our relationships will influence the course of our lives. The people we meet, the people we love, the people we encounter, our relationships with them can lead to marriage, lifelong friendships, and even our dream job.

According to God’s word, loving God and loving people is our greatest calling. If it’s important to God then it should be important to us. And if we do all things through love for him and others, then our relationships and life will be a whole lot rewarding and meaningful.

Deep down inside, even us introverts, long to build lasting and deep relationships. Even when we have a billion walls up to protect us, we long for fulfilling relationships.

Being married, losing friendships, and leading others have taught me that to build lasting relationships we gotta:

Be consistent
I’m convinced that consistency is the substance that makes up success. When we are consistent we exude trust, reliability, and legitimacy. How can a person who’s late and unreliable keep a job or get a promotion? The same goes for our friendships, marriages, and people we mentor. We have to be there for the people in our lives, in the good and the bad. It’s pretty sad when I realize that I tend to push people away when things get messy. If we study Christ’s attitude towards His relationships, we see His dedication, consistency, and involvement. He was always present, always encouraging, and always showed up.

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Show Grace
Stepping out to be Jesus’ hands and feet at times can cause us to feel helplessness, discouraged or even downright angry. When we are there for people we see the stuff we wish we didn’t. We encounter people’s hang ups and faults. There’s one thing that gives us the strength and courage to keep building our relationships when they get sticky. It’s called grace. When I got engaged I wish I would’ve known that grace was something I was going to need more than ever. If marriage has taught me anything, it’s taught me that grace goes a long way. It actually is what sustains a relationship. Grace tells me to care and love my husband even when he has offended or hurt me. Grace tells me to reach out to a friend who is being distant even if it means disposing of my pride. Grace tells me to stop being so hard on myself when the fish I “cooked” tastes like crap.
P.S. My cooking has gotten a lot better 😉

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Be Vulnerable
The glue that binds it all together is vulnerability. When I hear the word vulnerability the first things that come to mind are exposure and fear. But vulnerability isn’t meant to expose us in a way that’s detrimental. If we lose the fear of being rejected, isolated, or judged, we are open to vulnerability. And when we are vulnerable with the people we love, meaning we are unafraid to show all of who we are, we can show grace when it’s hard and we can be consistent in their lives. The times I’ve been the most vulnerable, in my career or with my husband or with God, have lead to a total “vulnerability hangover”. Have you ever experienced that? I start questioning myself: “Was I too honest, too outspoken, too open, too caring, too loving? Will letting down this wall make me seem weak?” But looking back it’s those moments that have forged relationships, opportunities and have opened doors of success.

To learn more about vulnerability, connection, and letting go of fear, I highly recommend reading Brené Browns, Daring Greatly. It has been an extreme blessing in my life!


What have you learned from past and present relationships about building lasting connections?

What is one practical way you can build your most valued relationships today?

Valentine’s Giveaway Winner

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Thank you to everyone who liked, shared, and commented on our Valentine’s Mr. & Mrs. Giveaway!

This is such a sweet giveaway and I’m secretly jealous that I can’t keep the mugs. I’m especially happy to be giving a gift that celebrates marriage.

Well, without further ado, the winner is Lillian Roura! Congrats!

Lil, I hope you enjoy this gift with your hubby for many years to come! Please send me pics of where you hang the prints and a pic of you and your hubby enjoying some coffee in your new mugs 🙂

Please email me at info@styldbygrace.com with your contact info so I can mail out your gifts.

 

Valentine’s Day Mr. & Mrs. Giveaway 

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Happy Friday friends!

I’m excited to announce this months giveaway!

Whether you’re a newlywed, or know someone who’s engaged, or have been married for 15 years, you’re going to love this gift.

In honor of the month of love, I am gifting two beautiful Mr. & Mrs. mugs from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Sweet Water Decor. I’m also including Styld by Grace’s 8×10 Mr. & Mrs. prints.

To enter the giveaway, sign up for our newsletter and tag 3 friends in our Instagram giveaway post. For an extra entry, repost the giveaway picture.

The winner will be announced on Monday, February 8th! May the odds be ever in your favor 😉

**Giveaway ends Sunday, February 7th at 11:59 pm.**

A Newlywed’s Recipe for a Fulfilling Marriage

I had all the ingredients I needed, but didn’t quite understand the directions to the baked breaded tilapia recipe I googled. I really didn’t know what I was doing. The kitchen was a mess, with egg whites all over the counter, and the breading sprinkled on the floor. In the end, the tilapia was more like a spotted, gooey mess and it was not crispy at all. Yuck!

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My poor husband ate it anyway. I threw mine away. But, I  was so determined to not let this happen again. The following week I payed more attention to the recipe, prepared the ingredients correctly and had all the right pots and pans. This time around it turned out pretty amazing! And I’m so proud to say that Edward actually enjoyed fish for the first time.

I wish I could share all my crazy newlywed stories with you. (Like when I microwaved a METAL travel mug. Not kidding.) But this one in particular reminds me that to have a fulfilling marriage, we should follow some sort of recipe. Before marriage, I thought that if two people were in love, it would all work out. Well, now I know that it takes effort to keep that love alive.

In the last two years of marriage my ever-evolving recipe for a fulfilling marriage is:

Ingredients:
2 Cups of Joy
1 Gallon of Grace
2 Gallons of Devotion
1 Lifetime with God

Directions:
Take those 2 cups of joy and daily, laugh together. Also, don’t take each other or yourself too seriously. I do lots of silly, air-headed things around my husband. Before marriage, I would avoid doing those little quirks in front of him. Now, it’s inevitable. He sees the good, the bad, and the really silly. So I just decided to count it all joy and I learned to laugh at myself.

Pour the 1 gallon of grace over yourself and your spouse. I make mistakes and I fall short as a wife every single day. So I’m learning to give myself some grace. There is no such thing as a perfect person or the perfect marriage. The beautiful thing about marriage is that it helps you become a more grace-filled person towards yourself and others.

Use the 2 gallons of devotion to care, honor, and serve your spouse. We devote our time to our work, our hobbies, our dreams. Culture tells us that it’s perfectly fine to devote ourselves, and commit endless hours to those things. Yet, marriage is treated so casually.  If we want fulfilling, long-lasting marriages, then we must take time to care for the person we said “I do” to. Let’s make time to cook their favorite meal or help them get ready in the morning or listen to their worries and burdens.

The most important ingredient is 1 lifetime with God. He makes it all work together for our good. Like the times we argue and something mean slips out. Or the times we feel disappointed. He turns those things around for our good when He’s the one we seek after. He gives us the strength, the grace, the self-control to commit to having a fulfilling marriage. At the end of the day, no matter how amazing of a relationship we have with our spouse, it will feel like there’s something missing, if we don’t spend our days seeking God. He’s the source and the main ingredient for a lasting relationship.


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesian 5:33)

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 3:5)


What is your recipe for a fulfilling marriage? I’d love to hear and learn from you!

P.S. Happy 2 year anniversary to my handsome, super funny, incredibly caring and supportive husband, Edward.