Summer is officially here and that only mean one thing. SUMMER BUCKET LIST! Every year I write a bucket list of things, big and small, that I want to do. I don’t hold back, I get very creative, and I go back to the feeling of being a kid. All you have to do to get started is write it down somewhere. So I made you a Summer Bucket List freebie. Keep scrolling to download…
National Infertility Awareness Week is here again! It’s an emotional rollercoaster. Sharing my heart and journey is both heart-wrenching and freeing.
This year’s theme is Uncovered. Infertility warriors have been encouraged to Uncover truths about infertility this week to bring awareness to the disease. I’m hoping to uncover some ugly truths about infertility in a genuine and honest way.
I also hope to uncover the love, hope, and grace of God we’ve experienced while facing the ugly truths. I wouldn’t be doing our story justice without speaking on both.
Ugly truth #1 Infertility is isolating and lonely
There are days when you feel like you’re an island. Who can relate to what’s happening in your life? How can you explain it to the people around you? The reality is that no matter how much details you give, there is no way to fully express the emotions and procedures you are going through. Some relationships change or grow distant. Some people don’t know what to say so they say nothing at all. Some people say insensitive things or make less of your journey. All these things can make you guarded and much more selective with who you’ll be sharing your story with.
Ugly truth #2 Infertility is coping with denial
Edward and I clearly remember the day we saw “IVF ONLY” highlighted in yellow when he was first diagnosed. We couldn’t wrap our heads around it. It was a huge blow for us. We thought, “What the heck? That is so extreme! This can’t be right. Not us”. It took us a year to go back to the doctor. I couldn’t fathom having to go through something so invasive. I didn’t feel strong enough or ready. And I thought that God’s plan HAD TO BE different. Well, it wasn’t. This is the path that we must take. And we are finally at a place where we’ve accepted that this is our reality.
Side Note: We are in the middle of our first IVF cycle! It’s a huge step in our journey. We are excited, nervous, anxious, and hopeful. And I’m super proud of us for taking this step.
Ugly truth #3 Infertility is filled with shame and embarrassment
Honestly, talking about all the stuff that needs to work and be healthy when you’re going through infertility can be so embarrassing. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been examined, prodded, asked intimate questions, and performed analysis’ that are uncomfortable. Then, there’s the shame of feeling like there’s something wrong with you. The shame you feel when people ask if you have children. Or the embarrassment when you have to decline an invite due to financial or emotional struggles.
Ugly truth #4 Infertility is time consuming
If you’re going through infertility and trying to explore different options to become parents, it take A LOT of time and effort. Whether you’re adopting, fostering, getting medical help–it takes a big chunk of your life. Your calendar is dictated by appointments, hearings, visits, or medical procedures. And for the average person dealing with infertility that can mean putting work, responsibilities, goals, jobs, or prior commitments on hold. That in itself can be frustrating and disheartening.
Ugly truth #5 Infertility is coping with pregnancy envy
This is by far the hardest thing to admit for me. By nature, I am not an envious person. I feel most like myself when I’m encouraging and cheering someone on. But grief and loss have weird ways of manifesting. I felt like the worse person in the world when I saw or heard of pregnancy announcements and all I could feel was anger and disappointment. I hid my emotions many times because what kind of “evil” person would feel pregnancy envy? I was genuinely happy for them but incredibly sad for us. We have seen many friends and family get pregnant and give birth in the 3 years we’ve been waiting. The feelings of grief and loss have been deep. But we have learned to work through these feelings. We have chosen to bless, love, and celebrate our loved ones despite what we feel in the moment.
God’s Truth: Love, hope, faith, and grace
My husband said something very wise to me the other day as we spoke about our journey. “God has a plan behind everything. He doesn’t close one door and never opens another one. He closes one door to open another one. A door we need to go through. The word need should only be used by God. He’s the only one who knows what we need“.
I’ve expressed to Edward many times that I just don’t understand why we have to go through this. Are we not good enough people? Are we destined to be terrible parents? And his response has always been that it is just that God has a special assignment for us.
I now understand this. It’s taken me a while. And sometimes my mind wants to play tricks on me. But in my heart I know that for some reason, God has a knowing we don’t. He sees something we don’t. In His sovereignty, He deems it necessary and essential for THIS to be our story. Somehow this will have a ripple affect for eternity.
Through every single Ugly truth–loneliness, denial, shame, lost time, envy–God has been there. His has loved us fiercely. He has sent people to love us and meet our needs. He had given us the grace to walk through this with dignity and strength. He has orchestrated moments for us to hear his voice. He has provided in ways that are uncommon for most people going through this. And he has double, tripled, our faith.
The real truth is that this incredibly heavy load we carry is something we never wanted but can look back and see evidence of God’s love, grace, and hope. We have come to realize that He is the prize. We have come to believe that He is what we hope for. We have come to know that He is what our hearts are after. And no ugly truth or diagnosis can take Him away.
“So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!”
At the bottom of the back, there is a space to take notes and bible references that correspond to the timeline’s events.
I love taking a step back during Passion Week to get my heart in a position of gratitude. Making these cards reminded me of how extraordinary Jesus is. Despite all of the chaos and what he knew lied ahead, he took time to celebrate, love, and teach so we could all see and grow from his example.
I hope these cards set the tone for your week. I hope the colors and patterns urge you to pick them up and get closer to Jesus this coming week.
Spring is all about florals and pretty colors. But to be honest, after a while I get kinda tired of seeing the same style of florals in artwork and fashion. I thought it’d be cool to switch things up and create abstract floral for this month’s wallpapers.
Abstract art really inspires me because it’s almost as if the artist left a part of the process up to me to finish. I become part of the piece as I imagine what it could mean or what the empty spaces and shapes could become. There’s an element of anticipation and reflection that I enjoy.
I hope these pieces help you reflect and inspire you to become part of the art process. May they remind you to have hopeful anticipation for whatever God has in the works for you.
There are two versions of the artwork. One with illustrated details and one without. I love them both! To download the wallpapers, long press or right click on the images below.
It’s good to put down the phone and close the laptop. Doing work with my hands helps me stay creative and inspired. It’s also a fun way to take care of my mental health. But sometimes DIYs can be overwhelming for me. So I like ones that I can do in a day or two.
Here are some Spring DIYs you can try this weekend:
1. Monogrammed Ring Cones If you’re a jewelry girl like me, then this ones both fun and practical. I can never have enough trinkets to store and display my fave accessories. (via Brit+Co)
2. Song & Scripture Cards Download, print, and listen. Easiest DIY for those of you who aren’t master DIYers yet. (via Styld by Grace)
3. Black and White Painted Vase I’m in if it involves paint. It’s relaxing and always adds beauty to my home. And it’s never a bad idea to add some greenery indoors. (via Love Create Celebrate)
4. Mini Polymer Clay Bowls You can use these for your office, bathroom, or in your drawers. I usually use mini bowls like these to put paperclips or to store a couple small bottles of Essential Oils in my bathroom.
5. Compliments Candy Bars We all need a little encouragement sometimes. This is a perfect “Just because” gift for a friend that needs a small pick-me-up. Or if you’re hosting an event/get together, this works perfect as a party favor (via Oh Happy Day)
6. Terrazzo Style Notebook Covers It happens to me all the time–I find the perfect notebook but the cover just isn’t cutting it for me. These notebook covers are the perfect blend of simple and colorful. (via Enthralling Gumption)
7. Abstract Color Block Sneakers This is my favorite! And the one I’ll probably start with this weekend. I’m all for a paint project that I can WEAR, oh yeah! (via Enthralling Gumption)
Which one are you thinking of trying this weekend?!