Archive | August 2014

Dust Bunnies be Gone!

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Photo courtesy of Bing Images

I have waged an all out war on dust bunnies!!!

At first I let them just you know hang around the furniture legs.  They looked so cute, so fuzzy so warm. so I let them move in under the furniture. No problem. After all who looks under the furniture? I made friends with them and we lived in peace for a good long while.

Well no one told me that those little critters multiply!!! Before long I had families of dust bunnies under dressers, in corners of closets,under couches and then boldly living in corners of all my rooms in clear view!

So….. friends no longer….. I grabbed a broom, vacuum, mops and sponges and rid my home of the little critters forever.

So beware my friends and family…. they may start out cute and cuddly, but it doesn’t take long for them to totally take over.

Ask yourself: Have you dusted today?

Our thoughts can be like this.  We can be thinking peaceful thoughts in one moment and then we allow a little thought of anxiety or fear push its way in.  It’s just a small one so you can let it sit for a bit, it won’t really hurt you will it?  Possibly you were thinking something innocent, like, “what will I do with all the baby furnishings, if I never can conceive.”  It is too much to think about so you just push it into a corner.  No time to deal with it now.  Later while you are folding laundry, another thought hits your brain, “You know you may never have baby clothes to wash and fold.”  Where did that thought come from?  You push that one aside as well.  Then you are watching television and you see a commercial on diapers and it has gripped you right in the throat.  You change the channel. On and on it goes and before you know it these thought ‘dust bunnies’ have invited friends for a sleepover.

Then it happens, your husband mentions that money is a little tight this month and he doesn’t know how he can continue to pay for all the organic food and supplements!  You are thrown into a rage and the thoughts of the days and possibly weeks come pouring out on your poor unsuspecting husband.  He has no idea that you have been allowing these thought bunnies to take over your mind.

Wait!  Rewind the scene before the big explosion.  Before it all goes downhill, take a moment.  Let’s do some housecleaning!  You need a mental break!

Take a moment right now!  Yes, right now.  Go and get a pencil and paper.  It’s okay, I’ll wait.

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Photo courtesy of Bing Images

Now I want you to write down every thought that is troubling you right now.  Make a list and after you are sure you have gotten it all written down, stop.  Now take your paper and wad it up so it fits in your fist.

Throw it away… just give it a good heave-ho (Now not at your husband, he is not the enemy!).

I wanted you to have this very mental and physical picture of what it is like to cast away your anxieties.

1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your care on Him (Jesus) for He cares for you.”  Collecting the negative thoughts, cleaning out your mental dust bunny closet is healthy and calming to your soul, (your mind, will and emotions).  A little salt water tear or two might help the cleansing process along with some deep breaths.  It’s okay, God loves you and many others do too.

Replace those thoughts with words that bring brightness back in.  “I’m doing my best and I’ll be fine”  “I know I can do this, God gives me strength.”  “I’m taking one step at a time”   Just take moments like this to bring hope back in your heart.  If you haven’t had the opportunity, ask Jesus to be the Lord of your broken heart and heal it and lead you in your journey.  He wants to.

I have found that there are moments where I need to stop, take stock, and rid myself of emotional dust bunnies from time to time.  To allow myself the pleasure of dusting the negative away and enjoying the entrance of peace.  Don’t we all long for that?  This process is “casting your care.”  Do it today.

So grab your brooms.  Let’s unite for a dust bunny-free life, both mentally, and emotionally!

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Finding Home!

 

homeThe time I spent away from our present home to reconnect with those people who are truly so valuable to me, was the best time I could have invested. I’m glad to be home, but also grateful for the people who love me by choice, and not just by blood. I’m talking of my Mom and my siblings, all nieces, nephews, their spouses and children: twenty-five families in all.  I am also so grateful for the friendships that have remained in spite of the distance.  I am always thrilled to spend time with these timeless relationships.  The whirlwind of travel included driving through three provinces there and back, plus connecting with new people my husband and I met along the way.  In many ways it will always remain “home.”

I will always be so thankful for the friendships I have here in the province where I now live and those friends, employers, leaders and even in-laws that I have grown to love so deeply.  I know individuals who have impacted me so profoundly over the years – all eight years to be precise.   These individuals who have helped  me heal may never know the full extent of their influence by their love and patience as I grappled with life’s issues.  Eternity will tell all.  This is home.

Thank you from my whole heart!

 

I Had Time.

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Photo courtesy of Bing Images

Infertility does not define who I am.    It is a journey I have traveled through a large portion of my life, however it is not me.  

The bizarre thing is that living with IF is a process unto itself.  It’s not just about the discovery, diagnosis and then the medical process.  Or if you have chosen to engage in all the requirements of adoption, the paperwork, interviews and waiting involved.  Infertility has been a journey that has brought me full face to myself.

You see, in the past I have struggled with the full need to be in control.  I have needed to know the information in advance, (inquiring minds need to know).  I needed to understand how things work and why they do, or why they do not.  I needed to know the implication of every decision and then decide accordingly.  I need to control so I could change a deep unhappiness inside me.

When IF came into my world at nineteen, I still had a lot of wait left in me.  I had to wait to be married for at least 21 years so the frustration of my body not working properly seemed difficult, but I had time.  Yet as I aged I always felt as though I was running out of time.  Just before I was married I had looked at medical options and hoped for a healing.  When I actually married I thought surely I would get pregnant on my honeymoon.  I actually had maternity clothing and baby clothes.  Furnishings came later in my wait.

The longing for a child was insatiable.  In all my praying and waiting, and testing I didn’t find any peace.  I had time, I thought.  After all I was only 41, 42, 43, etc. The frustration mounted as I fought with the issues of being unable to control what my body wasn’t doing regardless of how much I’d command it to change.  I certainly knew I wasn’t in control.  One could almost hear the clock ticking softly.

My personal “clock” stopped ticking suddenly, the day I discovered I could not qualify for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatments.  I had to be ushered into a side examination room in order to gain emotional control.  I had to stay in control.  When that avenue closed I threw myself into painful prayer.  If I prayed exactly right and prayed the right scriptures repeatedly, then God would ‘owe’ me a baby.  I would pace and pray, speak aloud to God EXACTLY what I expected Him to do.

After a  full year of this futility of unbelieving prayer, I called the adoption agency and we began what was an eight year process.  My renewed hope that surely this was the reason we couldn’t have children.  We were called to adopt!  The enthusiasm didn’t last long when after only a year of paperwork and meetings we were put on hold.  In a few years we would be called to begin the process of classes and Home Study, but there was time for that.  We waited.  More hoops and we waited again.

When spring came, a new announcement from the adoption agency brought me into a place of renewed strength and a determination that this time I could take control by surrender.   We could decide when enough was enough.

Keyboard and page cannot possibly put down all that my husband and I have invested and after years of this emotional and physical and pain-filled attempt to conceive or adopt a child.   I was exhausted and ready to let the dream completely go.  I was ready to surrender, not just the dream, but my need to control. I was ready to let God take over.

He did!  I have found in letting go, I have found a new sense of peace.  It has been an incredible relief to be free of the torment.  No I haven’t found a baby on my doorstep or snatched a toddler at the mall.  I am learning and living free.  Child-Friendly Free.  Knowing that I am already a mother in the lives of many little ones, I can rest in that knowing I am walking in God’s design for ‘a mother in place of another’.

From the time of diagnosis at age 19 to the day of surrender, I have been trading time and effort in a bargain with God.  He patiently waited and gave me the time to discover that He has always been in control.  This for me was a moment of release.

This journey may not be over, I do not know what tomorrow will bring or what the future will hold.  This is a journey I’ve traveled.  It’s not who I am.

When We Become a Mother or Father

I am very pleased to re-blog this post for the purpose of sharing with others that there is hope in IF and there is recovery and finally yes RESOLUTION. The details and experiences of the above differs as much as there are differences of experiences with infertility. I have much respect for Justine and her message of hope in the midst of pain and the continued effort she puts forth daily to continue “Ever Upward” Well written, well shared and well lived!

Ever Upward™

A deep knowing breath.

The warmth of a soul scar healing just a bit more.

A sense of truth, understanding and validation.

This is just a tiny sense of what I felt when I read these words from Lindsey Henke in her Still Standing post.

“But in my opinion a mother isn’t born when a child is born. A mother and father are born when the dream of a child is conceived.”

There are times when I allow my comparison, scarcity and shame to dim my light and I am fearful of sharing my story. This fear is born out of the messages I tell myself. The messages that have actually been said out loud to me. And, the messages that society drills into me.

There will be some who will never ever consider me a mother. The ones who say I didn’t try enough. The ones who judge…

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I See You Everywhere

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Photo Courtesy of Bing Images

Her eyes lifted, momentarily from the Parenthood magazine she encased her emotions behind.  At this moment in the quiet waiting room, we barely noticed one another.  All that is heard is the soft buzz of activity at the nursing station and the calls answered by a rushed receptionist attempting to book yet another patient.  Hasty physicians walked briskly from room to room giving pause to a quickly opened file, sighed and walked into each room to those waiting a verdict.

She was young, possibly twenty-five years on this earth.  The ring on her finger showed she would have to face the verdict alone.  Would the news of whatever her fate be faced with courage or tears that simply wouldn’t wait?  All was kept secret, behind a pretty face by Mabeline, and soft auburn hair combed down.   She clutched a silver and black Coach purse, as tightly as she clung to a tense nervous composure.  Her eyes reflected the only question she was poised ready to ask:  Why?

Our small company of two grew to four as a Mother and her small cradled newborn entered the room.  The Mother was completely oblivious to the two women who regarded her bundle.  She peeled back a bright pink cotton blanket to reveal another pink and white tiny sleeper encasing a resting child.  The little face relaxed in perfect peace.  Long lashes, a tiny nose and perfect pink lips  reflection the perfect creation she was.  The Mother held this darling close to her heart and she closed her eyes for a moment.

I glanced at the woman and thought I heard the small, cool intake of breath.  I saw in her eyes the longing, mixed with a painful mist that clouded her blue eyes turning a watery shade of grey.  I knew that look.  I knew the constricting of the heart as pain seared emotions that hadn’t been adequately shared with someone, anyone who understood.  In these moments any small bit of joy is smothered in the reality of unanswered dreams and unanswered questions.

Instinctively, I wanted to reach over, grab her hand, place an arm around those burdened shoulder and whisper that I understood.  I yearned to reach to the depth of her hurting heart and soothe the ache that is there and tell her it really would be okay, that there is a resolution to be found and comfort to come.  However, I had not been given that privilege to enter her world.  Hurts this deep can only be shared with deep trust in the listener who listens without giving insensitive advise.

Only a moment later, her name was called and she rose to accept the news of the reasons infertility kept her isolated from the ‘Mother Club’.  I smiled as our eyes met and then she was gone.

For the one who knows this pain, who understands this journey of infertility, from the deep places in me I grieve for you.  I see you everywhere I go and I see the pain that is so familiar. God sees it too and Jesus longs to take your hand, put His arms around your hurting heart and release the burden that is uniquely yours.  He longs for you to know that it really will be okay and that He has a resolution for you, when you are ready for it to come into your life.  “Hold on to hope”, He says.  He won’t give you insensitive advice. He longs to bring comfort if only you would give Him the privilege to enter your world.  He has many here on this planet who would understand.

 

 

Strategies for Success in Stress

This is something to print out…hang on to… when you are in a storm or about to enter one. This is the transforming word to help you through to success.

Faith: the next level by Pastor Bob

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These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world- John 16:33

We live in challenging times. War in the Middle East, Russia and Ukraine, Ebola epidemic, Syria, Iraq, persecution of Christians, airplanes disappearing or getting shot out of the sky, the rise of militant Islam, terrorism…the headlines are continual reminders that we are living in a world  spinning out of control. Add to this the dynamics of life; raising children, paying bills, pressures at work, keeping harmony in your marriage, rising prices, and spiritual ups and downs, and we have a toxic brew for stress and anxiety.

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The Liebster Award: I’ve been Nominated!

I am so grateful to be nominated for the award for those blogs and bloggers we consider beloved.  I thank fellow author Luccia Gray for this award.  To quote Luccia, “Liebster’ is a German word which means ‘beloved’ or ‘dearest’.  It is awarded to bloggers whose blogs we love.”

Although it is delayed in coming, I thank you Luccia for gracing me with this award.

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Luccia Gray (http://lucciagray.com/ focuses on many topics and began blogging about Jane Eyre and Victorian Literature.  When you visit her blog it is quite apparent she is well versed in this period.  Other interests grace her pages such as awards, about me, her novel, blog hops, challenges, book reviews as well as an ‘ETC’ page for everything else.

She describes her novel, All Hallows at Eyre Hall as a “great read.   It’s an intriguing and exciting new Victorian, gothic novel, set in an imposing mansion, frequented by villains, heroes, lovers, and ghosts.  Read chapter one, and you won’t be able to put it down!”

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http://www.amazon.com/All-Hallows-Eyre-Hall-Breathtaking-ebook/dp/B00K2G4SXW/ref=pd_ybh_1  As an English and Literature teacher, she looks forward to finishing her second book in the Eyre Hall trilogy, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall. You can watch for it by the end of 2014.

On a personal level Luccia dreams of visiting and writing about Jamaica.  In her novel, this country is key to the lives o her characters, especially her main character in her first novel.

Once you have been nominated, please post the badge on your blog, and thank the blogger who gave  you this award.  Don’t forget to link back to their blog.  Also keep reading below and answer the 10 questions below and write 10 new ones for those you nominate to answer them in turn.

Here are my answers to Luccia’s ten questions for me:

1.  What motivates you to blog?  I love the idea of self-expression of my heart to an audience that is experiencing the hurt and anguish I have felt in my life in regard to infertility.  It has been my hearts desire to see compassion given to those who so desperately need to know they are not alone.  Blogging is one way for me to bring people this compassion.

2.  Choose a post you’d like us to (re)read.  At this point I think one of my one personal favorites has to be  “In Memory of Cassia”  It demonstrates the power of the imagination and the strength of a dream.

3.  What do you feel strongly enough about to discuss for hours?  That would be the wonderful privilege to know that God is no longer angry at anyone… that all wrongs are forgiven and all the hope we need in this world comes from really knowing Him, knowing the Jesus who offers us the peace in this life we so desperately need if we only change direction and make Him the Lord of our broken lives.  If you have a few hours I’d love to discuss this with you!

4.  Write the first line of a novel.  “Their eyes locked for only a moment, but in that moment FBI Agent Marcus Santini knew something was terribly wrong.”  (The Copper Scroll by Joel C. Rosenberg)

5.  Write the last line of a poem.  “Heavenly Father, You’re my refuge and the God of all comfort, holding me, holding me in Your arms.”  (poem written by Paula Hernando – hey that’s me!)

6.  Where would you live if you could live anywhere?  Okay, since you did not specify time and space, the answer would be:  heaven!  I am so looking for that beautiful place to be my eternal home.  A place where love and peace are the daily weather forecast and friendships eternal with no more pain or suffering only great joy.  I cannot wait to live with loved ones and the best LOVED ONE of all Jesus, whose love just raptures you.  No tears, no fears, no pain, nor regret or remorse.  Heaven is truly where I would rather be.  However until my life and assignment is completed here, I will try to the best of my ability to bring heaven to earth!

7.  Which book(s) would you take with you to a desert island?  My Kobo… has over 25 books on it, LOL…  Seriously, my Bible, and if permitted a few empty journals, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Max Lucado’s trilogy: Chronicles of the Cross and Prayer by EM Bounds.

8.  Which historical person would you like to have lunch with?  I would love to have a lunch hour with Jesus and discuss my life.  I mean Jesus in the flesh… cause I already speak with Him everyday.  Hmmm I wonder what He’d order.  I am sure He is sick of loaves and fish by now.  He’d probably order pizza!

9.  Which book would you have liked to write?  I would have liked to have my own book in the Bible.  First Book of Paula.  No seriously.  The Bible is continually a number one best seller and the number one book that is bound to be stolen off of book shelves.  If the Disciples were paid royalties….

10.  Which is the next book you’re planning to read?  Nine days in Heaven by Dennis and Nolene Prince.  A true story of Marietta Davis, who in 1848 experienced an amazing vision of heaven and hell that changed her life.  Her vivid portrayal touched all who read it.  I will get right on it as soon as my husband is finished!!

I am nominating these precious bloggers.  Their posts are heartfelt and their stories are real.  They deserve every opportunity for happiness and the Liebster award is well deserved.

Living Royalty – http://www.livingroyalty.wordpress.com

MindyMinix -www. mindyminix.wordpress.com

Littlejillybean – http://www.littlejillybean.wordpress.com

New to IVG – http://www.notsonewtoivf.com

 

Here are the questions I would like to ask them:

1.  Who is your favorite author and why would you recommend them to another reader?

2.  What is your favorite memory at age twelve?

3.  What are you normally doing at 8:00 p.m on any given evening?

4. Do you have a book you are working on presently?  What are you planning to call it?

5.  What has been the most difficult challenge in your life thus far?

6.  Where do you find comfort when life get’s tough?

7.  What are the qualities of a really great novel?

8.  Which of your posts is the one you re read from time to time?  What brings you to it?

9.  If you could know the timing, how would you spend the last day of your life?

10.  What do you value the most in true friendship?

Okay nominees, now it’s your turn!  I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.   Don’t forget to post the ten questions to as many bloggers you’d like to nominate!  Happy Blogging!