Slump Guns

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I unloaded a little bit on a friend this morning. A simple, “how are you?” turned into me spilling my guts. How am I? Frustrated. Super-duper frustrated. I told her how it seems that Dustin and I take a step forward, only to get knocked back at least two steps. He was just laid off from work for the third time since we met 6 years ago. While we are hopeful that it’s a blessing in disguise; it’s still hard. We had enjoyed a short time of not having to stress over paying the bills and here it is again. We are six months out from losing our precious Brynn and lately, for some reason, I’ve just been down and having a lot of doubts that we will ever have a biological baby – or be able to afford to adopt. There are people that I’m really frustrated with and things out of my control that are bothering me and I admitted to her that for the past couple of weeks I’ve just been having myself a pity party. I’ve struggled to do anything. I’ve been depressed, sleeping a lot, not exercising regularly, and so-on and so-forth. We feel like we are trying so hard to listen to God and follow Him. So WHY do we keep hitting a wall? Do you remember the ridiculous scene in “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” where he is trying to make a three-point turn with the luggage cart in the tiny space? It’s just back and forth forever and each time, he gains about 1/20 of an inch. I just remember watching that scene and laughing so hard I cried. But for real, that has seemed like our life lately.  
I really love friends who love you and empathize with you, but also tell you like it is. Like, in the midst of your pity party, she might say, “Life is hard and we never understand why God does the things He does, but we still have to praise and thank Him for everything.” Dang it! She’s right. So, as I started trying to “get over myself” today, I was reading a chapter in Max Lucado’s, Facing Your Giants, entitled “Slump Guns”. As if the title wasn’t catchy enough, the chapter was referring to the enemy firing his “slump bullets”, so to speak. Not real bullets, but faith hits. Shots that knock you backward as you’re moving forward in the right direction. The chapter refers specifically to David’s moment in 1 Samuel 27 where he gave up. There are so many mentions in the life of David when he, “…inquired of the Lord,” when he was unsure of things. That’s who he went to first. Then he usually sought counsel from trusted advisors. In this particular story, he just looked to himself. The same David who had no fear going against a giant in the name of the Lord with no weapons other than three stones; the man who had been able to escape death by the hands of Saul time after time, just poops out. 1 Samuel 27:1 says, “But David thought to himself, ‘One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand’.” He just got tired of it all. He didn’t inquire of the Lord. He didn’t talk to a trusted friend. I won’t spoil the whole story for you, but if you read on, things don’t go too well for David for a bit. Often times, when we try to trust ourselves, rather than God and wise counsel of others, that’s how it goes. We have a more narrow vision when something is happening to us. We need an outside view.  

The best part of this chapter was a story that really brought it all home to me. It sparked a hope in me that I hadn’t felt it awhile. I hope it does the same for you:

“Don’t make the mistake of Florence Chadwick. In 1952, she attempted to swim the chilly ocean waters between Catalina Island and the California shore. She swam through foggy weather and choppy seas for fifteen hours. Her muscles began to cramp, and her resolve weakened. She begged to be taken out of the water, but her mother, riding in a boat alongside, urged her not to give up. She kept trying but grew exhausted and stopped swimming. Aids lifted her out of the water and into the boat. They paddled a few more minutes, the mist broke, and she discovered that the shore was less than a half mile away. ‘All I could see was the fog,’ she explained at a news conference. ‘I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it’.” (page 70)

Lucado concludes, “Take a long look at the shore that awaits you. Don’t be fooled by the fog of the slump. The finish may be only strokes away. God may be, at this moment, lifting his hand to signal Gabriel to grab the trumpet. Angels may be assembling, saints gathering, demons trembling. Stay at it! Stay in the water. Stay in the race. Stay in the fight. Give grace, one more time. Be generous, one more time. Teach one more class, encourage one more soul, swim one more stroke.” (page 70-71)

It took a little time for David. One day, after leading his army on ill-advised adventures, they returned home to find their families had been taken captive and everything had been destroyed. Rightfully so, his men blamed him and talked of stoning him. “But David found strength in the Lord his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6) And 2 verses later, he “…inquired of the Lord,” again on what steps they should take next. Then what happened? The Lord showed them the way and they got their families and belongings back.  

Don’t stop trusting in Him. Don’t stop believing in His promises. It could be 5 years down the road before you get what you’re asking for, but it could be tomorrow. If it’s not tomorrow, continue to seek Him. Don’t stop inquiring what steps you need to take next, because the steps He tells you to take will get you exactly where you were meant to go. It might not even be where you’d planned on going, but I guarantee you it will be better!

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Brynn’s Story

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  On January 30th, 2015, we discovered we were pregnant with our “rainbow baby”.  She was the promise we had waited for after 4 miscarriages.  Most of you have read my previous blog posts about our history trying to grow our family, so I will leave out all of those details this time around.  I’ll pick back up at 26 weeks gestation when we went in for a routine check-up and discovered her heart rate was low.  I had recently been “released” from having to see the other high-risk OB due to everything being perfect with this pregnancy.  I was feeling good, healthy, and everything with her was the textbook pregnancy.  I took all my prescribed medications and Heparin shots religiously.  I almost couldn’t believe this was real life most of the time.  My OB sent us to L&D to be put on a monitor.  By the time we got there, her heart rate was in the 150’s and she was kicking so much they couldn’t get good readings.  An ultrasound confirmed that she looked fine, her heart was working perfectly, and they had no concerns.  She might have just been very soundly sleeping.

A few days later, I noticed I didn’t feel her moving quite as much, but also knew that babies tend to move some days more than others.  I had been feeling bad all week, just much more tired than usual, so I thought she might be worn out as well!  By Friday evening (the scare we had at the doctor’s office had been 4 days before on Monday), I expressed my concerns to Dustin.  I was pretty sure I hadn’t felt her move all day.  I took a shower, drank a bunch of water, then some orange juice.  Still nothing.  At that point we decided to go to the ER just to ease our minds.  What we learned once we arrived, however, was every expectant parent’s worst nightmare.  Our girl’s heart was no longer beating.  She was gone.  I couldn’t process it.  In that moment I went numb and don’t think I really started feeling again for well over a week.  For some reason, I get very matter-of-fact when these moments happen.  The same thing happened with our previous losses.  I have a delayed response or something.  So while Dustin wanted answers as to what happened and why, I just calmly asked, “What is the next step”?  The OB explained that they would send me home to rest (yeah right) and I would come back in the next afternoon for my labor to be induced.  We went home to make phone calls to our family and prepare to bring our sweet baby girl into the world, in a way we could have never imagined.

The next two days were a blur.  We had a very hard time getting my cervix to dilate, naturally, because it wasn’t ready for this.  She was breach, which was also an issue in moving my labor along.  I think they used about every method available to open my cervix.  Several Laminaria sticks, a balloon catheter, 2 Misoprostol suppositories, and several bags of concentrated Pitocin later, my water finally broke and Miss Brynn Emerson Moore made her silent entrance into the world, butt first (she was a prankster from the very beginning), on 7/13/15 at 2:34 pm.  She weighed 1 lb, 15 oz. and was 13 ½ inches long.  I had worried so much since we found out she was gone as to what she would look like.  I didn’t think I would be able to bear it if she looked “bad”, which Dr. Briere warned us she might, depending on how long it had been since she passed away.  To our delight, she was impeccable (which actually means both flawless AND incapable of sin…she was absolutely both of those).  All of her body parts were so perfectly formed from her head to her little sweet toes.  She looked just like her daddy with wavy blonde hair (he had that when he was a child).  She had his nose and chin and the most beautiful dark red lips I’ve ever seen on a baby.  My mom even got out my baby pictures to compare to hers to find some similarities.  None!  All that work on my part and she didn’t get anything from me! J

I remember the moment they placed her in my arms, my first words to Dustin were, “she looks just like a Brynn!”  We don’t even know a Brynn.  Haha.  The next 8 hours were spent with our angel.  We held her, kissed her, talked to her, and loved her with everything we had.  Her grandparents and a few close friends held her.  I wish everyone we knew could have come to see her.  Dustin gave her all of what he thought was the most important information in life she needed to know.  I came out of the bathroom once and they were looking out the window talking about the weather.  I can’t describe what I was feeling during this time.  I was so overwhelmed with joy at being able to finally see and touch her, our baby, the baby we had prayed for so long.  I couldn’t have loved Dustin more as I watched him hold her.  But there was also the looming feeling of dread because at some point, the funeral home was going to show up to take her.  I tried harder than I’ve ever tried before to live in the moment.  We took so many pictures.  A photographer from “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” came and took newborn photos.  I will cherish those for the rest of my days.  The funniest things would go through my mind during those 8 hours.  There would be a loud noise and I would look at her to make sure it didn’t wake her.  I rocked her just like I would to comfort a living baby.  I tried to clean her face and wipe her nose so she would be presentable.  I suppose all those instincts just come in no matter what the circumstance when you become a mom.  I kissed her so many times I lost count.  I wanted to memorize every detail because I knew it was the only chance we had to get to know our baby.

The time finally came when we had to let her go.  I have never and don’t think I will ever feel as much agony as I felt in that moment.  Out of everything we have experienced with her death, that was the absolute hardest thing we had to endure.  I knew her spirit was with Jesus, but I would have taken her little body home with me if I could have.  I felt like they were literally reaching into my chest, ripping out my heart, putting it in a blanket, and carrying it away.  They prayed with us before we left.  It was a beautiful moment, but all I could think of was, “please don’t ever end this prayer so I can keep holding her!”  They let us choose if we wanted to leave first or if we wanted them to leave with her.  For some reason, for us to leaving first felt like we were leaving her, so we chose to let them take her, our precious angel of a daughter, knowing we would never see her this side of heaven.  It was so final and so, so heartbreaking.

When we arrived home, our house felt emptier than ever before.  Although she had never been home, the realization that she was never coming home made it seem like there was so much more unfilled space now.  We closed her nursery doors.  I went in there and cried a lot for the first few days.  I haven’t been back for a while.  It’s a room that held so many hopes, dreams, and plans.  The bucket with the leftover paint in her closet says “Brynn’s Room”.  How can it ever be anything else?  Her grandpa painted it for her.  The clothes on hangers that Grammy bought are hers.  What do we do with them?  I don’t know if I could bear to ever let go of her first pair of purple Chuck Taylor’s!  There is money in her piggy bank that I will probably never spend.

I was so fortunate to have my friend Amanda there with me, who lost her precious Adalyn in May of last year.  She has recently moved to Lexington, but she came down to be with us every day.  She offered to help us with the funeral arrangements as we were clueless.  I am so thankful to her for taking that burden from us.  We just weren’t in any shape to be planning our baby girl’s funeral at that moment.  I really didn’t care about any of it and did not want to make any decisions.  I never feared for one second that it wouldn’t be beautiful and perfect because I knew she would treat our Brynn as her very own.  And she did.  Her graveside service was amazing.  Our pastor and great friend said the most beautiful words about her and I was able to feel such a peace and comfort I couldn’t have imagined experiencing while staring at my daughter’s tiny casket.  It was so unreal.  Another thing that eases my mind somehow is the fact that she is buried next to her friend Adalyn among a yard full of angel babies.  I guess we don’t feel alone when we go out there because we see all the reminders that there are other parents who are walking around with the same broken hearts as us.  Sometimes I will walk around and look at the other tiny graves and just cry for them and wish we would all show up to grieve our babies at the same time one day and I could hug them all and we could cry together.

The further I dive into this grief thing, the more confusing it becomes.  On one hand, I wish there was a guide, maybe a formula, for the steps that I have to complete for x amount of time to reach the end-point of the grief.  I want there to be a pill, potion, prayer, magic spell, neuralyzer (like in the movie “Men in Black”) that could erase my memory for the past few weeks.  But on the other hand, I don’t.  Because if I forget my pain, I would have to forget her.  That’s not an option.

That’s the thing about grieving a person that you love so much.  While I wish my heart wasn’t blown to smithereens, I will take it, because I got to know her.  If you had told me in December that this would be the outcome, I would still have made the same decision.  I would have gone through 27 weeks of pregnancy and those really rough 2 days of trying to deliver her just to hear her heart beating, feel her kicking in my belly, watch her being a wild child on the ultrasound screen, and hold her little lifeless body for 8 hours.  I would do that labor and delivery every day for the rest of my life if it meant I could hold her again.  I would have gladly taken her place.  My mom said the same thing to me after she was born.  I never knew that level of love could exist here on earth.  And even though this love brought with it the most agonizing hurt I’ve ever felt, I feel so blessed and thankful to be able to experience it.  Again, super confusing.  I guess it’s true that love always wins, huh?

I do not think of her as the baby we lost.  I remember her as the daughter we had.  She isn’t lost.  I know exactly where she is; in the arms of Jesus.  And somehow He loves her more than me.  Knowing how much I love her has given me a whole new outlook on the love of God.  I still can’t fathom anything beyond what I feel for her, but I am in awe that there is something greater than me that has that magnitude of love and grace.  I look for ways to honor her life and remember the goodness she brought to us.  I think about her every minute of every day.  I love to talk about her and look at her pictures.  I believe the worst thing that could possibly happen is to forget her.  More than anything, I want her life to mean something.  It obviously means a tremendous amount to me because she made me a mom, but I pray that it is able to touch others and that she would be proud that I am her mom.

I am so glad that she never felt pain or knew fear.  She felt the warmth and love of her mom and Jesus.  All she has ever seen is pure beauty.  That is the most comforting aspect of her loss.  Although I would give anything to have her here, she will never be sick or get her heart broken (so her daddy with never have to go to jail for beating up some punk kid)!  She will never feel the pain of loss that we feel right now.  I couldn’t imagine having to watch her suffer.  She is truly in a better and safer place than even her own mother’s arms; it is such a blessing to have this hope and know that I will hold her again someday!  Until then, I will see her in the sunshine, feel her in the breeze, and know she is with me in every beautiful thing.

Only 15 weeks remain!!!

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I just realized it has been 7 weeks since I last updated everyone on our baby girl, minus the huge news that she was a baby girl, but that was still a month ago!  Time is flying by.  I’ve just been sailing through feeling like I had all the time in the world.  Not so!  I had a check-up this morning.  She was perfect, of course.  On top of finding out that she was a she 4 weeks ago, we saw an amazingly healthy baby with all her organs, a heart beating her blood through perfectly, and all her fingers and toes.  She was right on target growth-wise (actually a few ounces above average) and wild as can be.  I decided to go against the advice I’d gotten to drink some Mountain Dew before the ultrasound to get her moving.  The ultrasound tech said it was a good thing because she could hardly get her to be still to check anything without caffeine.  The tech said she appeared to be a dancer; Dustin says soccer player.  We shall see!

Either way, she doesn’t stop!  She is kicking when I wake up and kicking when I go to bed.  I’m assuming she sleeps at some point!  This morning, my OB said she had 2 very calm children during pregnancy and one that moved all the time like her.  And, of course, the mover is now extremely hyper-active.  So, I’ve been warned to get ready for a wild one!  She prefers my right side; that’s where she tends to stay, but surprises me with a kick on the left every now and then.  Supposedly she’s around 8 inches long and a little over 1 lb at this stage.  As of today, I’ve gained 15 lbs.  And I’m totally feeling it!  My goal was 25, so it’s looking like I may surpass that just a bit! 🙂  Dr. S also told me that she would be scheduling me to be induced between weeks 38 and 39; probably a little closer to 38.  Due to my clotting disorder, the risk of stillbirth increases after 39 weeks, so we’ll be getting her out of there before that.  In the beginning, I was bummed about having to be induced, but after hearing the word “stillbirth” and having a friend who endured that agony a year ago, I would let them take her whenever they needed to!  She explained a possible day in the NICU was better than taking a chance at losing our girl.  Agreed.

Therefore, we will be meeting our sweet and lively girl, who we are naming Brynn Emerson Moore, in about 15 weeks!  That blows my mind!  Her nursery isn’t even painted.  I suppose it’s time to get on the ball!  I think we’ve talked my dad (who hasn’t picked a grandpa name yet) into coming to help paint, and of course Grammy (who has had her name picked for a very long time) is insisting she buy Brynn’s crib.  You don’t say no to Grammy.  Dustin and I did the Babies R Us thing over the weekend and were told by an employee that we looked very overwhelmed.  I think that was an understatement!  I now know that you will NEVER be prepared for a baby; no matter how much you know or how old you are.  Car seats absolutely blow my mind.  What in the world?  We basically saved, like, 6 car seats in our registry that we liked and have to do some research to narrow it down to the final one before it’s time to buy.  I don’t even want to think about how confused I’m going to be trying to install one.  (Don’t worry, I’m going to have it inspected before she ever goes for a ride in it…haha!)

So, here we are: the further along we get, the more in love with her and ready we are to meet her, but the more terrified I am for her to be here.  I suppose we’ll figure it out as we go along with a whole lot of prayer! 🙂

23 weeks

16 weeks!!!

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There isn’t any incredibly exciting news to share at the moment, but we have made it to 16 weeks and that’s about all the excitement I need.  The gross nausea has, for the most part, subsided and I almost feel like a normal person!  Almost. Let’s not get carried away. But I am seriously loving pregnancy.  Today I was in a meeting and it just hit me that there was a little baby in my belly!  Pure bliss!  I love knowing he/she is there and growing away!  It’s probably the happiest feeling my little heart could feel. 
I was able to drink coffee this weekend for the first time since I’ve been pregnant. It doesn’t make me want to barf anymore. This is huge, people!  I can now have a little energy in the morning (in moderation, of course) and it’s a beautiful thing!  I don’t care for sweets and I crave meat, salty foods, and cheese.  I have gained 7 lbs and I’m cool with it.  I cry over very strange things. Most of my pants have stopped fitting, but I’m keeping them alive with the hair tie technique. I continue to be in denial that I will need maternity pants. 

We should be able to know the gender at our next ultrasound on May 19th…3 weeks away!!!  I’m hoping it will get “real” then and I’ll start planning because I haven’t done the first thing yet and these weeks are flying by!  We haven’t even discussed our gender reveal ideas. And names?  I’m afraid this child may come home with the name Baby.  I’ve heard worse ☺️ . See ya in 3 weeks for a (hopefully) much more exciting update!!!  I added a little selfie I took at work to hold you over. 

 

Happy Easter!

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  Happy Easter! For me, Easter has always been a reminder of new beginnings and second chances. It’s a time to celebrate what Jesus did for us and be grateful for the sacrifice that made us free! And I don’t think I could ever thank Him enough for the gift He has given Dustin and I – which we are getting to share with you this Easter! Most of you know about our struggles to have a baby over the past couple of years. If not, you can read previous blogs for those details. After four losses, the reality that I might not be able to successfully carry a child began to set in. We had actually decided that if I were to miscarry once more, we would stop trying for good and start looking more seriously into adoption. I had accepted that a biological child may not happen for us and come to terms with the fact that God’s plans are better than ours and whatever happened in the future for us was up to Him, and it would ultimately be good.

Imagine my surprise when I took a test to “make sure I wasn’t pregnant” before taking some Advil for a bad headache at the end of January, and it was positive. This is usually a happy moment for most; I was devastated. I sat in the floor and cried because, quite simply, I was not ready for this to happen again. I wasn’t ready to get my hopes up, just to be followed by the disappointment of loss. I was mad at myself for letting this happen (even though we “thought” we were safe). We were skeptical for the first few visits, until we started to realize, “this could be it.” In week 5, there was a heartbeat. It was hard not to fall in love then. We got to see and hear it beat in week 7 and we were smitten. We had our NT scan in the 11th week and everything was beautiful. Our “Little Bambino” was actually ahead of schedule, with all his/her fingers and toes and plenty of energy! So, at 13 weeks, we’ve decided to “spill the beans” and be confident that we will hold this baby in our arms. I still can’t believe it’s real. I feel like I may still be in denial a lot of the time. But at the same time, my heart is so happy and full I could burst.

So here we are. We are going to parents! It seems like October is 100 years away. On the other hand, it seems so soon! I mean, it’s just 6 months away! No one could imagine how thankful I am to our God for giving us this miracle. What an answered prayer! What a beautiful story of his faithfulness! He carried us through the very dark times and we are now seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone will say we “deserve” this after all that has happened, but I will never feel worthy of this blessing. I hope, more than anything that we will be able to honor God in parenthood and raise a child who loves God with a passion that Dustin and I can’t even imagine.

If you’ve ever struggled with infertility, miscarried, or lost an infant, you know that every Facebook announcement and baby bump photo is like a punch in the gut. While you’re happy for the person, it stings. I want to be respectful to all the mommas out there who may be feeling this right now, so I won’t be posting a lot of photos on Facebook. I’ll be doing updates via blog and we’ve discovered a cool site/app called Tinybeans (thanks Jarrod and Katie!) where I have been posting all our photos. If you’d like to follow us there, send me your email address and I’ll shoot you an invite! And last, but certainly not least, we thank everyone who has been praying for us. It means more than you could ever know. I truly believe it’s what has gotten us here. Keep those prayers coming because we are definitely going to need them in the coming months! Exciting things to come! Thank you, Lord, for your amazing sacrifice so that we may experience these wonderful blessings in our lives. Happy Easter, everyone!

Casting the first stone

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This morning, our pastor (Chase) touched on the story of the woman caught in adultery by the Pharisees from John 8. I’ve always loved this story, probably because I’m kind of a hot-head sometimes, and the Pharisees get on my nerves. There is a 0% chance that I could have ever been Jesus. Duh, right? But seriously, I just know I would have eventually punched one of those guys. So when these haughty religious leaders decided to condemn this woman because the law said to, all while trying to trap Jesus into making a mistake so they could accuse him of being a fake, Jesus shuts them down. And I just want to be like, “IN YOUR FACE, PHARISEES!” Of course, I don’t think that’s what Jesus really wanted me to get out of this story. So, He gave me a little something else to mull over in my little brain today. Let’s look at the story for just a second, starting in John 8, verse 3-11:

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” (NIV)

Wow. Of all the things Jesus is, this is one of my favorites. I’d never focused on Jesus in this exact term, but Chase referred to Him as an advocate. The Merriam-Webster definition of advocate is: “one that pleads the cause of another; specifically: one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court.” And isn’t that what He did? Not just for this woman who was caught up in sin, but for all mankind? That was me. Although my sins have been a little different than those of the woman in this story, I should have been put to death. However, did you notice in the scripture when the Pharisees awaited the reply of their loaded question, it says, “…But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.” But Jesus. That’s all it took.

We also looked at the physical stance of Jesus, which I had never considered in this passage. As all the religious leaders were standing around barking the law, Jesus bent down and started to write in the dirt with his finger. He stood up to tell them that the ones without sin could start chucking rocks anytime, then bent down again and kept writing. Jesus was down in the dirt. Our Savior and Lord was always getting dirty. He was touching Lepers, unclean women, even dead people! He put his fingers in a deaf/dumb man’s ears and touched his tongue. He mixed mud and spit to put on a blind man’s eyes to make him see. We want to stay clean. We want to go to church in our Sunday best, pray for those who need a touch from God, maybe even throw some money in the offering plate to help them, and then go home. Heaven forbid we go somewhere where sinners reside or get our hands dirty. I am somewhat paraphrasing because I couldn’t write fast enough, but Chase stated, “We don’t need more churches standing with rocks in their hands! We need more people who are in the dirt with others; to love, hold, defend and believe the best about them.” Whew! I had to scoot my feet back at that moment because my toes were getting stomped on!

My biggest challenge today was the question, “why do we think we can accept grace from God, but can’t show it to others?” Why do I beg for forgiveness from God when I do something wrong, but condemn someone else for their wrongs? None of us deserve it, but that’s what Christ did for us, so they deserve it as much as I do! Am I too quick to judge others for their sins because they are different than mine? All I did was say something bad about my coworker. That’s not near as bad as cheating on my husband or killing somebody. We’ve created these “levels of sin” based on their severity and consequences. But until I have zero sin, on any “level”, I can’t throw a stone. I pray the next time I start to judge someone, I’ll get a mental image of Jesus, kneeling beside them, writing in the sand. A lot of scholars believe Jesus was writing the sins of the people who were condemning the woman that day. If Jesus wrote my sins, He would be down there for days. Christ is my advocate, but He isn’t just mine. I can’t keep His love and grace to myself, all while throwing rocks at those who are already down. I’m pretty sure that’s defeating the purpose.

An update and reveal…

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I really get excited about gender reveals. The anticipation build up, the guessing and betting. I’ve only been to one, but I really love viewing people’s facebook albums and seeing their faces when they discover the gender of their baby in a cake or balloons….or whatever creative things they come up with. That being said, today I went for my post-op and heard, “it was a girl; I’m sorry,” and was handed a paper that stated “…FEMALE karyotype with an apparently normal GTG banding pattern in all cells observed”. We were having a baby girl!!! I love her more than I ever thought I could love something and I never even met her. My first words were, “my mother-in-law is going to be crushed!” Haha. Anyway, that was the weirdest and most depressing gender reveal I have ever encountered, but I wanted to share because I am, strangely enough, excited about it. Just to know more about who our baby was. We never got to know the gender of our other babies, so this was a first. It’s just cool to me. There were no problems with her; I’d say she was prefect!

We’re still waiting on my genetics testing. They’ll let me know how all that looked. If nothing there, they will remain stumped on this one. I’m becoming a case study, albeit a very hopeful and optimistic case study who is clinging to God’s promises with all I have. I don’t believe God allows anything to occur that He can’t use for good and to bring glory to His name in some way. As I’ve said before, this could just completely be His will for my life right now. I have learned more about Him and clung to Him tighter than ever before through this time. A lot of good is coming about. Our first support group for stillbirth, miscarriage, and infertility is tonight. I have peace in my heart. I’m remembering what it was like to live before pregnancy and loss.

I just wanted to give a little update on where we are and have my own little reveal! We don’t get to rush out and buy pink everything this time around, but there will come a day when we will (or blue), and it’s going to be the sweetest, most fantastic gender reveal I will have ever known!