10 Years: Ministry

One of the greatest things about being married to Josh is that he loves God and loves people.  He’s a giving, compassionate man who shows God’s love through action.  Being able to work alongside him in ministry is one aspect that keeps our marriage strong.

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World Travelers

Josh and I love to travel.  Some of our most amazing experiences have come from the many places we’ve visited.  Here are some of our favorite memories…


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10 Full Years

Yesterday marked mine & Josh’s 10 year Anniversary!  God has truly blessed me with an incredible man, amazing husband, and the greatest friend that I ever imagined.

We celebrated by gorging ourselves at Pappadeaux (new favorite restaurant) followed by sitting on our back patio, talking, and creating images with the nighttime clouds.  Next weekend we’ll be at a beautiful bed & breakfast in Beaver’s Bend, OK…days full of hiking, kayaking, and trail biking and nights relaxing in the hot tub or dining in Broken Bow.  It’s probably the least extravagant trip we’ve been on in all our 10 years, but I’m so excited to have a weekend to get away and enjoy time together.  Our lives have truly been full of excitement and adventure.

I’m in a nostalgic mood…so over the next week, I’m going to share some of my favorite moments from the past 10 years.  (I was going to do this all in one post, but there’s just way too many moments)!  Today, just one picture… the first day of this wonderful life together!

Me on a Good Day

Looking back through my posts, I noticed a recurring theme: depression.  I will not deny that I struggle with depression; I have fought this sometimes debilitating disease since I was a young teenager.  However, depression is NOT a constant, every day battle.  It just so happens that when I do have a downer day, I tend to release my emotions through writing…and you, my precious friends, get to hear some of my moaning.

So, I want to share some of my thoughts during the good days of my life:

1. Returning from Ukraine.  (Which I wrote about HERE).  I KNOW there’s a purpose in our returning.  I KNOW there was a purpose in our going.  And although I have my moments of shame, confusion, and hurt, overall I am happy and content with the decision to return. My hubby felt it was the right decision, and I, in obedience to God’s calling on my life as a wife, am happy that I agreed to follow Josh’s leading.  By doing so, I strengthened our marriage, uplifted my husband, and honored God.

I am EXTREMELY proud of us for even stepping out into full-time mission work.  Many people think about what it would be like to pursue a passion, but they never do anything about it.  WE DID!  We sold our house & everything in it.  We gave up good, steady careers, and left all our friends and family.  We relied solely on God’s provision and trusted Him to be our strength as we adapted to a completely different culture.  We grew in faith and discovered God in ways that we had never experienced Him before.

Our time there was not in vain. Even in such a short amount of time, we were able to minister to the Ukrainians around us & challenge them in their beliefs about God, urging them to move from empty, religious practices into a meaningful relationship with Christ.  We formed life-long friendships that still bless us.

Above all, I’m so thankful that I have a husband who is willing to do whatever it takes to help his wife pursue the passions and visions she has dreamed of for so many years.  I don’t know what the future holds concerning full-time mission work…I really don’t think it will happen again…but I know that we’ll at least be willing to step out in faith to pursue whatever God lays on our hearts.

2.  Infertility. The truth is…I’ve never wanted children until a few years ago…and I only began to want them because I saw the deep desire in Josh to have children.  He’s experienced all the joys of fatherhood once before and has always desired to experience that again, but with me!  Our many childless years resulted mainly from my hesitations.  The last year or so has been difficult b/c  I know Josh’s heart…and his grief causes me grief.  More than anything, I want my husband to have the desires of his heart.  Most days I’m 100% okay with not having children.

Gasp! What?!?!

You see, my identity, purpose, and validation is not determined by motherhood; it’s found in God and His purpose for me.  What if it’s His will that Josh and I should never have children?  If that’s His will, then that’s what I want.  If He should decide to give us children, then I’m ready for that as well.  All I desire is to live a life completely surrendered to my Heavenly Father…putting my future into His hands…because I know that His plans for my life are much greater than anything I could dream of.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.     ~Jeremiah 29:11

My Struggle with Infertility and Mother’s Day

This Sunday is a big day for many women – Mother’s Day.  I’ve never had an issue celebrating this day…I have two wonderful moms in my life that deserve my attention and gratitude.  But I’m finding this Mother’s Day even more difficult than ever.

It’s been about one year since Josh and I were medically labeled “infertile.”  And it’s been a very slow year in the process of figuring out if we can even have children.  You may remember that in January we actually started the first medical procedures to possibly correct the infertility.  (You can refresh your memory by clicking HERE then HERE).  Well, tomorrow we go in for our first follow-up since the procedure.  A few tests will be done and we should know soon after whether the procedure was successful.  So, depending on those results, I may have a wonderful weekend, celebrating with growing hope that one day I will be celebrated as a mom.   But if the results show no positive progress…you may not see me at church this mother’s day…

This journey of infertility is so frustrating…just when I think I’ve come to terms with the possibility of not having children, little things chip away at my emotions until I’m suddenly an emotional wreck, and must admit “This is harder than I thought it would be”.  It doesn’t help when I’ve had 4 friends give birth in the last 6 months, have 8 (yes, eight) more friends announce pregnancies within the last 9 months, watched a baby dedication last Sunday, and now it’s Mother’s Day.  I’ve actually almost shut down my facebook account just because of all the hundreds of statuses and pictures about my friends’ wonderful children (or sometimes their naughty little ones).   Don’t get me wrong…I am sooo happy for my friends; I really do rejoice in the blessings they have in their lives…I’m not bitter, angry, or disgusted…I’m just hurting, confused, and trying to get through this…and daily reminders of this void in my life can be excruciating.

I know many of you who read this blog have children, and I know that you have genuine concern and compassion.  Sometimes in your wanting to show your concern, you say things hoping to help ease the pain…and even though I know what you say comes from from a loving, sincere heart, the things you say are often quite painful.  I read a blog this week about this issue and want to pass it along….I pray it helps guide you in how to approach & minister to a friend who’s hurting through infertility.  You can read it by clicking HERE.

Please be praying for our Dr. appointment tomorrow.  I’ll keep you updated.

Ready to get off this ride

Earlier this week I joined weight watchers online.  They have a blog feature where you can share your weight-loss journey with other members…and since I can’t resist the opportunity to share my life, I started a weight watcher’s blog, which I’m calling “Off the Couch”.  Below is my first post (titled “Ready to get off this ride”)…and, yes, unbelievably, I am sharing my weight with the world…just don’t remind me of it the next time we talk!

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My weight journey has been one long rollercoaster ride…and I’m ready to unbuckle my safety belt and get off the ride!

My weight isn’t really what’s taken me through the ups and downs.  For the last ten years or so, I’ve maintained around 160lbs, except for the short, wonderful time I got down to a fit 145.  But that glorious moment was short lived and I quickly jumped back up to my normal 160.  The reason…my rollercoaster ride called “Fad Diets”.

I admit it…i want quick fixes. However, after many years of emotional highs & lows that resulted from these fad diets, I’m learning that being healthy and reaching my goal weight will only come through a lifestyle change of daily discipline and good choices.  I no longer want a quick solution, because those usually only lead to quick setbacks…which leads to another fad diet, which leads to another setback…and the ride keeps zooming along until I’m left feeling dizzy, nauseous, tired, and unmotivated.

So, the rollercoaster ride ends NOW.  Forget the quick fixes; I’m starting a new experience…let’s call this ride “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”.

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