goodbye 2016, hello 2017!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Today I sat down and journaled about by 2016 year. I always intend to do this but it never happens before the year is over. I was spurred on by one of my best friends who did the same thing today as well. This is what friends are for!!!

I feel so completely encouraged and I feel like I need to share what I wrote with you....

Jesus, what do you have for me next year in 2017? I keep hearing "joy." Wow I would love that. I feel like my greatest joy would be to become pregnant with our baby and carry him/her full-term. Yes, Lord! Please bring that to pass. As I think about 2016, I think of pain and "limbo" feelings. Yuck. Grief of losing our baby, Praise, and limbo of waiting every day of every month to see if I'm pregnant. You know the desire of my heart is to be a mom. I want to be a joyful and happy mom! Yes, yes, yes!

I also see good in 2016 though. You gave us a house. Not just any house. Right where we wanted to live. The perfect size. You provided a way for us to put a lot down. Thank you Lord! You got me into FREE counseling during a hard season. I learned more about myself and how to be more healthy. You helped me process things relationally and I've been able to talk about hard things more easily. You sent us fully funded to Germany. We learned more about others and in turn, more about you and your heart/character. This year I've wrestled with if you want good things for me. I've tasted more of your Father heart towards me. You made me rest fully all summer. Psalm 23 came to life for me. You've given babies to so many friends who have longed for them. You renewed my love for reading fun YA books. You let me really scale back on lettering. Early 2016 you gave me abundant lettering opportunities. You let me dream about possibilities in the future and realize what I really want. You brought new relationships to my loved ones. You gave me a deeper friendship with best friends. You helped me say no to people and yes to others. You gave us a church and helped me be brave to volunteer. You gave me a year of learning how to better communicate and love Ben. Thank you for the gift of him and his love.

I keep hearing "joy" & "gratitude" and those will be my 2017 focus. I want to look at the good always and say thanks always. Focus on the great qualities my family/friends have instead of what they and I lack. Yes! Joy in you.

This year I want to memorize Psalm 100:1-5 in the Passion Translation:
¹Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord!
Go ahead and do it—
Everyone, everywhere!
²As you serve Him bring your gift of laughter
And be glad as you worship Him!
Sing your way into His presence with joy!
³Try to realize what this really means—
We have the privilege of worshipping the Lord, our God!
He is our Creator,
And now we belong to Him!
We are the people of His pleasure!
⁴Come right into His presence with thanksgiving!
You can pass through His open gates,
With the password of praise!
Come bring your thank offering to Him
And affectionately bless His beautiful Name!
⁵For the Lord is always good
And ready to receive you.
He’s so loving that it will amaze you;
So kind that it will astound you!
And He is so famous for His faithfulness toward all!
Everyone knows our God can be trusted,
For He keeps His promises to every generation!

I am so excited for 2017 and I'm so thankful for 2016. I'm thankful we end every year with two of the best holidays ever. And the music that comes along with it. How Jesus is the thrill of hope, the weary KAMBLY rejoices!!! 

Ben and I have decided to not really do New Years Resolutions this year as much but to focus on our "Jerichos" that we will sow into with prayer. We are going to walk around and blowing our horns of scripture and Truth and hope and faith until we see breakthrough! One of my friends gave me this image last time I posted about our fertility journey and we just LOVE it. I'm so thankful!!! I can't wait to march all year long and see God's promises fulfilled!!! 

What a year 2016 was. I can't wait to see what 2017 holds. I almost forgot that another one of my friends felt like this next year was going to be a year of JOY....CAN'T WAIT!

I didn't know.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dear Ben,

I love the way that you love me. Seriously. You just make loving me look easy, which I appreciate because I know it's probably not. I feel like the Christmas season reminds me of our story so much. The beginning of our story, that is. And I'm just so thankful you never gave up on me.

Thanks for taking me to Salado on that date 6 years ago. I remember we walked the streets and held hands and later you asked me to be your girlfriend.  I didn't know then that I was saying yes to the man who would let me take his beanie because mine is gone. I didn't know I was saying yes to the man that would get a fluffy white dog with me and live in a tiny apartment.

You're the smartest guy I know. You make me ramen when I'm sick. You hold my hand at fertility appointments and cry with me when things hurt. You support my ever changing obsessions and it's currently young adult novels. You bought a house with me and hung lights all over it for Christmas just for me!!! You caught me a snorlax on the way home from work. You put ice cubes in my milk because you know I like it COLD. You sing my made-up songs about all the things.

I didn't know I was saying yes to the man that would help my dad go to the bathroom so I didn't have to see that. But I DID know I would marry you when you did, and I've never looked back.

You're the best yes. 

I love you!

hello + update

Sunday, November 27, 2016

I updated my blog! It's been forever since I've written and today I kept thinking about writing. I don't know what God is doing right now but it seems that in hard seasons, He wants me to write. So here I go.

Gosh so much has happened the past few years. I used to write in this space a ton and it helped me process the grief during my Dad's journey through ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). You can read more about that in my previous posts. I honestly haven't even looked at my past posts but be forewarned that I started this blog while in college so who knows ;)

Today, I've felt the nudging to write about our current season. Oh how I wish we weren't here. It feels really vulnerable and like I'm opening my heart to everyone. But I guess it is. There's risk in vulnerability and I'm willing to risk. You'll need a little background to understand. About a year ago, Ben and I wrote a lot of hopes, dreams and prayers onto a rubber ducky that we put in the shower. We prayed for the things on the rubber ducky every day when we saw it in the shower. One of the things on the duck is "future family." We were in no way ready to have a baby and we were both very adamant about not wanting kids anytime soon. But God. He has a way of changing people's minds and as we started to pray for all these hopes and dreams, He changed our hearts. Ben and I had a conversation one day and I told him I was ready to start trying to have a baby and Ben told me he felt the same. We decided to start trying after we bought a house. Jesus worked in an incredible way and provided finances for us to put a significant amount of money down on a house and we moved in at the beginning of March.

We heard Jesus tell us to start trying right before that. I remember when we bought prenatal vitamins, we were SO EXCITED and I was dancing down the Target aisle. I felt like Jesus told me I was going to get pregnant right away but I was so fearful that something would be wrong blah blah blah. Ben is the ever optimist and thank the Lord for that!!! We took a test on Mother's Day and found out I was pregnant! I think I took like 5 tests that day and we told both our families :) When we went to the doctor, they told us the test came back negative. Cue all my fears coming to reality. I was terrified. TERRIFIED. And so confused. The next week I kept having to get my blood drawn and at the end of the week, the doctor told us that we would miscarry. I did and we were so sad. We named our baby Praise and there is something incredibly bittersweet that my Dad got to meet our baby before we did in Heaven.

The next few months were spent "trying" and every month of disappointment felt so grievous. I know grief but this type of grief is completely different. It's like all the stages every month and it is THE WORST. Side note: I know we haven't been trying that long according to the doctor or others who have walked this journey much longer than us. I can't imagine how it feels for those who have spent years longing for a baby. 

Well I switched doctors and got into one of the best in Austin (THANK YOU JESUS). At my appointment it took him 2 seconds to tell me I have cysts all over my ovaries. Cool. He put me on birth control and a fertility medication. The first round failed. Now we are on the 2nd round.

I never thought I would be here. Every time someone would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up I would say, "I want to be a mom." Every. Single. Time. Even in college. So you can imagine how devastating it feels to have to go to a doctor and be handed a packet about Infertility. I feel like my hope has been deferred for so long and it feels completely unfair. It hurts when people tell me we haven't been trying for that long because it FEELS LIKE A REALLY LONG TIME. I know I know that in the grand scheme of life, it's not.

To be honest, I've really felt distant from Jesus in this season. I told Ben that I feel like I can't trust him with the desires of my heart because all the BIG things I've prayed for haven't been answered with "yes." I was thinking of my Dad being healed, our baby Praise living, Ben being healed from diabetes etc.

Then I had the thought, that's a lie. Jesus showed me the big things that have been answered YES to: marrying the greatest man IN THE WORLD, my heart being healed from brokenness, having best friends like sisters, restored relationship with my mom, finances for a house, my family being freed from debt, addiction broken for a family member, the perfect dog for us...and so on. He showed me that He is faithful in the big. He is. He told me it's okay to feel so broken right now and to still feel a little broken from the grief of my Daddy.

This is who I am right now. I'm hurting. And I really think it's okay to not have a big silver lining. I've read about Abraham and Sarah over and over and I know our time will come because I know that Jesus created me to be a Mom. But right now, it's really hard and it's really painful. I'm glad that I feel deeply because I know that when we have our own baby in our arms, it will all be worth it and we will be that much more grateful for the life He gave us.

We know He's in the waiting and I'm working on letting Him reveal all the places He is there during this season.

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