Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Postponing Next IUI for Peace of Mind

I know a couple of weeks ago we talked about our next IUI being in May but all of last week it just sat uncomfortably with me.

All of last week, when I was at yoga, I felt drained. I felt I wasn't doing my best and I felt distracted. I felt like I just wanted the session to end and I felt like I was going to cry halfway through each time.

I realized that our decision for our next IUI in May was just too soon for me. It was causing me anxiety.

And this is a busy season at work for me (and I'm not even an accountant!) so I thought, let's revisit this in the summer. I think when we went through our miscarriage in Nov, I felt good thinking that we might need a year off and then in Feb he started wanting to know if we could try again in the spring and I just put that answer off, feeling constricted by it.

But I also keep asking myself - do I want to be in the is perpetual state of 'woe is me, I can't have a baby?' and not be doing anything about it? What's the proper balance on taking a break vs. really trying for what you want?

Has what I want changed? I've started reading some of the foster care related books I've bought that I posted here. I actually didn't start with any of these on the list and instead in ama.zon's 'here's what else you'd like' suggestions, I bought One Small Bo.at by Kathy Harrison and I just can't put it down. It's so good.

But it's also made me re-think whether I'm foster parent material. I still have some reading to do before I make that decision, but I'm not sure I have the patience, time or energy to deal with a lot of the special needs that comes from having children who have been neglected or abused. Maybe if I was a stay at home mom, but I don't know if I want that.

So, B is supportive of what I want to do. I think he just hates seeing me upset and wants to try to do something about it rather than just take a break. But I think taking a break is best for my piece of mind right now.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blessings from my Father-in-Love

IF can be so very isolating. I find that people who know don't know what to say, so they don't say anything at all, which is probably ok for some of those people not to say anything because oftentimes they can make me feel worse or uncomfortable but my father-in-love (law) has been such a blessing.

Every once in awhile he sends me emails to let me know he's praying for us. He's a pastor and will send bible verses that are helpful. He's such a blessing.

This week, he sent this:
I just finished reading my devotional this morning. As I was reading from Psalm 115, I came across verses 14 and 15 which reads, May the Lord give you children ---- you and your descendants! May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth! (Today's English Version). As I read those two verses I prayed that God would hear your prayer for children. Also read Psalm 145 as these are words of praise to God by the Psalmist.
May you and B have a blessed day.

It just warmed my heart. To know he's praying for us. To know he thinks of us. And to be reaching out in such the perfect way. These emails have meant a lot to me. And I didn't realize how much until I got this one.

This is what I wrote back:
Thank you so much for your note. I really appreciate it. It's interesting that as we continue this struggle and challenge, how isolating it can feel, so your outreach and words mean a lot.

I've found a very supportive online community that has been tremendously helpful but the disappointment still continues and it's heart-breaking each and every time. Trying to stay positive and not let it be all-consuming too, though!
Stay warm this weekend!

Looking back at what I wrote, Im not sure I conveyed quite enough how much I appreciate him and that he's praying for us. I'll find a way.

I suspect he also really wants grandchildren :). Though he and my MIL have never put pressure on us, which is so nice. He's really B's stepfather but has been married to his mom for 20 years. He doesn't have children of his own, so maybe he understands this more than I think... and I also can't wait for us to bless him with grandchildren (however they come) because I know the role of grandfather will be different from what he's experienced as stepfather. I think the grandchildren will feel more 'his' than B and his sibling have (even though they have great relationships).

Setting the whole grandchildren thing aside, honestly, he's just such a good person at the core that I know he's genuinely praying for us, not him. And just his prayers, thoughts and outreach alone have meant the world to me. I'm truly blessed to have him in my life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Adoption as an Option... Is He Coming Around?

I had a total breakdown last night. I had a hard time focusing most of yesterday, went to yo.ga hoping it would make me feel better but then all I wanted to do was cry. And I came home and cry.

And then I felt stupid for crying. I wish I could be stronger. I wish this didn't affect me as much. I wish I could just be happy because we have a good life. I really hate myself when I start feeling this way.

I spent a lot of time in the blogging world yesterday catching up on posts and I found one that mentioned (as I know) about how almost every month we grieve. We grieve for the lost chance. We grieve for something we didn't even have. And that really stuck with me. We are constantly grieving. And it's a kind of grief that not many others really understand. Constantly grieving. Wow. That's a lot to put on someone. On many of us.

I also called our fertility clinic yesterday to talk about IUI #3. And I'm not sure how to feel about it. We have to wait a cycle out anyway, so I have time to prepare, but I don't want to be a basket case. I really don't.

Then my husband said the most comforting words of all - 'it'll happen. we'll have a child somehow. it may be asian or haitian but we'll have one.'

And that just cracked me up. And he knows how much my heart has been on adoption. And I hadn't yet heard him say anything more immediate about it in awhile. We talk about adopting from India because we have family ties there. And he knows how much my heart ached after the Hai.ti earthquake and stories of the orphans.

I hope he's coming around. We have our first counseling session tonight too so hoping we go deeper with our family building options discussion.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Look

I'm exploring a bit with a new look. I really like how others have different backgrounds and such and decided to give it a try myself! And I LOVE flowers so get to see them here everyday now. Hope you like them too :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me! And Next IUI Decision

I LOVE birthdays! And I try to make mine last as long as possible!! This time it's going on for 3 days.

Saturday was a very fun game day with some friends & ice cream cake. Hey, why not? :) Sunday was fun too with a bike ride around town to church, farmer's market & then a massage and lots of time in the sun!

Husband did lots of grocery shopping & dishes, which was wonderful!!!

And today, I get to enjoy the day off for my birthday, which is something I've never done. I plan to go to my beloved bik.ram hot yoga class - a daytime one which I also never experience. And then I've been saving a Jhum.pa La.hiri book, Un.accustomed Ear.th to take to a coffee shop with me where I hope I can snag a cozy chair... and I may get a pedicure. B and I are still deciding whether to go out or stay in (he's a great cook!) so either way, it's going to be a fabulous day!

On the IF front, with my period making an appearance on Saturday, it at least left the guessing game out of the weekend but also had a couple of tearful moments. We talked about the next IUI, which would be the 3rd and while I wasn't ready to start getting Day 3 bloodwork on my bday, we'll start the next cycle. That's progress. And we have counseling this week, Wed to help us through some of these decisions.

For my birthday wish when I blew out my candles this year, instead of hoping for a baby, I wished for peace. I want a peaceful year. I want to focus on 'me' things and 'us' things. I want us to have fun and enjoy life. Woohoo!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

5% Hopeful was... Just That

I wrote about being 5% Hopeful 2 weeks ago, knowing it would be a 2ww. We tried naturally and I was conflicted. Conflicted because I wasn't sure if I could endure a 2ww even though I knew the chances were very slim - I was still 5% hopeful.

And I've been pretty good these last 2 weeks but, of course, it has been on my mind, pretty much every day, several times a day, but just gently there, so I guess that was good.

And this morning cuddling with my husband, I said, I know I have to wait till tomorrow to really know. He said try not to let it ruin your birthday weekend. And I said - but it's the not knowing that is the hardest.

And I guess Mother Nature wanted me to know so I wouldn't continue to have a hard weekend - I saw my period when I finally got up to go to the bathroom. Oh well. It really was just 5%, probably not even...

That's ok. At least I know. And it's not shocking. It's what normally happens so I'm used to it! (Ha! Not funny, I know... trying to find some humor here)

I had even told him in bed that I may be ready for an IUI again. Even though all I really want is a toddler or a kid. Even though I'm not sure anymore that I want to experience pregnancy and go through baby stuff. I don't think I'm jealous of babies anymore - I'm jealous of toddlers.

It struck me yesterday when I saw a man with a little 4-ish year old girl in a cute dress and I could tell she was telling him all about her day. It was so cute and that's what I so want!!

We go to counseling on Wed and I think that will help on being able to talk about options but I'll also think some more on potentially doing an IUI this cycle, because after all, who am I kidding? If I got pregnant, I'm sure I'd be ecstatic.

I will enjoy playing App.les to App.les today, having great, great friends over - 3 of them with their babies and relish in the amazing weather. And I will enjoy my actual birthday day off on Monday. More on that to come.

And I know I will continue to go to bik.ram ho.t yoga.  For those who like those updates, I've been searching each class for the last 2 weeks and haven't come up with golden tidbits but I'll continue to keep my ear open to them. But I will say that it's helped to ground me and give me more peace.

Have a great weekend everyone! Hope you have fun plans too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Next Steps & Other Musings

Thanks for all your support with regard to our next steps in going to counseling. I believe it's the right thing to do.

My husband still thinks we can work all of this out without a counselor but I think there's some deep-seeded stuff that we just can't get to on our own. Our appt is next Wed evening. I'm eager for it but also a little scared. I know that counseling can sometimes make things worse before they get better...

But we did decide to start instituting a regular date night. I think I was craving quality time and need it in different ways. For example, it doesn't really count for me if we're being social with other people. I need intimate time with him - conversation, no interruptions, cuddling - and not being exhausted!

So, we both made an effort to be home by 7pm. We actually took a walk in our neighborhood, got good take-out shwarmas, ate it on our front porch and watched Mod.ern Family cuddling. It was splendid!

Other than that, I decided that I need to learn more about foster care/adopt and what it's all about. I did an ama.zon search for books on fostering - both positives & negatives from kids' and parents' experiences. I love ordering from there and getting the second-hand deals, and knowing that I'm 'reducing, reusing and recycling' books that way. I can't wait till they get here. They sounded good for anyone interested:
I'll let you know how they are.

And, I'm very much looking forward to Saturday & celebrating my birthday that day (the real day is Monday). It's a Game Day party because I don't like staying up late so we're starting at 2pm and I love games. My most favorite one is:

Has anyone played this? So, so fun!!

And finally, I learned more about St. Patrick yesterday via a pastor's listserve I subscribe to, and was inspired to let his passion run through me. This may be a little over-the-top religious for some of you but bear with me on the heavy parts as I paraphrase -

St. Patrick, whose feast day is March 17, suffered much, and was a mystical visionary; he heard voices, and never hesitated to go into peril as his only passion was to serve God and people in need. The famous Prayer of St. Patrick is always worth praying, especially:

“Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me;
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, and in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

St. Patrick was all about making peace among bitter enemies. And, St. Patrick served the poor.

It's intriguing how we piggback partying on top of this sanctity and couldn't help but ask  how can we take an opportunity to give back in this great, holy habit of reaching out?

There seems to be no better way to observe Lent, and prepare our hearts for Easter – or to do something grander than wearing green or downing a pint to commemorate St. Pat.rick’s Day.

Interesting, huh?

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Finally Time for Counseling

I was convinced after some comments on my Fostering post this weekend that it was time for a counselor to help us out.

I don't like that we've gotten to this point and I'm not really even sure it's that bad but it's not great either so I figure, why not?

Here are some things I think we're struggling with:
  • Differences on what should come next in our family building - he really wants natural kids; I'm more inclined to look at foster care to adopt. I just really, really want children in my home NOW!!! And I don't have this overly huge desire to be pregnant and deal with babies... but I also think I'd be sad letting go of the potential of biology in there
  • S*x - it's gotten boring. Ok, maybe not boring, boring but the spark is pretty minimal at this time. I can't tell if it's because he works oh-so-much or because of my hormone levels or because we have no new tricks or what. We don't even steal sexy 1 minute kisses anymore... and that makes me sad. We're very affectionate and love each other but I really miss that spark. This may/may not be fertility-related and could just be a factor of knowing each other for awhile or his work stresses but I want to figure it out. Especially because if we have a hard time with the spark now, it certainly isn't going to get easier with more people in our lives.
  • Why we/he Want to be Parents - this sometimes makes me sad too and I just shove it under the rug. He hasn't been able to fully express to me why he wants to be a dad. I fear that he wants to 'just because that's what we're supposed to do'. I fear that much as he wants biological kids, he's really only going to take an interest when they're children and he can actually 'do' things with them and I'll get stuck doing a lot of the baby stuff.
  • Feeling like his Work is Always Priority/in the Way - He works late a lot and on weekends, mostly both days but always at least 1 day. It's completely gotten to me. I've gotten to the point where I feel 'grateful' when he does spend time with me. I was elated a few weeks ago when I got him all to myself an ENTIRE Saturday. Because that NEVER happens. It's always only a few hours here and there. And evenings? I've learned to make other plans because he doesn't come home till 7:30 or 8 and when he does, he just wants to watch tv. Ok, I'm mostly exaggerating, but there's a lot of truth here and I can't help but feel like I'm one more thing he has to fit in. I know he really doesn't feel this way but this constant working makes me feel this way.
Ugh. I hate even writing any of this out. But I had another big cry yesterday when all he wanted to do at 8pm on a Sunday was watch tv and I felt alone again.

So, I found a provider accepting new patients and talked to her and she seemed nice and well equipped to deal with our struggles. She has lots of openings between this week and next week so hopefully we can start to address some of this stuff soon. Just have to get my husband to get a second to look at his schedule.

I think I'm also emotional because my pseudo 2ww is now at one more week from my 5% Hopeful post where we tried naturally and even though I know it's probably not going to work, I can't help but be 5% hopeful and I really, really, really don't want to be disappointed.

And I was stupid to even 'schedule it' like this because I should know next Sunday and next Monday is my birthday. And I'm trying really, really, really hard to not let Sunday's potential bad new be neutral so as not to effect my Monday birthday. BUT, of course if Sunday's news is good, then that means a VERY nice birthday present.

Ugh. One more week... I need peace, I need prayers, I need yoga, I need a lot.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


So, I can't shake this idea of fostering, or at least foster care to adopt.

I became entranced with it during our second IUI and became convinced this was something I feel led to do after our miscarriage. But... my husband does not. At least not yet, is my hope.

I may not be like most of us in that I'm not sure that I have this strong yearning to have a pregnancy experience. In fact, it scares me, and seems like it would be unpleasant. I don't like being sick.  So the thought of possibly being nauseous for awhile, then feeling uncomfortably big, and then potentially going through a birth experience just doesn't seem like something I actually want. Anymore.

Is that weird?

I haven't had much support for this in real life. My mom thinks that I owe it to my husband to try to have natural kids - that it's natural to want natural kids. My mother-in-law just talked about all the potential bad things with foster kids. And my husband feels the same way.

But my heart keeps aching for this option. For kids who already exist. For kids who need to know what love is, what a family is, what stability means.

I also don't know that I'm cut out for babies. Back when I was single, I always thought that if I didn't find someone to marry, I'd adopt a 5 year old when I was 40. I knew that as a single parent, I wouldn't want to deal with all the baby stuff. So, I think having that in the back of my mind has helped me go down this road now.

And I also know that I won't be able to ever do it if my husband isn't on board. And I don't just want him to be on board. I want his heart to ache for these kids too.

Maybe I'm romanticizing it all though. What do I know about this? Yes, there are horror stories out there. I get it. But I think I've also learned with all of this that there are no guarantees. What if we had natural kids and they had a problem, physical or otherwise? What if we had the most loving foster kids? No guarantees.

I've read Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown and was so moved. I've read Hope's Boy by Andrew Bridge. And was moved.

I know it's not a perfect option. Is there one, though?  But my heart continues to ache for this option.

And sometimes I think I might be wanting this option because it seems more tangible. And I still get sad at the thought of not having biological children because I've actually pictured their little faces so many different ways already...

Anyone have any recommendations, other bloggers, experiences, etc.? Infertili-T&A has been really helpful (and also looking for a blog name change by the way!). They are on their way to this option. She said seeing The Blind Side converted her husband :)

If anyone else out there has any advice, resources or thoughts, I welcome them... I covet them!

Friday, March 12, 2010

What's in a Blog's Name?

I've had conflicted feelings about this. About my blog's name. At first I wanted to name it something like 'my ebbs and flows with infertility' but that seemed too long & cumbersome and the only thing that kept sticking was my infertility woes.

What I didn't like, though, was the negative aspect to the word 'woes'. I even did synonym searches on it and it seemed to be defined as: anguish, affliction, sadness, despair, misery, wretchedness. Not fun.

And while I couldn't figure out the right creative way to describe my ebbs and flows, and I was just eager to start blogging, I chose 'woes'.

But I'm conflicted because overall, I'm a positive person. And this 'woe' word really doesn't describe me. And I was worried that people wouldn't be attracted to my blog because of its downtrodden name. But I've decided that 'woe' is what we feel a lot of times - and why we've sought each other out. If everything was joyful, we probably wouldn't be blogging.

I still love seeing blog names like:
I love this positivity and I love that we're all there for each other when we have our 'woe' moments... which may be more sometimes and less sometimes - you know, the ebbs and flows of it all.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great Feat... or Something

Ok, so it's not that great of a feat, but still...

This past weekend, I visited with my nephews, which was so, so nice! I love being around them and really enjoyed their presence and being a good auntie to them.

And then I saw my cousin's cousin who I hadn't seen since summer and learned upon seeing her that: she's 3 weeks away from giving birth. Unexpectedly. For the second time.

Yes, both pregnancies were unexpected. And both I didn't learn about till I actually saw her with her big belly.

That first time was hard. This time was ... surprisingly ok. Yeah, I could hardly believe it.

Maybe I've long thought that I'd rather be on this side of things (waiting) than have had the unexpected happen to me. Or maybe I've just been able to work really hard on my zen. And maybe it's because of all of you. And bik.ram hot yoga. By the way, yesterday's mantra was:
"Look up not down"
I like this one!

So, I think I overcame a great feat this weekend. Ok... maybe not great but it was something! :)

ps - I also heard this from a reflexology person today (my husand gets reflexology and is trying to convince me to go:
"Breathe deep & often"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why Didn't You Reach Out To Me?

Dear In-Law Family (Mother, Father, Brother):

Why didn't you reach out to me? You came to our house the day before Thanksgiving. This was the same day I had to take methotrextate to dissolve our pregnancy that the doctors thought was ectopic.

I know, you didn't really understand it all. You asked my husband whether this was a 'real' miscarriage. Did the answer to that question really matter though? Were you not asking the right question? Another question? I know it's hard to understand. And hard to know what to ask, or what to say. I know. But still.

I was so down. I was sad. I was mad. I couldn't stop crying. I felt terrible. Terrible. I hated that it was Thanksgiving and that you all were here for a good time.

I hated it even more that you barely acknowledged what I was going through ... or how it made me feel. Why didn't you ask?

On top of it all, you are ALL ministers... so... why. didn't. you. pray. with. me?????

Were you on vacation from being a minister?? No, I know. That's not it. At least, I hope not. But that's how it felt. Kinda. I know miscarriages are taboo. I know I wasn't on the floor bleeding. Or pregnant for that long. Or even 'really' pregnant. I know it's been strange to talk about infertility. But the most comforting thing you could have offered at that point was to pray with me.

And you didn't.

And I still don't understand how you couldn't have thought to. And I still can't let it go.

The weather was nice here yesterday. I went for a run. In the sun. It reminded me of the day before Thanksgiving. The day I got my methotrextate shot. It was a nice day. I couldn't stop crying in my room. So I did what came naturally. I went running. In shorts. In the sun.

Yesterday's run made me think of that day-before-Thanksgiving run. And how I felt. And how I felt you were too uncomfortable to really be there for me.

And it still hurts even though I know you probably didn't mean it and that you were probably just uncomfortable and trying to give me space. It just made me feel more alone. That's all.


I promise to never be too uncomfortable to not reach out, to not be there for someone - really be there for someone in their grief, in their anguish, in their sadness, in their discomfort. If I've learned nothing but this, then I hope to be the emotional hug to others when they need it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

5% Hopeful...

I told myself I wouldn't post stuff on here that I thought was too much information but... I can't help it. It's what's on the brain.

We 'timed' our intimate encounter this weekend and now I'm 5% hopeful... and I was afraid of this sliver of hopefulness because I don't want to be disappointed. once. again.

For the last few months, we didn't try anything therefore 0% hopeful, therefore 0% disappointment. You see?

Since my husband and I are unexplained, I can't help but feel like if we try to time it right, there's at least a small, small possibility that just maybe this might be the time it actually happens. And I've been big time paying attention to the egg whites this time!

So, I'm on some sort of way, way, way toned down 2ww. And I don't want this sense of peace I've created to get messed up with any of this yo-yo of hope/disappointment that I've experienced about 20+ times now. (I know, many have had it WAY worse & I shouldn't complain. But this is my story and this is just how I happen to feel...).

I've also realized through Infertile Mind's E-Class (which I highly recommend) that I may have created for myself a false sense of peace. I know it's perfectly fine to be on a tcc break for peace of mind but I also don't want the break to create this false peace of mind either. Which is why I was even torn for us to try giving it a try this time.

The mind games we play with ourselves!!! Please let me keep the peace I've recently created as I journey through these 2 weeks ahead and try to balance this 5% of hope that's dangling around...

Sunshine, Warmth & Positive Thoughts!

If you need some inspiration this weekend, I've picked up a couple of blog posts that have made me even more enthusiastic for what's going on in certain parts of our worlds - the weather!!
  • The (Maybe) Babies inspired me to go for a run this morning with her Dear Sunshine post , even emailing me separately to re-inspire me - so sweet!! (I'm heading out shortly after I press publish here!)
  • Hopes and Dreams for Us has a fun weekend weather post - It's The Weekend The Weekend - plus I just love her lists!!
Plus me! It's been nice to walk around in a spring jacket, have some windows open even in the really sunny rooms and enjoy feeling everyone's buzz outdoors!

If you can today, get out and take advantage of this spring-like weather! Let it re-energize you and fill you with the light we need to keep us going.

Blessings on this glorious Sunday!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Her Epiphany

If you all aren't currently following Determined to Have Joy (which is such a great blog name!), please pop over to see her post today called The Epiphany. It's incredibly beautiful & inspiring! I'm saving it along my wall to the right of Favorite Other People's postings to refer back to when I'm in moments of feeling down.

On the weekend front, I'm excited to see my nephews (ages 6 & 2) tomorrow. Infertile Mind has inspired me a couple of weeks ago to be a more 'present' aunt, so I'm looking forward to putting that into action tomorrow!

Happy Friday & hope you have fun plans for the weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Asked For...

Baby on Mind wrote an amazing Show & Tell post about A Butterfly's Lesson. It's so amazingly beautiful that I'd like to re-copy some of it here. I hope that's allowed.  She got it from an email chain, which I normally don't like but this really resonated with me. (And sorry to the non-religious out there!)

I'm not sure of God's role in all of this exactly because I'm not sure that God gives us good things or bad things (I know, this can quickly turn into a big time discussion; I'm not necessarily trying to do that)... I think God wants to comfort us when we're down and share in our joys when we're up - I actually just commented on Hannah's I Will Be a Mom... Someday's post today on Surviving the 1ww. She needs some comforting words. Please stop by and visit with her.

Hopefully this will be comforting to some of you:

I asked for Strength.....
   and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom.....
   and God gave me problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity......
   and God gave me a brain and brawn to work.

I asked for Courage.....
   and God gave me obstacles to overcome.

I asked for Love.....
   and God gave me troubled people to help.

I asked for Favors......
   and God gave me opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted.....
   But I received everything I needed.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don't Let Anyone Steal Your Peace

You may have heard me post about my love for bik.ram (hot) yo.ga at least with Hot Yoga Lesson Tonight and Hot Yoga & Buddhim Applied to IF. I have found so many benefits beyond the physical with my yo.ga practice.

This week, an instructor said toward the end of class:
"Don't let anyone steal your peace"

I was thinking of this in the context of IF and I just kept thinking that it's the 'someone' I don't know yet who oftentimes steals my peace. This baby or these kids that I don't have yet that makes me feel unbalanced, not quite 100% me yet or something along those lines.

And am I letting this happen? Am I letting non-existent children steal my peace? Somehow, the answer is yes, and somehow I need to re-align my peace.

Any ideas?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday's Thoughts on Sunday's God-Filled Day

Sunday morning's church service was AMAZING. Very God-filled.

We had a visiting pastor who told a story about how when she was 8, she hiked Yosemite Nat'l Park with her family and coming back down the switchbacks, she was getting bored starring at her sister's shoes. When she looked up, she saw the magnificent sky & trees and Half Dome on the other side with the river cutting the valley - and immediately started singing How Great Thou Art (her parents were both pastors, so she grew up knowing these songs). Her re-telling of this was beautiful.

During our sharing of joys & concerns last week, I asked for continued prayers as B and I are continuing to go through a painful time trying to build our family. After Saturday's day date with B and my newfound state of peace through blogging and support you all have given to me, I wanted to share my joyfulness and thank everyone for their prayers. It's also been such a relief to lift this up to our congregation and be 'out' with it so that this pain isn't just mine but others can help me through this.

A man also shared how he's in town visiting from Brazil and just happened to find us. He had literally just come from the airport!

For our closing hymn, our choir decided to switch up their line-up so that we could sing How Great Thou Art as our closing hymn. I LOVE this song and felt God's presence. The Brazilian man was into it, the visiting pastor was emotional, God was just everywhere. It was beautiful!

And ended the day by cooking taco meat & cornbread to serve & eat our Taco Fiesta at a nearby women's shelter.  Very God-filled indeed!

Did you feel God's presence this weekend? Did you feel humanity's kindnesses on you?