Faith · Infertility

To my loves on Mother’s Day…a note for those who are or love someone waiting…

kidney stoneLet me start by saying that Mother’s Day is not a terrible and bitter day. While those of us who have waited countless Mother’s Days to earn that title, we have those feelings and those moments throughout the day, but we still appreciate it for what it is and the fact that some of us, like me, are blessed with mother’s more incredible than we could have imagined. For those of you who don’t have your mom on Mother’s day, I cannot even begin to speak to what that level of pain must be like, but know that I love you and pray so hard that you are able to have a happy Mother’s day regardless of the pain you feel. With that said, I want to start by saying how much I freaking LOVE my Supermom and how grateful I am to have her for another Mother’s Day. She is a cancer fighting warrior, and the strongest woman I know. I have no doubt that all the strength I gained from her is one of the main reasons I have the strength to get through another Mother’s day. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!! I love you more than all the sand in all the oceans!!!

This will by my fourth Mother’s day since we started trying to grow our family. While I assumed it would get better with time, it never seems to hurt any less. Thankfully, I am blessed with my amazing Hubs, Supermom, BFFLouise, a wonderful family, and dear friends who make my life so much better. Not to mention my two gorgeous and perfect God-Daughter’s and loads of family & friends kiddos that I love with all my heart!! If you don’t have a strong backbone of family and friends to help you through days like Mother’s day, or any other days that are just tough days, please please please reach out to me. I would love to be able to be that for you and help you through things that no one should have to face alone!! Know that you are loved by me!! 

I just wanted to offer some advice today to those who are dealing with infertility that maybe you’d like to share with those around you that may not know exactly what to do to help you through tough days like Mother’s day. So, to those who have a loved one dealing with infertility or miscarriage or whatever else may make this Mother’s day a difficult one, here a few do’s & don’ts to remember on this day…

As well-meaning as it may be…don’t offer advice.  While we appreciate the thought of you wanting to help us by telling us what might help or what to try or how it’ll happen in the right time or if we “just relax” (by the way, we seriously want to throat punch the next person who tells us to relax and let it happen…just being honest). On days like Mother’s day, it really doesn’t make us feel any better. It can make us feel like we are really the cause because we aren’t doing something right or are doing something wrong. We have doctors who give us advice, and well-meaning strangers who have no idea what it is to deal with infertility on a daily basis, so from our loved ones on this day, advice is not necessary. While nothing you can say will take away what we are feeling, just telling those struggling how much you love them helps. Tell them how you are praying earnestly for them. Tell them that you don’t understand either, and that you know it’s difficult and unfair. Validate their feelings, because Lord knows we all feel like jerks when it’s hard to be happy on a day that should be a happy one for most people.

Don’t ignore the tears you see us trying to hide or the pain we are struggling to conceal. While those of us struggling are not trying to gain attention or take away attention from the mothers being celebrated, we also don’t want to be treated like others are afraid to come near us because of the struggle. Give those ladies a hug, squeeze their shoulder as you walk by, grab their hand and tell them you love them. Give their husbands a big pat on the back and let them know you love them and know they struggle too. A little touch and some love goes a long way when you feel all alone on a battlefield.

Don’t assume we want to avoid you on Mother’s day…or that we don’t mean it when we tell you happy mother’s day and that we love you. Those who know me should know that I personally wouldn’t tell you if I didn’t mean it. Don’t think just because we are sad or upset that we don’t see what a happy day this is for others, or that we can’t appreciate the wonderful mother’s of kids they allow us to love as our own. I have several wonderful friends and family members with amazing kiddos that I love unconditionally. When I tell you that I love you and wish you a Happy Mother’s day, please know that I mean it. That I adore you and your babies that you share with the Hubs and I. That without you being a great mommy and sharing your babies with us, we would miss out completely on happy moments with kids since we don’t have our own.

Don’t be afraid to wish us happy mother’s day or feel bad if you do without thinking. While we may not yet be mother’s officially, we know today is a day where every woman in the country will be told happy mother’s day, regardless of their mother status. It’s ok. Don’t feel bad or apologize. I feel like a mother to my 30 kiddos I am blessed to love on everyday at school. I feel like a mother to my precious babies of friends and family members that share their babies with the Hubs and I. It’s just a phrase that all say to women on this day, so don’t freak out or feel bad or start apologizing if you say that to a woman struggling with infertility. We understand, and it’s ok.

This last don’t is for those ladies who haven’t been privileged to receive the “mommy” title yet…don’t feel like less if you are not ok today. I have said if before, and I will say it again. It is ok to not be ok. Days like Mother’s day are hard, and those that love you will understand and appreciate the pain you feel. It’s ok to not know exactly how to feel, or to have bitter moments. It’s ok to be so happy for others while feeling like your own happiness is so far out of reach. It’s ok to not want to put yourself in positions to cause you more pain…church, family gatherings, going out to eat where all mother’s will be out being celebrated. It is ok to not be ok. Just don’t live there. Have your moment, moments, hours, breakdowns, tears, hurt, questions, whatever you need to have, and then go on to the next thing. Just remember that whether you are ready for it or not, the sun is going to come up tomorrow for a new day, and while it may not be a day with leaps and bounds of progress for you, or the day you finally get what you have been hoping for, it is a new day. A day you can decide to be ok for. A day with a new set of challenges, but also new opportunities for love, hope, and growth.

Know, sweet mama, (because regardless of whether or not you have birthed or adopted a child, the love you feel for something you don’t even have yet makes you a mama) that you are loved by me, and you are prayed for by me, and that whatever you are feeling is and has been felt by me also. You are not alone, and you are not less because of something you don’t have yet. I hope and pray you find some happiness and joy on this Mother’s day, and that you remember that regardless of whether or not you have a child who calls you mom, you have the heart of a mother, or this would not be as difficult as it is for you. So, Happy Mother’s Day, sweet mama, and remember you are loved!

From the bottom of my heart,

Cody ♥†

 

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Faith · Infertility

It looked funny…

I got caught majorly off guard today. Scrolling through Facebook, looking at some videos and one pops up of dads that let their daughters make them princesses. I clicked on it because it looked like it would be funny and super cute. I was immediately socked in the chest with what I was missing, what we were missing. Those hilarious little everyday moments with daddies and their kids that my infertility issues were depriving him of. I know without a doubt he would be wrapped around our little girls finger, and if she wanted to give daddy a princess makeover, daddy would get a princess makeover. It shook me to my core y’all. Something so simple, that I was totally unprepared for just rocked my world for me. Then, sometimes all it takes is a best friend as sassy as you to knock your world right back on its axis with, “I love you to pieces, but stop it now. Do not do this to yourself.” Thanks, Louise.

We all have those thoughts and feelings that, as much as you’ve tried to block them off by reading, praying, studying, cleaning, whatever you can to keep busy and your mind on something else, anything else, they won’t go away. Sometimes you can’t even really pray about it because, if we’re being honest, you know with all that’s in your head, you can’t pray it sincerely from your heart. It’s been that way lately, and all I can do is just keep digging, clawing, or in Dory’s terms, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”. That is what we have to do. Keep swimming, and find a few good friends to swim with us and keep us on track. This world is going to turn regardless of how we feel about it. Things will happen that catch us off guard. We will have those moments of grief for things we miss or haven’t even been given the privilege of having yet. Morning is going to come, the day will pass, and then we start all over again.

The bible says in Psalm 30:5, “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” Not that you’ll be ok. Not that He is going to give you whatever it is you think you need to be happy. Not that tomorrow is coming, so you might as well enjoy it. It says JOY comes in the morning. But you know how you can have joy in the morning, when the night was wrought with pain, tears, whatever it is that maybe plaguing you? You have to believe that His book, His mighty word says that joy comes in the morning. Then, you have to make sure you are in a place to receive His joy that He is offering. Our only true joy is in Him. Not our wants or needs. Not material things. Not even the things we have that we just knew would be a life changer. Our only joy is from Him.

Whatever it is that may have caught you off guard recently, or turned your world upside down, just remind yourself that JOY comes in the morning, and you have to be ready to receive it for it to do any good for you. Don’t live in the pit, climb out on the ladder He drops for you and have JOY!

Just keep swimming,

Cody

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Faith

Deborah

Hey y’all! Hope everyone is having a great week! We have a women’s bible study once a week at church. I love the fellowship we have and I have learned so much! Right now, we are going through the women of the bible in chronological order. It’s great because we are talking about the popular and known, as well as the lesser known women.

This week was all about Deborah from the book of Judges. Y’all, this woman was a beast among women of the Bible!! I had heard of her, but never really studied her out like I have Ruth or Esther. She was really a huge player in some of the first stories of women in leadership in the Bible. She is found in Judges 4 & 5. The time of the Judges came about during the time of the children of Israel and their refusal, most of the time, to live the life God had asked of them. Instead of taking the cities they were told, they intermingled with some of the Canaanites in the different cities and began going along with their traditions and even worshiping their Gods.

“11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: 12 And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people who were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. 13 And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. 14 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. 15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. 16 Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. 17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so.” Judges 2:11-17

The judges came along one at a time to restore peace and some semblance of Godliness back to the people of Israel (this is a very condensed version of Judges 1-3. It’s a great read when you can go through it). Deborah was one of those judges, and the only female judge God brought up. She was also a prophetess. She was literally the only person of her time that God would speak to and show things to come. What a huge deal that is for anyone, but especially a woman in the Old Testament!! Deborah broke through the norms of her time because of the love she had for God. Deborah waited under a palm tree for the children of Israel to come to her for judgment. Deborah called upon Barak who led the army of Israel and said,

“6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.” Judges 4:6-9

She told this man, who the Lord of Israel commanded, that he was to go and take a huge army to Canaan and take Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army. She said he would be delivered into his hands. God commanded! He had predestined this and was telling them it was time to go. Deborah gave the message as it was given, but Barak needed more assurance. I don’t know if he was scared, or if he thought it wouldn’t be a blessed mission if she didn’t go, but he said he would only go if she went also. Deborah, the ever faithful prophetess agreed to go, but not before telling Barak that this would not be to his honor but that the Lord would sell Sisera into the hands of a woman. Oh goodness was she right!

14 And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. 15 And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. 16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.” Judges 4:14-16

Deborah said, “is the Lord not gone before thee?”. She knew He had because she believed what He had told her. Because of Deborah’s firm belief in God, and her courage to break through the social norms of her time, she helped lead an army to the battlefield and win! Even though she did not fight in the physical warfare, she fought in spiritual warfare when others feared or did not trust that God had gone before them. Sisera also literally ended up falling to the hands of a woman. Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite (there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite) told him to come into her tent and hide. She went out and got a hammer and a tent-peg and drove it through his temple. When Barak came looking for him, Jael handed him over.

It just amazes me the responsibility Deborah was given. Then I began thinking about why she was the one God chose, the one He spoke to…because she LISTENED! She listened to God and had her spiritual life in a place where she was able to hear Him. We spend so much of our prayer time talking, asking, pleading, questioning…but how often do we actually stop to listen to what He may have to tell us? We have the power of the Holy Spirit in us if we have given our hearts to God. That amount of untapped power and potential is unfathomable! Think of the change that we could bring about in the world if we took the time to LISTEN and take the leadership of God seriously! I pray we can all stop and listen to Him! You know He has amazing things to tell us if we are willing to listen!

Love and prayers,

Cody †♥

Life Hacks

Headache Hack

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Hello friends! I don’t know how many of you suffer with headaches and migraines, but I have horrible issues with them and have for years. One of the many joys of PCOS and my hormones being INSANE. I was suffering pretty badly with one this afternoon that has hit me hard on and off for almost a week. I have seen several pins about bath and shower bombs using essential oils. I love essential oils, peppermint oil is literally my cure-all, and I use them as much as I can instead of taking more medicine. Anyway, back to the bath bombs…I never remember that I had planned to make some until I need them, and well when I need them I don’t feel like making them. I decided to try something different tonight. I got a new loofah sponge and put about 6-8 drops of peppermint oil on it. I ran my shower as hot as I could stand it and put the loofah in the shower floor almost under the spray. Y’all, it was like a shower size diffuser. It. Was. Awesome. It lasted a good 10 minutes, and if I felt like it was losing power, I just squeezed it or squished it with my foot and it brought more out. I will be trying this again because it helped enough that I could get on here and post about it right after. Also, if you don’t have a diffuser, I highly recommend getting one to use with your oils. Pinterest has TONS of pins with oil blends for everything under the sun. Hope this little hack can help someone out!!

Love and prayers,

Cody†♥

 

Faith · Infertility

One of those days…

Y’all, you know those days where you feel good, you’re looking cute, you’re cowlick didn’t do that weird thing it does all the time right in the front of your head (can I get a witness), it’s beautiful outside, just a great day in general. Then……BAM! You see/hear/read something that completely knocks you off your rocker. Suddenly, you don’t think that outfit looks as good on you as it did in the mirror this morning. This hair, ugh, has an evil mind of its own all of a sudden. The beautiful day just loses its luster and you want to get in your car, drive back home, and hide under the covers where it doesn’t matter that bed head makes your hair look like you have a nest of baby birds on your head. (Can you tell my hair and I have a serious love/hate going on?)

The cause for this sudden change varies from person to person, and if you’re like me, day-to-day. All self-confidence goes out the window when you see that adorable family with the blonde hair blue-eyed baby that could pass for yours, but isn’t, because for some reason your body does not want to complete the normal functions of a woman and reproduce. That pregnancy announcement on Facebook from someone who “wasn’t even trying” when you have done everything imaginable for years to get pregnant and cannot. When you are trying to lose weight and get fit and then see that gorgeous woman and automatically feel like a troll. The guy and girl on a date that instantly makes you question why you haven’t found someone yet because you are a good person with lots of love to give. Maybe you have lost a child and something about this certain little one at the store brings back memories or makes you wonder what it would be like to have your own baby with you shopping.

These days happen to all of us. The reasons are our own and others may not understand why certain things upset you out of nowhere or why you haven’t been to a baby shower in almost three years. Why you cry at every wedding because you want so badly to find your own soul mate. I just want to tell you that its OK to not be OK, sometimes. Life is hard, and there are plenty of obstacles to step over, climb up, or even run through. Just know that you can do it. You can get through that moment that causes you to stop breathing for a second. You are woman enough to be a mother. You look adorable in that outfit, even though you are still not at your goal weight. There is nothing wrong with you as a person, and the fact that you are single later in life than you wanted to be just means God is taking His sweet time preparing that man for you and your love.

Take a minute, hour, day and let yourself get those feelings out. There is no shame in that. The only shame in having those feelings is when you live in them. Take some time, work through it, then pack up and move on. The day goes on. Life goes on. God is not done with you yet, and His timing and plan are worth waiting for. I hope those days for you are few and far between, and know that even in those unexpected moments, you are never alone. The Bible says in Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” He knows the plans. It’s not a minute to minute decision making process on His part. He KNOWS and they are plans to prosper you, not harm you. They are plans to give you hope!! Hold on to that hope in Him and His plans for your future. Also, as hard as it is, we have to try not to get in the way of those plans. We can mess them up in our desperation and times of turmoil in our hearts and minds. Just remember, He has your future laid out, and It. Is. Perfect. He does not make mistakes. Allow yourself to relax and rest in that hope and enjoy the ride!

Love and Prayers,

Cody †♥

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Faith · Infertility

Our Story…(So Far)

I am not very good at talking about myself, so here goes. I married the love of my life almost 5 years ago. The hubs is so stinkin’ funny and keeps me laughing all the time. I truly believe God paired us perfectly because we are total opposites in so many ways, but it really works. We love the Lord and believe in putting Him first in all things! The hubs is the Associate Pastor of our church, and I (do my best to help) lead the Women’s Ministry . I love kiddos and have been teaching children with special needs, my dream job, for 3 years now. We have huge crazy families that we absolutely adore! We love to cook and try out new recipes in our kitchen!

We have been trying to grow our family for about three years now. I was diagnosed in December of 2015 with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This has caused a great deal of problems in our journey to become parents, but we are praying and seeking help from some great doctors. I recently turned 30 and had planned to have a house full of kiddos by now, but sometimes my plans are not God’s plans. I know His plan is perfect and I am anxious to see what He has in store for our lives! Hopefully sometime on this blog I will be able to share the good news of success in this area of our lives. I’ll post a more in depth story of my journey of infertility so far, but for now I just wanted to give an overview on my crazy life!

I love Jesus, my husband, my family, chocolate, and last but not least, COFFEE!