So Very Blessed

Yes, that is a cup of PEAS that I am grinning about! Oh the cravings these days are WEIRD!!

I have to tell you, it feels so sweet to finally have this huge "secret" out in the open with all my blog friends!! I have been DYING over here for weeks, trying to blog about something, when all I want to talk about is being pregnant! Hopefully that explains my lame blogging as of late...

I wanted to thank you, each and everyone of you, for the precious words of encouragement you have left for me on this blog and in my email. You have no idea how much each sentence has meant to me. I am such an emotional wreck right now, that I have cried over every single one! Thank you for the blessing you are to me, what a fun time I am having getting this all out in the open! It's still hard for me to believe this is happening, although all I have to do is wait a few minutes and I'm either making a bathroom run or headed to the fridge! What a roller coaster of changes I feel like I'm going through. Everyday brings a new development and a new feeling, sometimes it's really hard to keep my head from spinning. There really is no description for the way your body "takes over" and leaves you totally out of control! It's a wild ride, but one that I am LOVING every minute of. Things are going very well, I am quite sick and totally exhausted. Praise the Lord I am not throwing up, but I feel like I'm on the verge of it all day long. I am trying many things to make it through and I have definitely learned some tricks to survive. However, with every wave of nausea, I remain so incredibly thankful. In fact I've never loved feeling badly more!! It is somehow comforting to know that I don't feel well because it just reminds me of what God is doing with this little lamb. My sweet friend Amy reminded me that "nausea is a sign of life" and I have tried to remember that many times! I just keep telling the Lord, "I'll take it!! All of it! This is what I prayed for, so bring it on!!"

I did want to share with you some of the details about how we found out about this baby and give the Lord some glory for the way He answered us. As many of you who read my blog know, we have been praying and trying to start a family for three years. Along the way, we never found anything wrong, never had any reason for concern, and yet we just couldn't get pregnant. The length of time we had been trying, put us in a unique category and my doctor encouraged us to at consider some medical intervention. It was actually somewhat of a relief when I miscarried in the fall, simply because for the first time, we knew pregnancy was possible. However, soon after, the weeks rolled into months and we moved from one season to the next, with no end in sight. It was in the Spring that we finally decided to make the decision to explore the world of infertility. With much prayer, much fear, and much faith, we talked endlessly about our options, cried many tears about spent more time in prayer. We felt very comfortable with my clinic and very supported in our decision to proceed, so we moved forward. And then, in a disappointing but difficult decision, we learned that our health insurance would be changing in a matter of days and suddenly we would be going from a plan that would have covered the majority of our treatment, to a plan that would cover very little. We were so disappointed, totally unsure once again about what to do and just feeling very weary of this whole thing.

I remember praying and asking the Lord, "is this a sign that we are not to move forward or is this just a bump in the road we need to get past?" But I couldn't discern a clear answer, so I just kept praying. At some point I really sensed the Lord showing me that perhaps this wasn't a medical issue with me, but rather a spiritual one. That seemed crazy and I dismissed it multiple times. I believe in medicine, I am the daughter of a nurse, and I felt crazy for thinking that. But somehow I knew God was speaking to me. I began listening and I started examining my heart and found some things I didn't realize were standing in the way. I wanted so badly to be the woman who desperately believed that God COULD DO anything and He COULD give us a baby IF and WHEN He wanted. But I also knew that I would be wise to remember that HE MIGHT NOT answer me in the way I hoped and I needed to be content either way. After my miscarriage, I sensed the Lord impressing one thing on my heart..."Am I enough for you Stephanie?" It was a question I wrestled with but ultimately was able to answer with a resounding, "YES!" Throughout this season of infertility, I found a passage in Psalm 54 that changed the way I prayed and thought about wanting a baby. This verse became my inspiration:

"I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good."
Psalm 54:6

I realized that my joy and my praise cannot be contingent on my circumstances. Although my circumstances may not ever be what I hoped for, it is my ultimate act of worship to offer the Lord my SACRIFICE of praise regardless, simply because He is worthy of it. That verse transformed my thinking and allowed me to view this wait for a baby with new perspective. Our desire never changed, but my praise did. I learned to pour out my praise for the Lord, even on the hard days, even when I didn't feel like He was listening. I did my best to offer Him my sacrifice and lay it down anyway, not because I thought He was my genie, but because I believed He was my Savior. And that was enough for me.

So we took a step back, looked at our crazy youth ministry summer schedule, and decided to just let this summer go. Our timing seemed to be "off" and Travis was out of town or out of the country on all the days I needed him to be home. So, we decided we would "take a break" for the summer and re-think our plan in the fall. That's what we came up with, but praise the Lord, He knew better!!

One thing I prayed about and asked the Lord for months ago, was to answer our prayers for a baby in a way that would surprise us and would give Him the glory. I asked that because as any of you, who have walked this road know, it is incredibly hard to find the joy in taking temperatures, keeping meticulous charts, and scheduling everything on a daily basis. It is so easy to be consumed with all the "trying" that sometimes I wondered, "will this even be exciting when we get pregnant because we will have successfully scheduled it all out?" I wanted so much to be caught off guard, awed at what had happened and not able to take any of the credit for it. I am happy to say, that's exactly how it all went down!

While Travis was in Peru, I began realizing that something was different with the way that I felt and I couldn't quite figure it out. It seems almost silly to admit, I really never, ever considered the fact that I might be pregnant! But a few days before he came home, I started to clue in a little bit about what was really going on...I took a test and to my absolute shock and awe, it was immediately positive!! So of course I went into 5th gear about how would tell Travis when he got home...what fun days those were! We were celebrating our 5th anniversary that weekend and now we could also celebrate this little baby too!

I showed you some pictures from our dinner at the Melting Pot but I didn't tell you the whole story! I managed to keep my mouth shut that whole day and when we arrived, I had the restaurant put pink and blue balloons on our table, as well as a little gift for Travy. Well, it didn't take very long for him to figure out what I was trying to tell him!! He was SHOCKED and totally THRILLED!!! It was the best night ever because both of us were lost in a maze of joy and disbelief. We couldn't believe what the Lord had done and we were immediately overwhelmed and grateful.

Travy with his balloons and new daddy gift, still shocked I think!

A limo driver asked what we were celebrating and asked if he could take our picture outside the restaurant downtown! How fun to tell him our 5th anniversary and our new baby!!

We are still so excited and we are having the BEST time of our lives, sharing this sweet news. We are so grateful for your excitement, you have made this so special. Thank you for praying us through all these months, please keep praying! Now we can ask you to pray specifically for this little life. Awhile back, in the early weeks, I found myself gripped with fear about losing this pregnancy too. I asked the Lord then to help me hold this baby with an open hand, but I am grateful to my friend Wendy, who reminded me to choose faith over fear. She helped me see that until the Lord called that baby home, I had no reason to let fear rob me of the joy this pregnancy brings. I am so grateful for her perspective and her reminder to let God be God. I am walking in total faith these days, trusting the Lord to keep us both safe and healthy and praising Him for what He'll do regardless. We are so very blessed tonight, thank you for adding to our joy! Sorry this is so long, but I have weeks of thoughts ready to pour out of me!! Stay tuned, but I'm warning you, it could be a long 9 months!!


Jennifer said...

What an awesome story and a beautiful post. Thank you for showing me what real worship and sacrifice is about! I'm praying for you, your family, and your baby. Congratulations!

Kelly said...

I loved the story of how you told Travis - it made me cry! That was the same for us - with all the drugs and tests - everyone in our family knew exactly when we should know or not know each time so when it happened on a break - we shocked everyone! Just what I had dreamed of!
I'm glad you are sick (as yucky as it is) - it's such a good sign. I was thankful every day I was sick because I knew it meant the baby was growing!
I've never been so happy in my life - it's so hard to contain it - I want everyone to be able to experience this - SO GLAD YOU ARE!!!!!

amy said...

Steph, I LOVE this post! It totally made me cry and I'm not pregnant or hormonal! ;) I am amazed daily at our sweet and precious Savior, and your words bring such joy to my heart as I rejoice with you in this precious creation of life! I can't wait to read all of your posts over the next 9 months... and years! We serve an amazing God! Love you! Galatians 1:3-5

Faith said...

This is beautiful Stephanie. And, what a wonderful testimony of your faithfulness to the Lord and His incredible blessing to you and Travis in return.

I loved hearing how you told sweet! And what an amazing way to spend your 5th anniversary.

I'm so glad that you are so happy! I pray that you continue to enjoy every moment!

Becky said...

This is awesome! I read your blog and your posts always speak to me. I will be praying for a healthy and wonderful pregnancy! My first born will be a year old in flys by! Embrace this journey, and have a blast with your pregnancy.

Becky Smith

Sarah said...

I kept having to scroll and scroll to get to the "leave a comment" link! What a great testimony! I'm so happy for you and your new life, and your renewed life in Christ. :)

I wish I could have been there to see Travis's reaction. How could you stand it?!

LyndsAU said...

Congratulations. What an amazing story to share and thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration and your words are very wise! God is good... all the time! :)

Harris Family said...

I just found your blog through Jenna! I am loving reading it! What a precious story you have! It brings tears to my eyes! I know exactly how you feel about being surprised and seeing it as all God's work. We were the exact same way! I am due about a month before you are! I can't wait to read more! By the way...I love how you told your hubbie! How cute!

~Bekah said...

Wow, ok, so you do not know me but a dear friend of mine suggested I read your blog. Me and my husband are going through the trial of trying for our first child. We will have been trying for a year October 16th. That takes all the courage I have to actually type that into words. We visited w/my OB/Gyn at the end of July for my regular check-up and he gave us a strick schedule, told us to continue w/ temping and charting, and prescribed Clomid. We did as he requested, and my pd started this monday. Being on Clomid, not sure if you know, you have to see your dr. at the end of every cycle you're on it for him to check for cysts so i scheduled my appt. a while back for yesterday (Sept.3) and all along thought I'd have great news to share w/ him but instead, i had pain, cramps and a declining chart. He was thrilled to see that the Clomid did shorten my cycle to 31 days instead of the usual 35-42 days i am used to and that I DID OVULATE on the normal day (before I might ovulate and sometimes I wouldn't)! So, Clomid did do it's job there! So, after visiting w/ him yesterday, we're back on our strick schedule and all as before w/ another prescription of Clomid. I blogged yesterday about how I was feeling ("Beauty from Suffering") if you get a chance to read and posted a video along with it. I also read Kelly's blog and see how strong you both are. I am a weak person but the Lord gives me strength to endure this and i appreciate you sharing your journey. My friend was right, this was something I needed to read. God Bless you and remember us in your prayers.

sheltonfamily said...

Yea! I just read it all and was teary-eyes. So amazing to know all the details and how fun for you to know all of this while Travis was in Peru. I love all the pictures and I am guessing the scrapbook has begun. I will look forward to every post over the next 9 months. How fun for you!!!

Katie said...

Oh yeah Steph! I am so happy for you and Travis. So, so excited!