Saturday, April 30, 2011

Is This God's Punishment?

I think it's a question we are all prone to ask when pain stretches out and relief remains far from sight. Thank you Traci, for your beautiful take on this question as your tacked another myth of infertility!

Maybe God doesn’t want you to have kids. Maybe the babies you’ve lost had something “wrong” with them {they didn’t} and that’s why God took them. Maybe God is trying to teach you something. Maybe there is sin in your life that needs to be resolved before you’ll get pregnant. Maybe you’re not good enough to be parents... Actually, I don’t recall anyone ever saying those particular words, but I think all of the above makes you feel like you’re hearing that last one...

If you have heard any accusations like these, you will be blessed by Traci's refutes of these lies!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nine Days of Dread?

Are you already stressing over Sunday the 8th of May? Or will you simply be glad to get past that date and all the commercials and propaganda? Yes, I'm talking about another Mother's Day.

Today over on Held, Holley Gerth is sharing a fresh perspective I pray will encourage your heart:
Mother's Day comes soon. One baby in heaven and still walking the road of infertility...

A few years ago a coworker came running up to my desk with a smile on her face and excitement in her voice. "A greeting card you wrote has been nominated for an award!"

I asked what kind of card it was. Baby Congratulations.

As she walked away, I leaned back in my chair and pondered the irony. Then it seemed God's voice whispered right in the middle of my wondering…

Please visit Holley's post, Eve's Daughters, to read the rest. She even offers a bonus link to a free download for Mother's Day encouragement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Adoption & Pregnancy

Another great "Bust a Myth" post this week is Adopt and You Probably Still Won't Get Pregnant

Only 5-10% of parents who adopt due to infertility go on to conceive and bear children...

If we had conceived when we desperately wanted to, we would not have BB as our son. If we had conceived when we desperately tried to, BB would not have us as his parents. God knew the plans He had for us and for our firstborn son.

God also planned for LB, born one year and four days after our first, to be his little brother. He needed our DNA to make LB. He needed another man and woman's DNA to make BB. BB was not means to an end to get LB - they were both meant for us.

Life As Two

It's National Infertility Awareness Week. Have you been exploring any of the amazing blog posts going live out there in the big wide world of cyberspace to mark this event? Here's a great one on hanging onto hope when God calls your family to contentment in a life as two.

Turns out the 'we're-living-a-child-free-life' announcement is not one that most know how to deal with. I should have anticipated that, of course. What I hadn't anticipated, however, was the assumption that we were giving up. Many assumed that hope was lost... the we were beaten past our resistance point and were waving the white flag of surrender and defeat...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hold On!

Held, the new blogging community of Hannah's Prayer Ministries is officially launching today. If you are facing infertility, pregnancy loss, infant death, adoption challenges, or are longing to support anyone in any of these circumstances, Held is written with you in mind. Please come subscribe to posts, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, submit your story, or simply read and be blessed.


What kind of articles would you like to see posted to a blog like this? What's your story? To what experiences and emotions can you best relate? Please share your hopes for Held and give us feedback so we can work toward making this place a blessing for you!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Tears

Does your womb (or your heart) ever feel dark and dead? Does the miraculous seem overshadowed by the bitter sting of grief? Are you looking God in the face, yet not really seeing Him though the fog of your tears?

...Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

- John 20:11-18 (NIV)

What will it take to hear Jesus' words of life through your anguish? Does it feel like He's pushing you away instead, saying "Do not hold on to me," but it's too hard to hear His reasons behind what feels instead like rejection? When you try to explain your emotions to others, are you met with misunderstanding or even ridicule?

Just as Jesus is victorious over the grave, He can breath new hope into your heart too. Please join me tomorrow over at Held as God births a new ministry out of the ashes of brokenness.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Saturday Shock

Another FANTASTIC article by Kristi Bothur over at Glory and Strength:
Plenty has been said about Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified. A day of anguish and accusations, darkness and defeat. Friday was the worst, darkest day in the disciples’ lives. All of their hopes were dashed, nailed to a cross, buried in a tomb.

And Easter Sunday – we know a lot about that. Jesus alive! The grave empty! A day of joy, hope, and miracles!

But no one talks about Saturday....

My “Good Friday” was March 9, 2009, when I realized that the baby I’d carried for 18 weeks had died. In that moment, my world ended, and I was plunged into the darkest place emotionally that I had ever been. I clung to God, desperate for His comfort and peace....

When resurrection comes, it will not erase the past. Easter Sunday did not change the fact that the crucifixion, in all of its ugliness, had happened. His followers would never forget that day. And there was no getting back to normal either. They didn’t return to their former lives of following an itinerant teacher and healer around Judea. No, they went forward into their new normal characterized by God’s power and presence in a way they had never dreamed possible.

But first, you have to get through Saturday...

Read more, this week only at Glory and Strength: Stuck in Saturday

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Blogging Community

We've all heard it from childhood. The expectation of most marriages is family growth through joyful pregnancy and birth. But what happens when those dreams don't unfold as we imagined? Often we are left feeling as though we’re in a headlong free-fall away from the protective hand of God. And not only that, sometimes it seems no one else cares or understands either.

Hannah's Prayer leadership has been praying for over a year about how to expand our ministry outreach not only to women facing fertility challenges, but also to offer tools for our friends, families, churches and loved ones who long to support us but might not be sure how. We are excited to tell you that on April 25, the day after Easter, we will be launching our newest ministry outreach, Held the blogging arm of Hannah's Prayer Ministries.

While we won't be officially "open" for 10 days yet, we would love to give you a sneak peek at what we are cooking up. You can read more about the vision of Held along with information about how you can be part of the excitement.

If you have a website, blog, Facebook page or any other way of helping us spread the word, please feel free to grab the Held button and share it around. We've got some great posts already lined up and would love to have some lots of friends ready to visit when we launch on the 25th.

Grab the code!

We are beyond excited to see what God's got planned for this blog, and we hope the excitement will be contagious! Please come and join us in this unfolding journey!

P.S. There's a related Facebook page as well:

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Crushed In Spirit

The recipe called for crushed rosemary, and all I had was whole. So I measured the required amount onto a plate, found a small glass with a flat bottom, and began to systematically break up and grind the dried spice into tiny little bits. As I did, I kept thinking, “This is how my heart feels.” For two years, I had been walking a road marked by illness and pregnancy loss. Two years of uncertainty, dismal diagnoses, loss, and surgery. It had broken me down, so much that I felt unrecognizable from the person I was before. The finer I crushed the spice, the more deeply it seemed to represent my crushed spirit...
Please continue this fantastic article by Kristi Bother of Naomi's Circle over at Glory and Strength. (It will only be live through the month of April.)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Pregnancy After Loss

I became pregnant with our oldest son after nearly seven years of infertility. Having already lost eight children to miscarriage or adoption losses, I knew all too well that pregnancy doesn't always mean a bring-home baby. I found myself in a moment-by-moment battle with fear. To combat these overwhelming emotions...
To read more, please visit my post, God’s Transcendent Peace, over at Glory and Strength. It will only be live for the month of April. (If you are sensitive to the mention of children, please note that our second living son is briefly mentioned in the opening of this article.)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Belated Prayers for UK Mother's Day

I just realized this morning (Sunday morning, my time) that I missed expressing my love and prayers to all my friends in the UK that find today painful with the observation of Mother's Day. Praying that the God of all Comfort will be your strength as you navigate these emotional landmines, as I know the aftermath of Mother's Day can sometimes be just as hard as the day itself.

A UK friend pointed out that yesterday was International Pillow Fighting Day. She proposed this as a much more exciting alternative to the emotional baggage of Mother's Day. It won't cure the ache in your heart, but why not grab a pillow and take out some of your frustrations?