Friday, May 31, 2013

Don't Be a Fiddler

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"I'm fiddling"
(You get an 'A' if you know what movie this is from!)

Are you a fiddler? I'm the type that will fiddle with something in my hands when I'm thinking, conversing,'s just something I mindlessly do with various objects nearby. I'm usually not actively thinking about it. My hands seem to have a mind of their own in that way and before I know what happened, I look down and realize I've unscrewed the pen tip or I'm twirling my wedding rings around my finger.

Infertility can be like that. Without even realizing what happened, you can find yourself going from carefree to fretting. You can find yourself obsessing about one tiny detail or following the thought pathway of a particular what-if scenario.

I've come to realize that the enemy uses these "mind fiddles" as an opportunity to decrease your faith. Because when I have that moment of realization that I've been fretting about something, I realize that I feel more hopeless and alone. The enemy uses those opportunities to draw you away from God.

So it's very important to faithfully and continually evaluate yourself. If you realize you're fretting or that you've started claiming the reins of your life/situation thinking you have control over something that you really don't...release it. Give them back to God.

1 Peter 5:6-11
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

It's unfortunately not a decision you just make once; it's a decision you have to keep making throughout your journey (and whole life, I would argue). Let it go, and put the reins back into God's hands. Take charge of your thoughts, and direct them where you know they should go.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Take ownership of what you do have control over, but nothing beyond have to let those things go. It's worth it, because whose hands are more capable than God's?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hopeful Mother's Day

Mother's Day. A day to celebrate mothers. But how exactly do you define a mother?

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In a church service, Mother's Day usually includes a special "Standing of the Mothers Ceremony." It's not normally called such a prestigious title, but for some women, that's exactly how it feels. Sometimes small gifts or roses are given to those who stand. The picture above shows a church crowd on Mother's Day, where the mothers were asked to stand. I don't know why some men are also standing...but notice that there are some women who are still seated.

This very special day can be very complicated. Is a mother strictly a woman who has born a child? What about adoptive moms? What about women who bore a child that died in its infancy? What about a woman who had a stillbirth? Miscarriage? Pregnant? Infertile? What about single women who desperately long to get married and have children?

This public event at church - that I'm sure has very good intentions to honor mothers - at the same time dishonors and isolates women in these complicated classifications. To stand or not to stand, that really is the question.

I long to be a mother, but it's not the appointed time for me yet. But my heart already acts like a mother's heart. My heart is already so full of love for my children, and I haven't even met them yet. Does that mean I'm "worthy" of standing? I have five furry children...does that count? Have I earned my mother's badge?

I love that there's a special day to celebrate mothers, I just wish that we could honor mothers without isolating non-mothers. This blog post addresses this issue very well.

So what to do, what to do?

Moms Already
You are so blessed. Psalm 127:3 says, "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward." Please be considerate of other women around you who may be deeply hurting on this day. Don't be afraid to reach out to those women and encourage them, pray for them, and love them. And please think twice before you utter a complaint about being tired, frustrated, spit up on, etc. Learn to better appreciate the blessings you have been given. You are richly blessed, so have a heart of joy and thankfulness.

Wanna Be Moms
This day will be hard for you. Brace yourself, it comes every year. You should decide for yourself how you will handle this day. We personally choose to skip church on this day, because our church congregation still does the Standing of the Mothers Ceremony. And there is nothing more awkward and painful for me than sitting in a room full of women who have the honor of standing, where all I long to do is have the credentials necessary to stand. I literally have dreams about being in a room full of pregnant women/mothers. It's isolating and painful, so I choose to avoid this day to protect my heart.

But don't let this day be a day of darkness for you. You may not have a physical (human) child yet, but you will one day. Each new day you wake up, you are one day closer to meeting your child. So stay strong in the Lord. Worship Him for His goodness. His plan is perfect and beautiful. Pray for strength, comfort, and peace to wait patiently for His plan to unfold. Treasure this time with your husband, and celebrate the day as a day of Hopeful Mother's Day.

Church Body, Pastors, and Congregation
Know that the church body is composed of sinners. This means that the black and white mother/non-mother descriptors are a thing of the past. So let's just celebrate and honor the mothers we know personally, rather than having a formal Standing of the Mothers Ceremony. Mothers should be honored, but not in the way that is done in many churches today. So reach out to the mothers you know and tell them how much you appreciate them. Encourage and uplift them. And also be aware of the more complicated situations, like adoptive, infertile, and former parents. There is much suffering in the church body, and we should all seek to uplift and love on those who suffer. Let compassion be your motto.

Happy Hopeful Mother's Day!!