August 29, 2014

Silas Style

Anyone who lives in Southern California knows that we have been hit with some massive waves here at our beaches this last week, thanks to Hurricane Marie. Nick has been surfing every day, taking full advantage. Silas and I decided to join him last night, enjoying the waves from land. They were big and fun to watch, and as I type, Nick is out surfing them again this morning. Silas wore his newest shirt from Tink & Key, which I love!  This company is awesome and sells all kind of faith based clothing for kids and adults. You should see their Miracle Baby t-shirt. I may have to get that one for Silas too!










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August 23, 2014

Healing


"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and unite the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard."

For the last few years, I have kept an ongoing list of Scriptures that have been encouraging to me during our infertility journey. This passage from Isaiah has been on the list for a while. What initially struck me was the part about healing. It's understandably pretty easy to become self absorbed in the middle of infertility, and, while I know it's bad theology, I secretly started believing that maybe if I just became less self focused and more "others" focused, God would heal me. I am really good at coming up with new ways to "get" God to heal us. One of Nick's most commonly used phrases with me is, "It's not a formula, Mindy."

Over the years and since Silas came along, the all consuming-ness of infertility has faded a bit. I've experienced healing in different ways, and the fog I interpreted these Scriptures through has lifted. As much as I would try to be more others focused at some of our lowest points, I was never really very good at it.  Looking back, I know God wasn't asking me to do more or be better. He was just asking me to be with Him. When I look at these verses now, I see my place at that time better. I was not the one who needed to help the poor wanderer.... I was the poor wanderer.

I have found healing, though it looks very different from the healing I had hoped for.  Much of this healing has, in fact, come from ministering to others. But, I haven't had to force anything. Instead of just doing all the things I felt I ought to do, I started resting in God and opening my heart to ways He wanted to use me. And, He has provided those abundantly. I feel that God has given purpose to my infertility, which is a huge answer to prayer. And, while it doesn't take away the pain or the desire to be pregnant, it has given new meaning to my life. After walking through the first part of our story mostly isolated (as I talked about here), I am in awe every time God brings someone new into my life to walk through infertility with. These meetings just feel so ordained by God, and these relationships have breathed new life into me that has been healing to my soul. God is using the infertility, the very thing that broke me, to build me back up. I feel God behind me, propelling me forward, guiding me towards people to journey through infertility with, guiding me towards a greater purpose and an overflowing life in Him. He is my rear guard. He is my healer, my redeemer, my restorer.

I still have hope and a deep belief that God can physically heal me and allow us to get pregnant. I'm just also starting to see how not getting pregnant can just as miraculously show God's power and healing in a different way.



Plus, there's this guy....
Enough said.


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August 16, 2014

Orange County Fair

Nick went to Alaska last week for our friend's wedding. While he was gone, we went to the Orange County Fair.  Being the procrastinators that we are, we waited until the day before the fair ended to go, so Nick did not get to join us. If you know Nick even just a little bit, you will know that he was not too disappointed about this. So, Silas was my date, and we joined my parents and two of my sisters and their husbands. I'm mostly embarrassed at the ridiculous quality of these photos. Nick had our good camera with him in Alaska, where it remains today, since he is as forgetful as me and left it there. Despite that, I guess I'm not embarrassed enough to skip this post. It was Silas's first fair, after all, so it's well worth sharing.  
We like to enter the fair in style, and clearly, my mom and I were in the middle of a fascinating discussion.These pictures make it appear that Silas was really interested in the animals. He wasn't. He was only interested in putting his mouth on the nasty fence that had animal poop all over it.And, now I present unto you....the cheesiest picture of all time, and the reason why Nick is SO glad he was in Alaska....Now my brothers-in-law will kill me. But, there you have it...OC Fair 2014. Done and done. 

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August 7, 2014

Martindale Adoption

I wanted to share another adoption story that is in the works.  Some of my sister's good friends from Georgia, Lindsey and Justin are in the process of adopting a baby.  They have an incredible and heartbreaking story, which has led them to this point.  The following is from their adoption website, where you can learn more and find out ways you can support them. I have been praying for them for a couple of years now and can't wait to see the healing and restoration that God brings to their lives through adoption. From Lyndsey:


We decided to start trying for a baby back in Oct 2011 and shortly learned that we had some complications, which required I go on fertility drugs. After exactly a year of trying, we learned we were pregnant and were ecstatic. If you have ever tried for a baby, you know how discouraging getting a negative pregnancy test can be month after month. But finally, it was happening. Let the planning begin. It was at our 15 week ultrasound that our lives were changed forever. We learned that our baby had a lethal form of Skeletal Dysplasia and would not survive outside the womb. Here we were, first time parents to be, learning that not only our baby would be a little person but he had less than 1 % chance of surviving. Justin and I decided right then and there that despite the odds, we would fight for him and enjoy every minute God gave us making sure he knew nothing but love. 


Asher Knox was born on May 26, 2013, arriving 4 weeks early and much bigger than we all thought, 6 lbs 10 ounces. He looked just like his Daddy. He was perfect….he was OURS. He grabbed our hearts the first moment he opened his eyes. It was at that moment that we were consumed with love and knew that being a parent was the most important thing to us. Asher went to be with Jesus the following day and every day since, we have missed him more and more. We told Asher before he passed that we wanted him to pick out his brother or sister and we know he is working on that right now. Asher knows that another baby will not replace him. He is our first born and no matter how many children we have, he will never be forgotten. But we also know that God gave us the desire to be parents. Our arms are empty and Justin and I want the chance to love another, just as we do Asher.

Adoption has always been in the plan. Our “vision” was to have one and then a few years later, adopt whatever we didn’t have..boy or girl. Of course, our plan was very different than what we thought it would be. With the 25% reoccurrence rate of having the genetic disorder that Asher had in future pregnancies, along with a recent miscarriage and another year of fertility struggles, we feel that God is telling us the time is right to pursue adoption. We are ready. We are scared, excited, and nervous but ultimately hoping and praying that this time, we get to pull away from the hospital with our new son or daughter in the backseat. We are ready to meet our rainbow baby (a baby that comes after a pregnancy loss, the hope after the storm).

This is Asher's story....
Check out the Martindale adoption website here.

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August 4, 2014

Rock Creek Lake Camping: Part Three

The final part of our camping trip included our longest hike up to Ruby Lake. This was our favorite hike of the trip and included some really amazing views. Along the way, Nick was lamenting the fact that he had forgotten to bring the polarizer for our camera. Suddenly, out of the blue, Eddie (my brother-in-law) stopped and said, "Is this what you wanted?" And there it was. A gift from God above...a polarizer sitting on a rock as we hiked past. The perfect fit for our camera.  And now, we have some pretty spectacular pictures, thanks to the Lord's favor and Eddie's keen eye.  Do you see the rainbow in the clouds above? See....God was smiling on us.





Once again, we took a rest and ate lunch once we got to the lake, and a couple people took a quick dip...a REALLY quick dip. I also attempted to take some pictures with Silas, who was not exactly the most cooperative kid at the time. He became obsessed with putting his finger in my mouth and my nose and eventually wore himself out so much that he just rested his head on mine.






And then Silas took his afternoon nap. 

And rested in the hammock when we got back to our campsite.


The next day we packed up camp and headed home.
The End.


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August 2, 2014

Silas: Eleven Month Update




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August 1, 2014

Rock Creek Lake Camping: Part Two

Nick's birthday was during our camping trip, so he got to choose the festivities for that day.  We drove to Mammoth (not too far from our camping spot) and did a hike to Rainbow Falls, which was a fun swimming spot, if you don't mind cold water. I did not swim, but you probably already figured that out. I'm proud to say that this time, I did the first half of the hike with Silas on my back. It was Dad's birthday after all.


On our drive back to our campsite, we passed this cute little church, so we had to pull over to take some pictures.


Once we were back at our campsite, we celebrated Nick's birthday.  We also had a mini celebration for Silas's birthday, since some of the family will not be able to make it to his 1st birthday party at the end of the month. We enjoyed a delicious peach cobbler cooked over the campfire and Nick and Silas got to open some presents.



I'm almost done with the camping posts. Just one more, I promise.


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