Saturday Summary

So this week…..

Monday: Reviewed The Winds of God

Wednesday: Updated Life with the Dogs

Thursday: Continued the Conversation of Pregnancy Loss and Infertility

Friday: Sustaining Study to Keep Going

How was your week?

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Sustaining: Keep Going

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  – Isaiah 43:2

My faith has been built and strengthened by God’s love revealed in past situations.  I was reflecting on that this week, how one event led to another, to another, to another.

For example, when I had my first miscarriage, when I got the diagnosis that a miscarriage was inevitable, I sat with God, asking for a miracle.  But if not, that I trusted Him and that I knew He had a bigger plan.  That wasn’t out of the blue.

It was built on the experiences before that.  It was built on the “come to Jesus” conversation I had in my car right before I met Michael.  It was built on being led to a job that I enjoyed for almost 10 years helping other people.  It was built on seeing God in my life when my life felt out of control.

And when I lost my first daughter in stillbirth, the claims that I was stubbornly in love with God and that I would stay faithful no matter what, that was built on all of the things He had done after the first miscarriage.

Reflecting on this verse, I realize that God isn’t saying “if” you pass through the waters, “if” you walk through the fire.  It’s not “if,” it’s “when.”  But when it does happen, He will be there.  And looking back, I’m reminded again and again how His walk with me has strengthened my faith with every step.  Just keep going.

Continuing the Conversation

I want to continue sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet, so here are three new voices to share.

The Truth About the Financial Side of Infertility – An interview with a woman who went through IVF treatments and the cost of those treatments, how they managed to pay them, and the additional, non-financial costs along the way as well.

A LETTER TO THE CHILD I LOST TO MISCARRIAGE – Beautiful heart-wrenching letter from a mom to her daughter.  I felt all the feels reading this letter.  Writing like this can be so therapeutic.  It also helps others know that they aren’t alone.

Infertility: All sex and no play – I laughed out loud on this one.  A realistic view of sex while trying to get pregnant, also with the possibility of secondary infertility.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

A Dog Update

It’s been a couple of months since I gave an update on our two pups and how they are doing with our new addition.

Our rat terrier is still apathetic towards the little boy.  I think the only thing she realizes is how much he encroaches on her snuggle time with Michael.  Any time he is sitting on the couch, holding our son, she insists on getting up there with them.  She will even let the boy give her a few pats on the head if it means she can be sitting on Michael’s lap.

Our blue heeler has taken a more active role.  When I’m feeding Sam, he comes into the nursery just to check on us, then goes to sit on his chair in the library (it has become his chair).  He has gotten a bit adventurous with the kisses (and I have wipes on hand now).  He mostly loves to go for the hands, and Sam has responded by attempting to grab his tongue.  Yes, lots of handwashing and monitoring during these interactions.

Sam obviously is responding more to the dogs.  He notices when they walk in front of him or sit beside him.  He’s still hesitant to reach out and touch, but he has been pretty gentle so far.  I look forward to teaching him the right ways to interact with these puppies.  I continue to hope he loves them as much as I do.

The Winds of God: A Review

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The Winds of God by Gilbert Morris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a re-read for me. This is a series from my childhood, and I felt like reading something nostalgic this summer. I was really into historical fiction at the time, particularly from this era, so I was interested to see if I would still enjoy it.

So the last book ended with Henry the eighth and Anne Boleyn, but this next book skips ahead to the reign of Bloody Mary and Queen Elizabeth, particularly the conflict with the Spanish Armada. It continues with Myles’s grandson, Robin for most of the story. He wants to be a sailor, so we are taken through how the boats were built and sailed, as well as how combat evolved on the sea during this time period.

As for the fictional part of the story, Robin’s father was burned at the stake as a heretic by the Catholic ruler, Bloody Mary (this was on the back of the book, so not a spoiler). He grows in hatred for the Catholics and through his journey he learns where that hatred can take him and what it can take away from him.

The writing is slightly better in this book than the first one. It gets really detailed with all of the ships and the political intrigue, which at times could be a little slow. But I enjoyed the plot. The twists were a little predictable, and the ending was a little too perfect, but it was still a good story.

I felt like the transformation of the main character was better done in this book than the first one. It was more of a slow progression and depended on things that were happening. Plus, you could see his flaws more clearly than Myles in the first book. The conversations had a little more depth to them, though it could still be, at times, pretty surface level.

Profanity is not used in these books. There is some slight sexual content, but nothing graphic. And there is a lot of violence since much of the book either talked about executions or combat. There is an abusive relationship also included, but, again, it’s not very graphic.

Again, this was a nice nostalgic re-read for me. The Spanish side of the conflict was fascinating. I didn’t know a lot about that particular part of history. I would recommend this to late middle grade who like historical fiction, particularly boats (it had a lot of ships and naval information).

Sustaining: The Lord Prepares

In my readings this week, the verse that hit me was:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

Usually, this verse takes on an evangelical slant for me.  That the people I reach out to, the community I serve, were prepared for me and I was prepared for them.

But then I think about my response to my loss.  In the years and decades leading up to that moment of no heartbeat, God had been preparing me.  The faith I exhibited wasn’t because of something I did, something I prepared for.  Who prepares for things like that?  Who knows what is to come?

But God did.  In the conversations with friends going through infertility years before we even thought about having kids.  In the classes that showed a bigger picture of God’s world.  Even in the practice of yoga that reminded me to breathe and take each moment in slowly.  Grief therapy came at the perfect moments.  A therapist who had walked my path before me.  God was preparing it all.

And he’s not done.  Through this journey, he’s preparing me to do good works for others.  To minister to women who are walking this path.  To show compassion to those hurting from the loss in their lives.  To give grace and space to others around me.

He gives purpose to pain.  And I am ever grateful for it.