Sustaining: Thankful for Hope

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus has entered on our behalf.

Hebrews 6: 19-20

I like the idea of hope being an anchor, something that remains steadfast in the winds and waves of life and its cruelties.  But the next part of it is pretty amazing too.

The inner sanctuary was one that not a whole lot of people could get to in Jewish times.  You were going into the presence of God and had to follow a number of rules and requirements in order to be there.

But our hope is that Jesus took care of that.  He is our forerunner.  According to dictionary.com, a forerunner can be a sign or warning of something to come.  It is an advance messenger.

The glorious wonder is that one day we will enter into the inner sanctuary into the presence of God.  Jesus has prepared that way for us.  And we can have a close and intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe.  All the rules and regulations have been taken care of by Jesus.  The invitation is there.

And that’s pretty cool.

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Continuing the Conversation

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

This Is Why We Chose To Talk About Black Women And Infertility

Black women are less likely to seek out support or medical help when dealing with infertility, even though they are twice as likely to have miscarriages compared to white women.  This Women Magazine article explores this phenomenon and why it’s so important to talk about it and share our stories.

Wauwatosa native to be honored for using art to express emotional toll of infertility and transform change

I love when people find ways to tell their story of infertility or loss through other mediums.  There are a few pictures of her art on the page, but if this exhibit ever got closer to me, I would definitely check it out!

Five things not to say to someone who has had a miscarriage

Anytime I find lists like these, I just feel like I have to share them.  I can’t share them enough.  These are still things that I’ve heard people say to me or to other women who have had miscarriages or stillbirths.  This particular article out of Ireland covers a lot in just five statements.

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?

Anticipating November

Two more months left in this year.  What a year it has been!  But, like always, a little look back over the month of October

I didn’t read as many books this month as I hoped I would.  I only completed three books of the seven, and I’m in the middle of two of the other books on my list.  I think part of the reason I didn’t read so many was that I had a big project to complete at the end of this month (which I’m hoping to share with you next week).

I continue to purge throughout the house.  I actually got into the holiday decor that I was hoping to get to earlier in the year.  I also rearranged my kitchen a bit after the purge from last month.  And we have been doing some furniture upgrades in our house, so it’s a bit crowded with older furniture and boxes (because I order to deliver everything).  But once everything is sorted, it’s going to be amazing (and another possible post to share with you soon as well).

Halloween was stormy and rainy, but still so much fun.  We passed out candy at home and had a blast.  Sam had no idea what was going on, but spending time with the neighbors was super special.  We also remembered our daughters on Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day.  We didn’t go to a balloon launch like we have the past two years, and instead just spent the evening at home.

Sam is 6 months old this month.  He is such a sweetheart.  He’s still not crawling, but he is mobile.  He loves to roll to places and grabs or explores everything within reach.  And he has begun talking nonstop, still just babble, but it is starting to sound like actual words.  He also plays really well on his own.  He will be talking and laughing on his activity mat.  When I say something, he looks up a bit startled like he was in his own world and forgot I was there.  Signs of an introvert, maybe?

But now on to November.

anticipation

  • Reading and Writing.  So, I’m still going to be reading a few books this month, but considering the holidays are soon here, I’m not going to attempt much.  I’m also going to try the Nanowrimo this year.  I’m not expecting to finish a novel, but I want to get into the creative habit of writing, not just journaling and blogging that I normally do.
  • Upgrades and Purges.  I’m going to try to purge more stuff from the house.  I have quite a bit of momentum right now, so I’m hoping that will continue through the month.  I need to actually bring things to donation centers.  The boxes and bags are starting to pile.  In addition to that, with all the purging, I’m doing a few furniture upgrades (like I mentioned above).  I’m hoping to finish this part of it in the next week or so before the holidays and hosting start happening.  I’ve got a deadline!
  • Thanksgiving.  This holiday is probably the hardest of all the holidays for me.  It’s when my first daughter was stillborn and when my second daughter and my first miscarriage were due.  I don’t know how I’m going to be this month, and being busy with all the projects is probably part of my coping mechanism.  On the other hand, Sam will be eating solids by this holiday, so I’m excited to see what he wants to taste, what he will love and what he won’t.  It will be up and down for sure.

Hope everyone has a great November!

What are you anticipating?

 

 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: A Review

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very popular book last year, which came out as a movie in October, so I thought it was appropriate to read it now.
The book is so good. It’s pretty fast-paced, and I felt totally immersed in this world throughout the entire story. The content of the book is pretty heavy, dealing with racism, grief, and injustice, but it’s really appropriate for today’s culture.
The story is about a girl named Starr who witnesses her friend get shot by a police officer. She and her friend are black and the officer was white. In her everyday life, Starr straddles two worlds – one in the poor black neighborhood where she lives and the other in a predominantly white private school where most of her friends and life are. When this shooting happens, her worlds start to come apart and she has to find out who she really is.
The character transformation is honest and beautiful. I don’t really want to go into any spoilers but she really is stretched through the whole story and by the end finds out what it means to be her authentic self. There are also some minor characters who go through transformations as well – facing their own prejudices and realities.
There is profanity in the book. In fact, Starr’s younger brother has a thing going with their dad that when he cusses, the brother gets a dollar. The brother gets a lot of money in this book.
There is also sexual content as well. While there are no real sex scenes, there is talk about it and heavy makeout scenes. I did find that the sexual content was approached well and handled responsibly.
There is also violence in this book. Of course, there is the shooting, but there are also riots, fighting, and other violence that happens throughout the book. I felt that it was also appropriate considering the story.
Overall, this is a great book, perfect for this generation. I felt like it was written well and gave a lot of really good perspective. Highly recommend!

Sustaining: Enduring Love

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  – Psalm 100:5

I was reading this passage this week, and the word “endure” stuck out to me.  There are two definitions for the word.  The first is “to remain in existence; last” which I’m sure is the meaning that most people derive from this text.  But the other definition was to “suffer patiently”.

It makes me think about the verse in 2 Peter 3:9 that says:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God wants a relationship with humankind, with you, with your children, with your children’s children’s children.  He wanted a relationship with your grandparents and your great-grandparents.  And he’s suffering patiently, enduring with great love to have that relationship.

My God is amazing in this way.  This love is too great for me to fully understand.  But what I do understand is pretty cool, so I hope you find it as encouraging as it was to me.

Continuing the Conversation

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

Suffering in silence: the ‘secret life of infertile women’ laid bare – Paulina Billett is an Austrailian woman who has experienced infertility, and that journey put her in touch with several other women who have had this experience.  She has written a book about this (I don’t know if it’s available in the US yet.  I did find it on the Target website, but not yet available).  The article touched on a lot of things women go through when they are in the infertility journey, especially the isolation.

‘Don’t Talk About the Baby’ highlights infant loss and miscarriage – A new documentary based in Seattle is coming out about Pregnancy and Infant Loss.  The two women who are interviewed in this video have experienced loss but also know a ton about it.  One of them leads support groups in the Seattle area, and the other wrote a book called Not Broken Illustrated for those who have had a loss.

How To Remember And Honor The Babies We’ve Lost –  If you haven’t noticed yet, I love Scary Mommy articles because they are across the board of loss and perspective.  I loved the little poem at the beginning of this article, but it also includes suggestions for those who want to help someone who is grieving.  Of course, the disclaimer is that not everyone grieves the same way so please use a little caution when implementing any suggestions found on the internet.  That said, these resonated with me so they might be helpful to you.

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?