Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fruitful Living...

I am reading One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life by Kerry and Chris Shook. The idea of the book is that most people wait until they receive life-threatening news or are on their death bed before they actually do the things they wish they would have done---no regrets.

After each chapter the author's ask great questions like...."If you were certain your life as you know it would end in a few weeks, what would be your biggest regret?", "What was the biggest time waster in your past week? What was the payoff for you? Did it distract you, entertain you, allow you to avoid someone?", and "What are the current barriers to spiritual health in your life?". There are also tasks the author's ask you to partake in...Write a letter or prayer to God, being as honest as you can about your present disappointments and frustrations or Keep a time journal this week, and jot down how you spend each day or Instead of a roller coaster, what symbol or metaphor would you choose to describe what your life would look like if you were fully engaged? Try to come up with something as unique as you are. It has been great to reflect on these questions and scenarios and trying to make changes in my life that can really impact my self-esteem, my marriage, my religion, my friendships, my job, and my EVERYTHING!

Last night, I read the fourth day (Chapter 4) and the section titled Fruitful Living REALLY caught my attention...

Jesus said: I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.~John 15:1-5

WOW!! This made such an impact on me...first it reminds me that I can do nothing without my faith. I can not have the baby that I so long to have without putting God and my faith first. God is the vine..with Him, all things are possible. I am the branch and the branch can bear the fruit, but without the vine, the branch can't produce the fruit. Sometimes I try to become the vine...I set up agendas, plans, and schedules and I try to make everything happen according to my timetable. Then I get frustrated and feel like giving up. But it's not up to me to produce the results...it's up to Him.

Right now I'm in the pruning stage. Pruning, by definition, is to rid or clear of anything superfluous or undesirable. Pruning, as most gardeners know, is the key to producing the best fruit. I am constantly asking Him to make my life more fruitful...with my infertility, my marriage, my family, my job. Sometimes I feel as if He is not hearing my desires or prayers, and although the pruning process is painful, it is also productive. He continues to prune me so I will be able to bear more fruit and not just any fruit, but the best fruit.

I am telling you this book is AMAZING and a MUST read!! I must admit, although I LOVE the title of my blog and thought I was OH SO clever coming up with it...this book is helping me to realize that God is the ultimate Gardener...I am merely the branch.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Baby Searching...

I spend a lot of my spare time searching for baby items. I really get a thrill out of looking at baby furniture, bedding, baby clothes, stationery, etc. I actually have a LONG list of baby links that I keep on stand-by until the time is right. One of my most FAVORITE places is Popin. It is the absolute cutest baby boutique I have EVER seen. I originally went to Popin to get a last minute baby shower gift...and I find excuses to visit Popin ALL the time now :) They do custom bedding, furniture, and monogram EVERYTHING!! I love getting things monogrammed...I think because my name was so different and I could never find anything with my name on it...so now I get everything I can monogrammed :) I found an item that I just LOVE in Popin and have gotten it for SEVERAL baby showers...Check out this post from Popin and take a look at the chenille bib.

But of course I ALWAYS get the baby's initial monogrammed on the front. And they have a TON of these bibs to choose from....for boys, for girls, for unisex. Just too too cute!

I started a list of websites that I browse for babies....so take a look at my sidebar for the Florists that I like :)

Let me backtrack and tell you why I have been doing this....

A few good friends of mine encouraged me to start speaking a baby into my life. Not only write down what you want, but buy something showing you are expecting the Lord to grant your wishes. My best friend Tedra sent this verse to me and I like this translation the best...

And then God answered: "Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time. ~Habakkuk 2:2-3

I have this little sticky note hanging in my medicine cabinet and read it each and every morning...

As you can see, this note has been in my medicine cabinet for almost four months now. Not that I need reminding of what I want the most for my life right now, but it's a reminder to thank God for what I know will be happening in my life in the future.

So far all you Gardeners out there...start speaking it into your life too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

It's that time again...Thankful Thursday (Times Three)!! This is when I post three things that I am SO SO thankful for.

This week I'm thankful for...

1. My dad!!!

He has worked for Exxon for the past 38 years. As you know, due to Hurricane Ike, Exxon had to shut down. Soon after the hurricane, my dad went back to work and was put on GRAVEYARDS. He probably hasn't worked graveyards since I was 4 or 5 years old!! As you can imagine, this has been a culture shock for him. Not to mention that my mom doesn't like sleeping by herself. Hopefully he will not have to do this much longer. But, I am SO thankful that my dad has a great job that enables him to take GREAT care of my mom...AND as the gas prices start to decrease, you ALL can thank my dad for working so hard for making that happen too :)

2. The ability to purchase two dresses for the wedding we are attending next weekend. They are just so beautiful and I know I will feel beautiful in them too. Not to mention that I was able to get a $96 discount for researching coupons on line :) If you want to check out the dresses go to my other blog and take a look!!!

3. My husband's family (aka the In-Loves---otherwise known as In-Laws to most people)!!!

My cousin-in-love, Brenna, is coming over tomorrow night to help me color my hair. We are trying to save some money, so I thought having her do my hair at my house...which will cost roughly $20-$30 versus going to the salon and spending over $100 would make my DH happy :)

My mother-in-love is coming over too. She's just going to hang out with us girls and make us taco salad for dinner. What more could a girl ask for????

Those are the things I'm thankful for this Thursday....what three things are you thankful for?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Greater Things Have Yet to Come...

While visiting my family over Labor Day weekend, as most of you know, we had a GREAT Sunday at Lakewood Church. One of the songs we heard that day was from Chris Tomlin called God of This City. I just couldn't get the lyrics out of my head. After Chris had finished his song, the guest pastor, Marcos Witt, asked Chris to come back up to the podium and help him pray over the congregation. As we finished praying, Marcos asked the congregation to sing the main verse of the song..."Greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city." Then we changed the words to say "Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in MY city." Then, "Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in MY family." Then "in MY spouse." Then "in ME." We just kept going on and on....and it felt so great!!!

Take a minute to check out the video and listen to the song....(don't forget to pause my playplist before starting the You Tube Video)

Greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done
...in Jacksonville.
...in Me.
...in my family.
...in my marriage.
...with my infertility.
...in my life.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Making the Seed Grow...

I had a little bit of a shock this week...I was THREE days late!! I am normally right on the money and when I was late one day, then two days, then three days...I nearly went into SHOCK. Unforunately, I am NOT pregnant, but I did enjoy the excitement and the possibility that my dreams were almost a reality. But of course, when I realized that I wasn't pregnant...I hit rock bottom...but after some prayers and meditation, I'm back to pushing forward waiting on the prize :)

Read this...

"The ones who do the planting or watering aren't important, but God is important because He is the One who makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose."~1 Corinthians 3:7-8

The DH and I are working together as a team to create this new life that we so long to experience. BUT...it is not up to us. It is up to Him. Although we plant the seed and although we water the seed, it is up to Him to make the seed grow.

We are waiting on Him to make our seed grow...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...

Several of my blog friends have special posts of the week...and I couldn't resist starting one of my own. Heather has a "Wordless Wednesday" and my other friend at Naturally Caffeinated has an "Accblogability Friday" , just to name a few.

So I've been inspired to start my own weekly ritual....Thankful Thursday(Times Three)!!!

Every Thursday, I'll post three things that I am thankful for. So here is my FIRST Thankful Thursday (Times Three) !!! Don't you just LOVE the alliteration???

1. A wonderful marriage. ..

My husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary yesterday. My DH always has to "out do" me for special occasions, and I woke up yesterday morning to find this hanging on our wall!!! I seriously sat there for a minute and just laughed....can you imagine all the effort that went into making this for me??? Not only did he create my Anniversary Wall in silence the night before, but he meticulously cut out each letter on a separate piece of paper, and he must have stood on a ladder to have it so straight and neat for my BIG morning anniversary surprise. Priceless!!!

We had a low-key anniversary dinner last night at Outback. It was nice to just relax, share great conversation, and enjoy three years of marriage. The DH just about DIED when I asked our waitress to take our picture...at Outback no less :)

2. The safety and well-being of my family and close friends in Houston after Hurricane Ike...

I couldn't resist swiping this coaster from Outback..."Houston, we have a Prime Rib." Was this a sign or what??? Here we are in Jacksonville, Florida and our coaster was TOTALLY dead-on. Although it is referencing the common phrase, "Houston, we have a problem", it really made me reflect on the tragedies and heartaches of those suffering from Hurricane Ike. Here I am (only three states away) enjoying a nice steak dinner, while others are wondering where their next meal will come from...and to make it even worse, in my OWN home town. Please continue to pray for those that were affected by Ike and ask for their patience, tolerance, and prosperity for the years to come.

3. Fresh flowers...

I absolutely LOVE fresh flowers! I don't need a special occasion to purchase flowers because I just love to see them and smell them ALL the time. These came from our local grocery store, but I have been known to visit the local florists for an assortment of seasonal flowers.

Now that I've finished my FIRST Thankful Thursday (Times Three)...please share with me what YOU are thankful for this Thursday!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Postive vs. Negative...

I have been surrounded by a lot of negativity lately. Which makes it really tough to stay positive.

My negatives...

My husband's grandmother is pretty ill and is having a hard time remembering things that are important for every day living. She doesn't want to get up, put puzzles together (which she normally would LOVE to do), or even help out around the house. It's pretty sad to see someone you love going through something like this.

Although my parents and immediate family weathered through Hurricane Ike, it really upset me to see all the damage that has happened to my hometown. Check out my mom's blog, she has some pretty unrealistic pictures posted. My best friend, Tedra, told me today that people in Baytown are just going crazy...literally! There is a lot of theft, arguing, and just plain hatefulness going on because of the devastation. All of this just breaks my heart!

Our infertility is ALWAYS there and continues to bring me down. Just when we need to be getting ahead, the economy and gas prices are dragging us down.

My Positives...

We have a loving family that is doing anything and everything they can to help Grammy. I have so much respect for my DH...he, without fail, watches Grammy every Tuesday. When she was in the hospital, he made it his top priority to put her first and even stayed a few nights at the hospital.

My family is so so blessed to not have experienced the tragedy of losing their home through Ike. They are still without power, but are enjoying the luxury of having a 38foot motorhome with all the amenities.

The DH's business has picked up. He has been showing boats for the past two days. I just know he will be selling something VERY soon!

Our new insurance kicks in on October 1st. We are hoping that it will cover more of the IVF expenses and completely cover IUI's. I also opened a savings account today for our infertility treatments. It doesn't have a LOT of money in the account, but it's a start. I can't even begin to explain how great I felt after leaving the bank!

My POSITIVES surely outweigh my NEGATIVES!!!

I have been trying my best to literally pick up my Bible, listen to my Lakewood CD in the car, or just meditate, when negativity starts coming my way. It really does help!

My verse to follow this week....

"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."~Psalm 37:5

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Being Anxious, Yet Thankful...

Most of you would NEVER know, unless I told you...but I changed my blog. I had found a template that I LOVED and tried to use it, but it was so NOT user friendly. I decided to switch back over to Blogger, using the same website, so here it is...I hope you like it. My only REGRET is that I had SEVERAL comments that I just LOVED and could not part with---but I saved the older site so I could view the comments over and over again. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to transfer them to this new blog. If you know how to do this, please share your knowledge with me

Anyway...here is my new blog...same story, different look!!!

I am still the same woman that LOVES God, is longing for a baby, and just wants to vent using her blog :) So...please pray for me, give me encouragement, and hear me out!!

I read this verse today...

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Phil. 4:6-7

It really touched me, as I am ALWAYS anxious about EVERYTHING. But...I do pray about the desires of my heart and I have recently made a vow to show and express to Him my thanks for the many blessings HE has given me. Therefore, I await the peace that He has promised to shower over me and I know He will guard my heart and mind.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thank God...

I was reading my friend Krysta's blog today and her post was just inspiring. Afer I finished reading it, I refelcted on these words...

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

Oh so true! Let me tell you why...

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
I have been wanting a dining room table for years now...my dining room is EMPTY, except for the items I have hanging on the walls. When I was in Houston, mom and I visited World Market, and I found a table and chairs that I really like...with a reasonable price. We've been concentrating on saving our money for another IVF, so I find it VERY hard to spend money on something materialistic right now. Well, mom called me tonight and wants to buy it for us for Thanksgiving!!! She is coming to Jax for Thanksgiving this year and said she really wanted us to have a table to eat on this year. PRAISE GOD!

Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
The economy has really taken a turn for the worse this year. The DH's job is really hurting because of gas prices. So what do I do? SEEK GOD!

Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
I have been reading my Bible in the mornings before I go to work. This is the time of day when I have quiet time and can concentrate and reflect on the Word. WORSHIP GOD!

Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
I don't have to tell you about the pain that we have endured this year with two failed IVF's. But I must say that my love for the Lord has grown because of these trials. I feel so calmed, blessed, and hopeful after reading my Bible. TRUST GOD!

Every moment, THANK GOD.
I am so thankful for all the things I have...my DH, my family, my #1VBF, my dog, my friends, my coworkers, my job, my home, my car, my health...I could go on and on.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Don't Worry...

about anything: instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4: 6-7

I am probably the BIGGEST worry-wart that ever walked the face of the earth. So this is a verse that I need OFTEN.

Can you imagine never worrying about anything? It some times seems impossible to me with all of the worries with my job, my home, the economy, our inferitility. But in this verse, Paul's advise is to turn our worries into prayers. When we start to worry...stop and PRAY. God's peace is not in positive thinking or having good feelings...peace is knowing that God is in control.

And He is in control.

Believe It and you WILL achieve it :)