When Your Child Wants a Baby

Emma did the cutest thing today. She has this baby doll that she loves named Bailey. She is originally Emma’s potty doll but she has turned into her best friend. Bailey tends to go every where with us. But today she did something that made me smile and my heart ache.

We were sitting down for lunch and she insisted that Bailey join us. I remember doing that as a child with my little Simba so I told her that’s fine and we began to eat. I noticed that Emma was putting some of her Mac and Cheese off to the side and she was mumbling something to Bailey. I listened closer and she was saying, “There Baywee. It’s nummy. mmmm… dewishous.” (bad grammar to match Emma’s pronunciation.)

That’s what made me smile and a little sad at the same time. She was treating her doll as if she was real. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. I have caught her her rocking Bailey to sleep and taking her potty on the big girl potty. She is such a good little mommy. But I am worried it is because she wants a sibling. She stares at sisters whenever we go to the store and she is drawn to movies and shows that emphasis the sister bond.

What if I can’t give her one? Will she feel left out? Will her life be less fulfilled than that of her friends with siblings? I know the answer to everyone of those questions but the truth it whether or not I will listen to it or the lie. That is the important part.

When your child wants a sibling I know it can be heart breaking when you have tried and God has not blessed. I haven’t had her ask directly yet “Mommy, why don’t I have siblings like my friend ___?” And I am not looking forward to it.

I had a break down a couple weeks ago thinking about this very thing. I texted my sister telling her that I don’t know how I am going to make God look good in all of this to Emma when she can start asking those kinds of questions. My only thought was “Well honey, God only wanted to give you for us to raise. He didn’t see fit to give you a sibling”. Pretty horrible right? But this is what my wiser (younger) sister replied with, “No you tell her that I wasn’t supposed to have kids and God was so gracious and gave us you! Can you believe that? Isn’t He good? Then He told me to be happy where I was and mommy loved being your mommy so much that I was ok with just having you”.

Pretty crazy right? And did I mention my sister is only 22 years old? Where did she get to be so much wiser than me in this growing up adventure? So when your child starts to ask for another baby and it isn’t possible, try to remember that God has already given you a very special gift already. I can’t lose sight of that as I am getting closer to finding out if I will be able to give my daughter and brother or sister or if I will have to have this serious sit down talk with her in the future.

If there is anything you would like to add, feel free to leave it in the comments! Have a blessed day!

How You Know You have a Good Man

Now I know most women would say that they have a pretty good husband, but I know that I don’t. I have an awesome husband. He is the most wonderful man I could have ever been blessed with. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t always see it. Actually I tend to take him for granted a lot. But here are some things that I try to keep in mind to know that I have a great husband and to remind you when you are in the middle of a fight with your man that he is still a good man too.

1. He goes to work every day without compliant

If your man goes to work everyday to bring home a paycheck, then you need to thank him. There are a lot of women out there who their husbands don’t even do this much. My husband has a great job but he has had to work very hard to get it and I am proud of him for that. He gets up, gets ready, and gets out the door to face another day of dead lines and stuff that I don’t have to deal with. He takes the brunt so that I get to be a stay at home mom with our little girl.

Not saying that if you still have to work that he is any less of a man. Some times it is just the fact that it is extremely hard to be a one income family now a days. Most places requires both spouses to work to provide for the family but that is where you can praise your husband even more. He still goes to work and helps pay the bills. He could just be sitting at home doing nothing but he is out working just as hard as you. A working man of any job is an amazing man.

2. If you have kids he spends time with them

After my husband comes home from work, all he wants to do is veg out on his phone. He has worked all day and put up with who knows what, I get it, but he has a daughter now to think about who hasn’t seen her daddy all day. Some times he absolutely shines in this area and plays with her without thinking and other times he slips a little. But those slips don’t out number the shining times. Like this one:

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That is right, my husband is wearing a blue jewel necklace playing Barbies with our daughter. I would say that is a pretty awesome man. Does your husband come home and play with your kids? Does he spend the time to make that relationship connection with them? If he does even in the slightest you have a great man.

3. He does work around the house

We are new home owners and that means that there is always work to do. My husband just planted the last of our tress this weekend and it was a good size job. Even though I would have preferred it done weeks ago, he still got it done. I could have moaned a groaned but it wouldn’t have gotten very far. So I backed off and now all our trees are happy in the ground and I have a happy husband.

Your husband can see what needs to be done. The question is that are you giving him room to put it higher on his to do list? Read any book on men and they will say that their priorities are different from ours. It is just how it goes. The thing is our reaction. If we explain (not nag, yell, or demand) why it is important to us for something to get done, I think you might be surprised at how fast it is actually accomplished.

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This is my husband coming home from work at going right out to do the hole for the last tree. I told him how important it was for me to have those trees in the ground and he agreed to get right on it. Yes, he didn’t even change. Of course he had a little helper who thought that it was rather entertaining seeing the hole being dug.

4.He loves me unconditionally

Do you feel loved? I know sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t by my husband. This whole infertility thing has really taken us through a loop and we are finding out a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a couple. I have learned that I have the biggest mood swings when it comes to having another baby and he has no idea what to do about them. And I have noticed that he is learning that he might not want to go through all the steps to have more children for the sake of our relationship. So where does that put us? We don’t know, but I know that at the end of the day my husband loves me without compare. Even if we just had a big fight and we don’t even want to look at each other, I know he loves me and I love him.

This is where it comes to going back to the beginning. Why did you guys end up together? What attracted you to each other? Have you just simple let that spark that was there all those years ago become dim? Being such a young married couple we are learning that. We are coming up on five years married which might not sound like many years to some people but we were also 20 and 21 when we tied the knot. We are very familiar with things happening that try to snuff out the spark between two people.

One thing is that life wants to kill the romance that had you once falling over heels for each other. My husband and I decided to wait but there was still a spark there. A desire to be together and, as out wedding neared, we were getting more and more excited and that spark began to become a wild fire. Then my husband had a terrible car accident which took years to heal. All that flame of waiting could have snuffed out very easily. Here he and I had waited to be together and now his back was so injured that it took almost a year for us to learn how to enjoy our intimate moments before he was back to “normal”. It would take another year for him to be fully healed. You want to talk about a mood killer? I can give you many examples.

Then our daughter was born two years after we were married. That would be the biggest mood killer of all. We had to sleep in separate rooms like most couples do to get any sleep during that first year of her life while she was up every two hours like a normal infant. But we still managed to keep the spark lit. It was maybe an ember at times but it was still there.

That isn’t the last of the story but I won’t go into it. The point is that we worked to keep our spark lit. There is more ways than one to have romance alive and show your husband that you are still madly in love with him. Are you even doing the basics? Are you taking every advantage to show him that you love him unconditionally? Believe it or not washing the dishes can be a pretty steamy event if you use your imagination.

4. You have to show him you think he is worth it

Finally, the greatest area for things to get better is with you. Where is your heart? You want to point fingers and blame him for all your problems right? That would be easy. Who wants to work on themselves when your partner is the problem? Well I am sorry to tell you but really the number one way to know if you have a good man is you. How do you treat him when he comes home? How do you treat him after a fight?

Your husband will only feel as empowered as you make him. If you don’t go that extra step to show him respect in every area then he will give up and question whether it is really worth it. He loves you but you have to prove you love him too. So if you answered yes to all or only a couple of things then you have a good man. I didn’t say you had a perfect one. We all have issues and so do our husbands. My biggest thing with my husband is his phone. It feels whenever I turn my back he is on it. Honestly I can’t change his time and usage but I can change my reaction and I can change my habits.

I have told him how I feel about his phone but if he sees me on mine all the time too then there is no reason to change. Before anything can change I have to change so that I can bring out the best in my husband.

So do I have a good man? Yes I do. Do you?

When Reviews Help and Hurt

So I have started to feel the effects of how one bad review can make or break something you want to sell. This has happened both on my Book and my Etsy Shop. Since I received an unfitting 1 star review of my book, it seems like it has been almost black listed. It still have 3.5 stars but my once 5 star book that was getting a good amount of hits is now trailing behind terribly. Something similar happened on Etsy too but I am still holding a 4.5 star rating. Is it just the way the site rates products? I don’t know what to do.

I want to be able to get my book into people’s hands but I really feel like they have judged it before they really got to read it. How is a new author supposed to get their name out there when a person writes a review that is completely opposite of all the others? Why does that review hold so much weight against the others? It doesn’t make any sense and it is rather frustrating.

Back when I had a 5 star rating my book would sell rather well for a no body author like me. And if I did a free promo it would do even better. Now it has hardly moved and it has been on a free promo for an entire day. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it? I may not a “professional” author yet but NO book deserves a 1 star review. The time, effort and guts for an author to put out a very personal part of themselves starts the lowest with me as a 3 star. It’s just disrespectful in my opinion to rate someone so low when what you have to say is just out of spite.

So once again, I am asking for help so please comment. I don’t want to close my shop or pull my book when there is something I can do to help it. And if you have bought my book or a product on my shop, I do love to see reviews and comments. I can take constructive criticism but not if it done in a way that is only meant to hurt me and others like me. So don’t be afraid to review but make sure that whoever you review, every word is 100% true. And remember that the person who you are writing about does have feelings. If you wouldn’t say it to their face then maybe it isn’t best to put it in a review.

Any way, hope everyone is having a great day and I will see you next time. Bye!

Listening to Good Music

This is just a fun post. There is nothing about infertility or mold or anything. Just a fun little post about how good it feels to know that you are not alone in the world.

I was on my way to the gym this morning and a car had their radio up rather loudly. Normally that is not something I enjoy since the lyrics are normally crass and something I don’t want to listen to but this time it was different because it was a Christian radio station. I had to smile because it brought up a thought that it was good to know that I was not the only Christian on the road.

I know that sounds silly but let me explain. See I attend a rather large church and everyone there for the most part are nice. Our Pastor is one of those who doesn’t like seat warmers and his heart is to train us to be disciples out in our community. So we tend to not have wishy washy Christians in our church. Any way, even so, I wonder where those people are on the roads and in my daily life. Even though I sit with a lot of people in church, they seem to disappear every where else I go.

You see the fish on the back of car as they cut you off and people speed past you be the first one in line at a red light. I wonder sometimes if people really think about their Christianity when they are away from church. So when I heard the Christian music playing from the car next to me it was good to see I am not the only one on the road who listens to Christian music. Maybe they are ones who are wanting to make the world a better place by living out Christ wherever they go.

If you are a Christian, do you even take a second thought to how Christ fits into your every day life? I know there are days where I just go about my day and Jesus hasn’t come up once in my conversation. how do I treat people on the road? Do they see Christ in me? I would like to think so. It was a nice reminder to keep running the race and being the love of Jesus everywhere 🙂

Have a great day!

Ps. And I am happy to report they were a very nice driver.

When Everything Seems Normal

Just a little update on my infertility situation. I went and had a uterine x-ray done and my husband had a semen analysis. Just like my blood work everything is looking completely normal. According to the radiologist I should “have no problem having a baby”. If only he really knew what the past year has been like. I appreciate the optimism but that’s hard to hear when I have had 3 “incidents” as my OBGYN is calling them in the last year where the embryo didn’t implant into my “perfectly fine uterus”.

I am still going to have a consultation with a specialist to see what he thinks and go from there. The good news is that the D&C that I had during my delivery with Emma had no ill effect on me. So praise God for that because that is what I thought for sure he was going to say was my issue. Yay! A praise!

Still keeping my head up though. I am learning that the “you are fine” diagnosis is ten times more annoying than them finding something wrong. At least if they finally found a problem they can fix it. How am I supposed to fix this issue if technically they can’t find one? I guess then it’s just wait and see but I don’t know if I can do that. I don’t know if I have the strength to wait and see if the next one sticks or the next one after that or the next one after that. I want a straight answer and I pray God gives it to me.

Because I have to try and remember that God is good all the time no matter what my circumstance.

There are Still Good People

I had something really cool happen to me yesterday. I was doing my normal shopping for next week and I was going to have to put something back since I didn’t have enough cash with me. Due to the move and having to still replace a lot of stuff we lost in our house, our credit cards have gotten a little out of hand. Since we are Dave Ramsey people and would like to still have a nice Christmas this year, we are on a strict budget and free spending freeze. Yuck! It was kind of fun when I didn’t have to think about the card balance jacking up with each purchase but, if I had paid attention, we wouldn’t have been on a freeze now. Just a thought.

And it’s not like I am a charity case because I know why we are on a freeze and it’s better we do it now instead of our cards just getting out of control and we have bigger problems later. I own my debt and now we are doing the steps to make it work. It just means that we had to make some cuts and one of those cuts was losing $20 a week in grocery money. So instead of getting $80 a week, I now have to get creative and look up my tightwad ways again to provide for a family of three using still high quality products for $60 a week. I know for some people that is A LOT of money per week for food. But out here in California it is amazing on how not so far that much will get you.

And the puncher this week was that I had to buy our monthly protein mix which took out $40 bucks out of the budget. Ouch! And yes that meant I only had $20 for the rest of the week. Talk about trying to stretch a penny. But as a tightwad you learn a few things and I was able to get everything I needed except for one thing. Not a big deal really. I was just going to have to put the spinach back. The protein mix we get has fruits and veggies in it so I would be fine for one week without it.

That is when I almost broke down in the store because not one but two ladies were fighting over who would buy the spinach. I started crying right there not because of the cost of the spinach or having to put it back but because these ladies, who were complete strangers wanted to bless me by helping me get everything in my cart.

I am just still amazed at God’s grace and mercy over my family. Yes we lost everything and it will take me awhile to get things back to where they were but I know God will provide. He will help us get these cards paid off and us getting back on track. He is our hope and our comfort. I have given our finances to Him and keep an eye out for any chance I can to supplement our income to help us out. My husband is doing the same and God provided our gas for the month on August first. That was real blessing since now that is just one less thing that has to go on an already too much out our spending limits card.

So if you are thinking that there aren’t any good people left, take heart. I know with our current political world in America it feels like there’s nothing but bad news. Our country is divided and it is only getting worse. Of course that is a whole other post in itself. Just remember that we are all human and there are still good ones out there. We just need to show loving kindness to everyone.

Until next time! God bless.

How to Cope With Change (Sort of)

I know that is a funny title but let me explain. I have been going through a lot of change in my life and now we are going through another huge change in our family and that is my husband is looking to go for Master’s Degree and we are going through the steps to find out why we can’t have another baby. It seems like once we get through one curve of craziness we are hit right into another one. So I thought I would share with you the things that help me cope with change. the (sort of) part is because I am far from mastering them.

  1. Prayer

When you are going through a tough period in your life you have to use prayer. These past few months have been something that I would never suggest anyone go through. Losing everything and then being treated the way we have by our offenders has been heart wrenching, but it has made me a better prayer warrior and a little bit more keen on shutting up and listening to God for change.

Prayer is sometimes the only weapon we have against our enemy. Like right now my husband and I are tying to decide whether or not to take legal action. I have been praying about it and the Holy Spirit has laid it upon my heart to not pursue them in court. My first reaction is “What the heck? God, seriously? They can’t be allowed to do this. They have put us in tough spot and now You want me to just let them off the hook?” It doesn’t seem right but the only answer that was given to me:

Romans 12:19   Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Ug! But I wanted to kick some good for nothing landlord butt! I wanted to be like a Ninja Turtle and go in there and show them that this is wrong and they can’t do it again. But I guess that isn’t up to me. Of course then I asked, “But Lord! What if they bring a case again us?” This is what He gave:

Psalm 5:10-12

10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

It’s through prayer and God that we will be protected. Of course it might not be His will that we will not be served with papers but if we are then God will lead us through.

2. Worship

I know that one of the hardest things for me to do when I am in the time of trial is to worship. Worshiping when I am in pain seems like the biggest oxymoron there is. But you know what? It is the best time to worship. Worshipping God in the middle of a trial is the best way to get back at the devil. The devil can’t stay in a place where God is being worshipped. So in that moment where I feel low, I reach for the radio, my phone or just search deep in my heart sing out to God. Most of the time I really don’t believe the words I am saying right in that moment but I know they are true and if I keep saying them then their truth will shine through.

3. Community

Don’t go through anything alone. Heck, God made woman because it wasn’t good for him to be alone and it is the same still for us. Going through a trial alone is like starting a fire in the middle of a rain storm. There isn’t any help and you end up going no where in your journey. You might be looking like things are going in the right direction but if there isn’t someone else there to shield you from the rain then you will never get your fire going.

I have some great people in my life to mentor me and be there for me. They listen, give in instruction, and correct me when I am wrong. Just because I am a grown woman doesn’t mean I don’t need a swift kick in the butt and I know my support circle does it out of love. I would honestly want them to tell me I am being prideful then having to have God step in for me to get the picture.

So I would suggest getting some good solid people around you that will point in the right direction. Yes there is a time to complain and mope but that isn’t how you get a fire going either. Having a fire starting party with two people trying to start a fire in the rain is just as unproductive and you trying to do it by yourself. So find someone or two who will challenge you beyond your circumstance. Find those people who will cover you in the rain and help you with your technique and maybe giving a couple of dry pieces of wood to get your fire going. I am thankful God has given me the women in my life both those who are still on this earth and those who have past to be with Him.

The Sort Of Part:

So I hope those couple of things were helpful to you wherever you are in life. These things aren’t just good in trials but for everyday life. And that is where the sort of part comes in for me. It’s still easy for me for be in close contact with God in the storm but when the sun comes out and things get better I forget these things and start to back off on them so when the next storm comes in am end up in the rain by myself trying to start a fire and I have to start all over again.

My hope as I grow and mature in Christ that I will have these things either with all the time or have them very close by so that I can call on them right away and my wood won’t get all soaked. So I challenge you to go out and do these three things. Feel free to tell me how it goes. I love to read the comments left by readers and if you need someone to talk to feel free to email me at gracelynswritingcorner@gmail.com. God bless!

Look in a Mirror: Parenting 101

My last post was one that was really from my heart and my goal with it was to touch someone who is in the same boat as me. I wanted them to see that they are not alone but that God is still good in the end with everything.  Well this post isn’t like that one. Not that God isn’t good still but rather this post is about my child I have on earth and not the ones I don’t have.

As you know, I have this bombshell of a daughter and she is the world to me. She doesn’t get the title of bombshell for nothing. She is beautiful and smart and will knock the socks off an elephant with her drive and her will. None of which is bad but keeping it focused in the right direction is really hard. I have tried certain things that people have suggested but I was still left with this wonderful child who is screaming (sometimes literally) at me to lead her and raise her in the way that God desires. What I was trying wasn’t working.

The problem with it though is that I have no idea what I am doing half the time. As a young first time mom, I am still trying to figure out all the do’s and don’ts  when it comes to raising a child in this day and age. This thing called discipline in one that has been become so confusing that I have often missed a great training opportunity because society has made doing the “old fashion way” of parenting really hard. And the crazy part is that my two year old figured it out! She knows that she wouldn’t be taken behind the shed or put on a time out in public since I really can’t do any of my tools in public other than just let her sit there in the store and have a tantrum over not getting that piece of candy. (Please understand that I have an awesome daughter and I know that. I am talking about those moments when children have those episodes they do at times. Most of the time I can take her any where and she fine.)

That was until I went seminar from the National Center of Biblical Parenting, and introduced to me the heart way of raising children. My daughter isn’t a bad kid but she is a kid whose heart needs to led in the right way to have her grow into a confident adult. The ultimate goal as a Christian parent is to bring my daughter to the feet of Christ and have her accept Him as her Lord and Savior. So I picked up their book Parenting is Heart Work and have had a hard time putting it down. I haven’t made it very far to know exactly how to help change my daughter’s heart yet but so far the book has been great as explaining what it means to be a heart based parent instead of just a behavior modification based parent.

So I will continue reading and let you know how things go with my daughter, but there was one huge thing that I learned with reading this book. The reason I think the book is written the way it is because us parents need to look in the mirror and get our act together in order to be able to parent our children properly. I am reading going “when do we get about my child?” But really it is touching my heart. My daughter has a thing with anger so I need to ask myself how to I react when she has done something wrong? Is my heart in the right place to be that leader and example she needs? So the title is fitting in two ways. You can’t give what you don’t have.

I can’t wait to keep reading. I think I finally found the answer I have been waiting for in order to turn my daughter off the track I can see her going down. She might be only two but with something like anger only gets bigger as they do. If I can help her now with it and help myself with it just imagine what life will be like when she gets older. Imagine the work God could do through her if something like this doesn’t get a chance to really take root in her as a child. I am so excited to get started.

Do you have a child that you have tried you feel like everything but nothing has worked? Why not give this one a try and let me know how your results are? We can start our own little support group because parenting isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing that we can do but it is the most rewarding thing we could ever do.

So until next time, keep your head up and keep looking up. His grace is sufficient in all things.

Dear God,

Dear God,

I come before You a very sad person today. I know I shouldn’t be with everything You have given me lately but I am for a very specific reason. You see, my husband and I were all ready to get him snipped and I was totally happy only having one child. It has taken me six months to really, really be ok with it since I knew deep down I wanted at least one more child but it seemed like my daughter was going to be enough for us handle. Also the economy has been a little tough for young people so logistically it made sense too.

Only, that isn’t how I feel right now. I feel betrayed, lied to, led on and unloved. Here I thought that I was where you wanted me and now You for some reason You have let me go through the one thing that had me a train wreck six months ago. You made me think I was actually pregnant and this time the baby stuck. 18 days Lord! You let me go 18 days late! Only to lose it. My body was doing everything it needed to from making me miserable all day with pregnancy symptoms but it wasn’t enough.

But this isn’t the first time this has happened. This is the third time in a year You have let this happen! Why?! Why do You keep putting me through this? Have I not been faithful in other areas of life to only be let down again and again when I think You are going to bless? I can’t take it anymore! I want the agony to end. I want to either have a baby or never have these incidents again. I would rather go every month and just have a simple period with no pregnancy symptoms than to keep having this happen.

I know You are good. The Bible says so and that You love me but I don’t feel it right now with tears blurring my vision and my heart feeling like it has been ripped out of my chest, stomped on, and then inserted back in. I don’t want to be afraid but, as a human, I don’t want to keep doing things that keep hurting me. It’s not healthy and it’s not what You had planned.

I know I live in a fallen world and crap happens everyday but I am also told You hear our prayers. You have done so in every other area of my life. You blessed me with a car, a house and things to put in it. My husband and daughter are healthy and we are all finally back together under one roof, but then this had to happen.

I want to have been able to hold my angels, but I can’t because You took them from me. I know You will take good care of them but I am their mommy and I wanted to take care of them. I wanted to change their diapers and do the endless laundry due to spit up 24/7. I wanted to rock them to sleep and play peek-a-boo during the day. I  got to do it once with my daughter but I want to do it again. I want to have that feeling of them inside me moving around and doing their acrobatics that drive me nuts all night long. I wanted to go through the labor to get them here. I wanted to do it all, but wasn’t given the chance. I don’t know why but hopefully You will throw me a bone and give the Doctors an answer.

Because I want to praise You in the storm and the calm seas but I am getting tired, Lord. I am running out of tears and hope. I want to be used by You but I can’t if I am so drained I have nothing left to give. I see mommies with their little babies and my heart skips a beat one second but then plummets the next. I hate feeling this way Lord. Help me make the turn so I can go back to being a good mommy to the baby I have. She needs me and I can’t raise her hiding in my bedroom because I can’t tell another soul why it is we only have one child and see the look of disgust when I tell them anything but “I just can’t get pregnant again”.

So be with me now, Lord. I don’t know where to go or what to do. I am tired of trying and I am tired of hurting. I want to be strong but right now I am so weak. Help me find my way and lead me to where I am supposed to be.

Sincerely,

Your little Child