Saturday, August 22, 2015

Oh the bumps

It's been far too long since I last posted here, but life has been very busy and tiring.  It's been a good summer, one filled with much joy and memories and love.  But we are tired.  Lots of traveling and we are thankful to have a few days at home.  Especially as we prepare for Asher's second birthday. UNbelievable.  Even after 2 years I can't believe Asher is ours.  And now, because of His goodness and compassion, we ask God for another.

"I knew everything falling in place was too easy, this road is always bumpy.  But still hurts when the bumps come."

I said that to a friend yesterday as I re-entered the world of infertility.  Last year Drew and I wanted to do a fertility treatment.  We couldn't as we were not healthy enough.  This year we were determined to try again.  I wasn't sure if this was the month or not so as we were driving up north this weekend we talked about it.  I knew if we were going to do a treatment it would fall around Asher's birthday party weekend and I didn't want to feel stressed etc.  but we would make that decision when I started my period.  While we were camping, it came and then we had a decision to make.  As I was walking back to camp I was praying asking God to show me the path we should take.  I don't want to do anything outside of His will for our lives. Even if it's hard.  So as I was walking and praying I was reminded of a scripture that Drew's cousin Janine wrote on our wipe board last month.  It was Isaiah 30:21.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."  

So I prayed that God would show me the way clearly.  That I would hear his voice and know for sure if this is the month we were to do this treatment.  When I got back to camp, Asher ran up to me.  "mama!", he said.  But then he said this, "Doctor!"  I said, "um..what? Asher Doctor!" and he said, "No! Mama Doctor!"  and then ran off.  UM >>>> OK!  Ask for a clear sign, get a clear sign. 

On our way home I started a book called "The Best Yes".  It's pretty good and as I was reading it she was talking about how we need to stop and really hear what God is saying.  And what scripture did she reference? Isaiah 30:21.  God. Is. Good. 

So Monday I called and made an appointment.  Wednesday came and I went for my appointment.  It was actually fun in a way.  I loved seeing everyone and I really felt hope in the room, along with nervousness.  It's like there are so many spirits in that office.  Hopelessness, sadness, loneliness.  But I was feeling Joy.  I was feeling Peace.  I was feeling Hope.  So my appointment didn't go as I planned.  The tech found 2 cysts.  One was "normal" looking, and the other not so much.  So the assistant told me the doctor would review everything and call me the next day.  When he called, he asked me how I was feeling which is never good.  He told me he's not sure what the cyst is but he wants me to go on birth control to see if that shrinks it.  I have to get an MRI in 2 weeks...etc etc.  The bottom line is, no cycle this month.  

It was ok news but it's so strange how even if you don't get your hopes up, and even though you think you are content with where you are in life or how God is moving etc, your heart is still open.  And when something doesn't go as planned (which it rarely does) it is frustrating and just sad. I told drew I was ok, but I still felt like I was mourning and loss.  A loss of hope deferred.  And so our journey continues.  I don't know what God has for our family, but I know it's good.  Cuz it's always good.  And He is always faithful. 

Friday, December 05, 2014

A thankful heart

Tonight I write, with an extremely full and thankful heart.  Although I was hoping to know this week if a fertility treatment worked or not, God is not only with us, but He is listening.

We learned that we were not healthy enough to do the treatments we wanted to do (long story) this month, so we are taking 3 months to get back on track health wise (find new doctors, herbs, workouts, etc) and then try the treatment in March or April. It was a tough decision, but to use our resources wisely and give ourselves the best chance possible, we are waiting. It's such a strange thing to enter back into the world of waiting.  I kinda thought that world was gone for me.  I kinda thought my heart would be settled and content now that we have Asher and that I would never feel the heartache of infertility again.  When I was slapped in the face with the reality that we are getting back on the infertility train, it was sickening.  Meaning I have a sick feeling in my stomach that makes me want to go to bed and cry because, well, here we are again fighting for our family.  But I'm realizing that is what we do anyway.  It doesn't matter if you are fighting to GET your kids, or if you're fighting for their health, or rights, or education, or protection it seems like you are always fighting.  And that's ok, cuz I would do anything for Asher and I know I would do anything for our promised kids too.  It's the unknown that is hard.  Knowing we can't do what we did before (IVF) and even if we could I don't know if it would work.  I guess if it was free, we might try it again, because why not? But, considering my odds were 3% before, what are the odds that it would work twice?!?!?!  Anyway, my heart is all over when it comes to this, but I know God is faithful.  I know it. And He reminds me in little things like what happened tonight.

My local library puts on a special event (for free) every year called "The Polar Express Experience".  Only 1500 people can attend so I got online early the day of registration and registered all 3 of us. I was SUPER excited when we got tickets! We arrived and waited in a huge line that went around the library.

They had carolers outside and the kids could run around so the time went by pretty fast.  Inside they had several stations.  You could 1. See Santa, 2. Write him a letter, 3. Do fun games for Elf training so you could be an official Elf (and get the ribbon to prove it), 4. Make reindeer food, 5. Do 5 different crafts, 6. listen to more carolers, 7. listen to a hand bell concert, 8. Hear a conductor read Polar Express and receive a bell when you're done, 9. Frost a Christmas cookie.........

10. Ride in a trolly through downtown Rochester that is all lit up with Christmas lights.  If you haven't seen it, it's amazing.  As we were getting in the long line for the Trolly we were informed that after waiting 10-15 min we wouldn't be in the trolly but in a bus. BOOOOOO....I wasn't happy. I wanted the trolly.  waaaaaaaaaaa.... So I said, "God, please let us get the trolly.  Change everything so Asher can have that experience".  (Asher watches Daniel Tiger who always goes places in the trolly and every time I told him we were going in one he would giggle).  We got outside and were in the line for the bus when a lady directed us to another line and said we were the last ones for the TROLLY!!!!!! I'm telling you right now, my God is with us! He is SO good! And he cares about the little things. I'm so thankful. I'm so full.  And I know that if God cares about the Trolly, He cares about our family.  He's moving. He's here. I just have to trust him, and as the Polar Express book says, "just believe".

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We are blessed

We are blessed.  So very very blessed.  This I know and realized tonight as I sat and gave Asher a bath.  He has the cutest little blonde curls.  He was talking and making boat noises while playing with his bath toy.  He then took a cup and poured bubbles and water over his head and giggled.  And I sat in awe that God has brought Him to us.  Can it be done again? Can or Will God bless us twice?

It is by faith.....

I was thinking about how they always say, "lightening doesn't strike twice".  I don't know if that's true or if it's just a stupid saying, but I do know that we are going to align ourselves with the God of creation and ask Him to walk every step with us as we move forward with adding to our family.

So we are doing another treatment.  We went to our fertility doctor this week and I was very nervous. It was strange driving there again as a flood of memories came rushing back as each mile passed.  Except this time I was listening to "it rained and rained for 40 nights and day-sies day-sies...", a children's song from a cd we have and Asher sitting and moving his head to the music.  Drew said he got emotional as we neared the building.  So much blessing since then.  An overwhelming amount.

So we took a deep breath and entered the world of infertility helps again.  The Dr. was, as he was before, kind, gentle, smiley, and hopeful.  I didn't know what to expect really.  I knew he would say we could do a treatment if we wanted, but I thought he would tell us our chances were low to conceive.  But he didn't.  He said "once you have a baby, your body just resets itself.  Its like you're starting from scratch in a way. ".  Even though we are doing a lesser procedure (an IUI), he seemed hopeful that it could work.  I didn't expect that.  I didn't expect to leave hopeful.  However, this is the dangerous part where your heart gets mesmerized by that dangling carrot and you can't help but fall in love with the idea that HOPE will love you back and give birth to your hearts desire! But you can't help but believe it's possible, so I took a deep breath.  We talked about a few details and it looks like as soon as I start my period (which is this week) we will start the process!

PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYER! I am feeling nervous but also excited but also scared but also Peace.  I know that God has a plan.  I know that God's plan WILL come forth.  I really feel like we are to have a bigger family.  I don't know how God plans on doing it, but we felt led to do this procedure before we move forward with other options.  So here we are!  We are praying for perfect timing.  For God's hand.  For peace.  For as many babies as God wants to give us!

I hope to post here often to let everyone who is praying know how we are doing.  This is a journey and if there's one thing I've realized it's that the journey is WAY more fun with other people living the story with us.  So we invite you into our tiny world to walk with us and ask God to work another Smith miracle.  We are SO thankful for Him and for you guys!

Monday, November 10, 2014

I find myself...

It's late and I find myself nervous.  Nervous and excited, but mostly nervous.  You see, we've decided to re-enter the world of infertility.  Drew and I would like to have more children and we've been "trying" naturally for the past few months praying that God would give us a natural miracle, but once again I find myself at the end of hope.  It's CARAZY how I can get up every day and look my little miracle in the eyes and be filled with SO much joy!, ..and then look to God and hardly have a smidge of hope for Him to do it again.  Things don't happen the same way twice.  I am chained to the lie of "I know He can, but I don't know if He will".  My theology gets all up in my face and challenges me to look past it.  To see HIM waiting for me on the other side of my plan.  I need to learn (again) to let go.

I have several friends who couldn't conceive and then BOOM..they get pregnant. I know I can't compare myself to others, but isn't it hard not to?  Isn't it hard for the mother of 4 to not look around and see that Martha down the street seems to have it all together?  She works, has kids, has food ready on the table to eat for her family, AND her toilets are clean.  It's hard not to compare, but I DO know it's the stealer of all Joy.  I hate compare.  

Tomorrow we have a consultation with our fertility doctor.  We haven't seen him since I was 9 weeks pregnant and 'graduated' out of his office (yes they actually played graduation music) to my normal OBGYN.  It will be strange to see him.  We are taking Asher because they've never met him.  Dr. B once told me if we don't bring the baby to see him he will come over and take Asher back.  Of course he was joking.  He has 8 kids, I'm thinking he doesn't really want another. Haha.

I'm nervous about a few things with tomorrow.  I'm nervous that Dr. B is going to tell me I'm too old.  I'm nervous he's going to tell me no other procedure but IVF will work for us (and we can't afford IVF again).  I'm nervous that he WILL let us do another procedure.  I'm nervous that the chances of it working are less than 3%.  (IVF was 3% - God beats those odds.) I'm nervous of it not working. I'm nervous of it working.  Mainly, I'm nervous that I'm not content with what God has given us.  And the mind games that go along with infertility are ENDLESS.  If I don't believe then we wont conceive.  If I do believe we still may not conceive.  If we don't do it then I will feel like adoption is our 'backup plan'.  Adopting is NOT our backup plan.  We have always wanted to adopt and even tried once, but it wasn't the right time.  I guess I'm just struggling with feeling like a bad person because I really just want it to be easy.  I don't want to have to struggle through AGAIN and hope and wish and pray and hope and pray and wonder and keep my emotions at bay and hope God is with us blessing us..etc.   Its all so consuming.  And I'm pretty much wimpy.


I feel guilty not feeling like Asher is enough.  Asher IS enough.  I mean, he is more than I could've ever asked for.  He is the BEST.  I just want another.  For us.  For Asher.  For everyone.   That can't be bad, right?

I thought that once I had a child these infertile demons would leave me.  That I would have rest in knowing that God is enough.  And He IS enough, but He also put a desire in me that lingers.  I just thought I wouldn't be battling anymore.  So I guess this is me asking for prayers for a heart that still longs for what God has for her.  In the morning I will pray that God will once again direct us to the right place to find our next child.  That may or may not be with fertility treatments.   But whatever way it is, here we come.

Monday, March 24, 2014

"there could be worse things...."

Today is Monday.

I feel grumpy.

I was going to write a post about all the things I'm grumpy about, but I instead have decided I should find something to be thankful for.  Because, as you know, there is MUCH to be thankful for.

Asher was jumping in his jumper and screaming for no reason. I at first thought it was funny.  Then I after several minutes decided it wasn't so funny anymore.  I found myself telling him, "It's ok to scream, but if you're not upset and there's nothing really to scream about we should be happy and laugh instead of scream.  Laughing is more fun!" **insert fake laugh here"".

Maybe Asher wanted to get my attention.  Every time he screamed I would look at him and he would smile.  This I didn't like either.  I also told him, "If you want to get my attention cutie pie, say, 'mama', don't scream.". And I said it with a smile. But he smiled at me, jumped and when I looked away he screamed again.

I wonder if I scream at God like that.  Lately I feel He is distant.  Not distant like He's not providing etc.  but distant like I want to feel His Love.  Somedays I want to scream at Him.  "OVER HERE! I'M RIGHT HERE LOOKING AT YOU! DO YOU SEE ME?". A part of me things the winter is too cold for eye gazing.  He's off (like most of my other friends will soon be) basking in the sunny states while we are here, getting the news, that snow is coming tomorrow and by friday we will have freezing rain.  Yes.  It's a real forecast.

But as I was thinking about all of this and the feeling the Monday blues, I turned on my water to rinse off a potato.  That's when it hit me, I have running water.

I'm so thankful, for running water.  I almost burst into tears because I was so thankful for running water.

Earlier I was looking online to see if we could afford renting a house somewhere in our area.  I checked everywhere I could in a 20 mile radius.  The truth is, we could sort of afford maybe one of them.  But it was in horrible shape.  And I didn't feel that at this time we should make that move.  So here we remain for now.

When I want to take a shower, I go into my bathroom and turn on the water.  Hot water comes out and I can take as long as I want.  I could probably stay in there at least 30 minutes if I wanted.  It's all water for me.  Clean water.  I could drink it if needed, but I just let it pour over my body and run down the drain.  Because at any time during my day I can go back in there turn the faucet and get more.  That's A-MAZING.

780 million people in the world lack access to clean water.  I think that is so strange.  Cuz I live in a country where anyone can go into a restroom at a gas station and use the bathroom, turn the faucet, and get a drink of water.  Some cities have public drinking fountains or fountains you can swim or sit in. FOR FREE!

780 million people in the world lack access to clean water. Thats more than 2 1/2 times the United States population.  2 and 1/2 TIMES!  That's stupid. We have enough water that is being wasted every day.  And I have to believe that God makes enough water for the whole world to drink clean water.  So what's the deal?  water.  a basic thing.  Maybe I should do something.  Maybe I should help.  Even a little helps.

Something to be thankful for indeed.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Onetimeblind retreat


We are on our way to spend the weekend away refocusing and writing for the ministry. I'm asking everyone to please keep us in your prayers as we pray for leading and creativity. 

Thank you! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 - what's a goal?

Happy New Year!

Here we are 2014~  what to do...

Now that I'm well into life with a baby, I'm starting to feel like is there more for me to do. As the new year rolled over I began to wonder what God has for me this year.  I contemplate this year, and there are a few things that I REALLY want to do this year, and a few things that I've realized I have to change/get used to as a new mom.  So a list of goals for 2014.

1. God. 
 I've realized to pursue God I have to be intentional.  I very much want to do a bible study, but with my work schedule I'm unsure how this is going to happen.  I'm looking for a night study, or a Friday morning study.  I'm a study girl, and I work well in bible studies.  So hopefully I will find one soon.  
Sit with Him. I need to do this more. Quiet time. Refocus. Read scripture etc.  
Read the Word. I do try to do this every day, but sometimes it doesn't speak to me.  I do it anyway. That's important.

2. Organized. 
I want a place for everything and a system for my life.  I'm recognizing my time will forever be divided now and I have to live on more of a system.  There are only so many hours in the day and Asher and work take up most of them! 

3. Lists.  Short & Sweet. 
Things need to be to the point.  Less words.  And crossing things off makes me feel like I'm accomplishing things.

4. Memories/Journaling.
 I want to do a Project Life system.  Its a simple way of scrapbooking and will work well in my life right now.  Then I can enjoy creating and not always feel like I'm behind.  
I want to blog and write in my journal at least once a month if not every other week. 

5. Write. 
I want to focus on 3 books this year and will create weekly time to do so.
     a. Children's book
     b. onetimeblind book
     c. my memoirs

6. Home/Health/Finances/Cleaning.
Oh the home. I'm trying to purge and live with less. 
I want things to be clean, but I'm not so good at that, so I'm trying to find money in the budget for a cleaning lady. I know that sounds crazy, but with Asher I just need things to be clean. I do ok with the kitchen, but when I see the dust in Asher's bedroom I feel guilty.  And don't get me started on the NASTY bathrooms....but truth be told, I will probably continue to avoid it and clean myself when necessary (= when company comes). 
I'm figuring out our financial goals.  They are challenging as Drew is in grad school and we now have Asher.  We would like to save for a house, but that goal might be put off a few years as we can't really save for a downpayment right now. All in God's time. 
Cooking. So I'm trying to put together meals once a week and not have to think about it the rest of the week.  This works OK if I have nothing else going on in my life.  It's also harder in the winter, but I will continue to strive for good, healthy meals.  I think this is a life goal that will never change. lol. 

7. Drew.
Sigh.  I wish I had 1000 days and nights to spend with Drew in Hawaii.  Or home.  Or anywhere! I really want to have a date night with Drew.  We both need it and it needs to be a priority.  Asher is still breastfeeding and wont yet take a bottle, so that makes it hard.  Also by the time we get home from work we are tired etc. But regardless, this needs to happen at least every other week.

8. Asher's World.
I love this kid. I want him to experience life to the full!  I want him to have a happy mom and dad.  I want him to get good food and good sleep.  I want him to learn about God and the life and people around him.  I want him to do cool crafts. ;)  I want him to have a schedule but also experience new things often.  This is my hope for Asher this year!

9. Say No. Stay Home. 
Over the past few weeks I've gotten so much done around the home.  I know the reason is because I didn't go anywhere.  I stayed home and organized and just got stuff done.  We also saved money because every time we leave the house we tend to buy something.  So going to try to continue to say, "No" more and say "Yes" to sanity.  And stay home.  :)

Hoping these goals for 2014 go smoothly with adjustments along the way.  What are YOUR goals?