Amanda: In God’s waiting room

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope that you all have enjoyed the stories that have been shared here this week as much as I have. Janine and Kristin, thank you again, so much!

Today’s story is so special to me! Amanda and her husband have been a huge blessing to Paul and I. Their friendship is completely accepting and always uplifting; we learn so much from them. Amanda, I know this wasn’t easy for you to do, but I am so grateful and humbled that you shared. Thank you!


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

I have to remind myself of this verse often because I tend to focus on the things I don’t have instead of the many wonderful blessings the Lord has given me. This is especially true as Mother’s Day approaches. Mother’s Day is a wonderful time that allows us to celebrate and honor the sacrifice and impact our mothers have had on our lives. However, for me it is an emotional day that is bitter sweet because I long to be a mother.

Anyone who knows me would probably describe me as “planful and organized.” I enjoy seeing a goal and developing a plan to get there. I usually have Plan A, B, and C; I guess you could call me a control freak. So of course I had a “plan” for when my husband and I would start our family. My “plan” was for both of us to finish school (my husband was in Law school and I was completing my Master’s) and then we would begin our family. Little did I know, God had HIS PLAN.

In December 2009, after seven years of marriage, we began trying to get pregnant. Month after month we were met with disappointment. After a year and a half, we decided to undergo medical tests to determine the cause of our infertility. After many tests (sometimes I felt like a science experiment) and several cycles of Clomid we still didn’t get pregnant. I remember completing the last cycle of Clomid to no avail and discussing next steps with my doctor. She basically told me there were no physical reasons for our infertility and offered advanced medical procedures to help. We didn’t feel comfortable with that, so we decided to stop all tests/medications. I was so disappointed that the Clomid didn’t work and I felt I had failed as a woman because I couldn’t fulfill my purpose—to be a mom. Deep down I had hoped we’d find some medical reason so we could have a quick “fix” for our infertility and move on with “my plan.”

It has been almost three and a half years since we started trying to have a family and we are still waiting. The question that keeps coming to my mind is, “Will you trust the Lord even if He doesn’t give you the desires of your heart?” I want my answer to be, “YES, I will trust you Lord no matter what!” However, I’m ashamed to say that there are days when I have a “pity party,” feel sorry for myself, and begin to question the Lord–“Why me, Lord?” It’s humbling to see your true character as you endure a trial. Sometimes I deceive myself and think that my motives are pure and righteous. However, that is far from the truth. What I didn’t realize was that my deep down assumption was that the Lord “owed me” and I was entitled to have ALL of my desires met. After all, I had obeyed, followed, and served Him, so why wouldn’t I have a child like everyone else? I just expected Him to make it happen according to my plan.

I am so thankful for the Lord’s patience and renewed mercies each day because I am in need of them every minute! Even in the midst of my “pity parties” and my child-like demands, the Lord continues to love me and reveal Himself to me. Each time I’m at the end of my rope, He encourages and convicts me, whether through His Word, in a song on KLove, or through the words of a close friend. I stand in awe of his detailed care and love for me even when I am so undeserving!! I have discovered that His timing is always perfect.

I’m not going to say that every day is easy (because I still have my pity parties), but through lots of prayer and studying His word I’m beginning to see that He’s using this trial to purify and change me. I now know that “my plan” wouldn’t have allowed me to experience His grace. It’s His grace NOT my strength that allows me to get through each month. As I focus on Him, I can see that my purpose in life is not to be a mother or to have ALL my desires fulfilled. Rather, my purpose is to glorify Him even if I have unfulfilled desires and experience things that are painful. As I take my eyes off of my plans and desires, I can see that He is orchestrating every detail of my life for His purpose. I am beginning to see that sometimes we have to endure trials so that He can put us on display to show Himself to others. He has used this broken vessel to encourage those experiencing infertility and share Christ with women whom I wouldn’t have normally been able to reach. What a blessing!!

As I focus on HIS PLAN, I’m also learning to celebrate and appreciate the gifts and blessings he has given me, like my wonderful husband (who has been my rock), my family, and all my many friends. I have so much to be thankful for!! As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, I am anxiously awaiting HIS PLAN for me and I am confident that it will be perfect–whether he chooses to bless us with a child or not. My prayer is that He will strengthen me so I can continue to give Him control of all my desires and rest in HIS sovereign PLAN. For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)


I want to encourage all the mothers on this Mother’s Day to not take for granted the children God has given you. They are a blessing and a responsibility. May we guide them with a constant awareness that we are stewards and not owners. Also, be aware of those around you. Friendships with people in different stages of life are so healthy, especially within the body of Christ. May our hearts reach out with love and compassion, knowing that we are also in need to receive the same. 

The Date I’ve Been Waiting For!! (A very happy anniversary)

Paul and I got to go away the week before our anniversary on a big date!

By ourselves.


Here are the pictures I took!

First of all (by my request, believe it or not), we went and played golf. (which basically means he plays golf and I follow him around and pretend like I’m keeping score. I don’t play golf.) We used to do this when we were first married, but by the time our second child came, it just didn’t work anymore. I dearly love being outside, and it is so pretty on golf courses!

It was so relaxing and beautiful; I wish I could have taken better pictures so you could see all the trees and flowers.
It was so relaxing and beautiful; I wish I could have taken better pictures so you could see all the trees and flowers.

Next, we drove to our hotel.

Hotel Indigo. Very cool.
Hotel Indigo. Very cool.

Paul had already gone and looked at it that day, just to make sure it was what he wanted. Isn’t that sweet? I had never heard of it before, but it was amazing. The interiors were so beautiful, colorful and thoughtful. I love looking at interiors and design stuff; so this place was a feast for the eyes. Not too stuffy, or ritzy-we’re making you pay a whole lot of money so you can feel cool that you stayed here- just really, really fresh and creative. Again, I wish I could take better pictures so you could see how fun it was.

A lovely modern entryway. The little "window" helped to keep it light and bright.
A lovely modern entryway. The little “window” helped to keep it light and bright.
Super cool accent wall.
Super cool accent wall.
A floor to ceiling white panel made a lovely addition to your normal hotel closet.
A floor to ceiling white panel made a lovely addition to your normal hotel closet.
This chair was covered in a terry-like fabric ~ so comfy!
This chair was covered in a terry-like fabric ~ so comfy!
A fun bedside table
A fun bedside table
Very bright, happy bathroom. I had a lot of fun in there taking my time getting ready. = )
Very bright, happy bathroom. I had a lot of fun in there taking my time getting ready. = )

After cleaning up from golf, we went to dinner: P.F. Chang’s. I had never been before, and it was delicious. I’m determined to recreate their candied ginger for sweet sour and chicken. I’m pretty sure it was the key. = )

Anniversary date 005
We tried to take a picture of ourselves by this horse, but it turned out pretty bad and got deleted immediately.

Dinner was great, but conversation was even better. I love spending time with Paul.

After that it was sleep. sleep. and more sleep.

And then I woke up, and went back to sleep.

And then I woke up again, and just stayed in bed because I could. ***Wonderful***

Finally, we got up; got ready; realized we had missed breakfast by an hour and half, and headed to a fun mall nearby.

First order of business: have soft pretzels and strawberry lemonade for breakfast. = )

FreshBanner_HandcraftedNext up, Anthropologie!

This store is arranged so beautifully, smells so good, and everything you see is creative and interesting.

This picture totally cracked me up; I couldn’t pass it up.

A big man sitting in a small, chic little chair. He tried to look at some stuff, but eventually just sat down to wait for me.
A big man sitting in a small, chic little chair. He tried to look at some stuff, but eventually just sat down to wait for me.

After we left the mall, we made our way to an amazing barbecue restaurant downtown. Mm-mmm.

We had a lovely drive around downtown after lunch, looking at old houses, shops, and parks.

When we got home, we were greeted by four very excited little girls and two tired, but cheery babysitters. (Let me just say, these girls were like the queens of babysitting! They did laundry, took the girls to the park, played the Big Bad Wolf {a current favorite activity of the girls}, cleaned up a middle-of-the-night accident, made omelettes for breakfast, taught the girls how to make paper snowflakes…) I was impressed! They even made us…

Anniversary date 018an anniversary cake! Complete with two mini cakes for the girls. How fun!

Anniversary date 017
The missing icing wasn’t because of the decorators; Sophia had been taste-testing.

All in all, it was a lovely getaway. So thankful for time to just hang out with my Bud.

So for all of you who wished us a Happy Anniversary…

… it was. (and thanks!)

My favorite person ever

I think this is my favorite picture from our wedding.
I think this is my favorite picture from our wedding.

Ready for a riddle?

Who is 6 foot 2, going bald, easy to please, loves people, hates coleslaw, cheers for Duke and the Yankees, incredibly handsome, enviably smart, and gives the absolute best hugs and horseyback rides?

If you guessed my favorite person ever, you’re right!

Six years ago today, I got to marry him. It was pretty cool that he even asked me.

Since then, life has not been a bed of roses, or a bowl of cherries, or a walk in the park, or whatever you might call it. But it’s been amazing.

I have learned an incredible amount from him and been shown more love than I could ever deserve in one hundred lifetimes.

It all started out with us making milkshakes together on Wednesday nights at a camp in Arizona. Now we have four little girls and an amazing assortment of memories.

Paul, aka Bubby, I am so thankful for you. Your love has taught me more than I could tell. Marriage to you has been one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me.

I remain the Founder and President of your official fan club.

All my love,


“If I Be Lifted Up…” an Easter sermon from Dr. Doug Bookman

Have you ever wondered Christ had to die on a cross? Or did he have to die on a cross?

Why the crucifixion?

I know at different points in my life I’ve asked all these questions and more.

The Easter sermon we heard last year, dealing with this exact topic, had an impact on me that lasted all year long.

I am planning on listening to it again in preparation for Easter Sunday, and I would love it if you would, too.

If I Be Lifted Up…

by Dr. Doug Bookman, (one of Paul’s favorite professors!)


I suppose that this is quite an old idea, but I shall return to it anyway. We’ve had a great Thanksgiving, but I haven’t had much time to think specifically about things to be thankful for. So I will write it here and go to bed. (in the order they come) and…a friend suggested to say what you’re thankful for and then add a because. I made my list first and will add the because in italics.

1. The sacrifice of Christ and gift of salvation. because without this I would have no hope

2. A warm blanket to curl up under. because it feels so good

3. Food in the refrigerator. because I know it will last several days

4. Adorable children. because this makes it easier to love them when they are less than good

5. A husband who takes the Bible seriously…no really, seriously. because his example reproves me every day; I want to be like him

6. Health because it sure does make life less complicated

7. Heat because I don’t deserve this and so many people don’t have it

8. Books because I love them, because of the opportunity to learn

9. Blogs because they provide so much relaxation and inspiration

10. Church because as imperfect as we are, we can grow to be more like Christ together

11. Friends because this again, I don’t deserve

12. Hard times because they help me to be thankful for what’s really important 

13. Forgiveness because I need it every second of the day

14. Mercy because I am such a great sinner

15. A laundry room with washer and dryer because I remember what it was like without them

16. A forgiving husband when I neglect to use the washer and dryer because this happens so often

17. Prayer because even though I continually neglect to use this amazing privilege, God doesn’t take it away from me

18. Soft, comfortable clothes because again, it feels so good

19. Most of all, mercy. because God is so good to me and I truly don’t deserve it

Can you feel the stress?

By my clock, there are twenty-six hours and forty-eight minutes until Thanksgiving. I have a little over half of that until my company comes. And today, I felt it.

Yesterday I was motivated. With my to-do list in hand, I ran around the house fixing, cleaning and preparing. But not too much; just enough to accomplish what needed to be done, knowing there was a set plan for the next two days.

Fast forward to this morning. I don’t know if it was me or the girls, but something wasn’t clicking. Gracie had four accidents; Hope and Sophia pulled their dresser over; Mckayla was cranky and my efforts notwithstanding, the word for the day was futility.

I hereby declare that I think stress is inevitable during the holidays! (So stop publishing misleading articles about a stress-less holiday, you lovely magazines that we all adore!)

Let’s see, I’m suffering from menu-picking paralysis, I need to clean the kitchen floor, tidy up the house, fold some laundry and go to the store. All before going to bed tonight. but I want to go to bed now! No matter. Oh and all that I just listed is so that I can be ready to do what I need to do tomorrow. (sarcastic smiley face)

All right, it’s not all that bad. I mean everything I said is true, but the stress levels haven’t reached dangerous heights. Just lettin’ you know, I’m feelin’ it. How about you?

P.S. To all those who are reading my new somewhat rough blog: Thank you so much for reading; I really appreciate the encouragment. Have a lovely Thanksgiving.