Pregnancy #GameChangers… How I prevented stretch marks, saved on Maternity Clothes and eliminated Back and Hip Pain

I am nearing the end of my 5th pregnancy!  2 of my beautiful babies I will meet in heaven someday.  So I have had 3 full term pregnancies.  Crazy…It still boggles my mind the amount of weird, uncomfortable and downright annoying things that can happen in pregnancy.  I have experienced several of them and many I fortunately have not experienced.  I have found through my experiences there are a few products I highly recommend to help ease the annoying and uncomfortable parts of pregnancy!

When Mother’s Day Hurts

I’ll never forget my first Mother’s Day….I walked through my garage into our laundry room and saw a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a mylar balloon that read “Happy Mother’s Day.” I immediately burst into tears, not because of pregnancy hormones. I wasn’t pregnant…I desperately wanted to be pregnant but I wasn’t….I hadn’t just delivered my first born….instead we had buried our second born only a few weeks ago. They were buried in a grave marked inside me. Their obituary was shared with just a few close friends. Only a handful of people even knew her name, or had even thought to ask.

5 Ways to Pray for your Husband.

Photo Credit: Lauren Jones Photography


 When I got engaged, I picked up the book*
The Power of a Praying Wife

 Even as a starry eyed fiancee I had found myself inwardly complaining, “I wish he would be like this.”  or “why doesn’t he do that more?”

  The book was very convicting and challenging for me, because it exposed a lie I was believing:

“ my husband is a Christian therefore I am marrying a perfect person.” 

When the Lord showed me that the source of my frustrations came from my own arrogant idea that my future husband should “have it all together,” my heart was heavy and humbled.

Are you Dating Mr. Right? 2 Questions to ask Yourself before “I Do”

Who Should I Date #3Today we conclude our dating series by talking about the guy you can give the Green Light too!  If you missed the last 2 days we discussed Yellow Light guys and Red Light guys.

If you are already married or engagedplease stay with us!!!   I want your insight at the end of this post! 

5 Keys to Dating Success

5 keys to dating success

Yesterday we discussed how a the analogy of a stoplight can give helpful guidelines for who to date and who not to date.  Read more for insight on how to know if a guy is in the Red Light Zone stoplight

Yellow Light Guys:

A guy in the yellow light zone is a man free from some of the obvious signs of danger.  He is probably articulate, intelligent, handsome and has a job.  He may even be a leader in the community and in your church.

How a Seagull Humbled Me. – Reflections on my First Year of Marriage.

Hello Friends,

The countdown has begun!  In 5 days, my hubby and I will celebrate our 1st Anniversary!  I can’t believe we have almost been married one year.  Does that mean we aren’t Newlyweds any more?  I have always wondered what defines a couple as a “newlywed.” And if we are no longer “newlyweds,” are we “olderweds?”

With our first anniversary approaching, I have been reflecting on all the things the Lord has taught me through the beautiful and mysterious gift of marriage.

Today, my reflection is a story of an unusual way the Lord convicted my heart during a “discussion” (we don’t argue we discuss…ha…ha!)  my husband and I had.

SONY DSCIt was a gorgeous day at the beach.   I was looking forward to some quality time with my husband and turning my pasty complexion into bronzed perfection.

We had been there for maybe 15 minutes when my husband said something that hurt my feelings.  I knew it shouldn’t have, but the longer I thought about his comment the more and more mad I became.

In my mind the beach trip was ruined…and of course the lengthy “discussion” that followed didn’t ease my angry emotions.

We came to a point in the “discussion” where I knew I should let it go, apologize for my horrible attitude and move on.  But I didn’t want to.

“Why should I be the first to apologize?” I rationalized in my head.

“He started it, He shouldn’t have said that”

So I sat on my towel….



I had a pout on my lips and my eyes squinted with self righteous disdain, like a 2 year old who can’t eat their cookie before dinner.

sea gull beachSomewhere in the middle of my internal monologue about how “He should apologize first” I felt a slimy and gritty substance splat on my shoulder.

As I glanced down to see what it was I felt 2 more splats on my upper arm and…yewwwww…my stomach!!!!!  It was white, filthy and stinky sea gull poop…

And it was all over me!!!!!!!!!!

I started laughing…then screaming…then running to the water…

My  husband helped me wash off the poop in the ocean.  I wondered if salt water could kill the bacteria that had been living in that poop.

Our beach day was over…as if the “discussion” hadn’t killed the easy summer living mood, the seagull poop certainly had.

I raced towards our car with one thought in my head..

Get me to our shower and my soap ASAP!

In the 20 minutes drive home…I found myself laughing again as I thought about the events of the day.

–          Husband makes comment.

–          I take huge offense (although I knew his comment was not in any way meant to be offensive or hurtful)

–          I harbor my offense

–          I pout

–          I refuse to apologize

–          I get pooped on…3 times in a row.

“Babe”, I said, my heart humbled and softened after the  previous 45 minutes…

My favorite place to relax!

“I think God is trying to tell me something.” 

“What?” He asked…

“Stop having a POOPY attitude!”

We both laughed as I apologized for having a poopy attitude and ruining our beach trip.

Marriage, is a lot like that fateful beach day.  We can believe the worst about each other or the best.  We can hold on to offense and refuse to apologize or we can repent, forgive and move on.

We can find the fault in our spouse…while not realizing that the fault may be in us.

Until your folly is revealed to you by a pooping sea gull…

p.s.  I was pooped on one other time this summer by a sea gull at the beach…this time it was witnessed by a group of friends.   I am happy to report that I was not having a “poopy” attitude that day….

Any other “newlyweds” or “olderweds” out there?  What has God  taught you during your beginning years of marriage? 


How I found Healing and Hope after a Miscarriage, Moving from Hurt to Hope after a Miscarriage: Part 4

 winter Moving from Hurt to Hope after a Miscarriage: Part 4

Today we continue our series on miscarriage, and how I found hope, healing and even joy after a miscarriage.

If you missed the story of our Sweet Babies you can find it here:  and along with my,

Top 5 Ways you can support someone who has experienced Miscarriage:

Last week I shared that after my second miscarriage I was finding it very difficult to experience any hope or joy…   “After about 2 weeks of walking around in my tornado of bitterness, anger and comparison it struck me how much I did not want to be this person.  I didn’t want to be a woman who snapped and glared at every pregnant momma in sight.  I didn’t want to resent other women who had healthy children, and I didn’t want to be angry at God.  I didn’t want to spend the next twenty years of my life wandering around in self pity, I had to get out….but how???  I felt so trapped.”

One morning I went into our guest bedroom, got on my knees and cried out to God, “God, I need your help, I don’t want to be a bitter woman, I don’t want to be mad at you, I don’t know how to work through the way I feel, but you do, PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!” 

In the midst of my desperate plea for help a quiet stillness came over my heart and all I heard was this phrase in my mind over and over again, “Bless the Lord, O my soul”…”Bless the Lord, O my soul”…the words of David from Psalm 103:2.

My heart stopped at these words, deep inside my spirit fought… “what about me God?  I’ve been through a lot here!  Do I really have to bless you right now?  I don’t feel like it, actually I am pretty mad at you.”

The phrase kept echoing over and over, and I knew, I knew I needed to say the phrase out loud, to agree with His Word, to choose to agree even when I felt like it was the last thing I wanted to do.  I said it slowly and quietly at first, then a little louder, a little more sure, then heaviness broke, a victorious confidence rose in my heart, and I screamed it over and over, “Bless the Lord O my Soul!”  My heart erupted with praise, I began to thank God for who He was, for who I knew Him to be, for who His Word says He is.   He is kind, He is faithful when I am faithless , He is strong, He is powerful, He is just, He is good and He is worthy….He is so worthy, even when life is hard really hard, and I don’t understand…He is always  worthy of praise.

As I praised Him and thanked Him for who He was I received major breakthrough, the hardness that my heart was being drawn towards begin to melt. 

I asked Him my questions.  I asked Him why I had to lose two children in 6 months when I knew so many women who had lost none.  I asked Him why He hadn’t resurrected my child back to life, when I knew that He could.  I asked Him why Liya died when I believed with every fiber of my being that she would live here on this earth.  I asked Him if I would ever hold a child of mine in my arms.  And I asked Him “WHY” about a million more times.

I felt His comfort, His compassion and His heart break right along with mine.  He was listening to every question.  And still I heard no answers.

But I encountered HIM!!!!!!!!  His presence was so much sweeter and greater than all of my questions.  His presence filled the gnawing ache in my heart.  His presence filled the emptiness all my questions had carved into my soul.  He was enough, even though I didn’t receive the answers I thought I needed and even deserved.

Then He spoke to my heart.  He asked me if I would lay it down.  Lay down every question.  He asked me to give up my right to know and understand what I so desperately didn’t, what I so desperately wanted to know and understand.  What I felt I had a right to understand.

I knew this was part of the road to healing for my heart, part of the journey towards hope and so I said yes.  I said yes because I knew that God was for me, and He wanted my heart’s healing.  Only He could show me how to be whole.

 I wanted freedom more than I wanted my questions, I wanted the wholeness He had for me more than to keep my grip and grasp onto my what if’s and why didn’ts.  I have learned if God says to do something, to do it, because He loves me.  He is wise and wants to guide me into all truth.

Whenever the Lord asks me to lay something down, I always picture the cross.  I think about the cross and how when Jesus died He paid the price for all sin, suffering, shame, disease and death.  I think about the empty tomb and how regardless of what sorrow I experience in this world, that because of His victory I have a place in heaven, where there will be complete and utter perfection.

wheat sunI think about the cross and grave because I need to remember, I am not just laying down my questions at the foot of a garbage can or leaving them in an empty room, I am laying them down at a place that is the source of victory and miracles.  I am laying them down and leaving it all with Jesus, the one who loves me most.  That is an awesome and safe place to leave my questions.

I can’t tell you the ten steps to work through a miscarriage.  I have found moving through grief towards a place of wholeness is such a different journey for each person.  But I know how I came to this place.  I found it because I was desperate and hungry for Jesus.  I was desperate for His help and for an encounter with Him.

Where can you go, to find what you need?   Its in Him, Its in Jesus.

Become desperate to encounter Him, Ask Him your questions, and then humble your heart to listen and submit yourself to do what He says.  Read His Word, and cling to it.  His Word and Character are unchanging and a source of life and truth regardless of our circumstances or our feelings.

I pray for you, friend, that whatever heartache you have encountered that you will be able to say “Bless the Lord, O My Soul (Ps. 103:2)” and that you will encounter the One:  Who forgives all you iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:3-5)

We will continue our series on Miscarriage, by looking at a specific question I really wrestled with after losing our second baby.  What do you do, when you do not receive the object/circumstance/breakthrough that you had been believing God for? 

As always, I welcome your response.   How have you worked through grief?  Where are you at in your healing process?

Our Second Baby, Moving from Hurt to Hope after a Miscarriage: Part 3

Moving from Hurt to Hope after a Miscarriage:  Part 3 

baby fingers on crib

She is a girl. I had known she was a girl from almost the moment I found out I was pregnant.   As I prayed about this babe’s life, I felt like the Lord told me it was a she, and that she was a dancer and one who had the anointing to lead others into worship.  I felt Him say that she was witty and her jokes would make you laugh out loud.

The morning after the ER visit, I woke up feeling strange, because sadness enveloped me, strange because my husband had to go into work uncharacteristically early and he was no longer beside me. The steel fist of grief twisted my heart, my baby girl was gone… and she had died inside me.  I don’t know how to describe that feeling, but it is awful, real and powerful.  I hated knowing that death happened inside a place that was made to hold and cultivate life.   It had happened despite the progesterone supplements and the high HCG numbers.  It had happened in spite of deep love for our baby.

I rolled out of bed and felt angry…maybe more angry than I have ever felt in my life.  I don’t get angry a lot, I get sad, frustrated and impatient but true anger is not something I usually experience.  I don’t like the way it makes me feel or act, but there it was…raw anger.  I went to the kitchen and slammed cabinets and yelled at the cats for acting like, well ….cats, meowing,  pooping and being hungry…”how dare they!” I thought.

I walked around the grocery store glaring at stranger’s in the peanut butter aisle because they were holding a baby, and I wasn’t.  It seemed like there were mothers and baby girls down every aisle.  I felt like everyone in the world could snap their fingers and get a beautiful, healthy baby girl anytime they wanted.  I saw mothers yanking sticky fingers and yelling “shut up” at their little ones….its hard not to judge other parents especially when you want to be one.  Then there were the mothers with starry eyed adoration of their babies, who cooed about their undying love to their little ones.  They felt the same love I had for my baby, but they held theirs in their arms and mine was only a memory in my heart.

Four months later it is hard to remember what she felt like, as our souls collided.

"Firework" by Marcus
“Firework” by Marcus

Her life was like a firework exploding into the darkness, lighting the night with its brilliant color only to fade into an all consuming black sky mere moments later.  I remember her light, I remember her brilliance. But what shade of red was that firework and what tones of blue did she use to light the sky?  I remember her light, I remember her color, but her memory is like a picture you took on family vacation, before digital cameras.  Back in the days when you used real film and prints came back blurry, because the tourist taking the picture was jilted by a biker on the sidewalk.  Her life feels a little hazy, I know what was supposed to be there, but it was too quick for me to catch the true intricacy of her beauty.  And I HATE that!!!!!!!

That is the worst part.  Not remembering clearly what you want to so desperately remember.  What I  have of her is the memory of what it felt like when her life began to grow inside of mine.  I remember my heart welling up with such intense love that I would have risked all my dignity and sanity to save her life.  I would have done anything to give her a chance to giggle and dance…because I just knew she was a giggler and a dancer and I loved that about her.  I loved the essence of joy her life held, the way her essence fueled my heart to beat a little faster.

Before the dr. came in to tell us the results of the sonogram, I sat in the frigid room my hand held by my husband’s, providing warmth and stability on a surreal night.  I saw in my mind Jesus standing beside me.  I saw Him cradling my baby in my womb.  I glimpsed what advanced technology could not see yet, my little one surrounded by fluid in my womb.  Jesus held her, and I knew, I knew she was His, she was now with God.

I named her Liya (pronounced Lay –yah).  Liya means “I am the Lord’s”

After my first miscarriage my friend had given me a scripture as a promise, Isaiah 44:1-5.  In the passage it says that your offspring “shall spring up among the grass like willows by following streams.  This one will say ‘I am the Lord’s’.”     I looked up what name meant “I am the Lord’s”– it was Liya.  In Latin, Liya means “ bringer of the gospel.”  I thought that her physical feet would carry the gospel across the globe.  While her physical feet never walked this earth, I believe that part of the redemption of God is that whenever her story is told, salvation will come to the hearts of people.

baby hand in big handHer life proclaims the story of Jesus, how He left heaven and became man while fully God, walked on this earth for 33 years, healing and loving people wherever He went.  He was perfect and died a horrific death on a cross.  He died for every sin that will ever be committed.   He died and paid the price for my sin and yours.   He died to bring victory over illness, and disease and death.  Three days later He rose again, bringing complete victory to the power of death.

When we acknowledge our utter need for a Savior, commit our life to Him and admit the right He has to rule and reign in on our life, we too experience victory over death and sickness.   We do not die when our bodies breathe their last breath, we will live and reign with Him forever in Heaven.

Liya’s life, while only with us on earth for 7 weeks, is a testament to the power of Jesus and His victory over death.  I knew the moment that I heard they could see nothing on the sonogram and my HCG had dropped, that she was alive.  Even when I realized I would never cradle her in my earthly arms, I knew she was in heaven with Jesus.  I would cradle her someday.  I knew that she would never know pain, she would never know the sting of death because she was in a place with a Savior who had conquered death, in heaven where there are no tears.   She would never know a day without the presence of Jesus.

I knew it was true:  that there was no one I wanted Liya to be with more than Jesus.  Yet, there was a place of indescribable pain in my heart that I had to deal with.  There was anger and I didn’t know how to move through.  With my first miscarriage it had been much easier to release Alexander to Jesus.    I thought what I had experienced was common for a lot of women who are pregnant for the first time and so it would never happen again.

After about 2 weeks of walking around in my tornado of bitterness, anger and comparison it struck me how much I did not want to be this person.  I didn’t want to be a woman who snapped and glared at every pregnant momma in sight.  I didn’t want to resent other women who had healthy children, and I didn’t want to be angry at God.  I didn’t want to spend the next twenty years of my life wandering around in self pity, I had to get out….but how???  I felt so trapped.

Next week, I will  be sharing the steps the Lord took me through that brought  freedom from bitterness, hopelessness and despair.  I hope you will join me!