Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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From Fall to 2015: So Many Blessings. So Much Joy.

I’m sitting at the table in our new kitchen, surrounded by boxes that need to be unpacked and papers to organize. It’s been a busy–often overwhelming–fall and winter, and as we get ready to start a new year, I’m feeling a little bit out of my league and simultaneously overjoyed.

God has been so good to us this year. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our little one at the end of January (though not early, I hope, because there is still so much to do to prepare). I finished my first semester of seminary (which, I’m sorry to say, is what has kept me away from blogging these past months). We enjoyed season tickets to watch an awesome TCU season, with the great finale versus Ole Miss that ended just moments ago. (We had hoped to be in the playoffs, of course. But I’m glad we went out with a bang anyway). And we moved. We still have our other house and are hoping and praying it will sell quickly, but we are getting settled into our new house and already very much enjoying DH’s new commute; he’s spending about one-third as much time on the road to and from work now.

My pregnancy has been textbook, and I’m so grateful for that. I have no complaints about it–only joy. And I am hoping and wishing the same joy for all of you still waiting.

I took a break from blogging during the semester because I quickly came to the realization that I was taking too many classes (though not quickly enough to be able to drop any!). My dear husband has spent the past few months doing almost all the house maintenance, cooking, and generally supporting me and my many hours of study each week. I don’t know that I would have survived the semester without his help. I know I wouldn’t have eaten enough. Lesson learned, though: I won’t be taking so many hours again.

Despite the worklload, I enjoyed my first semester of seminary. I learned so much and have made some new friends. I love Greek. Which is good, because that’s why I chose the program I’m in. I’m grateful that God has led me to this school and program and I’m excited to see how he will use that in my life! I’m sure I’ll have more to write about seminary, and especially about some of the things I’ve learned in class, in the next few weeks.

I’ll post about our new house separately, too. It’s a tiny little 1950 house; a big difference from our brand new house in Katy, but so worth it for the improvement in our lifestyle!

And today is our seventh wedding anniversary. It’s the last one we’ll spend as a family of two. I’ve wanted that and hoped for that for the past few years, but looking back and knowng that this year really is the last one–I’m grateful. Grateful for the time DH and I have had together even while we were waiting. We’ve grown so much together, and grown closer to God together, and I am so grateful for this man who agreed to marry me and still loves me after these seven years. I am excited to have a partner to share my life with and hope we will happily grow old together! And I’m excited to see him as a daddy. I know he’ll shine in that new position!

It’s also DH’s parents’ anniversary, and tonight we’re going to have a meal together with them. It should be nice to share that time together.

I don’t know if I’ll make it to the ball drop. I’ve been getting tired early lately. There’s some chance I’ll get to the live NYC ball drop–since that’s at 11 my time.

As we get ready to begin our new year, I want to wish you all a very blessed 2015, a year for answered prayers and great joys. I have missed blogging. But I hope to be back and more consistent.

They had these signs on the door at Starbucks last spring. I took this picture a few days before we found out we were expecting. I have a thing for hot air balloons, and I liked the message; I think I saw in it some hope that there would be something new and unexpected and wonderful to say “yes” to. And there was. I hope the same is true for you and for us in 2015.

Say Yes to What's Next

Sending love and joy to all. Happy New Year.

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Hope in 2014

Sixty-five years ago today, DH’s grandparents said “I do.” We celebrated Grandpa’s 90th birthday just after Thanksgiving. He and Grandma have been through a lot. They’ve traveled the world, they’ve buried a daughter. Grandma walks some four miles a day and Grandpa had no qualms about standing with one foot on a ladder and one on a bookshelf as he held nail-gun aloft to help install shelving in our study in November. But we are so grateful for the example they have given us about marriage. I don’t know that they are always happy, but they have built a marriage that lasts and I hope we can follow their example.

Thirty-one years ago today, DH’s parents said “I do.” It was kind of an accident that DH’s mom and dad wed on the same day as Grandpa and Grandma. They wanted to get married over the Christmas holidays, and DH’s dad, who really pays no attention to tradition, had apparently never realized December 31 was his parents’ anniversary. When my mother-in-law picked the date, Grandma made no complaint. I’m not really sure when my MIL found out she was going to share an anniversary with her in-laws, but I think it was too late to change the day when she did. I’m so glad to have my in-laws in my life. They have been supportive and kind, and I know I won the in-law lottery. And I’m grateful for their example of what a marriage should be. They honor and love and support one another and treat each other with respect. I hope we will be like that when we’ve been through 31 years together!

Grandpa was named after his father; DH’s dad is the third, and DH is the fourth. While my father-in-law isn’t big on tradition, my husband really is. And so I knew the date we’d get married before DH had even proposed. Six years ago today, we said “I do.” And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

My husband is my best friend. He has proven that he will do everything in his power for me. He has not left me to deal with infertility on my own, but has stood beside me, sometimes even googling right along with me. He’s supported my writing and celebrated with me when I’ve hit blogging milestones. He even gave me a day at the spa when I published my 100th post a few weeks ago. He’s cried with me at our loss and looked forward with me in the hope that we will someday–we hope soon–have children in our home. He goes with me in our nursery each night to pray and lift our requests and our hurt and our cries for understanding to God. He has strengthened me in my faith walk and he helps me be my best self. I don’t know where I would be without him.

And I look at him and hope, oh how I hope, that God will bless us with a child. With a child to carry on the heritage that we have received from his grandparents and from his parents. Maybe even with a son to carry on his name. What a gift that would be for this man who loves tradition. It’s not a gift I can give him, but I keep praying.

I had hoped last year that it would be our last anniversary as two. It wasn’t. But you know what? It’s okay that it wasn’t. God will bless us in his time. We do head into this new year with hope that maybe this will be our last anniversary as a family of two. But maybe it won’t be. But if I’m going to be in a family of two, I am so very glad to be in this one. Thanks be to God.

The traditional gift for the sixth anniversary is iron. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” I have no doubt that DH has sharpened me in the years we’ve been together. And I believe he will continue to strengthen me and make me a better person for the years we have to come. May there be many.

God bless you all as we wave goodbye to 2013. Here’s to a 2014 of blessings and joy for all.


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2013: The Year of Fruitfulness

I didn’t send a Christmas letter this year. How could I when the main theme of 2012 has been that we can’t get pregnant? The year 2012 is best summarized by what we said about TCU football all season: better luck next year.

We enter 2013 full of hope. Hope that this year we will get pregnant. Hope that we’ll move forward with treatments and that they will work for us on the first try. We can still hope for these things because they haven’t let us down yet. I hope they don’t.

But we also enter 2013 differently than we entered 2012. We’ve changed, and our expectations of life have changed. In the beginning of 2012, DH had just started a new job (which, thankfully, he still loves), we’d been TTC for four months and had no reason to think anything was wrong, and we were going house hunting.

In February we got a puppy (Melville) in the hope that he and our other dog (Cutter) would become good friends so Cutter wouldn’t feel too left out when we had a baby. He’s a doll, and I’m glad we have him. But he still represents a decision we made based on the expectations we had for our family.

In June we moved into a house that we got to build. It’s semi-custom, so we picked a floorplan and then chose things like the tile and granite and cabinets. It’s lovely. It’s also in a suburb of Houston known for family-friendliness and excellent schools. We built our house right behind the elementary school so our kids would be able to walk to school.

And in July, in the midst of the unpacking and getting settled, we found out our diagnosis. I figured all was fine and suspected the reason we’d been unsuccessful was because we’d moved three times in less than a year and we had a lot of stress associated with that. When we found out how dire our fertility outlook really was, I couldn’t believe it.

So we spent the rest of 2012 adjusting to our new reality, or trying to anyway. And wondering why we put ourselves in the suburbs with two dogs and excellent schools just in time to find out we won’t be having children naturally, and likely not the 4 to 6 kids we’d always planned to have.

This past year has been a difficult one and a lonely one. We have struggled to make friends as a couple married 5 years (which is apparently a long time in Texas to not have children) because we fall between social circles: we’re not new marrieds anymore and we don’t have a family. I think this would have been hard but not so lonely in DC, where our friendships were already established. It may also have been easier if we lived in downtown Houston instead of living in a far suburb.

Lately we’ve been asking God a lot about why we are here. We believed we were stepping out in faith for our family when we moved to a good school district early so we would be able to join a church for the long run. We thought we were stepping out in faith for our family when I left my office job to start my own business so that I could stay home and work if I wanted. We have made so many decisions–big and small–based on the expectation that we would center our lives around raising children. And now we don’t really know where we are.

I hope 2013 will bring clarity about God’s purpose for us. I hope it will bring us children, or at least closer to having children. And I hope we can serve God even in the midst of our heartbreak, our fears, and our pain.

One of the bloggers I follow wrote that she likes to christen each new year with one word. I really liked that idea. And I’ve been praying that God would make 2013 a year of fruitfulness for us. I hope we will have a fruitful year in the “be fruitful and multiply” way, but also in serving the Lord, in bearing fruit where we are planted, and in doing God’s will throughout the year.

Happy New Year. I wish you all prosperity, a renewing of your hope, and fruitfulness in 2013 wherever you are planted.  I wish for you that your trials will lead to perseverance. Blessings and peace to you.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27


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Happy Anniversary, Happy New Year

My husband is amazing. He is a strong man and a man of God. And he loves me. How he loves me!

I cannot say enough about the wonderful man I married. This man would do anything for me.

We met in college and dated three years (almost) before we were married five years ago today. On New Year’s Eve 2007, we started our new year and our new life together as newlyweds.

Although we’ve both said 2012 has been the worst and hardest year of our lives, I am so grateful it has not hurt our relationship. Dealing with infertility and the fear and the hopeless days and the heartbreak has not torn us apart. It may have strengthened us. It may be growing us as a couple.

DH is my best friend. My confidante. Truly the man of my dreams. Happy anniversary dear! I wouldn’t be who I am without you.

Five years.

It’s gone by quickly in many ways. But the number is hard to swallow in light of our infertility. This is not where we thought we would be five years in. I look back and see how so many of our plans and expectations have been turned upside down or inside out. And infertility has been the greatest blow of all.

But we keep going. And we’ll get through this. And who knows, maybe this will be our last anniversary to spend alone. Maybe this time next year we will be sleep deprived and wishing for a night out, just the two of us. And we’ll look back on our infertility and say thanks to God that there is a wailing baby keeping us up at night.

So we’ll live it up tonight, in the hopes that this is our last anniversary without children. Maybe we’ve lived our last year as a family of two. We look forward to 2013 and all its promise and all its hope and we’ll enjoy this night. Because we can. Because we have each other.