GIVE YOUR DREAMS TO GOD

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Here comes the dreamer!

-Genesis 37:19

Ah, the story of Joseph. In reading it this morning, I am struck by the reality that I am Joseph<s evil brothers in my own life. I laugh and brush off my dreams.

Has God placed something upon your heart, but you are too scared to dream about it, and hope in it? I want to be a woman of faith. I don’t want to hide my dream from my Father.

Let us be like Joseph, and turn to our Father, sharing our dream with Him. If our dream is of His will, He will have it grow and bear fruit. It may not happen according to our desired timeline, but God is faithful. The question is “Will we be faithful, and bring our dream to Him in the quiet of prayer, day after day, year after year, with a humble and obedient heart, open to having Him possibly replace our dram for a greater one: His?”.

LETTING GO OF FEAR AS A WRITER

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When I first started blogging I had yet to discover that I would feel a need to share a lot of words online. The blog started as a place for me to curate my inspiration; pictures I thought were beautiful.

My blog has taken a very different direction in the last couple of years, and I’m ok with that.

I’ve discovered that my words can be a means to hand my story, hand my life to Christ, and that my words can weigh into someone’s day, sinking them into the reality of God’s love.

Don’t be afraid to use your words. Don’t be afraid to witness the miracles He is performing in your life (no matter how small they may seem). It’s called Good News for a reason.

This post is a bit of an hommage to the origins of my blogging days. I’m sharing a sweet little coffee shop, where the owner isn’t afraid to speak of grace, beauty, and goodness. She also sells flowers. It’s somewhere I find  beauty.

I’ve found myself fearful of writing in this space unless I had something I deemed deep and profound to share. Vanity, thy name is Pomeline. I don’t want to live a life of fear. I want to trust that this crazy platform God has placed into my hands can run wild, and free, in His image. Even if that simply looks like a coffee shop and a cup of tea. God, as extraordinary as He is, is found in the ordinary. He’s in your cup of tea.

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THE STORY OF OUR ENGAGEMENT

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One of the things I love most about Josiah is his sense of adventure. I quickly realized he was up for spontaneous fun on our first date. He took me to a local Oktoberfest beer garden, and on the bus ride back I spotted a cute year round Christmas Shop. Josiah suggested we jump off the bus and take a look inside the store. He then showed me one of his favourite book stores nearby. I had so much fun, and going off script for this type A gal was a welcomed breath of fresh air.

Josiah’s sense of adventure has given me the courage to venture off the beaten path. Josiah left for Vancouver in the Fall of 2015 to work on his boss’s federal election campaign. We had been dating for less than a year, but I quickly found myself buying a plane ticket to come visit him. Those months apart were some of the most difficult in our relationship. Josiah was incredibly busy with work, making our frequent dates in Ottawa a thing of the past. Long distance communication had its hardships. It’s during this visit in Vancouver that I became convinced that I could spend the rest of my life with Josiah as his wife. No matter how impatient or tired I grew, Josiah was a wellspring of patience and love. He makes me grow where I am weak, and persevere in the fight to be the best version of myself.

Josiah eventually returned from Vancouver. It was a difficult season for both of us after the federal elections. Josiah’s boss had not been reelected, and he was on the hunt for a job. We openly talked about building a future together, and how we both felt called to marriage, but I assumed it wouldn’t be happening anytime soon, given current circumstances. Thankfully, Josiah has more of a sense of adventure than me. On February 6, 2016, Josiah took me to St Raphael’s Ruins and asked me to be his wife. These ruins are meaningful to both of us. If you are familiar with the story of Tobias, you would know that it is the angel Raphael who led him to his wife Sarah. I had often prayed to St Raphael to intercede with God to send me a spouse who would be a strong and faithful man. My prayers were answered a thousand fold.

Josiah felt the ruins were significant given our personal faith lives, which have both been built back up by God’s grace. After saying yes to him, Josiah shared these verses with me:

11 The LORD will always guide you, will satisfy your needs in the scorched land; he will give strength to your bones and you be will be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never run dry. 12 Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt; you will build on age – old foundations. You will be called ‘Breach-mender’, ‘Restorer of streets to be lived in’. Isaiah 58:11-12

Our engagement and time of courtship have served as the foundation of what will be, I am certain, a strong and blessed marriage. I couldn’t be happier to be preparing to become Josiah’s wife. Please pray for us as there are only sixty days left to our engagement. It’s very tempting to turn my type A organizational freak ways into full fledged bridezilla. I’ve been graceful throughout this season and stayed calm, and not too crazy I’ve gotten lost pinning on my TEN different wedding Pinterest boards (I wasn’t kidding about the type A organizational freak thing). Here are some words from Papa Francis which have been a good reminder throughout the engagement period, which I’ll leave here for any other bride to be, and really anyone else, who may be getting consumed in empty appearances: “Here let me say a word to fiancés. Have the courage to be different. Don’t let yourselves get swallowed up by a society of consumption and empty appearances. What is  important is the love you share, strengthened and sanctified by grace. You are capable of opting for a more modest and simple celebration in which love takes precedence over everything else.”

 

P.S. I just want to say a big old thank you to every one who read my last post on infertility. Some of you may have noticed I hadn’t posted in over two months. My health became a priority, and I had to put the blog aside for a little bit for my own sanity, but I’m hoping to be posting more regularly (every Tuesday is the goal). So many of you sent me private messages sharing your pain, sharing in my pain, and over all just being amazing human beings. Thank you. I love you.

INFERTILITY: A LONELY AND HEAVY CROSS

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Some stories are harder to put down in words. This is one of them.

There’s no pretty way of saying it. It’s dreadfully personal, but God’s been pulling at the strings of my heart to share this story. I want to raise awareness, and shed light on infertility. It’s still a taboo topic, and can feel like a very lonely cross to bear, and yet it’s estimated that one in ten women deal with infertility. In the midst of NFP awareness week, it feels fitting to finally sit down and share my journey through the murky waters of charting biomarkers, and the light it has shed on my health issues.

I’ve always had irregular cycles. Being very athletic in my teenage years, doctors brushed my concerns aside, or simply offered the pill as a band aid to deal with symptoms to what was a very real problem. It’s taken thirteen years for a doctor to listen. I am still dealing with the anger of years of no diagnosis, incredible amounts of pain, and being brushed off by practitioners. Asking grace to forgive and move on has not been an easy feat, and I’m still struggling to do so.

This past year I got engaged to a wonderful man, and in preparing for marriage, we decided we would use a fertility awareness method (also known as FAM or NFP; Natural Family Planning) to track our windows of fertility and infertility. This isn’t your grandparent’s rhythm method. There are many NFP methods, but we practice the Creighton Model Fertility Care.

The effectiveness of the Creighton Model System has been extensively studied and a meta-analysis of the system incorporating the data from five separate studies into a composite which includes 1,876 couples over 17,130 couple months of use has been published. These studies all utilizing life-table analysis and an objective assessment of pregnancies, reported the range of the method-effectiveness to avoid pregnancy at the 12th ordinal month to be 98.7 to 99.8 (with the five-study composite 99.5). The use-effectiveness to avoid pregnancy for the same time period ranged from 94.6 to 97.9 and was shown to continually improve over the 14 years of the studies (the five-study composite was 96.8) (Table 15-28) [i]

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I’ve included this information because the most common remark I receive when I speak of using NFP is “I guess you’re planning on having a large family then”. That’s a faulty assumption. NFP gets a bad rep because of user error, and pharmaceutical propaganda. You see, NFP costs next to nothing. It also is safe. There are no medical side effects to practicing NFP, unlike many contraceptives out there. NFP can also serve to diagnose and detect fertility problems. It did for me.

While I am still working with a wonderful doctor, running blood tests in different phases of my cycle, and just recently undergoing an ultrasound to try and find the cause of my symptoms, I do know that I have anovulatory cycles. I’m still undergoing tests to determine the cause of these cycles, and the cure may be simple, or there may be none, but I know I have cried more times than I care to count over this cross.

I have felt like less of a woman. I have felt broken. My body isn’t working the way it is meant to, and it’s terribly humbling. I want to be a mother one day, and always thought achieving pregnancy would be easy. I was scared to death by teachers and doctors, being told how it’s so EASY to get pregnant and you have to be careful (because in our society pregnancy is viewed as a disease). Never once did someone tell me getting pregnant could be hard. Never once did someone prepare me for the terrible ache and longing for a child.

I have been faced with a two way path: despair or trust God. I choose to trust Him.

I have seen His goodness in this cross. I have felt the grace carrying me through surrendering my desire for a family, and knowing it may not be as easy to achieve, or look the way I have dreamed. I feel peace, and I know it’s of the Comforter. I have had so many wonderful women open up to me, bearing their hearts and sharing in this cross. It’s been quiet conversations over coffee or inside the walls of our homes, but I want these conversations to be heard. I want to be part of a community where we uphold and love women; a community that doesn’t abandon them in their hurt. Suffering is not without meaning. Its end goal is communion. I have a foretaste of the heavenly banquet when I choose to suffer with joy. May we always remember that we are not alone in our crosses. No matter how heavy they may be, God is always knocking at the door of our hearts, seeking to be in communion with us.

[i] Effectiveness of the System; [http://www.creightonmodel.com/effectiveness.htm]

LET THEM EAT CAKE (and how turning 25 makes me feel entitled to monologue on God and beauty)

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I’m a sucker for Marie-Antoinette. I still remember walking the grounds of Versailles and exploring where this young Austrian woman came to be Queen of France. My fascination is rooted in a heart moved by beauty. Sure, the opulence was extreme, and led to her demise. No question there. Yet, there is still something to be said for a heart that is seeking beauty.

So often I am satisfied with what is average. Our hearts are restless until we rest in true and perfect beauty. We’re broken and we seek joy in beauty in all the wrong places, but when you find it in the One who makes all things new, all things beautiful… your life will never be the same.

So much of my life I have saught beauty in things of the world that did not satisfy. I find myself now, on my birthday, reflecting how blessed I am to know the source of life; the bread that satisfies; the well that never runs dry: Corpus Christi. I also question why armed with this knowledge, I still stumble and turn to worldly things in hopes of happiness, but I have hope, because the more I seek Him, the less I stumble. I’m far from perfect, but His grace abounds. He more than makes up for what I lack. The more I seek to find the beauty my heart longs for in Him, the more I am aware of His constant presence.

It is well with my soul. I’m blessed I got to celebrate my birthdat this year on the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Happy feast day, and may your hearts be filled with His beauty, goodness, and truth!

Well enough musings, time to go and eat some birthday cake! xoxo