Covered By His Wings: A Shepherdess’ Hope

Covered By His Wings: A Shepherdess’ Hope

God uses the most amazing avenues to teach us. Being a farm girl and writer, it’s no surprise that He chooses farm analogies to reach my soul. I’m always noticing the correlation between God’s loving care for us and the principles used in animal husbandry.

For example, I don’t only see a group of chicks running for cover under their mother’s wings. I see Psalm 91:4 at work – God’s people resting and finding safety under His wings.

As a shepherdess, I often see these same striking similarities in the care & keeping of my flock of sheep.

Our circumstances have been different these last 3 or 4 years. When we started our flock they were at our personal residence and we had very high success rates with lambing. If I remember correctly, we didn’t lose a single lamb when they were at our house.

Since then, we moved and we haven’t had them with us for about three and a half years now.

Our flock has struggled since the move. Be it coyotes, parasites, trouble lambing, or pregnancy toxemia (an energy crisis) we’ve lost dozens of sheep and lambs. Read more

He Speaks: One Month Miscarriage Anniversary

He Speaks: One Month Miscarriage Anniversary

I just had to share with you something that happened this morning and truly blessed my socks off.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve found myself more anxious and physically tired than usual. I ran through the possible reasons why – too much coffee, an increased work load, unending demands of my time because of said workload. But despite all of that, it really didn’t make sense. I felt off and couldn’t put my finger on it.

The reason dawned on me this morning. My heart has been anticipating today, September 22, 2016. Read more

Serving Even Our Enemies

Serving Even Our Enemies

Summer is coming to a close. The air is cooler today. I’m sitting outside in my favorite antique metal patio chair. Which by the way, Joanna Gaines has the same exact one… and yes, it’s painted in the same color. I didn’t copycat her on this one; we truly were just kindred spirits in our selections.

Just sayn’!

As I’m typing this little devotional, I’m in the middle of my yard watching my chickens eat the seeds off of the field grasses. I’m wondering where Lambie is? I let her in our yard but she’s disappeared. Who knows. Likely, she’s helping herself to my potted plants… wonderful. Annabelle is taking an afternoon siesta, along with my farmer husband Brooks, and my golden retriever, Jack, is copiloting my writing task.

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Our Miscarriage Story: When Grief Takes the Helm

Our Miscarriage Story: When Grief Takes the Helm

At 13.5 weeks, our miscarriage is done. It’s ironic that this would have been the weekend Brooks and I would share our good news with the world – we are pregnant with twins. But instead, it’s the weekend we got to lose our babies.

Monday, at 3:30 in the afternoon, we started to bleed heavily and that bleeding didn’t slow until the delivery of “Twin B” at around 10:30pm. While the process went smoothly and everything happened as it should have, we were not expecting this amount of blood to come. It scared us a bit and we went to the ER just in case. My levels were checked and I was given IV fluids. Everything seemed fine.. physically at least.

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Fertile Soil: Will We Grow & How?

Fertile Soil: Will We Grow & How?
“A farmer went out to sow his seed…Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain…Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Mark 4
The parable of the four soils is one of my all time favorite parts of the gospels. Not because it is so encouraging… It’s not one of those parts that tells me “that a girl!” or confirms that I’m doing it all right. It actually convicts me each time I read over it! But, I know it’s all for good. Read the whole story here
 
As Brooks and I continue to pray through our 5 year plans and what we feel God is leading us to next, we can’t help but have this worldliness and fears crop up.

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Prayers for Katie & An Update on Where We’ve Been

Prayers for Katie & An Update on Where We’ve Been

Well, hello! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve written a blog post. In reality, it’s only been a month. But, it certainly feels like an eternity.

Where have I been?!? What have we been up to here in DavisLand? June has been a ka-razy month! The start of our summer has been full. After our egg retrieval in late May, we took a break from the blogging and social media world. Believe it or not, as much as I love being able to help others in their journey, blogging, and sharing life with you, this girl and her handsomeness of a husband needed a break! Read more

Happy Mother’s Day! ❤️

Happy Mother’s Day! ❤️

Mother’s Day. It’s an Infertile Myrtle’s most dreaded day of the year. It’s that reminder that you lack the very thing that consumes your every thought, inkling of energy, and penny of money. It’s an emotional day for those of us still longing for a house full of laughter and pitter-patters of feet.

If you’re a church goer as I am, it tends to be just a flop of a day because of the traditions many churches hold to celebrate motherhood. Often pastors will share a mother focused message and there are usually many baby dedications on this particular Sunday.

I learned a long time ago that my church celebrates our mothers in an extra special way. During the service all of our mothers are asked to stand. Upon doing so, every little one in our church pews runs to the front, grabs a fresh carnation, and starts disbursing them. It’s a lovely way to remember mothers in our church, many of whom serve in so many capacities outside of motherhood! It is also the most darling site to watch all of the children running about the sanctuary with flowers in their hands. The innocence is too much! Just precious.

But, what often goes overlooked are those of us women who, by no desire of our own, remain sitting during this time of recognition. You may think this a sad time for us. But I’m going to let you in on a secret. Yes, the whole day for us is depressing. But, moments like the one described above are more than that. It’s down right embarrassing and isolating to remain sitting in that pew. I look around and see virtually every woman in the entire church standing, except for me and just a couple of others. It’s like we’ve been singled out when we want more than anything to be like the others.

In years past, I’ve held back tears while I sit motionless feeling like a deer in the headlights. It’s as though I’m wearing a big bullseye on my shirt. 🎯 Like every demon I fight in life is there in that moment. Those demons are like that annoying bully in elementary school saying “Ha. Ha. Look at you! Everyone is staring at you! You are not worthy to participate in this joyful celebration!”.

That’s why I stopped attending church on Mother’s Day. That’s the one day out of the year that I have no interest in entering His house of worship or even leaving the house for that matter. I love the sermons that talk about the ministry of motherhood. I can listen to them, learn, and receive encouragement for what I hope to be my next greatest form of ministry and life’s work. But, outside of that, the rest is just a good dose of reminder that I don’t have what my heart, mind, and body literally long for.

This is a blog about the joys of living expectantly for what’s to come. The name I chose rings true of my heart. I truly love JOY! I have found it in all areas of my life. I consider Brooks and I to be a really strong couple given what we endure. That’s all thanks to the Lord for His new mercies afforded to us everyday, His grace, and His peace that surpasses all understanding.

But, Mother’s Day, I admit, is that one area of this trial that I have not learned to overcome. I don’t know what it is. I experience isolation, sadness, and disappointment everyday in this and am always able to overcome it. Despite learning to have strength in times of trouble, Mother’s Day and the days leading up to it get my panties in a bunch! I’ve been anxious for days. Even more so, because this year I HAVE to go to church because I’m supposed to serve as teller. Duty calls.

So, this year, God is giving me the opportunity to practice the strength that He so freely gives me everyday. It will be difficult this time. I’m out of shape on the Mother’s Day front. Thankfully His grace is abundant!

I have a request for the mothers out there and I think I speak for every one of us living the infertile life. Please, enjoy your day of recognition. We in no way want to rain on your parade. We only want to be understood. Don’t take tomorrow for granted. Don’t dismiss the love that your babies and husbands will be giving to you. Embrace it and cherish it because what you may see as just another Mother’s Day is truly the very joy that many of us are not afforded. If you are in the habit of taking this holiday lightly, wake up. You’ve been given a gift that so many cannot have. Lastly, I ask that you don’t feel sorry for us. We Infertile Myrtles are a tough breed. We’ve been called to bear something that you CAN’T even imagine having to carry. But, the last thing we want is sympathy. Understanding, yes. Sympathy, no. A simple hug and thank you for being a spiritual mother to your children is enough.

To the Infertile Myrtles, I will absolutely be praying for us for this weekend. You all have been on my mind for days and to be honest I’ve shed plenty of tears over the last 48 hours to fill a tub! If you are in the habit of skipping church on Mother’s Day, I challenge you to go. Let’s try to support those whose calling to motherhood came a little earlier than ours did. We all at least understand the hardship of being a mother. Those who are actually living it out right now, need our support just as much as we need theirs. So, just as we ask that they come along side us, let us walk alongside them. They need to be praised, celebrated, supported, prayed for, encouraged, and treated. They are our sisters, our friends, our pastor’s wives, our coworkers, and our own mothers, grandmothers, and aunts.

Be blessed, encouraged, and inspired this Mother’s Day! Be a bowl full of red gummy bears to a friend or sister today! Whether you’re already a mother or are still waiting to be one, bring hope and laughter to life of another woman in your life. Duty calls, right? As does the overflowing joy that we are enabled to live out each and every day. 👭

An old pic but one of my favs.
An old pic but one of my favs.

NIAW 2016: The First Things I Learned @ Infertility

NIAW 2016: The First Things I Learned @ Infertility

Ah, my first lesson as an Infertile Myrtle. These were the first of many principles that God laid on my heart early on in my journey. Back when I was so self-conscious about my childlessness and felt debilitatingly alone. God knew my heart’s cries then as He still knows today. With each passing season, He shows me new and soothing bits of encouragement. I will always be a student in this way. And I’m ok with that.

Below is my second post during NIAW 2015. It was the second in the series of posts that publicly made my barrenness known to the world.


-Original Entry Date: April 23, 2015-

This past summer, while Brooksie and I were on our second trip to Nicaragua, I had the opportunity to share my story with dozens of men & women. The women of Nicaragua and our team were such an encouragement to me during that season. I had only just begun to open up and be transparent about my struggles. To hear our team lifting me up was incredible and even more touching was to have a older, Nicaraguan woman come to me, hug me and tell me a word of encouragement {in Spanish of course haha}. I didn’t catch all of it but I knew she would be praying for me in the days to come following that trip. “Los Ninos” anyone!?!
Today’s post I would like to share some highlights from the talk I gave that day. These are lessons that I learned early on through a passage in the bible – 1 Samuel 1 – the story of Hannah. 
a) God is in control – (vs 5). I know it’s cliche to say but it’s the truth. We are fearfully & wonderfully made. There is not one inch of us that is unknown to Him that created us. Not one emotion, not one tear, not one cell of cancer, not one twinge of pain goes unnoticed. I needed to trust Him. 
b) Expect enemies – (vs 6). Thankfully my husband doesn’t have “some old floozy” {in the words of Madea} provoking me to tears because she’s carrying his child and not me. I mean, Brooks would be in a world of hurt, right!?!?!? And thankfully, I am not surrounded by friends & family mocking me and speaking hurtful words. For me, my enemy has come in the form of thoughts. Too much stinkn’ thinkn’ as my friend Sharky says. It’s been said that our mind is our biggest battlefield. The thoughts that run through my head of fears, disappointment, anger, and bitterness were enough to send me to the loonie. We are to take captive every thought (2 Corinthians 10:5)! For those of you experiencing infertility, expect enemies in all shapes. They may come through thoughts, people, circumstances, anything. But don’t be discouraged. 
c) Don’t expect people to understand – part A: the husband – (vs 8). Y’all I AM BLESSED to have a husband with the caliber that he holds. Brooks is an amazing, incredible man. As perfect as he is to me, there is absolutely NO WAY he could possibly understand what I’m going through. Not only is he not wired with the same emotions & body parts but he is lacking the God-given drive to bear children. I can’t expect him to even begin to know how to handle this detriment. But back to the part where I said he is amazing – my Brooksie fully grasps Proverbs 30:15-16 where it states that a barren womb is nothing that can be satisfied, cured, fixed. Ah that word “fixed”. My man has that natural drive to want to fix his woman & family. He knows he can’t. And I can’t expect him to. My husband is the BOMB! He offers grace for my rants and seasons of depression. Love him! Infertiles, be careful how you relate to your husband during your time of infertility. He is grieving differently than you and wants to “fix” you but he can’t. Be easy on him. 
d) Don’t expect people to understand – part B: friends. As with my husband, I have INCREDIBLE friends! If you know anything about me, I lost many friends in high school and prayed for a very long time for a core group of friends that would love and support me through life’s ups and downs. God provided more than I could have ever imagined. My friends are truly the best. But like the husband, they likely won’t know what to do with you either. As great as my friends are, they haven’t always known how to handle my struggle. Many times, all we infertiles need is a hug, a movie date, or a shoulder to cry on. Your support doesn’t have to be in words. We likely don’t need advice from you but just need you to listen. Be that person we vent to (even if you’ve heard it a million times before from us). For me, laughter is good medicine. Make me laugh and you’ve done my world a huge favor. 
e) Our testimony is in our walk – vs 15 & 18. Over the last year, I have learned the biggest lesson of them all. By being transparent, not only do you help yourself but you help others too. That’s what this week is all about. I was killing myself slowly by keeping my struggle to myself. I had nowhere to vent, no one to cry to which only led to crippling loneliness. When I say crippling loneliness I mean REALLY REALLY REALLY bad loneliness. Many tears were shed because I thought I was alone, completely and utterly alone. By opening up and sharing my story over this last year, I learned that I had an enormous amount of support from other infertiles myrtles and friends/family alike. I learned that instead of being useless and unworthy (thoughts = my enemy) I could actually add value to the life of another.

Infertiles here is some tough love for you – GET UP! Like in John 5:8, when Jesus said to a man “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk”. Girls take up your bed and walk! Get out there and help others in their struggle and help those willing around you to learn about your own.

-End post-

NIAW 2016 is Here Again!

NIAW 2016 is Here Again!

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week! It was this time last year that I went completely public with our infertility. We had already allowed our social network to know our deepest pain and struggle but we hadn’t come out of the “infertility closet” per say.

I remember last year like it was yesterday. I was getting stronger in my boldness and started developing a deep, deep desire to help others. My heart was changing from an inward “what the heck is happening to me” focus to “how can I help someone else walking this same path”. Read more