Saturday, July 30, 2005

Sweet Freedom

Thursday night marked the beginning of summer for me. That's when the final exam from my summer class was due. Now Monday and Thursday nights are free and I don't have 200+ pages of 17th century political philosophy to read. Last week was SO busy with Brian's party seminary wives' planning meeting, and the killer 16 page essay response for the exam. Yesterday Brian and I had the whole day to ourselves to do whatever we wanted and it was great. Mostly we hung out in the bookstore-- we're both book junkies and we were intoxicated with the freedom to read anything we wanted to. I've already finished one "junk-food" book already. Nice. We also watched Bridge on the River Kwai and an episode of Lost I'd taped and didn't have time to watch. Is anybody else into that show? I just caught a re-run on TV a few weeks ago and got hooked. It is a little weird (I've heard that the creators are big fans of The Twilight Zone) but it is very unique and tells a big comprehensive story. Every episode is a continuation and they aren't constantly explaining everything to you--as a matter of fact it is a big mystery. So anyway, I like it 'cause it is more artistic than most TV. I'm not unreservedly recommending it though. It has some objectionable material in it, unfortunately. Anyway, I've only seen a few episodes.

All that to say, yesterday rocked. I purchased a whole fat stack of books and can hardly wait to dive in. Plus next weekend we are headed for our no cars, no electricity, island vacation on the west side of the state. All I need is my swimming suit and my books.

We also got the party pictures back yesterday. Here are a few!

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The Beisner boys were ready to play ball!

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Brian with Dr. Beisner

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Carrie and Nicci are chillin'.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe Grillmasters. Our Dads graciously agreed to do the honors. Many thanks!

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Me and my Mom. Awww....

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Susan snapped this shot of me, mid-sentence. Thanks, Sus. :) I got her back by taking a photo of her with food in her mouth, which I won't post here because I'm a good friend.

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Kilby, Jordan, and Susan. I like this one!

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And here are the All-Star teams: the Yankees and the Brian Lions.

We had a great time. The Lord is so gracious to us to bless us with so many friends.

Well, that's enough lazing around for now. I want to get some serious laundry and cooking done. It is so nice to be home and have time to do that. When will I learn to stop piling stuff on and just be content to diligently work on the little things that really matter? Maybe that is part of why God gave me this illness. To help me realize that yes, the world can keep turning without me. The Lord is very gentle and kind and so very wise! I'm reminded of Lucy in Narnia:
"Aslan, you're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Birthday plans

Well, Brian's birthday is this Saturday and preparations for the world's greatest baseball party/barbeque ever are under way. We're having it at a park and have invited waaay too many people. :) It is going to be a lot of fun. Some of the guys are already talkin' trash. "I'm gonna knock the ball straight outta the park." It's pretty funny and it should be even more funny to watch them play on Saturday. We're really blessed to know so many great people.

Brian will be 26! I know that is still very young, but I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by since we were married. Next year after he finishes at Knox he'll be 27-- which means he'll be at least 30 by the time he finishes his PhD. Crazy. One of these days I'm going to wake up dead.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Does new furniture make you cry?

I got home on Thursday afternoon to a message on my answering machine from Brian's cousin. Some time ago they offered to lend us their crib when they are done with it. Well, they are. We're supposed to pick it up today.

On one hand, I'm excited because after this last pregnancy disappointment I decided that I just needed to let go a little and wait on the Lord, trusting His timing. I was getting so desperate and consumed with working everything out according to my plan and my time frame that it was hindering my peace with the Lord. So I've stopped scouring the internet for new options every day. I've stopped crafting hare-brained schemes. And the Lord brings me a crib, as if to say, "See? I have the plan all worked out. My timing is perfect. I haven't forgotten you. Things are moving just the way they are supposed to without your help."

On the other hand, (the left one, just in case you were wondering) I'm afraid that this another test from the Lord. Another painful experience that God will use to make me grow. How will I handle it if we have an empty crib in our house that is never filled? Will it remind me everyday of my fears and inadequacies?

Should we set this thing up? I'm not quite sure where to store it. We have a guest room that we plan to use for a baby, should we ever be blessed that way. But right now, it is still a guest room and we previously decided to leave it that way until the time comes so that it can be useful.

Whether set up or not, I hope that this crib will focus me on God and not myself. Just as we did nothing to orchestrate its arrival, we need not try to manipulate circumstances to be blessed with a child. The Lord who provides a roof over our head, good jobs, a precious circle of friends and family, and a crib can in His Providence decide where, when, if and how we are blessed with a little one to fill it. Pray for us! We must learn to trust Him!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Drops of Honey

I've recently had the opportunity to serve a bit more in my life and that has been wonderful. To feel, even in a small way, a sense of serving the Lord, gives me purpose--something that my infertility snatched from me.

At work I've had the blessing of helping students find housing and jobs. It is really an awesome place to be, because God provides faithfully for His people and it is a constant encouragemnt to see how that is accomplished. I always really enjoy welcoming the new students and getting to know them and hearing about what God is doing in their lives and how He has brought them here.

I also have the blessing of planning our seminary wive's fellowship. I should post sometime about the weird resistance/inadequacy complex that most seminary wives have. A far too great majority of husbands neglect training them and involving them in what they are learning in school. It is very tragic. And it results in a ministry team that is unbalanced and not of one accord. Anyways, sem wives fellowship is no replacement for a husband's care and training, but we hope to be a means of encouraging wives to be involved in their husband's education and a time for them to learn and be mentored by experienced godly women. I just am praying that we will be a place for women to learn and fellowship together and to refocused on their ultimate goals and purpose. Planning for this year with the help of some other girls is really exciting to me. I hope the Lord brings good fruit from these efforts.

And I also have the blessing of being somewhat involved with the local crisis pregnancy center. They have two big fund-raisers that pay their bills, a banquet and a walk. September 17 is the Walk for Life and I'm collecting donations. Their goal is to have 20 people give 20 dollars for each walker. $400 pays for 380 pregnancy tests, or their phone book ad for the year, or the electric bill at 4 centers. They just recently acquired an ultrasound machine and starting September 1, they will start offering free ultrasounds to their clients. I'm so excited about that. I really think that will change some girls' minds. It's really hard to ask my friends and co-workers for money, but I know that is the only way that I will raise any money! Anyway, if any of my blogger buddies want to donate, that would be awesome. You can just shoot me an e-mail and I can put you down.

These are just small things that the "great" folks of the world would wonder at my finding purpose and meaning for myself in. Yet the Lord has been gracious in giving me these aids in fighting off this plague of worthlessness that I've felt. It has been truly miserable. To feel that I am serving His kingdom in even a small way is a joy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Broken Hearted

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

"For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,"
Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
"O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.
"Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies,
And your gates of crystal,
And your entire wall of precious stones."
Isaiah 54:10-12

She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. "I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
Ruth 1:20-21

Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die."
Then Jacob's anger burned against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?"

Genesis 30:1-2

Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
Genesis 25:21

There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Elkanah her husband would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"
Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's temple. 10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. 11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."
As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."
"Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."
Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."
She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

1 Samuel 1:1-18

On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate."
David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked. "Yes," they replied, "he is dead."
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!"
He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

2 Samuel 12:18-22

I really, really, really thought that just maybe I was pregnant.

So I went to the doctor.


It is hard to describe the pain that infertility causes. It isn't a rational thing. It just hurts. Heart-wrenching, tear soaked, sob out loud pain that leaves behind exhaustion and despair.

I've been trying to wish away the pain, to stuff it down and hide it, to pretend that it isn't there. But these Scriptures remind me that pain is real. And pain isn't wrong. And pain is for a season. Thank God.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Be still and know

And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Until it be according to mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.

I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire.
See in my quiet places wishes thronging,
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.

And work in me to will and do Thy pleasure,
Let all within me, peaceful, reconciled,
Tarry content my Wellbelov-ed's leisure,
At last, at last, even as a weaned child.

-- Amy Carmichael, courtesy of a much loved and respected woman


Well, life is interesting.

I got home and found a message on the machine from the Dr. (the one we've been waiting for a call from for 2 months). Anyway, she said that she might have some embryos for us, but she is waiting to finalize the details. I'm not sure if she is leading us on again, or if there is something to it. She didn't leave any details-- how many, what stage, what grade, where they were frozen. I'd kinda like to know some details before the whole thing is a done deal. I think I need to talk to her, but I'm a little afraid. I'm intimidated by her-- she's very brisk.

Then, I talk with my Mom and she said that she knows someone who knows a Christian reproductive endocrinologist who doesn't do reductions and only implants 3 at a time. Wow. I've been searching for someone like that for a year. That would be totally awesome if it pans out. I didn't think that there were any Christians in this business.

And then there was that ad today. Who knows what will happen? Only the Lord. And He is really the only one that needs to know right now. Still, it would be interesting to teleport and read my blog this time next year. What will it say?

A lead...

"The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." Ex. 14:14

Thank you, dear Lord, that you are in charge of all things. Please give me peace and help my soul be still as we make decisions and seek Your guidance. Help to remember how much you love me and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

I found an advertisement on the internet of a couple that is looking to donate their 13 embryos. We plan on contacting them via e-mail today. The woman was 32 when these embryos were created, and that is very good. After 35, the eggs deteriorate rapidly. The couple lives in Florida too, which is also good because it is best to thaw the embryos where they were frozen. At least 10 of these embryos are grade 1, which means they are very healthy and well-formed. It is hard not to get your hopes up. I'm sure these folks are swamped with e-mails right now. There so many "what-ifs" in this infertility road. So many details would have to fall into place for this to work out. I pray the Lord would give me enough grace not to beat my head against the wall trying to force everything to work out the way I'd like it to, but instead to trust that He has the best plan and to rest in that.