Finding that Content Place
The blogging was going pretty well, but as the end of November approached, I got busy and fell behind. This was supposed to be a post about my November-thankfulness, but no matter when it is posted: IT STILL COUNTS! There is always so much to be thankful for, even during one of life’s storms, but lately my heart is bursting with love and thankfulness.
As most of you know, we have been battling infertility (apparently ours is termed “secondary infertility” since we have already had one successful pregnancy) and for a long time this really did hurt my heart more than I can describe. Over the last six months I have experience so much healing, growth and peace in this area of my life. I went through a long period of mourning, and now I feel like I have found contentment. This peace that I have found is no doubt from the Lord, and I am so incredibly thankful to have reached this place.
Of course, people keep on telling us to stop trying, and then we will fall pregnant. Sorry to say folks, that is just not how infertility works! We haven’t lost all hope of having another baby, but over the last few months we have reached a place of not minding the final result. The truth of the matter is that God is in control, and HE knows best.
There has been a joy inside be for the last six months. Almost like I have found contentment – with the infertility struggle, with the waiting, and with where we are in life. I am happy. Truly happy. I love our life right now, I love this stage that Elijah is in, and I love our family unit exactly as it is. There have even been moments when I have thought that I don’t want another baby, but I know that would quickly change if we did find out that we were expecting again.
This Christmas, I feel a deep sense of acceptance and contentment.
Everything is as it should be. It is wonderful. Life is sweet!
Healthy Body Healthy Mind
Most of you know that I have been without flour, sugar, grains and processed food since Eli’s third birthday. I have lost 30 lbs, and I feel amazing. I started this health-journey with the hope that it would help us get pregnant. The ketogenic lifestyle has helped many couples struggling with infertility to fall pregnant after years of waiting. So far, we haven’t had that luck, but on this journey, I have also realized that I have found SO MUCH MORE!
I feel incredible!
In the spirit of Thankfulness, here are 10 Things that I so incredibly grateful for…
1.) Mornings with My Boy
I absolutely LOVE quiet mornings with Eli. He plays, I edit pictures (or blog), and we soak up the morning sun through my bedroom window. <See First Picture in this Post.> His soft, quiet ways are perfectly soothing. He often stops what he is doing to lean over and kiss me. He is unbelievably sweet, just like his daddy. My heart bursts with gratitude on this mornings. Sometimes I sing songs of worship, and soak up all of the joy.
2.) The Bond That We Share
There are moments when I am reminded that what the three of us have is not the norm. We are very blessed to share a close bond, not only better Justin and I, but between each of us and Eli too. I have to remind myself to enjoy every moment of this unique bond.
3.) My Talents and Abilities
There have been multiple occasions of the last year where people have gone above and beyond to express how talented they think I am. Of course, I don’t consider my talents as amazing as they profess, but it is flattering nevertheless. How could I not be thankful for all these talents I have been given. Ten years ago I would have told you that I am not very good at anything in particular, and now I have trouble deciding which of my hobbies to dedicate time too. Suddenly I have so many things that I want to pursue. Even though it can be disappointing to realize that most of my life I knew nothing about myself, I am thankful that I have FOUND ME!
4.) An Incredibly Supportive Husband
This husband of mine is an absolute GEM! I can’t even sing his praises enough. If I told you about him, you would think that he is too good to be true. BUT IT IS ALL TRUE. Is he perfect? No, of course not. But let me tell you folks, he is pretty darn perfect for me. Our marriage, like all, is a work in progress, and as each year passing we learn more and more about each other. Justin is ever-eager to help, always serving me, and never complains about doing things around the house. He does soooooo much as a father. It blows my mind how blessed I am to have found this man!
Here he sits, after running downtown in the freezing cold, to meet me after a photo shoot…
5.) Resources in China
When I decided to cut out the junk in my diet, I thought that I would really struggle to stay on track. I assumed that it would be expensive, and that I would eventually fall off the wagon. Amazingly enough, avocados have gone down in cost THREE TIMES since I started keto. My iHerb packages arrived from the States within a week. And some of my friends here have switched over to this walk of life with me. I am amazed at how simple this way of life has become, even over here in China. I am thankful for the resources that I have found!
Tying in with #4, Justin and I make tuna base pizza at least once a week. We love love love them. I can’t describe how much this way of eating has changed everything in my life.
6.) The Age of Three
Before I had even turned 20, I was looking after three young children under five in London. I nannied for a family with very young children, and I always knew that I wanted to be a mother. The child that nestled his way into my heart the quickest was a little boy named Thomas. He was only 3.5 when I left them and moved away from London. Ever since we had Eli, I have told Justin “wait until he is three”. It has been such a joy experiencing life with Eli, at every stage, but I absolutely love this age. I knew that we were going to enjoy this time with our little one.
All the “terrible two” warnings were nonsense, and then we were told “three is worse”. Sorry folks, we couldn’t agree more!
This is the most beautiful age, and I know that FOUR is going to be even sweeter. He is talking, he has an amazing sense of humor, and he is showing love in the most tender way. I love love love THREE years old, and I am so thankful for this stage of life we are in.
7.) Family Hikes
I couldn’t be more thankful for outdoor activities that we do as a family. Eli is happy to sit in the hiking backpack, and we love exploring as a family unit. These activities make my heart so happy. Check out our most recent hike HERE.
8.) Exporations with My Boy
Even with the cold here, I have truly appreciated getting out the house with Eli. He walks besides me, jumps off walls and stumps, chats to me, and listens to my instructions. I love taking him down to the store and asking what he wants for lunch. I love eating baozi and tea eggs at the grubby little local store near our gate. Every bit of my time outdoors with him just swells my heart with happiness.
9.) The Value of Serving Others
I never want to forget how much I have learned about serving others while we have been in China. Despite the struggles that we face here, we have learned so much about the love of the Lord, about how he uses us in other people’s lives, and how much it means to serve those in need. Everything I though I knew about serving has changed, and my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of showing love and support.
10.) A Beautiful Home
During the last month, I have been reminded just how much our home is a blessing to us, and to others. People have come over and told us how relaxed and happy our home makes them. For a while I thought that it was all about the actual apartment, but I have since realized that it is 100% about the love that went into making this apartment a safe, warm, happy place. I am thankful for the opportunity to do that for others, and once again, I am thankful for my artistic abilities to have created such a home. I now know that whoever we move next, we will recreate this same feeling.
I could probably go on… more and more points of gratitude keep entering my head. But I’ll leave there for now!
Life is beautiful, and I am so happy to be at a place where I can turn around and look at it through different eyes.