The light remains…

2021: The year God would put all His lessons and preparations into action.

I have not written in a while due to life and its never-ending changes. I have taken the last several months to pause and reflect on life and all I have been given. A few things the past year has taught me: stop and live for the moment, check in on your friends, and never take one second for granted.

During the last couple of months, I have seen and lived various circumstances I never dreamed of living. Overcame a lot of adversity and uncertainty. But one thing remains the same…. God is still on His throne and still in control.

-My faith was personally tested to the max.

– My fears were brought to life.

-My anxiety reached its maximum level.

But I was constantly reminded; God is still on His throne and still in control.

I did not realize God was preparing me for what was to come. He was setting me up to overcome many things and to be a version of myself I never thought possible. He was leading me to be prepared for what He had in store. Through it all I was constantly reminded: God is still on His throne and still in control.

Many more blogs to come with stories and life lessons… but for now, I will remain grateful for it all.

“Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.” -Ester 4:14

Why her and Why not me?

Over the last several months, I have had multiple women reach out who are battling infertility. I took lots of time and have written multiple stories regarding this dreaded disease. I realized not many people are open when it comes to this battle. It is embarrassing, emotional, heartbreaking, time consuming, and a multitude of things wrapped up in one. But the biggest thing I have noticed is the lack of information and knowledge we as women receive regarding infertility. I am by no means a doctor and will never claim to be, but my own battle brought me to a whole different place in finding who I was and how to navigate the steps ahead.

This is a very vulnerable topic to discuss. But I have realized many women have faced or are facing this very same thing. Even if one person is given the slightest bit of hope… it will be worth sharing.

First off, to anyone reading this who has battled or currently battling infertility, know my heart and prayers are with you. It is one of the hardest roads to travel and answers are sometimes hard to find. My one major piece of advice is be your own advocate and keep the faith. God’s ultimate plan will prevail and your path will be a story in your book no one else can tell. I am a firm believer God answers the desires of our heart if we put our trust and faith in Him fully.

In 2014,Nick and I found out infertility was something we had to battle. I was so embarrassed and heartbroken. We had planned and wanted a family of our own from the day we met. I remember sitting in my car after our initial appointment begging God to help me understand His plan. Begging Him to show me why He chose us for this path. I cried the entire way home, numb with emotions, and not sure what the next step would entail.

I cannot begin to explain the amount of paperwork, information, medication options, tests, surgery suggestions that were thrown at me in the beginning. I was completely overwhelmed and decided I needed to take a step back to make sure I could physically and emotionally face the long road ahead… especially knowing in the end a child may not have been the outcome.

After months of research, doctor appointments, and testing, I finally found Dr. A. ( I will not put his complete name for privacy). He was literally God sent. I have never had a doctor more thorough or faithful. He was a breath of fresh air in the darkness. Dr. A never once in our journey lost faith or sight of Nick and I having a child naturally. He prayed with and for us and constantly made sure we had the most up to date and newest resolutions possible.

In January of 2015 it was decided surgery was the first step to our hopeful path. I agreed (very hesitantly) to have the surgery. I really struggled with the fact all the pain and suffering could still potentially end without a child. My faith was put to the test more times than I care to admit during this time. I am ashamed to admit how many times I questioned God and His path instead of trusting. The pain from the surgery in itself was enough to make anyone want to give up. My question over and over was ” Why am I putting myself through this without complete clarity of the outcome?” Once surgery was complete there was a short “trying period”. To which Nick and I failed. There was no sign of pregnancy or hope the surgery was successful. I cannot find the words adequate enough to explain my devastation. I fell into one of the darkest times of my life.

June 2016- Nick and I went to the most dreaded appointment of my life. We took my mom to have an extra set of ears because I was an emotional wreck. It was at that time I was told I would never physically be able to have children on my own. I would have to have help… more than just a medication. I remember sitting in the consult room after the doctor told us the information, being completely numb. I could not even find words to say what I wanted to do or what I wanted the next step to be. After what seemed like forever, Nick and I decided we would start the IVF process. However, we both agreed we would wait until we returned from our trip to Australia that was scheduled in October. Little did I know this was the first step of God’s test for me.

One month later I was sitting on my bathroom floor with 17 positive pregnancy tests, crying into the phone with my aunt that I thought I had something wrong with me because there was no way I was pregnant on my own. It was not possible. She reassured me that it could in fact be true, to stay calm, and not call my mom just yet! I was quickly reminded in that same phone conversation that “Faith even as small as a mustard seed was still faith.” I will never forget the prayer I prayed to God begging Him to let this be true and that all the pain and heartache was worth it for this moment.

I am here to tell you science can only go so far and then steps in God. Just because you are told something by a doctor does not mean it is the end all be all. God has the final say and He ultimately controls your path. Atticus, Ander, and Baby Ross are proof you can have completely healthy, natural pregnancies after battling infertility and failed treatments. My faith in God remains untouched after experiencing these three miracles He has blessed Nick and I with. Every positive pregnancy test has been a reminder that God is always in control and our faith has to go far beyond what we can see.

Every shot, medication, test, and appointment led me here. It led me to be the mother I always longed to be. Led me to find a group of women who battled the same things I did whom I will cherish for the rest of my life. Led me to speak in front of multiple people on a topic so vulnerable while allowing the raw emotions to show instead of hiding the hurt it caused. Led me to be thankful for every moment because at any time, my story could have had a much more devastating ending.

If you are walking down this very same path, know your time and answer is coming. Even if IVF is the path you have to take, know you can have completely natural pregnancies, multiple times following those treatments. Know the heartache and pain will all be worth the lesson and outcome of the process. It will not be easy. There will be days you want to give up and lose faith, but know God has your hand every step of the way and if you fully rely on Him , you will see the blessing through the entire process.

This is a shout out to all the women fighting a battle that most people will never understand.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37: 4

God’s Plan >My Plan

Over the last year, I have been asked a lot what it is like to move as often as we do. I have really sat and pondered on this question. Because quite frankly, I have not had an answer. It is hard to explain the emotions, prayer, and preparation for each move. We find houses, make them home, pray for our children, and make many memories in every one of them that will forever be cherished.

But Indy… brought me clarity. Indy also gave me the answer to the burning question so many seem to have.

Many people do not know April 2019 we closed on the perfect house in Atlanta. We were content. Atticus turned two, Ander was born within two months, and we were happy with our Georgia re-location. I lost my Granddaddy two years before our move and I was really struggling being away from my family. For the first time in four years I was within reach of them. However, torn being away from Nick’s family. But, little did I know what June 2019 would bring.

Sweet Ander was born and three days later Nick was offered a different position. Were we excited about the offer? Absolutely! For three years we prayed and asked God to open the door if this was where Nick was supposed to be. Well… not only did He open it…. He swung it wide open! But… not exactly how I had it planned.

You see the funny thing about God is when you tell Him your plans, He laughs and shows you His. God also knows that I am faithful to any prayer He answers and that I also support my husband beyond words. Our initial offer was not one we wanted (well… me more than we :)). So, we prayed for clarity and after many nights of discussing the offer, we turned it down. I could instantly tell Nick was upset. This is something he had worked so hard for and prayed about since we started battling infertility. To him this was a failure.

But God was not done. Two days later he was offered the same position with a different location option. This time I smiled and said “God, I hear you! Loud and clear!” He knew Nick was meant to be in this position, but I honestly think He was testing our faithfulness to His plan.

Trusting His plan brought many hardships and lots of tears. Over the next three months, I cared for our two year old and newborn, packed our things in Valdosta, moved to Atlanta, sold our house in Atlanta, watched a moving company pack our things and take them Indy, house hunted in Indiana, all while supporting Nick while he was away at training.

I say all the above to say this. Is Indiana where we wanted to be? Absolutely not. Is Indiana where we want to stay? Also no. But the clarity Indiana has brought me is something I will forever cherish.

Indy has taught me:

  • God is always on time. Never early and never late.
  • Faithful prayer and obedience to His divine plan is always the answer.
  • God was protecting me from things I did not even know were coming.
  • But most of all, Indy has taught me that I am a lot stronger than I ever imagined.

Being 13 hours away from my family and six hours away from Nick’s family has forced us to fully rely on each other. We have been blessed with some of the best friends Indy has to offer and learned that life has so many unexpected curves but the way we face them is all that matters.

” Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” – Psalm 27:74

You’re Difficult

Have you often wondered why some people make you feel hard to love? Ever felt that no matter how nice you are or what you do for certain people it is never good enough? Or my personal favorite, “I’ve tried everything to make you happy and it is not enough!” Do not let people lead you to believe you are hard to love…. Because that is never the case. Choose people who choose you. Time and time again once you realize who your people are, suddenly all the “hard to love” scenarios disappear.

In my thirty-one years on this earth, I have encountered many relationships. But there are a few that stand out the most when it comes to my self-worth.  I have personally been told I ask and expect too much. But now looking back I realize I was never asking too much; I was just asking the wrong people. Some people will always make you feel like you are not good enough or always make you feel like everything is your fault… those are not your people.

Some of my best friendships are with people who push me daily to be better. These friends also teach me to ask for more and expect the absolute best out of everyone. They never make me feel hard to love and are not afraid to fight a battle with me. I have lost a lot of friendships but looking back I realize God was removing those people from my life for a better friendship to develop.

We are all bad in someone’s story. No one ever wants to admit when they are wrong or accept the responsibility for hurting someone else. But remember, just because you are bad in their story does not mean everyone believes them. Remain faithful to who you are and never waiver because of someone else’s opinion.

You are exactly where you need to be. Stay devoted and trust God is working to bring what you need most in your life. Let that friend go that makes you feel not good enough or that family member who says you are hard to love. Life is so much better when you find your circle and they love you regardless of your faults and failures.

You will never really see how toxic someone is until you breathe fresher air.

“They did not leave your life. I moved them.” – God

Advice from Granddaddy

“Remember, marriage is 50/50. “The one piece of advice Nick and I heard repeatedly before we got married. But I distinctly remember one very important man in my life changing my view on marriage with one simple conversation. 

“Lacie Poo, life is full of ups and downs, disappointments, loss, heartaches, failures, successes, love, and life. We all fail, and we all rise but at the end of the day, you and Nick are one. When he fails, you will be his success. When you’re down, he will lift you up. When there is death, each of you will give the other life. Marriage has never been 50/50…. it’s 100/100. Today you may be able to give 75% and Nick only 25% but tomorrow you may be only able to give 10% and you’ll need his 90%.  If you both only focus on marriage being 50/50 you will miss out on a lot of love and successes as a married couple. If you love God first, give 100%, and choose each other over and over again…. your marriage won’t fail.” – Granddaddy, Joe Reaves 6-27-2014, Rehearsal Dinner

Wow! How true were my Granddaddy’s words? I never realized how right he was until the very next year. Infertility hit us like a ton of bricks and for months I barely gave one percent. I was shattered and heartbroken with my diagnoses, but over and over again Nick picked me back up and gave 99% when I only had one. 

How different would marriages be if both the husband and wife agreed to this concept? If we ALL realize that men need to be treated like kings just like women expect to be treated like queens. 

In 2019 alone, 50% of marriages ended in divorce. Could this be because God is not the head of every household? Could this be because the wife demands to be respected but does not offer the same to her husband or vice versa? Is it because the wife and/or husband is only giving 50% instead of 100%? The answers are unknown but I bet if we get back to the basic and stop worrying so much about our outward appearance and trying to “keep up with The Joneses” we could focus more on the true fundamentals of a solid foundation to make any marriage successful. 

My Granddaddy’s advice has stuck with me for 6 years. Is marriage easy? NO! Is our marriage perfect? Absolutely not…but it’s perfect to us. Yes, we have disagreements and failures. But we choose each other over and over again, never degrade one another, and are never to prideful to acknowledge when we are wrong.  God set the firm foundation for our marriage to grow and every day we honor Him by doing our best to give 100%. 

“Your marriage is powerful in the Lord because two are better than one. You can lift each other up when one feels weak. “-Ecclesiastes 4:10

Sam, my brown friend

The words out of my two-year-old son’s mouth. To which all the other moms in the room turned to see how I was going to handle this “situation”. I could tell some were annoyed with the statement my child made, however there is a reason my child said what he did.

For two and a half years I have preached to Atticus that we should love everyone regardless of their background or the color of their skin. He has been taught that just because someone looks different than us or talks different, does not mean we should treat them any different. I know I know; I am a bad mom for teaching my child this…. I get it. I am horrible for wanting my child to love without walls or stereotypes. But here is a little insight, I will continue to be a “bad mom” if it means my child does not leave someone out or chooses to be friends with kids who look different than he does.

Sam quickly became one of Atticus’ favorite friends. We talk about him quite a bit. Atticus tells me he wishes he could see him more and that Sam is the best. I have learned living life through a two-year old’s eyes is one of the purest ways to live life. There is no hate or bitterness in his sweet little heart. The love he has for everyone he meets makes me so proud to be his mom.

The world we live in is full of hate and stereotypes. We are all held to certain standards of who we can and cannot be friends with or associate with. Why? When did we become so judgmental? Now I will be the first to say I have been guilty of being judgmental from time to time. I am human but teaching my children not to be this way has made my perspective of others and life change drastically.

Changing the way, I view life and others has been a constant lesson. Instead of letting society decide how I raise my kids or the way my children act, I have decided to be the example of how I want my children to act. I am giving daily reminders of how one person can be the change in any situation. Children learn more from what we do than what we say, so we should use this to our advantage.

So to the moms who were “disappointed” by the way my child addressed Sam… this one is for you.

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”  — Billy Graham, Evangelist

Atticus & Sam

Kids are the dancing Joy of life

Two years have come and gone. Just like that my first baby is a toddler. Atticus broke the mold when he was born. He has taught me so much. Shown me a love I have never known, how to think outside of the box, but most of all to slow down.

When Atticus was born, I remember taking in every little detail of his features. His hands, feet, eyes, nose, all of it. I told myself that day to not take one moment for granted because soon I would look back and miss that very moment. How true are those words today? I love the phase Atticus is in right now but oh how I miss his baby days.

Ander is growing just as fast. For some reason the second one grows a lot quicker than the first. I sat in the hospital and inspected the same features on Ander but did not realize I would blink, and he would be two months just like that.

Time is inevitable. It waits for nothing or no one. We are all so busy and get caught up with life and our everyday routines. We quickly forget to take in every moment and slow down to enjoy the phase we are in. I know firsthand that is it so easy to miss the beauty in a moment because I am looking for the next thing that must be done or the next load of laundry that must be folded.

Atticus knocked me of my tracks this week when he said “Mommy, lay with me and hold my hand.” Normally, he likes to have someone lay with him while he drifts. But most of the time he curls up and falls fast asleep, but this day he wanted me to stop what I was doing to give him my undivided attention.

This moment is proof that I move too fast. That I am missing precious moments with my boys that I will never get back. He showed me that he and Ander still want my attention and need those extra moments of love. When I question if I am a good mom or if the house is in order, I will remember this day and remind myself that the laundry can wait… but my boys cannot.

When life gives you too much to handle or you are so caught up in everyday tasks. Remember to slow down and enjoy every second because they so quickly become a memory and one day you will look back and wish you would have paid more attention to the little things.

Because in the end… that is all that really matters.

“Slow down the pace so you catch all the beautiful details.” – Unknown

Four Quarters

The older I get the more I realize how important your “circle” is. As a woman, it is hard to find other women who truly lift you up and root for you no matter what. I never understood the saying ” it is better to have four quarters than 100 pennies… until recently.

Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way, not everyone who is in my boat is rowing the same way. I have found some of them are pouring in water instead of rowing. What I mean is just because someone claims they are your friend or supports you, is not always the case. Being a woman is hard. We are constantly having to keep up with what society thinks we should look like, what we should eat, how we should raise our kids, and the list goes on. But we do not need friends who are not really rooting for us to be added to the stress society has already placed upon us.

When I moved to Michigan, I was terrified of having to meet new friends… especially after I had kids. Mom friends are scary, and I mean this in the sincerest way. Finding moms who think like you or understand that sometimes life is a three-ring circus, is hard! I had this preconceived notion that all moms were the same and I did not fit into that group or I was not good enough. But thankfully, that was proven wrong.

A prime example happened a few weekends ago. I had to attend a wedding with Nick. I love weddings and seeing the groom’s face when the bride walks down the aisle, however, this wedding was different. I did not know one person (except the bride and groom.) That is all fine and good right? Except Nick was in the wedding and I had to be a guest alone. Little did I know five strangers would become friends in a quick amount of time.

These five women made me feel like I had known them for years. Even when they told stories I felt I was a part, even though I was not. They proved that it is okay to have faults and not have it all together. I realized sitting at the table, sharing a bite of every doughnut offered, that these women were the epitome of class.

Thankfully, I decided to attend the wedding and overcome the anxiety of walking in alone. Because if I would not have attended… I would not have met these gems.

Cheers to Michael Jackson, dancing to “Shout”, and pretending we were in high school again. You ladies are the real MVPs.

” A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”- Proverbs 27:9

Hair-Bows and Prayer

Being a mom is one of life’s greatest blessings. Challenging? Yes. Tiring? Yes. Rewarding? Absolutely. Everyday a new obstacle is faced and challenges presented. However, the constant rewards and love make everything worth it. I always dreamed of having children but never realized I would potentially be raising two beautiful boys. I envisioned myself being a mother but did not fully understand what that title truly meant…. until now.

Raising children is a constant battle. A battle between wanting them to stay little but wanting to see who they become. Wanting to be their best friend and biggest supporter but also to teach them discipline and respect. Every situation and circumstance creates an opportunity to teach and mold them to the adults we want them to be.

When Atticus was born, I quickly realized every decision I made, every reaction, and the way I spoke became extremely important. I now had a little one watching my every move. With this, the way I handled myself changed. The way I spoke became more understanding, reactions became more subtle, and decisions became well thought out. This changed even more when Ander was born.

I am responsible for raising these two precious boys. It is my responsibility to teach them about Christ, that people make mistakes [and that’s ok], to walk away from people or situations that hurt them, and to love like there is no tomorrow. But one of the biggest responsibilities is to raise and teach them how to love and respect their future wives. One day they will leave home and be husbands to two women that God has chosen for them. Even though they are little, I pray everyday for their future wives.

Two hair-bows are in picture frames that I look at daily to remind me to pray. These two hair- bows remind me to pray for the women God will send to love my boys. Specifically I pray for them to be women of faith, strong in who they are, but mostly to love and respect Atticus and Ander as I do. Do I think they will have trials? You bet. But I pray God has chosen two women who will stand by their sides regardless of the circumstances that may arise.

Oh how I long for Atticus and Ander to stay little and innocent forever. But oh how I look forward to seeing the strong, handsome, christian men they become. Because I know without a shadow of a doubt [regardless of the trials]… they will always make momma and daddy proud.

Grandma Elaine

Sixteen years. That’s all I had. Sixteen years. That’s also how long you have been in heaven. I never thought there would be a day I would wake up and you not be here.

There are so many things I wanted my Grandma to witness and take part in. I wanted her here for my high school and college graduations, engagement, wedding, and most of all when I had children. I always envisioned what she would be like with my babies and how they would adore her as I did. Never in a million years would I have ever thought I would describe who she was to my kids from a simple picture hanging on the wall.

You know the funny thing about God’s plan is it has a way of hitting you right in the stomach at times. When you miss someone so much and right out of the blue, God reminds you they are still here and watching down on you. My pregnancy and delivery with both Atticus and Ander were times I wanted nothing more than my Grandma to be a part.

One month before Ander was born I received a package in the mail. Two sweet outfits for Ander and a note. As I sat in the kitchen and cried, I thanked God for this simple reminder….she is still with me. My aunt Portia found lace and outfits my Grandma started long before she passed away. Aunt Portia finished the outfits and sent them to me. These are things I will cherish for the rest of my life. Even though she wasn’t here to see my babies born, she will always have a special part in their lives.

We never know when we will wake up and someone we love is gone or receive a phone call that a loved one has passed. Hug your loved ones tight and never go a day without making sure those you hold dear to your heart know how you feel.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1