Tuesday, January 31, 2012

27 Days of Worship ~ The Right "Man" for the Job

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light and create darkness,
 I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.

Ecclesiastes 7:14
When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one as well as the other

     I'm an unconventional Christian. I admit that. I relish in it. Not that I think that I'm a "better" Christian than other Christians. I just think that since my relationship with the Lord is personal and individualized, I don't choose to or have to follow the pack. One of the reasons that I consider myself unconventional, is because the 2 verses listed above are 2 of my favorite bible verses. I LOVE  them, because the remind me that following Jesus isn't all about warm-fuzzies, cotton candy and good times. Following the Lord is about living a life that is filled with good times, bad times, happiness, sadness, life, death, healing, broken-ness, honesty, denial, selflessness, selfishness, holiness, carnality and everything in between. Bad things happen to believers, and we have to deal with unfortunate circumstances just like anybody else. And yes, those situations suck for us...just like they do for anybody else.

     I've been really somewhat bothered by the idea that it's taking soooo long for me to get pregnant this time around. It gets under my skin that I'm having to work so hard for something that I have achieved TWICE without extending the same amount of effort that I'm extending now with NO results. And I was basically bitter that I was referred to an IVF clinic when I asked my OB/GYN for some help (which in my mind meant testing, and ruling out anything physical, other than my ADVANCED age.). I wasn't expecting to be treated like getting pregnant on my own was out of the question for me. I wasn't expecting to be made to feel like my reproductive equipment was obsolete and ineffective. I felt like she kinda sucka-punched me with me the entire IVF thing. It really blew me, because I just had a baby 15 months ago. So, if my stuff was working 15 months ago, is it really broken? I mean, I realize that I'm a year older...but really?

     Anyway, these are the types of thoughts that were running through my mind. And to be honest, I had a little beef with God. I'm saying, there are definitely benefits to being a child of the Most High. I was wondering where my benefits had disappeared to. I was wondering why my prayers were going unanswered. I was wondering why I was in a situation where I even knew where the IVF clinic was located. Why was I being poked, prodded and prepped for a possible IVF? Not that I'm against A.R.T., but as a "fertile", IVF was something that had never even entered my mind. Yet, I found myself frequently visiting the IVF clinic for blood work and invasive ultrasounds.

     Finally, God (I assumed after He grew tired of listening to me whine and lament) spoke to my heart. He asked me, "Mrs. Mocha, if I keep my children from every unpleasant thing on earth, who is supposed to speak life into these situations when non-believers or those whose faith is weakened or challenged go through hardships? If my children haven't lived through pain, hurt, loss, disappointment, death, problems, terrible medical diagnosis, shocking revelations, difficulties, tears, torment, disaster and come out on the other side, who would I be able to trust to give testimony? Who would openly empathize and offer encouragement? Who would uplift the people with stories of how they made it over?

     And my entire attitude about IVF and the IVF clinic changed. Now, I see it for the blessing that it is. Now, when I go there, I can't help but think of John 1:3 ~ All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

 And now I see God's goodness and mercy in the clinic that gives hope to those who otherwise wouldn't have any hope. And now, I'm good with the idea that I might get to experience IVF. I'm good with the  idea that my testimony might help encourage one of my friends or even a stranger. And I feel honored that God might allow me to be used to restore faith. That my experience might speak to somebody else in a real and meaningful way.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 28 ~ Desires of My Heart

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4 is one of my favorite scriptures. My (baby) brother-in-law was the first person to quote this verse to me. And me, with my canal and selfish self, took the idea and ran with it. My thought process went something like, "all I have to do is delight myself in the Lord, and He will give me the desires of my heart?"
     "I'm with it!!!!" I remember thinking to myself.

      I would've been willing to do just about anything to have a promise of answer prayer for all of the tings that my heart desired. Shoot, I had a lot of desires...money, a big house (custom built), a successful career, monthly vacations, a phat bank account, and a wardrobe filled with C.oach and G.ucci purses.

     As I matured in my walk with the Lord, my understanding of this scripture changed. I no longer believed that the Lord was my "Genie" and all I had to do was "delight in Him" (rub His belly), then I could ask for anything that my heart desired and receive it. I decided what the scripture really meant was that those things that were "beyond" me (like my compassion for children and wanting to be a teacher) were the things that the Lord had placed inside of me. I decided that the things that I couldn't understand my yearning for, had been placed there by the Lord. So, He was GIVING me the desires that were in my heart. Each time I yearned and hungered to be through with school, so I could have my own classroom, the Lord was responsible for that feeling.

     It wasn't until recently, when my pastor preached a message on this scripture that I feel like I have FINALLY, truly understood the meaning...and I love this scripture even more now, than I did when I thought it was my "get prayers answered" button. LOL. What I now believe is that, if I "delight myself" (find joy, and happiness) in the Lord (and have faith and trust in His reasons for putting me on this earth), then He will give me the desires of my heart (meaning that what He desires for me, will become my desire as well. I won't be consumed by my own thoughts for my life, but will be interested only in doing the things that God would have me to do). Which makes total sense, since I was created to make God's praise glorious. And I was created for Him, although I often operate like He was created for me.

     Thank God that in the midst of Him holding the entire world in His hands, he is still available and willing to spend time with me, filling my heart, mind, and life with His perfect desires. I am a lucky girl!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Psalm 1119: 102-104
102 I have not departed from Your judgments,
For You Yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!

     I love this song, and wanted to share it. The words bring joy to my heart! Enjoy!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

29 Days of Worship ~ Heartbreaks and Secrets

Proverbs 22:10
Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
quarrels and insults are ended.

     I'm the type of person who tries to remain judgment-free in my dealings with others. I don't throw around words like, "stupid", "dumb", "crazy" or "idiotic" too often. I'm not the person who regularly spouts phrases like, "if that happened to me, I would've..." or things like that. I wasn't always this way. I used to be the type of person that had an opinion about EVERYTHING. And normally, the opinion was completely and totally negative. That never really served me well, and when God remade my heart, he left most of the unhelpful foolishness by the wayside (thank Him immensely for this).

     Because of this, when people tell me things about themselves or others, what I'm feeling or thinking is not usually visible on my face, obvious from my speech, of noticeable from my actions. My first response usually goes one of three ways. I will say...

  • "Oh no! I am so sorry that happened!"
  • "Maybe there's more to the story that what you were told. You know, just because people don't confide in you their reasons for doing XYZ doesn't mean they don't have any reasons."
  • "Well, if you (your friend/the subject of the story) had it to do over again, would you (they) make the same decisions?"
     Since I have a track-record with people who know me of being overly-judgmental (I once had a friend tell me, "Mrs. Mocha, I hate telling you stuff, because you judge me too harshly), they might not be so inclined to believe that I've changed so drastically and hesitate to confide in me any situation which portrays them in a bad light. I think this is the deal with one of my oldest and best friends who is currently in the midst of a relationship that seems to be less than ideal. Because she doesn't tell me her secrets, the only way that I know that her relationship is "challenged" is because of the statuses that I see on Face.book which are posted by the woman that my friends seems to sharing her boyfriend with.

     I've written about these three before and I promise...it is sooooo heartbreaking to know that my friend's self-esteem has been reduced to the point that she would allow herself to continue in a relationship where all of her private and personal business becomes fodder for the "other woman" and her FB pals.

     I have spoken to the "other woman" (and posted about it) and tried to impress upon her that I think both women are too good for this guy. Neither seems to be interested in hearing that. I sometimes wonder if it's even about the guy anymore, and they just want to "beat" each other. I mean, the young lady NEVER makes any FB statuses about how the guy is catching hell for being a two-timer. All of her post are directed at my friend. And my friend is the same way. Any negativity she hurls, is always aimed in the direction of the "other woman." I don't know. This is all so...bizarre.

     Granted, I don't know what it's like to date in this era. I've been with Mr. Mocha since 1993, and married him in 1996. I don't know how slim the pickings are out in the dating world. I don't know the new "game" that men try to run on females, but this stuff that is going on with these three, I recognize from 1988. I don't know, I spend a lot of time praying for the two women involved. Separately, they are the sweetest, most giving, most kind, most even-tempered women, but you would never know it by the barbs they throw at one another.

     This situation makes me thankful. Thankful that the hubs is so loyal and faithful to me. Thankful that I met him when I was young, and didn't have the experience of being "dogged out" by one brother after another that some of my friends have been through. Thankful that when I place my heart in the hubby's hand,  know he'll protect it and take perfect care of it. Thankful that every (BAD) experience God allowed me to have on the front end of my life paved the way for the decisions that I made later on. Thankful that God has kept me from dangers seen and unseen.

     I'm just praying that these women wake up and begin to see themselves i the way that God sees them...as beautiful and wonderfully made. I pray that they come to know that God didn't bring them here to accept rubbish as gold or urine as rain water. That they know that they don't have to "play themselves" or give up their dignity and pride for love. Love shouldn't have a cost that high.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

30 Days of Worship ~ Change in Perspective

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

     Yesterday, I went to the RE's office to have (yet more) blood drawn. As I was driving away, my mind started to wander. I started thinking about how much I don't get a "warm-fuzzy" feeling from the doctor's office, even with all of it's beautifully appointed decor. The staff there is sort of aloof and mechanical/robotic. The receptionist always gives me the same fake smile. A different nurse talks to me each time I show up. And the lady who draws my blood (might be the same person each time, might not. I wouldn't know) NEVER says anything to me. Not "hello." Not "make a fist." Not "Which arm would you like me take from?" NOTHING. She hovers in the background while the nurse is talking, until it's time for her to move in for the kill.

     The nurse who does the talking (again, it's a different one each time) NEVER talks to me about what went on (IE: gives results) at the previous appointment. I ALWAYS have to remember to ask. The place just feels very...uhm..."assembly line" like.

     So, as I was driving away, I was thinking about how much I don't like that place. I was thinking about how much I hope and pray that I get pregnant  before I have to utilize their A.R.T. services. I was thinking about how this is my fourth unpleasant experience with them, and how at this point, it probably wasn't going to get any better. And in the middle of these thoughts, the voice of the Lord spoke to me. He said, "have you ever thought to see the blessing in XYZ Clinic?" And without further ado, I began to praise God.

     I began to praise God, because I am blessed enough to live in one of he few states that has mandated the insurance policies to cover fertility treatment. So, when I go to the office and am treated less than solicitously, the cost for the services do not come from my pocket. I am blessed, because my husband works for a company that meets he guidelines to have A.R.T. covered, including IVF with GIFT, ZIFT, donor eggs and the like. I am blessed, because some people have waited YEARS to get to step I'm on, and I'm only on cycle #9. I am blessed, because some people seek treatment with the hope of becoming a mom, and I am already the mom to two gorgeous and healthy children. I am blessed to have this experience. Even if I'm only having this experience to make me more compassionate to the plight of others in a similar situation, I'm blessed.

     I'm a so thankful that God made me get out of "self-pity" mode, and pay attention to the big picture. Really, the fact that the lady who draws the blood doesn't talk is immaterial. the fact that there is a different nurse every time doesn't matter. The knowledge that I have to write and questions down, and remember to ask them to get the information is beside the point. The most important thing is that I appreciate the experience and get out of it what God has intended.

     Please Lord, help me be open to getting what you would have me to get from this experience...whatever it may be. I'm (finally) ready to be used.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

31 Days of Worship ~ Celebrating and Sympathy

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
—think about such things.
     A few months ago, a sweet friend of mine informed me that she was pregnant. This information stung for a few reasons. The first being that I was trying LONG before she even considered trying. A second being that the last time she announced a pregnancy to me, I was celebrating my own pregnancy with K.20. Another being that she got pregnant very quickly. And a fourth being that she is older than I am.

     The information wasn't delivered in a nasty way, or with any malice whatsoever, but still...it stung. However, I was able to offer her congratulations, and as I conveyed the words, I actually felt my heart begin to change. I actually was happy for her and her husband. I actually meant what I said about praying with them, that they would add a precious daughter to their brood of 3 little boys.

     During the weeks since her announcement, I have thought about her often. I have prayed for her, while at the same time I tried to "catch up" with her. Thinking that went something along the lines of, "if I get pregnant this month, the baby will only be five weeks younger than her baby." "If I get pregnant this month, my baby will only be nine weeks younger than her baby." And so on.

      Well, about nine days ago, I received a message from her that she had suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks and 2 days. My heart broke for my lovely friend and her husband. They are wonderful parents, who love and cherish each of their three boys. She was sooooo excited about the possibility of finally having her much anticipated little girl.  I mourned for her. And the Lord impressed upon me that if I had not let go of my envy about her pregnancy when I received the news and truly been happy for her, I wouldn't have been able to truly mourn her loss.

     I thank God for the gifts of celebrating others and sympathizing with others. It's so important to spend some time outside of the world that is "Mrs. Mocha" and acknowledge that for all of my busyness, other people have lives going on, as well. A bible study teacher once told me, "every face that you look into, belongs to an important person to God." Life is about more than me, and when I get pregnant, and if I get pregnant. Sometimes, it takes a "little shake" to wake you up. Sometimes, it takes a JOLT.

Monday, January 16, 2012

32 Days of Worship ~ Blissful Ignorance

Ecclesiastes 1:18
For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow

     When I was trying to get pregnant with my daughter, K, I knew absolutely nothing about the "business" of procreation. What I knew was that, you had sex, a sperm fertilized an egg, and you got pregnant. With this is mind, I went about the business of making a baby. It took 6 months. 6 long and somewhat stressful months, but eventually the sperm fertilized the egg and I was pregnant.

      When I was trying to conceive K2.0, I had a little more knowledge. Not much, but a little more. I had read somewhere that you were supposed to count back 14 days from when your period started, and that was the day that you ovulated. With that information in hand, I went about the business of making a baby. It took 6 months. 6 long and somewhat stressful months, but eventually the sperm fertilized the egg and I was pregnant.

     For some reason, this time around I have armed myself with enough information to write a manual. I know all about OPKs, BBTs, CM, EWCM, supplements, sexual positions, IUIS, IVFs, donor eggs, PCOS, and all kinds of things that I never considered or imagined existed. For all intents and purposes, I used to operate in life like a "Fertile." (I never knew that term could be considered a "Slur" or an insult until I started blogging). After too much research, I feel like I began to operate like somebody else.

     My hope began to fade, and after a few months of trying I started to seriously consider infertility treatments. Thoughts of my own infertility and inability to get pregnant bombarded me every day. Even when the months were passing, and I was marking the days off the calendars while trying for my two children, I never considered this. I NEVER once thought that I couldn't get pregnant. I didn't live in a world where that was a possibility. I lived in a world where "it just hadn't happened, yet."

     Well, I've decided to take up residence back in my old neighborhood. I don't like living in the place where I live, now. It's not comfortable, and more importantly, I DON'T BELONG HERE!!!! I'm a happy, positive, faith-filled, hopeful person, who knows that the Lord has a plan for her. I am not a mopey, pouty, sad, depressed, fearful, worried, shattered, bitter person. I thought that arming myself with all of the information that I could about conception and fertility would help me, and give me more control. I have found that having this information has made me histrionic, stressed, mean, snappy, unhappy, forceful, obsessed, and moody.

     God has my back. He is in my corner. And if I'm waiting for Him...then there's no way that I'm wasting time. So, I'm taking back my happiness, my contentment, my ability to rest in Him, my patience, my temperance, my faith, my hope, and my joy. Everything happens for a reason, and in it's season. It might sound cliche to some, but for me, it's the truth as I know it. I CHOOSE not to participate in self-pity, and "woe is me" type thinking anymore.

     Whatever God has in store for me, I'm excited to walk into it (whether it includes more children or not). And any thoughts that don't line themselves up with the word of God as I know it to be evidenced in my life can go straight to hell!
     Will the real Mrs. Mocha, please stand up?????

Sunday, January 15, 2012

33 Days of Worship ~ Battered Faith

Luke 1:45
Blessed is she who has believed
that what the Lord has said to her
will be accomplished.

     So, I am a member of a forum on one of the TTC message boards. And each day I chat with other women who are trying to conceive, or who have conceived. Some of these women are already moms, most are not. Some women were there when I joined, some have joined after me. But every month we chat and chat while we wait to see if "this" month will be the month that each/any/one/all of us have our prayers answered and get that BFP.

     Month after month this game has played out. I've been playing way longer than I ever thought I would when I originally started TTC 8 cycles ago. And frankly, I'm very close to quitting this "game."

     Typically, I am the type of person who loves to be encouraging and motivating and positive, but I find it increasingly difficult the longer that my wait goes on. And logically, I know that there are a few reasons for that. The main is that I'm simply feeling entitled. I love the Lord. I work really hard to make sure that my life reflects exactly what I say that I believe, I'm a praiser and a worshiper, and somewhere along the long, I've decided that I should be rewarded for that by God, with answered prayers. It's so juvenile, but sometimes I really feel this way. I have taken to constantly quoting Romans 12:3 ~ For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.  It seems to be working...a little (LOL).

     I don't want my faith and love for my Lord to be conditionally based on whether or not I can rest in the fact that my prayer has been answered. I want to be faithful regardless, but right now, to be completely transparent, I am struggling.

     Not on every forefront. Not in every circumstance. But certainly in the world of reproduction and procreation. I find it increasingly difficult to get hyped up every month. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to get back on the horse each month. My spirit is so low, and my faith is tattered in this arena. I've been referred to the RE, but even this doesn't give me much in the way of hope. I've read too many blog posts about failed IVFs and IUIs.  Each month, when I start my period, and I pull out those Stay.free with wings, I feel like I have to piece my faith together like a quilt, with so many mis-matched squares, from answered prayers and dream come trues from my past, but none recent.

     Of course the Holy Spirit has given me the same word over and over, again. it's come from tapes, and tele-vangelist, and sorts of places...Romans 10:17 ~ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

     This is why I've recommitted to finishing out my "Days of Worship." This requires that I sent time with the Lord, in his word. This requires me sort out the truths and untruths of what's going on in my life. It forces me to get out of my emotions, and deal with the facts. And the fact is just what is stated in Hebrews 13:8 ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Al of the moping, whining, and pouting in the world isn't gonna change that. I think if anything is gonna change, it's gonna have to be my outlook.

     Sorry if this is not an "uplifting" post. This is the main reason that I haven't been writing. I just don't feel that I have anything positive or good to share right now. But I also know that I have to press through this, because thoughts will follow actions. So, this is me...pressing on. (smile)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Days of Worship

Oh my goodness!!

      Happy New Year and all of that good stuff. It's been sooooo long since I've written on my own blog, though I do read the blogs of others daily.

     I never imagined when I started the "40 Days of Worship" series that it would be so difficult for me to write. When I started, I was so motivated and moved. I can't really pinpoint the cause of my lack of consistency. Then again, maybe I can and just don't want to admit it to myself. Whatever the case, I'm back on the scene. I will get through these remaining days, because there is ALWAYS a reason to worship God.

     Let's get it!!!!