Infertility and Miscarriage Resource Roundup

infertility roundupHello, friends!

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. As a result, there have been countless bloggers offering their own stories of loss, grieving, healing, and honest looks at their fertility journeys. After sharing my own story last month, I was blown away (and continue to be) by the response. So many women go through these journeys and just need someone in their life to tell them that they aren’t alone, to share their story with them.

The following is a roundup of some great blog posts on Infertility, Miscarriage, and a special section for those of you who may not be dealing with either, but want to learn how to be a better friend to those who are. These are also great words to share with friends who, ahem, maybe need a little more grace in their dealings with you. I hope that you are encouraged, that you find truth and hope, and that we can continue to speak candidly about our journeys.

Blessings,
Karli

INFERTILITY

Amanda at A Royal Daughter (though recently, joyously pregnant) has been blogging through her infertility journey for several years. Her honest and yet Christ-centered approach to the journey of her family echoes the attitude I think many of us wish we had. She is vulnerable and yet encouraging, writes straight from her heart, and never fails to give the Lord glory. Click here to read many of her posts regarding her journey with infertility.

Natasha at Kindred Grace shares a beautiful reflection on facing Mother’s Day as an infertile woman, with an especially heartwarming story about a donkey!

Faith of Modern Alternative Pregnancy shares Jenn’s story of infertility and adoption. Jenn is honest about her physical struggles, and the process of surrendering to the Lord that she and her husband had to journey through. You can read Jenn’s story here.

Alex at Mama Say What shares a poignant post on secondary infertility after the birth of her son. Secondary infertility is discussed even more rarely than primary infertility, and I am thankful for Alex’s faithfulness in sharing her story, especially while in the midst of questioning and processing. You can read her thoughts here.

Sarah of Sarah Writes shares her journey of miscarriage, infertility, and the eventual adoption of her Happy Baby. I especially love how she encourages women not to be ‘named by infertility’- it is so easy to allow ourselves to be defined by this, but we can’t! Read Sarah’s story here.

Katie at Clomid and Cabernet shares marriage tips for surviving infertility together. Her tips are practical but important. The C&C community is a very encouraging place- check it out when you have a free moment. Read Katie’s tips here.

MISCARRIAGE

Julie at A Little Bit of All of It has been an honest and faithful voice to this subject for some time now. Her blog includes many vulnerable and heartfelt stories of loss, hope following, and the many complicated emotions that come along with healing from miscarriage. Click here to find all of her posts.

Kristen of Smithspirations experienced a loss a few years ago and has been sharing her thoughts through her healing and grieving ever since. Her post entitled ‘The Invisible Loss of Miscarriage‘ is like reading my own story. Here, she shares her reflections around what would’ve been her due date, including a beautiful letter to her child.  I’m so thankful that she has been faithful to share the journey the Lord has lead her on.

Amanda at A Royal Daughter shares several resources that are helping her through her healing process after suffering a miscarriage earlier this year.

Sara of A Mama’s Story shares her thoughts on overcoming feelings of guilt or judgement after a miscarriage on Modern Alternative Pregnancy. I think this is incredibly important, as I know that I dealt with those thoughts, and though they are unnecessary, many times they are unavoidable, too.

A guest writer on Modern Alternative Pregnancy shares her thoughts on experiencing a missed miscarriage, and the emotional toll that that can take on the mother. This is what happened with my husband and I’s baby, and I found her post extremely thorough- especially when an MMC is a foreign concept to many. You can read this post here.

FOR FRIENDS & FAMILY

Kristen of Smithspirations offers a beautiful post on how to support someone who has experienced miscarriage.

Amanda of A Royal Daughter shares a heartfelt, two part reflective letter to moms on behalf of infertile women. She also shares her thoughts on Mother’s Day here.

Amy at The Messy Middle writes a compelling open letter to pastors on how they approach Mother’s day. I personally think all pastors should read this- maybe you should forward it to yours?

Whitney Cornelison of Modern Alternative Pregnancy writes a thorough and well-thought-out post on helping children grieve the loss of a sibling here.

Virginia of Georgetown, MN shares her experience making a memorial quilt for a friend who suffered a loss, via Modern Alternative Pregnancy.

Alex at Mama Say What shares a thoughtful post, ‘10 Ways To Support A Friend Dealing With Infertility‘. More than just a list of things ‘not to say’, Alex encourages friends to educate themselves, support their friends through treatment plans, and best of all to be faithful in prayer.

Kindred Grace: conversations between sisters in Christ

A Little Bit of All of It

AProverbs31Wife.com

Thoughts on Halloween: Blog Roundup

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I have no idea what to think about Halloween. Especially entering into this new season of life as a parent, my thoughts are all over the map! I grew up as a kid celebrating Halloween, with memories of epic candy swaps t my neighbors house and pillowcases brimming with artificial sweeteners and plastic wrappers. I had my share of costumes- a hippie, a flapper, Esmerelda, even a witch one year- but it all seemed pretty harmless to me.

I have friends, though, who see Halloween very differently. They grew up with a keen realization of the spiritual realms behind the holiday, and so choose not to celebrate it. I have a ton of respect for this, and it’s caused me to do a lot of thinking about how I want to handle Halloween after my daughter is born. I’m still not totally sure how I’m going to handle it (I mean, what will be cuter than dressing up my 10-month old next year?), but I wanted to share some blogs that got me thinking in the past few weeks. These range from spiritual looks at Halloween to alternative treats to serve to your children- and a little fun in between. Make sure you watch the video at the end- I laughed so hard!

Now, please enjoy this photo of me dressed as the solar system for a costume party last week. Get it? 🙂

solarsystem

Amber at Whole New Momma shares 10 Kid-Approved Alternatives To Candy, including some recipes and great companies! I’m especially partial to the homemade peanut butter cups and the YumEarth Organic fruit snacks.

Christy from Whole Foods on a Budget shares thoughts on sugar during the holidays (and not having a righteous attitude about it) over on GNOWFGLINS in a 2-part post called The Great Sugar Deluge.

Angie from Leaving a Legacy shares her story of struggling with how to celebrate Halloween with her children, and the ultimate decision to live by grace and leave a legacy of prayer and the pursuit of holiness. She also shares her thoughts on redeeming Halloween in her post about The Pumpkin Gospel. 

Gabby at MamaGab shares her perspective on witchcraft, costumes, a Christian approach to Halloween, and avoiding a ‘holier than thou’ attitude in her post, My Friend, The Witch.

Barry at Stacy Makes Cents shares a quick and to the point 5 Minutes on Halloween highlighting the basic reasons that he and his family choose to forgo the holiday.

Lindsey at The Road to 31 offers a look at 4 Thing Halloween Teaches Children, including alternative celebrations and scripture to support her assertions.

Brenda of Mom Prepares offers some practical tips for families who don’t celebrate Halloween in her post, Turn Off The Porch Light.

Jamie of The Unlikely Homeschool chronicles her family’s journey from celebrating, to avoiding, to redeeming Halloween in their home in this post.

Perhaps my favorite post, I completely adore this All Hallow’s Eve celebration shared by Jessica at Shower of Roses! The children dressed up as saints, gave little presentations about their saints, prayed together, and played harvest games. It’s adorable, it’s educational, and it looks like there was a lot of food and fun, too!

And now, a humorous look into my children’s future…

StacyMakesCents

Leaving a Legacy
The Unlikely Homeschool

TED Talk Tuesday: Can We Eat To Starve Cancer?

Today’s TED Talk may be a little more academic than most, but I found it to be fascinating.  It’s no secret that diet is a contributor to cancer prevalence and healing (among many other things), but the science in Mr. Li’s presentation makes a convincing argument that we should really be examining the power in what we are eating! Enjoy 🙂

Preventative Measures for Winter Health

Preventative Measures for Winter Health- via Feed Me, Mama! It’s that time of year- when everyone is either sick, recovering, or hiding in their home to avoid getting sick. But it doesn’t have to be this way! There are so many small changes and things to implement into our lifestyles that can naturally boost our immunity, cleanse our bodies, and keep us from getting sick. Here are some of my favorites:

Neti Pot. This is an easy one, but really important and effective, especially if you struggle at all with sinus issues and upper respiratory infections! If you’ve never tried it, it can be a little intimidating, but after you get the hang of it it is a soothing daily ritual that cleanses the nasal passages of bacteria and other irritants.

Exercise. This can’t be overstated- regular exercise is imperative for good health, and a little sweating out of toxins is powerful for cleansing the body! Even walking daily (my current routine) makes a big difference.

Hot Lemon Water– this is such an easy, yummy way to start the day. Lemon water is great for digestion, alkalizes the body, fights infection and inflammation, and lifts the mood. And we all need a bit of that this time of year 🙂

Avoiding processed foods and chemical beverages. This is a more complicated topic, and certainly takes more effort as a lifestyle, but processed foods and chemical-laden (read: diet and energy) beverages are killing your immune system! Your body needs whole foods and complete nutrients to be at it’s best to fight off illnesses and keep you well. Processed foods are full of fake things that your body doesn’t know how to process, which uses up your energy that should be used to fight off illness!

Medicinal teas– there are many types of medicinal teas on the market today, but it is also easy (and economical) to buy your own herbs in bulk and mix your own blends. I love being able to go to my tea cabinet (yes, I have a whole cabinet of herbs) and select the herbs that best fit my needs, and drink it up immediately! Echinacea, alfalfa, ginger, sage, thyme, oregano,and nettle are all high-nutrient herbs that support the immune system. I’m currently drinking mass amounts of a ‘pregnancy blend’ that I’ll be featuring on the blog later this week!

OnGuard Oil Blend– this is a beautiful blend that I was just introduced to recently, but I can practically swear by it’s effectiveness. I dilute 1-2 drops of this oil in some coconut oil and rub it on the bottoms of my feet and the back of my neck each morning, and any tiny bit of sickness I feel melts away in a matter of hours. I actually didn’t use it today, and I can really tell a difference!

Other healing beverages– this could include a healthy morning elixir, kombucha, kefir, green tea. Or just drink water! Staying properly hydrated is really important, too.

Fermented foods– Things like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc are all filled with probiotics that line the digestive tract and help prevent illness. Though I would say if you are already sick, stay away from dairy, as it is difficult for your body to digest!

Don’t sterilize your life. See this post on how that’s not really helping as much as you think it is 🙂

Acupuncture– this can definitely be used in acute situations to address a specific problem, but acupuncture is very effective at keeping the body finely tuned and promoting general wellbeing. If you need a recommendation and you’re in the Carroll County area, I see an acupuncturist who is wonderful!

Elderberry Syrup– one of the most popular alternative immunity boosters, elderberry is especially renown for helping fight (and shorten duration of) the flu. You can buy commercial elderberry syrup, or buy elderberries in bulk and make your own!

This post has been shared at Thank Goodness It’s Monday at Nourishing Joy, Tending the Home TuesdayWildcrafting Wednesday,  Wellness Wednesday, and Natural Living Linkup!

Who Likes FREE Things?

Friends, I am so thankful for the way that this blog has grown, even in the past few weeks. With our baby on the way soon, this has freed me up to pursue blogging as a source of income- which means more creativity and fun for me, and lots of new opportunities for you as readers, also!

One of the exciting things about this transition is the amazing offers that companies give to blog readers- and today, I have a really great one to share with you! Through a partnership with a company called Mother Lounge, I have codes for not one, but FOUR free baby items! Whether you need a sling, a nursing cover, a car seat canopy, or a nursing pillow (or all 4), each product is really beautiful, and can be personalized for your baby as well (for an extra charge).

If you click the banners below, it will take you to the site for the specific product you are looking at. Simply select the one you want, enter the code FEEDMEMAMA1, and all you do is pay shipping!

These also make great Christmas gifts 🙂

Please note: this is an affiliate partnership, and I do make a small commission for each purchase made through these links. However, I would not share them with you if I didn’t think they were awesome and a great deal for you! If you love my blog and want to support what I do, this is a great way to do so!


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, use Promotion Code FEEDMEMAMA1 TODAY!


, use Promotion Code FEEDMEMAMA1 TODAY!


, use Promotion Code FEEDMEMAMA1 TODAY!

Taking Initiative Within Your Church Family

Taking Initiative Within Your Church Family- via Feed Me, Mama!

I think that the church today a serious problem with ‘the grass being greener’. I’m a victim, too- I get excited and inspired when I see what other area churches are doing- easter egg hunts for kids, drive thru nativities, open art studios, various ministries and studies and groups, etc. It’s amazing the things that churches are doing for the glory of the Lord!

It’s really easy to cast blame- on many different places. Maybe it’s because your church doesn’t have the right building. Maybe it’s because theres only so many positions to be filled within the existing ministries. Maybe it’s your leadership’s fault. Maybe it’s that one person who dropped the ball on that big project’s fault. Maybe everyone is too busy. No- I think we have a bigger problem.

We have no initiative.

We are so busy looking around at everyone else and pointing fingers that we don’t realize that we are called to become the answer to our own prayers! When we see a need that needs to be filled, our job isn’t to wallow in pity for the people who will be affected, or make excuses that it “isn’t our gifting”, no- our job is to FILL that NEED. If we have ministries that we would like to see in our church, our job isn’t to expect the leadership to read our minds and make it happen for us on top of everything else that they are doing- our job is to get out of our seat and become that leader. Our job is to serve. To worship. To build the Kingdom, to build community.

I heard a quote recently that really struck a chord with me, particularly in thinking about our church. “When you feel that the grass is greener, your call is probably to water the grass you’re standing on.” How incredibly convicting! How many times to we neglect our own responsibility and simply look on to more attractive things and get stuck in a cycle of self pity?

So what is it that you’re longing to see? What are you yearning to be a part of? What are you passionate about?

Does it break your heart that theres so few youth workers, or nursery workers, or worship leaders? What are you doing about it?

Do you wish you had more church-wide fellowship opportunities? Could you and a few friends plan one?

Is there a study that you would like to see led? Could you lead it?

Do you want to see more small groups or home-based fellowships within your church? Could you open up your home and start one?

Want to see a group for people of similar interests or vocations- maybe for people who own their own businesses, or MOPS, or adoptive parents? Could you talk to those other people and set a date?

The call to action is simply at this point- ACT. Just get going! Make things happen! Bring the vibrancy that you long to see in your congregation into fruition. Take your passion and turn it into a blessing for others. Take your God-given gifts and use them to build up the church like you’re supposed to. Remember that the church is NOT a building, its a COMMUNITY, and it’s everywhere. It’s you, it’s me, it’s all of us, and it only functions properly when we are all being obedient. Go!

What To Do When You’re Unhappy In Your Church Home

What to Do When You're Unhappy In Your Church Home- Feed Me, Mama!

There’s a little saying that I’ve been hearing around recently- “bloom where you’re planted”. It’s cute to hear and conjures up images of little flowers in springtime, but in reality, this is a very difficult thing to live out! I’ve been meditating on how this phrase can apply to my own life, especially in relation to ministry opportunities.

A friend posted several subsequent quotes as Facebook statuses today regarding churches. These hit me hard!

“Church hopping is the equivalent of speed dating. It’s consumeristic and shallow.”

“There is no “perfect church” so ask Jesus how you can serve to make yours better so more people can meet Him.”

As someone working in ministry (and with family in ministry), it is amazing to me how often I see this situation- people searching for the perfect church to meet their needs, hopping from place to place with a pros and cons list, or leaving a church because of one thing or another. It’s become too easy to simply switch churches, and I believe that it grieves the heart of the Lord.

Just as we teach our children that dating must be taken seriously because large-scale breakups are very much like ‘practicing divorce’, I believe that church-hopping and general ‘serve-me’ attitudes towards church bodies are creating an unhealthy culture within the family of God that doesn’t actually foster family at all- it fosters division.

In the new testament, division, conflict, and disunity run rampant within the fledgling communities of the Way. And yet, you never see Paul advising church members to go and find another body that will suit them better. Instead, Paul is the champion of conflict resolution, difficult accountability, and tough love. He doesn’t sugarcoat his words to the church, but instead admonishes them to maintain their unity and work together to continue being the Kingdom of the Lord here on earth.

How often do we follow this example in our own churches? As my friend said, there is no perfect church. There will never be a church that wonderfully fits every need of your family and has the perfect sermons and worship and service opportunities and community. There will always be something lacking. So, what do we do about it?

PRAY. As the saying goes, we must seek out the reason that the Lord has placed us within the congregation He has and ‘bloom where we are planted’. Many times we spend so much of our thought life wallowing in what we don’t like, or thinking about the next step, that we miss the opportunities right in front of us.

HUMBLE OURSELVES. One of the most toxic phrases floating around the church today is ‘I just wasn’t getting fed’, or, it’s cousin, ‘our needs aren’t being met’. When did being a church member become all about us, and what we get out of it? Yes, our churches should foster healthy spiritual development. But this development should come when diligently seek ways to serve one another, use the gifts the Lord has given us to uplift the body, and function as an accountable member of the body. It should be more about giving than receiving.

MEET WITH LEADERSHIP.
If you have serious concerns with something that you feel your church is lacking, I urge you to meet with the leadership of your congregation and share your heart with them. It’s very likely that they are aware of this lacking, and that it grieves their heart as much as it grieves yours. Rather than simply leaving your congregation to find a place that meets your need, try to set a plan in motion to see that need met within your church body. And don’t forget to ask yourself what your role can be in meeting that need, too!

BE DISCERNING. I will be the first to tell you that there are definitely times and places to leave a congregation. False teachings, major character flaws and corruption in leadership- we have to take responsibility for our spiritual development. That said, I fully believe that if the Lord is leading you away from your congregation, and you have gone through the above steps with your concerns, He will give you peace about that transition, and the ability to leave gracefully and without leaving conflict and dissension in your wake.

Friends, I encourage you, do not take your church home lightly. If you are already rooted somewhere, it should be a very, very big deal for you to leave. If you aren’t, it should be an emotional, serious process for you to commit to a church home. But have faith- the Lord knows what our churches need, and He desires unity and growth among His people. Seek His way for you and your family, and He will make it clear!

AProverbs31Wife.comTending the Home Tuesdays

Messy Marriage

Wise-Woman-Builds

The Cold Buster

coldbuster

It’s no secret that I had the worst cold known to mankind over the past few weeks. I whined about it on every social media outlet available, and nobody saw me for almost a week because when I left the house I felt like I was going to die (ask my husband about the 2 meltdowns I had at the grocery store when I tried to go out).

Because I’m pregnant and stubborn, I flatly refused to take any over the counter medications. While I did eventually have to go to the doctor (frown face) and get on antibiotics for bronchitis (double frown face), this drink did a great job of loosening my congestion and clearing my sinuses. I concocted this magical drink with all the antiviral gusto I could manage, so it’s not for the faint of heart!

You’ll need:

3/4 in chunk of ginger, peeled and cut into slivers (helps stimulate circulation and ease congestion)

1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife (strong antibacterial and antiviral)

Juice and pulp of 1/2 a lemon (cuts through mucus, boosts vitamin C, soothes the throat)

1-2 T raw honey (antibacterial and antiviral, soothes the throat)

As much cayenne pepper as you can stand! (breaks up mucus and stimulates circulation)

Steep the ginger, garlic, and lemon juice/pulp in freshly boiled water for about 10 minutes, until cooled to drinking temperature. If desired, fish out ginger and garlic pieces (I leave them in to keep getting medicinal benefits). Stir in raw honey and cayenne pepper. Drink up!

I drank this every 2 hours or so and it definitely helped!

This post is part of Tasty Traditions, Natural Living Monday, and Natural Living Link-up!

TED Talk Tuesday: 100 Days of Rejection

Welp, so much for a new blog series- post twice and then miss two weeks? Clearly I’m doing well. Sickness and travel got the best of me for a bit, but TTT is back with a quirky and inspiring video that might encourage you to step out of your comfort zone!  Jia Jiang makes the best of a difficult situation and learns some surprising lessons along the way.  A heartwarming and intriguing 12 minutes!

Shop Local! Soft and Cozy Baby

soft and cozy

Today, I had the privilege of trekking down into Baltimore to shop at Soft and Cozy Baby! If you’ve never heard of this store, and you are any type of natural mama, you’ve got to give it a visit. So many brands that I had heard of before (and many on my amazon gift registry) are stocked there- I got to finally see their beautiful products in person!

Every person working in the store was incredibly friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. They helped my mom and I navigate heaps of cloth diapers on consignment, and find the best deals for what we were looking for, too!

Here’s just a snapshot of the things you’ll find at Soft and Cozy Baby:

Cloth diapers, wipes, wetbags- many brands and styles
Lifefactory Glass Bottles (adult and baby)
Silicone teething jewelry (Jellystone, Chewbeads, etc)
Many types of baby carriers
High end strollers and travel systems (Uppababy, Orbit, etc)
Amber and hazelwood teething jewelry
Several lines of herbal ‘mama/baby’ products- EMAB, Motherlove
Swim diapers and natural sunscreens
Natural toys and art supplies
Nursing bras, bottles, and other accessories
Bamboo belly bandits

There is so much to explore and look at- I just wanted to take home everything! Lucky for me, it was the last day of their consignment sale, and I got some cloth diapers and inserts for very, very cheap 🙂 Happy mama here!

One thing that I LOVE about Soft and Cozy Baby is their gift card buy back program. To encourage customers to shop local, they will buy back gift cards from big box stores and give you store credit for them. I think this is a brilliant idea and I’m planning on putting it to use in the future.

If you’d like to visit Soft and Cozy Baby, or shop online, be sure to check out their website, and like them on Facebook!