Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Final Post Here :(

Please visit www.lindsey-bell.blogspot.com for all future blog posts.

I'd also like to invite you to check out my new website: www.lindseymbell.com.

It has been a pleasure sharing my heart with you, and I hope you'll continue to read my posts at the other blog.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blog Changes

I'm in the process of creating a new website. That means that I'm needing to streamline my blogging process. Instead of maintaining two separate blogs, I'm combining them into one. I'm nervous to do this because I'm afraid I might lose followers. But at this point, it seems to be necessary.

On my main blog, you'll have two options:
1. You can subscribe via RSS to all of my posts.
2. You can subscribe via RSS to my miscarriage posts ONLY.

I did this out of concern for my miscarriage survivor readers. I want them to be able to read my miscarriage posts without also having to view posts about parenting.

I hope you'll skip on over to my main blog and continue reading my posts! Let me know if you run into any problems, and I'll try to help.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Empty Promises Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called "When Trying to Have a Baby Becomes Your Idol." In the midst of three miscarriages, I allowed my God-given desire for a baby to become my idol. It was all I thought about, all I wanted. What I failed to realize at the time was that nothing (not even something I've wanted for years) can fill my life. Only God can do that.

I'm so grateful to Pete Wilson, author of Empty Promises, for helping me realize that.

Because of how much I loved his new book (and because of how much I think EVERYONE needs to read it), I'm offering a giveaway at my main blog. I hope you'll skip on over there and enter to win this great book!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When God Doesn't Show Up

What do you do when God doesn't show up for you? When you've prayed and prayed for him to do a miracle and he doesn't?

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and I want to share with you some of the things I've learned. Over the next few weeks, I'll be looking at a few Biblical figures who went through difficult situations. Each of these people went through a difficult circumstance in which God could have stepped in and saved them but for some reason chose not to.

To start, let's look at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the book of Daniel. Here's a summary of what happened:

The Babylonians (and King Nebuchadnezzar) defeated Israel and forced many of the Israelites into captivity. Among these were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar set up an image of gold and required all of the people in his kingdom to bow down to it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused. Their refusal, of course, infuriated Nebuchadnezzar. He called them in and gave them one more chance to bow down. If they refused again, he told them he would throw them into the fiery furnace. Here's their response to Nebuchadnezzar's threat:

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18, emphasis mine). 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed that God would save them. "He will deliver us," they said. Not might or could, but will. They trusted that God would save them. 

I think we could take a lesson from that. When I pray, I often lack that kind of faith. Maybe it's because I've been let down before. Or maybe it's because I'm scared of being let down again. Whatever the reason, I often fail to really believe that God is going to come through for me. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego believed God would save them. 

But don't stop there. Look at what they said next: Even if he does not.

They believed God would save them (and probably prayed like they believed), but stood firm that even if he chose not to save them, they would not bow. Even if God let them die in the fire, they would not turn their backs on him. They would be faithful, regardless.

As we've started thinking about trying again for another baby, I can't help but ask myself if I would be as faithful. Would I refuse to bow, even if God does not give us a healthy pregnancy? Would I be faithful even if it doesn't seem like He is? 

What's interesting about this text is that God did eventually save Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But it was only after they had walked through the fire. 

I think it's the same for us. Eventually, if we remain faithful, God is going to make everything right. Eventually. But that doesn't mean we won't have to walk through the fire first. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

When Trying to Have a Baby Becomes Your Idol

For about 2 years, having a baby consumed my life.

It was all I thought about. Every time I used the restroom, I worried about a miscarriage. Every time I heard a song on the radio, I related it to our circumstances. I focused on having a baby so much that I failed to enjoy life. My focus was on the 3 children I had lost, rather than on the child I already had.

I heard everything through my own lens of pain. When someone complained about their difficult day with a newborn, I became angry. I lost one of the things I've always loved about myself-compassion.

To put it bluntly, I allowing our God-given desire to have a child to become my idol.

I mistakenly believed that if only we could have another child, then I would be happy. If only we could have a successful pregnancy, then I would be content. The problem with idols, though, is that they never fulfill like you think they will.

So far, God hasn't granted me a successful pregnancy (though he has blessed us with a baby through adoption.) I'm reading a new book by Pete Wilson called "Empty Promises." As I've read through this book, God has reminded me over and over again of one thing. Even if he does grant my desire for a healthy pregnancy, a baby will not provide happiness. Sure, it might temporarily fill a void in my life. But eventually, I'll want something else. Eventually, a new void will form. A new void that, if I don't fill it with God, will eventually take over my life.

For me, having a baby became my idol. It became the one thing that I thought about all the time. The one thing that I allowed to consume me. But it might be something else for you. A job maybe. Or a nicer home. Or a relationship. One thing I can promise you is this: that thing (whatever it is for you) isn't going to make you happy. At least not for the long haul. There's only One thing that will, and I hope you'll allow him to take over that void in your life.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Prayer For When You're Wondering Where God Is...

"You’re telling me that faith is all I need
But fear is all that I can find in me...

I just need you to take my hand..."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2 Things You Must Do If You Want to Adopt

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine wrote a guest post about the process of adoption. If you're hoping to adopt someday, I HIGHLY recommend you get in touch with Mandy. She can offer you so much assistance and support.

I wanted to write a follow-up post about adoption because I remember how overwhelmed I was when we first started talking about it. I guess I assumed there were so many things we needed to do, and I had no idea where to begin. For any of you who are thinking you want to adopt someday, I wanted to boil it down to two things. These are two things you must do if you want to adopt:

1. Have a homestudy done. We used a local attorney and were VERY pleased with both his prices and the final product. If you're local, contact me and I'd be happy to share his information. Homestudies are basically very in-depth interviews. The person performing the study will ask you and your spouse a lot of questions, walk through your house to make sure it's suitable for a child, and then probably request some additional information (like background checks, health records, income records, etc.) Homestudies (at least when we were looking) ranged in price from $600.00 to $2500.00. I'm sure these prices vary by location, so call around. Your best resources are local friends who have adopted.

2. Hire an attorney, contact an adoption agency, OR contact your local foster care system. Depending on how you want to adopt (through a private adoption, through an agency, or through foster care), you will need to contact one of these three options. Once you've contacted them, they pretty much walk you through whatever you need to do next. There are pros and cons to each of these types of adoptions. The least expensive options are doing a private adoption or going through foster care. However, if you go with one of these routes, there is more work on your shoulders. Going through an adoption agency can be pretty pricey, but they do take care of pretty much everything (maybe even the home study) for you.

I hope this makes the process a little less stressful. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to chat.