Life with Eleanor | Traveling with an infant

I type this while 40,000 feet in the air, on our last flight home, while she is snuggled against my chest. This is our 5th and final flight for the foreseeable future. 

Traveling with an infant is challenging in some ways if you're used to breezing through the airport but if you're willing to take a little extra time, it really isn't any more difficult. 

My strategy for traveling with such a little one (just over 5weeks old on her first flight)  was to keep it simple and be prepared.

We got to the airport 1 hour in advance which was really nice. I didn't really want to be trying to run around with a baby in tow. 

We nursed during take off and landing if Eleanor was awake. She honestly loved being in the air and has slept through every flight or happily cuddled with her daddy and I. 

We brought our baby carrier and she really enjoyed that while we went through security and checking in. 

We packed a diaper bag and a food bag as our carry on. 

Diaper Bag Packing List:

Diapers - 2 diapers per hour of traveling 

Wipes 

Burp cloths

Diaper powder - a must have in my opinion 

Catnip and Fennel - it's a great tincture to help settle babies tummies and a life saver for me. It also makes them a bit drowsy so just be aware of how much you give your little one if you do use it.

Extra outfit - for baby and yourself

Plastic baggie - in case of an accident, it's nice to have a separate spot to put the messy outfit 

Changing pad 

Wallets 

Phone charger

Phones 

Food bag:

Veggies and fruit slices 

Sandwiches

Water/juice 

Crackers 

These are the things I would definitely pack again. Once she starts teething or needing more entertainment, I'm sure this list will change according to her needs. What are your travel must haves? 

 ah! I love this picture.... Is it too soon to want to have another baby?! She is growing toooo fast!

ah! I love this picture.... Is it too soon to want to have another baby?! She is growing toooo fast!

 Saying hello to her great grandparents. She was so sleepy and grandma honey knew just how to cuddle miss Ellie. 

Saying hello to her great grandparents. She was so sleepy and grandma honey knew just how to cuddle miss Ellie. 

 After traveling for 14 hours we finally found ourselves some sunshine and beaches! Ellie's first time testing out the water. 

After traveling for 14 hours we finally found ourselves some sunshine and beaches! Ellie's first time testing out the water. 

 Driving to our hotel, it was a beautiful drive! 

Driving to our hotel, it was a beautiful drive! 

 We had so much fun in the sunshine and ocean waves. 

We had so much fun in the sunshine and ocean waves. 

Life With Eleanor | Her Birth

Since we're taking a break from 31MOM for 2017 I thought I'd keep you all updated on what is going on "behind the scenes" so to speak. As many of you know, the reason we took a break from the magazine for 2017 is because of the arrival of our dear little Eleanor. 

Life with Eleanor has changed our lives forever and I couldn't be happier. I'll definitely keep sharing on our journey this year with updates as we learn and grow. 

Eleanor's Birth:

Eleanor's birth was fast and uneventful. I started having irregular contractions early on in the day. After brunch, Zech and I went for a 3 mile walk down the autumn road. There were only a few leaves left on the trees, the sun was shinning, and it was a beautiful day. We talked about how this could be our last walk together until after the baby arrived and were so very excited about the possibility. 

My midwives were busy with other clients that day so I didn't bother to tell them about the contractions. In fact, I didn't tell anyone except Zech. We weren't at all worried. Leading up to Eleanor's arrival we had talked a lot about what we hoped the birth would be like and really tried not to get to stuck on our expectations but just enjoy and embrace whatever happens. I think that was what made our experience so pleasant. 

As the day wore on and evening was beginning, I was preparing dinner for my mom and sister (they were visiting us). As I was making dinner I got a call from a family member who wanted to know if I felt like having someone do some accupressure to get labor started. I agreed and thought it would be fun to see if I would notice a difference in the contractions. At this point I was nearing 43 weeks pregnant so I definitely didn't mind trying things to get labor started. After I got done with my appointment we came home and had dinner with my sister and mom. The contractions were still fairly far apart and I wasn't at all timing them. Still, no one knew that I was even having contractions. Every once in a while I would have to take a moment to breath but it wasn't consistent with the contractions so we continued about our evening. 

After my family left for the evening, Zech and I went to bed. That lasted for about 30 minutes before I decided it was just too uncomfortable. I asked Zech if I could take a bath and he reminded me that sometimes water can slow down labor. I couldn't have cared less, I just wanted a nap. We filled the bath and talked about the possibility of being in labor and when we might want to call someone. I sat in the bath for about 30 minutes before deciding that it was also too uncomfortable. I texted Rachel, my SIL and doula, and let her know what was going on. She let us know that she would head on over and that brought me a little comfort. At this point we started timing contractions and they were about 5 minutes apart. That seemed a little strange to me and I figured we must just be tracking them wrong. We went to the living room and I sat on the couch while Zech worked on setting up the birthing pool. I definitely needed a bit of encouragement and help breathing during contractions so I was having a hard time being patient for Zech to blow up the birthing pool. He worked on that for another 30 minutes or so before my water broke. When I told him it broke, his response was "are you sure?" Uhhh...yes I'm sure. He immediately gave up on the birthing pool and came to help me. Rachel showed up shortly after that and I was relieved. I was beginning to worry we might have to deliver the baby ourselves and we really weren't prepared for that! Zech called the midwives and let them know that they really needed to get here fast. We had texted them an hour or so before just letting them know that we were having contractions, but like I said earlier - they had other clients in labor as well. Zech and I were used to the idea of a 30 hour labor just because that is what we heard was pretty normal so once again I reminded myself that we were probably just beginning and to take it easy. 

I kept trying to breath and find positions to relax in. My original plan was that we would set the birth pool up upstairs and have the baby there. However, I found myself on the living room couch unwilling to budge one bit. I finally switched to kneeling on the floor and holding Zech in front of me. My body started "pushing" on it's own and I was having a hard time relaxing. I did not want to start pushing before the midwives got there but my body seemed to be doing it itself. When the midwives arrived a short time later they set up there equipment and then took a seat. After hearing me breath through a couple contractions they asked me to change posistions so that they could check to see how baby was doing (my back was against the couch so no one could really tell what was going on). When I turned around, the midwives said "oh! there's its head! You can start pushing." I was relieved to hear that they could already see her head but it still didn't really "click" for me that we were close to being done. After only 1 1/2 hours later, Eleanor was born. She was immediately handed to me and she didn't scream or cry. She was breathing great but she was just happy and content and apparently didn't feel like crying. ;-) We got to cuddle for an hour or so before they cut her cord and we started getting cleaned up. Zech holding her for the first time was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I still love to just sit and watch them interact with each other. Eleanor definitely loves her daddy and he surely adores her. 

Our birth story summed up, Eleanor was born healthfully at home. She weighed 7 lbs 15 oz. She was 21 inches long. She arrived only 5 hours after we realized we were in labor.

There are so many other little aspects of her pregnancy, birth, and our recovery that were answers to prayer but I couldn't possibly share them all. All I can say is that God abundantly blessed us with Eleanor. Everything about her is a miracle and I am so incredibly thankful to have her in our lives. We waited 2 long years for her arrival and she was definitely worth it. Worth every loss, every sleepless night, every blood draw and test, worth all the tears, she is worth it all. I don't understand God's ways, or why some babies go to heaven before their families are ready, but the last two years have taught me that faith is trusting God even when we don't understand his plans...and being okay with that. God's ways are higher than our ways and surely he works everything for our good. 

Seasons Are Changing

I'd like to start by simply saying how grateful I am to each of you. Each of you that have supported the magazine, or contributed in some way, have played a part in making my dream a reality and blessed me immeasurably. 

As many of you know, my husband and I are expecting the birth of our first child. We are very excited and cannot wait to meet this little one. With that said, I feel that the seasons of our life are changing and 31MOM will reflect that. 

Although my plans for the magazine portion of 31MOM are not set in stone, we will be taking a break from it. Our blog will continue and we have lots of exciting ideas that we hope to put in place in 2017.  We are always here for encouragement and sisterly support and hope that you'll continue to stay in touch with us. We have loved being a part of your lives this past year. 

All our publications will continue to stay available in our shop. If you have any questions about accessing them, please just let us know. 

Dating your children | Pink Dates

Dating your children | Pink Dates

Last summer our little girl, Emily, was cuddled in bed next to us while she shared stories with her daddy about all the things that happened during the week while he was away. After the stories ended, she bounced up and grabbed his face with both hands and said, "Daddy! Will you take me on a pink date?" My husband gave me a curious glance hoping I could fill in the blanks of what he was missing, I could only shrug. I had never heard of a 'pink date'. With squished cheeks he replied, "sure baby, but tell daddy, what's a pink date?" Letting go of his face, she leaned in a gave him a kiss and she giggled and said, "you're being silly, daddy, you know what it is!" With one last kiss to his cheek, she hopped off the bed and ran to get dressed for her Pink Date. 

I helped her with her hair and even gave her some "lipstick" (minty chapstick) so she would feel extra special as she went out on her first daddy-daughter date. I had no idea where my husband was going to find something as pink and girly as our little one, but they made an adorable pair all dressed up! 

An hour later they returned and she was glowing with joy! She came into my craft room and said, "Mommy, I'm home! I had fun!!" I put down my scissors and asked her all about this Pink Date she had just been on. With sparkling eyes, she climbed up on my lap and said, "we had cupcakes, we colored, we read books, and we danced!" Surprised that all of that happened in such a short time I asked my husband where they went and he began to tell me how he had no idea where to go, so he just drove around for a bit and prayed, "God help me find something special for us to do!" Just then he was pulling up to a red light and as he waited he saw a cupcake store. You guessed it, a totally PINK cupcake store!! After going into the little shop, they found that the cupcake store had fun 40's-50's music playing, pink and white 50's decorations, cupcakes of every kind, tables with chalkboard tops, and a small corner with a vintage couch and a rack of books. They sat and talked about what to do for the rest of the weekend when one of her favorite songs came on they got up and danced together, and then finished the date by reading the book, "Oh The Places You'll Go." 
 

 
It is now something my husband tries to do monthly with her and every week she asks me how many days are left until the next, Pink Date! We spend the morning curling her hair, picking out her outfit, and she always asks for 'lipstick'. At noon, daddy starts the car and then comes back, knocks on the door and asks if he can please take Miss Emily on a date. Sometimes I wish I could go too, just to watch and hear the giggles, however, she's made it very clear that ONLY daddy's and Emily's can go. ;-) 
 

If you would like to start your own Pink Date tradition, we would love to hear about them! Make sure you tag a photo on Instagram using, @31mommagazine We've also created little date cards for you! You can find them in our shop, HERE.  



(FREE) Printable Menu Plan

One of the things that I love to plan is menus! Looking through recipes, learning nutritional facts, it all fascinates me. It is also great for helping me stay on track with our health goals! 

31mommenu

This week I was designing my family's menu and I thought "hey, I bet someone else is out there that would like a nice menu..." So here I've listed the free download for our weekly menu plan. It's simple, easy to fill out, and nothing too fancy. I hope you enjoy! 

Click Here To Download. 

 This is a limited time offer. After February 1st you will be able to find this in our shop. :-)

This is a limited time offer. After February 1st you will be able to find this in our shop. :-)

A Quick Reminder | Kimberly Stelzer

An awesome reminder from Kimberly Stelzer. We love her tip for how to get through long days. What do you do to brighten up a particularly hard day? 




3 Simple Photography Tips with Cherilyn Magee

I don't know about you, but I love capturing the every day moments. Children playing in the fresh snow, their giggles that fill the house, the way lovers look at one another. It is all so beautiful and so worth capturing. Sometimes I come up against a wall though..."How do I capture this perfect moment?"

Today, Cherilyn Magee is joining us to share 3 tips to instantly improve your photos. 

1. Fill the frame

 Photography By: Cherilyn Magee

Photography By: Cherilyn Magee

 One thing I have noticed often on social media is moms posting photos of their kids etc. taken at quite a distance, creating way too much distraction from the subject.  Don’t be afraid to get in close and fill the frame with your subject. 

Filling the frame allows the subject of the photo to speak. And honestly, who doesn’t love a good close up?

2. Learn the Rule of Thirds

 Photography By: Cherilyn Magee

Photography By: Cherilyn Magee

You have probably seen photos where the subject is off to the side, and maybe you haven’t even realized how this can create a very appealing photo. It’s called the rule of thirds, and like all rules, it’s made to be broken, however it can work quite nicely when composing a photo. 

3. Watch for Leading Lines

 Photography By: Cherilyn Magee

Photography By: Cherilyn Magee

A leading line creates a path for the eye to follow, and draws the viewers eye in. Leading lines can be found in all kinds of places: roads, fences, architecture, bridges, bricks, rivers, boardwalks, etc. I love to put my subject along a leading line, thereby drawing the viewer in toward the subject, and thereby creating interest.

All that being said, any photo is better than no photo, so if you forget any (or all!) of these tips, take the picture anyway! You want to remember your kids, your grandkids, your husband, and all the fun and crazy things you do. And please, I beg of you, put yourself in some of the pictures too. Your kids want to remember you, and even if you are not the best version of yourself right now, your kids will look at a photo of you and see what you mean to them, not those ten last pounds you can’t seem to shed. 

Have you found other tips that have helped you improve the photos you take of your family? I would love to hear them!

Abundance | It is Life

I walked, hand in hand, with my dear Zechariah on this particularly perfect evening. The golden rays of the sun were fading, the cool of the evening setting in, and our puppy frolicking ahead of us. My heart rested in a happy, peaceful place.

This is home. This is life. This is abundance.

Zechariah has often said that he wants us to have an abundant life. I didn't know what he meant before, but now I do. It is joyful living, healthful living, long days of work, and nights spent starring at the stars. It's long walks, it's finding a fawn and marveling at the beauty of life, it's laughing as we play with each other, it's life.


My life isn't perfect..but I wouldn't change a thing. Abundant life to me is exactly what we are living in right now. In 20 years from now, our lives will look very different but I can guarantee that we will still be living in abundance. Because really, abundant living is more of a mindset than anything else.

Miscarriage Journey Is Coming To An End | Part 1

This is the end of what has been a long time coming. It's time to move on and prepare for the new things that the Lord is bringing into our lives.

When I think about closing this chapter of our lives inscribed in this blog, there are two things I would like to share. This is part one.

 

To the Broken.

You are not broken. Listen to me, you are not. Believe that. Believe it with your whole being.

Somedays your pain will come with such fury, you'll wonder if you've really healed at all. The waves will crash over you. Somedays you will feel normal. The storm breaks and you function effortlessly.
You will laugh and you will cry. Most importantly, your heart will mend.
No, it will never truly be what it once was...it will be even better.

On the days your pain feels raw, talk to someone. Perhaps write about it. Don't be afraid of it. Don't be afraid to feel it and let someone else feel it with you.

It has been a year now. Looking through from the other-side of the pain, I can tell you that truly- you will be okay again. Almost miraculously, our hearts really do mend.
No matter what happened, remember that your body has not failed you. You are strong. You are healthy (or you will be). Hold onto this truth until the waves of pain cease to crash over you.

Rejoicing Always,

Bethany Joy

Join us next week for the final post in our journey, What A Mother Of Angel Babies Hears When She Finds Out You're Pregnant.

Don't be afraid to remember

Sometimes I really question if I should share anything here at all. I don't know that these posts really help anyone. I don't know who is on the other-side of the screen and if you're rolling your eyes as your scroll by yet another one of my sappy posts. From day one, that I began sharing our journey, I did it to help others heal (even if it is just one person). So here's to healing.

Occasionally, I'll remember something so vividly, I feel as if I can almost touch it...perhaps bring it back and relive it once more.


Exactly one year and 1 day ago, we said goodbye to someone very precious. I don't often think of that time in my life. Like most, I block out these sort of memories because I'm afraid to feel to much. That, my friends, is the theme of this entry.

I block out nearly 6 months of the last year because they hurt. The climax and grand finale came all too suddenly and my fairy-tale was shattered. Why go back? Why remember such painful days?

Because, there were happy days too. When I block out the pain, I also block out the beauty. Oh, those beautiful, blessed days.

So here are some of my most favorite moments from that period of my life, and what I learned.

  1. Telling Zechariah and family the news.
  2. Having to explain to some family members that we were not buying chickens, we were hatching an actual human. I laughed about this for the longest time.
  3. When Mommy Stelzer took our announcement photos for us.
  4. The brightness that seemed to fill every day. Even the days that I was sick, there was a genuine joy that came with it.
  5. Meeting our midwives, who would eventually become dear friends.
  6. Hearing a heartbeat for the very first time.

Things I learned:

  1. To be happy.

To be genuinely, truly happy. Not to worry about the past, or the future...but to just be happy for as long as I possibly could for I never knew how long it would last.

2. That we were stronger than we knew.

3. That the Lord answers prayers at unexpected times...and in unexpected ways.

You know, the evening before we found out we were pregnant with our second child - we sat on the couch with each other crying out to the Lord. Asking why we were still waiting. Asking why he gives and takes away. Little did we know the joy that we would experience only a few hours later.

So, friends, don't be afraid to feel. To remember.  It's worth it.

Upcoming Giveaway

I am just amazed by how many of you have joined us in the past week. We are only 75 friends away from 500 people on our Facebook page. How cool is that?! I can't wait to get to know each of you more. 

A super generous, anonymous, person is donating to our 31MOM giveaways to help us reach the big 500 mark. Without further ado, I'd like to announce what this special giveaway will be. 

Mrs. Anonymous is donating a Daily Simplified Gold Pineapple Planner

 

Is it not the cutest little planner you ever saw? I might just end up getting myself one of these. 

TO ENTER:

Like and Share our Facebook Page

Follow and tag a friend on the giveaway post on Instagram @31mommagazine

Tell me why you'd like to win this planner. 

We will pick our winner on Tuesday at 6:00pm PST. 

Good Luck and Much Love, 

Bethany Joy | 31MOM Founder

It's The Big Day!

It's The Big Day!

Hi there everyone! 

I am so excited that the big day is finally here and we are revealing 31MOM Magazine. 

This magazine has been a dream of mine for several years and I am just so incredibly blessed by all the people who came together to make this magazine a reality. I am so thankful to what the Lord for what he has been doing in this magazine, my amazing team, and of course my husband. 

The dream for this magazine started before I been became a wife. I wanted wives and mothers to feel inspired and empowered. To savor the mundane, everyday moments, and to have enthusiasm for life. We hope to accomplish this through the amazing contributors that we have on our team. Please take a moment to head over to our contributor page and say "hi" to each of them. 

We will be hosting several exciting giveaways this month. Be on the look out to win some really neat prizes! Many of our contributors have donated to these giveaways, as well as some other really awesome women. 

If you hop on over to our Facebook and Instagram you will be able to partake in those giveaways, receive updates, and sneak peeks at the magazine. Coming out on January 9th, this magazine will be published online exclusively for 2016. 

Fun Snid-Bit: We are considering doing a printed version of this magazine. If you'd be interested in that, make sure to drop us a note. We love hearing your thoughts! 

Respectfully,

Bethany Joy

Testimony of 100 Years

I read Noah’s testimony...I read Abraham’s testimony...I read David’s testimony...I read so many testimonies in the scripture and I find my heart left with a bittersweetness.


I can read the entire Bible’s worth of testimonies in less than a year. I can read anyone of the aforementioned testimonies in a matter of minutes. Yet, what I miss is the time...the waiting...

Abraham waited 100 years for Isaac. Nothing adequately conveys the reality of 100 years.

Do any of us really understand how long that is? Considering the average lifespan in the U.S is 78.74 years, I’d say no. Most of us won’t even live that long according to statistics.

I doubt when I don’t see instant results. I get scared when I don’t feel secure. I feel forgotten when prayers go unanswered. The reality is, I am a frail creature.

I forget that waiting doesn’t mean I’m forgotten. Waiting doesn’t mean I’ve sinned. Waiting doesn’t mean I’m lost. It means God is working in my life. He is creating something beautiful that I just can’t see yet.

On days that 100 years just seems too long, I recite God’s promises to myself. I claim those promises as my own and steadily, my doubting mind is eased.

Messy, Mundane Days

Life is a collection of perfectly imperfect moments. "The grass is greener on the other side" is a lie that I believe all to often.


I'm learning to embrace.

I'll probably still do dishes and laundry but I don't think that embracing the imperfect means that I neglect the responsibilities given to me. To me, embracing imperfections is humming a little song as I go about my tasks. It's choosing to have a joyful, thankful attitude about the mundane, imperfect days. And you know what? Those are some of my favorite days.

I am learning every day, that the only thing that defines wether or not my day was "good" or "bad" is my attitude. My life is not a collection of circumstances that controlled me. If anything, it's a collection of beautiful, hard things that built me. This is my joyful journey. It's my journey to embracing the imperfect, messy, mundane days.

Life Is Too Fast For Me

Life is to fast for me. I hurry, I rush, I speed, I hasten my steps... Everyday things go unnoticed by me simply because life is too fast.

 photos from: Joy, Light, Life

photos from: Joy, Light, Life

Life is to fast for me to notice the little things, and often I don't know what I am missing until it is long past. I am all for being productive...but am I missing the beautiful gifts around me because of the speeding life I live? Is it really worth it? Is it worth missing the children's laughter? Is it worth missing the blooming wildflowers? Is it worth missing the kiss of my lover? Is it worth any of it?

Now I lay upon the grass, I ponder this all and sigh. I can hear Zechariah's breath deepen as he starts to fall asleep. I lay my head upon his chest and slowly we drift off to sleep together beneath the stars.

 

Living Joyfully

You know, it's been about 3 months since my miscarriage. It seems like forever ago, and sometimes it feels like yesterday.

Three months ago, I laid in bed crying out to the Lord and telling him "there's no way I can live without my babies."

Today, I'm doing it.

The reality is, whenever a child or loved one is lost, you will always remember them. You will always love them. You will always miss them.

I am not in constant sadness or regret. I am joyfully living in thankfulness.

Yes, I had a miscarriage.

No, that doesn't define me.

Yes, it shapes me.

No, it does not affect me negatively.

I purposed in my heart 3 months ago to live happily and engaged in life; that's what I'm doing.

When the Lord brings us a child to hold in our arms, we will joyfully welcome him/her into our hearts.

Have A Little Grace

As I think about our journey to parenthood, I think about so many others waiting on a child. I pray for you. I don't even know you, but I pray for you. I know it's hard when so many others just "fall" pregnant as if almost on accident. Don't lose hope though, okay? I'm cheering for you and someday we'll have babies to hold in our arms too.

My journey to parenthood has changed my view of the world. Everyone is doing their best to simply survive some days. When I see people who seem grumpy, distant, or just unhappy with the world, I'll take time to be a little more patient. I'll take time to offer hope. To offer a listening ear. To offer a hug. Sometimes I need you to be patient with me too, okay?

We all have a story. Some choose to share it, some don't know how. Let's just have a little grace and patience towards one another.

Sometime's I think that women with children don't know how to communicate and share with women who don't. There is this invisible wall between us. I think it's time we break it down. Starting by simply seeing the earth as the beautiful place it is, seeing people as more than their insecurities or fears, and being the kindness of the world.

In The Waiting

Everyone is waiting for something. Waiting for a job promotion. Waiting for a husband. Waiting for a medical miracle. Waiting for a child. Waiting.


Waiting is hard. Waiting is hard because so often when we are doing it, we feel helpless. Things are out of our control and we are just...well, waiting. It's frustrating, saddening, and a bundle of other emotions.

So what's the solution? How do we get what we want? If it's a perfectly good and admirable thing to desire why does God make us wait for it so long?

Reader, I can't really give you an answer that will fill your desire. I ask God the same questions.

I believe that in this time of waiting God works on me the most. He is molding me, sometimes gently, sometimes by breaking me, but always skillfully. Questioning me. Building me. Making me into a vessel for his glory. Will I be faithful in him when I cannot see his hand working? Will I praise him when I feel the pain all to real? Will I be patient and trust in his will? Will I joyfully accept his will (even a 'no')?

Reader, I want to control God. I want to have my will. I want. He knows it. He knows who I am and the deepest parts of me. He knows my desires. The longing in my heart. He knows.

I have to come to a place of peace. I have to come to him and quiet myself.

So here I am. Waiting, quietly. Join me in waiting and trusting in his will.

Dear Doctor

Dear Doctor

I walked into your office just wanting answers. I was tired. Tired of feeling sick, tired of losing babies, tired of being told all the things that were wrong with me. When someone comes and tells me all the things my body isn't doing right, it feels like I've failed. I've failed Zechariah. I've failed my children. I've failed. So I go to your office hoping that you can fix me. 

You are friendly enough but I already know what you will tell me. You can't give me what I want. You order more blood work and say you'll get back to me. The truth is, you can't fix me. You know it and I know it. 

The truth is dear reader, no one can fix us. Healing doesn't come from doctors, medications, herbs, or the multitude of other options out there. Healing comes from God. Yes, God uses these wonderful resources available to us but if you put your faith in them instead of Him, you will be sorely disappointed. The medical world has made leaps and bounds in recent years and yet there are still so many gaps. We must do our best with the resources we have and trust God to fill in the gap.

I understand the frustration of just wanting to be fixed. I understand the painful hope. I have gone through it all. I have cried until I don't have any tears left. The one thing that has held me together is the truth the I find in God's word. The peace that will overwhelm my heart in the saddest of times. The strength to continue on and not lose hope.

I can honestly say that I have come to a place of peace with where I am at. Physically, I feel better than I have in quite some time. I am still learning about my body and how to help it. I am still going to doctors. I am still taking multiple supplements. Emotionally, I am joyful. It's a gentle joy that comes with that overwhelming peace.

The advice I would give to anyone struggling with their health is the following.

Some days are hard. Some days are great. Some days it'd be easier to throw it all to the wind and go hide under a rock. Don't give up my dear reader. Health is something that takes time to gain. Healing doesn't come overnight. If you are discouraged, talk to someone about it. If you are annoyed with people asking questions, have patience but don't be afraid to politely tell them that you'd rather not discus it right now.

Trust the Lord with your healing. Not with a faint heart but with faith. I feel that often times God uses these situations to build our faith. This healing journey of yours can be whatever you want it to be. It can draw you closer to the Lord. It can make you a testimony to others. On the flip side, it can make you unthankful. It can destroy your most important relationships. It can make you miserable. Purpose in your heart to make it a season of life that you look back on and are not ashamed of.