Gird Your Loins: You are Flawless

If it seems silly including God in every little detail of your health, I want to ask you this- If God gave you a free detailed health plan that included a personalized workout calendar, a detailed cookbook that changed as you did, and a roadmap for mental and spiritual health, wouldn't you JUMP on that? Of course you would, because you would know that doing whatever the Holy Spirit led you to do would be the perfect plan and far better than anything you could create for yourself! So, now I want to encourage you to ask Him about your physical fitness.

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3 STEPS TO A CUSTOM WELLNESS PLAN STEP 1

If God filled out a prescription pad and handed it to you, what would yours look like? If He was your personal trainer or nutritionist and gave you a plan, what would that be? If He was your "shrink," what would He ask you or direct you to do? And would that look exactly like your friends or your husbands plan? Well that's what we're exploring here!

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L is for Loss

So many people stay quiet about loss and miscarriage. We want you to know that you're not alone, that we know it's hard, and that you CAN and WILL get through this.

I remember it felt like the breath got knocked out of me when the (not so friendly) tech told me there was only one heartbeat. There were supposed to be two. Twins. Two boys to be exact. And now there was one. And my heart stopped. It was devastating. That was the first of 3 miscarriages, and I keep my story short because I'm writing this for you, not me. This is to help you through your time of loss and tears, and to help you navigate through it.

Here are a few tips (from a girl who's lost 3 precious babies) on how to get through a miscarriage. It's not all-inclusive. But these ideas may help set you in the right direction. There's light at the end of the tunnel, I promise you. Watch the video for the full content.

TIPS TO GET THROUGH MISCARRIAGE

  1. Allow yourself to grieve. Miscarriage is downplayed so much in our culture. It's no wonder since we're living in a time and a place where we discard life like kitchen trash. But because loss of life is so completely downplayed by most of the world, we can feel ashamed for grieving (since, after all, "it's no big deal"). It IS a big deal. Grieve. And don't be ashamed. If you're grieving the loss of an infant, my heart breaks for you. Don't rush your grief or put a time frame on it.
  2. Get help if you need it! There's NO shame in this! In fact, I commend you, dear friend!
  3. Let this struggle bring you closer to your spouse. Communicate! Tell them what you need, specifically.
  4. Receive support from friends and family. When they offer, say yes.
  5. Don't lose hope in God or your promise!! God is good, and He is faithful!
Blessed is she who believed that He would fulfill His promise to her.
— Luke 1:45

Lately on Instagram

K is for Know

I'm continuing to (slowly but surely) post up my Fertility A-Z Series from Periscope in the fall. Today, we're on K is for Know! I felt the Lord put 3 "knows" on my heart to discuss, so watch the video to hear what He put on my heart.

  1. No one KNOWS how I feel.
  2. How do I KNOW I'll get pregnant?
  3. Do you KNOW God? Are you seeking to know who He is and who He is in your situation?

Jenni's Fertility Boost Smoothie

First of all, YUM! Secondly, yum AND it boosts my fertility?? Count me in.

I have to say thank you to Dr. Jenni Blossom over at BlossomToBeFit for sharing this amazing recipe. If you are intimidated by these ingredients (admittedly, as I was), I highly encourage you to stick with us and give it a try! Go to your local health food store and don't be afraid to ask where things are! That's what I did, and I found everything I needed. It's delicious and can aid in conception!

This is Jennifer Blossom's photo.

This is Jennifer Blossom's photo.

Here is a link to Jenni's recipe! And please watch the video from this afternoon!

Jenni generously broke down the fertility health benefits for you below! I want to encourage you to go to the original recipe to see the measurements and amounts for ingredients...

  • Frozen Mixed Berries: Excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and prove to be an anti-inflammatory, which helps in creating an optimal environment for the egg.
  • Bee Pollen (*do not consume if you have a bee allergy): Helps to boost the immune system, packed full of vitamins + minerals, and helps to enhance conception.
  • Frozen Bananas: Packed full of vitamin C, B6, potassium, fiber, folate, and other high nutritional components; helping with hormone regulation and conception.
  • Spinach: Zinc, folate acid, iron, antioxidants, and powerful nutrition, helping to support the woman's body AND reproductive system!
  • Almond Butter: An excellent choice for omega-3 fatty acids! Almond butter is a "good fat" and helps with brain development (and your baby's!)  and helps to balance out the body.
  • Ground Flax: Another excellent source of omega-3s! Great for balancing the body and hormones, along with brain development (for you and your baby!)
  • Green Powder (spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass): A power source of energy, vitamins and minerals to help strengthen and enhance your body.
  • Almond, Coconut, or Hemp Milk (depending on how creamy you want your smoothie!): An excellent substitute for dairy, and packed full of powerful nutrition!
  • Click here for the recipe and to see the last ingredient that is high in antioxidants, vitamins, increases libido, and enhances the reproductive system!

Enjoy your Fertility Smoothie once a day!!

Source: http://blossomtobefit.com/2015/12/09/ferti...

J is for Joy

Continuing our Fertility A-Z Series! Check out this short video! You can skip ahead to about 2 and 1/2 minutes to skip intros.

We're talking about choosing joy, what that looks like, and that it's OKAY to be sad! It's ok to be happy for them and sad for you. Just because you're sad for a day, doesn't mean you're not choosing joy in your season. But what does choosing joy look like?

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

I is for "Infertility" the word

"Words kill, words give life. They're either poison or fruit- you choose." Proverbs 18:21

What are you confessing over your life, situation, family, and fertility? Are your words killing or giving life?? Are they poison or fruit??

Do you call yourself "infertile?" Do you say you are dealing with "infertility?" If so, how often? A lot of us have a stock answer ready for everyone who asks us when we want to have kids, why we don't have kids, Why there's not a sibling yet, etc. It's easy to say "I'm infertile" or "We're dealing with infertility." I want to challenge you to reconsider your vocabulary. Watch the video below for some tips and suggestions for how to change what you say! Feel free to skip ahead to about 2.5min to avoid intros, etc.

Continue saying "I am fruitful!"

Believe Despite: A Story of Hope, Loss, & Extreme Faith

I sat down the other day with an amazing woman, Elisa Rumbo, who bravely shared her story with me. She struggled through 15 years of infertility, PCOS, 9 miscarriages, the devastating loss of her infant daughter, and yet she believed despite. She believed that the Lord would make her a mother!

If you are struggling with infertility or loss, you HAVE to hear her story. Her perspective is so wise, unique, and encouraging. She will, without a doubt, re-ignite your faith, remind you who our God is, and provide that extra jolt of hope you need to make it through the next hurdle in your own journey.

H is for Have Fun!

This is a super short and spontaneous video from my Fertility A-Z series. Honestly, I was going to share about something completely different that day, and I felt the Lord reminding me of something so important. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our problems, our situation, our desires and needs... that we forget to enjoy the season we're in, no matter what it looks like.

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G is for God Is...

Hey guys!! Still re-capping my series from the fall on Fertility A-Z. If you missed it, I'm posting all the videos from periscope and much of the content in the blog.

This one is really big for me. Who God is. It's important. It's relevant in our lives and in each of our situations. It's crucial to your faith. So let me ask you this- is there something that you believe about God, but you don't think He will be that way in your life or in your situation? For instance, you believe He is faithful (in general), but when you really think about it, you don't think He will be faithful in the situation you're going through right now. Or what about this one- You know and believe He's a jealous God, but you don't really think He cares if you put Him first or not. Do you believe He's full of compassion, but that you may never experience it? Those are all lies from the enemy and they've got to be dealt with before you can really step into freedom and into the fullness of who God created you to be.

Check out the video (you can feel free to skip ahead to about 2.5min to skip intros/smalltalk).

When I was trying to conceive and I first began journaling my feelings about the whole process, I felt led to make a list of who God Is and what He is like. So I googled a little, I flipped through my Bible a LOT, and began writing. When I'm feeling low on faith, down in the dumps, or feel like I'm losing hope... This list snaps me out of my fog quickly! It's not all-inclusive, and many of these have several more scriptures than I have listed, but it's a good starting place to remind yourself WHO GOD IS. I highly encourage you to take a good long look at this list and ask yourself if there's anything here that you're struggling to believe about God in YOUR life. If you believe these things about God, then choose to believe that He will be this way in your situation as well. He doesn't change!

GOD:

Is Good PSALMS

Is Righteous Ps 116:5

Is Full of Compassion Ex 34:6, Ps 103:8, Ps 111:4

Is Sovereign Is 61:1-3

Is A God of Peace Eph 2:14, 1 Cor 14:33

Is Light 1 John 1:5

Is Love 1 John 4:8, 16

Is Slow to Anger Ex 34:6

Bestowes Favor & Honor Ps 84:11-12

Does not show Favoritism Acts 10:34

Heals Is 59:1

Hears Is 59:1

Fights for Me Josh 23:3, Deut 9:3 Deut 20:4

Bears My Burdens Daily Ps 68:19

Will Not Abandon or Destroy You Deut 4:31

Does Not Withhold Any Good Think From Those Who Walk Uprightly Ps 84:11

Is Faithful Is 4:7, 1 Cor 1:9, 1 Cor 10:13, Ps 100:5, Lam 3:22-23

Is Holy Is 49:7

Is Lord Is 49:23, Ps 114:15

Is Savior Is 49:26

Is My Redeemer Is 49:26

Is A Jealous God Deut 4:24

Is Merciful Deut 4:31

Is My Refuge, Fortress, & Rock Deut 33:27, Ps 46:1, Ps 94:22

Is My Shield & Strength Prov 30:5, Ps 46:1, Ps 73:26

Is My Help Ps 54:4

Is My Comforter Is 51:12

Is The First & The Last Is 48:12, Is 44:6, Rev 1:17

Is Gracious Ps 116:5, 2 Chron 30:9, Ps 84:11

Is My God Forever Ps 48:14

Is My Portion Ps 73:26

F is for Faith

If you are low on faith, I have a couple of scriptures, stories, and a resource that I know will fuel up your hope. You don't need a TON of faith, remember!! Luke 17:6 (MSG) says, "But the Master said, 'You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it."

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E is for Emotions

Women are often labeled as crazy because of our emotions. When you are going through a struggle with fertility, loss, or miscarriage, you DO have so many emotions!! You are not crazy!

Your emotions can change so frequently, especially when you're on hormones and fertility drugs! If you are struggling in this area, please watch this encouraging video! Remember, you are not alone!

Here are the scriptures I referenced in the video:

Prov 29:11 NLT "A [self-confident] fool utters all his anger, but a wise man holds it back and stills it."

Phil 4:6 The Message  "Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

D is for Doubt

When I was in the middle of my fertility crisis, there were days I thought I could conquer the world... days I knew FOR SURE that we would get pregnant. Then, there were days that I felt doubt creep in...days I heard the enemy speaking through my thoughts, "I might never get pregnant," "what if I'm never a mom," "there's something wrong with me."

Well my husband and I decided one day to stop asking for our promises in a half-hearted, doubtful way, and to begin claiming the promises of God instead! We began thanking God in advance for the things we didn't see, and man, was that powerful. Please watch the 5 minute clip below for the original video.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it's a great time to begin thanking the Lord for the things you don't see happening yet, for the things you're trusting God for, for the baby you're hoping for. And, of course, fill your mind with truth and not lies by reading the word of God and tossing negative thoughts as far away as you can. Our thoughts are SO powerful, and can affect your health, emotions, and fertility!!

When we implant God’s word into our minds through our thinking, we fill our brains with the powerful environmental influence of God’s love, which directly impacts our mental and physical health in a positive direction. Talk about a sound mind!
— Dr. Caroline Leaf

Anytime doubt begins to creep in, anytime you begin thinking, "what if God doesn't do what He said He would," or "God is good but probably won't pull through for me," remind yourself who God is.

God is faithful. God is Holy. God is your Redeemer. God is merciful. God is your refuge and rock. He's your shield and your strength. God is your help. The Bible says He fights our battles for us. God is the one who comforts you. He's righteous. He's full of compassion. God is GOOD, and He will be good in your situation and your life. Don't doubt who He is or that He will be who He is in YOUR life and YOUR situation.

Say "I am Fruitful!!"

Tips for Dealing with (B)advice & Nosy Questions

Does it make it easier that you've been pregnant before? When are you going to have kids? Do you want kids? Are you going to have more kids? My friend adopted and then got pregnant! There are so many questions people ask, statements they make, and horrible advice they give (I call this "badvice"). For some reason, people think they have the right to know these things. We're curious, right? I used to ask these same questions, not in any way realizing what I was doing. I wanted to know!! I wanted to know if they had kids, and if so how many, and if only 1 then why? People WILL ask you these things. Someone will absolutely say something that makes your heart race and brings out the not-so-good in you. Are you prepared? Do you have the words to say, and is your heart aligned with the truth? How will you respond verbally and in your thoughts?

My desire for you is that you will ask yourself and the Lord these questions. He will talk with you! He'll give you direction and wisdom if you just ask.

A few tips to preparing your heart for "Badvice"

1. Control your thoughts.

Luke 1:45 tells us that "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." The Message version puts it this way, "Your true being brims over into words and deeds." Whatever we think about, dwell on, worry about WILL come out of our mouths.

Phil 4:8 says "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

You can change your thoughts, which can actually change your physical brain and body, according to Dr. Caroline Leaf. You can control what you think about!! One quick way to do that is to replace any negative thought with the Word of God! Just open your Bible or your Bible app and start reading and confessing truth. Your thoughts will fall into line with truth, your attitude will adjust, and your words will follow.

2. Have a response ready! Memorize it!

Don't worry, you will not sound like a robot. Get out a pen and paper and write down a few responses to some of these questions. Simply, be prepared. For instance, when someone asks you if you are ever going to start have kids. Instead of angrily telling them, "um, yeah, little do you know, we've been trying for 5 years, have lost babies, and you have NO idea what we've been through," you might try another approach, something more of a confession, something life-producing. "We are believing for children and can't wait to be parents, but it's a very private thing for us." You decide what you say! Make it yours, but be prepared.

You can see the "BADvice List" HERE and use that as reference if you need to. In that list, I also share the lie the enemy is trying to get you to believe (for each question asked). So, decide what you will say in response and what you will believe! If you're prepared, each invasive and nosy question will be a victory for you! .

3. Confess and meditate on Truth.

It's one thing to open your Bible and read or pray. It's another to actually meditate and confess outloud what God says, who He says you are, the things He has for you, His promises, who God is, and the list goes on! There's so much power in that! Have you ever worried about anything? Great!! Then you know how to meditate! Find a great scripture that lifts you up and gives you strength and DWELL on it! Say it outloud. Put it up on your mirror, in your car, on your fridge, and say it outloud every time you see it!

Here are a few to get you started!

  • Psalm 145:18-19 AMP "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, To all who call on Him in truth (without guile). He will fulfill the desire of those who fear and worship Him [with awe-inspired reverence and obedience]; He also will hear their cry and will save them."
  • Psalm 3:3 ESV "But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head."
  • Psalm 1:3 ESV "He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,  and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."
  • Eph 2:10 NLT " For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
  • Gen 1:28 NLT "Then God blessed them and said, 'Be fruitful and multiply'..."
  • Prov 31:25NLT " She is clothed with strength and dignity,  and she laughs without fear of the future."

Now, when someone asks you a super invasive and nosy question, when the next person tells you your clock is ticking, when a friend announces she's pregnant... your thoughts will be in line with God's Word. You will have control over your tongue, and what comes out will line up with your heart. Don't forget to say, "I am fruitful!"

Periscope Purpose

Hey guys! Do you know that I share encouragement, almost daily, for couples trying to conceive and dealing with loss? It's uplifting and always God's truth! 

I wanted to share the very first Periscope video I did so you can catch the vision and understand why I began doing this in the first place. Unfortunately, it does not come with comments and hearts, because at that point, I didn't know how to save the videos that way. But the point is, you can catch the vision for this whole project!

I want to personally invite you to join me LIVE. The cool thing is you can comment, ask questions, and get involved in the fertility discussions! If you want to join us, download PERISCOPE for iPhone or Android (or you can watch the daily replay on your Mac or pc at http://www.periscope.tv/laurenbourne). Lots of husbands tune in as well! It's a great way to let your husband in on this piece of your world. I share almost daily, and my aim is to always be encouraging and to always share truth. I remember when I was going through the toughest part of my struggle, I needed encouragement ALL the time! You are not alone!

Daily Encouragement through Infertility and Miscarriage (Periscipe- @LaurenBourne)

C is for Comparison

Playing the comparison game is dangerous, no matter what you're comparing. Your spouse, your possessions, your body, your friends. We all do it.

Everybody compares at some point, but it's dangerous! When you compare yourself to someone else, you're either better than or worse than. Your situation is either better or worse. Or it's harder or easier. There's no in between. It's dangerous because it takes the focus off God and puts it on ourselves. Watch the video below for full content!

Feel free to skip ahead to about 2min 25seconds to skip intros, etc.

One of the dangers of comparing yourself to others (or another's situation) is that you end up in one of two camps: pride or envy. Neither is a good place to be. Try to remember that God has you RIGHT where He wants you. And the grass isn't greener on the other side! It's greener when you accept and embrace who you are in Christ, and you thank Him for what He's done, what He's doing, and what He's going to do in your life!

My challenge to you is this: Thank God for the promise that you don't see yet instead of being ungrateful for the promise that you don't have yet!

If you struggle with comparison, I highly suggest watching this sermon of my pastor, Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Southlake, TX. It's called The Sin of Comparison, and I am confident that this will give you direction and hope as you navigate this tricky battle. You can watch here:

The Sin of Comparison

Be encouraged!! Your breakthrough will come, and you will be stronger on the other side!! Say, "I am fruitful."

 

B is for Breakthrough

We're looking back at our first Periscope series, Fertility A-Z, and today we are on B! B is for Breakthrough!

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.

Catch the full video here (feel free to skip to the 2 minute mark if you want to get to the main content)

 

I experienced a spiritual (and I believe physical) breakthrough before I conceived each of my children. The first came when my husband and I decided to be obedient to something (something pretty intimidating and scary) that the Lord asked us to do. He totally took us outside our comfort zone, and I believe our spiritual and physical breakthrough came in part because of our willingness to follow His instructions and be obedient. Watch the video to hear the story!

I also felt I had a breakthrough when I switched journals. Yes. you heard me. But before you run up to Barnes and Noble to buy a new journal... hear me out. The book that I once used to share my heart with the Lord, to write encouraging scriptures, and to thank Him turned into a desperate begging tool. I cried, I scribbled, I wrote about my cycle and every detail of my meds, treatments, and procedures. Every single time I went to God, it was about having a baby. Every time I had a quiet time, I wrote in that book (which was about having a baby). Every time I prayed, I asked for a baby. My relationship with the Lord, which was once beautiful, fulfilling, full of conversation and worship- was now all about me. All about the baby I didn't have. And although I still thanked Him in advance, praised Him, shared my heart... something had changed. So I switched journals. The new one became about more than my desire for a child. I did allow myself to write about my desire for children, but not for long, because we were pregnant soon! God is a jealous God, and I truly believe He wanted me to have my desire. But not until He had my heart.

This is a just a little overview about my perspective and experience with breakthrough. Ask the Lord if there's something He wants you to do, show you, or change your perspective on. Your breakthrough is right around the corner! Keep believing and hoping! And please connect with me wherever you hang out socially! (links below)

 There's more in the short video, and if you enjoy the content, you can join me live on Periscope HERE!

3 Keys to LIVING OUT who you are in Christ

Ok, so all I have time to do right now is quickly post up the scripture and the 3 points, but please watch the video (below) if this is something you need to hear right now. We discuss some cool stuff about acting like a princess. You can skip ahead to about 3:40 on the video if you want to skip introductions, etc. Love you guys!!

James 2:1-6 The Message

"My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted? Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God."

1. Understand and actively receive that GOD CHOSE YOU!

2. Guard your heart

3. Begin acting like the prince or princess that you are.