although this wasn’t a voice memo, or a note on my phone, it was a document I started the day we found out our first IVF failed.  often times on days that I’m feeling all the feelings I have to get them down.  even if I know no one will ever read them but myself.  it’s basically my heart on paper.  #fertilityfriday

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I don’t really have words for today.  I had no idea how it was going to turn out, but this morning my gut said, “not today”.  but my heart was still full of hope.  and comfort from dear friends and my sweet nurse Morgan who kept me uplifted and positive.  a crazy morning trying to get blood work done at my ob’s office, filled with tears and serious “if you can’t do this for me, I’m leaving” moments.  not proud.  hanging out at my husbands office for a bit so I didn’t have to go home alone.  then, just as I like it, a revolving door of a few close friends who came to sit with me in my waiting.  heating up leftovers, sitting on the couch so I could rest on my heating pad as my cramps and bleeding just kept getting worse and worse.  and then, for a few minutes an empty house.  a husband who came home from work to get my suburban to go get the kids from school so I could stay home and “wait for the call”.

the call came when it was just us two in the house, and I’m thankful for that.  my eyes welled up with tears as I looked to my husband sitting on the other couch in our living room and I just gave him the thumbs down.  I listened as my sweet nurse Morgan said through tears that unfortunately my labs came back and I was not pregnant.  in fact, my hcg levels were so low that it was basically negative.  the embryo that we implanted never attached.  tears.  then after a few minutes, hanging up of the phone and hiding my face in a pillow.  a hot bath while the husband went to get the kids, and a thankful mama as her babies ran in the back door squealing “mama! mama! mama!” and ran into my arms.  tears again.  thankful for these little people that have changed my world.

rocking them to sleep tonight I just prayed over each one, and thanked god for them.  thanked god for my promise, my Camp.  for fulfilling a dream I didn’t know I had, and not answering my prayers 5 years ago when I wanted to get pregnant.  and thanking god for my joy, my Asher who was a little surprise and extra blessing on top of blessing.  my life would not be the same without those two.  and as I sit numb, disappointed to the point of wanting to be devastated, I feel peace.  I feel a twinge of excitement for what the heck god is up to now.  if last time this all happened, and years later he blessed us with our double portion, camp and asher, what did he have in store now?

two friends at almost the exact same minute texted me a reminder of my all time favorite scripture – “god is able to do abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine”.  and I know he can.  so what’s he up to now?

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one of those things was FOR SURE the carry camp.  

god can use my pain, and turn it into purpose!  my scars for others good.  come say hi! 

  • Lauren Casper - I remember getting the news from you that day and feeling so crushed for you. I love your heart. <3ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - God is able. Trusting He will continue to redeem your story and expand your family.ReplyCancel

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ok, so maybe technically I’ve already written about this here.

but I found this note in my phone, based on a talk I had just heard by Rebekah Lyons at Love Does last year.

and I just keep thinking, it’s the truth.

I was feeling pretty down recently, and my friend Candance sent me a text saying something like this,

“I’m not a writer like you but I crave being vulnerable with people in my life. I feel like God is growing our influence here with our church! Your story and blog encourage me so much. I’m also so thankful I can encourage my husband to be the same. He just talked on Thursday to our core group about wanting to be a vulnerable leader so that the people at our church can feel free to be the same. That’s your influence girl.”

I don’t tell you that to toot my own horn.  I’m just saying!  if you want your people to be VUNERABLE, YOU START IT!!!!

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I’m doing this “fit for fall” challenge, and before we started we had to post pictures of ourselves pre-challenge.  ummm scary.  but once someone was vulnerable and brave to post, everyone did.  it was safe then.

I’m on a group text with all my best college gals, and one of our friends is always the first to open up and be so real about how hard motherhood is.  my favorite is when she sent us a video of her messy house.  you better believe the texts rolled in by the hundreds for three days solid after that.

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this summer, while in Rwanda for #StyleForJustice, we got to sit around a room with IJM clients moms and share our stories.  share a burden and a blessing.  I’ll never forget the words spoken to me by my friend Jennie afterwards – she told me that after I opened up so vulnerably with the women, they opened up!  they felt safe, they felt like they could also share the deepest hurts in their story.  that was a moment I’ll never forget [and I’m sure will share more about later]. ** posted a little about this over on the carry camp blog today**

my point…

be vulnerable.

let people into your junk.

be real.

build it and they will come.

have you seen this kind of vulnerability take shape once someone starts?

  • Chantel Klassen - Oh this is so true. Vulnerability is so much easier when someone else has started. I’m going to make a point in the future to be the one to start! Thanks Wynne!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Brown Dorman - Very true! Thanks Wynne ‘Trippet’ Elder!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Chilton - Love this girl! Explains a lot of why your friendship is an easy fit for me. ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Chilton - Love this! Vulnerability gives others so much more of Jesus and his freedom! ReplyCancel

  • Erika Riggs - i so believe in vulnerability. beautiful!! :)ReplyCancel

the voice memo says it all.

y’all, I can’t believe this day is here.

a dream.  a vision.  a prayer.  a calling.  a ministry.  a community.  a place to gather.

the carry camp is finally here!

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if you or someone you know is walking the road of infertility – please send them to our new community.

The Carry Camp is all about loving and empowering women who might feel broken, left out, and even useless in their struggle with infertility. It’s about encouraging each other to walk in the light and the truth of who we really are: beautifully created in the image of a God who loves us and wants to use us and our stories for His glory. We’re about making His story our story and finding purpose from our pain. It’s about extracting the precious from the worthless and sharing it with the world.

We seek to equip women right where they are and provide a place of refuge that brings peace and restoration. Yes, we have all shared in the cup of suffering but seek to live fully + bravely in our true identity: beautiful daughters of the King. This community is not just for us, but for you kindred one.

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come by and say hi?

eternally grateful.

 

traveling // seeing new places // meeting new people // connecting with people who have a passion for something  //  hearing peoples stories // date night // one on one coffee with a good friend // being outdoors // seeing my kids laugh  // being on the water // getting to reflect // jamming out in the car

these are all things that make me COME ALIVE!

my word[s] for this year, is living alive.  I wrote on January 15th….I want to live alive this year.  I want to be completely and utterly exhausted at the end of the year.  Not in a way that I didin’t take care of myself, or didn’t make time for rest: because I want that too.  What I mean is I want to LIVE ALIVE.  I want to take risks, I want to go “all in”, I want to DO things even when I’m tired and would rather lay on the couch and watch TV.   I want to take the chance.  I want to dream my big dreams out loud and think deep thoughts.  I want to go to the places that make me feel ALIVE, and FREE and allow me to think and dream.  I want to live brave.  2014 is not the year for excuses, but for living alive.

wynneso these things, these things make me feel alive.  and push me to LIVE alive.

 

what about you?  how do YOU live alive?  what makes you free?

  • sb - I love this and I love that “living alive” looks different for everyone. I’m finding my “alive” this year, too!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - Love your list! I LOVE traveling :) Makes me feel alive!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - traveling and experiencing new things; community with people; actually doing things that will have some small impact in the world.ReplyCancel

  • Megan George - reading a Bible passage that is somehow just right at just the right moment, time alone with my husband, deep talks with friends, sweet snuggle time with my babies, a quiet moment with a chai latte…ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - i love this list. i love that you do these voice memos.. such a cool idea and so inspiring to hear your thoughts even if you do think they are just ramblings. thanks for being brave and sharing them with us!ReplyCancel

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I love this quote from a documentary I’m proud of have been a part of, American Blogger.

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sometimes there are just words you have to record, and you pick up whatever writing device is near to put it down.

behind every blog is a blogger.  

I watched my friend Chris get slammed with criticism for this film.  I watched people I respect tweet horribly offensive words about people I love.  It’s so easy to judge.  to point fingers.

and when I take a step back, I know I do it too.

but this quote, these simple words strung together reminds me that behind every blog is a blogger.

the words you read, the pictures you gaze at, the influence that is spread across this crazy internet world – it’s real.  the people behind the art are real live people.

and that reminds me, when I want to criticize, or on the opposite end – envy, these are people just like you and me.  real people with real emotions, real flaws, real families, and real hearts.

lets not hate, but love.  lets pray that the sweet Lord allows us to see people as He sees them, as His beloved children.

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does this give you a new perspective?

  • Caroline - So true Wynne! It’s so easy just to read blogs and not realize how much emotion is in a post – that there is a real person behind every blog! I often think this about scripture too – it’s so easy to just read through it – forgetting that those are real people and it’s God breathed!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - I love your perspective and your intentional way of showing how to love others well…I also love that this is so true that the blogger I have my arm around I had met less than 12 hours before that because we had connected through blogs and gotten to know each other’s hearts…like yours. I love you, mama. ReplyCancel