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If you are here from the ambassador blog train, welcome!  I’m excited to join this train of world changing women once again to bring awareness and excitement around our new fall 2014 line!  If this is your first stop, visit precious Ethiopian adoptive mama, Shannon’s giveaway from yesterday  and visit Emily’s later today!   I absolutly am in LOVE with the new line and think you will too!  I want to share a few of my favorite pieces from the fall line, and give away one of my favorite new pieces from our Rwandan group that I’ve come to love so dearly.  I hope you see through these images, that these women are just like you and me.  They have joy, they cook dinner for their families, they entertain their neighbors, they have a love and passion for their children, they have deep passion for what they do which in turns gives ME great passion for what I do.

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“the moment” for me on the #StyleForJustice trip was the first day we pulled up to the sewing co-op.  I was the first one out of the bus, and I couldn’t wait to put my arms around those sweet women who I sat across the living room with three years ago.  Words fail me to tell you how welcomed and loved I felt to walk into their studio and their lives.  Triple kisses on the cheek followed by a long hug made my heart feel at home.  Tears filled my eyes as I thought of the hundreds of customers I have back at home who proudly wear their items, and are exposed to their stories at my trunk shows.  With shaky hands and pounding heart I told them that they gave me purpose.  Their passion + purpose in their work, only gave me more passion and purpose in my work to be their ambassador.

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last week was such a crazy, god-authored week.  all the emotions from our #StyleForJustice trip came back up.  I’m a delayed processor, and so there’s so many more “nuggets” to come from that trip.  but watching this short film about our trip made it all so real and tender again.  seeing the faces of my Rwandan friends on the video, hearing the shakiness in my voice and seeing the tears in my eyes.  it’s all real.  my passion for Noonday Collection and the over 2,000 artisans in over 10 countries around the world is only grown deeper.  more fiery.  [is that a word?].

that first day at the co-op that I spoke of above, was one that dreams are made of.  this is what I wrote that day:

“Standing in front of our Noonday Collection sewing co-op today, was a brave friend of mine, who through tears, told our seamstresses how much of a dream fulfilled today was.  A day she has been dreaming of, hoping for, and 3 years ago wasn’t sure it would be a reality.  The picture she painted was of all our artisans, and ambassadors holding hands around the world and lifting us up.

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If I could bottle up the joy and pride that exuded from every single one of our seamstresses today, I would.  I would do anything for you to have been there.  To feel the warmth of their hugs and genuine thanks on their lips. I wish you could have been there to hold my hand as I was holding back my own happy tears.  This is why I do what I do.  These women.  They inspire me, empower me, and are the reason I spend hours every week loading + unloading a car full of samples, driving to a friends houses’ and telling their stories.”

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in honor of these joy filled, amazing women, I’m giving away one of their beautiful products:

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the ruffled make up bag, made with love in Rwanda

a Rafflecopter giveaway

enter between now + monday at midnight to win!  ps – if you aren’t already follow the ambassador style challenge on instagram this week with the hashtag #noondaystyle for ideas of how to style your new fall pieces!

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shop my faves and the rest of the line here!

photos by Paige Knusden 

  • Caroline - Love the noonday stuff, including the earrings :)ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Love reading your heart as a noonday ambassador. So much fun to see the new pieces!ReplyCancel

  • Casey Edwards - The Andrean Bag!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Hinojosa Schuldt - the leather bag!!!ReplyCancel

  • Leeanna H - The rustic leather tote!ReplyCancel

  • Allison Ramsing - The Monaco necklace!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsey - I am loving the Sofia wrap!ReplyCancel

  • Rachael B - The silver jasmine earrings are so pretty.ReplyCancel

  • Erin D. - the sofiya bracelet!ReplyCancel

  • Katy Owens - So fun you got to visit the women you’ve been partnering with!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the silver trinity necklace set of 3. The combo is wonderful together!ReplyCancel

  • Kara Rollins Angus - the Kampala Necklace!!
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  • Lisa Marie Gerber Beech - The rushing waters necklaceReplyCancel

  • Emily - That leather baaaag = happy happy joy joy!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Mumford - Love these bags and adore your stories!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - The amazing rustic leather tote!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kiersten DeLong - oh i just want one of everything. they are all so beautiful. but i am seriously in love with the Andean bag!
    but on a serious note… Wynne, I just have to say (and I so hope this doesn’t come off as weird or creepy) that while I live miles and miles and miles away from you (I’m a northern-midwest girl… raised in Iowa and currently in Illinois) I so appreciate the way you write, the way you share your heart. And I so wish that I could sit on your lovely porch and just soak up your wisdom and your stories. You have such a beautiful heart and GOD is definitely using you to inspire many.ReplyCancel

  • Robin - I really love the Calypso earrings. Or maybe a new sterling circle necklace because my son pulled on mine and broke it today.ReplyCancel

  • Megan B - I love all of the stuff, but especially the make-up bag and scarves!ReplyCancel

  • B.Therese - This is so great, love all the joy in the photos!ReplyCancel

  • Mallory Lanier - love the violet tassels necklace!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura Patterson - that lush leather tote is totally my jam. LOVE Noonday & all the good y’all do ReplyCancel

  • Becca Boyd - i would love to see the east coast get into noonday! i have so many friends adopting.. and see it in my family’s future as well! love this company!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - I would love the Jalia Ombre Necklace!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - You look gorgeous and glowing here. I miss this face. ReplyCancel

  • Carey Clemons Bailey - Soooo much goodness going on here!!! Love it! ReplyCancel

  • Mandy Marous - I am loving the scattered stones necklace in plum!!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsy Wallace - Love of it. You, the women, the mission, the stories, the trip. All of it. ReplyCancel

  • Mindy Irving Oja - Jumping for joy?! Oh, probably the Kampala. Seriously so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Naomi Pugh - I love the Kampala necklace!! The lovely shade of purple would definitely have me saying happy joy joy!!ReplyCancel

  • Mindy A - I LOVE the Rustic Leather Tote!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Baker Binnicker - I think it’s time for me to upgrade my incredibly old Victoria’s Secret makeup bag from way too long ago with one of these adorable guys! After going to the nationwide launch, I am so in love with everything Noonday. The heart of this company is awesome!ReplyCancel

  • danielle m. - love the kantha bag!! just ordered it!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Morriss Tkach - So hard to pick a favorite! I really like the dreamweaver earrings. PS-The Style for Justice trip had me saying happy joy joy! Loved the blog posts, videos, and updates on what the Lord is doing through IJM and Noonday!ReplyCancel

  • Sara Gruber - Love the leather bag!!!ReplyCancel

this is “part 2″ from last week’s there is always hope post on infertility.

grief. [active processing of pain and hurt in my life]

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it hasn’t been something I’ve dealt with much. Mostly I guess because I haven’t “lost” much.  and partly because I’ve come to learn that I apparently try to avoid pain.  So grief is not something I think about often.  but I’m learning about it now…. after we had ” the best news” we had the worst news. my nurse from my fertility doctor called to tell me I wasn’t pregnant anymore.  my levels had gone down, and I needed to keep going to get blood work the next few days to confirm then went all the way down. I was on the other line with my best friend Brynn when the nurse called and honestly after I got off the phone I just started bawling.  The kids were napping, and I called Stephen and he raced home to hold me and cry with me.  Besides going to get blood work done several more times that week, the rest of the week was a blur.  Like I don’t remember at all what happened after that.  Sorta like I don’t remember the first few days home with the kids…strage… we lost it. our miracle baby was gone. it wasn’t looking amazing to begin with, but I had hope.  I didn’t know what those numbers meant.  I saw a pregnancy line, and a positive blood work test and immediately my heart soared.  I was elated.  God had blessed us with a baby!  My dreams were coming true! then they crashed down. what I lack in remembrance from that hard season, I make up for in remember the conversations I had with other women who had experienced the same thing in the weeks and months to come. pretty much every woman that I shared this with, that had also experienced the pain of loss, looked me in the eyes and said “I am so sorry for your loss”.  most of the time they had tears in their eyes too.  I loved that.  they saw me!  they knew!  they and been there and they were ok now. God often uses other people to speak to me – and He did just that through my good friend Casey at Hope Spoken in March. She sat on stage and shared with us, that through her own loss and grief she learned that “you can’t judge someone else’s grief”  For some reason, God used that to set me free.  Free from feeling like because I wasn’t pregnant for that long, that I didn’t really know anything about loss.  Freedom from worrying about what other people think of me + how I greive.  Freedom from having to carry it alone.
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Our last small group session at Hope Spoken {in which I was technically leading} I about lost it, emotionally.  I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that run down, broken, alone.  The group dynamic changed, and it turned to them consoling and counseling me.  Something had been broken in me, and I needed to explore what that meant.  I learned that day, and the days and weeks to come, that grief is healthy.  Being upset, sad, and mourning the loss of what could have been is healthy.  God is the one who can handle my frustration and disappointment.  I can in fact turn to him, 1 Peter 5:7 says “cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  God welcomes us when we turn to him and bring him our pain. One of our pastors in a sermon called SCARS this past spring said, “it’s not a lack of faith to acknowledge the pain”.  and that set me free too!  Brokenness hurts, it’s painful, and we have to acknowledge it.  The other word that hits home to me is disappointment – “when we hope for something and it doesn’t happen”.  I think that’s the biggest loss here for me.  I had hoped to see a positive on a pregnancy stick for almost 5 years.  When that positive showed up, my whole world changed, and I had hope again, and when we got the call, you can imagine the disappointment that set in. So while we must “go there” with the pain, disappointment and protest to God….we can’t STAY there.  At some point, we have to come to accept it.  We have to relinquish what cannot be explained, and accept what we cannot change.  So what then?  We must fight, everyday, to remember who God is!  We have to look through the lens of Gods heart and character for us. some of my favorite scriptures that I can’t get enough of in this season….. Psalm 107, Isaiah 55:6-9, Hebrews 12:1-13, Romans 4:16-25, Isaiah 61:1-3, Psalm 46:4-7,  , 1 Peter 1:3-9 God is sovereign, and He is in control.  He can use anything – and He can even use and redeem my grief, loss, and pain to come alongside someone else who is suffering so I can “pass along” the grace and comfort I’ve been given. (2 Corinthians 1:3-6) That’s why I’m sharing this with you.  I hope you know you aren’t alone, and I hope you know wherever you are in the grieving process, God is right there with you.  He fiercely loves you and you HAVE to hang onto the truth of that, even when it doesn’t make sense.  God is for you, sweet sister, and He will not leave you or forsake you.  (Deuteronomy 31:6) If you need someone to talk to, comment on this post and I’d love to visit – and it’s my hope that others who are hurting will be commenting and we can just all be in this together, encouraging and supporting each other.  Hang in there, sister!
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Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
 For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3

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may our hope continue to be in CHRIST ALONE.  

  • Caroline Harries - Yes!! Grief is healthy!!! It’s part of the process after loss. So important that we recognize that! So thankful we can have hope IN Christ!!! http://www.in-due-time.comReplyCancel

  • Lauren Casper - I love you. That is all.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Venable - Thank you so much for posting this today. I know the hurt, grief and brokenness you speak of as we lost our miracle twins in November. (http://lovemilkandhoney.com/when-all-seems-lost-miscarriage/ ) Grief is a crazy little beast but I’m so glad hope always wins. I’ve loved following your journey through adoption and admire your honesty. I knew Stephen from my younger years when my family lived in San Angelo, so even though we haven’t spoken in some time, something about knowing someone else who is going through the same struggles you are soothes the pain from time to time. Thank you for being transparent and offering the re-assurance that it’s okay to be not okay sometimes. I’m holding onto the promise that beauty comes from brokenness and that the Lord is faithful! ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Beth - Oh, Wynne…. So much love and oh, how I know… So grateful for what God is teaching you and for the courage He’s instilled so that you share your story. More women need to hear it’s okay to grieve! And that we are free from judging another’s grief because Christ is tender to love and redeem. Thank you for these words!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie Tanner - Thank you so much for sharing this! I went through this in 2012 when we lost our baby (my second pregnancy) we had already told our daughter who had been praying everyday for over a year for a brother or sister. We lost the baby two days before her 5th birthday. It was devastating. The worst thing I have ever had to do in my life I think was tell her the baby died. Just typing these words now brings tears to my eyes. I was only about 8 weeks along and often times I didn’t think I should be allowed to grieve as I too wasn’t very far along and so many people loose babies when they are a lot farther in the process and I felt like (well they surely deserve to grieve). Don’t get me wrong I cried for days and still do from time to time. I still say well ‘their” grief is more worthy than mine (which I know is not right) but my heart aches for them. Those who carried, feeling the baby move, seeing it on the ultra sound, planning all the details of the nursery, names, etc. and then to lose the baby, I can’t imagine their pain. A very good friend of mine told me the day after I lost the baby something that has really helped me. She told me that when a baby dies it goes to heaven and the angels take care of it for you until you arrive. She told me that if the baby was not given a name the angels will name it for you until you arrive. Since I don’t know if our baby was a boy or a girl we never gave the baby a name. It is something I dream of now and then and something I look forward to when I go to heaven. What will he or she look like, what beautiful name will the angels have picked for our sweet baby. We now have our third baby, our daughter got her prayer answered and we have a beautiful 20 month old baby girl who we adore. I am so sorry for your loss Wynne and for any others who read your post. I pray that God would give you peace and comfort!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine getting such good news followed by such devastating news. :( I need people too!ReplyCancel

    • Elizabeth - Whoops! I wrote the wrong blog address!! The correct one is davidandelizabethadopt.blogspot.com. Although I haven’t talked about our TTC process again since our main focus in our adopting again. But, it’s hard when neither of those processes are going well. :/ http://davidandelizabethadopt.blogspot.com/ReplyCancel

  • Meredith Griffin - thank you for sharing your story. so important to speak out about pregnancy loss- women need to be supported and get connected. ReplyCancel

  • Laura Gibson - Girl! I swear you are speaking the words of my heart. I think it’s so healthy what you are doing, and wish I had the courage to do the same thing! I’ve been through a few miscarriages and found comfort in talking to others who were in the group “no one wants to be apart of”. I think it would benefit me to get on board the sharing train again. And remember that grief is healthy! I tend to try to be strong and blow it off, but i don’t know if that helps in the healing! I love these words and your heart.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - so very sorry for your loss. i am a momma who knows loss as well. it is sweet to look back at those moments where God alone held you and encouraged you through His Word.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - I thank you again for your vulnerability as you share your story. We need more brave truth tellers like you.ReplyCancel

  • Angela Doran - Ahhh, I’ve been waiting for this! thank you so much for posting the second half. I too, for both miscarriages, lost my baby at 6 and 7 weeks and felt like maybe I was not allowed to feel pain or grief because I wasn’t as far along. But it hurt so bad. This second time, I decided to put myself out there and share on my instagram feed. the outpouring of love and support was like a warm hug. It’s so nice (and a bit sad at the same time) to know that you are not alone. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Terri - Thank you, friend, for such sweet encouragement! You are right on. You know, something God has shown through this season is that if I were to get pregnant when I wanted to and had a full term pregnancy, I would not be where I am now with my relationship with Christ! I have grown so much through all of this!!! I love the Mercy Me song “bring the Rain”…..
    “Bring me joy, bring me peace
    Bring the chance to be free
    Bring me anything that brings You glory
    And I know there’ll be days
    When this life brings me pain
    But if that’s what it takes to praise You
    Jesus, bring the rain”
    It doesn’t seem like it at the time, but It’s so worth going through the pain just bring him Glory and be closer to Him.
    Someday, sweet friend, we will get to hold our sweet babies and oh what a joyous time that will be. But until then, let unite together uplifting one another and spurring each other on to trust HIS perfect plan for us!ReplyCancel

  • Nicki - Thank you for sharing your heart. We lost our sweet baby 4 years ago at 11 weeks and I dealt with many of the same things of which you spoke. I even had someone very close to me say to me the morning after we found out that the baby’s heart had stopped, “Were you up ALL night crying?” Like she couldn’t believe that I would still be crying over our loss. But for the most part, people understood and loved us through it. I still think about the baby and rejoice at the thought of meeting him/her one day in heaven. My oldest who was almost 4 at the time, talks about the baby and is also excited about meeting him one day (he’s really hoping it’s a brother since he is stuck with a pesky three year old sister here on earth ReplyCancel

  • Catherine 'Cack' Causey - A friend sent me a link to your blog yesterday. And it was beyond timely.

    See, earlier that day I got to sit at the doctor’s office and to steal your line “have the best news turn into the worst news.” In that very moment I experienced pure joy, turn into such pure sorrow.

    But thank you for reminding me of Isaiah 43:1-3. I can’t tell you how many times I read it yesterday and today. And how it’ll be such a comfort as I return back to the doctor tomorrow.

    Thank you, Jesus – that one day this broken world will be made fully whole. And that the things you intended to be good that have been so corrupted will be fully redeemed.ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Morriss Tkach - “You can’t judge someone else’s grief.” What a powerful quote and something I needed to hear today. My grief is different but still so real. And even in a different context I have convinced myself that grieving is not appropriate because of other people and their perceptions. Thank you for being vulnerable and for speaking truth. ReplyCancel

  • rachaelb - This post touched me. Thank you. I suffered a miscarriage about a year ago, and I am so sorry for your loss as well. To the outside looking in, it may not seem like we “lost” anything (after all, we never held the baby in our arms), but I think that sometimes grief comes from losing things we hope for, even if our hopes were never fully realized. Miscarriage is a loss. But you are right, we have a Living Hope. His compassions are new every morning. May God give you blessings far beyond what you can even hope for or imagine.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - I’ve been catching up on you today…been missing you. And, as always, swept up by your honesty and beauty and absolute open-handedness even while admitting it’s hard. Thank you for letting me be part of this journey…I can’t wait for God to put the rest of this story together. I love your sweet whole family.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Oh, how I know this exact pain well. After trying for years, and our second IVF transfer, we got pregnant and got to 9 weeks before we lost our baby. The grief and this journey has brought us to our knees, closer to God and closer to each other. In some ways things get easier and in others it gets harder. What a strange process this is! We pray that he will use all of it for his glory.ReplyCancel

my mind and heart are so in two places at once right now, if that’s possible.  I can’t get over yesterday, and all of the responses I heard from women all over the country who are walking this road of infertility.  I hope and pray you know you aren’t alone.  thank you for reaching out, for trusting me with your stories, for being vulnerable and brave.  God is stirring in the hearts of many to come alongside of you, be a shoulder to cry on, a person to talk to, someone to pray for you and with you.  and my heart and mind are reeling just thinking about it.  and we’ll be back Friday with part 2 of my post.  but today, oh today.

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I’m so excited to share with you Noonday Collections’ fall line.  I mean, come on, you’ve come to expect this from me.  but today feels different.  it feels like it has a new meaning, a bigger purpose, a higher calling.  after being with our seamstresses in their co-op in Kigali, the passion for my work with Noonday has only increased.  “the moment” for me [as you'll see in the video if you go to a trunk show today!] was pulling up to the co-op and being greeted by the women.  seeing the joy in their faces, the passion that just exuded from them, it was contagious.  I stood in front of them that day and thanked them for their work, and told them how honored I was to share their stories at home, and create a marketplace for them to sell their goods.  I meant every word, and today, at the start of a new season – I’m feeling empowered.  As Jessica said our last day with the women, we are singing a song of empowerment over each other.

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The items you will browse through on your iPhone in the starbucks line, or on your laptop while you sit on the couch with a glass of red wine at the end of the day, are MORE than just pretty pieces of jewelry.  They are stories, every single one of them.  They represent a beautiful person on the other side of the world, who put that piece together with their own two hands.  It represents a family, a story, and quite honestly a JOY that these artisans have that I can’t explain.

Working on this AMAZING headband piece with Kelle, Grace + Esperanze was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  I love to create, and so do these women, and watching the creativity be unleashed from them was breathtaking.  To watch women who a few years ago were mocked for getting a job as a seamstress, now creating and designing their very own pieces…

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photos by Paige Knusden 

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the finished product is beautiful.  I hope you will get to a trunk show TODAY so you can VOTE between our product, and the other 4 to see which 2 will go into production!  It’s an exciting time, for sure.  Find a local Ambassador and attend a Noonday show today.  If you don’t know an Ambassador, now is a great time to become one! 

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This season marks the start of something new.  a new passion . a new purpose.  new drive.

these women in Rwanda, they told me they have more ZEAL for their work knowing there were American women representing them….so let’s represent them well.  let’s take the plunge!  purchase your first noonday piece.  start a wish list.  contact your local ambassador to host a show.  let’s start somewhere today.  look in the eyes and faces of these beautiful women, who just like you and me, have dreams and struggles, families to provide for, jobs to do, food to cook, laundry to complete, children to raise….let’s continue to help Noonday create economic opportunity in the 10 countries we work in across the world.

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my heart physically aches right now, missing my friends, missing Rwanda.  dreaming about our long dinners de-briefing the day, sharing our dreams and struggles and the deepest parts of who we are.  there was a deep level of connection that happened on this trip, and it’s what I miss.  I feel a weight of opportunity and responsibility to share these stories, to show you more about the work of IJM [that I am in love with!], and platform the work of our amazing artisans.  I know this feeling all too well.  There is something about Africa that gets in your blood.  something about the people there, the resilience they have, the hope they have despite their circumstances, and it’s beautiful and full of heartache and redemption.  there’s still so much to tell.

my story might not be over [will it ever?], but the whole Noonday team came together to present to YOU today, the fall 2014 look book + online catalog!  Check it out, even if you are skeptical, even if you aren’t a jewelry person.  click over, read about our impact, click over the the jewelry tab and start a wish list for an “arm party”,  or heck, sign up to become an ambassador and join this family.

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seriously though, get to a #NationwideTrunkShow today and vote for Grace, Esperanze, Kelle + I’s headband!!!

  • Allison Ramsing - Love reading your Noonday Collection stories! Seriously considering being an ambassador and would love to talk more with you!ReplyCancel

I feel it in my bones.  the darkness and sadness and hopelessness that can so easily creep in.  I know what it’s like for after almost 5 years, and dozens of pregnancy tests later, to finally see a positive.  I know what it’s like for that happiest-day-of-my-life news to turn to heartbreak and loss.  It’s not something that’s all butterflies and roses, but it’s life.  and this morning, I’m feeling that oh so frequent nudge to finally put it all out there, and share this story with you, my story.  I pray as you read the words if you’ve been in this place too, you will feel comfort.  I pray if you are still in this place [ like me], we can together feel hope.  I have been praying for humility [thanks Haverlee] because this isn’t about me – it isn’t about me feeling known, but it’s hopefully for your freedom and restoration, and mine.  Writing like this, in the middle of the mess, does indeed make me free.  I’m scared to death as I type this, but I know that I’m called to be a bearer of light and to “charge the darkness” as Gary Haugen said in my She Reads Truth study this morning.  This world of infertility can so easily be  kept in the dark, so many of us can feel so alone and hopeless in it, but I am here today to tell you there is hope.  Even in the pain, even in the middle of the mess, even when we aren’t “on the other side” yet.

Because there is ALWAYS HOPE.  

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here we go.

I”m not sure how or why, but one of the greatest days of my life was also met by one of the deepest pains and sorrow of my life.  A moment, a day I had been dreaming of for 4+ years, getting pregnant.  Well it happened!  We were on our first try for IUI with our fertility doctor in Austin.  This was after a few months of doing clomid, and after a laproscopic surgery in May.  Anyway, the weekend we were going to get blood work done to see if I was in deed pregnant, we were spending the weekend at the lake with our best friends.  We left the group that morning to go into town for our nieces birthday party, and had snuck off to get the blood work done there.  After almost a full day of no word from the doctors office with the results, I did what any woman would do… I took it into my own hands.[oops] We were at the lake with all our kids, so it was easy enough for me to sneak out while everyone was cooking dinner to go into town to get a home pregnancy test.  I hadn’t started my period yet + I had no symptoms. It had to be it!  My adventure took me first to Walgreens, then to  the convient store to wait the painful 3 minutes to see what that digital test said.  Yes, I dipped that test into a baby bottle cap I had in my car and waited in the stall….“PREGNANT”!!!!

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I had never in my life, in over probably 100 tests, seen a positive!  It was a miracle!  I took pictures, [yes selfies in the convenient store bathroom], and was freaking out!! It didn’t seem real.  but the test was staring me in the face.  pregnant.  the moment I had dreamed up in my head for a looooong time was really happening!  If you’ve been down the infertility road, you know very well that you dream of the day you find out.  how you are going to tell your husband, your family + you dream of fun creative ways to share the exciting news.  Well, a week or so before this weekend I was brushing my teeth in Stephen’s bathroom and it came to me: if we find out at the lake, I’ll go to the store and get a bottle of sparkling grape juice and a bottle of champagne, and propose a toast/tell our friends we have another reason to celebrate [we were celebrating Curtis 30 birthday!]!  It was going to be perfect in my head, and now it was coming to fruition.  I went straight to HEB, got the goods, and headed back to the house.

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I snuck back in, helped put the babies down, and sat down for dinner with the adults.  After a long dinner and birthday singing + dessert it was finally time for the toast!  My sweet husband couldn’t hold it in, and he was the one that announced to our friends the news that after 5  years of trying to get pregnant, we were in fact preggo!  There were cheers, excessive hugging and jumping up and down, laughter, tears, joy.  It was everything I imagined. Alison was newly pregnant with the twins, and Shannon was about to pop with sweet Adalynn, and Laura is my “fertility counselor” so the girls spent the the rest of the night huddled around the kitchen talking baby names, nurseries, pregnancy apps, cravings, breast feeding, and the like.  I was already dreaming and planning and loving the fact that I was pregnant.  I might have even felt the next day like my tummy was pooching out a little and I loved every second of it.

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As an adoptive mom, I struggled [and sometimes still do] with the lies that because I didn’t birth my kids, I wasn’t a “real mom”.  That couldn’t be anything further from the truth, but it is sometimes hard when you are sitting around with the girls talking about pregnancy, birth stories, breast feeding, etc and I have not one thing to add to the conversation.  That night, I finally felt like a part of the mama club.  [side note: those of us who only have adopted kiddos, I think we have so many stories that while they are not similar, they are similar.  we went through the "paper pregnancy", and all the trimesters of waiting for approval, court, embassy, and then finally the celebration of coming home!  That's why I think it's so important to have friends who have also adopted, so we can share those stories!  and I'm trying to be more brave to just hop in there and share my "birth" stories] I digress….

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as you can imagine, we couldn’t keep this news to ourselves, especially since we just told our best friends.  the ones who had walked through 4+ years of this journey with us.  we made the 3 hour detour to drive to Waco to tell my parents.  I tried to sneak around babies r us and HEB to get pink + blue balloons and goodies to surprise them with at their door.  They were taking a Sunday afternoon nap when we knocked on the door with balloons clipped to Camp + Asher’s shirts.  They were thrilled to say the least.  My mom might have cried a little, and we not soon after called the aunties to tell them the news.  My family has been through everything with me, they are my people, my tribe, my village.  It was an amazing day of sharing such long awaited news with them! then of coarse, we had to drive to San Angelo to tell Stephen’s mom and there were more tears, hugs, and excitement.

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there is a part 2 to this post.  the part I told you about before that includes loss and heartbreak.  while this post took me awhile to make myself write [it was very painful, but necessary for my healing], the next post only took a few sessions with my laptop and bible.  I hope you come back and read it, because although it’s hard, it’s about what the sweet Lord is teaching me about grieving, healing, and hope.  and as always, if you want to talk, please email me: gloriouslyruined@gmail.com  I want you to know there is a small army of other women who are walking this road that want to pray for you, stand with you, and love you.  reach out, we are here.

 

  • Lauren - Wynne, I want to encourage you. You are very brave to share your story. As one who has been walking this lonely road if infertility for almost 10 years, I totally understand where you are coming from. Over the last couple of years, I started being more brave with sharing my story, because of the simple fact that infertility is oh so isolating, and I felt the need to share so that others wouldn’t feel quite so alone. All that to say, keep being brave! Keep sharing! If we believe that all things happen according to God’s will and to bring Him glory, then the best way to bring Him glory is to share our stories and hold someone else’s hand as they go through the valley. xoxo.ReplyCancel

    • Wynne - lauren, i’m so sorry that you have also been walking this road for a long time. thank you for your words. i think it’s so important when we open up and share our stories with each other, and comfort each other. god can redeem all the pain and loss and heartache. with you in the valley…ReplyCancel

    • Caeli - I just checked your blog out. I admire your heart and your honesty! There sure are so many “grey” areas, aren’t there? And its so important to be in sync with our spouses too… Keep being brave!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Sandel - love, love, love. keep writing. you’re so brave! xoReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - Tears streaming down my face, I could hardly breath reading this post because while your story and circumstances vary from mine, it is a story many of us unfortunately share. Some days the heartache longing, sadness, and anger are too much to carry. This is pregnancy announcement season; every day it feels like another friend, family member or acquaintance is announcing their joyful news to the world. Beside my own shame and grief and, yes, jealousy I also carry genuine joy and thankfulness for the new lives my friends carry in their wombs. I’m also currently mentoring a girl who just found out she is pregnant with twins and is scheduling an abortion in 2 weeks. Its hard to walk alongside others in such drastically different situations as my own, but I know we are to carry each other’s burdens, how ever heavy their loads may be.
    Peace be with you…ReplyCancel

    • Caeli - Wow, I’ll be praying for you as you mentor that girl. What a role God has you playing in her life! You are brave too!ReplyCancel

      • Wynne - i love this praying for each other! YES! this is what it’s about!ReplyCancel

  • aly d. chase - Wynne, wow, wasn’t expecting to be blindsided by this when I woke this morning. I don’t have words yet for the deep well of sadness you have stirred in me today. I say that as a thank you. I need to charge the darkness. Smiling through, “I just wasn’t meant to have a baby” and “God has a plan for me” won’t hold the ache. You remind me I can cry out in real pain and know that God is still on His throne. Your brave calls to my brave. *tears*ReplyCancel

    • Wynne - oh aly! i am sorry to blind side you… you CAN cry out to him! he hears and sees you and will carry you. and you have a community of sisters carrying you too. come back tomorrow, my whole post is about my grieving process.ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Van Der Merwe - Thanks for the beautiful post and for sharing your story. I was also glad when I shared openly about our infertility…and not just because I rarely ever get the “when are YOU guys going to have a baby” question anymore! ha! But because through the process of sharing, I have felt less alone. God has comforted me through the words and wisdom of other women who have walked this road. Thanks for sharing what is so intimate and personal…praying for you guys!ReplyCancel

    • Wynne - wow kristi, thanks for your wisdom and insight. i would love to read what you have written/shared online. it’s always comforting to hear others stories and to know, really know, we aren’t alone and we can pass along the comfort we’ve been given and carry each others burdens!ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Van Der Merwe - Thanks SO much for sharing. Makes this girl not feel so alone in this struggle. xoReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Oh Wynne. I too have walked this painful, painful road. I experienced so much of what you are describing before our first loss. I am aching for you as I read this and praying for continued healing.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Oyler - i just want to say ughhhhhhhhhhhhh because i am so sad for you. but instead i’m going to rejoice with you that there is hope in Jesus. love you friend.ReplyCancel

  • Rebekah - Beautiful! I have been thinking about how many women are struggling with this and are all alone. Thank you for having a heart for others! It is very exciting to see more women be open about this. That is when the healing comes! Praying for your family!ReplyCancel

  • Terri - Oh sweet friend, thank you for pouring your heart out. It means so much to know that someone else is feeling the EXACT same way I’m feeling. It just plain sucks! I know know know the emotional roller coaster and after 4+ years of trying and that “time” every month is just devastation hitting all over again. Thank you for just being such an encourager and so transparent with everything! You are absolutely right, there is HOPE! Love you, Wynne Elder! ReplyCancel

  • Erika Riggs - i am so glad you are sharing your story because you have a gift and such powerful things to share. love to you.ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gilliam - Beautiful post friend – so sorry you’re walking this road (it sucks!), but so proud of you for holding onto hope. HE is all about hope and redemption – love you mama!ReplyCancel

  • Tania Lanczok - Thank you for this… <3ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Harries - Thanks for sharing your story!!!!! You are not alone! http://www.in-due-time.comReplyCancel

  • Jeanne - I wish there was no part 2 to this story. Sadly I know how you feel. We went through almost 6 years before we got our first positive result. By that time I was highly doubting those home tests actually worked ;) our first ended in loss almost as quickly as we felt the joy we felt the pain. After a d & C and a few months to get over some other complications we tried again and that was the cycle that gave us our amazing son. And even now over 7 years later I think of that baby in heaven and wonder about him or her. Much love to you Wynne! And Steven and Asher & Camp too. XoxoReplyCancel

  • Hannah Bunker - Oh, Wynne. It seems that we have very similar stories…tried to get pregnant with infertility, then adopted a boy and a girl, but still dealing with infertility and believing for “belly babies.” I’ve never seen the two lines on pregnancy test and I go through seasons where I’m okay with that and seasons when it makes me slap-mad. I’m so sad to hear that your two lines ended in heart break. Like, brings tears to my eyes. I could spout off Christian words and encouragement, but I just know that it sucks. Sucks. I’m sorry and if you need encouragement, I’m here for you too.

    Thank you for writing and sharing your story. Sharing our stories are God’s Hallmark cards to encouragement and bring hope for others. Keep writing, sister. Keep being brave and sharing. You’re touching lives.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Hi Wynne, thanks for sharing this. I imagine it must be so hard! :( I’m so sorry that this pregnancy ended in loss for you. But, I really enjoyed reading about the deep down joy you felt and how you shared it with others. I think you might follow our blog, but we also adopted before pursuing much treatment and our sweet boy is 2 too! Anyway, we’d gone back on the treatment road and it’s HARD. :/
    I’ll be praying that you will soon get that positive again and have that amazing joy all over again! This time that ends up bringing home another sweet baby to your family.ReplyCancel

  • Kailey Birkeland - Thank you so much for sharing your story…it just hurts, but I am so thankful for this army that the Lord is raising up to take on the lies the enemy is throwing at us! You are super awesome and I’m so excited about what the future hold! ReplyCancel

  • loss [miscarriage] » Gloriously Ruined - […] is “part 2″ from last week’s there is always hope post on […]ReplyCancel

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let me just start by saying this…

I never thought, nor did I ever dream, of being “the infertility girl”.

I don’t think any of us who are suffering through infertility, and openly sharing our hearts and stories online, or in ministry ever did.

but alas, here I am.  and honestly, it’s an honor.

to share my life, my struggles, and joy, my hopes and disappointments all in the middle of the journey.

I read on Haverlee’s blog this weekend, her open up and share her struggles about being separated with her husband in a post called, “trial by fire”.

I’ve found that people can fairly easily talk about those rough patches once they’re back on smooth ground. But I don’t hear people talking about it when they’re stuck in the middle; at least not outside their trusted circle of family and friends. But you know what’s even harder than walking through the toughest time in my life? Pretending I’m not. I can’t and I won’t. I will not put on a mask of perfection when my heart is aching on the best days and feels like it’s being ripped in two on the worst days. I sometimes want to hang a sign around my neck that says, “Tread lightly. Broken heart inside.”
People often tell me I’m brave for sharing my story. I don’t feel brave. I feel free. I’m free of guilt and shame. I’m free of worrying about any sort of reputation that I may or may not have. Freedom in Christ is so very real in my life. And the more I talk, the more my story is in the light and able to be used for His glory. I want others to experience that same freedom. The sin in my past is ugly. But God is already redeeming it and I think I’ve only seen a fraction of the redemption to come.

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even though we are going through different struggles, I want to say a big YES and AMEN to her words.
I feel also,  like God has asked me to share “in the middle” of this yucky journey of infertility.  it’s not pretty, y’all, but I do believe that God can use it for His glory.  for redemption.
so head over to Francies blog to read my guest post on her “marriage monday”, and then come back here later this week.  tomorrow is my hubby’s birthday, but after that I plan to share more about the journey that’s led us to where we are.  it’s scary, but like Haverlee, it makes me FREE.  and I hope that my freedom brings YOU freedom.  we don’t have to be ashamed here, sisters.  see you soon.

  • Haverlee Colyer - I’m feeling humbled and rejoicing that this post will reach a few more people today. Thank you, Wynne. I think the dissolution of a marriage is perhaps one of the least talked about “hot topics” on the web. My prayer is that a few more women feel less alone and more hopeful than they did before they read this. Thank you for honoring my story. ReplyCancel

  • Grace P. Cho - Haverlee Colyer and Wynne ‘Trippet’ Elder- the openness in your stories frees others to really experience Christ! ReplyCancel