Smile while you suffer. 

It’s 4:05 am. I went to bed after 11 and Jojo woke up at 1:30. She has just now gone back to sleep. Tom’s on his last overnight shift of the Christmas season so I had to deal with her alone. 

Now I’m up. 

Parenting is streatchingly hard. It is testing like boot camp or climbing a mountain. It reveals the metal you’re made of. 

My grandma joyfully said to us grandkids, “Smile while you suffer!” I always thought she was asking us to put on a mask and pretend suffering wasn’t real. But now I can see that she had reached down into her own suffering and found a way to be grateful. 

The pain of being so tired it hurts doesn’t compare to the pain of waiting for her to come that I did for seven years. So when I am shaking in frustration and at the end of my patience I walk away. And I try to remember the years of waiting because no amount of momentary parental suffering compares with the unending agony and helplessness of the hole in your chest that is infertility. 

“Be anxious for nothing. But in everything, with prayer and supplication, and with thanksgiving, make your request be known to God. And the peace that surpasses understanding will be yours in Christ Jesus who guards your heart and your mind.” (My paraphrase of Phil 4:6)

So when I’m sweating and aching shaking in exhaustion rocking my 30 pound girl for way too long. I remember her song that starts…

“We waited so long for you my love, we waited for so many years. In my heart I carried you all of that time. And now you are finally here.”

And I get grateful. And I find the will to rock her for another minute or two. To smile while I suffer. 

J

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Heart mind and soul

I woke up one morning at about week six of pregnancy to the Lord saying with a smile, “I’m putting the soul in today.” I immediately told Tom and pulled up one of the many pregnancy apps on my phone.
A special thing happens in week six, the neural tube that eventually becomes the brain and spinal column begins to form, and the rudimentary heart begins to pump blood for the first time.
“I knit you together in your mother’s womb…” means so much more to me, as I am the mother, and it’s my womb and my child in this instance! ūüôā
How amazing and how much like God, the original eternal Father of all humans it is to reveal something so profound and instinctive about the connection between the formation of our hearts and insertion of our soul.
We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made!

It’s a Miracle!! Baby Gosda is on the way!

Last August we started seeking infertility treatment and after months of testing and waiting we finally had our 1st Intrauterine Insemination or IUI the day after Christmas. The Friday before, we celebrated my brother Taylor’s engagement and 12 hours later my sister LeahRae gave birth to my immediate family’s first grandchild Charlotte Rae!¬†¬† We called this year the “Miracle on 34th Street” Christmas and we got 3 miracles in a row.IMG_2583

Tom and I find ourselves giggling as we soak in the new reality. After seven years of waiting and grief we are pregnant for the first time! We got to see the baby last Thursday and the nurse found our peanut right away! (get ready because the exclamation marks just won’t stop!!) We could actually SEE the little heart beating at 113 bpm. Amazing! We are so grateful for the family and friends gave almost $3,000 between September and January towards the out of pocket fertility expenses. And so many were praying faithfully, what a blessing! God has honored their prayers and investment with a New Life!!

1655865_10152641125508438_789307093_nWe go in for two more ultrasounds this week and next and then transfer out of the fertility clinic to whatever doctor we choose for the duration of the pregnancy. I have been tired but not sick and very much in awe of the Creator God who knows the best for us.

There are many things to be grateful for in our world and I hope you have been given a bit of hope if you are still waiting for your miracle.

j

First Year in KC

It’s been over a whole year since we moved from Wisco to the city of Fountains.

We have been soaking in the river of the Boiler Room Church community and coming alive because of it. ¬†I can’t contribute this alive feeling to any one person or moment but being in the safe environment to explore our giftings and be celebrated for who we are feels amazing. We feel very hopeful for the future and are content in the present.

We love the Kansas City zoo so much that Tom decided that we should go with the family for his birthday. The zoo is so huge it is an all day event.  It was fun to share with the Martin family who just moved here this month.

There is so much to be grateful for right now.  Tom has a great job with good insurance and I am the coordinator for a leadership development school at the Boiler Room called The Vision Course

The Steinke family business is underway with pottery, productions, events, and music. Get to know Stonecutter Arts .

Dad has released a few songs on NOISETRADE  and we both have songs on the new Vision Course CD.
We are continuing to pursue becoming parents and if you are interested in contributing to our medical costs check out our Gosda Baby Dream page.

There’s always more, but that’s it for now.

Happy discovering as you click all those links!

J

Anniversary Poem

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On our wedding day
All hope was new 
Holy magic was in the air
Yellow leaves gently flew

Blessed and witnessed
Signed and sung
Will you? Do you?
I will. And I do.

Bound in love 
and covenant joy
We laughed and danced 
I had found my boy

The first year, we dove right in
Reading books, interviewing kin
Who are you now? 
Who have you been?
Please do the dishes. 
Can my cousin move in?

Year two we lived with 
two ragamuffin men
I crashed the car
You worked so hard 
my suspicions grew 
We waited and wondered 
I worried and cried. 
Year two was a ride.

Year three we adventured a thousand miles east
To see if we could Survive 
If God would provide

We found a haven full of new. 
New questions and new knowings 
of our beginnings and endings. 
We let go of what was and made space for what’s true¬†
We learned to rest because
He had called us good. 
and Family is the value. 

Year four we returned to Family and home 
with fresh foundations 
and new found hope 

Year five you baked cakes
And I ironed pleats
We made good money 
And longed for friends and family

Year six we settled in 
and you said we’d never move
But it only took four days 
For gravity to shift 
To remember who was home 

And I didn’t know what to do¬†
When you sobbed bucket sized tears
Into your Kansas City barbecue 

Out of the desert 
Into the river
We’ve soaked¬†
and started to bloom

Well now it’s year seven
And our love just keeps growing
magic is still in the air
On earth I’ve found heaven
And all hope is new. 

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Let’s Catch Up

The past six months have been both full and rewarding; busy and challenging.

My dad turned 50 this past January and had all of us planning and working on an amazing party.
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Tom and Taylor made a nine hole mini golf course from scratch.

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As of March my dad hired me as the 24-7 Prayer Academy Coordinator for the discipleship school here in KC called the Vision Course. follow the blog here

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It’s really a dream come true for me to get to call this my job. I hope to continue the long legacy of my grandparents and parents by creating safe space for people to freely unlock who they are as they learn more about the deep love of God.

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A few months ago Tom and I moved from my parents house to our first apartment in Kansas City. We live with my brother Taylor in a two bedroom flat and we have several friends who live within walking distance. It’s nice to begin to settle into our new city. We had to do a lot of painting and are unpacking still.

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I was lucky enough to begin my first ever recording of an original song. It’s still in process but it wouldn’t be happening without a few pushes and brotherly care from Beau Davidson and Corey Evans. I can’t wait to share the finished product with all of you.

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Luke and I work at a dine in movie theater downtown. He tends bar and I am a server. Luke is enjoying his independence renting a 4th floor room. We hope to work on some music projects in the next year.
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Leah and Chris are moving here at the end of the summer. I can hardly believe it. Leah got a dream job at an amazing arts based learning school right in midtown. They have visited us a few times.

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Devon is growing so fast none of us can keep up. He is officially a high school sophomore. Here he is in full Fiddler on the Roof garb. He was a Poppa!!

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Taylor has two years of college to go and this summer he is juggling three not so part time jobs and a girlfriend. Taylor and Lauren just celebrated their first year of dating this week.
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Mom has been working so hard on getting her pottery studio set up. And we are on the edge of filling orders and classes. This month I am helping her run a kids arts camp.

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Dad is happy to focus on the Antioch school more this fall along with all the other fields he tends to. He is back in his Visionary element these days. I can see the hope filled satisfaction of leading and Fathering the Kingdom in his eyes. He travels to encourage the many Boiler Rooms and Kingdom relationships around the globe often. I feel loved to see my parents loved for who they are.
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I recently visited Boiler Room network cousins in Tulsa. I was hosted so well, it was like finding family.

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Before that, we graduated 17 students from the Vision Course and sent many around the world.
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Now I’m preparing for next year’s VCKC class of ’14 with our amazing leadership team.
Well, there are some highlights from KC.

Right now we have been trying to figure out a few things:
– if Tom can go to school
– job things/piecing together finances
– what are the next steps we should take towards creating a family

Thanks for all your love and support friends.
We love you.
T&J

Okay New Year, I’m gonna kick your butt!

Okay New Year, I’m gonna kick your butt!

Another year, another year older. Time to commit, make vows, oaths, and lamentations. January has got so much to carry. New hopes, dreams, schemes, fears. And all of the carried remainder from last year. New city, new soil. New information about what was, and new hope for what will. Today I am saying, Bring it on January-

This year my aim is to write one blog a month. And to finish 5 songs. (I’ve started at least 50). ¬†The goal that seems the most out of my control and wild, and to use my dad’s coinage: squirreliest, is to make significant steps forward in our family building journey.¬†¬†Yet I am the most¬†tenacious¬†about doing so this year.

That’s it, if I put health goals out there I will intimidate myself before I start.

We are actively seeking both medical and adoption information right now and am learning a lot about adoption.

I found this adoption consulting group and they seem wonderful. 

If anyone has adopted domestically in the past few years any help/advice would be amazing!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Joelle-

What I’ve learned from infertility.

I learned what grief is.
And I learned that as deep as my pain and grief is, God’s Love for me is deeper still. And that you can only trust to the extent that you know you are loved.
And I learned how to be comfortable with others in their pain as I became ok with my own. I learned what the Father must have been feeling when he created me. And why everything in society and life comes back to Family. And all that has taught me to hope.

Six years and we are still in the middle of our story. You know what? I think it’s going to be a great one.

My mom is amazing!

my mom is a professional potter and she is building a studio

go to the link to help out. thank you!

Raise Money for Green Apple Studio Launch | YouCaring.