The Rescue of a Lamb

Dear Child,

I am convinced that your Daddy is going to take incredibly good care of you. He will meet your needs, and tend to you with a kindness beyond requirement. He does this for me on a daily basis. Lavishing love. And on Sunday, his actions were more valiant and loving than I could ever have hoped for in the father of my children.

Sunday evening we got a message from our friend, Anna, saying her little girl had left her most prized stuffed lamb in the church nursery. Given that Amelia is absolutely adored by Kevin and I, and hearing of her distress over leaving “Baa” behind, we were more than willing to help. I was already tucked into my home for the evening so on his way home from Bible Quizzing, Kevin dropped off Baa the Lamb safely into 2-1/2 year old Amelia’s arms.

On his way over to their house, I received this photo from Kevin.

Baa

HOW ADORABLE IS THAT?! He thought to BUCKLE IN the little lamb to prove to Amelia how well he cared for Baa. Later that evening, Kevin received a text from Tod, Amelia’s dad, saying,

Amelia is still very happy with you, Kevin. She was telling me, now that I’m back from work, “Kevin get it back! Kevin get it back!” You’re a hero.

Amelia with Baa 5

Kevin’s response, with eyes gleaming:

I’ve always wanted to be a hero.

Everything is Happening

After four years of infertility and not seeking treatment of any kind, here we are in the middle of our first round of fertility intervention. In two hours I will be looking at an ultrasound to see if if that egg, that very specific half of your DNA, Child, is ready to have it’s ovulation timed perfectly. I pray this month is it. That this cycle is the one in which God has your very being planned and knitted together.

The emotions are incredible. It’s hard to believe that we’re at this point, finally. That this could be it!  But then the fears set in, the doubts and questions, and wanting to protect myself from devastation. We are anxious. We are excited.

And I’m on hormone pills the weekend we make this announcement to our congregation. 

To our dear friends from Albion FMC,

Sometimes life hands us big choices, and we know that we’ll never be the same afterward. One of those big choices was given to Mel and I in the last month, and I have decided to accept an appointment as Senior Pastor to a church in the Southern Michigan Conference of the Free Methodist Church.

We are very sad that this means that we must leave you all. Our time spent with you in ministry over the last three years has had a huge impact on our lives, and we owe you all so much. Your support of us and your generosity has been incredible, and we want to thank you.

We will be starting at my new appointment on Sunday, June 29, but will likely be moving to Michigan the week of June 16. Until then, we will continue serving here alongside all of you here at AFMC.

I still remember the day we moved in. There was a banner across the front of our newly-rented house that welcomed us to our new home and a huge group of you were ready to carry everything in. I still remember the look on your faces when you found out there really was a piano in the front of the moving truck!

Since that day, we have shared our lives together. Either through meals shared, congregational worship, or working together on service in the community, you here at AMFC have done so much to help us grow in ministry and you’ve earned a permanent place in our hearts. Thank you.

Kevin and Melanie Eccles

Sunday was certainly emotionally charged and by the end of it I was completely drained. It was a beautiful day, filled with memorable conversations and lots of tears- some happy and some sad. All of that was completely expected. I just think it’s ironic that THIS was the weekend I was on Clomid.

More on the big move to Michigan later. For now, my heart is set on you, my Child. Come quickly.

Pills and Prayers

So I finished the last of the Clomid pills this morning. I did it. And I didn’t leave a wake of wreakage from any emotional breakdowns. (Although you might want to ask your father about the truth in that one.) The medication left me feeling a little off, a little withdrawn, and a little moody, but nothing severe. I had headaches most of the 5 days, but again, not too tough to handle, considering what I was bracing myself for. Now to endure another hormone injection on Tuesday. We’ll see how my body handles that one.

I wanted you to know, Child, how cared for I was during these five days. I’m so thankful I let others in on this stage of the journey to you. There have been so many messages asking how I’m holding up, how I’m feeling, and sharing hopeful prayers. One friend in particular sent me a prayer each day, specific and spot on to needs where the Holy Spirit was leading her. These are the prayers I want to remember. Your mother is well loved, Child. 

Praying for peace for you today. For hormones to be in check. For no anxiety or panic attacks. For calm and joyful spirits. ♥

 

My prayer for you today is for the medical technology of your process. I pray for wisdom and discernment on the doctor’s behalf. I pray for the medicine to do what it is suppose to, for egg maturity, and for perfect medical timing for the insemination. I pray for a steady doctor’s hand and kind nurses. And that this crazy hormonal roller coaster passes by quickly. ♥

 

On this fourth day, I keep you and Kevin in my prayers. May this experience draw you closer in ways neither of you could ever imagine. May God bless and protect your marriage from doubt, insecurities, and frustrations. Protect each other, love each other, and support each other. And to not lose sight of God’s plan ♥

 

So my prayer for you on this last day of Clomid is a selfish prayer. I am praying for this round to be SUCCESSFUL!  For in 9 short months you will be blessed with that precious bundle of joy (and nerves and frustrations and tears… haha). For baby to be healthy and beautiful (like I need to pray for that, duh!). For an easy, joyful, glowing pregnancy. For delicious cravings and no puking. I am believing that God has this prayer already answered, and that His plan is greater than we could ever know. ♥

The Best Ever Compliment

Our Easter celebration was sandwiched between a week long trip to Michigan and our pastor-spouse conference 6 hours south. Despite the hustle, we celebrated well. This holiday is the pinnacle of our faith, Child. The church calendar begins in Advent, expecting the birth of Jesus, and carries us through to his sacrificial death and victorious resurrection. We can’t wait to walk with you through the yearly exuberance that comes with Easter Sunday.

We spent hours at church, rehearsing, leading, worshiping, and intersecting our lives with others. It was an especially heartfelt Sunday. On our walk home in the pristine Spring weather, we stopped to take some new photos of us in our “best.” I am so pleased to have these printed and ready to be framed. I just love us. That’s a good thing after all these years. I think you’ll know your daddy and I really like each other.

IMG_0775

I couldn’t resist the road’s beckoning me to a long run. So run I did, for 8 and a half miles, all while singing This is Amazing Grace in my head over and over again. This was such a continuation of my worship. I prayed. I sang. I listened to the sounds swirling. I watched daddies hiding colorful eggs around the yard and heard children squealing with delight.

By the time I arrived home, I was energized and excited to enjoy my Easter candy – 1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg. YUM! Around 5pm, we headed to our friends’ home to share Easter dinner with them. It was a wonderful time with Jessy & Kyle, Kim & Rick, and Cory. The food was perfect and conversation was sweet.

IMG_0749Finally, I posted our new pictures to Facebook and shortly thereafter I discovered a compliment that I was cherish forever.

You have a Jesus shine all over you!!!

I honestly cannot imagine receiving a more meaningful compliment. My heart is still overflowing with joy, encouraged to know that somehow, despite my aches and issues, Jesus is shining and others can see him.

I hope you’ll know that anything good you see in me is Jesus, God’s grace made manifest in my life. You, my Child, are going to be one of the best graces ever.

Loved: Deep and Wide

Dear Child of Mine,

Do you know how loved you are? You would not be able to comprehend the love that your friends and family have already lavished on you, even in these days pregnant with hope alone.

We are nearing the end of our fourth year of infertility, an unexpected journey that has been more beautiful and more painful than I could have anticipated. Yet through it all I never felt alone. The people in my life have surrounded us, sent emails and texts of encouragement, shared in falling tears, inquired without intruding. There have been countless prayers sent up in the quiet, solitary prayer closet. And then there are times of public anointing, the laying on of hands, the body of Christ pouring His balm on our spirits.

I wish I could thank each and every person with the lavish displays of gratitude they deserve. Honestly, though, I don’t think I could even name every single individual who has ever shown support or love or shared in our desire. “Our people” are countless.

A few days ago, Wednesday, April 23rd to be precise, I sent this message to a few of our friends and family.

This morning I took my first of five Clomid pills, promoting ovulation and egg maturation. On Tuesday, April 29 @ 9:45am I will go back to Dr. Mroueh (mah-roo-way). He will perform an ultrasound to check if the egg has matured well. Then he will give me an injection of Novarel to time the release of the egg. (We have already paid for this injection ($109). A few days (?) later we will go back to the office for IUI (intra-uterine insemination).

Two evenings ago I had a brief moment of panic, being really scared that this WILL work, and yet also being scared that it WON’T work.

Please pray for this entire process. Pray for our peace. Pray for my hormones (with the onslaught of artificial hormones) to not make me completely insane for the next week or so.

Last night at our worship session and sermon by Bishop David Roller, the message was about moving from a period of barrenness similar to Abram and Sarai to a time of fruitfulness. Of course the focus was shifting from growth and productivity in our ministries, but he also talked a lot about physical infertility. At the end, all of the district superintendents and our North American bishops stood up front with oil for anointing and praying over any who came forward (for at least an hour!) We had just shared our prayer request with our own Supt. Mitch Pierce and his wife, which made it very moving to have them anoint and pray over Kevin and I last night.

God is on the move in our family of two.

My phone has been overflowing with text notifications and my email inbox is one message of excitement after another.

I am praying for you!! I have a really good feeling about this. If you need to talk or the hormones are overwhelming please don’t be afraid to call!!

This is amazing!  Holy cow.  I am praying for you friend.  If you need to talk in person I am here. 

Very exciting time.  That’s wonderful about being anointed.  May God give you the desires of your heart.  Will definitely keep praying. 

You are surrounded, dear Child, with a deep love by so many. YOU ARE WANTED. And don’t you ever forget that. 

Love,

Mama