Think & Share
There is great value in sharing our thoughts and feelings with each other. It is nice to see the perspectives of others and to get ideas that are tried and true. At the end of 2009 and during 2010, I conducted what I called “Think & Share”. I introduced a topic at the beginning of the month and then invited the ldsInfertility.org community to think about and then share about with each other. The topics covered a range from family building options to issues facing infertile couples.
“Surviving and Thriving This Christmas”, December 2009
Oh, how dreaded the holidays can be when you are dealing with infertility! As extended families gather, someone else will be pregnant, questions about your family building will be inevitable, and traditions that are usually focused on and generated because of children will seem to be a part of every celebration. The holidays are about family, and the traditional family (the ones you see in advertisements, the ones you see at the stores, and the ones you will see on Christmas Day as you gather with extended family) seems to include children. It is just plain difficult to be a part of a world where you feel you don’t belong. Along with Christmas trees, egg nog, and carolers come twinges of heartache. Click here to read more of this post.
“Positive Infertility Language”, January 2010
I recently visited the LDS Church’s adoption website (www.itsaboutlove.org) and noticed a link to “Positive Adoption Language” and was intrigued. When I followed the link, it took me to a chart with two columns: negative terms and preferred terms. The negative terms referenced phrases and words that we commonly use and hear in conversations about adoption. The preferred terms included a list of alternative ways to communicate similar thoughts in a positive and compassionate way. At the top of the page, it said “The words we use when talking about adoption can send unintended messages. When writing about or discussing adoption, please consider using language from the right-hand column.”
Immediately, I thought “The same is true for infertility!” Sometimes the words we use when we talk about infertility can send unintended messages. These messages can be hurtful and can cause disruption of trusting and positive relationships. I think that we can play a role in helping others recognize ways to be more compassionate through their words. Click here to read more of this post.
“Life in Other Realms”, February 2010
In her biography, it is mentioned that when Ardeth Kapp could not have children, she determined that she would find other things with which to fill her life. Now, some people would think that with this decision, she was clearly giving up on something she wanted. Others would probably look at the decision as selfish, not focusing on what is most important in life. Personally, I look at it as a healthy way to live. When we face the possibility that having children will be an extreme challenge or even an impossibility for us, we can do one of three things: focus ALL of our energy on becoming parents (which means giving up other things to sacrifice for it), focus NO energy on becoming parents, or, bringing both extremes together by focusing some energy on becoming parents and some energy on other things. Click here to read more of this post.
“I Will Be Found of You”, March 2010
Life is crazy and with the distractions that abound, it is easy to lose sight of where we can find our greatest strength. One of the most powerful distractions is the suffering of trial. In moments when we feel so alone and forgotten, the Savior is still there, waiting for us to find Him and draw near to Him. This month, I would like us to consider the places we have personally found the Savior. Where have you found Him? How have you found Him? What blessings have been yours when you have found Him? Click here to read more of this post.
“Why Don’t You Just Adopt?”, April 2010
Not long ago, I was talking to a woman about infertility. She was not personally dealing with infertility, but like most people, she knows several people who are. As I was talking to her she said, “Explain to me why people who are infertile are not more open to adoption. I would think that if you want a child so badly that adoption would be a perfect option.” I don’t need to tell you that this issue is one that is a “hot button issue”…it raises all kinds of emotions and people are opinionated about it. What would your response be if someone confronted you with this question? Click here to read more of this post.
“Where Can I Turn for Peace?”, May 2010
The scriptures are filled with wonderful verses that bring strength, comfort, understanding, and, yes, peace. Sure, we all know that you cannot go to the Topical Guide, look up “infertility”, and be guided to pages and pages of references to study. BUT, there are specific passages that carry with them the healing touch which can make an obvious difference on the darkest of days. Which scriptures “speak” to you? What about those scriptures help you understand infertility differently? Click here to read more of this post.
“Applying the Atonement to My Life”, June 2010
This month, my focus is on the Atonement. Since it is “On My Mind”, I thought I’d encourage all of us to think a little bit about the Atonement and Christ’s role in healing us, enabling us, and helping us to improve our lives. There are so many Conference Talks out there on the subject of the Atonement (believe me…I think I have every Conference issue of the Ensign for the past 15 years at my bedside for my studying pleasure) which make the Atonement tangible, more understandable, and even more applicable in our lives. Click here to read more of this post.
“Considering the Side Effects”, August 2010
If you have not read August’s On My Mind, it is a MUST read before “thinking and sharing” this month.
The challenge month is to consider the qualities I mentioned in this month’s “On My Mind” and to think about ways we can either incorporate one of the traits (gratitude, hope, faith) into our lives or cast one of the traits (bitterness, despair) out of our lives. We all need more ideas of how we can tangibly improve our lives, particularly as we deal with challenges that seem beyond what we can handle. What ideas do you have? Click here to read more of this post.