On Trite-isms

I’ve always heard people say that when God says no to one thing, it’s because He’s saying yes to something better for you.

Normally, I write those conversations off.  It’s not that I don’t agree with what the people are saying; it’s that I hate the simple platitudes, rich with words while full of nothing.


I got “The” negative pregnancy test today – the one that assures me that it’s safe to quit the progesterone because I do not, in fact, have a baby nestling in for a 9 month stay.  I started feeling less hopeful at the end of last week, but today’s certainty brought with it a little bit of sadness.  You see, I had asked people to pray that I’d be pregnant again before Mara’s due date.  And I’m not.  And I won’t be.  The answer was no.

A blogger I read (and I’m sorry – I don’t know which one) recommended a devotional book called “Jesus Calling.”  She raved about it so much that I decided to look it up last time I visited the bookstore.  It surprised me.  It wasn’t deep.  It wasn’t meaty.  It wasn’t wordy.  It wasn’t heavy and theological.  It was simple.  Just simple.  And short.  And I thought it probably wasn’t even worth the $10 on sale.  But because she had spoken so highly of it, I bought it anyway.  Today made it worth it.

Today’s reading started with this:

“Do not be discouraged by the difficulty of keeping your focus on me…  Don’t let feelings of failure weigh you down… I notice the progress you have made… Rejoice in these tiny triumphs.”

Air, I thought.  It’s like a breath of fresh air! I don’t think anyone has ever said this to me.  I don’t think anyone has ever told me this without telling me to try harder next time.  This was lovely – just an open invitation to come to God in whatever way I can and to keep coming over and over again.  Without strings attached.

It was the corresponding Bible passage, though, that really struck me.

“With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us… is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?”

Immediately, I thought, Well, there’s one thing He won’t gladly and freely do.  He won’t give me a baby. And then I stopped and thought.  I want a baby because I think it would be best.  I really, truly do.  And if I’m to think of this verse as true, I have to recognize that God will gladly and freely do the best for me.  Without hesitation.  So… that must mean a baby isn’t best.

A baby isn’t best.


I didn’t like the thought at first, but eventually some comfort grew out of those words.  Maybe a baby will be best in a month or three or twelve.  Or maybe a baby will never be best.  But by refusing to live with gratitude for this moment, I close my eyes and heart to the “best” he is offering to me.

I stumbled onto a photographer’s flickr stream.  Although her pictures interested me, it was her captions that captivated me most.  For each of her many photos, she had labeled it with a provoking and sometimes well-known (but other times lesser-known) quote.  I couldn’t help myself – I immediately started pouring over her stream, copying and pasting my favorite quotes into a Word document.  There was something about these nuggets of wisdom that excited me.  Life looked more simple through the guise of a specific framework, and happiness seemed more attainable.  Especially when I read this one:

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”  ~ Dale Carnegie

Later, I realized how trite this sentiment really sounds, but at the time it struck me between the eyes.  I’ve been unhappy; the limits of my patience and endurance have been tested and then some, and I vascillate between obsessive desire and heartbroken denial.  But the constant – the one thing that is true of each and every moment – is that the void I feel from the lack of a baby is never far from my heart.  And it hurts.

I don’t expect to experience some kind of voodoo magic, but something is changing in me and I think it will be good.  I’m need to focus on changing what I think about – not denying my desires or pretending to be someone I’m not, but by appreciating and fully experiencing what I have.  I have to be cautious here, because the temptation to make Gabe my everything can be high in these moments.  It’s not that he’s not pretty special, it’s just that no one little person is designed to bear the weight of attention of that variety and intensity.  No, I need to be broad and well-rounded in my thinking, and I need to force myself to open my heart to the goods and bests I’ve been given.

Embracing the better – I think that’s a good (albeit trite) way to start November, the month of Thanksgiving.

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  1. I love embracing the better …

  2. Hey baby,

    I’ve been thinking lately about contentedness, which I know isn’t quite exactly what you’re getting at here, but I think it’s related.

    Two verses that have been on my mind:

    Hebrews 13:5
    “Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” (NKJV)

    (I didn’t do a word study of this verse, but I did notice that most other translations translate “let your conduct be without covetousness” as “don’t love money”. I don’t know if this is accurate or not, but I actually like the more generic idea of “covetousness” in this context.


    Philippians 4:11
    “Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever the circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am… You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need…” (The Message)

    What I find reassuring here is that he says “I’ve learned by now” – not “I’ve always had this gift”, or “God granted this wish in the night”. He *learned*. It was a process. That means it’s ok for it to be a process for us, too…

    I love you…

  3. I am sorry for the negative test. I pray god shines a light so bright you have to wear shades.

  4. I loved your post and what you’ve learned, but I was really sad to hear the news about the pregnancy test. I love that you are embracing the “better” for November – I think that’s awesome and inspiring and something that I would like to focus on as well. Praying for you! (seriously, I am)
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..17 weeks =-.

  5. I really noticed myself taking for granted the present while focusing on what I wanted for the future somewhere along the way in my journey too. It’s something that I have to constantly work on…embracing the here and now. I worry a lot that I will look back on these years and regret that I didn’t enjoy them fully. It’s hard.

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