Happy Birthday to My Husband

Happy Birthday to my Husband

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. We’d met just a few short months before, and while our relationship was just blossoming from casual acquaintance to something akin to friendship, somehow I knew it would blossom into something even more. And if I didn’t know it then, I certainly hoped so – though I wasn’t ready to admit that to very many people. He was a young seminary student, and he looked the part of a minister with his red beard, blue dress shirts, and khaki pants. He was quiet, Read more [...]

Comfort, Peace, and Hope

Co

With broken words and fragile courage we share our stories. The stories of grief that feels like failure, but really it’s a story of bravery. The stories of overcoming heartache and brokenness, but really it’s a story of healing. Some of us share our stories privately, being vulnerable with just a few trusted souls. And some of us share our stories publicly, writing and speaking to who knows how many strangers. These stories, our stories, we share them for the same reasons, really. We share our Read more [...]

Questions

I sip peppermint tea and pray it provides relief from the nausea. The weather is dreary, rain drip-drip-dripping from the eaves of our roof, and I am so thankful for the much needed rain that calms and refreshes. In the pasture our cows gather beneath a tree, seeking shelter from the rain. And inside the cats are snuggled up in quilts, covering their noses in an effort to stay warm. And I listen to the glorious sound of falling rain. I find it a bit ironic that for so long I wrestled with my infertility, Read more [...]

This Battlefield is Holy Ground

This Battlefield is Holy Ground

It is in between those moments of wrestling – the moments that make me breathless and leave me feeling fearless, and yet somehow defeated – that the realization hits: this battlefield, where I stand so brave, yet so often fall, this battlefield is holy ground. This battlefield is holy ground. My heart stirs as I remember the glorious honor that I have been given – that the Almighty allows me to wrestle with Him. That He welcomes my questioning. That He treasures my tears. That He honors my seeking. Read more [...]

What does the Bible say about modesty?

What does the Bible say about Modesty - via A Royal Daughter

Can I make a confession? When I see articles and blog posts about modesty I get a little squeamish as I click on over. I don’t know about you, but I often approach the modesty issue with preconceived ideas of what I think people will say and stand for. Sometimes I’m surprised by what they say, sometimes I disagree with their position, and sometimes I’m saying a silent “amen” as I read their point of view. In conservative and liberal circles, Christians and non-religious alike seem to have some Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #50: Purpose

Can you believe Desire to Inspire is approaching its one year anniversary? I know our little community is small, but I am so thankful for each of you who writes with purpose and passion. Thank you for being so faithful to inspire your readers! My sweet friend, Victoria is here today to talk a little bit about infertility, and a little bit about purpose. Victoria and I have known each other since we were little, little girls in Sunday School. We grew up down the street from each other, and now, Read more [...]

A Letter to my Ten Year Old Self

A Letter to my Ten Year Old Self via A Royal Daughter

Dear ten year old Amanda, Hey girlie. Before we get down to the serious talk, you need to know one thing right now: that curly hair you’ve been praying for? It’s coming in about four years. Do us both a favor and recognize it earlier than I did. Get yourself some frizz-ease, a diffuser, and a wide-tooth comb and you’ll be good to go. Oh, and also, strangers are going to walk right up to you and touch your hair, just try not to think where their hands have been. And you’ll hear, ‘is that natural?’ Read more [...]

Giving up Extreme in Exchange for Being Faithful

Giving Up Extreme in Exchange for Being Faithful via A Royal Daughter

A few weeks ago I watched a TV show in which a young woman, about my age, lost more than 150 pounds in one year. Perhaps you’ve seen it, Extreme Weight Loss. Each week the show chronicles the weight loss journey of men and women who’s very lives are at risk because of their obesity and subsequent health concerns. Please hear me on this: their extreme weight loss is very much worth celebrating, and I do not mean to, in anyway, take away from their accomplishments. But as I was watching that show Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #47: Joy Comes in the Mourning

Joy comes in the mourning - finding joy and peace in the midst of miscarriage and infertility

We suffered a miscarriage on May 23 this year. After four years of hoping and praying, our dreams came true, and then turned into a nightmare all too quickly. Please hear my heart on this. One thing I learned during that heart-wrenching experience was that joy comes in the mourning. When we lost our glory baby I had so much peace. When the doctor gave us the news that my blood levels had already started dropping my heart sank. I was sad, deeply sad. But from that moment on I had so much peace. Read more [...]

Hold my hand, hold my heart, and walk with me

Close-up Holding Hands

Before I ever shared our story about infertility publicly, before I ever wrote about it on my blog, before I even really got over the denial that this is our story, God brought a sweet soul into my life who battled infertility for many years. It happened quite by accident, really. She was writing a blog post that brought a humorous side to What not to Say to Your Infertile Friends, and was looking for a few ladies to collaborate with her. I volunteered. I hadn’t yet written about infertility Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #44: A Happy, Glorious Ending

Psalm 16 11 Graphic

This time last year my heart was incredibly tender, most decidedly bruised and broken, and longing for some semblance of a healing touch from God. I was knee-deep in my wrestling with God. My heart questioned His faithfulness, and my mind challenged His sovereignty. In a frantic, but failing attempt to protect my heart, I had silenced myself in regards to infertility. In some way I suppose I thought that if I didn’t verbalize our struggle maybe it wasn’t really real. If I stayed quiet about Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #43: Finding Your Voice

Finding Your Voice in Blogging

How to Blog: Finding Your Voice in Blogging This How to Blog series is quickly coming to an end. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, hasn’t it? You can catch up on this series by setting your very first blog goals, planning your personal branding, writing a mission statement, and creating your custom logo. Want to set up a blog on Blogger or WordPress? We covered that too! Last week I asked my facebook community what they wanted me to cover, and one of the hot topics was finding your voice Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire: Writing a Mission Statement for your blog

Writing a Mission Statement for Your Blog

Writing a Mission Statement for your blog Whether you’re just starting out on your blogging journey or you’re years into building community online, writing a mission statement for your blog will help discover your vision and define your purpose. As you continue with blogging, referencing your mission statement will help keep you on track as you grow and change. And your mission statement may evolve as your blog grows and changes! But getting back to your core purpose, original goals, and heart Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #41: Stop seeking joy

Stop seeking joy and choose it instead

To my friends in the sisterhood of wannabe mommies, I know your pain. I know your struggle, your wrestling and your fight. I’m in the trenches with you, and together we’re fighting a battle than only a few will ever fight. And I want you to know this truth: you are not alone. I know that sometimes you don’t want to get out of bed because your dreams are happier than your reality. Sometimes my dreams are happier than my reality. I know that sometimes you go grocery shopping in the middle of the Read more [...]

The importance of story telling

Tell Your Story 1

You have a story to tell. Maybe it is buried deep down,  in the hidden places of a bruised and wounded soul, and you want to forget the painful, shameful details. Or maybe it’s fresh on the surface, ready to be told, and the words just won’t come. Either way, never underestimate the importance of story telling. Wrapped up in the beautiful uniqueness of who you are is a whole lifetime of experiences, sticky situations, monumental achievements, epic wins and embarrassing losses, all stories that Read more [...]

Not all those who wander are lost

Not all those who wander are lost

I was praying, except I didn’t realize it. Whispered heart cries spilled out from the deep places in my heart, or maybe my soul. I truly believe that the Spirit intercedes on our behalf when words fail us. How long I’d been praying I don’t know. And what I’d been praying for I can’t say. I surprised myself when I heard these words come out of my mouth: “Lord, just please don’t let this wandering be in vain. I want to wander with intention.” And I remembered the poem by J.R.R. Tolkien that states, not Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #38: What He Sees

Mackenzie

I asked my sweet friend, Mackenzie from Life of a Pint Sized Mama to share a little bit of her heart. Mackenzie and I met last year at the Influence Conference. I admire her so much, her vulnerability, her authenticity, and her ability to engage and inspire women. Connect with Mackenzie: blog | facebook | twitter | instagram Most days I am scared about the dreams that God has put on my heart. Most days I don’t think I’m capable. Most days I’m sure that I am too feeble and too insecure to live Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #37: Pain and Peace

Pain and Peace

I look back through my journal, broken words I’ve written in a feeble attempt to chronicle my wrestling with God, and I barely recognize the words that I penned with my own hands more than a year ago. Flipping through that tear-stained journal is painful. I see the heartache and recount the anger and resentment. I remember the despair and agony, and on some level I suppose I was so bitter with God that I was unwilling to allow His comfort and peace to fill me. And now I stand on a battlefield Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #34: Hope

Facing infertility with hope via aroyaldaughter.com

Sitting in the waiting room, my sweet husband beside me clasping my hand in his, I feel the wrestling in my heart. That silent, unseen dance of two emotions that have for so long been at odds with each other: hope and fear. Sometimes facing infertility with hope instead of with fear seems like an impossible feat. This place is one of hope – the place “where miracles happen.” But it is also a place of anguish, fear, and grief. And the waiting room is filled with men and women who are living with Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #33: Rest{full}

Embracing a season of rest and quiet

I spent the day in quiet. No T.V., no radio, no music. Only the music of springtime: birds, and frogs, and wind in the trees. After working in my garden for a little while I found myself back in side and in the mood to declutter and clean. I emptied out drawers, finally throwing away receipts from when our foster boys were with us…fifteen months ago. I rearranged books and what few nick-knacks I have. I worked, but I rested too. I rested from the internet, from the distraction of eight different Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #30: Use Your Power for Good

photo (3)

I mostly sat on the outside and watched the fighting, the drama, the hate. The online bullying. My mom has a saying that I’ll use right now: “I don’t have enough information to make a judgement.” I don’t know who’s at fault. I don’t know who started it. And I won’t even dignify the actions by linking to blog posts, tweets, or forums.  But I do know this: We all have power. And I think we all need to be reminded to use our power for good. (download and print 5×7 for free!) I read some of the Read more [...]

Desire to Inspire #29: Organic Blog Growth

Organic Blog Growth

There’s a misconception in blogging that higher numbers (subscribers, likes, followers, pageviews, etc.) necessarily equals (or on some level reflects) success. Recently I was asked by an online-turned-face-to-face friend how many pageviews ARD averages each month. I rarely share my pageviews, or any other number for that matter, but we were in the midst of a great discussion about blogging strategies and organic + authentic growth, so I shared. She was surprised by how low my monthly pageviews Read more [...]