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First off, a disclaimer:

When I started writing, it was to share my Lifestyle with you. Slowly, as I spent more time living life and creating content from it, the blog has shifted and changed. Since most of my life revolves around where I go & what I wear, the travel and fashion parts of the blog have really expanded, while the life side of things diminished. Part of that, in all honesty, was me being afraid to put things that could hurt me out in the open (i.e. on the internet for anyone's eyes to see!). But, as I mentioned in this post, I feel so convicted that part of why I write is to share the real me, and through that to encourage other women. End disclaimer ;-)

So, that being said, I'm sure you saw this post on Monday where I finally (finally!) got to share our happy news: We're adding a little bean Lopez to the family in May! What I didn't share there was the struggle that the last three months have been. Reader, the first trimester kicked my tooshie. And while I can promise that this won't turn into a mommy blog (Love reading them, especially now! but mom blogger just isn't who I am), I can also say that I will be sharing my struggles as a woman going through pregnancy, raising kids, learning how to put my husband first without neglecting the needs of the littles, etc, on the Lifestyle side of my blog. Because all of that is part of my life, and shaping the woman I am becoming (it's inevitable).

One of the hardest things for me with this pregnancy has been feeling woefully inadequate and deeply flawed. Morning sickness hit me hard, and I literally lived on the sofa or in my bed for 5 weeks (that's where this post came from). Mixed up in all that was this anger inside me, the thought that "Women have been doing this for tens of thousands of years. Why can't I rock this? Why am I so sick and so out of control? What's wrong with me? Why am I not a stronger woman?"

The shame. The guilt. The fear of not only being seen as I was, but realizing it for myself and having to come to grips with it: I was flawed. My body was flawed. I was already not doing this whole becoming a mom thing right, and what was worse, I felt like I had no control to do better. I either was or wasn't cut out for it, and all evidence showed that my body, and myself, were flawed and failing.

The breaking point came yesterday after my 11wk OB appointment, where we saw the cutest little baby stretch and literally do a summersault, then found out later that hour why I had been bleeding constantly throughout the pregnancy - I have a subchorionic hemorrhage. It happens in less than 1% of pregnancies, and it can lead to miscarriage if it doesn't resolve itself.

Nothing I did caused it. Nothing I can do will heal it.

I cried later that day to G, that after making it this far I still didn't have a body that could take care of my baby the way it was supposed to. No matter how hard I try to rest, and eat right, and give myself and my new body grace, I was still failing.

Why can't I do this right? What's wrong with me? Why is my body broken?

It's so hard to type those words, Reader. And it was so hard to share with you that I am pregnant after finding out that news, because what if? What if it doesn't resolve itself? What if next week, or the week after, or the month after that, I have to tell you I'm not pregnant? Not anymore?

Then I realized two things:

1) All of this was coming from a place of fear, not faith.

2) No amount of worry can help me keep my baby if that isn't what God has for me. Worry does nothing but steal joy, crush faith, and blot out hope.

I have a mantra that I repeat over and over, and have for many years, because, as I said last week, I tend to be a pessimistic realist. I say:

"I will not be a woman of worry. I will live out my calling."

G helps remind me of this (even when I give him dirty looks in return). And that is why I wanted to still share our happy news with you, and then share the very real heart-struggle that is part of my life right now. I'm scared, and I'm powerless, and somewhere in all that is a Perfect Love that drives out fear and brings hope to the downcast and reassurance that our power isn't what matters. His is.

I hope this encourages you, Reader.

Because we are flawed. But it's a lie that those flaws make us broken, lost, and hopeless.

Our flaws are the very thing that give God room to show His strength, His power, His love, and to bring in His hope.

Remember that today. You are flawed (so am I). But in those flaws, His perfect self shines through. And that is a beautiful thing.

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