Does Infertility Affect Friendships?

“So…do you guys think you might, I mean, someday, ever want to have kids?” My friend asks me as we play with her toddler on the floor. I see the curve of her belly, pregnant with their second. She doesn’t know we’ve actually been trying for over a year—with no success of conceiving. She doesn’t know I actually ache to be in her shoes. Swollen feet and all. “Oh, yeah,” I say, “We definitely want kids.” And I roll the ball to her toddler, trying to act as natural as possible.

Inside, I have no idea if I will be able to have kids. And I wonder if she knows, we’re trying. I wonder if she knows I would be a mom by now, if I could. And that as disheveled and chaotic as she feels, and as unattractive as she thinks she looks, with her postpartum curves—she actually looks incredibly beautiful to me. But I don’t know how to say this. Not today. 

My friend is sweet, and doesn’t press further. And I feel relieved when she doesn’t.


I was completely blindsided by it: infertility. I remember so naively waiting those two minutes for that first pregnancy test, feeling so sure it would be positive. I envisioned us jumping up and down in celebration. But instead, we just stood there. “Maybe it will just take a little while,” my husband said. “Yeah,” I tried to shrug off the disappointment, “Maybe.”

But month after month of trying to conceive, my period came back. And months turned into years of waiting. And crying. And praying. And wondering…

What was wrong with us?

All of our friends were on babies #2 and #3, but we could not get pregnant with one. As our friends’ families grew with new babies—it was just still just the two of us. As our friends traded in their cars for SUV’s and minivans, and turned offices into nurseries—we would walk by our extra bedrooms and pray God would fill them someday. Somehow.

Sometimes it felt like the world kept rushing past us, while we just stayed still, frozen in time. Waiting for God to move.

Now looking back on those years of waiting, I see God was moving the whole time. In fact, He did some of His best work in us during those years. And He did it, before I ever got pregnant. He opened my eyes to see. And instead of seeing my life as a barren wasteland of disappointment, I saw Him. I saw His beauty–and that though my womb was barren, my soul didn’t have to be. He began to make me alive in Him and began to birth something in me that would change the way I see forever.  (You can read more about my infertility story here.)

But what about in the meantime? How does infertility affect friendships between women? And if you are already a mom, how should you approach a friend who is possibly unable to conceive?

I can’t speak for other women—I only know my own experience with infertility—but here are a few ways women who are already mothers can honor their “childless” friends, whether they are “childless” by choice, singleness, or infertility.

1. Realize the Mommy Club can be slightly exclusive. Being a mom now for two and a half years, I have grown to love the Mommy Club. I love swapping labor stories, poop stories, and tantrum stories with other other moms, just to know I’m not alone in this. Motherhood is an incredible bond between women (even women who are just passing by in the grocery store!) But the “Mommy Club,” as wonderful as it is, can be a little exclusive at times to non-mothers, especially in the Church. And this often happens quite innocently. All the moms are laughing and going on and on, swapping war-stories from the mommy trenches, and raving about the best butt paste, and the non-mother has nothing to contribute except, “I babysat in high school once.” (Cricket, cricket.)

Now, this doesn’t mean you should drop your mom fellowship time. (Not at all!)  It’s just something to be aware of, so that you can love, and include, and value the woman who is not a mother, just as much as the one who is. And in order to do this, we as moms have to, “Look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

2. Include Your Non-Mom Friends. I think many moms assume that “non-moms” would never want to come to a play date, or meet up at the mall when your kids are present.  But I loved when my friends would include me in things like this, without the prerequisite of being a mom. I’m so thankful for friends that invited me into their daily life at home with kids because this helped me see what it was like to be a mom, and made me desire to be a mom.

Although motherhood is a strong bond, it’s not the only bond women can have. For Christians hopefully there is a bond even stronger than motherhood, and that is being a part of God’s kingdom together. Being a daughter of God connects me to every other female in the body of Christ—whether she’s two, or twenty-two, or sixty-two. It’s a sisterhood that began long before I ever conceived my daughter. And it’s one that will need to exist while I raise my daughter, and long after she has a family of her own.

3. Be Sensitive In Approaching The Topic Of Infertility. If you are already a mom and curiously wondering if, or when your childless friend will ever have children, try to be patient. I never minded at all if someone asked, “Do you think you ever want to have kids?” It was what happened beyond that question. The moment you ask, “Well, are you trying?” You are pawing at a box she might not want opened—or hasn’t initiated opening, anyway. For your friend who is battling infertility, it might feel to her like you are going through her underwear drawer. It might feel like you are saying, “So..when are you gonna have kids? Are you having sex, or what? What birth control are you using? How long have you been off of it? Is he still wearing a condom? How’s your man’s sperm count? Is everything working down there with you two? Are you guys having enough sex?” (Whoa.) No, thanks.

Don’t let your curiosity get the best of you. Or your friendship. You may get the information you want, but you’ll damage the friendship. I think that the woman that is comfortable talking about her infertility, will talk about it. So let her bring it up.

And if she does share intimate details with you, honor her in that. Be very careful not to gossip about anything she shares with you. (That means not telling anybody she hasn’t specifically told you to tell.) This comes down to simply loving your infertile friends, being patient with them, and learning how to honor them and uphold their privacy through the process.

4. Be Exceedingly Thankful To Be A Mom.  It’s especially difficult for women who could never conceive, or lost every child in miscarriage to hear women gripe and complain about being a mom. It’s true that motherhood has intense challenges, sleepless nights, and can at times make you feel like you are totally losing it. But, for the Christian, we are called to battle back with joy and gratitude and reliance on the Holy Spirit.

Complaining and grumbling not only steals your joy and darkens your perspective, but it can make the hearts of others ache, too. So be joyful in your mothering, knowing that others are watching and listening. You might be afraid that if you “enjoy” your motherhood too much in front of “childless” women, you will cause them pain. However, I think the opposite is true. Your grumbling causes them pain, not your joy. So be exceedingly joyful in your motherhood, and if, or when they get to enter motherhood they will be more likely to be joyful in it, too.

5. Be Available For Your Infertile Friends.  The longer a woman, or couple experiences infertility, the more likely they will be to open up about it. And if they open up to you, give them the encouragement they need. Pray for them, comfort them with Scripture, and remind them that God is lovingly leading their life together. We were very private about our struggle with infertility, but the few people we did open up to provided such a source of comfort and strength to us during the process.

Infertility Doesn’t Have To Break A Friendship
As Christians, we have this amazing opportunity to love each other. The seasons of our lives don’t always line up perfectly with each other. And although some friendships may drift while others thrive, let’s let it be because of the leadership of the Holy Spirit. And not because of the anger, bitterness, and jealousy of an infertile couple. Let’s not let friendships be broken by prying questions, or gossip, or because we were too selfish to look past ourselves.

I think something really beautiful happens when people from different seasons of life are both vulnerable and strengthening to each other. Titus 2 talks about how within the body of Christ we all need each other.  So, wherever you are at, whether you are in a house filled with the cries and screams of little children, or you are praying desperately for a miracle in your womb, or you are a grandmother, or you are a single person who is traveling the globe, let’s love each other. Because before any of us were mothers, we were daughters. We were sisters. We were children, born into the Kingdom of God and saved by the blood and mercy of Jesus Christ. The One whom we love, and live for.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).


Meet guest blogger, Rebekah Fox!  Rebekah writes about infertility, God, and motherhood at her blog  She and her husband, Brandon, have one darling and wild little girl named Selah, whom they long waited, cried, and prayed for before conceiving.  You can connect with Rebekah via her blogFacebook page, or email:


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Counter-Cultural Parenting

After giving up a career as a TV reporter for motherhood, Jenny went on to found and host Channelmom.
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Yesterday I got to chat with Jenny Schmidt of Channelmom about making special occasions more Christ-centered for our kids.  If you’re not familiar with Channelmom, it’s a radio show broadcasted out of Denver that tackles a wide variety of “Mommy issues” from a Christian perspective.  If you’re free TODAY around 6:30pm (Eastern Time), click on the link below to listen to the interview live! 

10 Indoor Activities for Pre-Schoolers

1. Free Printable Postcards for Kids
I LOVE my friend Gina’s new blog homepage, Listening in the Litany.  She makes this postcard idea so simple by offering a free  template.  Keep a stash on hand and pull one out on a cold, indoor day.  The recipients will love it!

Supplies: colored pencils, postcards

2. DIY Magnetic Play Set
The blogger used a book of pre-cut paper dolls, but I’m going to attempt drawing the dolls myself on card stock so I can make them look like my daughters and their friends.  Yee!

Supplies: Adhesive Magnetic Sheets, a book of pre-cut paper dolls OR card stock and markers, scissors, cookie sheet

3. Rainbow Rice Sensory Play 
rainbowrice_thumb[1]While this seems a little tedious on the front-end, once you’ve made the play box, the kids can enjoy it over and over again.  Plus you could swap out the toys you put in it to give your play box different “themes”–fairies, ponies, dump trucks…etc.

Supplies: white rice, Ziploc bags, food coloring, rubbing alcohol, plastic container, toys

4. Balloon Rocket Launch
36b8734885de92f363bb32b381f12a8fThis just looks cool.  It’s easy and entirely mess-free.  The only downside is if your kids are really young, like mine, you’ll be the only one blowing up the balloon over and over for the launch.  Hmmm…maybe this is one activity Daddy would like to do with them?

Supplies: balloon, straw, paper, rubber band

5. Fizzy Vinegar Fun
This is the sort of thing I’d never think of myself, but could easily do with the kids on a boring afternoon.  It has the feel of a cooking/baking project, but with a little bit of art and science thrown in.

Supplies: baking soda, vinegar, food dye, dropper, casserole dish

6. Threading Beads Alphabet Activity
I love this idea from the Imagination Tree.  My 4 year old has been working on writing her name and struggling with two tricky letters.  What a great way for her to form the letters with her hands before she learns to form them with a pencil.  Not to mention anything to do with beads is fun for a preschool girl!

Supplies: variety of beads, pipe cleaners

7. Bottle Top Count & Match Game
playing+with+bottle+top+gameWant to help your preschooler learn to recognize numbers?  This game is cute, colorful and easy enough for a toddler to play along too.

Supplies: variety of bottle tops, box lid, markers, 2 sets of stickers with numbers on them 

8. DIY Face Paint 
homemade face paint 30You can let your kids paint their own faces, or try your hand at turning them into fanciful creatures.  Plus, making the paints at home ensures they’re non-toxic.

Supplies: cornstarch, lotion, food coloring or washable watercolors

9. Create a Reading Log
bookdiary41Here’s a revolutionary idea for cold, indoor days–reading!  This is a really cute idea for organizing and recording your favorite seasonal stories.  And once again, Gina’s done the hard work for us by offering a free printable!  To check out some of her favorite winter picture books, click here.

Supplies: library books, free reading log printable

10. Upcycled Artwork Lanterns 
Childrens-art-lanterns-680x453Finally, with all the indoor artwork that’s bound to come out of this cold front, this is a fun and easy idea for turning it into something extra special.  I think I’ll string them up in my kids’ rooms once we’ve made several.  Oh boy!

Supplies: several sheets of kids’ artwork, scissors, glue


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2014 Book List


I’m really excited about my line-up this year.  Some of these books come highly recommended by friends, others deal with topics I want to grow in, or subjects that simply interest me.  As usual I will keep the fiction section small because it tends to mushroom throughout the year.  Feel free to make recommendations.  As I cross books off the list, I’ll write a brief review here.  Happy reading this year!


1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp  This book has been recommended to me numerous times by people who think I will not only love the content, but the author’s unique writing style.  Having visited her blog, I think I will agree.

Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss  If there’s one thing I want stamped upon my heart this year, it’s gratitude.  Deep, whole-hearted, God-exalting gratitude.

Fierce Women by Kimberly Wagner  This suggestion came via Challies’ top books of 2013.  In his words, “She writes about the beauty of fierceness, the beauty of strong women who use their strength to honor the Lord by honoring their husbands.”  Sounds good to me!

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson  A carry-over from my 2013 list… The husband has agreed to read this one with me, so hopefully that will be accountability to cross it off the list this year!  From what I hear, it’s well worth it.

Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman  “Sometimes life feels a lot like a burden—day-in and day-out its the same chores and tasks, challenges and discouragements, anxieties and responsibilities.  So where is God in all of this? Does he care about the way we unload the dishwasher or balance the budget? Do the little things like changing diapers or cooking meals make a difference? And how can we use our spheres of influence for God’s glory and our joy?”  My husband recommended this one…I wonder why he thought of it for me?  🙂

Heaven by Randy Alcorn  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I’m part of a wonderful little book club.  One of the members, a beautiful friend of mine, lost her father in a biking accident this year.  The tragedy has prompted us to pick up this book and explore our many unanswered questions about heaven.

Radical by David Platt  I have long feared this book…which is exactly why I think I need to read it.  True confession–I’ve already dug in, and let me just say, yowzers.  It is powerful, inspiring, and painfully spot-on.  For every chapter I read, I need about a week to pray and process.  And I think that’s a good thing.

Resisting Gossip by Matthew Mitchell  This is one of the books I’m most eager to read.  I think the subject matter, as well as its importance, is self-explanatory.

Tempted and Tried by Russell Moore  I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Moore speak a few times, and cannot wait to read his book about temptation, the triumph of Christ, and how it applies to us today.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey  While my family is probably a little bit young to put all the principles of this book into effect, I figure it can’t hurt to hear what Covey has to say.

What is the Meaning of Sex? by Denny Burk  This is my final non-fiction choice, also highly recommended by Challies.  Here’s what’s being said about it:  “This book clearly explains the truth about sex and winsomely responds to society’s evolving views on human sexuality and gender.  From marriage to birth control, homosexuality to singleness, What is the Meaning of Sex? sets forth a distinctly Christian perspective, equipping you to engage our confused culture with a God-glorifying vision of human sexuality.”


11/22/63 by Stephen King Ever since reading King’s book On Writing, I’ve wanted to read one of his novels…but been too afraid to do it!  My sister recommended this one since it’s not horror.  It’s the story of Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher who discovers a portal into 1958.  Thus begins his life as George Amberson.  His mission?  Kill Lee Harvey Oswald and prevent JFK’s assassination.

Into the Free by Julie Cantrell A New York Times Bestselling Christian fiction novel about a girl from Depression-era Mississippi who joins a band of Gypsies to escape her family.

Swimming in the Moon by Pamela Schoenewaldt I loved Schoenewaldt’s first novel, When We Were Strangers, so I thought I’d give her second a try.  It’s the story of a mother and daughter in 1905 Italy who immigrate to Cleveland.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom A friend recommended this New York Times Bestseller about a white servant girl from Ireland who is sent to live with the slaves of the kitchen house.  Despite the color of her skin, she becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family.  Later when she is accepted into the big house, she must choose between two very different worlds, with risky consequences.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey “Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees…”

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7 Reasons There’s No Reason to Worry

From Matthew 6:25-34

1. Because if God has given me big, substantial gifts (such as my life & body), I can trust Him to provide for smaller, less substantial needs.  (v25)

2. Because God is so sovereign He cares about even the insignificant details of nature.  (v26, 28-29)

3. Because I am of great value to God.  (v26b, 30)

4. Because anxiety does zippo to fix my problems or extend my life.  (v27)

5. Because God knows what I need.  (v32)

6. Because God’s kingdom and righteousness are more important than anything I could ever need or want.  (v33)

7. Because tomorrow will bring new troubles I didn’t even see coming, so I might as well live one day at a time.  (v34)

Am I the only big, fat worry wart who finds this incredibly uplifting?  Thank You God, for Your Word!  Empower me to believe and live it. 

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