Blessed is she who has believed…

First, I would like to apologize for not updating sooner. The last few months have felt like we have been on a real life version of the game of Life. Needless to say, this will be a long post. So, grab a bag of popcorn and nestle in for the latest chapter of A Clarke Family Journey.

"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her." ~Luke 1:45 | Second time God has reminded me of this today.:

The biggest news…we are expecting! Baby Clarke is due August 5th and we feel overwhelming blessed by this miracle God has given us!

After so many months we assumed my remaining fallopian tube was blocked due to the last ectopic pregnancy. So when I tested positive the last week of November I was shocked. We knew there was a high chance it was another ectopic pregnancy, but this time there was no fear or worry. God’s peace is so good!

After blood work to confirm my levels we went in for an ultrasound. The tech, who is familiar with our journey, immediately began looking for an ectopic pregnancy. After not finding any evidence after 15 minutes or so, she “just in case” checked my uterus and said “well, there is a little black dot in there”. Little black dot? Little black dot! She confirmed that she thought it was an early stage uterine pregnancy, but we would need to come back for further ultrasounds to confirm. I should know by now that those moments in life that I expect to play out a certain way, never do. I have decided that God has a really good sense of humor!

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Over the next few weeks, we returned for two more ultrasounds to confirm that we were in fact pregnant with our miracle uterine baby! We even heard the heartbeat…so magical! After the journey we’ve gone through to get here it all seemed so surreal. The world’s odds were against us, but God had different plans for us.

It was such a special moment to get to share the big news with our families for Christmas! We were with Daniel’s family in person when we presented them with the picture frame of the ultrasound. Daniel’s dad had the best reaction when the first words out of his month were, “Judy (Daniels’s mom), I told you last week when I was feeling nauseated that I thought Brandon or Christy (Daniel’s sister) must be pregnant. I told you!” They could not be any more excited than they are. We were unable to be with my family in person but mailed the same picture frame to my mom and an image to my Aunt and Uncle. This will be the first grandchild on either side. Daniel’s parents have already picked out names for themselves and the baby planning has begun!

So that brings us to today. I am 17 weeks along. I had morning sickness early on, but that has since passed and I am feeling pretty good these days. And the baby bump has started to grow. We go back to the doctor the afternoon of March 7th to find out if Baby Clarke is a he or she. Woohoo!

Also, we sold our house in Birmingham! As many of you know, when Daniel and I moved to Auburn we quickly rented our house to a young couple we trusted. They planned to rent for two years, but the husband got a job offer in South Carolina in the fall and they asked to be released from the lease early. It was not the right time of the year for us to try and sell, but having been in a similar situation ourselves we completely understood. When I was laid off a few weeks later we were a bit stressed about having to cover both mortgages, but God had it all figured out. We listed it for sale by owner at the beginning of January, showed the house a week later, and had two offers by the end of the week. A week later we closed on the house with an all cash no inspection needed offer!

In additional news, I got a new job! Last month I started my new job as a manager at a big box retailers distribution center. The hours are long and odd, but I’m adjusting. Plus, it’s a Monday-Thursday job so I am enjoying my three day weekends! We are beyond grateful for my new position. We actually found out I was pregnant in the middle of the hiring process. Not ideal timing, but everything worked out. My employer has been overwhelming understanding and are working with me on time off for appointments and maternity leave.

Lastly, I will sum things up with a list of additional highlights over the last few months.

*My mother had a health scare back in November, but seems to be doing better now.

*We have had some amazing friends, Adam & Olivia Ficken, live with us for the last few months. Adam got a job down here and they are closing on their new house in Auburn today! They are also expecting their first child this May. We could not be any happier for them and can’t wait to raise our little ones together! Abe may be devastated when they leave though. He has grown so attached. I see a lot of hang outs in our future!

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*My older brother, Preston, got engaged to a wonderful girl named Catherine! They are getting married July 3rd. We are very excited for them! I will be a 9 month pregnant bridesmaid, so be on the look out for those humorous pictures.

*My sweet 93-year old grandmother, Cha, fell in her home recently. She is sore, but thank goodness didn’t break anything. After spending a few days in the hospital she has been transferred to a rehab facility. I am so grateful she is alright and I cannot wait for her to meet her first great-grandchild. She can’t either!

*Daniel and I attended the Ignite Marriage Conference at our church last weekend and it was wonderful. Investing in our marriage is so important. I am so incredibly blessed to have an amazing husband in Daniel!

Daniel and I are beyond thankful for all of the prayers and kind words over the last year. Your love and support makes sharing our good news all the more sweeter.

Deep Waters

Through all my troubles, I've been guided through and haven't been led astray.:

There are days you just never see coming, Friday was definitely one of those days. For those that do now know, a year and a half ago my husband accepted a job at Auburn University so we moved. The company I had been working for at the time offered to let me continue to work for them from home. It seemed like an ideal situation. With all of the medical issues this year it truly was a blessing. And then on Friday I was laid off.

I have unfortunately been in this situation before (twice actually), but that doesn’t make it any easier. I admit that I ugly cried for a few hours…some times you just need a good ugly cry. And I admit that there were feelings of anger, frustration, and “how can this happen to me AGAIN”. I have replayed the phone call fifty thousand times in my head and let me just say that hearing “it had nothing to do with your work performance” does not make the news any easier to digest.

But today I awoke with restored confidence and peace that only He can provide. Tomorrow the tough work begins…finding a new job. Our journey continues, with new bumps and twists around every corner. This was not in the plan, but it was in His plan. We know that God closes one door to open an even better door. So we remain steady. We remain sure. We remain faithful.