Monday, October 20, 2014

Baby Stuff: Gender Reveal Party (FREE Printables)

So our gender reveal was about 5 months ago.  I've been meaning to write this post since that week but life is just full of surprises - especially when preparing for a baby.  ;)

I have this thing about pink - not a big fan.  So when we started planning our party I knew I didn't want the typical blue & pink.  So to Pinterest I went.  Don't you just love the ease of finding a million ideas in one place?  It's like stepping into a meeting where everyone is trying to talk at once and you can't take any one thing in completely.  But I was determined.  And after some searching, instead of blue & pink, I settled on mustaches and lips!

After looking at wording for probably close to 100 different gender reveal invites, I blended a few together and created my own.  This is the finished product (personal info covered):

I am a perfectionist so putting this all together took a bit longer than it probably should have.  ;)

We had the party outside and we were on a very tight budget so I kept our decor to a minimum and included things we already had around the house.

I had the "Love" piece hanging in our apartment before we moved - glad I remembered it for the party!  It was perfect!
Basically, everything decor wise was set up at or around this table.  I found the printable for the mustache and lip photo props here (thank you Pinterest).  I only had popsicle sticks so that's what we used, but you could definitely do something different....

At the table, there was a place for everyone to vote on what they thought Baby Sherman was going to be:

Please excuse my horrible handwriting.  I have tried for years to change it but to no avail.  :P

And then we had a place for everyone to write name suggestions.  We pretty much had it narrowed down to two girls names and two boys names at this point.  But everyone loved putting their two cents in - and some people really had fun with it!  ;)

The chalkboard clips were leftover from my parents anniversary party and I had the red, black, and white notepad.  And of course, I only picked out our red and black pens.  ;)

Then we hung some of the old wives tales as well as our ultrasound pics on the tree above the table.  It was really amusing how many people consulted the wives tales before casting their vote!  ;)

Yes, I did break down and spend a little to buy some chalkboard paper at Micheals.  BUT, I did have a 50% off coupon!  ;)

We have SO many more pics now.  Even got one of her sticking out her tongue!  ;)

The cake was a surprise - but we only got a small one.  So I made cupcakes and DIY'ed some cupcake toppers with PicMonkey.  For this FREE PRINTABLE just right click the second image below and save as.  You should be able to print as an 8x10 from there.

You can do the toppers front and back but I chose to do one-sided because of time issues.  ;)


Right Click and Save As - Enjoy!

And here is the cake reveal.  For those that don't know how this works.  We got a sealed envelope from our ultrasound tech with a picture that revealed the gender.  I took that envelope (unopened to our baker.  If you are local we got it from Cake Shotts.  I simply gave her the invitation as well as the ultrasound pic and this is what she came up with.  We absolutely LOVED it!  She dyed the inside pink or blue depending on what the ultrasound picture revealed.  :)  That way, when we cut the cake everyone would find out at the same time if we were having a boy or girl.

Just darling isn't it??

Let me tell you....we set the time for the reveal 45 minutes after the start of the party.  And it came FAST.  If I could do it again, I would probably make it an hour.  I felt like everyone had just arrived and I was rushing inside to grab the cake.  That extra 15 minutes would have been really nice.

Here we come with the cake!!  It is so funny to me that I thought I looked pregnant that day.....

Cutting the cake was so exciting!  I was SO nervous.  Would it be pink?  Would it be blue?  I knew we wouldn't be disappointed either way - we are so tremendously happy just to be having a baby!  I just had these crazy butterflies.  It was fun!  Hubby and I decided to cut it together:

I peeked inside and said quite loudly.....

"It's Pink!!"  hehe.  Baby Girl was officially announced!  My mom's reaction might be my favorite:  


And I love the expression on Hubby's face....
 While I was overjoyed in that instant, I think it took a little bit for it to all sink in....Hubby had to cut a whole piece out before I really responded:

And there it is.... We're having a little girl!!

We are SO thrilled to be bringing a precious little lady into this world.  And we cannot wait to meet her!  I hope you enjoyed perusing our day.  

I am always anxious to hear from my readers....so....  Did you have a gender reveal party?  Did you already know and keep it a secret?  Or were your surprised as well?  How did you reveal?  Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bump Update: 40 Weeks

Unreal.  I never ever thought I'd be writing this bump update.  Thought for sure our Little Sprout would come before now.  But she is being so stubborn.  Just like her Daddy.  ;)  

We haven't made any more progress since a little over two weeks ago - still 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  The PA was a little shocked I was there this week, apparently he was pretty sure I would have this baby over the weekend.  But I didn't....  We kind of started talking about induction since we've reached my due date.  But as long as she and I are doing okay, we will try to postpone it as long as we can..  Especially since we got pregnant, when we weren't trying, the first cycle after our miscarriage.  I'm highly irregular anyways and I know I don't ovulate in the typical window that most women do.  So there is a very good likelihood that my due date is inaccurate.  We shall see.  Just so long as she is safe and healthy, we are happy!  :)

Picture time!


Not sure if it is the clothes or the way my hands were sitting but I feel like my belly looks so small in this pic...

But then again....maybe not.  lol.

Bigger???  I didn't measure any bigger at my doc appointment this week....but I think I can see a difference....

Amazing the difference 10 weeks makes!!  Seriously.  Whoa!



This week, baby is as big as: A small pumpkin!  Pretty appropriate for the time of year.  But not very comforting to a Momma preparing for labor.  ;)

Next appointment: I have a Bio-Physical Profile and a Nonstress Test tomorrow and Monday morning. And then an appointment Monday afternoon.  


Total Weight Gain/Loss: At my appointment on Tuesday I had gained 2 lbs since Thursday.  Guess I need to lay off those EL Fudge cookies.  ;)


Exercise: Really should be better about this.  I've really slacked off with not having a "schedule."  And maybe if I get some more walking time in this little lady will decide to join us!  

Maternity Clothes: I've managed to get away with sweats and a t-shirt at home - though my belly does stick out a little.  It's just much more comfortable than an elastic band somewhere mid-belly.  :P 

Sleep: Pretty good for the most part.  I've been letting myself wake up on my own time (instead of an alarm) lately since I know I need to rest and it has been about an hour or so after my usual wake up time.  Which drives me crazy.  haha.  But I know rest is best at this point.

Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing.   

Movement: She'll have days where she is pretty calm and then there are the days she is super active.  Some days it is fun for me and other days just a little painful.  I think her daddy got to feel her more than ever the past few days.  Sunday he was playing with her foot (or knee) on my side and kept laughing.  And then Monday night he was laying his hand on my belly and she just kept moving everywhere.  He loves it!  And I absolutely love those moments.     

What I Miss: Thinking this little lady was going to come early.  Ha!


What I'm Loving: As noted just a moment ago - Hubby being able to bond with Baby Girl a bit more.  He is so ready for her to be here.  He keeps telling her it's time to come out so he can see her.  Super sweet.
        
What I'm Looking Forward To: Getting to see her soon!  And the Bio Physical Profile should be at least a little interesting tomorrow since it is basically a really long ultrasound. Not looking forward to the Non Stress Test though....  

Best Moment This Week: .Hubby getting to feel Baby Girl so much.

Milestones: Everything is good to go!  She is just busy gaining more pudge to keep her warm.  ;)

Goals:  Finished my thank you cards!  Just have a few addresses to get so I can send the last few out.  And I think we might actually get to hang pics in Baby Girl's room sometime over the next few days.  Since it is rainy Hubby doesn't have much to do around the house so hoping we can get that accomplished.  Outside of that my goal is to have this baby!!  ;)

Monday, October 13, 2014

WAHM Review: Naturekins Nursing Pads

I received the product to review for free in exchange for an honest review.  There was no monetary exchange.

Barbara from Naturekins was a pleasure to work with, as have been most of the Mommas in this series.  However, Barbara is very unique in that she is a work at home mom from Canada!  She is a mom to three little girls and truly enjoys creating eco-friendly products!

She sent me a set of contoured nursing pads to review.  And I love them!  


Nice packaging is always a plus!

And I love how she includes this card with each set to show exactly what you are getting - she sent me a set for heavy leaking.

She has a ton of options as far as material go, here is a close up of what mine are:


Bamboo is super absorbent and, of course, I love that it is organic!

Barbara's nursing pads are unique because they are contoured and sized in order to prevent them showing through your bra and shirt.  Since I am currently a C-cup (thanks to being pregnant), she sent me the C-D size since I'll probably gain another cup size once my milk comes in.  They fit nicely now and I imagine will do well later on.  Here are a couple of pictures so that you can see the contour


Outer side

Inner side


5 Stars - I love that Barbara has worked so hard to prevent her pads from being seeing through your clothing as I hear that is a common problem.

I think the quality of these nursing pads is fabulous!  You can tell that they are handmade but you can also see the quality.  I have no doubt these will last me the next year as I breastfeed!  


Look at that stitching!  Pretty snazzy for a WAHM.  ;)

5 Stars

Barbara's customer service is great!  She was super willing to work with me and explained everything super thoroughly.  If you had any issues, I'm sure she would handle it professionally and graciously.


5 Stars

She was even kind enough to include some breastfeeding tips for new moms!  Which I personally loved!  I've made a mental note of more than one of these:


1. Avoid a terrible night experience by wearing nursing pads for the first 4 days at night even if you don't know if you will leak.  Waking up with wet sheets is no fun when sleep is a rare treat in those first few days.

2. Buy athletic tops with a build in bra to use as a night shirt so you have a way to keep your nursing pads in place without having to wear an uncomfortable bra at night.

3. Pack a pair of nursing pads in your purse and in your diaper bag...permanently.  So that way you are never without a pair.

4. If you get cracked nipples, turn the nursing pads so the wool side is out or buy all wool pads that keep the moisture away from the nipple.  This is also great when fighting thrush!

5. Make your own nursing tops by simply using your regular tops and putting a tank top underneath that you have cut the breast area out of.  This method prevents the exposed belly feeling when nursing that makes many new moms feel embarrassed.  I (Bri) also stumbled across this DIY Nursing Tank tutorial that I plan to try!  Found a ton of cami's at a yard sale for ten cents each - hoping for that to be my next project!

6. An inflatable nursing pillow is a low cost and great item for travel and home use.  Nursing pillows help prevent back strain and make a good latch easier.  Plus, the inflatable ones take up a lot less room!

I definitely would recommend Naturekins.  And I can't wait to give you all an update once I am able to actually use these!  I'm thinking these might be my favorite reusable nursing pads.  Barbara also makes a ton of adorably cute hats!  A lot of which are upcycled - which is super neat!


5 Stars


Head on over to Naturekins Etsy shop and do some shopping!  Let her know that Learning to Be 31 sent you!  BONUS: Right now the nursing pads are Buy One Get One Free!  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Object of Trust

People put their trust in a lot of things.  In our society, I think two of the most common objects of trust are power and wealth.  

"If I can reach [insert rank, promotion, status, etc. here] I'll have it made."  

"If only my salary were [insert number here] then I wouldn't have to worry."  

Over and over again, we see that these things don't satisfy in the end.  For instance, Robin Williams seemed to have it all.  He had fame and he had wealth - that much is undeniable.  But it wasn't enough to keep his desire for life alive.  He lost hope.  Probably because his object of trust wasn't in the proper place.  We, as a people, see this kind of story fairly regularly...yet, it doesn't seem to teach us anything.  We still strive to make just that much more or become that much more reputable.  

And I think this has been a trend throughout all of history.  It is most likely the reason that David penned these words in Psalm 62:
Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie;
In the balances they go up;
They are together lighter than breath.
10 Do not trust in oppression
And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.

Here David points out three different things that we should not put our trust in.  When I first read this I didn't think it applied to me.  I want nothing to do with oppression or robbery.  But that is where in depth study comes in.  This does apply to me, as it does to you and every single person who reads it.

So what three things are we to not put our trust in?

1. Men

David points out that men of low degree as well as men of rank are no more than a breath.  Adam Clarke puts it this way, "Common man can give no help...it is folly to trust in them, for although they may be willing, yet they have no ability to help you. 'Rich men are a lie.'  They promise much, but perform nothing; they cause you to hope, but mock your expectation."  It is so easy to become very cynical when it comes to man.  So I feel the need to clarify that not all men are bad.  There are good people out there.  I promise.  The point that David is trying to make here, I believe, is that men should not be the object of our trust, whether they are common folk or the extraordinarily rich or famous.  God should be our object of trust.  Not man.

2. Power

David mentions oppression.  Which puts an image in my mind of a slave owner, whip in hand, hollering out orders to men & women stooped over, barely able to stand on their own two feet anymore.  But oppression is more than that.  Google defines oppression as "the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control" or "mental pressure or distress."  Does this sound familiar?  I'm sure we've all experienced this type of oppression at one point in time or another.  It can be seen in almost any work place.  Big people stepping on the little people to get to where they want to be.  Heads of companies treating those who work for them as ants because that's all they see - workers to get them ahead.  

Humanity is a little bit power hungry, especially Americans.  More and more we are taught from a very young age that it is all about "Me."  I'm special, I'm a winner, etc.  So when we're thrown into the real world, we do whatever it takes to make those words ring true.  We step on friends and family to rise to the top and we never look back.  Power becomes a source of trust.  The more power gained, the better we feel...no matter what the cost.  Again, God should be our object of trust.  Not power.

3. Wealth

David notes, If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.  That advice is very hard to follow in today's world.  Money brings comfort (or so we think).  Some of us work two or three jobs just to get by.  Others work two or three jobs so that they can afford to buy what they think they need.  We put our trust in money.  I think this is one of the easiest traps for Americans to fall into.  Seriously.  Our priorities need to be straightened out.  Sometimes you have to ask the tough questions - would God want me taking this job so that we can make more?  Or would He rather me use my time to strengthen our family and serve where He wants us?  Is this job change something that I want?  Or is it something God is leading me toward?  We make a lot of hasty decisions when it comes to jobs and money because our trust is askew.  Prayer should be the first thing we turn to when making financial or career decisions because our trust should be in God.  After all, He has promised to take care of us.

Matthew 6:25-24:


25 For this reason I say to you, [a]do not be worried about your [b]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [c]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single[d]hour to his [e]life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much moreclothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But [f]seek first [g]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [h]added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God.  Not man, not power, not wealth.  God should be our object of trust.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bump Update: 39 Weeks

I have to be honest.  On Sunday I was sure I wouldn't be writing this bump update.  So many different things were changing in my body.  I just felt off.  At church I leaned against Hubby and said "I think we're going to have a baby by the end of the week."  He agreed.  But here we are...Friday morning and still no baby.  However, we are officially 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  but that isn't much change from a week ago.  So who knows when Baby Girl will decide to make her appearance.  She is her own person after all.  ;)

It all feels so very unreal.  Life is just moving forward as usual (for the most part).  But literally, at any moment, this precious little miracle could decide to come.  And then life as usual won't be life as usual anymore.  We will be thrown into a new normal all at once.  And I am SO excited and SO nervous all at the same time.  It is impossible to prepare for something like that, isn't it??

Well, here are this weeks pics:

Can you tell I'm exhausted?  haha.

Whoa belly!

And another up close and personal belly shot because Mom has to have one.  haha.

Definite changes I think.  She dropped all at once on Saturday...I could feel it and it wasn't pleasant.  And she is definitely still growing.  According to the ultrasound (which can be off by like 3 lbs) she is 7 lbs 12 oz.  Pretty average for now.

This week, baby is as big as: Both apps still say Watermelon today.  But the one clarified that it is a smaller watermelon.  I suppose that's a good thing....right??

Next appointment: Tuesday.  Super close!  Can't believe that our Little Sprout (who isn't much of a little sprout anymore) will be here any day!!  


Total Weight Gain/Loss: I've had 2 appointments since my last update (one last Friday and one today) and between the two I have gained about 3-4 lbs.  Not sure exactly.  But that puts me at 17 pounds over pre-pregnancy and a total of 27 pounds gained throughout the pregnancy since I lost 10 to begin with.  Which is right on target!


Exercise: Ha.  Yeah....  I cleaned the bathrooms yesterday and the floors today.  Does that count?

Maternity Clothes: Every single day.  Very glad I ordered those other two pairs of pants.  It has been too chilly for shorts...even with my own personal space heater in my belly.  ;)

Sleep: Not too bad with the exception of bathroom breaks.  I've been able to get back to sleep pretty quickly which doesn't always happen.  And I've learned to just give into the need for a nap.  Everyone keeps telling me to get my rest and my body just can't go like it used to...so naps it is!  :)

Food Cravings/Aversions:  Nothing this week. 

Movement:  All the time.  She is still so active.  And she still really loves my rib cage even though she has dropped significantly.  I think this girl is destined to be long like her mommy & daddy...just sayin.  

What I Miss: Definitely my energy.  I feel so unproductive with having to take more breaks.  And I miss being able to concentrate and focus - my brain just isn't working any more (no comments please).  haha.  And I do miss sushi.


What I'm Loving: How ready and not ready Hubby is.  I think when it actually comes down to it he will be very stoic and put together (most likely because I'll be a little panicky) but he is too funny when he has his momentary "freak out" moments when I'm in pain or what not.  However, he has really been taking care of me and checking in so often.  I love how much he cares.   
        
What I'm Looking Forward To: I know it sounds crazy but I'm looking forward to actually having consistent contractions.  I think I'm ready for the real deal.  ;) 

Best Moment This Week: .We had another ultrasound because she is still consistently measuring behind.  I love being able to see our Little Sprout!  All is well.  And the tech even commented on how chubby her cheeks are.  I love chunky baby cheeks so I can't wait to see them in person!

Milestones: 

Goals:  Started thank you cards!!  I think I'm about half way done.  I may actually get them finished before Baby Girl comes!!  :D  


I also made it to the State Police department to have the car seat inspected and the trooper I dealt with was awesome.  We couldn't get the recline position right and she got it all fixed up.  My brother put her swing together and he is currently attaching our diaper sprayer so that's two more things checked off of Hubby's list!  He's pretty happy about that.

Still need to get pics hung in the babies room.  But really not anything that has to be done before she comes.  Which is nice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Baby Stuff: How We are Preparing for a Natural Birth

Not so very long ago my mom would tell me I needed to have a natural labor and I would laugh.  No way!  Not now-a-days - there are these wonderful things called drugs.  "There is no way I am not getting an epidural."  

Well, those words have come back to bite me.  haha.  After doing our research, Hubby and I decided that drug free was the best choice for us and for Baby Girl.  I don't think getting an epidural is wrong and I certainly won't judge you if you have had one or plan on getting one - we've just decided this is what is best for our family.  

However, the why isn't important now, it is the how.  Because let's face it - labor hurts.  And I want us to be as prepared as we can be so that we are able to succeed with our plan of a natural birth.  So just exactly how are we preparing?

1. Bradley Method - We have chosen to use the Bradley Method for birthing.  If you haven't heard of it, you really should check it out.  I hope to write a post about it eventually.  At this point it will be after our Little Sprout makes her grand entrance.  But that means I'll get to tell you what worked and what didn't.  Essentially, the Bradley Method teaches you to work with your body the way that God and nature intended.  The two books I have referenced have me practicing through the different stages of labor, watching my diet (not super good at this one), and they thoroughly educate me on what to expect and what can be done to help (as well as what shouldn't be done).  This method also makes Hubby a very active part of the process, which we truly appreciate!

2. Exercising - The Bradley Method also encourages a few different exercises.  Some try to cater to things I already do.  For instance, instead of sitting as I usually do, the method encourages tailor sitting (aka 'Indian style' or 'criss-cross applesauce').  The point is to stretch the inner leg muscles and strengthen my legs in general.  While working I was pretty good about this since I watched a now 11 month old and spent a lot of time on the floor.  Not as good about it while I'm at home.  

Another exercise that caters to what I already do is squatting.  Instead of bending over to do anything, the method tells me to squat.  This is a hard thing to remember because bending just becomes natural.  To be fair, at this point in my pregnancy bending isn't really an option.  So it has become much easier to remember to squat.  ;)

Both squatting and tailor sitting stretch the leg muscles you will need to have stretched and limber for pushing, allowing me to have my legs in the best possible position.  And if I have done this enough I should be able to avoid leg cramps and the like, which is one less thing (one less pain) to worry about.

Pelvic rocking is also to be done 3-4 times a day at this point in my pregnancy (which rarely ever happens for me) and butterfly exercises which involve Hubby are to be done daily.  I think we've done the butterfly exercise like 4 times total.  Both of these are super beneficial, they just take a little more time and that we have been lacking.  Walking is also highly encouraged.  Did pretty well with that until just recently.  

3. Chiropractic Care - I have been going to see my chiropractor on an as needed basis.  When my back starts hurting or my knees give me problems or my round ligaments are giving me pain - I drop in and the problem goes away (at least for awhile).  While this is a nice factor, the chiropractic is also preparing my body for a natural birth.  The chiropractor lines up my body so that it is in optimal position for birth - hips in place and spine aligned = less pain as things progress.  He also takes the time to remove the tension from the round ligaments of the uterus.  This keeps the baby centered as development progresses allowing her to be where she should.  It also keeps my uterus centered allowing for a much easier progression.

4. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea - There are a lot of reasons why drinking this during pregnancy is beneficial.  I started drinking some recently after reading an article (can't remember where) and wish I would have started sooner.  First off, it strengthens uterine muscles and softens the pelvic floor to help prepare for labor.  Studies have shown that those who use it have had less interventions than those who don't and that the second stage of labor is shorter.  All of that sounds wonderful to me!  But that's not all - read more here or here.  

And a cup of hot tea is SO relaxing!

5. Prayer - this may be, no, this IS the most important thing on the list.  I ask God every single day to give me the strength and courage to do this.  He is my strength and without Him I know I couldn't do this.  I just have to remember to rely on His strength and not my own when it comes time.  :)  

What other things have you done to help prepare you for natural birth?  Did they work?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Allowing God to be Your Refuge

Psalm 62:8 - Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Such a simple verse right?  But there is so much to learn here.  

Trust in Him at all times.


What is trust exactly?  Google defines 'trust' as "to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of" someone or something."  

That's pretty straightforward right?  But for us humans who aren't robots, trust is more than a definition on a page.  What does it mean to trust someone?

To really trust someone means you are able to be yourself with them, to tell them anything.  Think of the person you trust the most.  That person probably knows more about you than anyone else in the universe.  They have seen the goofiest you as well as the worst you.  Because you aren't afraid of being real with them.

So do you really trust God at all times?  Are you able to be the best you as well as the worst you when you are in His presence?  Are you able to tell Him anything and everything?  Or do you 'hide' your true feelings and character?

We should really trust in Him at all times, trust Him "to guide us when we are in doubt, to protect us when we are in danger, to supply us when we are in want, to strengthen us for every good word and work" (Henry).  We are to trust Him with our everything.

Pour out your heart before Him.



God does not want us to hide our true thoughts and feelings. It is better when we can be honest and open with Him, to tell Him how we are feeling.  When we trust, we tell - it is that simple.    

The thing is, we can't really hide our thoughts and feelings from the Lord.  He knows them anyhow.  So why do we try?  Why do we pretend like everything is okay when we go to Him in prayer?  Some answers are as follows:

I don't think He cares.

He does.  More than you can ever know or understand.  "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." - Luke 12:7

We're supposed to have it all together (I probably fall somewhere in this category).

"In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness..." - Romans 8:26a

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

God already knows that we are weak sometimes.  He doesn't expect us to have it all together.  Look at the great men and women of the Bible.  David had an affair and to cover it up had a man murdered.  Sarah laughed at God when she was told she would have children.  Jonah doubted God could ever change the Ninevites.  Peter denied Christ THREE times!  None of them had it all together so why do we feel we have to?

It's embarrassing or shameful (also something I struggle with).

God forgives.  It doesn't make sense sometimes but it is what He does.  Over and over again.  

"Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1

You see, in the end, none of those excuses matter.  Not one.  God wants us to pour our hearts out before Him, to bear all for Him - "we must lay our grievances before Him, offer up our desires to Him with all humble freedom, and then entirely refer ourselves to His disposal, patiently submitting our wills to His; this is pouring out our hearts" (Henry).  When we tell God all, when we really pour out our heart to Him, that is when our faith is really active.

God is a refuge for us.

But we have to be willing to take refuge in the refuge we have been given: "We take refuge in our Refuge when we set our faith on God, and tell Him all that threatens or troubles us" (Expositor's Commentary).  

I say it over and over - but it all comes back to our hearts.  Is your heart an open book before the Lord?  Do you tell Him all of your ups and downs?  Your doubts and fears?  It is only then that He can truly be a refuge.  You must trust, tell all, and have faith.