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Letter From The Editor

Letter From The Editor Motherhood

Hope Is In The Loss

March 30, 2018

“Yet…Hope is in the loss.

Now I know, this is only the beginning.  The beginning of a beautifully broken road leading me back to the joy I thought I lost.”

These were the words I wrote just a year ago.

What a difference a year makes.

With a grateful heart, I now sit here with my 10 week old baby boy.

Realizing, it really was only the beginning of a beautifully broken road which led us back to the joy I so desperately hoped we hadn’t lost.

At this time last year, we mourned.  We mourned the baby we lost.  We mourned the joy we felt weeks before.

My heart ached.  My perspective changed.

I joined a broken community of women no one wants to be a part of.

Here I am now to encourage you.  To encourage those of you who are in the midst of brokenness.  Who are in the midst of lost hope.  Lost joy.  Heartache.

The road is long.  It feels longer.

You will have days of pure sadness.  Days of complete happiness.  Days of utter confusion.

Don’t lose hope.  Don’t stop believing in your miracle.

God is in control.

He will give you the desires of your heart.

Seek Him.  Trust Him.

I don’t know why God answered “Yes” to our prayers so quickly.  Why He may be telling you “No” or “Wait.”

You may be struggling with the loss of a baby.  Miscarriage.  Infertility.

I pray for you every day.  Pray God will give you your “Yes.”

I wondered how I would feel when I found out I was pregnant again.

Scared?  Happy?  Surprised?  Excited?  Shocked?

I felt all of these things.  And more.

My pregnancy was all but easy.

I was so sick.  All day, every day for weeks.

Once the sickness was over, something else would plague me.

Heartburn.  Chest pains.  Uncontrollable itching.  Elevated liver enzymes.  Abnormal ultrasounds.

    Every time we turned around, it was something.

It was scary.  Terrifying.  Frustrating.

There were more moments of crying than I care to admit.

I had to remind myself to enjoy it.

It can be taken so quickly.  It was taken so quickly the first time.

Yet, this time I was hopeful.  I had a peace that transcended all understanding.

God knew I needed peace.

Hope truly is in the loss.

I would do it all again for my perfect baby boy.  You would too.

To the mamas in the trenches of motherhood.

Enjoy your baby.  Every moment.

Sleepless nights.  Spit-up stained clothes.  Countless dirty diapers.  Feeding around the clock.  Days that feel like weeks.

Endless crying.  From you and the baby.

It’s hard.  I know.  I am there.

There are women who long for the things we have.  The joy we feel.

I want to encourage you.  We know all too well it goes by so fast.

It won’t be like this for long.  This season is short.

We will look back on these days and wish we had them back.

Don’t let the mommy guilt discourage you.

We are all doing the best we can.

Bottle feeding.  Nursing.  Pumping.  Co-sleeping.  Working.  Staying at home.

You know all the things mamas get judged about.

Whatever you are doing, it is right.

You are enough.

Mamas, my heart is with you.  I am praying for you.

All of you.  Those of you who have your answered prayer and those still waiting.

Letter From The Editor Motivation

Beautifully Broken: My Journey Through Miscarriage

April 26, 2017

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

As I sit here in the dark looking at the pictures of our baby I once carried.  Tears fill my eyes.  I cry.  What once brought me joy, now brings me pain.

Unbearable pain.

In November 2016, my husband and I decided to start our family.  We were ready for the next chapter.  The next 3 months crept by.  Each month thinking,

“This could be the month!”  But it wasn’t….

Until Friday, February 24, 2017.  I saw those two pink lines.

I was Ecstatic.  Shocked.  Nervous.  Excited.  Joyful.

Now I wonder, will seeing those next two pink lines be as exciting as the first?  Or, will I be filled with fear?  Afraid of the loss I feel so deeply in this moment.

I pray I can be filled with as much joy the second time as I was the first time.

I trust God is in control.

He will give me the desires of my heart.

On vacation in an unfamiliar place, in the cutest loft, we lost our baby.  We lost our joy.  Thinking, “This can’t be happening. This can’t happen to me.”

It happened.

I wept in the arms of my husband.  The only words I could whisper were, “I’m sorry.”

We were out of town.  Just the two of us.

I am grateful for the time we spent together blissfully ignorant of what our future held.  Grateful for the time to process our loss just the two of us in the silence between tears.

We saw our baby in the early hours on Thursday morning.

Thursday, March 30, 3:45 AM.

I felt it.  I felt our tiny baby leave my body.  I looked.  Something many women can’t or don’t do.  But I did.  I am forever thankful.

Thankful we were able to see our precious baby’s legs, arms, hands, and fingers.  The realization of how something so tiny could be so intricate was miraculous.

A miracle only God could create.

Thursday was long.  Friday was longer.

A day filled with doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds.

As the ultrasound tech took pictures, tears uncontrollably streamed down my face.

Ultrasounds should be joyful.  It was a joyful experience for us just 8 days before.  We saw our baby.

They found the heartbeat.  139 bpm.

But, not this time.

This time they were looking for what remained.  If anything.  Hoping everything had passed.  It seemed so wrong.

When the day was over and we returned home, I cried.  I cried because when I left the house a short 6 days earlier, I was pregnant.  Now I wasn’t.

I felt so empty.  So lonely.

Days go by and I feel emotions I didn’t know existed.

Devastated.  Lonely.  Angry.  Grateful.  Sad.  Hopeful.  Broken.

I questioned things.  Knowing there aren’t answers.  But questioning anyway.

Could I have done things differently?  Did I do something wrong?

Why me?

I share my story hoping and praying it will help others who have or will experience miscarriage.  If I must walk this tragic journey.  I want to support others as well.

You are not alone.

 No one can prepare you.  The feelings of hopelessness, emptiness and loneliness will overcome you at random times during the day or during any given activity.

The pain returns when you think about where you should be right now in your pregnancy or your life as a parent.

You will question things.  I was reassured there was nothing I did or didn’t do which caused my miscarriage.  I want to reassure you the same.  There is nothing you could have done differently.

You will be Mad.  Angry.

Mad it happened to you.  Mad some of the people you want to lean on, don’t know what you are going through.  Even though you would never want them to experience this pain.  They all of a sudden won’t be the ones you want to talk to.

It’s not fair to them, it doesn’t make sense and it hurts.  I encourage you to push through, reach out even when it’s difficult.  Your very best friends want to be there to support and encourage you.  Let them.  It will be hard, especially if they have babies or children, but it is a part of the healing process.

People will say helpful things.  They will say hurtful things.  No one knows what to say, so don’t be offended.  Appreciate the fact they are trying to help, though they don’t know how.  Their intentions are pure.

Be grateful.  It is difficult to be grateful in such a tragic time.  Be thankful you were able to get pregnant.  Be thankful for the time you had with your sweet baby.

The reminders…oh the reminders.  This part is hard.  The part you can’t control.  It happens when you least expect it.

The things people say or ask you about brings it back to the forefront.

The drive to the doctor’s office, once so exciting, is now so dreadful.

The bills you must pay, but nothing to show for it.

Ultrasound pictures and pregnancy announcements.  These for me are hard.  I have ultrasound pictures I am so proud of.  I was so excited to announce to the world.  They showed my baby had a heartbeat…which should decrease the likelihood of miscarriage.  But, I lost my baby.

I am excited people get to share their news and will hold their baby soon…I know the excitement and joy they feel.  I don’t know their story which got them to this point in their journey.

But it doesn’t lessen my pain.  It doesn’t help me feel better.  My heartache is real.

Seeing a pregnant woman makes my heart skip a beat.  I was there…I experienced the joy for a short time before it was ripped from my womb.  Literally.

There is hope.  Cling to the hope of the future.  Cling to the hope of your future rainbow baby.  Cling to the hope you are not alone.  Cling to God.  He is bigger.  He will restore peace where there is tragedy.  He is near to the broken-hearted.

God never said there wouldn’t be pain in this world, but he promised us hope and a future.

Trust in the Lord for He has a bigger plan.  We may not know why.  But trust in Him and keep your eyes focused on God.  He will provide the way.  He will give you the desires of your heart.

Many times, as Christ followers we believe pain and hurt won’t affect us, but it does.

Focus on God’s promises in your life and trust in the future He has promised you.

Allow yourself to feel the emotions you are feeling.  Embrace the good days without guilt.  Embrace the hard days without shame.

There will be days you feel so strong and nights you fall asleep on a tear-stained pillow.

 You are not alone.

I encourage you to reach out to others who have experienced miscarriage.  It helped me tremendously to talk to others who knew exactly how I felt and brought up feelings I didn’t understand.

As I have told people about our story, I have realized there are so many women who are in this broken community.

Grieving and healing takes time.  The amount of time is different for everyone.  The feelings you feel may be different from mine.

Give yourself grace.

I am praying for you.  I pray through my story, you find hope for your future and know…you are not alone in this journey.  Reach out to those who know the devastating loss of losing a baby and pray for guidance through the heartbreak.

It’s not over.  It’s only the beginning.  I am hopeful for the future.

This is our story.  A story I pleaded with God not to make mine.  I prayed every morning,

“I don’t want loss to be a part of my story.”

Yet…Hope is in the loss.

Now I know, this is only the beginning.  The beginning of a beautifully broken road leading me back to the joy I thought I lost.

Disclaimer:  My name is Kelli Lee Dillard.  My husband, Devin and I experienced our loss while traveling during Spring Break in 2017.  This is our very personal experience of losing a baby at 8 weeks into my pregnancy.  I do not know the pain of losing a baby further along in a pregnancy or losing a baby already born.  I do not know the pain infertility brings.  I know the pain I felt from a first trimester miscarriage.  I do not know or understand the pain others experience from other tragic events.  It is my hope and prayer my story helped create healing for your pain.

Featured Letter From The Editor

Teaching Is a Work of Heart

February 14, 2017

First of all, Happy Valentines Day! We hope your day is filled with love and laughter!

Katie’s Heart

Teaching is down right hard sometimes. It’s exhausting. It’s taxing. It’s overwhelming. But, it’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m not the teacher who grew up and always dreamt of having her own classroom. Actually, I thought I wanted to be in broadcasting. Talk about opposite ends of the career world, huh?! However, after one semester in college, God lead me down a different path. He put me right in the arms of twenty little children, and I couldn’t be more thankful that He did.


People often say that teaching is a work of heart. This statement could not be more true. Each year, my very first goal is to build a relationship with my students. With this foundation, my students will work hard for me. I’ve found that this also makes me want to work just as hard for them. When you have a friendship with someone, you don’t want to let them down. You don’t give up on them. You give them everything that you have. In those moments, you are teaching students what it means to show love and encouragement.

Kelli Lee’s Heart

Teaching with Heart

Today, I tried to show my students’ as much love as I possibly could. Who knows, it may be the only love they feel all day! Even though today is Valentines Day and the day for “love,” I truly try to do this every. single. day.  I will admit, some days and years are easier than others, but it’s so important! Now, I know what you are thinking…..”She doesn’t love her kids every day?!” No, that is not what I am saying, I do love my kids dearly and they should know without a doubt that I love them. But what I am talking about here is showing the kids truly how special they are and truly showing them they are loved.

Teaching has taught me a lot about love and the impact it has on student achievement.  From the moment those babies walk through my door, on the very first day of school, my goal is to begin building a relationship with them and showing them I truly love them. I know in the long run, that is where the magic happens – when the students begin feeling loved and cared for, they will do just about anything for you (most of the time – there are always exceptions), trust me on this one!

“The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.” – unknown

Isn’t that quote so true?! I know everyone can relate to this quote in some way or another.  Think of that student who may be in your class right now or who may have been in your class in the past and think of their behavior. At the time or maybe it is right now, you were /are so frustrated with that student. One year…ok my first three years, I had “that” student. At some point in those first three years, I stumbled upon this quote and it has resonated with me ever since. It hit me hard. I knew in that moment that the BEST thing I could do for that student was to LOVE them. When I look back, those are the students that I remember and I hope and pray I had as much of an impact on their lives as they have had on mine.

Our Challenge to You

So we challenge you today and every day, to love on your kids, especially those who make you want to run away from the profession and never look back….we know it’s hard, but try it! See what it does. It may take a while to “work”, but we have a feeling you will see great gains in that student’s behavior. But if not, maybe your attitude and heart will change somewhere in the process and you will begin to see that student for who they are and not the behavior they are masking themselves behind.

Featured Letter From The Editor

A Welcome Letter From The Editors

December 23, 2016

Hi! We are so glad you made your way over to Tenspire! We are two Tennessee teachers who want to help encourage, motivate and most of all, inspire other teachers. We started dreaming about this separately months ago and then decided to join forces to share our ideas with others. We saw a need for more positivity in the teaching world and wanted to do our part to share the joy that comes with teaching littles.

At Tenspire you will find more wonderful teachers who have collaborated with us and want to share with you how they navigate the ins and outs of teaching. You will find topics on the following:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Assessments/Data
  • Organization
  • Motherhood
  • TeachersPayTeachers Activities in all subject areas
  • Homeschool
  • Brain-based Learning

We are growing and would love for our topics and writers to continue to grow with us! We are open to new ideas and would love to hear from you and what you want to read about to help inspire you in your teaching career.

Who are we?

Katie is a third grade teacher and is in her fifth year teaching, while Kelli Lee is a first grade teacher and in her fourth year of teaching.  We both have a love for learning and are very passionate about the children we teach. We met in college through a mutual friend, but our friendship really grew when we both taught third grade at John Pittard Elementary.  Once Katie moved to help start a new school, we continued to keep in touch with frequent Starbucks hang outs. Our conversations always seemed to come back to the education world and what we could do to better. This became a time to share ideas and encourage one another.

This is a dream come true for us and we hope this is a place where you find encouragement to continue doing the best work – molding the hearts and minds of our future generation.


Thank you for stopping by and we hope you enjoy your stay!