{pretty, happy, funny, real} - Jumping into August

I cannot believe it is August already. In {pretty, happy, funny, real} style from Like Mother, Like Daughter, here's a little about the month so far.

{pretty}

We took a mini-vacation last weekend to Richmond, Virginia. My penchant for reading reviews online led us to interesting areas, one of which featured this unique wall. With boards across the windows and weeds taking over, the oddly shaped building was clearly not in use. We could not help wondering who took the time to create such a beautiful design and for what purpose. 

 Building on Summit Avenue in Richmond, Virginia.

Building on Summit Avenue in Richmond, Virginia.

{happy}

In our effort to make fitness a hobby, we have started signing up for races. Our first 5k together was last weekend. I cannot say my performance was stellar, but the experience was a good start to our new racing routine. Next up, a four-miler in September.

 5k finishers!

5k finishers!

{funny}

This morning, I took on a daunting task: giving the schnoodle a haircut. Dog grooming can take quite a chunk out of the budget, so I decided to try it myself. With a squirmy and energetic puppy like Louie, failure and catastrophe were very real potential outcomes. After more than an hour of trimming and treating, Louie the Lion-Tailed emerged. The picture does not do the tufted tail justice. Haha. The tuft happened accidentally, but was too entertaining to remove. Sorry, Louie. 

 Louie the Lion-Tailed

Louie the Lion-Tailed

{real}

I said goodbye to prenatal vitamins this week. When you are in that phase of life where "prenatal" could be just around the corner, the appropriate vitamins are a good idea. Been there, done that, don't need to see the vitamins in my cupboard. Goodbye, extra infertility reminder. Hello, standard woman vitamins.

Prenatal Vitamins

Hello. My Name is Davy, and I Am a Bit of a Mess.

It has been a rough several weeks. Before infertility, I rarely cried. During infertility, "rare" would not be the appropriate word. Recently, "daily" would be more accurate. I'm kind of a mess at least once a day. Last night, I had reached my limit and told my husband I wanted to throw things. Don't worry, I didn't actually throw anything. I felt so angry and like I could just sob for a long time. Why? I can't quite put my finger on it. Part of it might be that it's another baby season, with baby news coming from every direction (I seriously need to step away from Facebook). Part of it might be selfishness, with my plans getting thwarted at every turn. Part of it might be recognizing that my passions do not have to be the same as my husband's, but we have to figure out how to proceed together. Part of it might be feeling so stuck in this suffocating in-between and not feeling ready to not have a next step. Much of it is failing to trust that God is good, and He is working everything out for our good and His glory. Yeah. All those things together make me a bit of a mess.

[In full disclosure, I'm not a mess ALL THE TIME. It's more of an underlying messiness that bubbles up daily. I can still hold a fairly normal conversation, I think. Actually, I have noticed a tendency to tell the twenty-minute version of our foster care experience with anyone who asks a semi-related question. Hmm. I'm still the same-old Davy, just with a more-frequently quivering lip.]

You may have heard the phrase "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." I've been so blech lately that I haven't known what to say to the blogosphere. A friend told me she is waiting for the rest of the Childlessness: Take Two series, so I will get to that soon. 

In the meantime, I have been thinking of this graphic I made for the "Infertility Feels Like" post. 

It's way too clean and clear, so I fixed it up a bit.

Infertility Exits Messy - 1024 x 512.png

That's better. Infertility is not straightforward; it is not clean, next steps are not clear, and sometimes you are stopped in your tracks. The road is broken and bumpy, full of potholes, floods, and brokenness. People on that road are bound to be a bit of a mess. 

Hello. My name is Davy, and I am a bit of a mess.

Joy in Struggle

I have shared before about infertility being awkward. Even though infertility is no longer the most noteworthy aspect of our lives, it still creates awkwardness. In addition, we are struggling with a complicated foster care situation. Emotionally, we are completely drained. Physically, the anxiety is wreaking havoc. I find myself wanting to hide, just to escape, sleep, cry, and recover. Let me tell you, we are not much fun to be around right now. 

Last week, we left the boys in respite care with friends [what a blessing!] and met up with Caleb's family in NYC. Initially, we updated everyone on our current situation. Then, we burned out. I began feeling convicted about being too self-focused. Rather than celebrating wholeheartedly, I found myself feeling left out and sensing that awkwardness creep in again. We are those people who couldn't have kids that can't handle the kids they suddenly have. How is anyone supposed to interact well with people like that? They cannot fix our problems. We are downers. 

In the midst of feeling down about being a downer, I kept thinking, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." Is it? When I have nothing left to give, is the joy of the Lord my strength? The answer this weekend was no. Rather than finding joy in the Lord and His promises, I was focused on my empty tank. Trust me, that is a hopeless way to live. This week, I am echoing this prayer about anxiety and joy. I am going to remind myself repeatedly of the verses below. And may the joy of the Lord truly be my strength.

  • You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. - Psalm 16:11
  • Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. - Psalm 94:17-19 
  • This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
  • Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! - Psalm 126:5
  • "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33

How have you found joy in the Lord? Can you add any verses to the list?


This post was linked up with Grace at Home and more: