Yesterday, I flew a kite with my son for the first time.
This (super-fly) shark kite has been sitting in the closet for a year and a half because let’s be honest, when do we ever have time to fly a kite? Our weekdays are full of rushing to preschool and work. Trying to fit in workouts and meal prep on top of that. We have schedules packed tight and todo lists a mile long when we get to the office. Our weekends have errands and running around and let’s not forget social life calendars and church on Sundays. It makes me physically sick to think about the life just 13 days ago that I thought was a good way to live- and dare I call “normal“.
Yesterday, I took out the super-cool shark kite to entertain a 3-year old boy with enough energy to fuel a fighter jet. Friends, this time spent with my sweet boy was nothing short of extraordinary (check out the video on my Instagram feed). Time with him is always fun, but lately, it hasn’t been rushed. We haven’t had “life” to go hurry off to. The world is falling apart around us but I also can’t help but believe in some ways, it is falling together. Work has become more efficient by about 100-fold. The stressors that were built into our schedules are now non-existent because the way we do the work has changed. The quality of our interactions with friends and family has grown exponentially because we literally make time to just sit and talk over FaceTime. There is a peace and calm that is occurring because we are home, with our families, right where we belong. In the sickness of the world there is a healing and calm that is happening in our homes and hearts. We may not have thought things in our lives needed changing. Sometimes God shows up to let us know that’s exactly when you need it the most.
Friends, I don’t know about you, but now, there is so much in my life and our home that cannot remain unchanged. I read something this week that said “The biggest loss in the end is if we come out on the other side of this unchanged.” I felt that deep in a place in the gut of my soul. I can’t unsee the good that happens when we pour into our homes, our people, our communities, our world. I can’t unsee the ways in which this awful pandemic has begun to recenter lives. I can’t unsee the time we get with our spouses and children.
I cannot unsee the look on my sons face the moment his super-cool shark kite caught the wind and was lifted into the air. The white-knuckled grip of his hands on the handle. The excitement and the squeals as the kite’s streamers flew across the sky. I cannot unsee these moments.
It is my deepest prayer that we can find ways, after the #StayHomeStaySafe is lifted, to implement more of what truly matters into our lives for good.
Sooo anyone else out there kind of shell shocked right now? Maybe feeling a little uncertain? A little anxious? I am, uhhh, asking for a friend…
Full-disclosure, the responses that I seek answers to aren’t for a friend, they are for me – but I am sure you already figured that out.
Guys, can I do some real talk in this judgement-free zone?
I have been in triage mode and high-alert since Wednesday. I am fearful. I am anxious. I am tense. My tummy is in knots and I have a constant headache. I don’t think I have taken a deep shallow cleansing breath in a week. I am starting to get addicted to the pop-ups on my phone notifications with all the breaking news. Hubbz family in Italy has kept us in the loop of the situation there and we knew for weeks what could potentially be coming our way. It’s enough uncertainty to make a human go a little cray-cray. I kinda wanna grab myself by the shoulders and shake me and be like “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, GIRL! SNAP OUTTA THIS AND PULL IT TOGETHER!” But also, I kinda wanna go in my room, pull down the black-out shades and sleep this Coronavirus-induced fear off. Wake me when it’s over please… the first option of tough-self love didn’t work and the latter is not a feasible thing, so here we are…
Anyone else feel the same?
Sweet readers, what do we do when the world is uncertain? What do we do when the fear is gripping and we are feeling more wrecked than worshipful? What do we do when all the breaking news is breaking us?
What I realized this week, amid a flurry of group texts, is that now, more than ever, it is imperative that we seek Truth.
When I talk about Truth, I am not talking about whatever news outlet you trust or what social media platform you deem worthy of your attention. I am not referring to your social circle of friends and family (though they can be amazing and helpful and wonderful). What I am referring to is Truth that surpasses all understanding. Truth that is steadfast and unwavering through the ages. Truth that embodies peace because of its mere existence.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.
The truth in Philippians 4:6-7 hit me like a ton of bricks and then, if I can be honest, it made me facepalm so hard. You guys, I have spent the week so wrapped up in the emergencies of the days that I forgot to hand it all over to the One who created the day. I don’t know who else needs this reminder today but even through all of our uncertainty, God is in total control, and despite sometimes popular opinion, He is still on the throne. Read that last sentence again.
I am so unsure about the future and what it looks like but one thing I know is that now, more than ever, I must be vigilant about putting my trust in Him. We prepare for the unknown, we pray fervently without ceasing and then we fall into His Truth. Please don’t misunderstand me- this is not an easy task. Just because I offer this to you doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to ACTUALLY do. Full-disclosure? I will have a white-knuckle grip on that truth in the coming weeks because as soon as I say I trust, worry is right behind it- I’m human like that. Here is the one thing I do know about trust- the more we fall into the cadence of trusting Christ and His Truth, the more and more we end up trusting Christ and His Truth.
Sweet friends, take these words and store them in your heart. Write them on a post-it and place them on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator and the lock screen of your phone. Meditate on them and trust them.
Don’t get weary, friends.
Even in total uncertainty.
He is God.
He is in control.
He is still seated on the throne.
It’s been longer than I care to admit (7 months… ugh) since I have posted a blog. I have an abundance of musings I have written and scrawled in my journals in the last 1/2 year and I decided it’s time I started getting these bad boys out into the world… so here we go… again.
This post is from the potty-training days… I am happy to report Little Boy B is now fully potty trained and even (as of this morning) will loudly yell “MOMMY! MOMMY! I HAVE TO POOP! I AM GOING TO POOP” at the top of his lungs in the gift wrapping aisle at Target. I am sure they heard him over in electronics- or on the moon. Good times, Y’all!
I’ve learned a lot as a Mama and have drawn many conclusions along the way. The most recent being, children’s books are sometimes deepAF.
One of our pre-bath time night routines is for ToddlerB to sit on the potty while I read him a book. (Just doing my job to prepare him for adulthood where he will sit on the toilet and scroll through his phone as his legs fall asleep.)
Lately my sweet Toddler B has been infatuated with bears.
Elmo? Pshht, so last year.
Thomas the Train? New phone, who dis?
Paw Patrol? Meh.
Bears are where it’s at for this little guy!
In his bedtime reading stack, he usually has a few bear-centered books on-deck but they all culminate with “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”. Maybe you have read it? If not, here’s the link… buy it, read it, be amazed.
I am sitting on the floor of ToddlerB’s bathroom. He is perched comfortably on his potty. As I am reading the book it dawns on me… the path of this little family devoted to discovering a bear is a lot like our lives sometimes. In the book they come up against these crazy obstacles- a snowstorm, a river, a forest. Each time they come to an obstacle, the mantra is:
We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. We gotta go through it.
How many times do we come up against obstacles in life. We want to bypass them, go around them, fly over them, dig a hole and go under them (or can I be honest and say just stick our head in the dirt). The truth is, we can’t do any of those things. The only way to get past the obstacle is to go through it. Even when it’s uncomfortable, even when we don’t like it one bit, even when it’s scary. This sweet innocent book is such a great reminder the only way to the other side of something is through it.
I have heard from so many of my sweet readers along the way who face life-things that are unbearable sometimes and yet I see you all, going through, bearing it all- like the bad ass bosses you are. It hits me in a deep heart space. I don’t know who out there needs some encouragement today but, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” (Isaiah 40:29) The obstacles that are so big they could break us (and sometimes do). The obstacles that we can’t understand and make us want to shake our fists at Heaven. The obstacles that are so painful that it makes it hard to breath. He offers us power and strength to get through even the most soul-crushing things. I am so grateful we have the One who can help get us through.
I am snapped back to reality when ToddlerB stands up from his potty and happily announces “I pee’d, Mommy!” Another Potty Time is in the books. I hope this offered some encouragement wherever you are on your path today. Our obstacles are big but sweet readers, our God is so, so, so much bigger.
Spoiler alert… at the end of the book, the family ends up finding a bear, who then proceeds to chase them all the way home. When they get there, they all jump into bed proclaiming “We’re never going on a bear hunt again!” While I feel that feel, I also kinda disagree. I don’t usually bet, but if I did, I would bet that in the sequel, they end up going on a bear hunt again.
I wonder what would happen for us in our lives if we faced our heart-wrenching life things with a mindset that we aren’t embarking on it alone and because of Him, there is no fear.
We’re going on a bear hunt!
We’re going to catch a big one!
What a beautiful day!
We’re not scared!
I cried over some sippys. And by cried, I mean ugly-face bawled. Toddler B’s dentist said it was time to switch sippys. No more spouts, it’s time to move onto the big-boy trainer cups. In the dentist office, I was as cool as a cucumber. In real time, as I took the sippys off the shelf to pack them away it hit me that we may never come this way again… like ever. That realization was crippling to my soul.
I haven’t written about our struggle with infertility in about 8 months and the well-meaning yet insensitive, “Soooo, when are you having Baby #2?!” questions keep coming. For us, infertility isn’t an anonymous or taboo topic. It’s a topic that Hubbz and I are so open and honest about. It’s a topic that we must talk about. Too many people are struggling in silence and alone. We share our journey because infertility shouldn’t have to be lived in painful anonymity. What follows in this judgement-free place are bits of our story…
Rewind the calendar to May 31st…
It was one of those moments that you keep it together until you get off the phone and then crumple into a heap on your bedroom floor. You sob into a pillow so your son doesn’t ask why Mommy is crying and your sweet Hubbz doesn’t have to know yet that your body failed him… again. My body shook as I sobbed. My heart broke wide-open and my mind raged with anger. It felt like part of my heart was literally breaking in my chest. I had so many questions for God. I had so much sadness. In that moment of heartbreak I felt the feeling of total despair. I took the blood test early that morning and we had been waiting all day for the phone call. The phone call that would tell us I was indeed so very pregnant. The fertility cycle in May was incredible- every step in the process being successful. The doctor maxed out my medication doses and I did every injection on myself like a boss. We saw the cute little egg follicles that would eventually become our next baby(ies). We prayed, I did acupuncture, I took care of my body, I meditated. I literally did everything I was supposed to do to make this work…
and it failed.
May marked month 18 of trying to conceive baby #2. Month 18 of paying attention to cycles, peeing on sticks and tracking ovulation dates. Month 18 of ultrasounds, pills and aggressive injections. Month 18 of terrifying procedures where they put you in stirrups and fill your uterus with a solution that produces “mild cramping” (side note… they lie. The cramping is 700% never mild, I digress). May was supposed to be our month. We were ready mentally and physically. Everything pointed to success. Hubbz and I decided going into this fertility cycle that it would be the last cycle that we would rely on modern medicine and science to help us conceive- which was fine because it was going to work. We were both seeking a sense of normal and peace- and fertility cycles don’t offer much of either. Hubbz’s Mama very unexpectedly left our world to go meet Jesus on May 1st. The timing of the cycle felt right to us both. We were hopeful in the middle of a devastating loss, God would come through like he said, because how could He not?
We decided to do our 3rd and final IUI and had SO. MUCH. HOPE. (For those of you who don’t know what an IUI is, it’s an intrauterine insemination… think turkey baster not petri dish. The sperm are delivered right to the uterus where they can meet the cutest little egg and hug and create a human… #yeayscience.) Mother’s Day landed in the middle of the month and was bittersweet. We were mourning the sudden loss of Hubbz’s Mama, yet celebrating our son that made me a Mommy, and felt the hope of the fertility cycle we were in the middle of. My birthday capped off the month and it was amazing. We were feeling so cautiously optimistic and I was feeling so pregnant! This was the month our dream of expanding our little family of three would come true. We both truly felt it and our support system of people turned prayer warriors did too.
“Wait I am sorry, I am so very sorry. I think maybe you have the incorrect chart pulled up are you sure that’s mine?” The nurse confirmed my name and birthdate. My heart sank. “I apologize, what are the levels again?” I asked hoping I could decipher a way that the numbers confirmed a pregnancy. The nurse repeated the levels. My heart sank deeper and a lump formed in my throat. I wasn’t sure if I was going to dry heave or sob. I hung up the phone and remember standing there in my bedroom not feeling anything… and then feeling everything. Every pill, every doctors appointment, every injection, every invasive test, every ultrasound, every thought, every prayer. Every second I tirelessly devoted to the past 18 months. I felt it all in that moment, and I crumpled into a sobbing heap on the bedroom floor.
May began with a devastating loss and ended with what felt like a sucker-punch.
Fast-forward back to the sippys…
In the storage room, I put the top on the plastic bin that holds my breast pump, our son’s old bottles and now the spouted sippys. I look around at bins of clothing our sweet little guy has grown out of. Toys that he once played with but has gotten too mature for. I take a deep breath that feels labored. I am so completely grateful for our sweet boy that brings us so much joy, while my heart aches so deeply and yearns for another child. I have so many questions in my heart as to why this is happening but somewhere mixed in with all the questions, there is a peace knowing God has a plan and a purpose for it all. I guess maybe that’s part of what makes him God And not me. It’s His plan. I close my eyes for a moment and hear Building 429’s lyrics in my head.
We will trust in you.
We will not be moved.
We will trust in you.
And we won’t be shaken.
Feeling such intense sadness and a mixture of hope as we pray for Baby #2, while feeling so much gratitude for our incredible son. Feeling joy in hearing friends announce their pregnancies while my heart is breaking and yearning for another of our own. It is a dichotomy of feelings I wish I never, ever had to feel. And yet here we are, feeling all those feels. Isn’t that so much of life sometimes? There is a reason behind it that right now, reason doesn’t understand.
We will trust in you.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
We will not be moved.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
We will trust in you.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
And we won’t be shaken.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
Friends, if you are the praying type, we ask that you pray for us and our journey. Storm Heaven’s gates in prayer on our behalf. If you are the good vibes and fertile energy type, we ask that you send us all the love and light. Hubbz and I have closed the chapter of fertility doctors and medicines. It was so very hard to accept, but it was time. Full disclosure? Some moments I still look back and think maybe just one more cycle but the reality is, I will always push for one more cycle. We close the chapter and step into total surrender to the God we serve. Is it weird that it makes me feel like I might puke because it’s that scary? One thing I know is that God is bigger than the medicine and the injections and the cycles. If He wants us to have another child, we choose to believe He will make it happen for us regardless of circumstance- after all, none of our doctors can find a reason for the infertility. (Which is both comforting and maddening- another dichotomy of feelings.)
In the end, I don’t know how this life is going to end up. I am unsure if our Toddler B is going to get a sibling, but here’s what I do know, there is a God we serve that is good. He sees far greater than we as humans ever could. Maybe you’re struggling with infertility or maybe you aren’t. Maybe your tear-stained spouted sippys come in a different form. Regardless of the struggle and heartache, sweet friends, please know that God is good.
All the time.
Through it all.
He is good.
I don’t understand it right now, but I know He has his hand on this situation for us, and I promise you, as sure as the air I am breathing, He has you too. Wherever you are, whatever you are going through- He’s got it. While our burdens seem crushing to us, there is nothing too big for Him.
Though we don’t always see it on each others social media highlight reels, sometimes the struggle is real. I have a bin of tear-stained spouted sippys to prove it.