Soul Food

What a Beautiful Mess

what a beautiful mess 4Ugh!

No matter how much I wish it would, or try to stop it, or attempt to keep it neat and tidy, the Play-Doh always gets mixed together into a giant ball of…well, whatever it is…and it causes this type A, everything has its place kinda gal, frustrated.

So today, as I sat across from our foster princess trying to make her play with all of the colors separately, and slightly irritated that craft time wasn’t going according to “my plans” and disappointed that she wasn’t keeping it all “organized” like I would have wished (and repeatedly asked), I realized how much of this represents my life.

Because it gets mixed up. It gets messy. Unorganized. Rarely does it ever go according to plan. And.I.Stress.Out.

My plan was to have a house full of children to fill the rooms, run down the hallways, and leave tiny fingerprints scattered on the windows. It was mapped out with trips to the zoo, family vacations to the beach, and rides on the water slides.  But infertility has changed all that.  It has changed my picture-perfect plans of babies and diapers into tremendous amounts of heartache. Bottles of tears. Moments of desperation and periods of hopelessness and grief.

But as I sat back and watched our foster princess joyfully play in all of its mess…making cookies…birthday cakes…a snowman… and not care one single bit about the mixed-up, messy, unorganized, not-going-according-to-plan mess, I realized we miss out on some of the happiest moments in life when we choose to focus on all that is going wrong. On everything that isn’t neat and tidy, according to plan. And when we do, we fail to see something truly beautiful be created out of even an ugly mess. Because the truth is, life will not always look like we want it to, but it is still beautiful.

And when I choose to let go and look past the mess…pass the pain…pass the intense moments of desperation and despair…and pass the loss…and the unfairness of it all…infertility has actually created something beautiful…

Because it has been in this mess that my faith has grown and stretched in ways I never thought were possible. Or even desired. I am no longer a person who sees the glass half empty but rather half full. I no longer hear of a diagnosis, read a statistic, or listen to an unfortunate circumstance and accept it as truth. Instead, I hear the word possible inside every impossible. I hear the whispers of hope inside every hopeless situation. And when I walk into a room, my eyes can now see the wounded, the scarred, and the beaten. I now have the confidence to run to them. To tell them it’s going to be okay. Because it won’t always be this way. It might not be today or tomorrow, but just like the night always turns to dawn, and the sun always peeks through the clouds, and the seasons always change, so will their situation.

This mess has also allowed me to connect with you and hundreds of other women around the globe. Many of whom have become some of my best friends–my go to gals. And had it not been for the tough stuff? The heartaches? The tears? I would have never known their tender souls. And as a result, my life wouldn’t be as beautiful.

But it is as I sit here smashing the different colors of Play-Doh together, embracing the mess that has been created, I realize the real beauty in this journey has been found in my unanswered prayers. It can be seen in the delay of my deepest desires. Because friend, if the deepest longings of my heart had been fulfilled when I wanted them to, and had my life gone according to my set plans, this precious little child with a giggle so sweet and curls so soft making a mess out of Play-Doh, wouldn’t be in my home. A place that is safe. Secure. Full of love. And to her? Beautiful.

So friends, when your heart is breaking for whatever reason, and your soul is crushed from unanswered prayers, try not to feel just the pain or see just the sadness. Instead, choose to look for the moments of laughter. Choose to see the moments of love. And feel the moments of joy. While your life might look messy, unorganized, mixed up, not according to plan, like a gigantic pile of Play-Doh…it is still beautiful.

I love this quote:

Blessed are those who see beautiful things in places where people see nothing. ~Camille Pissarro

With Love

I would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!

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18 thoughts on “What a Beautiful Mess”

  1. I tell myself that it is okay to feel sad especially after bad news, but I try my best to not let myself stay in that space and wallow in sorrows. It’s definitely not easy to choose to see the beauty especially while in pain, but it is possible and it is an important choice to make. Thanks for the reminder, especially for me today.

  2. This is a beautiful reminder of how and why to stay positive. I really needed this today, and as we head into the holidays too. It’s so true that if we look to God and ask for his strength we allow ourselves forgiveness, and hope, and the ability to enjoy the moment. Which can be so hard. Thank you for your powerful and encouraging words. I am so glad I found you!
    We get to do an IUI today – our 6th. Prayers are welcome for success!

  3. Hey Elisha,

    You struck such a chord in me with this post. It was exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. It’s funny because about a month ago by foster boys were playing with play dough and wanting to mix the colors. It was bothering me so much and I kept trying to explain to them why not mixing them was a much better idea. So, with this fresh I my memory and liking things to be in order and according to plan I could so relate to you. You put into words thoughts I don’t know how to express. This journey of infertility keeps getting lonelier as my friends who also struggled to have kids get pregnant. This is definitely not the plan I would have chosen. I’m thankful for our foster sons, one of which we are hoping to adopt some day, but I still long for a baby. Today after receiving one of my friends 5th baby announcement, I’ve just struggled so much to enjoy the mess. It’s so hard to not compare lives and wonder why?

    Sorry, I will stop rambling. Thank you for reaching out to all of us! Thank you for encouraging us in your pain and being so vulnerable.

    Praying for your miracle to come soon!


    Sent from my iPad

  4. I just stumbled onto your blog and have enjoyed reading. Thanks for writing! My husband and I also never imagined we would be trying to conceive for three and a half years (and counting). It’s just not something anyone ever prepares you for! And we’ve also gone through IVF (three times) and a heartbreaking early miscarriage. It’s really indescribably for people who haven’t gone through it.

    We’ve finally decided on embryo adoption, which takes my bad eggs out of the equation (and my endometriosis, which apparently affects the eggs but not the uterus), and we hope 2017 will finally be our year. Hopefully yours as well!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing pieces of your story with me, Pamela! I am praying that 2017 is a much better year for you! Embryo adoption is such a beautiful way to grow your family! You are giving these little embryos a chance at life! That’s amazing! xo

      1. Thanks! Actually it’s not technically embryo adoption, more like created donor embryos (at California Conceptions). We decided to go this route because it’s so difficult (and expensive) to find a compatible healthy embryo that’s already created (the waiting lists tend to be long), and we’re too drained emotionally and financially to go down that route.

        But yes, we will be (God willing) giving life to a potential human being that otherwise would never have existed. Pretty amazing to think about!

  5. I really liked this and can definitely relate, things look so different for my husband and I than what we had planned. I’m really encouraged that you pursued foster care, it has been on my heart for quite awhile and my husband is struggling to get on board. It was suggested to us not to pursue foster care with the intention of adopting until we had a permanent child in our home because otherwise the potential of them being reunited with birth parents after several months or even years of parenting would be so hard on us. I do however more and more feel selfish for worrying about our feelings when these children need our help. Kuddo’s to you and your husband for being strong enough to take that on because we aren’t there yet. Thank you for sharing your journey please know it’s helping other to not feel alone!

    1. Hey girlie! I want you to know that I am not as brave as you probably think I am. You see, we have our little foster princess kind of by accident…or accident by us but planned by God. Several years ago my husband and I signed up to be in a program in our local small town called “Safe Families for Children”. It’s non-profit program where parents will voluntarily call the agency and request to temporarily place their child(ren) with Host parents who are also volunteers. My husband and I were host parents and so we would open up our home to children in need of a “safe place” for a week or two…sometimes maybe a month while their parents got back on their feet by finding jobs, housing, etc. It was almost like a co-parenting thing because parents would pick their children up and take them for dinner, pay for their clothes, etc. I loved doing it becausue it was like showing the love of Jesus to not just the children but also the parents. Not one single parent could get over the fact that someone would volunteer their home, their time and their money to help another family in crisis. I loved the idea because I didn’t have a desire to be a foster parent and deal with the stress that usually comes with it. Well, to make a LONG story short, we got our little girl nearly three weeks ago and she was suppose to be with us for just two weeks. However do a series of unfortunate events, DCFS had to be called and a child abuse/neglect case was opened up…the judge ordered the child to not return home until her parents completed their case plan however if we wanted her to stay with us (which by that time she had been with us for 8 months) then we would need to become licensed foster parents. Needless to say, that’s what we did 🙂

      I will say that as a former DCFS Caseworker and now foster parent, you are correct in that you need to good with supporting reunification with the parents because that is always the goal and stays the goal for at a minimum of 12 months. But at the same time, if you heart is tugging at you to just love on these kids while their parents work out their issues, then go for it! Be those hands and feet of Jesus…He will give you the strength and courage to do all things. I know because He has proven that with me. xoxo

  6. Hi Elisha
    You touched my heart with this post. This year has been filled with disappointments for me and my husband. We had an IVF this year and got pregnant, thought it had all worked out but then I miscarried . Underwent a fourth round of IUI , still no luck. Then prepared myself for an FET last month hoping that we will succeed this time but no implantation happened. Been feeling a little low this week but your words encouraged me, thanks for that. The Lord has promised us a son that we’re supposed to name Joshua. I think I’m still waiting for Joshua just like you are waiting for Josiah.

  7. When I was going through a tough divorce, I read several books that said focus on the good–no matter how minute it is. And let the rest go. At first, I rolled my eyes. And then I realized, it works. I love that you are focusing on the good. I know it cannot be easy–I watched my niece go through the same as you are going through. But now I see her with a beautiful adopted son–and she beams. I am wishing that beaming for you.

    1. Awe! Thank you so much for not only reading, but also taking the time to comment such sweet and encouraging words❤

  8. Thank you for sharing and the part were u said ” the beauty of this journey is found in unanswered prayers”. That spoke to me because i never thought or looked at it that way.Its lets me look at life a different way and what God has already blessed me with.
    Thanks and be blessed Lonna

    1. So thankful this post, and especially that line, encouraged your heart and gave you a new, perhaps more hopeful, perspective.

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