In celebration of and to help build momentum for the April 7th bookstore launch of Ever Upward, I will be posting a guest post each week. These guest posts are written by my dear friends and biggest supporters of my work. I am so excited to introduce you all to their stories, their voices and their work in the coming weeks.

This week we have a post from Elisha over at Waiting for Baby Bird. Elisha has been a huge support of Ever Upward and a great friend and honestly faith mentor to me (even if she doesn’t know that until now). I appreciate and love her vulnerability as she writes about her struggles and triumphs through infertility, fostering and standing stronger than ever in her faith.

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Life Is Messy

I scroll through Facebook and I look at everyone’s beautiful pictures on Instagram and as much as I try not to, comparison sneaks in and starts to fatigue my soul. Thoughts of…she is prettier…her cooking is better…their clothes are nicer…their life is easier…her house is perfect…their marriage is flawless…and so on roll through my mind. And before I know it, I feel like I have been in a mugging.  Comparison comes, punches me in the gut, and steals my joy.  It makes me feel as if I am not enough and what I have accomplished isn’t enough. Especially since this is the view of my bedroom this morning.
messy-room
Oh how I wished it didn’t look like this. Instead I wish the clothes were folded and neatly put away. The drawers were closed. My bed was made with the pillows perfectly arranged on top and everything else was in its proper place and therefore worthy of a picture to post for the world to see and click “like.” And then turn around and pridefully give myself a pat on the back for how many “likes” I got.

But it’s not.  And the one thing I have learned about comparing my life with hers or his or theirs, is that no matter what I am comparing it to, it is an ugly thing.  It has the ability to instantly and without warning replace my happiness and joy with bitterness, jealously, envy, and hopelessness as I only begin to start seeing what other people have that I want. It creates a type of tunnel vision to where everything around me starts to look dark and gloomy.  And it creates the false belief that God is sitting up there picking favorites.  Which I know is wrong according to Romans 2:11 which states, “God does not show favoritism.” But still, I can’t shake the thought.  Can you relate? If so, you are not alone. I am not alone.

In Justine Froelker’s book, Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Define Your Own Happy Ending, she says that comparison definitely got the better of her more times than not.

But the truth that we need to have resonate in our souls is that we can’t judge our insides by someone’s outsides. We can’t compare ourselves to what we think we know about someone just by reading their status updates, looking at their perfectly filtered Instagram photos, or seeing them stroll through Target.

Because that woman I became jealous of the minute I saw her with a shopping cart full of kiddos or holding a precious newborn baby, might just be fostering. Or perhaps she once struggled too. And that husband and wife who I always see smiling together, might actually be struggling behind closed doors. And the momma who looks like she has it all together, might be hanging on by a thread. Or that family who has the fancy cars, trendy outfits, and extravagant vacations might be drowning in debt.  And that meal my friend posted and bragged about cooking could actually taste like…well, crap. And those Pinterest projects they always do with their kiddos probably cost them too much money and added unneeded stress to their day. (Side note: It is okay to stick with Play-Doh.  It is cheap and not as stressful.)

So friend, let me be the first to say, it’s time you and I start taking it easy on ourselves.  Because just like my room is messy, so is life. Life is messy. It’s scattered and unorganized. It’s dirty and more often than not, it never looks the way we want it to.  But despite the messy, scattered and unorganized parts, there is something I have learned over the course of time and through reading Justine’s book; and that is the prettiest filter through which we can view our lives, is the one that recognizes the beauty even through all the mess.

It is the laundry that needs to be folded because we are blessed to have clothes to wear.

It is our husbands dirty socks thrown on the floor next to the clothes hamper that remind us of how hard working he is to provide for the family.

It is the unmade bed that reminds us we had a soft and warm place to lay our heads down at night.

It is the blankets not folded and put back that remind us of when they were used for snuggling.

It is the dirty dishes in the sink that serve as a reminder of the stories exchanged over dinner. And it’s the contents of your fridge that look more like a science experiment that remind us that the reason it wasn’t eaten, was because we have more than enough…

It is easy to want life to look a certain way and get frustrated when it doesn’t. But friend, despite it not always looking like what we imagine, it is still okay. It is okay because while life can be messy, scattered and unorganized, it can also be beautiful when we choose to look through the filter of gratitude and love and joy.

So my sweet friend, if today you are struggling with the way your life looks, just change the filter. Try to look past the mess and see the beauty. It’s there. I promise.

with-love
I love to connect with new readers and friends!  Stop by my blog at waitingforbabybird.com or let’s get connected on instagram at @waitingforbabybird or through my facebook page by clicking here.  I can’t wait to “meet” you!

19 thoughts on “Guest Post: Life Is Messy

  1. Elisha, you are so right, life is messy! Yes, at times i hate it, but in our house messy typically means we are too busy having fun to do boring tasks like fold the laundry or make the bed. Or at least I tell myself that these things are not done because we are too busy having fun, sometimes it’s just that I’d rather do anything else other then fold another pair of socks. 🙂
    P.S. Justine – I just realized that April 7th is just around the corner. I hope you are letting in some excitement and not just fear as your next big day approaches.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is right around the corner! I am getting just a tad bit better at letting excitement win over the anxiety… It is just super hard. Thank you for your love!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel says:

    Hi Elisha, Great to see you guest blogging here. Yes, we never really know what others may be struggling with. That’s one of the things that I’ve learned in more recent years. I have to remind myself that I’m not in competition with anyone else but merely seeking to grow and improve in my own life. Life is messy that’s for sure! I’m learning though that when we share some of that mess then it actually opens up the doors of communication. That’s one of the things that I’ve been enjoying about blogging. I enjoy being real and having authentic connections with others, about that which is tough but also about the hope found in the process. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wonderful words, Elisha. Comparison is a deadly trap that’s so easy to fall into.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Caroline says:

    Girl! You should totally join in the #letsberealmovement! That is what it’s ALL about! Being real and making others realize LIFE IS MESSY!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cheryl says:

    So thankful to read these words today, Elisha! There is SO much truth here, and it is such a good reminder to be thankful and content with where we are in life. Every moment of life is SO precious, and the older we get, the more we realize that and cherish what is happening now. So often we look back and wish we would have enjoyed what was, instead of wishing for what could be. We waste so much time and energy longing for what other people have, when all along, what we have is exactly what so many others are longing for. I am thankful to “meet” you, Justine! This is my first time coming here, but I promise it will not be my last. God bless you both for sharing your hearts, and may His blessings also rest upon your new book that will soon hit the shelves! Praying it will be a blessing to many , that it will prosper, and that your hard work will be rewarded. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Cheryl for these amazing words and blessings on the book! I am trusting His plan for it but oh it is so hard! Thank you again for stopping by!!! Justine

      Like

  6. Ana says:

    Thank you Elisha for this post! I am one of those girls that fall on the trap way to often..thank you for offering encouragement and to learn to be grateful for the “little things” in life that we take for granted so many times! God bless you!

    I love your Facebook posts by the way!! They are such an encouragement!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Elisha says:

      Thanks so much Ana! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Go Elisha! Great words!! So encouraging! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Elisha says:

      Thanks so much girl xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Emily says:

    Elisha! I REALLY needed this today. Thank you and God bless! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a beautiful reminder! Thank you, Friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You have said this just perfectly, Elisha! I can’t wait to read your book, Justine. So glad you have had these guest posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laura! Did you order your copy yet?

      Like

      1. Not just yet. It’s been a “messy” week. 😉 I will be soon, I hope.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Those weeks suck! Sending love your way!

        Like

  11. Its always messy at my house. 🙂 Yes I share pictures of my dogs or my cute wall that I finally decorated – but the people viewing can’t see the messy part of the rest of my life. They only see the “good”. My husband got off Facebook over a year ago, and has now deleted his instagram app from his phone. He’s been happier, and hasn’t looked back or regretted it.

    Liked by 1 person

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