Lessons From a Walk in the Valley

Before you start reading this, please know that it’s not directed at any one person. It’s just me talking, sharing life, thinking thoughts aloud…while drinking coffee ’cause I promised you all a coffee date, didn’t I?


I even brewed the coffee late at night because I have this idea in my head that words come out easier when there’s caffeine involved. I’m not sure that’s far from the truth at all. :)

Staring out the window on this last-day-of-May afternoon, it’s cloudy, gloomy, and rainy. And? COLD…40’s in May?! REALLY?!?! I’ve got socks on, a running jacket over my shirt, and the sweater that my sweet friend literally gave me off her back over of all of that.

I’m cozy. Really.

But a person is not supposed to be COZY on May 31. More like hot…or at least warm…and in shorts and a tank top. πŸ˜‰

Ok, not sure where that tangent came from. Down to business. Remember, this IS how I write. I joke for a bit before I get to the deep stuff. (Do you think that’s healthy? I’m not convinced. Just sayin’.)

So you may have noticed the lack of depth in the things I’ve been writing lately. I seem to go through those spurts, and after almost a year and a half of continuous blogging, it’s finally starting to NOT freak me out anymore. Because I know my words will be back eventually.

Life just feels like a long-stretching valley right now. There are little joys like pool-splashing and hugs from friends and bits of encouragement here and there, but lately, more down days than up.

For someone who is generally happy-go-lucky, fun, and full of spunk…that’s hard.

I wish the days were always sunny and that the smiles came easier and that I felt my purpose was being fulfilled and that am someone.

I don’t want to talk about the big D word, but sometimes I think we shove it under the rug, hoping that if we ignore depression that it will just go away and life will be rainbows and cupcakes again. (Hey…you know me and cake. I had to throw that in!)

I’m not talking about this to make you feel bad for me. Don’t. It’s life, and we all have those days even if we don’t want to admit it.

Honestly, it bothers me that Tobin and I are coming up on a decade of marriage…and our lives still don’t feel settled.

On the outside, it looks that they are. We bought a house we love. We have a car. Two, even. We are parents to the most amazing little girl the world has ever known. (Ok, I’m biased. ;)) But she is pretty wonderful. We have two golden retrievers who mean a lot to us. We’re surrounded by friends in this community who have loved on us without knowing how badly we needed that love. And we are blessed in those ways and many, many more…Beyond. Measure.

But it’s often that those things buried or hidden behind closed doors are what tear at a person’s heart and being the most.

It isn’t that I’m not happy with Tobin. We love each other and have chosen to stick things out while holding hands…despite many, many differences that could have driven us apart. And while we love big, we also disagree big…and that’s no secret to people who know us best. It’s personality type, partly. We really are the poster children(?) for the saying, Opposites Attract. And I guess I find it frustrating…and in some ways hurtful…that we are still battling through things after almost a decade together. I feel like we should have this figured out by now.

We’re aware of it, but it’s hard to know what to do about it. Just giving each moment to our Father, trusting that He is always Good.

I’m also struggling with parenting. I adore Maelie, and she is the sunshine of my day. Completely. But sometimes her almost-two-ness is just insanely in-my-face, and my normally decent amount of patience comes crashing down. It can be easy to let those moments discourage me for days, though she is the picture of forgiveness and love. Those times sure don’t bring out the best in me as a mommy, though, and I hate that because I love her and want the best for her.

And along with parenting comes the question that I don’t want to hear…that I don’t always have an answer for. Are you planning to have more?

Here’s the thing. Though I’m sometimes tempted to give the snippy reply, I wasn’t planning to have one, that’s not really how I want to respond.

The truth is that Maelie is a blessing we can’t put into words. After that adoption mess and struggling with pregnancy, I had started to think it might not happen for us. And when it did, I told God from the beginning that I knew He would help me be satisfied with whatever He gave.

I truly am. I just love the JOY that is my little girl SO. SO. MUCH. And if she is our only child here on earth, that’s ok. It’s more than ok…it’s amazing.

But it still hurts to think about more kids, which seems like a direct contradiction of what I just said. I can’t explain it, but some of you get it. There are what ifs and maybe somedays that creep in sometimes and cause my mind to go to places it shouldn’t.

I believe fully in God’s perfect plan, and clearly this bubbly, sweet, wonderful girl is the part of the plan He’s chosen to give us at this moment.

And part of walking through this time, this valley, is learning what He has for me. Growing in the Grace He has given. Honoring Him on days that are less than easy. Choosing JOY.

I’m really trying to grow through these days that are challenging and remind myself that God gives us times that are tough to remind us that He is our Help and our Comforter and our Hope and our Healer…and so much more.

It’s been a blessing to reflect on all He is…and who I am in Him.

Really, a sinner saved only by Grace.

And because I can’t leave this post on that kind of note, and because I’m a little wired on caffeine, here are a couple fun things.

Well, I think they’re fun. πŸ˜‰

First up…a photo. Yes, I am a dork and took a picture of myself. πŸ˜‰ Here’s the haircut. It’s actually more choppy than it looks. But since it’s after 10 pm and I just washed it, it’ll look better once I sleep on it…yay for a haircut where bedhead actually works to my advantage! :)

And, for some reason I thought you should know that I bought a shirt at the rummage sale at our church for $.50. It’s orange. It’s cute. And though I rarely wear orange, since it’s cute, I’m going to wear it tomorrow. Did I mention it’s cute?! I don’t have a picture of that, but maybe I’ll take one for you all. (Or have someone else take it ’cause I don’t want to be too dorky. ;))

Thanks for listening, for loving, for being here…even if I act like a dork sometimes.

Grin. :)



  1. Oh my dear Mel, may I offer some comfort here? I’m not feeling ‘bad’ for you, I’m sympathizing with you! I will be married 24 years on July 8th. We, too, are opposite attracts! So. Many. Things! We still struggle through some very junky moments, even today! I said to him about an hour ago, “I’m sorry about the random crankiness today, even though it’s been a good day in general!” And he said, “It happens.” Yes. It does.
    Be gentle on yourself! Be kind to you in the moods that seem to ebb and flow.

    Two year olds are TOUGH, BUT this too shall pass and she will be on to the next phase as will you!

    So I say, again, be gentle on yourself <3

    • Thank you for your sweet words, RG. Sometimes it just helps to hear that I’m not the only one walking this! Trying hard to be gentle on myself today. :)

      You are a blessing…and I’m overdue for a visit to your blog. :)

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