Ok, friends. I am just going to lay it out for you. Plain and simple. Loud and clear. No sugar coating it.
July has been rough.
And by rough I mean it is now almost comical. As in, what else could possible go wrong between now and August 1st? As in, the crazy train has parked at our house and I am almost to the point of surrender . . . bring it on July, what else you got?
Let me break it down for you . . .
Early July: Hot water heater leaked all over garage. Had to replace.
Early - Mid July: Brandon suffered from several rounds of kidney stones which landed him in the E.R. twice, and surgery center once. To be fair, the symptoms began back in June. One surgery and a zillion scripts later, he is now, as of July 29th, back up and running as normal.
Mid July: Our laundry room semi flooded which lead us to discover a major plumbing issue that will require, if we want complete assurance this will not happen again, digging under the house to re-do pipe work. Well, ok then. Good thing we got that money tree growing out back!
Late July: We discovered we have rats. I just can't even. Real, living and breathing rats running around having a hay-day in our attic. I know what you are thinking. They are in your attic! That's great! You haven't seen one inside! This is true, because we all know what happens when I see a lizard inside, so you can imagine what would go down if I saw a rat running behind the couch. But y'all, we have rats. And not just a cute little family of four. We have, as the pest company put it, lots of activity. As in, they have been back twice this week, are coming today and again on Monday, and then will continue to come back to set traps and remove dead rodents from my house. Earlier this week, the pest roper asked if I wanted to see what he caught so far. I'm sorry, would you like me to gag all over this garage floor? Apparently Mr. Pest Roper did not get the memo that I don't do lizards, much less rats.
Late July: My blow dryer broke. I know . . . This shouldn't even be a thing, because for the love it's a blow dryer, but it feels extra frustrating because kidney stones and nasty rodents and water leaking everywhere will do that to you.
Mid - Late July: Due to aforementioned crazy, Chance related grief came back full force. This completely took me by surprise. What was a bit shocking to me especially, is that the grief came in the form of irritability, anger, and bitterness, not so much sadness. This irritability then, naturally, spilled over into my family life and relationships. I suppose this just goes to show that grief will continue to ebb and flow, and that other life events really can trigger emotions related to loss.
I write all of this, not to complain, but to show that even someone who's life motto is to choose joy despite circumstance, can struggle to actually claim that joy when life goes bonkers. I don't do it perfectly all of the time. That is never the image I want to portray.
This month I experienced a funk that was and to some extent still is hard to shake. The blahs hit hard. I knew the truth, was aware of the truth, but I chose not to let that truth take root. I traded truth for a lie and called it good. And as a result? Everything suffered. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, I hit rock bottom and was operating from a dry well. There was fresh water available, but I was ignoring the invitation to drink.
Joy fades when our souls dry up, friends.
I'm committed to taking back lost time and shaking this funk, because I'm not fully out of the woods just yet. I am committed to running full force towards the Water Giver. To the only true source of joy and hope.
And just on the chance I'm not alone, in case there is anyone out there that needs a little de-funking, too, here is what has helped me over the past few days.
Meditation on God's Word
I picked a few key verses and played them on repeat in my mind. They were short, thus easy to recall in a moment's notice. After a few days of literally having to repeat these verses to myself over and over and over, my mood began to change. There are times when my lips cannot form a prayer and worship doesn't flow as naturally. In these times, reciting scripture is a pure form of worship back to the Father. Don't ever underestimate the power of the spoken word. Scripture lifted back up to God is a sweet offering and, if you keep at it, joy will follow.
Psalm 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
Psalm 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
It's a well known fact that regular exercise helps decrease stress and increase those positive vibes we all need, endorphins. Exercise stimulates the brain chemicals that correlate directly with our mood. So, after a few weeks of crazy and a bad attitude that wasn't going anywhere, I decided it was time to make my appointment with the gym a bit more consistent And what do you know? My brain feels a bit less foggy and the joy is resurfacing.
When I am struggling behind the scenes, pride wants me to remain silent. Pride wants me to put on the happy face that says "I'm good!" when asked the typical "How are you?" But I knew in order to start reclaiming the joy, I had to be real with my people. So I shared my funk with my sister and a few friends. This not only opened the door for accountability, but for encouragement and love and wisdom from others.There is just something about knowing "I'm not alone," or hearing others say "Me too," that lifts the spirit and welcomes heart change.
Meltdowns are ok, friends. But meltdowns and pity parties are not a place to park. We must get back up, dust ourself off, and take little steps to reclaiming all the good and all the joy. God wants more for our days and more for our lives than a depleted soul and a bitter attitude. He wants us to experience His love and His hope and the overflowing joy that only comes with His presence, even in the midst of the mess.
Even in the midst off hospital stays and extravagant plumbing quotes and rodent exterminations.
Let's do this August. . .