The Beauty in the Mess (and lots and LOTS of throw up)

Updated: Feb 13, 2019


So there I stood with throw up all over Kai and I, and let’s get real for a second I have always been disgusted by throw up (aren't we all?), but seeing Kai so sick for the first time, overpowered the disgust and made my heart ache.  I also quickly became aware that as a new mother I had never walked through this before.  


So what did I do? ...I picked up that phone! 


Sometimes I wish prayer was my first instinct and I do find myself running to God first more and more, but truth is in this season reaching out for help has been an incredible lifeline. I am so grateful to the many women, and mothers, who continually point me back to sanity, truth, and Jesus, it has been a blessing beyond words.  


So, I am literally surrounded in throw up and I asked WHAT DO I DO?!???? On the other end of the phone, one of my dearest friends gave me some real and simple advice, “go get in the shower”.   It reminded me of the quote “just do the next right thing” which has served me well many times in the past. We tracked through the throw up (lots of it) and headed to the shower.


Before getting in the shower to wash off all the throw up, I paused to look into bathroom mirror and I saw something so beautiful. I saw what really truly mattered, I saw a mother holding her baby, there was no make up, no fancy dress, no perfectly cute baby outfit, and it took my breath away. 


In his exhaustion Kai was laying upon me, defeated, depending on me, with no strength left but to trust me and let me hold him and I wanted a portrait of this very moment. This moment filled with sweetness, difficulty, and love; that humble beauty spoke to me so deeply. 


Outwardly it was seemingly ugly, challenging, and smelly, yet all I could see was it's stunning beauty. It felt like in that moment, God gave me eyes to see the beauty in the mess.


Early on in my business I realized that the driving force of my passion as an artist lied within getting to know my subjects in a deep and meaningful way.  For me, when I know part of my client's story it allows me to go from simply photographing them to creating art that expresses a piece of who they are. 


Although, the past few days have been full of throw up and other horrifying fluids (I will spare you from further details), caring for Kai really reminded me of what is most important in my life right now—being a mom, marriage, health, family, love, friendship, and my relationship with God. This experience, as average and simple as it may seem, also helped ground me in the value of what is important in my job---expressing the most meaningful moments in our lives and capturing the true deep beauty of life.


I am happy to report Kai is on the up swing, he is still getting his strength back, but he is walking and talking more then ever and doing much better!!! It continues to amaze me how God has this fun way of always working every perceived trial, issue and “throw up situation” for our good. What is a time in your life that seemed so messy, but when you look back you see the beauty in the mess?....are you possibly in one right now??


I love this version of this quote reminding us how God is always working all things for our good:

“...the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” 


Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)


Wishing you all the best....and remember even if it gets a little "smelly" before you know it you might just be finding some beauty in it all. ;)




Photo Credit: Kali Ventresca

Fun Fact: Kai's cute outfit is a family heirloom and used to be Ben's when he was a baby!




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