Friday, January 20, 2012

Something Real.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what is "real." Someone said to me the other day, "You are just so creative. I just am amazed, I don't know how you find the time." While it's nice to receive compliments. My first thought was actually, I am such a fake! I don't find time, I steal time from other things. I am really not that amazing. And I thought of a list of reasons for my lack of amazingness.

Yesterday I was reading all the links over at Shell's blog. She has a regular weekly feature where people can "spill" all "the things they can't say." Everyone links up their blogs to this post and shares their pieces. It was amazing how many of the posts had to do with issues of self worth, guilt, perspective and striving to be better moms.

Then today I read a post by my friend Lauren, talking about how people seem to always put their best foot forward, even on facebook, and the feelings it can conjure up when you sometimes compare yourself or situation to what you assume is everyone else's more perfect "reality." I couldn't agree more. And I am 100% guilty of this. I'm not trying to make myself look amazing, but I would much rather share a fun project I am working on, or an awesome recipe I just made, or a pic of my cute girls than the massive laundry pile in my basement or my messy kitchen. I would much rather share about something sweet my daughter did, than that I was short tempered with her 3 times that morning because I stayed up too late the night before working on my "amazing" creations. I think it is only natural that we want to bring our best to the table. And I love looking at other people's pictures and projects and seeing the best of the best people share. But I think it is just as helpful, especially for moms, to hear about everyone's not so perfect days, messes, and feelings of inadequacy.

I had a textversation (a text conversation) with my best friend yesterday. In the midst of the conversation I was talking about being more real and open with people. She responded, "Honesty changes the world. I'm serious. Everyone lies and hides. When someone steps out and tells the truth it changes things."

So here's some truth.

I really needed to do laundry, LOTS of laundry last night, work on cleaning any number of rooms in my house, organize our file cabinet, mail, and bills, etc. But instead, last night I chose to "mod podge" some sweet pink fabric onto a tiny cabinet (thrift shop find) I am making over for my littlest girl's room. There is nothing wrong with having "me" time, but I definitely could have used some "clean" time. I stayed up 1.5 hrs past my New Year's Resolution" invoked bedtime of 11:30 pm working on this project while watching Grey's Anatomy. Not necessarily the best use of time. I was going to share this little project on my blog today because that's what feels comfortable. I still will at some point. Its too cute not too! Being creative makes me happy, making food is therapeutic to me and also makes me happy. I love teaching people how to make things as well as feeding them. This is easy sharing for me.There is nothing wrong with this. But for me, that is my "best foot forward."

Then I remembered why I started writing this blog. I was feeling so burdened and overwhelmed 4 years ago when faced with the possibility my daughter might be autistic while at the same time caring for a very high maintenance fussy newborn. I just felt like I needed to share my real feelings, process them, and also have a written record to look back and see what God would do in my life. It is amazing to me to look back 4 years and see where I was at, where my daughter was at, and to truly see time after time where He answered my prayers. It amazes me to be reminded of the times she made huge strides in her development, was diagnosed as NOT autistic, and made a 180 degree turn in her social interactions. Most people that know my 6 year old little girl today, would not believe she was the same little girl I wrote about when she was 2 and 3 years old. I also look at how God provided for us in numerous ways when my husband was out of work and in him finding a new job that eventually led him and us to another job and place where we are now. So then I thought, what am I going through now that is real, that I need to process, where I want to see changes, and where I want to look back 4 years from now and be amazed by God's grace and provision? 

I thought of 2 things specifically: My spiritual life and my health. I suck at doing devotions. I have no trouble finding time to make something crafty or tasty, but I seem to have an impossible time "fitting in" some God time. I have not read my Bible in a long time. I have opened it here and there. But I haven't sat down with full attention on the Word and just read the Bible in a really long time. Its hard to be honest about this, because I like people to "think well of me," and this definitely is not my best foot. But this needs to change so I can be the woman I want my daughter to emulate. The second thing for me is my health. I have been sick for 7 years with undiagnosed stomach problems that affect me every single day. This is a huge burden to me. It has been a long journey filled with tests, doctors visits, and more tests. I have settled for feeling sick most of the time as my new normal. Many people are surprised when they hear this because I have developed a great "poker face" for hiding how I am really feeling physically. I am tired of feeling this way. I know I need to proactively try some new things that are within my power to change to see if I can start to find some relief. I have just started this process, but I know it will be a challenging and emotional journey. Hopefully one that will end in a state of wellness.

That's the REAL me, behind the pink decoupaged cabinet, tasty recipes, diy patterns, and cute little girls. I am not perfect, I am a work in progress. Its not as much fun to talk about my struggles, but hardship is a part of life and a part of who I am, and dealing with it will make me a stronger, more confident woman.

I Peter 5:6-7 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

This is an important truth to be reminded of. Remember that everyone has something he or she is facing that hides behind that "best foot" forward. What is the thing you are facing? Why not ask yourself this question with me:

What am I going through now that is real, that I need to process, where I want to see changes, and where I want to look back and be amazed by God's grace and provision? 


Lizzie said...

This was a really good one! I liked it alot.

Lauren said...

Love it Brooke! Thanks for the honesty. As moms I think most of us are guilty of comparing ourselves to others. It's especially easy with blogs and facebook to make our lives look picture perfect. I'm guilty of "stealing time" too. I crafted myself silly before Christmas and have then taken a break. It's been nice (and much more sane) to have more time for all those necessary things like laundry (ugh). It's all about balance! Thanks for taking the time to be real :)

Anonymous said...

Brooke, thanks for being a real mom and being courageous and ready to be open on this one. Liked reading about where you are right now, and was super encouraged to be real too. TOTALLY there, myself.
When I am just plain sick of certain things... that's when I seem a little more open to change in humility. It's hard! You encourage my heart to keep pressing into the realness of life... being genuine, not fake, being honest, not lying to myself or others. Hey, I have a ton to talk with you about when it comes to stomach issues... been battling things for some time(4+years) and would love to chat. Stomach issues are the hardest to diagnose because doctors can only go through the process of elimination many times... it can take time to finally diagnose. I can testify! Through it all, the Lord speaks. Hope/pray this frustration sees the light soon! Blessings! Michelle Myers(small group) :0)

Sara said...

Thanks for being real. It does make me feel a little good to know you have messes behind all your cute projects! :) Sara

rachel said...

This is so good for me to remember as a mom. I don't feel like I compare myself to others, but its hard sometimes not to feel like everyone has it more together than me! Thanks for the reminder everyone is usually putting that best foot forward and for your challenge.

Lauren said...

BROOKE! What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing, I'm so glad you liked reading my blog about Facebook. I find it so refreshing to know that other people are human and I loved that Bible verse about humbling ourselves. You certainly look like you have it all put together to me, so it's nice to hear that you struggle too at times. I miss you, lady! Sending lots of love. Lauren

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Fabulous!! I have two loads of laundry sitting here waiting to be folded and put away and instead I'm reading blogs and this post made me think I should just toddle down to the craft room too. I love that you were honest!