When I started my blog, it felt like the strangest thing in the world I could have done. If you know me, you know that I hold things very close to the vest. I’m always the one who listens while people share, but rarely the one who shares. I keep my personal thoughts, well, just that…personal. The idea of sharing my hurts, brokenness, or fears left me feeling exposed and uncomfortable, and so, with few exceptions, I didn’t do it.
Until last summer.
Last Summer was tough for me. We’d moved and only been here about six months. The move couldn’t have gone any smoother. The people we met couldn’t have been any kinder. Our neighbors couldn’t have been any more welcoming. But it was still hard. Grandparents could no longer stop by for a quick visit. We couldn’t just pop over to our friend’s pond to go fishing and sit around the bonfire. We could no longer get hugs from the people that had hugged us every single Sunday at church since the moment we stepped inside the doors eight years prior.
It was different. It was change. And change is hard.
I was home with the kiddos every day and felt absolutely blessed to be able to do this. However, I was home with kiddos every day and also felt absolutely exhausted and frustrated with this deflating sense that I was somehow losing myself.
I made breakfast, cleaned up, swept the floor, and played. I made lunch, cleaned up, swept the floor, and played. We tried to mix things up by going to playgrounds and science centers. We took walks and rode bikes. We had fun, the kids and I. We laughed. But I also cried. It was mostly good. But it was also challenging. The further we traveled into the Summer, the more my spirit seemed to shrink. My husband came home from work one day and innocently asked about my day. I felt empty, utterly empty. Teary eyed I responded that I’d swept the kitchen four times. Four! And I felt that I no longer knew who I was.
That was the beginning.
I’ve been through much harder things in my adult life than this move. However, this transition brought me once more to a place of searching and ultimately surrender. I began to pray each morning faithfully, surrendering myself and my plans. Through these prayers, God began to make a way, and things began to shift until one day the most random thought in the world popped into my head. I want to write. It sounded crazy even to myself. I’ve written some through the years but always for myself, things such as journals or letters for my one-day adult children. I’d never written anything for others to read. However, I decided to follow through on this seemingly ridiculous idea.
I decided to begin with a blog about my family. I thought that I would do an online scrapbook of sorts, posting pictures of my children, telling funny stories about our days, and perhaps a bit about our faith.
I created No Mama’s Perfect.
Finally, after a lot of work and several phone calls to a brilliant friend, who unlike myself actually knows something about technology, I posted my first blog in October of 2016. No one read it and certainly no one “liked” it. I remember feeling deflated after I’d sat there churning over the idea of actually pressing PUBLISH for what seemed like hours. Regardless, I tried again and then again. I remember joking with my husband that you could publish your deepest, darkest secrets right in plain site on the internet and no one would see them! It was both a disappointment and a relief. A disappointment because let’s face it, if you write you want someone to read it. A relief because while there’s a part of you that wants it read, there is another part equally terrified that someone will actually read it and not like it.
Brokenness broke the barriers.
Standing in my kitchen one day, I had a piece of pottery that was gifted by a new friend, fall to the floor and break. In a moment of sadness and determination (aka stubbornness) I decided to glue it back together. This broken vessel struck a chord with me about my brokenness, how we are all in need of God’s grace, and I wrote a story about it. I submitted it to an online magazine, Her View From Home, and it was published. This is not the point in my story where I gush about it going viral or being read by thousands. It didn’t, and it wasn’t. But it was read, and what’s more important were the comments I received. People spoke about their brokenness and their struggles, their fears, and their heartaches. It struck a chord.
Why is that? Because the truth is simple. We are all broken. We are all in need of God’s grace.
And so I continue to write. Yes, I write about my children and funny things they’ve done. But I also write about faith. I write about the heartaches that come with mothering, and I write about the struggles that plague us all. I write about hurt and loss and fear and doubt. I write because though we are all broken, we don’t have to be alone in that brokenness. I write because we are all loved by a Holy God, and at times we all need to be reminded of this Great Love. I write because I continue to hear a Still Small Voice urging me to share…
His incredible love for you and me.