It very well could be that one of the best reasons to start a blog is the constant reminder and accountability that I’ve made it known to the world I am determined to speak about my own imperfection to be a living testament of God’s grace.

My goal is to consistently speak of my own imperfection hidden in Jesus’ perfection with the hope to exude His love and mercy in every aspect of my private and personal life…making much of His name, not mine.

There’s only one problem:

ME.

I don’t always get it right. And that’s just the point isn’t it?!

That’s the point of this whole thing. This whole blogging thing…..AND this whole “life” thing.

Why does it feel so uncomfortable and scary to be vulnerable? Why does it seem easier to stay in hiding behind a beautifully lit smokescreen? Why do I prefer the rose tinted glasses, the coverup of carefully edited pictures and the miraculous cure of dry shampoo for my day #4 unwashed hair?

I’m often scared that if I truly open up it will hinder relationships, push away friendships, welcome criticism and invite condemnation. Sometimes the hidden is more beautiful, right? Ignorance is bliss.

No one wants to air dirty laundry.

 

But why not? What’s wrong with that? We all have laundry….and if we are moms most of it is on our living room floors or on top of our kitchen tables right now. Why not just admit we all have clothes that aren’t clean? Why not share what we are weak in? Why not be open about how we fail?

Staying hidden doesn’t help anyone.
No one truly benefits from a private, curated, unknown life.

By no means is this a complete list, but I don’t want to just talk about being open and never actually BE OPEN…so let’s just get this started… (deep inhale….)

  • I have gotten into heated, uncontrolled, harsh arguments with Matt and have been indignant, indifferent and hateful with my responses, thoughts and words toward him.
  • I have yelled at my kids and snapped at them for simply saying my name too many times during dinner.

 

  • Just last week, during our “fun” family day at the fair, I spent most of the entire day absolutely crabby and griping at all kinds of various things, most of which was completely minuscule and unfounded.
  • My default mode is to think that every single thing that is bad that happens in the life of our family is somehow my fault. It can be totally unrelated but I will take it and somehow find a way to believe that I caused that thing to happen…as if I’m that important. I then look for affirmation and encouragement that I’ve done my part and that the real problem is “out there” rather than in me.
  • I greatly struggle with mom guilt…to the point that I am sometimes frozen in a decision because of a fear that no matter what choice I make I will ruin my kids. This leads to endless sleepless nights and a restless heart, which makes for an overly tired mom that lacks presence and joy the next day.
  • I can be surrounded by a sea of people that truly know and love me and still feel like I’m alone. And what I’m saying is that my focus is far too often on me. I am self-centered as I put my feelings before loving others.

 

  • Sometimes, okay fine…often lately, I struggle with the “grass is greener” mentality and wonder if somehow I missed another life I am supposed to be living. I waste time envisioning what that “other” life could be and allow seeds of ungratefulness for one I’ve been given to take root.
  • When I am tired, or hungry, or un-showered, or God forbid, a combination of them all I am seriously not fun to be around. I get nit picky and short tempered and begin to treat my family as though they are in my way.
  • I struggle with envy and jealousy over other bloggers who have had great success and I wrongly envision that their journey to get “there” was much simpler than mine. I view success by numbers and page views and often have thoughts about giving up…which shows me how greatly I value man’s opinion more that God’s.

 

  • I struggle with thoughts that it’s never enough and that I’m always behind and wonder when I’ll ever get it together…whatever “it” is.
  • I often look at the lives of women I admire on social media and choose to wrongly believe they sure do have it all together….and then I compare what is imperfect about me to what I feel is perfect about them and I become discouraged.

Should I keep going?!?! Because I totally could….I could do this all day….

 

But, the bottom line is this:

Honesty and airing dirty laundry isn’t the problem. My own heart is the problem. Sharing it simply gives glory to the correct Person, which isn’t ME.

These are the times I’m so thankful for the words of the apostle Paul: “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15)

I am unbelievably thankful that Paul’s struggle with his flesh has been included in the Bible for me to relate to.

 

Yet, the story of his struggle doesn’t end there. Only ten verses later Paul offers this encouragement: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” “For you were called to freedom…

(insert Braveheart movie clip here)

brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another…But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:13, 16, 22-23, 25

 

It would be certifiably insane to think that our marriage is the only one that has hit rough patches. I’d be crazy if I chose to believe I was the only one who struggles with fears that are sometimes paralyzing, with having spoken hurtful words that crush those I love most, with temptations that have the potential to bring utter ruin or with thoughts that bring destruction. There’s not a chance on God’s green earth that I’m the only one who feels alone, struggles with comparison and envy or carries the weight of some massive regrets.

So why air the dirty laundry?

Because it is a far weightier thing for my identity to be rooted solely in the finished work of Jesus Christ, dying on the cross, in my place for my sin, than it is for me to uphold a false, curated, neatly folded, manicured image that smells fresh but is dying on the inside.

Choosing daily to lose my life and walk by the Spirit leads to spiritual fruit, which then leads to a life that is God-honoring.  It all starts with an honest confession that there is nothing good in me apart from Christ. He alone can make me the wife, mother, friend, woman I desire to be: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

My hope is for this to give you comfort too. Do you struggle with the thought that you know you don’t have it all together, but are terrified of people finding that out? Do you wish you could open up your real self to those around you and have a desire to be truly known by those you love most?

If you find yourself frozen in discouragement, afraid of being “found out” I want to encourage you that there doesn’t need to be any fear in boasting in our weaknesses. In fact our measly attempts at pretending we are perfect actually cheapens the Gospel. Jesus came to save sinners, not perfect people…and my hope is to encourage you to boast in His grace not your (or my) accomplishments in order that He get the full credit.  This truth gives us encouragement because we are reminded once more that life isn’t at all about us. This gives us hope that being known is far better than hiding alone. This gives us joy to wake up each morning knowing that HIS mercies are new every day, and this gives us peace that His grace is more than sufficient for today.

To HIM be the glory!

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

 

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15 comments

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Oh I’m crying reading this! Your blog has become one of the biggest tools God has sent to minister to me during a hard weird confusing frustrating gut aching time in our ” once had a plan life”! I went from a woman who had to have it all figured out and a plan for a back up plan… to loving moment by moment. Phone call by phone call while my husband looks for a job. With 6 kids. And a 7$ pay cut. And dent beyond belief from divorce. We saw a light at end of tunnel. And in one day it was over. Oh you so easily and frequently describe me- while you say all the utterly honest things I can -never- put into words! I know I’m rambling! But thank you! For your honest willingness to speak without fear! I’ve had so many frustrating doubts and questions! Why!? Ugh! And focused on my personal health/fitness in a panic! Because my physical body and changes I want to see overnight are the ONLY thing I can actually control and see outcome. God has used this time to remind me of his promises. I’m a children’s church time main leader. (THIS is where god gifted me!) . And praise team singer. Recently stepped down as church secretary. VBS director, summer reading program head chairman. I stepped away from it all to focus on family and support hubby in his job! Hardest thing I ever did!
I took care of everyone. And now it’s time to just humbly and openly listen. Your words have truth, and reminded after reminders of God promises! I have no words. All I keep hearing is “God is not a God of confusion ” and ” moment by moment” I’m just living. It’s all I can do at this point! If I start thinking of money-kids-needs–etc. I just start panicking. My hair color-my nails. My toes. My no longer there summer wardrobe clothes. I panic. I just have to stop breath and wait. Thank a million times!

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Oh you’re so welcome!!!! I have to be honest that this blog sort of started off just as a hobby for me…but more and more I’m seeing that it’s becoming a ministry opportunity to encourage others. And if I’m really honest when I write articles like this one it ministers to my own heart. It’s a simple storybook of thoughts and experiences, struggles and doubts but undergirding all of that is an insatiable desire to continue to trust in the Lord every single day. I need the reminders just as much as the next girl and I am so thankful for the encouragement that you shared. I thank God for you! When I hear of a woman really hearing from the Spirit after reading one of my posts there is nothing at all that can compare to that joy. Thank you for sharing!

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Wow, thank you so much for writing this. I am not as great with words as you are, but have been feeling a lot of the same recently, especially if this is how my life is supposed to be. The truth is we all strive to do the best we can, and we constantly fall. Thankfully our God is gracious and will pick us back up each and every time! I am so thankful I found your blog, and thank you for sharing.

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You are so welcome! And thank you for writing in to share. You’re right, that we are striving to the best of our ability yet still fail…but there is grace all the more. Thank you for taking the time to encourage me in my blog. That means the world to me.

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I feel I could have written this. And your transparency makes you a better friend. Too many “friends” have pushed me away because of their need to appear perfect and therefore I can’t relate or open up.

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I think it’s so easy to do that…make our lives appear perfect that is. Its seemingly easier to hide it all…but there’s no real freedom in that. It has taken everything out of me to just put it all out there for the world to read. But I know that the Spirit compels me. I know I can’t be the only one that struggles with WANTING life to “work” and be pretty…so I write, and I pray that it helps to encourage even just one somewhere out there…so thank you for your comment. And I sincerely apologize for anyone/everyone who has pushed you away for the sake of “perfection”. May it never be….

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And by the way, you are definitely not the only one struggling with these type of issues…
Only by the grace of God will we take the step of living each day more & more holy for Him!
Each new day is a precious gift from God…let us make the most of it!! ????????????

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Meg, thanks for sharing.
You are such an inspiration. Don’t let the devil ever cause you to doubt your worth.
Always remember that Jesus understands what it’s like to be “human”.
Heb 4:15-16 (NKJV)
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let is therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
May the Lord keep on blessing you & your stunning family!

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I cried reading this. I thought I was reading my own journal. I see what I need to do and not do. Thank you for sharing this . seriously , thanks

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Thank you for sharing and for the encouragement. And you’re so welcome!

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Are you sure you don’t have cameras in my house? I’ve been struggling with most (if not all) of these things for a while now. Thank you for posting this!

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No cameras in your house!!!! I promise! This one came from ALL ME!!! And thank you for commenting. It’s so encouraging to hear that it isn’t just me after all! 🙂

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Well said. Remember that your words should continue to lift spirits and not add burdens.

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This post was very encouraging. Sorry if my prior comments is confusing. ????

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That makes so much more sense! Thank you for clarifying and for the encouragement! 🙂 Love you sweet Gina!

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