The other day, I had a conversation with a woman I adore but don’t know very well and it went something like this:
She: I read your blog and I have to say, you have it so together. I mean you really “get it” – like how to infuse God into your everyday and have a marriage that thrives and raise your children up to know Jesus. I really appreciate your “real-ness”.
Me: (Laughter – wondering if we were talking about the same blog) How long have you been reading?
She: Oh, for about a month now.
Me: Ohhhhh . . . That explains it. Stick around a little longer and you’ll see that none of that is true.
Because here’s the thing: we write out of the very areas we are broken.
I write about marriage not because I went through some hardships with Jason and now we can check the box and say we’ve arrived. I write about marriage because we still walk through valleys even to this very day and it ruptures my heart to a level I can’t even sometimes breathe.
I write about raising up my boys not because I know so much about the male gender (!) but because I am absolutely clueless on how to raise them up to be Godly men and they exasperate me so much on most days that I go to bed seeking His forgiveness for my inability to control my exhausted tongue.
I write about raising a daughter not because I have the market cornered and know exactly how to lead a young woman who won’t make the same mistakes I did. I write about raising a daughter because she, like my boys, carry such a tender piece of my heart that the thought of them ever really flying free and doing some of the stupid stuff I did terrifies me and makes me want to go fetal in the corner.
This has been a very, very hard week for our family.
Jason and I have been “off” and I’m at the end of my rope with our boys. Some days, I’m doubting I can do this, this raising up of Godly men. In all actuality, I’m just trying to get through a period of a few hours in which I’m not wanting to ship them off to a faraway island then feel guilty for thinking terrible thoughts about my own offspring.
I really, really, really don’t have it all together.
So because I had this conversation recently, I just wanted to point it out to all of you again:
We writers usually write out of what terrifies us. We write from the things that break our hearts and from the places we just want to make some semblance of sense of it all.
We are not experts (well . . . some are, but not me). We are not know-it-all’s. We aren’t going to tell you you “should” do anything.
But I will tell you this: you are seen. You are loved. You are given an exorbitant amount of grace that we can’t even begin to comprehend.
And we get new mercies, a blank slate, every single day.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hold that blank slate in the morning.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:23
Oh Natalie, what a wonderful, authentic post. I can certainly identify. It is a wonderful thing, indeed, to be given a fresh, blank slate each morning!
Yes, indeed! On another note, I just wanted to be sure you received my email response. My email has been wonky lately so just wanted to check! :) Thank you for reading and commenting, sweet Betsy!
Yes, I DID get your e-mail and just wrote a response. Been in the back of my mind a while. thanks so much.
Thank you for such an awesome, honest post. I wake up most days eager and ready to get my little boy duo out of bed and I quickly approach that place where I’m ready for their bedtime by noon. Somewhere between breakfast and lunch is a thirty minute window where I find myself scouring the web looking for useful encouragement that I’m not screwing up this parenting thing and these little men who are mini-mes of my husband. Thank you for this blog, your sincerity, and honesty about your life. It’s 9am and my blank slate makes me smile. Today will be better than yesterday!
YES, it will, Jessi. You are doing a good work that He began in you. Trust me, it is not in vain though I know there are days when you might think it is.
For the record, my boys are mini-mes of my husband, too. What’s up with that??
Keep going. You are raising up two boys who will become Godly men who will serve the kingdom. Now that IS exhausting and SO worth every second! :)
I feel you, friend! I pray God gives you peace to get through those especially tough days. xoxo
I just received the sweetest message from a dear person we both know. Robin Emilani is cousins with my husband (and I am just blessed by the fact I married into the family)..I adore her. Anyway, she referred me on over to your blog and I could not be more touched..(and I just read this one post, ha.) Can’t wait to read more. Robin was right, she thought I would love it, and I do. I write under maintainingwonder.com and it seems we have lots of parallels. Thanks so much for your honesty and I look forward to following along. All the best, Katherine Hammons.
Needed this one tonight sweet friend. There is comfort in knowing I am not alone. Thank you for hitting the nail on the head. ;)