If there’s one thing I’m not scared to do on this here blog, it’s keep it real. Because, let’s be honest, I’ve already shown y’all my dust bunnies and the 6 month old Christmas tree in the backyard (and look! now there’s a new one to replace it - I wonder how long it will stay there?)
Through the years, the Lord has taught me a lot about the importance of authenticity. I’ve learned this lesson many times over, both through living in authentic community with other believers, and by developing a vibrant and authentic walk with my Savior.
Although it has taken time, I’ve come to feel pretty secure in my quirks (so what if y’all called me freaks and nutty for loving cheese so much?) and I don’t honestly care all that much about having a clean and perfectly organized house (not to say that area of my life couldn’t use a little work). And we all know I’m not a perfect Christian right? I admit pretty quickly how frustrated I get, how tired I am . . . Not to mention the lack of perfection (or even adequacy) in the area of self-discipline: whether it’s in eating right, exercising, cleaning, having a quiet time. . .
This year, I (fearfully) feel the Lord leading me to a whole new level of authenticity in my relationships: with Him, with Adam, with friends, with my ministry partners, and even with the kiddos. The problem is that this new level? There’s a strong possibility it involves vulnerability. And I don’t really like being vulnerable. I prefer safety, avoiding hurt, and staying protected. I mean, I don’t even like having my feet un-tucked at night because they feel so vulnerable (but that’s a whole other post for some day when I’m feeling less serious and far braver).
The truth is that there are some things about me that y’all might not like. And those are things I prefer to keep closely guarded. Like the anxiety that envelops me when I look at other moms and feel panicked that they have it all together and I’m totally unfit to parent Jayci, let alone take in other kids. Or the jealous knot in my stomach when my friends have cuter clothes, more money to spend on boots, better hair, or a more bikini-ready body than me (because let’s face it, it’s a really good thing I still have a few months until I have to cross that bridge).
I’ve mentioned before that I often struggle with comparing myself to others. What I haven’t said is just how crippling that comparison can be for me. It’s made me do some stupid things. Like not eating for a while. Or exercising too much. Or cheating to get ahead. Or lying to make myself look better. Things I’m absolutely not proud of, but only wish I could say I would never get sucked into doing again.
Just this past week, I was ready to throw in the towel, bring the babies (and especially the teenager) home, and try to ignore the fact that they are probably cold and most likely wearing the same clothes they wore yesterday. Or that they have rats in their bathroom, and might not eat dinner tonight.
I feel a little bit like I just exposed my soft underbelly to y’all, leaving myself open to hurt and judgment (two of my least favorite things ever). But I guess that’s what it means to be vulnerable: putting myself out there and trusting that Jesus has made me ENOUGH. That He knew me before He laid the foundations of the World. That He will equip me, fill me, encourage me, and provide for me.
Oh and get excited because I have got some sweet stories of provision for y’all. Trust me; you’re going to be blown away. Let’s just say that, although I’m not sure when we stopped expecting God to show up on our behalf; I, for one, don’t plan on making that mistake again.