My im-perfect life {taking off the masks}.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I walk away from my computer discouraged with myself and my life.  I have learned am learning to limit my time online and carefully select what I read.  It's so easy to distort and mask our lives, isn't it?  We can create illusions about ourselves, but it's harder to see past the illusions of others.  Why can't I have a life [or body, free time, wisdom, skills, etc.] like that?  God, why did you give me this story?  Why can't my life make that kind of impact?  These questions have a crazy way of going from my sub-conscious to my conscious and changing the way I view my life and my blessings.  Something tells me that I'm not the only one.

I don't want this space to leave you with that bad taste in your mouth.

The truth is, I value realness so much.  I love when people share the real stuff from their lives.  It's a breath of fresh air.  It gives me hope.

If you know me in real life you've already experienced my imperfections.  So to my online friends, lest you think my life is perfect (smile)...

I yell sometimes.  And [almost] always regret it.
I have spent way too much time wondering why God saw fit to bless with me with a double chin.
We still have an adoption loan. I know, quite shocking to admit in the Christian-adoption-world. God didn't bring every penny just when we needed it.  And though we value being debt free, there are some things we value more.
We've had our house on the market for many months.  No offers.  It's confusing as we look forward.
I have gone to the dentist once in the last 5 years.
I'm not at the weight I would like to be.
I love to read, but I struggle to put into practice what I learn.
I am a trained social worker.  My husband is a marriage and family therapist.  You would think therapeutic parenting would come somewhat naturally.  Uhmmm, no.  
Our pictures are on my computer.  Not printed.
I get so jealous of others' situations and accomplishments that sometimes I wonder if I should even try.
I was part of a non-profit that failed. big time.
I don't speak a second language.  I took German in high school.  I have no idea why.
Our file draw is a mess.  Completely my fault.
Our neighbor's house has garbage strewn around.
I have a spot in my dining room that has needed a rug.  For 5 years.
You don't know that I really struggle with parenting.  You don't see me in my blog yelling at my child, regretting it and apologizing.  And then doing it again in the same hour.
I am not an accomplished braider or hair-doer, but I enjoy trying.
I am not into fashion.  Sometimes I wish I was, especially when I want to look nice.
Sometimes I feel conflicted about my role as a pastor's wife.
I don't let my kids use my computer.  Yep.  None of them get computer time.
I am not a great Ethiopian cook.
Our food is not all organic.
Sometimes I dread 3:15.
My husband regularly picks up a lot of my slack even though I am home all day.
We don't own a new vehicle.  Or the very best car seats.
Sometimes I question what I am giving to society.
I don't have it all together or all figured out, but sometimes I want you to think that I do.
I rejoice in one breath with my kids and fear for their futures in the next.
Some of my greatest dreams are not yet realized.  And it grieves me that they might slip away.

But, I believe that I am blessed.  

And, I believe that I need to fully live my life whether or not it appears that someone else got a better lot and can do everything better than I can.  Whether or not my dreams are realized. Whether or not...   Because my life can't wait.  It has to be lived by me.  I am the only one that can be the mother to my children, the wife to my husband and who God wants me to be in this place, right now.

For sure there have been times that being vulnerable and open has kicked me back in the butt.  There are times I've shared things that I wish that I could go back and erase.  But, most often, opening myself up has resulted in others doing the same.  Authentic conversations happen and treasured friendships have been built.

"Everything is usually so masked or perfumed or disguised in the world, and it's so touching when you get to see something real and human...when people have seen you at your worst, you don't have to put on the mask as much.  And that gives us license to try on that radical hat of liberation, the hat of self-acceptance; we're allowed to escape from underneath one of the fatwas."  
                                                                              Anne LaMott, Traveling Mercies

(A fatwā (Arabic) in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. Thanks,Wiki.pedia)

Don't worry, this blog isn't about to become something that throws my family under the bus with each wrong turn, or where I complain about my life daily sharing my deepest, darkest secrets. I don't think that you, myself or my family is best served by that. But, I want you to know I'm real, flawed and ready to be with the real you in this space. There is much encouragement to be found as we open ourselves up and walk through both the good and the messy together.


  1. You are speaking my language! It feels as if it is getting harder and harder these days to be real. The world gives us so many easy ways to hide our true selves. But, I've been learning recently how I need to fight to show my scars and imperfections so that God can get all the glory! I mean, if He can use us girls with no printed pictures, He can use anyone. ;)

  2. So good!

    We should see if our readership would increase if we just started baring all our problems and deficiencies on a daily basis. Don't think I'm ready!

    1. My family could easily make a daily list for me, Jill.

  3. thank you for teaching me (and reminding me) that i am not the only one that fails. . . you inspire me to be brave, my dear friend~ (and yes, i do mean friend :)

  4. I wish you would have put numbers on all of those so I could tell you which things made me say, 'AMEN!' You and I might actually be related--or be the same exact person.
    As far as God bringing every penny--loans bring pennies too. I refinanced to adopt Andrew and although some would say that was a stupid thing to do and although it made my mortgage payments higher, it was just money and it was totally worth it. It put me on a path that I could NEVER have imagined for my life.

    1. Maybe we should check out 23 and me for ourselves, Ruthanne. :)
      You're right, totally worth every. single. penny.-even if it looks stupid to others.

    2. Did you see the hair picture I posted to your timeline?

  5. I love your heart and this post! You are living an amazing life and have had an impact on me:-) Days when I seem to most need a little encouragement I have a comment or email from you.

    I just started writing a comment, but it got way too long so maybe I'll make it into its own post...

    Suffice it to say, nowhere close to picture perfect here. We are like the non-pinteresty, debt-laden, one child, woman breadwinner, unemployed husband, still in school, sink full of dirty dishes, uber-stressed out step-child of the seemingly picture perfect adoptive family households we see on blogs...we are trying to simplify and be more disciplined, and take better care of ourselves (physically and spiritually) but it is hard and we take two steps forward and one step back.

    But you are right, this is my family and my life and is so worth every sacrifice sleepless night, and frustration. It really is. I want more for our family (more time together, more sleep, more clean clothes, more patience) but my heart is so full that I can't comprehend more love or more blessing (of course I would welcome it:-).

    1. Mama, your "non-pinteresty, debt-laden, one child, woman breadwinner, unemployed husband, still in school, sink full of dirty dishes, uber-stressed out step-child of the seemingly picture perfect adoptive family..." made me smile. So many of us could write very similar descriptions about our own lives, but I think fear of not being accepted is what really holds us back. Will people still like me when they know the real me? Why are we so driven by this?

  6. Your blog is one of my favorites and I have never felt like you are trying to show one side of things. I come back here because of the realness I see. Just so you know.

  7. Thanks for this! But....I always think your blog is so honest and encouraging. I am with you....I have very few blogs I read, I don't do FB or Pinterest. It just helps. Adoption blogs especially bug me. When my 7 year old has just wet her pants twice in one day and lied about it (hello?) I really don't want to read sparkly blogs about beautiful, perfect people who seem to have lots of money and time to create collages on their blog!! So thanks! Keep writing and being real!!

  8. So thankful for all of you other real people out there.