Saturday, March 22, 2008

Will the real me please stand up?

Last week I went to a mom's meeting organized by our homeschool group. This is a laid back discussion time in someone's home. I rarely attend these meetings because they are either held in the daytime during naps or in the evenings when I am scheduled to work or need to be home that night.

I had a rare opportunity to attend the meeting and jumped at it. The topic was "being real". This has been on my mind. I had recently broken out in hives after hearing what "works for other homeschool families" in regards to curriculum. I have a tendency to compare myself to others probably to a fault. This turns into wanting to represent myself to others in the best light possible in order that I or my home or my marriage or my children or my homeschool or my faith will somehow measure up. What does this accomplish? It probably makes the other person break out in hives and begin comparing themselves as well. So needless to say this was a timely topic for me.

People, usually strangers, often approach me. "How do you do it?" "You must be the most patient person in the world." "You're children are ALWAYS well behaved." "I don't know how you do it ALL!" "I'd love to be a fly on the wall at your house." "You must be really organized."

I don't know what the proper response should be. I want to be real. I want to bring honor to God, my sustainer. I want to proclaim His goodness and grace toward me. I want to encourage them by my responses. I want to be one who does not complain because life gets hard.

I want to be real. I want to let them know that my house is not clean. I want them to know that if they were a fly on the wall that they would be safe because in my disorganization I can never find the fly swatter. I want them to realize that I'm struggling with the same insecurities that I've had for years. I want them to know I sometimes disappoint my husband and children and they disappoint me.

Blogging is a funny thing to me. It's my world edited by me. What gets better than that? You get to read my best thoughts and see the prettiest pictures. If I change my mind, I can edit it or delete it into the unknown.

Though blogging has become one of my favorite pastimes and I don't plan to stop anytime soon, I walked away from that meeting being thankful for flesh and bone, like-minded women with whom to share and the inspiration that comes from another's wise words. I am blessed by those who enter my disorganized, noisy home to spend time with my family. It is comforting to know that there are people who know the real me and choose to call me friend.

All this to say, those of you who know me in real life, thanks for letting me be ME. And for those of you who know me through my blogging life, thanks for continuing to visit. I pray that this is a place of blessing for you and not comparison.


Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I think people are drawn to you and drawn to your blog because you ARE real. Your children ARE well-behaved and you ARE the most patient person I know. Yet you also show us your dirty laundry. (Literally.) You're an incredible mom, an incredible friend. You've grown more beautiful and more incredible over the years. I love you so!

Saralyn said...

Blessings on thee, blogging buddy! My house is also well lived-in, my children and I both have our moments of which we should be ashamed, and I will be the first to say that at almost 40 years of age I don't know who I really am except redeemed by outrageous mercy. May we live each day extending the grace we've been given, right?

Sarah said...

One of the thngs that I like the most about your blog is that it always feels real. I think that you are pretty amazing (the fact that you have been pregnant so many times knocks my socks off :)but it's encouraging. Thanks for sharing pieces of your life.

Sniz said...

I know you both in real life and through blogging. What I see the most is your patience and love for your family through everything. Your first priority is God and your second is family. I strive to be that way too and in this world where people who don't live for themselves first are becoming a dwindling group, that is a rarity that people are drawn too. You ARE real, my friend. I see you both ways...there doesn't seem to be a difference like you're talking about between blogging and real life, although I do understand that of course you edit and can get rid of stuff you don't think paints a good picture. I'm the same way, but we all have darkness and sinful thoughts inside us sometimes...I have deleted posts that I thought were too "real" and too dark and depressing. But truthfully, I don't want that to be what my life is about, I don't want to dwell on those times, you know?

Heather L. said...

Thanks for your entry, Monica. I think this is something a lot of us struggle with. I often wonder about my blogging too -- are people able to see the real me? Or do they think we dance about our day making cute crafts. Ha Ha Ha! It does take time and real interaction for people to get to know the real "us".

eally said...

I really enjoy reading your blog! My best friend and I lead a monthly group called "Transformation Thursday" where we invite women to come join us for pot-luck fellowship meal, someone's testimony (gettin' real time), a short devotion, and then prayer time...this is all based on Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." On the door we tape a sign "All MASKS must be removed upon entering - come in and be Transformed!"
These monthly meetings have been wonderful for helping others realize that we are all human, we all sin, we all struggle with the same issues and we should all support and love one another through these struggles, hurts and issues.

Anonymous said...

Love this very "REAL" post. I think it is so easy to feel like we have to precieve to be something others assume we are. I have a issue with it. But all I want to do is be REAL like you, too!

Michelle said...

I'm glad you came over the other night, Monica. It was great being real with you! God has given you such a tenderness and love for others. I hope you're able to catch the next one, too!

mindi said...

I agree, you are real. That is why it's nice to read your blog, but I'm also amazed at how together you seem to be :) I'm getting there, slowly but surely, I'm getting there!!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Oh, I am catching up on your blog and loving your posts! This spoke to me as I have thought about posting on it as well.

My blog is a heritage for my kids, and while I want to be "real", there is so much that is better NOT to record. Afterall, I want it to build them up and our family up, not tear it down with mommy's constant "whining or complaining".

I think it is the emails behind the blog that have let me "enter" someone's life more realistically. (at times even phone calls at this point)

Don't get me wrong, I have blogged a complaint or so. I want my kids to know that it was hard. But, I want it to be filled with our memories, etc.

Anyway - lots of babble to say, "I hear ya!" It is nice to have those people around me who embrace me "as I am" too!

Kevin & Amy said...

Great post. The best thing I could ask for in a friend is that she allow me to see her for who she is, flaws and everything, and that she love me for who I am too. It's only when we live life sincerely that we can experience its deepest riches. What is good about facade-only relationships? Nothing! This has been something I've been thinking about a lot lately.