Getting real

I have a few things to get off my chest friends, so please either stay with me for the next few minutes, or flee for your lives now, you will get no further warning that this.

I love my family, I love Chris and Inara both more than words, and we have great parents that support us in most every way that they can while living such a distance away.  We have made and keep AMAZING friends here in San Antonio who have been a support system that I will never be able to either adiquitly describe or give thanks for.  I’m not going to lie and say that in our six years of marriage mine and Chris’ life has been practically perfect in every way – too many of you know us and have helped us through so many of the really low and hard parts along the way for me to say that.  We’ve seen the difficult lose of our precious son almost four years ago, while still practically newlyweds, and then just last month the lose of another baby that we had yet to even really get to know but had already started to love at only two months into our pregnancy.  We have delt with postpartum depression on my part after Inara was born, and continue to miss the closeness of our family despite having adjusted to living so far away for so long now.  Not to mention the “normal” struggles of figuring out life as grow-ups, being responsible for our selves, each other, and now an amazing little girl that every day life as a married couple brings with it.

Through all of this we have made some amazing friends that have helped carry us through it all, some of those friendships are true and deep, while others have faded with time, and still others remain an amazing blessing despite being separated physically from each other now.  To all of our friends, and our family as well, I honestly want to say thank you – thank you for so much love that you have poured out on us, thank you for offering a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on, an uplifting of prayer or an encouraging conversation.  Thank you for keeping us accountable when things go crazy, and more than anything else, thank you for just being there when we needed you – no matter the time or the place or even if we asked or not.  It is because of all of you that we have managed to hold it together and stay the course, without you all, I don’t even want to think about how our lives would be vastly different today.

It is because of all of this, that I want to also apologize.  I want to sincerely say that I am sorry.  Sorry for not trusting you more deeply, sorry for not having the faith in you that I know I should have had all along.  Sorry for not being “real”, but hiding behind my words and blocking out the bonds that have been forged.  I want to make a promise to you all today, but I want you to know that I’m going to need help in keeping it.

Are you ready?

Here it is:

I’m going to be real

I’m not going to hide

I’m not going to pretend

I’m not going to gloss anything over

I’m going to work on finding the balance

For the past 10 months or so, I’ve been seeing an amazing Christian Counselor who has helped me to realize, over come, and rebuild in many many areas of my life.  One of the biggest things that she and I have talked, and continue to talk and work on, is my perception of myself and making unfair comparisons to others.  Especially as a mother and a wife.  I compare myself to friend, family, even fictional characters, and deem myself as a “bad mom” or that I’m “failing” or just that I suck at my job.  I’ve come to realize, that part of these comparisons are unfair, not only because of how I paint the pictures in my head, but because of how we all have a tendency to pretty ourselves up for others.  We all want our lives to look as if we’ve got it all figured out and put together, even if that’s as far from the truth as the moon is from the sun.  I’ve realized that on here, in my little blog world, I do the same thing.  I put up cute pictures of Inara, or our family, and I say all the great things we have done or are planning to do.  But next to never do I post at all if things aren’t “picture perfect” if my house is a mess (which it almost always is) and life is chaotic (again, that’s most every day) or if I feel that my parenting is less then that of my friends abilities or whatever.  Not only do I just gloss it over, I just stop talking all together.

Well, my friends, I’ve realized something else, when I gloss things over and only show the pretty parts of life, not only am I not fooling myself, but I’m actually hurting others.  Because we as women are always going to compare ourselves to other women, it’s just part of who we are and how we’re wired.  So when I cover up the bad and only post the good, I’m setting others of you up for unfair comparisons of your own as well.  Not to mention, that when the going gets tough I have a harder time trying to explain it all to a friend because it seems like it’s coming out of no where even though its been building up for a while, because I’ve chosen to gloss over the issue in our public life.

So my friends, this is my new promise to you – I’m going to be more real and try not to make our lifes look like a Rockwell painting – because it most certainly isn’t.  So, you’ll start to see posts on the bad days and the good. I’ll start to talk about the struggles and not just the awesome trip to the zoo or whatever.  I’m going to try and be more open and vulnerable about my life and my struggles, and I hope that you’ll try and do the same so that we aren’t all playing Stepford wives because we think the other moms/wives have it all together – because maybe if we allowed just a glimpse of the real into our make believe, we would all start to feel the pressures a little less and be willing to be a bit more open with each other instead, so that we can really go about the business of building one another up in the ways that God intended for us.

Someone said to me, about a year ago, that I needed to be more candid in what I “put out there” because of the rolls I have in our church.  That I needed to censor a bit more what social media and the internet carried of my words.  And so for the past year, I’ve tried to make everything look tidy – but I have realized very recently, that by doing this, I feel I’m actually doing more of an injustice to my position.  By only putting out the happy, my life is perfect, signals, I’m preaching a gospel of prosperity and serenity, but the fact is that Jesus promised us trials, tribulation, suffering, and ridicule.  If I portray my life as outstanding, I’m doing a disservice to my sisters in Christ and am giving a false witness as well.  The truth is that my life is far from perfect, there are days I don’t want to get out of bed, let alone get dressed, screw my smile in place, and go to bible study or whatever.  Which is what I’ve felt I had to do for the past year, so that other moms didn’t see a struggle because we need to be welcoming and – for lack of a better word – shinny.  I’m sorry, but I think that we would all feel much more welcomed into a place where we don’t feel like the only one who can’t get her laundry done and ends up getting McDonalds for dinner because too much happens that day to cook a four course meal.  My daughter acts out, we have discipline issues, my house is in a state of upheaval and far exceeds the title of “untidy” 90% of the time, I spend far too much time on the computer, and most days don’t enjoy spending most of my time playing cutesy games with my kid, nor do I feel it’s my job as a parent to occupy my child’s attention 100% of the time.  I miss my job, and wish that I could work outside of the home more often than not.  I feel that I’m losing my own identity and my knowledge of “adult things” fades a bit more each day.  I have to fight with myself constantly to finish the tasks I feel I “need to do” before I do what I want to do – and I usually lose that battle and end up doing nothing instead, which neither makes me happy and satisfied, or helps my house run more smoothly or my husband not get frustrated at the level of unkemptness that is a constant barrier in our home.

This is the real me, and this is my life – take it of leave it.

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7 thoughts on “Getting real

  1. This my friend was amazing. I found inspiration in what you wrote about. I felt teary eyed for God only knows what reason but I enjoyed reading this. Not that I’ve gone through some of the things you have, I felt at ease when you said the house not being tidy 90% of the time or eating mcdonalds for dinner. I feel like I’m on this boat at times too. Thank you for sharing this and I look forward to reading more!:)

  2. I love you Courtney for you. What an amazing post. Thanks for being real, for showing your flaws. We all need to get ok with showing our flaws. Besides, I think it is a greater witness to outsiders because they see Christians as more accessible. When I was in a small group were no one shared their troubles, that group made me feel horrible. Anyways, I’m here for you, the real Courtney=)

  3. “….cause we as women are always going to compare ourselves to other women, it’s just part of who we are and how we’re wired.”

    Men do this too! As well as husbands do it to wives and wives do it to husbands. This is pride, the ultimate downfall of man, which all of us struggle with.

    Good post.

  4. how very real and grown up of you! i’m proud of you and love you. you have accomplished much in your life and in this post. and no matter what the voices in your head say (and as i remember in high school some of it wasn’t very positive or nice) listen to the voice in your heart – and the voice of your mother! you are an awesome kid (warts and all) and an incredible mom. toghether you and Chris are doing a terriffic job with Inara. after watching you with her for three weeks i’m impressed by her and by her parents.

    who cares if your house isn’t tidy, as long as you are healthy it doesn’t matter. your clothes may live in the laundry basket but at least they are clean – no wait that was my house!

    but anyway, you go girl and always remember that God didn’t promise you a rose garden with out thorns, it won’t and isn’t always easy but He will always find a way to get you through it.

    love you Sunshine
    M

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