Friday, August 9, 2013

Me. Being Real.

Oh, you wanted to know my thoughts on the unintentional shaking of the hive that dear sweet Hallie started?  No?  Oh, well then.  I suppose you may want to click away.  I have shared about this topic before, after all.  I have had so many thoughts that have been weighing me down the past few days that I haven't quite been able to put anything into words so here's your warning that this post will be messy and wordy and maybe might not make any bit of sense to you.  But I need to write and I need to get this stuff out of my heart and head so the chatter that's driving me crazy can stop.  

I would be quite pleased if we could please let go of this skewed definition of real.  There's this idea that real life or "being real" is only ugly and messy and chaotic and in order to prove how "real" you are to the world you must spew it all out there on the internet for everyone to see.  Can we see what the implication of that is?  That if you don't do those things, well then, you, my dear, are not "being real." Is that really the only way that we know a person is genuine and has struggles?  Do we want to be people that demand to know everyone's crosses lest we dismiss them as artificial even going so far as to accuse them of being deceptive?  Please let us not want to be that.  We want to be people that assume the best about the person on the other side of the screen.  I hope.  We want to be people who know that everyone - EVERYONE - has a cross and we want to be people that know that we don't have an implicit right to know another person's struggles.  Trust me, I get it.  There are times that I think we ALL come away from reading something online and feel not enough, inadequate, or just plain jealous.  I've learned, though, that when that happens, the problem is usually me and not with the writer.  Here's another thing I think would be quite lovely: If we could be women that celebrated other's successes and gifts instead of ripping them apart because of our own insecurity.  If we could build up those who are struggling and encourage them.  I get that people need to know they are not alone in their struggles. That is valid and it is human but for the love of God, can we not tear down those who are simply trying to focus on the beauty in their lives?  Perhaps, just perhaps, she is not crafting AT you, or birthing AT you, or throwing that elaborate birthday party AT you, or keeping a clean home AT you.  Perhaps that's just her and she's committing the bravest act of all in being vulnerable, despite this current trend of belittling those who are doing something well.  You don't have to want this person to be your best friend and you don't have to even want to read her blog.  But you DO have to be charitable.  Even in comment sections.

Real.
As Christians, shouldn't our view of reality, what is real, be a little, well, different?

Question:
What is more real, the Crucifixion or the Resurrection?
The Fall or the Redemption?
What is more real, the fact that my child threw a tantrum and spilled the container of rice allll over the floor or the fact that this little human is a blessing from God that I neither merited or deserved and who has a lopsided grin and the sweetest four year old lisp both of which I want to impress upon my heart and remember forever?

Answer:  Both.

Here's my "real" for you:  I focus on the cross, the Fall, and the tantrum.  Always.  It's part of my temperament and it's something I struggle with daily.  I want to be different.  I want to see the beauty, to feel the joy, to appreciate the gifts.  It is quite often an act of the will for me to do this.  I once commented to my husband that when I go outside on this beautiful land He's given us, sometimes all I can see are the weeds.  And I was completely serious.  It's embarrassing to admit that because it shows you what a spoiled brat I can be but it's true.  This little blog here is where I try (desperately at times) to stretch myself beyond that.  To see the blessings and capture the beauty.  I need to.  And sometimes it's just to laugh at how ridiculous I am sometimes.

This season of life is hard.  Marriage and motherhood are hard.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't wonder if I somehow chose the wrong vocation and surely this can't be the life that I was supposed to be living.  There are nights the tears flow because I'm fairly certain there is no possible way I could get any worse at this whole thing.  There is a cross in my life that is bigger than anything I thought I would ever have to bear and yet it's there.  There are times I fail ten, fifteen, twenty times a day at being the wife and mother I so want to be.  And that's where the Evil One makes a playground of my mind.  Don't for second doubt that he isn't involved with all of this.  I let myself forget how much he hates motherhood.  He works in his sneaky devil ways and tries to convince me that the weeds are more real than the beauty.  That the tantrums are more real than the smiles.  
His is a constant whisper in my ear that the Fall is greater than the Redemption, the Cross more powerful than the Resurrection.  
And if I believe that, I will be swallowed alive.

And so I blog.  I blog to see the beauty.  I blog to remember.  I blog to prove that son of a bitch a liar.  Sometimes I just blog for a little escape from it all and to just have fun and that's okay, too.  I blog because it helps me see the truth, the greater reality that I am blessed and this life He has given me is so beautiful, crosses and all.  I blog to think.  I blog to share. 

I have little doubt that there are those who stumbled upon this place somehow and clicked away either because of the syrupy name (which, fyi, is a little hat tip to that whole beauty of the cross thing...sort of a "life can suck but look what we can do with that") or perhaps because the top post had too many happy children photos for them.  (I delete or just don't take photos of moments I don't want to remember.  You know that, right?)  That makes me a bit sad but I get it.  No one can please everyone.

I am certainly not infallible (ha!) and I am totally that person who gets trapped into thinking that my way is best.  I know that and I try to temper that.  Dang melancholic choleric INTJ and all.  Maybe I don't do a great job of that all the time in my writing.  I never have and probably never will be able to turn a phrase quite like a Cari or a Ginny or a Simcha.  I have no illusions about that.  I wish I could express my thoughts the way that they do.  But still this is my humble little internet home here and I'll hope that those who come to visit will assume the best about me even when my writing lacks.  I sincerely apologize if any of my posts have been hurtful to you.  I have opinions and strongly held ones at that, but I think I can sincerely say that I don't judge those who disagree or who choose differently (though I admit that I'm not even sure I know what that word means anymore.  Here's how I mean it:  I don't think you're evil or a horrible mother for making different choices than me.  I always try to assume the best.).  My opinions are part of who I am and part of what I want to share here.  I don't want to slide into the trap I see of never believing anything about anything in the hopes of never offending or the other trap of deriding anyone as sanctimonious simply because they dare to have an opinion.  I don't like the trend I've noticed among some bloggers of painting all choices as equal.  I think we're better than that and I think we can have respectful and intelligent conversations without being pulled into the game of who's offending who.  I enjoy talking about those topics and discussing them and crazy me thinks we can even disagree charitably.  But I'll still try to convince you I'm right ;)  (That lawyer thing I wanted to do years ago?  I would've made a good one.) 

There are times I've thought about compartmentalizing this blog and focusing on just one broad topic.  But then I realize I can't do that.  It would it make me crazy to have to limit myself to just one thing.  This place is me.  And so it shall be.  I'll post things that make you smile, links that no one but me cares about, deep thoughts swirling around my head, weird things that I think are funny.  I'll post homeschooling thoughts, invitations to prayer, birth stories, memories I want to capture, pictures of my kids being cute, recipes, and pictures of our projects.  I'll post things that are "too pretty", things that may bother you, things that may challenge you, maybe even posts that make you mad.  Or maybe I'll just ramble on and on in my own special way of navel-gazing that makes you just shake your head like you're probably doing right now.

And that'll be me.  Being real.





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24 comments:

  1. <3 I like you being real. However that looks.

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  2. I hope you had a nice cold one after you posted this, har har...but I can see why you're worked up. I think you make a very fine and valid point about "being real". In fact, I have been thinking about this alot lately.
    You shouldn't feel guilty for posting the beautiful moments in your life, and you shouldn't be made to feel guilty either. Sometimes we really do feel inadequate when looking into another person's life, and your beautiful white laundry hanging on the line is sure receive that kind of reaction. And that's not a euphemism for anything - I mean, sometimes I have looked at your damn laundry line and felt straight up envious, and then felt a powerful desire to do laundry. But then I don't do it because my basement is ugly. But that's not because of YOU, that's something in ME, as you said.
    Some great points here. Good stuff to mull over.
    Now go have that beer:)

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    1. I'm not sure whether to feel mocked or validated by this ;) And, ohmygoodness, my basement can out-ugly yours any day. Guaranteed.

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    2. Feel validated!!
      I'm really not mocking you at all, I mean it. It's all true.
      And yes, I seriously like your laundry set up! haha. I'm a weirdo, ok?
      It's called Laundry Envy.
      Simcha Fisher made some really great points about this topic the other day as well. And that "at you" post that recently made the rounds...that was so awesome.
      xo

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  3. Mary you are an AMAZING woman!!! Please know you are loved and admired by many:) keep blogging you inspire me

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  4. Mary
    Well said{{{}} And I'm so pleased to have discovered your blog recently, I'm really enjoying getting to know you:)
    Well unusually for me I waded in a little on this whole 'dust up' and just wrote a comment on my 7 quick too.

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    1. Ah, you wrote in a few sentences what took me paragraphs :) Thank you so much for reading!

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  5. Well said...and while I do sometimes feel jealous of other bloggers, I do realize that it's me, not them..and that blogging is always an illusion. All bloggers choose what to write about and what not...as much as we like to think that we know everything about someone from their blog, we definitely don't.

    And, I love your thoughts on being real...because the good moments and the beauty is just as real as the bad and the chaos.

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  6. "Brava! Brava!" a million times over! Thank you for writing this! No one else needs to weigh in on this topic, because you've totally got it covered. (Ok, everyone else? Just stop.) ps, I can hardly believe you did it, but I love that you wrote "son of a bitch" :)

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    1. That was my favorite part lol...that says an awful lot about me ;)

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    2. I got a little, um, riled up. But at least it was about the devil so there's that.

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  7. Ooh I thought you were having natural births with pulsating cords in your white house AT me.

    ;-)

    This whole argument going around is so silly, I think us mom bloggers need to get some lives so we can live and let live. I live coming here to read your posts and if I didn't, I wouldn't come. Simple as that.

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    1. First, is it just me or is the word pulsating really troubling? Second, I agree...for some reason it's getting to me this time. I think when I see the ugliness in comment posts I just can't let that slide as some sort of alternative Catholic expression, you know? No, that's not just valid diversity and someone's unique way of expressing themselves, it's just plain mean and it doesn't belong in a Catholic combox. If a combox could be Catholic. You know what I mean....

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  8. I have never commented here but I read your blog. I enjoy your blog. I too am a INTJ; reading your blog has shown me a way to struggle with joy in the moments. So, thank you.

    It seems to me like people forget they don't have to read every post or click on every link or respond to every comment. I blog quite sporadically but I like to have a small corner for myself. I don't think I have readers. But it allows me to exercise joy.

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    1. Thank you so much for saying that, Ashley Sue! It means a lot. Really a lot.

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  9. Thank you for spewing that out. :) I think you are right that Satan is in the midst of all of this. I often think about how different the world is today. Before the internet, when you were having a bad day and struggling with the demands of motherhood, you didn't have the option of hoping online and seeing how everyone else is living out their lives. Satan definatly knows how to use this to play with our vulnerabilites. Oh, and how vulnerable we are sometimes! Thanks for taking the time to write this Mary. (I can imagine that this post took some time to write seeing that I just deleted at least 10 other sentences because they just didn't sound right :) )

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    1. I know, I can't stand how I (and we all) always forget that he's out there. He's so stinkin' clever. Naming it takes so much of the power away if you can get past feeling like you sound all conspiracy-like. Which is another way he works. Ugh.

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  10. I have been following your blog for a while (and I think this is my first comment!) and I just want to say that I appreciate this post. :) It's always a good reminder that what we see/read on the interwebs is only HALF or maybe a QUARTER of a person's life. I mean, hellooooo? Even still, it is hard to read some posts and feel less than. But, you make a great point!

    And for what it's worth. I find your little bit of life you share SO inspiring. Still being single, I do hope that I can achieve my on version of your life. Not yours, obviously. But your genuine love of life, God and beauty. It's evident to me, and I really appreciate it!

    So many blessings to you!

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    1. Aw, Nej, thank you. Those are really kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to write and for following along! I never would've thought I had single readers and I think that's really cool. Part of me wishes that this Catholic blogosphere had been around when i was single...it could've been a huge support and a help in preparing for this vocation. (Then again, there would've been a lot of drawbacks to that, too. Like um, this whole drama that I just yammered on about :) God bless!

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  11. Mary, Mary, Mary. Thank you for writing this. I've stayed far away from this kerfuffle, but I had to laugh about the doing things "AT" someone else litany. I've often felt, that in making choices that are outside the mainstream, some people feel exactly that way about me. As if somehow my choices are an inherent judgement upon their (different) choices. Nothing could be further from the truth, but people don't really believe it.

    And even though I've stayed away, that S.O.B. Evil One sure has been playing with my head lately, and a lot of it is focused on my blogging and whether I'm good enough or smart enough or witty enough to belong to some grown up version of the cool club. Short answer: no. Longer answer: God is giving me a chance to overcome some major pride issues. I can accept the challenge and grow in faith with him, or I can succumb to my weaknesses and become childish and churlish. Pray for me that I make the right decision, and continue to affirm it.

    You rock, Mary.

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    1. I get it, Micaela, so so much. I'll definitely pray for you! Pray for me, too :)

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  12. This is my first visit to your blog and I just wanted to say thank you for being YOU! There are so many statements in this post that had my inside voice saying "YES! That!" which is always fun to find in another post.

    It's interesting and beautiful how us women seek each other out. We seek out the support and encouragement. Friendships and community. The good and the bad so we can know that we aren't so alone. Community and culture just aren't what they used to be and the internet provides for a neat little meeting place. The internet, and blogging for that matter, are all still pretty new, we're all just trying to figure it out together. At the end of the day, what's lovely and exciting is that there are many pieces of encouragement, love, and witness spread throughout the web by some really amazing women. Yours is definitely one of those places! So, thank you and nice to meet you web-style :)

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    1. Nice to meet you, too, Amanda! Thank you so much for reading and you are so right, we're all still trying to figure this thing out so there's bound to be some growing pains, right? Good to remember that!

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