To be honest…

I had a post prepared about a hilarious outing we had last night…a comical attempt to free our deep freezer from the home that is for sale after *someone* bought too much meat at a BOGO sale to fit in the itty bitty teen tiny freezer in the kitchen of our current home.

But that post will have to wait.

There is this temptation on a blog (at least for me) to glaze over the uglier parts of life.  The aspects of our lives that aren’t going so well, our failures and struggles.  I usually try to be honest and authentic in this space but lately have found myself writing “fluff” in a desire to avoid writing about the deeper, sometimes uglier issues I need to write about.

Now please don’t think that writing funny stories about my kids and posting pictures of my dogs aren’t important to me– on the contrary, for sure.

But, when those are the majority of my posts- well, those of you  that have read my blog for any length of time know that is not congruent with the purpose of this blog.

I am struggling to figure out how to raise tweens and teens in this culture and society.

I am spending too much time on Twitter and Facebook to avoid writing the things God has called me to write.

I am bogged down in the heavy reality that bad things happen in this fallen world and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

Maybe it is being snowed in, maybe it is circumstance, maybe (or most likely) it is conviction.

Whatever it is, I am unwrapping the need to be honest and get back on my path.

Psalm 127:1 reminds us that:

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain (their work is useless)

My work here is feeling quite useless lately.  All I can ask is that you hang in there while I figure this blogging thing out (all over again)…

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  1. How I appreciate your honesty. You are not alone. I have found myself in that same struggle … yes, my life is really good and I am so thankful for the amazing blessings in it. But there is heartache, struggle, fear, doubt, anger … all of that is there too. I battle insecurity, jealousy, uncertainty and horrible self-talk … and for some reason, that “stuff” rarely finds its way into my writing. I know that even just writing about tough issues like submission and the truth about godly counsel can cause a loss in subscribers, page hits, and comments … learned that the last few weeks. But I know that God wants me to be more honest … to share more about how hard it is to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

    All that to say, wherever this road leads you, I'll still be hangin' around here. You bless me and I'm thankful for you!

    • Thank you Teri Lynne. I am giving up looking at my stats for Lent, no
      joke! Just going to write what I am supposed to..not what I think people
      will read. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. tammyifmeadowsspeak says:

    Suprisingly, we relate in honesty. Because all our lives our honestely flopping between the truthful fluff and the ugly truths. We have both. So fluff, laughter, and ugly is life. Thanks for sharing your honesty. Sometimes it can be scary to be honest, for me it'd be because rejection or judements lurk behind it. I too wanta be more honest. I hope we're able. Admitting is a step, right?

    • exactly…. “fluff, laughter and ugly is life”..I love that. Rejection
      probably more than anything for me but I guess I just need to remember there
      is only One whose opinion truly counts…thanks for your comment!

  3. I'm right there with you. Trying to muster up the courage to do what needs to be done.

  4. Honesty is what makes me want to read blog posts. I like to know I'm not the only one struggling with this or that. Everyone has their moments of struggle. They don't all look the same. But they can all make us feel the same. Praying your struggles will bring you to peace in Him.

  5. realifebrianna says:

    I so know what you mean. In fact, I was just thinking yesterday about the “God's the only One Who can truly build my house” thing. Maybe your honesty right here and humility is a huge part of the restructuring He's doing for your blog. That's totally where He starts … everytime. Thank you for being honest.

  6. amymomstoolbox says:

    Hang in there and I'll be praying for you.
    And then don't be afraid to be honest with yourself and your readers.
    Wouldn't you rather be authentic and save just a handful of lives for eternity over just writing to grow and not making a true impact? Yes, you can make a HUGE impact with fluff. But you can also make a meaningful impact with truth, too.
    Pray for the right mix and aim for authenticity. You're an amazing lady. And God's got his arms wrapped around you. 🙂
    We'll be here for you when you are ready. And I'll be cheering you on in the process.

  7. I think I have found the best way to get inspiration for my blog is to get away from it…just for a couple days and then I remember why I began.
    ps I love honesty…great post.

  8. DancerKerry says:

    For sure, I (and I think the vast majority of readers) appreciate the truth, both the joyful and the struggles.

    Writing about the challenges of tweens and teens–whew, definitely a challenge. We had three very rough years with our oldest, and some people were judgmental about how we worked with him. But, we made it clear to him every day that he is loved, and that we don't like the choices he was making, and that he is very capable of doing much more–and today he is truly a delight. If I were blogging about this, it would be very controversial, because many people felt we should be able to “control” him or try harder; we knew he had to exercise his God-given “free will” to make good decisions, and we worked to maintain a loving relationship. Love succeeded.

    • exactly! The blogosphere is so full of strong opinions about how to handle
      certain issues when I just feel the need to share how this is affecting me
      as a mom without being judged or engaging in debate. Thank you for
      understanding and giving voice to that!

  9. Melissa,
    Thank you for your honesty. Life is filled with distractions constantly calling us away from where God is directing our path. I speak from experience being swept away by that wind on a daily basis. I hope your able to find the balance your seeking. I know that God is waiting for us both to show up where he needs us to be. I pray you find your way…Blessings and Grace…

  10. Wow. Figuring it out is hard sometimes, isn't it? It's easier to use blogging and Facebook and all the rest as a way to avoid rather than as a way to fulfill. Kudos to you for taking a deeper look!!

  11. I totally know what you mean! My kids are still preschool age, but I sometimes feel like people don't want to deal with the realities of what I'm going through and that I should be posting lighter stuff. Not to say that you shouldn't have those lighter moments, but I guess what I mean is that we need to find balance. Thank you for being so genuine and honest and for your encouraging comment on my blog! I look forward to reading more that you have to say here…

  12. I admire your honesty and your ability to recognize exactly what it is that really is tugging at you. I know that feeling of mental crud building up in the brain from too much facebook and twitter, too. (In fact, I wrote about it once. Not sure if it would be of help to you or not. You can find it with a 'mental crud' search on my blog.;) )

    I can't imagine the challenge of raising teenagers right now. My guys are little, but already I think about how on earth we'll handle certain things that are tween/teen issues. *sigh* Good luck to you. I hope you find the clarity you're looking for.


  13. I can identify! I seem to continually be evaluating my blog, making sure I'm being true to myself in my writing while balancing (hopefully) ministering to others and a realistic portrayal of who I am.

  14. Melissa, you know what I like most about this post? How you decided to be real even though it's easier to write the fun post. I didn't blog last week at all because I was avoiding writing things. Thanks for sharing where you're at; it's actually quite comforting to know that I'm not alone in my search to figure things out. Be praying for you!

  15. heidileonard says:

    Thanks for sharing your process with us! I, too, have had to take time (this past summer) to really step back and re-evaluate my priorities. Then I considered if how I was spending my time was reflecting that – Let's just say I had an 'ouch!' moment, but I am thankful for it. Since then I've been really trying to make strides in making the BEST use of my time since we only have so much.

    I have a friend that gave up Facebook last year for lent??? It starts tomorrow…

  16. Amen to that! Good to hear a genuine voice! I've been thinking the same thing too.. how real do we want to get here? It definitely takes courage!

  17. Melissa. Thanks for your honesty. Thanks for your commitment to be intentional. Asking God to lead you and work through you and then do the best you can do…that's all that can be asked. Don't ever feel useless…cause you never know what post, whether silly or serious will be exactly what someone needed.

    keep pressing on!!

  18. 7ClownCircus says:

    good luck on your path. I know you'll do a great job.

  19. DancerKerry says:

    Loved your Tuesday blog. Totally from the heart. And it sure matches up with my experiences, so I'm sure others too. I tried to comment but that feature didn't seem to work. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Ok, that 2nd one slapped me in the face. Time for me to get honest too – I have been spending too much time on Twitter and avoiding the stuff I need to be doing. Thanks for the honesty.

  21. what a great post. it's so easy to talk about the easy stuff… glad you are willing to be transparent! i know it will/does bring much glory to the Lord. thank you so much for sharing part of your story with me and telling me that you've shared some similar pains that i have. it really meant the world to me! thank goodness our God turns our mourning/despair into joy and dancing!!!

  22. I just fumbled onto this blog from the mom's toolbox blog. I love the honesty you have shared in this post! I recently deactivated my Facebook account. I've never wondered onto Twitter, Facebook was addicting enough for me. I too was feeling like I was spending WAY too much time on the internet trying to “connect” with other people and it was causing me to disconnect with God in the process. I also found that my family suffered because of this as well. I have to admit, almost everyday I want to log on and see what's going on, but to be quite honest I was so unimpressed with the things I was reading on there that I found the people I had befriended were really disappointing me. I think all this “reconnecting” with people has caused us all to “disconnect” with people more. We are no longer talking about the important things in our lives as much as we are just reading how people feel at the moment and wasting our time scrolling through all the gossip!
    As far as the raising tweens part…I feel for ya! My children are still small. 3 and 4 1/2 and one due in a few weeks. We have chosen to be a homeschooling family and have started this year with preschool with the first two. This decision was made because we wanted to be the primary role models for our children, not society and the children they go to school with. We want to raise them in a Christian home and away from all the junk that so many other kids have these days. I just don't know how parents are going to do it in a public school setting. Part of me is excited to homeschool my kids until the Lord tells me they need to go to school (if he ever does) and the other part of me is terrified! I had never planned to homeschool, EVER, and was honestly looking forward to a little break when all my kids were enrolled in school. Now the thought of being with them all the time is daunting, but the Lord has shown us that it is the way for our family if we want to remain Christ centered.
    It's going to be a lot of work to keep the focus for our family on Christ, but it can be done. With all the new technology, tv's in bedrooms, video games, cell phones, computers, iPod's, DVD players in cars all the “great” new things out there that are supposed to make our lives easier, I believe they are all traps by the enemy himself to steal the attention of our families away from what God originally intended a family to share, and that's each other.
    I would encourage you to really think hard about the things you allow into your house, it seems like the more things there are the less of your children you see.

    • so, so true Shannon! While technology certainly has benefits it really has
      changed the shape of the typical American family, especially the children.
      Saying prayers for your next delivery and so glad you found my blog =)

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