Funny, as I typed in the above title I misspelled “Real” as “Read”. That could be a whole other post – the books I’ve read that guided me, encouraged me, challenged me, or just let me veg in another person’s (character’s) world. Having just wrapped up the Harry Potter series with my 10-year-old daughter, I can say that I love living in Harry’s world and love returning to it through my kids. (Who am I kidding… my reading it with The Bean was my fifth or sixth time through the series and I’m on my sixth or seventh trip through now with The Boy, age 6, as we’re halfway through Chamber of Secrets.)
BUT… that’s a post for another time. Today, let’s get real.
The thought of being real has really struck me this week. A friend, who attends Two Rivers Church in New Bern, NC has been posting a picture of herself immediately after waking up up all this week. It was a challenge from their preacher this past Sunday to post a photo of oneself (quoting her post on FB this morning) “All laid bare. No makeup. No staging. No fixed hair. No filters.” Are you brave enough to participate in such a challenge? Am I?
On Monday I started #TheLittleWay Challenge. Already, on Friday, I’m failing. I missed Day 1 all together and made it up on Day 2 while participating in Day 2. However, I haven’t gotten a single physical work out in! I have upped my water take (some, but not enough to pee too often, so obviously failing at that) and I’ve tried to choose better things to eat (but I’ll admit that the family discovered my stash of reese’s cups miniatures and peanut butter m&ms and I restocked my jar with reese’s eggs last night).
On Monday, the Bible Study group I’ve barely attended for nearly a YEAR (say what?) started Beth Moore’s David study and I met our leader on Tuesday to get the book and still haven’t done a single day’s homework. Every time I sit down to do it I get interrupted by a little one. I used to get up at 5 AM and haven’t been able to get up when the alarm went off. A year ago, I was the substitute if the leader couldn’t be there.
A year ago, I was less than a month away from turning 40, which I celebrated with a 5K Run with a couple friends (and a cool El Patron party hosted by my brother & husband). I ran my first 10K in March 2018 and then fell completely off the running wagon shortly after. I haven’t donned running clothes in over 6 months and, while I miss it, I cannot get up with the alarm to go meet the best running gals a girl could ask for. They’ve left me in their dust, moving on to a half and (I’ve heard rumor of) a full marathon run this year. I’m already signed up for the same 10K and desperately need to start training, but just cannot seem to get up. The best solution is to run WITH my kids after they get off the bus… but I’ve only done that one day and then failed at that.
Now, before you go jumping on me for getting down on myself – I promise, I’m not wallowing. And, no, I can’t push off any of these areas of letting myself down on losing my daddy to cancer in November. I’d started slacking off long before his brain cancer diagnosis on 8/4 and his passing on 11/5.
I’m just in a slump of epic proportions and can’t seem to pull myself out of it.
AND. THAT’S. OKAY. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s the whole reason I named this blog what I did – Ministering Through My Mess. Because life is messy and being a Christian doesn’t make it less so. I fail and Jesus picks me up, dusts me off, and sets me back on the path.
I shared this image on Facebook & Instagram this morning…
It had been posted by Jennifer Dukes Lee from her book, It’s All Under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible.
I ordered the Kindle version of the book and can’t wait to read it after I finish the book I’m currently on.
How many times do we ask for God to lead us, but refuse to follow?
How many times does my 4:15 alarm (running) have to go off or my 5:15 alarm (Bible Study) have to chime before I stop hitting ignore and get my rear end out of bed?
I don’t know that answer yet… but maybe posting this confession here will help with my motivation.
In an effort to live out my #OneWord2019 SHINE, I promise to be REAL – to be AUTHENTIC. I feel like, as a Christian, authenticity is one of the best character traits I can have. Being honest when I fail – or when I’m not okay.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a stellar wife (and darling husband only would to not bring me shame). I wouldn’t describe myself as a stellar mom (ask The Bean about that – our battle this morning could convince you). I am definitely not a stellar house keeper – a reason we rarely host people in our house. So what am I good at? Well, I WANT to be a light for Christ and I hope that as I journey through 2019 that I’ll become more and more a beacon for God to use. I want to shine so brightly that other “wonder what [I’ve] got”.
To quote a Newsboys song… “Shine. Make ’em wonder what you’ve got. Make ’em wish that they were not on the outside looking bored. Shine. Let it shine before all men. Let’em see good works, and then let ’em glorify the Lord.”
Now… Time to get real – Where are your pictures just waking up?