5 Ways She Speaks Was Nothing I Wanted

Hello sweet friends! I sure have missed you, although it certainly has been a welcome break of refocusing. I returned from She Speaks a few weeks ago to immediately repack and head for camping! You might remember this city girl was a bit nervous, but other than loads of mosquito bites it was tons of fun! Life has officially returned to normal with the start of school and my writing time being reclaimed!

I wanted to share a few things that impacted my life while at She Speaks. I went to North Carolina with definite expectations and came home with none of them being met…isn’t that the way God works! So here is my list of 5 ways the Lord gave what I didn’t know I wanted.

20150722_222328She Speaks Swag It Begins! Ministry Stone

1. A Lesson of Insecurity = Pride 

Yep, you read that right, those words had me on my face in repentance. On the first day of pre-conference, the workshop I was most excited for was on spiritual warfare by Whitney Capps. I was initially on the wait list for this but  I’d say God knew I needed it!  I have always struggled with insecurity. My name, my body, my calling, my ability as a mom, wife, photographer, christian. I could go on and on, I’ve doubted just about everything in my life. I’ve labeled myself mediocre at best, failure at worst. I NEVER considered this a source of pride. When this light was cast over insecurity I saw myself written all over it. I used my labels to replace God’s truth, I thought and worried about what others thought of me over what God wanted me to do. Hence why 2012-2014 on this blog is virtually non-existent. I knew I should write and share but, was too afraid.

Meeting Whitney Capps

Me with Whitney Capps, if you haven’t heard this firecracker preach the word of God you are missing out!

2. Given a Rhema word. 

The first main session of the conference started, tables for 800 women to sit were set up. As we wind our way through the isles and choose a seat we see little scrolls of paper. We were told that these papers contained verses that had been prayed over, selected and laid at each place setting. That winding through the tables and sitting where we did wasn’t by accident.

I received 1st Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 

A rhema word from God is a portion of scripture that speaks into your current life situation. For me I came to She Speaks with baggage of, am I on the right path. Is blogging my plan or the Lord’s? What is the next step? So for me to read stand firm, let nothing move you. Just wow! Then to read that when you work for the Lord it can’t be in vain. Talk about baggage being dealt with as I continue to mediate and process that!

3. Anointed with Christ’s Confidence

During the last workshop of the weekend there was a call to be anointed and prayed over. A room of more than a hundred women were anointed and sent out. Talk about powerful stuff. This room swelled with worship music being played on a single guitar and a single vocalist. I was the seventh shaky woman to stand in front of Wendy Blight, she placed the oil on my forehead and prayed over me. The only words from this prayer I grasped on to and refuse to let go of was to “go and be filled with Christ’s confidence.” He alone will be my confidence, when I look at that spot on my forehead or graze my finger over it I am flooded with thoughts of His confidence.

 

Meeting Wendy BlightHaving God breathed truth spoken to you

Me and Wendy Blight! The lovely lady taking this picture, who I had never met, asked me my name and said I was beautiful from the inside out. She gave me another rhema word from Song of Songs, You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. 4:7 She said I was beautifully filled with the Lord, never have I felt instantly loved and given words like this.

4. I was called from birth

In an earlier workshop, the speaker encouraged the group to reflect back on the moment of your calling and in moments of discouragement remember that moment in order to have strength to go on. I pondered that thought for the entire workshop, spent some time in the prayer room pondering that thought afterwards, and after being anointed continued to ponder it. I thought well, maybe if I can’t remember a moment of being called, only having this overwhelming urge to make Jesus famous (that I’ve prayed to have removed) then perhaps I’m not truly called. As woman after woman went forward to be anointed and voices joined in with the vocalist to worship our Lord, I took a moment to ask my new friend sitting beside me this pondering question.

She responded with “have you considered the possibility that you were called from birth?” She went on to share that she has been told since she was little that she was called. Her mom during pregnancy felt she had a light growing within her that would shine bright. She knew her baby before birth, had favor with the Lord so, she named her Anne-Renee . This struck a memory that has been coming to mind for months. This moment of childhood, I was 5 or 6 jumping on my bed singing. I remember bouncing and singing, likely off key, that God was good, greater than satan and Jesus would always win. At this point in my young life I had been to church only a handful of times, yet I knew truth, I was called to truth. Truth, that I now believe was put inside of me before breathing my first breath.

New Godly Friends

Anne-Renee of The Masterpiece MomFunny story, her and Amanda (the other half of The Masterpiece Mom) happened to be some of the first girls we met upon arriving Wednesday night, all they said was they were from Alaska and I already knew their blog! It can be a small world here in the blogging sphere.

5. There is intention to being named Winter.

This might sound a little weird to you, why would the Lord address your name, you maybe thinking. For me though, growing up very shy and having the name Winter drawing attention to me, I hated it. HATED it! As an adult I’ve learned to tolerate it. Because what other choice is there. It was minimal tolerance though, since nearly every time I introduce myself to someone I receive an “oh, that’s different” (with a puzzled look on their face).

While at She Speaks people already seemed to know me and remember me (there was a private Facebook group for getting to know each other) which I found shocking, all because of my name. Well, ok also partly because of my current very red hair color! In having a conversation about this with my new friend from Costa Rica, she encouraged me to search the meaning of my name and allow God to reveal Himself through my name. As she is saying this, an amazing dawning poured down over me. The day I was born was the middle of October (the 23rd in case you are wondering when to send the gift! Just Kidding!!) This ordinary day in October that I was to be born on and to be named Kelly Nicole, it snowed. Snowed and made it feel like winter, prompting my grandpa to suggest the name Winter Nicole. Frankly, I had always scoffed at that reasoning. But this idea that the God of all the universe sent snow, in order to have His message received by a non-Jesus believing man all so I could have the name Winter stopped me in my tracks.

I looked up the meaning of my name by the way….Winter Nicole means bringing renewal / victorious people. God blows me away.

Friends Speak Jesus Truth2 from Costa Rica + 3 from Indiana = Forever Friends

This lady spoke pure Jesus truth to me the entire weekend! I was beyond blessed to meet her and can’t wait to visit Costa Rica one of these days! The 5 of us made the best of friends!

 

Why do I write all of these terribly personal, reflective thoughts? Because through these five occurrences, the Lord revealed my true calling and passion. I was called to boldly become like Jesus. To be boldly confident in who I am in Christ. I am passionate about allowing God to work in me, making me more like Christ as well as seeing others embrace and boldly become who God has called them to be. Just in case you had any remaining thoughts that I have it all together or some such nonsense, the above should take care of that. I am nothing without the presence and grace of the Lord.  But I am confident in moving forward in who I am, who you are, and encouraging both of us to be bold, all in the name of Christ.

You can usually find me on these amazingly awesome blogs! 

 

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Re-labeled By The King of Kings + Link Up

Hello sweet readers! I wanted to let you know I will be missing the next two weeks. I will serving as part of the leadership team for the Engage Youth Conference the first of next week , I’m so very excited for the opportunity to serve in furthering the reach of Jesus. Then Wednesday I head out to She Speaks, to go be filled to the brim with teachings to hone my dream and calling of writing and speaking in the name of Jesus. Wowzers, I’m so very excited to see all that the Lord has in store. The friendship that He has already started to produce with the other attendees are so amazing! Following that I will be totally off the grid, well as much as I can be, while camping with my lovely little family!

 

Yes, you read that right, camping for a week. This girly girl is getting in touch with her nature side!! At least this time camping involves a motor-home! 

 

This week I wanted to share with you, and myself, part of a message that the Lord laid on my heart to speak to a group of ladies a couple of months ago. I have a tendency to feel invisible and unneeded. I’m pretty honest about that when you know me, I know that it is a way for the enemy to attack me, I hate that I continue to have doubts about my value.

 

I have so much faith in the Lord’s plan for your life and my own, yet in the dark of life, doubt is my weakness.

 

For me, my feelings of being invisible stem from childhood. I grew up made to be very quiet, I was painfully shy-not many who know me now would guess that! I was told by my grandpa that I was ignorant and worthless on a daily basis. My mom and I lived with my grandma and grandpa because my real father broke off the engagement with my mom when she became pregnant. From the womb I wasn’t wanted by him. Once in elementary and middle school I wanted to blend in, so I just stayed really quiet in hopes of no one there pointing out or noticing my worthlessness.

 

I had friendships but they “broke up” with me. Boys didn’t look twice at me. Until one day a boy noticed me. I learned very  quick what he wanted and what I should do to keep him, but it didn’t last. I was introduced to Jesus around the time boys entered my radar. My first introduction sadly, was not one of friend, healer, and seeker of my heart. It was one who set strict rules and really wasn’t a relational God. It was as if I really I could never live up to the standard, it felt that even grace wasn’t enough. So I felt that was just one more area of life that I couldn’t measure up in.

 

But Jesus kept pursuing my heart, kept wooing me.

 

Showing me that yes, I couldn’t measure up on my own but through HIS grace I could. Through his love, I was no longer invisible. Through the Lords plans, I was introduced to a boy that would spend 17 years so far showing me my beauty and that I’m not invisible.  When I have days feeling like I am not enough, that I can never be worthy of love, those days I look into my daughters eyes. I see her beauty, her worth, I then realize my heavenly Father sees that in me and so much more.

 

What the world tries to label us, God wants to replace with His truth. | Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

What life gave me in rejection, feelings of being unloved, not enough, not captivating, not worthy, that I had no value or anything to offer. God determined to bring good out of that. He determined to wipe out each of those labels and replace them.

The world says worthless. He says you are the daughter of the King.

The world says unloved.  He says you are so loved my son died just for you. 

 

The world says not captivating. He says I am so captivated by your beauty I know each hair on your head, each day you will live out on this earth. 

 

 

The world says not enough. He says I have plans that only you were created to accomplish, You are my masterpiece. 

 

The world says invisible. He says I see you I know you I love you beyond anything you can imagine.

 

 

 What the world says vs. What God says | Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

So girls, this week I don’t know if this message is for you or me. I do know that we both probably need it. I need it because I’m walking into a time of holy ground, full of faith in the Lords plan. The enemy doesn’t like that so he will send plenty of doubts and attacks my way. You may need it because you are knee deep in dirty diapers and you haven’t showered in two and a half days and haven’t talked to someone over the age of 5 in a week. You feel beyond unnoticed, you feel lost to who you are and who you want to be. Well, dear sister you aren’t not invisible to me or our sweet and loving Lord.

 

Maybe you are sitting behind your computer feeling that you are in a season without friends or someone who “gets” you. Well lovely lady, the Lord of the universe “gets” you and longs for you. He knows the doubts and insecurities of your heart when no one else does. He longs to hear them and walk with you through them.

 

I pray this week and until I write to you again that you will only hear the voice of the Lord, speaking words of love and encouragement over you.

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

 

This week amazing ladies to be featured are Jenessa of Mothering in Real Life. Her post written about the her trip to the grocery store and being impacted by the mom who seemed to have it all together ahead of her in line. I so related to this post because I’m usually the mom feeling like a hot mess, this is wonderful reminder that you never know who is watching and who will be impacted.

 

I’m also featuring Cynthia of My Rose Colored Shades her post on giving the Lord of our first fruits was convicting to my spirit. Her reminders of time with God first, eliminates the chance of Him getting our leftovers or nothing at all.

 

My last feature really struck home because it is where I find myself. Unsure of being completely authentic because there is fear of what people may think, yet realizing that it’s ALL about HIM and His glory. You really must take a moment to read Caroline of In Due Time’s post.

 

You can find me on these lovely blogs each week! 

 

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Tips for Pin Worthy Photos + Link Up

I have to thank all you sweet readers who took pity on me and wished me better health! I’m much improved so thank you again! This weeks blog post is a little different, I was feeling inspired by nature and my love of photography so this post was born!  I found myself  wanting to get outside and do something fun with the kids, so we decided to go on a photography walk.  We found a short moment between rain showers to get out doors this week. The rain is making fun, outside activities, a challenge this summer here in north central Indiana. Let me insert here this isn’t to make you think I’m one of those mom’s who plans all kinds of activities to do and has the entire summer planned out. No, no quite the opposite, I’m too often found behind the computer and my are kids watching TV or movies….just keeping it real here!

Photo Walk

The objective was we each had a camera and we just found pretty things to photograph. This prompted the idea to share with you a few tips to improve your photos and make them more pin worthy or scrapbook worthy! I love photography, I have since my teen years and was blessed to own a business and photography studio. For the past two years I have been “retired” from the business and I’m so thankful to be discovering the joy of photography being mostly a hobby again.

 

I used my “big” camera the Canon 5DMkii with the 24-70mmL lens. My son used by older Canon Rebel with a 50mm 1.8 lens (this is called a prime lens, so the user has to be the zoom) and my daughter used my Sony Cyber point and shoot.

Photo Walk

Most of the images I have here on the blog have been taken by me. Occasionally I do use unsplash images if I don’t have what I’m looking for in my own collection. I hope you will find these tips helpful in taking photos of nature or your own kids!

 

1. Perspective: Get Down.

Get down to the level of what your wanting to capture. When you are photographing your toddler get down on their level instead of standing over them, this makes a more visually interesting image and usually helps avoids extra clutter being in the background. If your capturing something in nature getting down at eye level allows you to capture the entire flower instead of only the center/top of it.

Get down for better perspective

2. Rule of Thirds.

This rule is one of the most basic of composition rules, the easy way to think of this rule is don’t put the subject you want the audience to focus on in the center. Think of your image being cut in thirds vertically and horizontally by placing your subject off center it is more balanced and interesting. Studies have found that when a person is looking at a photo the eyes tend to move towards on of the intersecting points.

IMG_5417

In the above image I placed the large part of the flower on a cross point which will lead the viewer’s eye into the center of the image.

3. Zoom In.

Yep as easy as it sounds! When you zoom in on the subject instead of the entire room the viewer immediately knows the purpose of this photo. Think of a birthday party, to stand back and photograph the entire setting, doesn’t allow for detailed capturing of the birthday boy or girls facial expressions or eliminate the distractions of other background items. I always like a few pull back shots to capture the whole room but for the most part getting in nice and close always looks more appealing! This tip combined with perspective captures moment beautifully. By zooming in on this image I kept the focus on this sweet sibling moment instead of them sitting on a porch at a park.

Finding the Light

 

4. Look for the Light.

This type can be the hardest to learn but will make the most impact on your images. The best lighting is often found on cloudy overcast days. Full sun is very hard to shoot in, it makes people squinty and causes unappealing shadows. Look for light that allows for catch lights in the subjects eye (little reflections of light in the eye). The golden hour is my favorite time of day to shoot in. It’s the time of day just before sunset (or just after sunrise if you’re an early riser) everything becomes cast in a beautiful yellow cast from the setting sun and harsh shadows have turned softer.

 

Finding the Light

 

This image doesn’t show perfect catch lights but you can see small ones. You will notice the even light on her face it makes her skin glow.  Don’t mind the messy face and sweaty bangs!

 

5. Learn Manual Mode.

This often sounds so complicated and hard to people but with lots of practice it really isn’t. All my tips so far have been directed to any camera user but this one is for the DSLR owner. To learn manual mode there a few things to keep in mind-this by no means is a full lesson!

a. ISO: this doesn’t stand for in search of but tells your camera how much light is around you. Remember the film days of 100, 200, 400? This is what ISO is, for bright sunny days pick 100 for overcast/cloudy days or shade 400 will be better, for darker settings or inside use 800. The bigger the number the darker the environment you are in. One more thing to remember depending on your cameras capabilities the higher in ISO you go your final images could start to become grainy.

b. White Balance: this is the button on your camera that has little pictures associated with it this is easy, just pick the picture that represents your lighting conditions. Shady, full sun or florescent lighting are just a couple of choices.

c. F/Stop: is for how big the aperture (lens opening is) this is also what controls your background being blurry. The smaller the number the blurrier the background (depth of field) and the better for lower light settings. This number is also dependent on what your lens capability has.

d. Shutter Speed: This tells your camera how long to keep the shutter open. For fast action your want a shutter speed 1/200 or more. For low light the number often gets smaller (1/100) But you never want to go lower than 1/60 unless using a tripod.

e. Metering: This is the little numbered bar inside your view finder, when the moving line is near the middle you should have a fairly well exposed image. By changing either your f/stop or shutter speed this bar will move and show you if it’s going to be under/over or properly exposed.

 

6. Background is important.

I’ve already mentioned that by getting down or zooming in will help remove distractions from the background. By positioning myself this direction I eliminated the door of the house and patio furniture and was able to just focus on this selfie moment.

Zoom In

 

Cherries

Also think outside the box for backgrounds, these cherries were on the hood of my car!

I hope you find these tips helpful and I love to help people learn and grow their skills so if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment!

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

This week was another hard week to chose who to feature, thank you for sharing such great posts! There were several posts on spiritual warfare which I found to be such a God thing, so cool that we were on the same page last week sisters!

My first featured post is Lauren of Sobremesa Stories her authentic post on prayer grabbed me from the beginning to the end. She wrote about being afraid to pray specifically how true her words are. “When we withhold our most vulnerable hopes and desires for ourselves, other people, relationships, and circumstances, we present ourselves to God as we think He wants to see us, instead of as who we are.” Be sure to read the rest of this great post.

Next feature is Debbie of Notes Along the Journey she shared about feeling inferior and what God’s truth really is. “Beloved, you are not inferior. You are a confident woman of God. Don’t believe those lies the enemy hisses in your ear. Nothing scares him more than a woman walking boldly with her God!” Her words of pure truth spoke straight to my heart you definitely should read this post!  

Also featured is Deborah of Growing in His Grace I loved this farmer’s wife light bulb moment when she found a yoke in the barn. This post will change how you view taking Jesus’s yoke. You’ll be missing out if you don’t click over and read her post.

This last post inspired me and I would love to see more of you ladies join Kim from Host and Hunt on Instagram for the 40 days of summer project. Be sure to tag your Me and Mom photos with #mandm40daysofsummer

 

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Ruined + Link Up

I’m ruined are you? Ruined for Jesus, that is. My life is centered around living ruined. I was introduced to this idea at a workshop lead by author Rick Lawerence.  To be ruined for Jesus means we spend time chasing after Him and the desires He has for us. It means choosing to sacrifice money and living with more time for relationships than “stuff”. It means pursuing His goals, giving up careers when He calls. It means leaving family and friends when He says this way.

 

To live like this looks crazy, seems crazy, but I can’t do anything else. Jesus has sought me and won me, so nothing else tastes as sweet. I know I’m not alone, I know the disciples were ruined and I’m certain their friends found them a little nuts!

Everyone’s ruined looks different lived out. I think of a boy from Africa I heard about. When he decided to live for Jesus he packed a bag and left his life, village, family everything because he was no longer accepted. I know I’m so blessed to live in the bible belt and to live out loud for Jesus looks less crazy than in some places of the world.

Yet I still am thought to be “out there” I’m sure. I left a business in hopes of serving in vocal ministry. When the door to ministry slammed closed I was confused to say the least. Then in my Jesus focused line of vision I caught a glimpse of wait – I’m not finished – wait I have something better for you. I’m still waiting as glimpses are still being revealed but the Lord is so good I know He is higher, He is planning the perfect path for me.

 

Me, Coffee and Jesus

Part of living ruined for Jesus is listening to His voice. Not ours or of the enemy, but His, the one of Truth. I find this the hardest part even as I type this the voice of ugly is whispering, talking loudly, screaming, yeah that’s the word. Screaming all the ugly I’ve done, created, the messes I’ve been apart of. How could I be successful in any type of vocal ministry?

 

This voice tells me people already have certain opinions of me, based on speculation, although I know and my close circle know the truth, it doesn’t speak as loud as the speculation. This voice shows me other women who are far more qualified to teach and share the gospel. Lets me know that I have no degree to back up my calling. I don’t say any of this so you feels sorry for me or offer me words of praise. I say all of this to point it back to Jesus. I have always been a people pleaser, it’s part of who I am. I believe the Lord is using this as a thorn in my side.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8 talks about being given a thorn to prevent him from becoming proud. He asked the Lord to remove it on multiple occasions.  But the Lord’s response comes in verse 8.

 

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

Me, Coffee and Jesus

This is my thorn in this season of life. I trust Him, so I will continue placing one foot in front of the next because it’s not my strength, it is His. Because I promise even with all my strength, on the best hair day with my power outfit on do I have enough strength to live Jesus out loud. My strength finds frustration with my children, grumps with my spouse, no time to spend with the Lord. My strength only leads to hot messes! His strength looks like following Him when chaos reins, kindness in response to children driving me to the brink, smiles at the husband who likes to pick on me in fun. His strength looks like finding time to spend with Him in the everyday.

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

Be sure to check out Rebecca at Mary and Martha’s House as this weeks featured blogger. She shared the importance of making the most out of each of our days in honor of her cousins passing.

 

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A Letter to my Younger Mama Self

Dear Younger Mama Self,

You are so needed, needed by your husband, your children. Those times when you feel unimportant or that you aren’t enough are such lies. You are vital to them even when you are feeling like a failure, you are the farthest thing from a failure in their eyes. Love yourself. That teaches your daughter how to love her body and herself as she has been made. That teaches your son what value inner beauty and self worth in a women looks like. Slow down, enjoy each day because they never come again. Tomorrow they will be a little bigger and a little more independent. Let those dishes sit, the dust gather, if the choice is that or reading a story with them chose the story. Teach them how to play while working hard, its a skill that is vital. Love your husband, teach them what a marriage looks like, dress up for the date night, let them see you kiss each other hello-or just because. Take pictures of your adventures and of the everyday.enough

Focus less on your career, when they are bigger there will be more time for your dreams again. That starter business will take more time than you would ever dream it would. Laugh everyday, you do a good job of this so continue to laugh, show them that a water fight in the house is ok, their jaws will drop open in shock, I promise, I’ve seen it!

I write these things not because you didn’t do them well, but because some days you didn’t feel like they were enough. The world tells us our success is measured in the money we make, the house we live in, and the car we drive. This mama no longer has newborns, toddlers, preschoolers; this mama is on the verge of the teenage years, well into the school kid stage. I promise you at that stage you don’t see the value of money and career success the same as before. You see the real value of just holding your baby smelling that sweet baby smell, reading a story, being home in time for bed, playing in the dirt, or kicking a ball together.

I can’t go back, I wouldn’t if I could because you really are on your way to becoming a great woman. A woman who loves deeply and laughs without hesitation. So press on dear mama your doing it right, don’t give up or lose heart. Don’t listen to the lies that are being told to you, I still know this is oh so hard because I still struggle with hearing the lies. Now I defeat them with truth. Find the truth and pour that over your heart everyday.

truth

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56: 3-4

I love you dear younger mama, you are a brave soul on a great journey. Hardships will come, love will see you through, be brave and have courage.

Much love,

Your Older Mama Self-who still has much growing left to do.

PS: Mama if you still doubt the importance you have in your child’s life take a quick peek at this:

This shows us we are so important to our children that they know us blindfolded. They have you memorized, they know you by your smell, the feel of your hands, the shape of your face and the texture of clothing you would have on. Your presence in their lives is so needed and precious. Don’t spend one more second thinking you aren’t enough!

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Does Anybody See You

Today I was honored to guest blog over at www.amyschlichter.com. Here is just a bit of my thoughts, to read the rest join Amy and don’t forget to leave her some blog love!
I was in the car driving home the other night when a song came on the radio, an old song I’ve heard hundreds of times but something about it this time struck me. It was Does Anybody Hear Her by Casting Crowns this song about a girl seeking and craving salvation struck me in a different way. It made me think how I am like this girl, yes I know Jesus and I’m not seeking new salvation, but yet I still feel like her especially with these lyrics… two years further into the journey yet three more steps behind, standing under the shadow of the steeple does anybody see her, does anybody hear her-insert me here.

I watch myself and other women become lost in the shadows of doing it all, being it all. We create this monster of have it together, keep it together, everyone is watching and I can’t slip, I can’t let my real life struggles show. I know recently there has been lots of talk about realness and being authentic and I love that; yet do we do it? Do I? Or am I the girl hiding in the shadows trying to keep all my ugly covered?

Even when I’m not intending to keep it hidden and covered, I do. Several years ago I was shown how I do it in a loving way. This woman who spoke these words, I’m sure had no idea how they would stick with me. She said, “until I got to really talk with you and know you, I thought you had it all together, had it all figured out and were just shy of perfect.”

I laughed, I mean really laughed, my first thought was wow I had no idea I had the wool pulled over her eyes! Yet I paused and thought, well until I got real with this group of ladies why would they think differently? Facebook and my smiles, while crying on the inside, did wonders to give that distorted view of my life.  I don’t often willingly share my heart, maybe pieces, but not with more then one or two.

How often do you say fine when someone asks how are you?…..To finish today’s blog post be sure to visit Amy at www.amyschlichter.com