Blog 21 of Top 25 Moms with Inspiring Families - 2012

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How does blogging help you deal with challenges?

Sharing my struggles with the Truth in Weakness community has become an avenue of redemption for those struggles. Because as I share my heartaches and struggles of life, others are taking the Truth in the story, and applying it like salve to their also-wounded souls. And so because I blog, my challenges are not the end of the story! They’re used for good in others’ lives. I’ve also noticed that it has become a form of personal accountability for steering my thoughts in a healthy direction as I process the aches in my soul. Let me explain . . . Read any post I’ve ever written and you’ll quickly notice that I’m fully committed to being transparent with my readers – in every. single. piece. Oh yes, they hear the good, the bad, and the (all-too-often) incredibly ugly. They get to walk life’s messy roads right alongside of me. Even better, we get to walk them together! But I’m also committed to not leaving us there in the mess. Because that’s not the end of my story, and it doesn’t have to be the end of theirs. I want to help my readers know how to better process their pain, as I’m learning how to process my own. And so as I’m walking along life’s difficult roads, knowing that what’s in my soul will likely end up on the screen reminds me to find some nugget of good along the journey, some glimmer of hope, something to hang on to – even if only that Jesus loves me, this I know.

What's a book or song that has inspired you?

I am constantly amazed at the personal ways that God uses His Truth in the Bible to reach down into the depths of my soul and offer hope and healing in ways that no other words can. God refers to the Bible as alive, and I have experienced, time and time again, its astounding power to breathe life and healing, love and joy, into my being. I also have a wonderfully-long list of personal growth books that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, so I’d love for you to pick my brain for recommendations! But I’ll mention two for now: • Beyond the Masquerade (by Dr. Julianna Slattery) • Classic Christianity (by Bob George) Both of these books have been instrumental in my journey toward freedom from perfectionism, freedom from performance – including in the Christian life. One of my all-time favorite quotes (that you’ll see on the right column of my blog) is this one featured in Juli Slattery’s book: "We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfection, and believing that He understands everything and loves us still." - A. W. Tozer (Don’t you just love that??)

After a particularly rough day, how do you raise your spirits?

At the end of a rough day (& there are plenty!), I crawl up in my Heavenly Father’s lap and have a good cry. Whether through tears that fall within my soul, or tears that flow down on my cheek, He faithfully wipes every one with His gentle hand. I used to squelch my emotions, and probably still do to an extent. But God has shown me that his heart is drawn to desperate cries from hurting hearts! And knowing that has given me so much freedom in my emotions. Freedom to be disappointed, freedom to be hurt, freedom to be angry. Basically, the freedom to not have it all together – even with my emotions. And I’ve experienced such a depth of intimacy in my walk with Him, as a result. Oftentimes, my hardest days are a result of my own personal struggles that leave a trail of mess behind, whether internally or relationally. But I’ve found much comfort in discovering that no matter how big of a mess I make in my life or others’, God is always bigger. Because of my relationship with Jesus, He doesn’t even SEE the mess! All He sees is the perfect, holy life of Jesus living inside of me. God unconditionally loves and accepts me – despite the mess! There is indeed nothing quite like the freedom to fumble through the good, the bad, and the ugly of life – safely in His loving arms.

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