Not one but TWO mornings last week, I overslept. As in, twice (in a row, as it was) I had to call my co-teacher at 7:30 (which is when classes start), apologize profusely, and ask him to cover for me until I could get there. We won't even talk about the bags under my eyes or my hair those days...
Sometimes being a "hot mess" is cute or funny or relate-able (especially on the blog); but, in real life, it usually looks more like irresponsible, chaotic, frazzled, and even downright rude.
I like to be positive here. I like to spread the message that God's grace is enough and its OK to be a hot mess; but, lately, I've been hearing a quiet voice inside me say - "You're right. My grace IS enough. BUT, I have so much more for you."
I've written before about my desire to find a balance between those two things - grace that covers every single thing I've ever done and will ever do; and, the fact that God has given me free will and talents and responsibilities, and I should be a good steward of those things. I tend to function in a black and white world by nature, and this area feels very gray.
What would my life look like if I honestly believed (and lived like I believe) that my behaviors - how good I am at being a mom, a wife, a teacher, a friend, etc. - do not define me, that I am 100% loved and accepted by God just as I am; BUT, also, that he has called me to a life that is BIG. A life that is FULL. A life that does not settle for merely surviving - anxious, guilty, and tired? What is keeping me from living that life?
At Allume, Melanie Shankle taught from 2nd Samuel chapter 7, about King David. She said, "God DOES give us more than we can handle... This teaches us who He is and forces us to rely on Him. HE can handle it... God did not choose David because he knew he would be perfect. He chose him because he knew would mess up and have to rely on God."
I love that this place is about not being perfect. It is true. I am NOT.
We need that place where we can kick off our high heels and sit amidst the toys and dog hair of REAL life and laugh and cry and admit that we don't look like the perfectly polished photo of us on the sidebar. We need that, and this blog will continue to be that place.
BUT, more than that, we need the message that we are REDEEMED. That those imperfections DO NOT define us. They simply point us more to Jesus.
Over the last two years, I've gotten pretty darn good at showing myself grace - at accepting that I'm not the mom I thought I "should be," the house keeper my mother was, or the crafty, DIY decorator Pinterest wants me to be. BUT, if I'm really being honest with myself, it's still all about me - what I can and can't do, instead of what He has already done.
I need more Jesus.
Also at Allume, I attended a session on "branding yourself" by Holly Gerth. At first, attending this session wasn't even on my radar because something about branding yourself screamed "narcissist" to me. (Funny coming from someone who's blog title is E, Myself, and I, right?). But, Holly's description of your personal brand being "a promise to your readers that you will be the same wherever they find you" intrigued me. Was that true of me?
Holly's breakout session ended up being one of the most influential ones I attended. I LOVE this message about "branding" and blogging... "Saying that you have a brand does not mean that you are 'corporate' or 'marketing.' It means that you are very clear about WHO you are and WHAT God has called you to do."
I've been thinking about this the last week and a half; and, through good conversations with people who know me and my heart well, along with several quiet hours in the car alone on my trip this weekend, I'm beginning to craft a vision for this blog. I'm beginning to give up some control (remember my theme for the year?) and give in to what God wants to do here.
I've updated my "About Me" page to reflect more of that. More of Him.
Have a look:
I don't intend for this blog to become a "Religion" blog or for every post to be deep and spiritual. Not at all. I think the mark of a good friendship is to be just as comfortable talking about nail polish colors, crock pot recipes, and potty-training as you are talking about the real stuff, the hard stuff. I think being able to laugh together - really laugh - is just as important as being able to sit in complete silence together. So, don't worry.
But, if I'm really about being real, then you need to know what's behind me. What's going on in this little heart and mind. That's it.
P.S. I announced the winner of the October Sponsor Give Away here. Was it you?!?!