November 02, 2009

Feeling Understood

Being a blogger allows me to do more than daipers, give more than grades on homeschooled papers, and bless not only myself, but others. Sharing your life online, however, is a strange experience. You sometimes have no idea where your words will end up... or who's heart you'll be touching.

That's why I light up with joy when I read another homeschool blogging mom's posts and see a tiny part of myself in her life.

Enter Ann.

Quiet, humble, honest, genuine, Ann. Her busy farm life, so interesting... her love for Jesus, her husband and children radiating off of every line she writes. I am not sure I ever thought we had anything in common - other than freckles and possibly some Irish blood somewhere. But I couldn't stop reading...

... and that was many years ago! I'm still captivated every time I look at her pictures and read her posts. Just like it was the first time I set eyes on her blog.

The other day, when I was feeling exceptionally weak, I asked her to pray for me while we were 'chatting' through email. She shared that her days were not perfect. It was the first time I had imagined her 'like' me. When I see me, I see all the faults. I imagined all her cozy devotionals and home made muffins... beautiful farm picnics and home cooked goodness... and contrasted it against my messy desk, fast food meals, piles of laundry, and feelings of failure as a mom and teacher.

She took the time to share with me on email that she was REAL. She took the time to pray - and even emailed me later to say that she had thought of me a few times that day in the middle of her busy life. She had her moments that day, too.

Then she posted today (see the link below)... reading about her 'pumpkin guts' and 'dark skies', my eyes filled with tears. Suddenly, I wasn't the only one with this burden. I was on the porch across from a vast Canadian field of grain, watching the cold wind and looming clouds... right there with someone who completely understood what a difficult task it is raising kids, homeschooling them, striving to be someone that I'm really NOT inside my sinful nature. Christianity is not for the faint of heart. Seeking God is sometimes a dirty business. It is so good to know you aren't alone.

We shared faults just like freckles. We shared struggles just like we shared the love of a savior who helps us find peace so we aren't overcome by them. We even shared a tiny glass milk bottle - "someone else's trash" - that we both find beautiful.

I got chills after I read her post and had to share these thoughts with her... and with you. You never know who you are touching when you share your life. Make sure you are real. Even your faults and struggles can give someone hope. It's a beautiful thing being understood.

In Him,


Alison said...

Great post- really, so good to read!
Enjoy them (your children)-

Cindy said...

You're too hard on yourself, Sweetie. We look forward to seeing you soon. :)

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I wrote Ann one time and she emailed me back! She is a jewel.

Shelby said...

I am new to your blog but have enjoyed reading so far!

Glad I stumbled upon you when searching for homeschooling blogs!

Shelby from Texas

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

How can words wrap an arm around you and make you feel *understood*?

Your words do.

Take the awkward and thick-tongued and sinful one...

You radiate Jesus-grace, sweet woman....


Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

(My laundry must be higher than yours, girl!
And no one ever thinks of herself more of a failure than me...
Oh, but the grace of Jesus.
Can we both just cling to that?
Irish blood... and Jesus in common. YES!

More love than the backs of these thin letters can hold,
who thinks you are soul-beautiful... so.)

John McGeough said...

Would it be ok if the messy desk was from a male advocate of homeschooling? I need to send you a photo of my desk. Mine are long gone off, but my desk still looks like there are still many kids around..:)

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog because you are REAL. You sound like someone I'd like to be friends with. Someone who's not afraid to just be who she is. That's what I appreciate about your blog.

I never visit Ann's blog without getting tears in my eyes. I am always touched by the experience.

It's no wonder that the two of you have connected :)

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

I love you, girl!

I am glad you are REAL.

And I have seen your desk when it was clean. My desk is clean 5 days a year (give or take a day). I suppose having a contest about that is not a good thing, eh?

It is a precious gift to have such true and sweet friends. Even if they live in the computer.

Brandy said...

First time commenting. Haven't been reading your blog all that long, but I've been THOROUGHLY enjoying it!

I love reading Ann too ... her posts are such a blessing!!

Many blessings!

Rachymommy said...

This was a great post. It is such a temptation to try and make our lives appear perfect to others. Online it's even more of a temptation because we have so much control about what we let others see about us and what we don't. Thank you for being so honest. It's so easy each day to compare ourselves to made up images in our heads of what we imagine other home school moms to be like and how much better they must be at doing EVERYTHING, than we are.

Great blog. I'll be back often! :)

Sprittibee said...

Thank you so much for the kind comments. ;) I am treasuring them. I promise that some days, your comments are all that keep me blogging.

I'm sending a great big TEXAS SIZED hug to each of you who commented here. You are treasured.

Kelly @ Wisdom Begun said...

I love you, sweet lady! I'm stumbling around lately too. I guess I need to head on over to Ann's blog? :-)

Dawn Camp said...

Ann is the best, isn't she? Those online connections can really be oh, so real.

Melissa Stover said...

blogging makes me feel understood too!

Michelle said...

Hi Heather,
I'm pretty new here, but I wanted to thank you for that post and the picture of your desk! I was looking at mine today and it looks horrible! Just yesterday I was beating myself up for it, even though we have all been down with the flu and now colds.

Ann's blog is my absolute favorite-hands down. The only problem is, I always cry. She's a lady after my own heart!

Love in Christ,




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