Monday, December 10, 2012

no more apologies

In recent weeks…months…I’ve been told the most cherished of words. These 3 texts/emails in particular are at the forefront of my memory lately. I think it’s because these words have struck with me the need to be the person they think I am. It’s as though a new standard has been set, and I’ve got to strive to reach it or I’m not worthy of such compliments.

“I hope that when I’m a mother one day, that I’m just like you.”

“You and Pete have enriched our lives in so many ways. We can’t imagine not having you guys as friends.”

“You inspire me to be a better woman…a better mother. You’re exactly the person I want to be.”

Friends, there is no white picket fence around my life. There are no pretty bows tying up the package that is my life. I’m so very real…and raw…and flawed. If I haven’t been honest and transparent on my blog before, that’s my goal here forward.

I should be allowing people to really know my life. It's intimidating having everyone I know read so much about me. But why should it?
So, no more apologies, this is me…

I am NOT a mother/wife that cooks elaborate meals every night. Or every other night for that matter. Pete does a lot of cooking, or we eat on-the-go.

I AM a girl who hurts easily. I’m not bullet-proof -- that isn’t the case at all.

I am NOT on time for most things. But AM reliable when I tell you I will be there.

I am NOT someone who balances her time wisely. I cram entirely too many tasks in a short period of time. “Amok, amok, amok!”

I AM someone who strives to speak in love and act with tenderness. But I fail. Almost daily.

I AM a people pleaser and can be insecure at times.

I am NOT always happy about obligations. Sometimes I first grumble about the annoyance, and then later gush with thankfulness.

I am NOT over the pain of having lost my mom. My grief is ripped open anew with every box of ornaments. She should be here, being a mom to me and a grandmother to my kids.

I AM that mother who’ll let her kids eat a ridiculously large bowl of ice cream and call it “dinner.”

I AM that women who loves with all her heart, but I am NOT that woman who can comfortably express it.

I AM that woman that laughs during inopportune times.

From her blog, Top of the Page, Leslie puts it into words that I couldn’t:

"If you haven't already gathered, or happen to be reading this blog for the first time in your life, I am a melancholy girl through and through. I find beauty in not only the beautiful things in life, but the bittersweet and sad as well. To me, there is something poignantly lovely about the human experience from its splendor to its grief. God created all our emotions, not just the happy ones, and for His good purposes. That's why a good cry can feel so good. And hitting our limits forces us to look outside ourselves for a Savior. It is in the plea, when we're at our end, that we can find that which is truly life-giving. Personally, my moments of deepest grief, deepest pain, have resulted in the most beautiful seasons in my heart. I've met God more intimately in those moments than in all the other pleasant ones combined. What isn't completely lovely about that?"

Right?! What isn’t completely lovely about that?!

I want to be that person, that blogger, that conveys positivity and love and joy and inspiration. But I think it’s also important that I relay substance -- how my life has also consisted of heartaches and challenges. Life is hard. And I want to go down that road with you, alongside you.

Seeming to have it all together and always posting beautiful pictures of people smiling – who does that help?

So, while I rave on about my wonderful pregnancy experience, I might add that of my miscarriage. When you prod me for tricks for staying in shape, I will tell you about my c-section scars. Next time you mention how put together and manicured my home is, I will share that my kids loathed on Sundays for dedicating the day to cleaning rooms and organizing closets. When you speculate that I have really nice THINGS, I will disclose that my designer purse serves also as my diaper bag and that my Land Rover is used and that I often shop vintage/thrift stores – we are rather frugal people. Additionally, as beautiful and near-perfect as our relationship is nowadays, let me divulge that it didn’t at all whatsoever begin out that way. Had Pete not tied me down while I attempted to kick and scream my way out, continually encouraging me to open my heart, I may have missed out on this remarkable life we share…with my best friend. And while we’re on the topic of friends, let’s be honest about our 700+ Facebook friends – the reality is that there are probably only 10-15 that would help me hide the body if I murdered someone (metaphorically speaking).

Life is harder than what we often perceive. And many of you know of my motto, “you must experience the bad so you can appreciate the good.” So, I’ve been where many of you currently are in your life. And I would love nothing more than to encourage you to be strong and have faith. To give you the hope and inspiration I wish I had been given during my struggles – of which was no fault of anyone but mine, carrying burdens deep down inside so no one could see them.

Song: Beautiful Things   Artist: Gungor



  1. I think one of my biggest problems as a blogger is not getting out my true struggles. I admire you for being so open!!

  2. Christine HancockDecember 17, 2012

    Wow! That was deep. I always have said "what I wouldn't give to look like Mandi and have her's like a fairy tale." Thank you for sharing...seriously...thank you.

  3. Tracey WalbankDecember 17, 2012

    Great post Mandi

  4. I really liked that. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Marianne WeissingerDecember 17, 2012

    Great strength comes from faith in God -- I know that took a lot of brave to publish but I also know that you have THAT kind of faith. Thanks for sharing Mandi!

  6. This is wonderful...and inspiring!! The truth is always best. Thank you.

  7. And so yes, I want you to agree to be my friend. Maybe it will even go so deep as to be there if we ever need to hide the alleged bodies. We are, none of us, perfect. But oh so blessed, yes!

    1. Tammi, I am grateful for getting to know you via Cara Box -- how something so insignificant can bring two people together. I could hug you!

  8. I just gounf your blog via The Dwelling Tree. Love your space here, Mandi! Looking forward to getting to know you more! :))


I am incredibly grateful for your comment! I will respond as soon as possible. XOXO, Mandi

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