They asked me to speak at our church’s monthly women’s breakfast. I had no idea what to say or where to begin.

All I could think of is my long list of things I get wrong. On repeat. I’m not afraid of this list. I’m not embarrassed by it. I don’t feel the need to hide it. I just know that it’s not very preachy. It’s a list of who I am and also who I’m not.

At 37 I have made peace with that combo. It no longer makes me want to weep that I forget dentist appointments. Micah has two cavities and we got all the way through the numbing before he was done. Sure, they didn’t get filled because he wouldn’t keep his mouth open for the drill. But we showed up.

Should I tell them that the tumble dryer’s been slowly dying for months and while I think I should mention it to the landlord, I never actually get around to it till it’s good and dead and churning out stone cold wet clothes.

There’s a birthday party I promised Micah back in December that still hasn’t happened and this week I invited people to Zoe’s first birthday party for the wrong month, for goodness sakes.

For two days {and one night} a diaper genie sat outside our front door. Don’t ask.

I sound like a woman stuck together with chewing gum and twine some days.

But on the inside I’m rock solid.

There’s this growing sense of who I am through Jesus’ lenses. Far, far from perfect. But deeply and profoundly loved. So thoroughly loved that my places where I get everything wrong aren’t as terrifying to me anymore.

And I’m learning that much like that storage closet we all have – you know the one – where left over odds and ends go to die and that we have to shove closed with a shoulder – cracking that closet open can be liberating.

I open a door into my mess and the women I know and the ones who read here can exhale. So even though I wondered if God would give me something super spiritual to say on Saturday, He just shook His head and told me to keep doing in real life what I’ve been doing over here –

open the door to your mess and let other people in.

I am convinced that the shortest distance between strangers and friends is a shared story about our broken places.

So Saturday morning finds me standing in front of a lovely group of women and an even lovelier array of cinnamon crunch bagels sharing how desperately inept I’ve felt when it comes to mothering a daughter. How for years I attended a church where I didn’t know anyone beyond “fine.” And how my new strategy for making friends is going to be sharing more than they’re expecting to hear.

I read to them from this blog.

My worlds collide and my words blur and my heart comes home.

Friendship lives beyond the margins of blog posts. Friendship cups real hands around paper cups of coffee. Friendship can see when your mascara runs.

Beautiful reader, believe me when I tell you that we need those friends. We need to pack up our excuses and join that Bible study or moms group or coffee hour or book club or running team that we’ve been meaning to for months now.

I promise it won’t be perfect.

Friendship with skin on will let you down. It will likely hurt you some times. But it will laugh with you, not at you, over the every day bits and pieces that make us real. So these days, I’m going all in. Random diaper genie outside the front door and all.

How about you?

Thank you for sharing life with me. You’re lovely.
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