26 Sep 2013

When a blogger gets stage fright

Gosh it’s been a couple of weeks.

The Five Minute Friday link up is below. But I wanted to share this with you guys first. So read on, yes?

BAKERS-32

I don’t know about you all and what meetings you’ve been in or where you’ve traveled or how many loads of laundry you’ve burned through. Or not burned through, as the case may be.

For me, I’ve been on the road a lot and away from the four people who make me feel most like myself. But on the up side I’ve had more time than usual for thinking and talking and less time for writing so I’ve been sporadic here.

But I’ve been feeling along the fringes of this beautiful space and you wise and wonderful and brave women who gather here and I’ve been wondering if I do an honest job at peeling back the corners of my life to let you get a glimpse of all the Cheerios crushed into the carpet beneath.

Metaphorically speaking. And literally I guess too.

I’ve realized that unintentionally I think, I’ve left gaps in the story.

As I spend time soaking in the stories of people who do work in hard parts of the world and women who introduce themselves as “just a mom” when in fact they’re raising five kids and turning their lives upside down to try and move the dial of difference for the better even just one notch in Africa, I feel this burn in my solar plexus.

I feel this longing to help women see themselves through brave eyes.

And if I’m honest there’s a part of me that wants to clamber up onto table tops and beat my chest and yell, “there’s no such thing as just a mom,” even as I know at the same time that the women who’re saying it don’t mean it. I know that they know what I know.

I know that they bleed brave and breathe courage and simply haven’t found the job title yet in embossed letters that can translate a lifetime of saving the lives of tiny humans in such a way that world can really hear it.

So they add “just” in front of the only title they have.

Just a mom.

I have never been just a mom.

But sometimes I think I pretend that I have so that I won’t raise eyebrows or so that I will fit in or so that I will be sure not to make someone who doesn’t have a nanny feel uncomfortable.

My motherhood defines me. It is my DNA in ways that my law degree never was.

But see there – did you know I had a law degree?

I’ve worried the last couple weeks that you all get a filtered version of my mothering. Because motherhood is never one-size-fits-all it’s more like a screaming inner tube of insanity shooting down rapids of unpredictability and we each of us try to ride it the best way we know how.

It might look like the way your mother did it or nothing remotely connected

But as more people read here than ever have before I’ve felt the fringes of stage fright creeping into my fingers as I tap, tap, tap on this keyboard late at night.

(It’s always way later at night than is good for me. And always after I’ve watched a TV show that I love because I see the world through other people’s stories and these things feed me more than CS Lewis, and that’s just the honest truth of a girl raised by an English teacher who was also a movie addict.)

A friend sort of dared me to write this post.

I was sure I wouldn’t.

But here I am anyway and sitting with a bum knee (remind me to tell you how I got five stitches and a tetanus shot in Austin last week) up on a sofa overlooking a beautiful view with hundreds of miles between me and my kids writing the story of how I’m the only version of a mom I know how to be. And it likely looks different than your version. And it’s always a work in progress.

And I don’t want to be scared to tell you how motherhood looks for me because I never want you to be scared of being able to share how it looks for you.

Next week I’m going to share some of the stories that make me both me and a mother. Me and a working mother. Me and a mother who grew up in South Africa. Me and a mother who has three adopted siblings. Me and a mother who lost her mother. Me and a mother who’s writing a book.

Because if we’re going to do this thing – if we’re going to remind each other that we are both more and less complicated than “just” a mom, we’re going to need to trust each other, yes

So I’ll go first

I’ll share you some of my “back” stories. Because in reality they’re my “now” stories.

And I’ll know that we’re in this thing together.

Really.

Yes?

~~~~~~~~~~~

So our word for Five Minute Friday this week? Let’s make it: TRUE. Because I need your true stories. Just like I hope you need mine.

 

Comments

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  1. 1

    Yes! You don’t get a beautiful tapestry using only one color and texture of thread. Thank God none are the same, yet we are woven together unable to separate ourselves without destroying the whole thing.

  2. 2

    and here I am, cheering you on, with my own fractured wrist and feelings of insecurity in this whole blogging thing and I am APPLAUDING you as you write your back story.
    you go, lady.
    (insert a happy dance, here.)

  3. 3

    Oh Lisa-Jo, you inspire me! I can’t wait to read your back stories! Thank you for always having words that lift me up, make me feel “normal”, and inspire me to be a better mother, friend, sister, wife, …….
    I always try to be real, rather that trying to act like everything in life is perfect. I feel like that is the least we can do for each other, to be real and not put on a mask to hide how hard life can be. You offer that to me and I really appreciate it!
    Sarah

  4. 4

    yep. We ARE in this together. Thanks for driving that point home. And for reminding us that we all have stories – they define us but we can also write our own stories…and we can be intentional writing the stories FOR our kids, but our kids’ perceptions mold and mend themselves into something else we often don’t intend. We can only pray our best intentions shine through the understory and eventually they can look back and realize we did our best with what we knew and had.

  5. 5

    Yes. And a hundred amens. I really, really like you, Lisa-Jo Baker. The *all* of you, not just the “just” parts. :)

  6. 6

    Excited for you as you share these “me” stories! As someone privileged to see a bit more of the “I” behind your blog, I know you have so much to give. I know, too, how much courage it requires.
    I’m cheering you on. :)
    Also, this – I am always astonished to discover (and rediscover) that our most specific stories can speak the most powerfully to the most people. I have no doubt that will prove true here in the coming weeks. Can’t wait to watch it all unfold.

    • 7

      Yes and thank you, Christie. It’s friends like you that remind me that the whole of me and my messy life are always welcome at kitchen tables in old pajamas and maybe worth sharing with the women we’ve only met in comment boxes too.

    • 8

      Christy, I so agree with you about specific stories having much power in the lives of others. At least that’s how it is for me.

      Lisa-Jo, thanks for your transparency and for fostering such an encouraging community here! FMF is always a blessing.

  7. 9

    Needed to hear this today!!

  8. 10

    We are all different, yet all the same. Different struggles, but the same healing. Love reading your honesty, Lisa Jo. You are always inspiring me to write from the heart, and that I can do this mom thing!

  9. 11

    Eshet chayil! Woman of valour!

  10. 13
    Tina/@teenbug says:

    “I’ve been wondering if I do an honest job at peeling back the corners of my life to let you get a glimpse of all the Cheerios crushed into the carpet beneath.

    Metaphorically speaking. And literally I guess too.”

    I love that you are standing in the tension of remaining authentic in the middle of a growing platform. I’m learning so much from you even though we are are in very different seasons.

    xo,
    Teen

  11. 14

    Yes :)

  12. 15

    Thanks for this, Lisa-Jo. I’ve been afraid to share *all* of my story lately, too. I’ve been writing circles around my experience with anxiety/depression because I’m afraid of what everyone will think of me. And then, I’m launching a new blog for working moms tomorrow, and I’m slightly terrified of what that will look like, and how I will find the right things to write about. I’m afraid of being too vulnerable, to negative, too trite. But I think I just need to listen to Jesus and stop being so afraid… to step out of the boat and cling to Him. Maybe we can do this thing together? Keep on sharing your story, friend… it is building the Kingdom.

    • 16

      Yes you put all my own thoughts down here too. Afraid of getting it wrong or what people will think and not knowing how my own story can translate into the lives of others. But we keep writing, one word at a time, and if we can breathe easy once we’ve pushed publish then we know we’ve written the things that need to be said. We can do this thin.

    • 17

      Your back-story of anxiety/depression is a common one, my friend. I too, have anxiety that can be triggered by loud noises, and sudden movement, or a general surplus of negativity. The anxiety may go on for days and can be quite distracting. I find that reaching out to others to help them helps me as well as engaging in physical activities, such as walking helps enormously.

      My theory on those of us who experience anxiety or depression is that we are the ones most susceptible to the judgement of others, wear our hearts on our sleeve, are quite empathic, and believe we do not measure up somehow. And my theory on this is that we ALL feel this way, but think we are the only ones. :)

  13. 18
    Erin Redick says:

    Yes PLEASE!!! You rock Lisa-Jo. And can you ever imagine God using the word “just”? I don’t think it is in His vocabulary!!!

  14. 20

    I love this so much, and love you so much. What you saying really speaks to my heart. I’m on the opposite side of the bad equation (“I’m not *even* a mom” is the line that plays in my head sometimes), just a different way of feeling unimportant and like I’m doing it wrong. This peeling back the corners feels just right. <3

  15. 21

    SO encouraging this morning! And very sweet. Thank you, Lisa-Jo.

  16. 22

    Yes… together!

  17. 23

    Love this! Love your blog! I love that you are real and bless you for this!

  18. 24
    Melissa Lopez says:

    Hi. Thank you for letting us know more of you. We will share more of ourselves. I am a mother that is the adopted daughter, and a mother that has lost her mother this year, 6 months ago. I am a working Mom, meaning I work to make money and still do everything else. I want to be the best person I can be for my daughter so I can leave her an example to follow as my Mom did for me.

  19. 25

    I see bravery, here, Lisa-Jo, Encourager to Many. I see you refusing to be frightened by outside expectations, and I see you spreading wide the net of love and grace and acceptance so all moms will know that they fit here.

    Don’t let stage fright win this one, friend. All of us are more than our avatars, and we give each other grace for the gaps in the story. But don’t believe the lie that the gaps mean you should stay silent. Your voice is too important for that.

  20. 26

    May we never be scared to share how it looks for us. Amen. Love this.

  21. 27

    You got me. I exclaimed, “What??” outloud at the 3 adopted siblings. I didn’t know that. You are a fascinating lady; we are all fascinating in our own ways. I don’t know why we hide the law degrees, the work in interior design, the missions work overseas, the children’s program we work in on Sundays, the dirty dishes, or the perfectly planned birthday party that neighbors are still talking about! It’s all a part of who we are! Let’s tell those stories! So glad your friend dared you! :)

  22. 28

    You go Lisa! There is honor and value in following the Spirit’s nudging to go deeper, open further, share more. I applaud you for doing so and believe it will bless many with the courage to also open up and get real, go deeper. But I want you to know the truth you have shared doesn’t need to be “the whole truth” to be truth and to feed souls! Your blog has blessed me, though I am mostly past the mom-defined days, and has blessed young moms who are friends of mine and even my daughter in law as I have shared it on. Keep on keeping on! And God bless!

  23. 29

    I love when you tell stories. Looking forward to hearing more next week. Praying your knee heals well!

  24. 30

    Yes.

  25. 31

    I love this idea. And I’d love to know the back stories of every woman who comments here. And I’d love to share mine. Because for so long I’ve been “just” a mom and “just” a professor because I “only” have three kids (when others have four or five or six) and “only” teach 100 level courses (when others have PhDs and teach upper level courses). Ridiculous, no? Why don’t we stand up and shout to the world all that we do? Are we afraid of bragging? Are we afraid that others might compare themselves to us or we to others? Are we afraid of showing others, particularly our daughters, all the God has made us to be? We shouldn’t be afraid. Even though I am. :)

  26. 32

    Oh, Lisa-Jo! Your back/now stories are fascinating to so many of us precisely because they are part of your DNA. And although many of us haven’t met you IRL, we already know we love you. Your heart speaks our language. I’m so grateful for the dare of a friend. Rest up that knee as best as a mama can and write on. I’m looking forward to reading your stories.

  27. 33

    From one mom, lawyer, blogger to another, just wanted to say I, for one, think you are awesome. And I love reading your stories. Carry on friend!
    Jill

  28. 34

    Thanks for beautifully sharing how we’re more than “just a mom”. Sometimes frankly, I get upset when people label me as such. For those that have never been at home 24/7 with their kids have no idea what we do all day. :) As much as I like to dream, my kids do not fan me while I relax with my feet propped up watching soaps, and feed me grapes! Looking forward to hearing your back stories! I love people being real and transparent…thanks!

  29. 35

    Simply real! Look forward to ur stories :)

  30. 36

    You are brave and beautiful and go before, knowing who leads us all. Thank you, Lisa-Jo. Can’t wait to hear, knowing I will be blessed.

  31. 37

    I wholeheartedly agree! I so much prefer to hear people being real than to sugar coat things, but I think as writers, and bloggers, and Moms we don’t want to put a tarnish on our kids’ memories. I blog about our family in light of my son’s autism, and I have struggled with this very thing. And I, like you, have found myself with stage fright much of the time. I would never want my blog to come across as a place where I whine about autism, but in trying not to do that I feel like I whitewash things. I wrote about it here: http://wp.me/p2zShf-jS
    Perhaps your truth and your bravery will inspire the rest of us on our journeys. Thank you for being you!

  32. 38

    “just a mom”, “just a home school mom”, just a single mom trying to put food on the table”….lies, lies, lies.
    Thanks for being willing to open our eyes to see how the world and our kids truly see us…super women making a difference in a lost and dying world.

  33. 39
    Marinalva Sickler says:

    I knew I was going to sob the pain of my soul today. There is no soothing to a mother cries in the solitude of the departure of her grownup children. There is no comfort to the thousand of miles of separation and lives events that will not fix broken relationships.

    I do welcome your stories in my life as a balm of lavender today.

  34. 40

    Took a lot of courage to write this. I think we all know your heart and get that you are a mom first …. Whatever you are second. I enjoy your post immensely… Very positive and they encourage me not to take life too seriously…. Thank you

  35. 41

    This really resonates with me, Lisa-Jo, because the Lord has been teaching me so much about identity over the last few years! In fact, when he first prompted me to start blogging, it was because I had my first paid speaking opportunity at our church, and He gave me a message to share that I wanted to share with all women. It’s right along these lines – I call it the Superwoman Myth. But really it’s about so much more than that. It’s about being a daughter of a Creator God who uniquely gifts individuals according to His will. It’s about learning who we are meant to be in Christ. Because we all have a purpose, but those purposes are different! We cannot make up a body if we’re all busy trying to be each other. It’s so freeing, isn’t it?!

  36. 42

    Yes, we want all of your stories–all of you!

  37. 43
    Lori Kandice says:

    This entry sounds like you’re exhaling deep, and settling in (beautifully) to the God given gift you have. Encourage on sweet sister! Women need to hear your story and the Lord will do all the rest. That transparency just knits hearts together, that’s what it does! We’re all so grateful for you.

  38. 44

    Bring them on Lisa Jo! Can’t wait.

  39. 45

    Go for it, Girl. There’s something fearful and freeing in pulling back your breastbone and laying your heart bare. Your life bare. And, in my experience, you are reminded of how remarkably the chapters connect and make you realize it is more than just “your” story…because how on earth could you have ever anticipated for the events to fall so perfectly together like that? It’s comforting to remember that your life is another one of God’s stories, and you’re getting to tell it every day you live.

    It’s a heritage too. My father died when I was an infant, and I have had no journals or thoughts to ruminate through to better understand this man who left me, a piece of himself, behind before he went to the great beyond. This humbling remembering of your past on paper will be a reward for more than just yourself.

    Because our stories are for more than ourselves. A single thread is barely more than a piece of colored string until it’s woven with a thousand other threads in a tapestry that it makes a beautiful piece of art. Each knot and weave helps all the other threads find their place. Sharing your path may help another, and together you add the glint on a leaf from a drop of dew on the picture.

    So if you’re feeling prompted to share your story, go for it. You’ll be exhausted, but glad that you did.

    And if you do, maybe I will too.

    I always enjoy reading your blog — it’s the only blog I subscribe to currently. And leaving comments always brings the writer in me back out. Maybe one of these days I will start a blog. In the meantime, I’ll keep enjoying reading and commenting on yours. :)
    Love, AineMistig

  40. 46

    Ignore the mean things and remember why you started your blog in the first place. Thanks for getting me writing again!!!

  41. 47

    I love that you have a back-story. In fact, we all do. We are not ‘just’ moms. We are MOMS!!! If you ask me who I am you’ll get a huge back-story that could take up an entire book. And, I’ll bet that every other MOM does too!
    Some of these back stories we don’t share with anyone…sometimes even ourselves. I too am well-educated, but that is not as important to me as loving my family, being a friend, lending a helping hand. This is what makes me who I am. This is what defines me. This is what humanizes me. And in this connection with others is where I find my center and balance.
    I love to listen to the stories of others lives. This is when I feel most connected to humanity and when I feel whole.
    So…being ‘just’ a mom is hardly being ‘just’ a mom. It is the act of mothering to our children sometimes to our parents, and sometimes to the community’s children and parents where the highest form of commitment to humanity, peace, and personal value can be embraced.
    Cherish being a MOM – being a caregiver! It is the most difficult, most rewarding and connecting act of giving one human being can provide for another. And, it should be recognized as such.

    On speaking publicly…
    I never thought that I would engage in any form of public speech. I never thought I would have the courage to do so. I prefer to hide behind the computer and write. I love to connect through writing. But, public speaking that is another matter. However when you must speak up on behalf of others who need your support, it is amazing how much courage you can find!

    I spoke at Toronto City Hall in council chambers two days ago and shared my concerns regarding the imminent arming of all front-line police officers with Tasers. This on the heels of a police shooting death of a teen – Sammy Yatim who was in crisis. While he lay dying he was Tasered as well. And the use of a Taser recently on an 80-year-old woman with dementia who then dropped to the ground and broke her hip.

    I found the courage to begin speaking up in early 2012, following the police shooting death of a young man who had left Toronto East General Hospital in a hospital gown in crisis and disoriented on a snowy February day. It was the courage of another person who decided to speak up, who gave me the courage to begin to speak up.

    I too, had witnessed the police shooting death of a young man in 1996, and due to fear, I did not have the courage to come forward. Neither would any other person I tried to speak to about it. But, when people begin to have the courage to come forward and tell their story, it is amazing what can happen.

    I applaud you for telling your story and I will be right here waiting and listening to you and reading about all your back story with a keen interest. Encouraging people to tell their story is what helps all of us the understand that we are much more alike than we are different in our experience of the world. And it is what reminds us that we are all human and connected to each other, no matter what our back story is.

  42. 48

    Thank you Lisa! I can’t wait to read your back story. I stopped writing on my blog because of fear. What do I have to say and fear of judgement of others. Does my back story or present story help others? I have felt like “just a mom” and sometimes envy your pics and blog posts thinking you have it made…your encouraging others…such a great mom….and I feel like I never get it right, struggle a lot, and so need to know that we all have hard moments and great moments as moms and yet we are so much more than just cleaning, scrubbing, boo boo healing, dish washing women exhausted at the end of the day. So excited to read your next posts. :)

    • 49

      And it is this fear that keeps us all in our place, isn’t it? Glad to know there are kindred ‘fear’ spirits out there like myself. I’m also, trying to maintain the courage to keep on writing in spite of what some may say.

  43. 50

    Way to go LJ! You are amazing to share so much of yourself! Stay strong :)

  44. 51

    This —> Because if we’re going to do this thing – if we’re going to remind each other that we are both more and less complicated than “just” a mom, we’re going to need to trust each other, yes —> Holding your hand and offering my trust to you today friend… Thank you so much for being such a safe place… and now I’m off to find a box of kleenex…

  45. 52

    Oh, one other thing I want to add….not everyone agrees with what I have to say, either. I have a lot of ‘hateful’ comments on my blog in response to what I write. Some days, it gives me pause and anxiety. I didn’t write for 4 months, due to some of the hate mail and threats I was getting that frightened me. Then, when I was encouraged to once again share my viewpoint and to speak out again, it began to give me the courage to begin to write and speak about it again.

    Don’t let the critics get you down. As one writer told me, there will always be critics. If you believe in what you do and know why you are doing it – for the greater good for the community, to inspire and be supportive, then reminding yourself of these reasons why you started to write in the first place, can give you courage to carry on.

    Your blog is a breath of fresh air to all of us MOMs who have bought into the concept that we are not as valuable as others in their ‘paid’ work. Imagine if there were no MOMs or caregivers. The world would just not function at all!!!!! And these people caregive from their heart and from a place of peace and love.

    What could be more valuable than this????

    Love your blog….keep writing.

  46. 53

    Thank you for being willing to share honestly so that we, in turn, can do the same for those around us. Beautifully written, as usual.

  47. 54

    Seriously, Lisa-Jo, I’ve lost track of how many times you’ve brought tears – the good kind – to my eyes. You inspire. You carve out corners of encouragement. You touch a tender spot in my heart. And I’m grateful. Someday in heaven… a long walk and a chance to say thank you face-to-face.

  48. 55

    Hi! I found your blog a few weeks ago and love how you write. Straightforward… not too sappy.. (although there are definitely times to be sappy) and hints of sarcasm. I could be way off in my view on that… it’s funny how we think we know a person just by reading their blog.

    I just was thinking after reading this post how hard it really is to share what we go through on a daily basis for a ton of reasons. A big one for me is that people will actually know that I don’t have it all together. They’ll actually see my sin and failure and unlovingness. Is that a word? And another biggie for me is that I don’t ever want my kids to read things I wrote and think they were the cause of down times for me. So there is a thin balance of telling our stories and protecting our stories… and I think you do a great job of that. Thank you for being another great word of encouragement for me as I navigate life with 2 little people, learning how to be a better wife and daughter of the Lord.

    • 56

      Maybe writing the truth so that our children may read it one day will help them to understand that being a mom is not about being perfect, but being present each day and not giving up.

      I too, tend to edit a lot of my writing before it hits the blogosphere due to fear of reprisals, concerns about finding and maintaining the paid work that keeps our family supported, personal fear of my physical safety and guarding my emotional health when pressure begin to mount from the ‘critics’. But when I consider keeping quiet, it reminds me of all that would be lost in speaking up for the community if I did not speak up.

      I think that when children know they are loved unconditionally for who they are, they can handle the imperfectness of their moms. And even when we are challenged some days to find that unconditional love for them in our hearts, they can see that we are just having a bad day. Imagine if they grow up thinking that they too must be a ‘perfect’ mom or dad? If we do not speak up, then they will not either and will wonder in silence if there is something wrong with their mothering because everyone just makes it ‘seem’ soooo perfect.

      The best mom is a supported mom. Being a mom is one of the hardest, most criticized and least supported human relationship we’ll ever have with another human being.
      Ask any person raised without the benefit of a life-long committed mom what they missed in their life if you ask about their parents. They will wish they had a mom!
      What does a dying soldier cry out when he/she takes their last breaths…mom.

      • 57

        Great thoughts Darlene! I have a constant battle on the blog and in real life of being transparent and real in association with striving to be content in my present season of life and while growing. I’m currently reading “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. I’m learning to be more content in where I am right now, learning how to be a better wife and mom, while knowing we all fall short along this path. But the great thing is that our kids and husbands do love us so much. I constantly ask for forgiveness from them, and they freely give it. I think alot of times we get in our communities of wives and moms and sometimes do more hurt than good in just creating a “vent session.” We need more encouragement in our interactions with each other, more iron sharpening iron, and helping each other along this thing we call being a mom. It’s hard work and I’m so thankful for people like you and Lisa-Joe that I’ve never met that offer great wisdom.

        • 58

          Interesting, your comment on ‘vent’ sessions, Meg. I too, find that these can be unproductive in some ways. Everyone gets their feelings out, but then I think they all go home feeling a little lost. At least I do if I find myself in this mode. Afterwards I feel more discouraged than inspired. I think that when people are venting, it is because they are working through something though, don’t you?

          I really feel encouraged if I am working together with others on the solutions or at least trying to get to the solutions. At the same time, I do recognize that everyone is at a different place along the journey. Sometimes when someone is venting, I find it helps me to identify what the core issues are for myself as well as relate to the speaker, even if we don’t have all the answers at hand :)

          And, this parenting thing doesn’t come with a manual or previous experience. It’s like volunteering for a position as an ECE without the training! And no one would expect someone to be perfect at a job they weren’t trained for. Probably why we’ll be better at grand-parenting. We’ll have the experience and the 20/20 vision as well!

  49. 59

    Once again you have brought tears to my eyes. It is such brave open honest women like you have continue to inspire me to share. To share the hard and the real not to show all that I have gone and are going thought but to show the One that carried me through. To reveal the Father that is there to show us all the path we are to take.

  50. 60

    This will be how tonight will go down:

    I will read your post to my hubby.

    My husband will say, “She seems like someone you would like.”

    I do. I just plain like you.

  51. 61

    I think sometimes we all feel that “I’m just a mom” response in a lot of different areas in our lives. Sometimes when I’m writing I think, “No one cares about this. No one wants to hear about this” — whether it’s about the book or the kids or the backyard or my marriage or the pet lizard. And sometimes my husband has to remind me that readers come to read because they actually want to know me, like the real me, the real person me, not just the “here are her thoughts on faith” person. I forget that.

    The other day as I was jogging on a path here in town, a woman stopped on her bike and pulled off the side of the path to tell me that she knows me and that she reads my blog (she also goes to my church, so, just to clarify, she doesn’t JUST know me from the blog!). I was stunned, because she seemed all happy to meet me in person – the sweaty, heaving, breathless, I- hate-to-jog me. I just couldn’t get over it, that she went out of her way to stop biking and pull over and introduce herself to me. It was just so, so cool and so, so shocking and eye-opening.

    I’m totally rambling. I think this is my breathless, heaving way of saying I think I get exactly what you mean!

  52. 62

    Michele, when I write, I know that there are people out there who think ‘no ones cares about this and no one want to hear about this’, because they send me hate mail and actually tell me. But, if not for the courage of another who showed me the path, I would not have begun my blog writing. And I would not have shared my story that I hope in the end will effect change in a positive way.

    You must have inspired this lady, because she chose to stop you to tell you about it. Keep on inspiring in whatever form and to whomever. Even if your blog touches the heart of and inspires just one person, it will have been worth it. :)

  53. 63

    Can’t wait Lisa-Jo!!! You are so inspiring, especially when I feel like running far, far away (which has been happening FAR TOO OFTEN these days). Can’t freakin’ wait!!! xoxo

  54. 64

    How can everything you write be so thought provoking, so eloquent, so soul-searching so leaving me wishing I had thought up the words that you have written. You truly do have a way, my friend.

  55. 65

    Yes, absolutely! I’ve just shared your blog with 15 other beautiful, amazing moms who I have the privalege of leading through a parenting study this semester. I’ve decided the same thing with the same feelings of fear and “do I really want to be this transparent” thoughts. But I will share and I will be real so that they can share and be real too. I’m looking forward to your sharing your realness and how God has orchestrated your life and mothering.

  56. 66
    Rachel Hall says:

    So glad you decided to do this!! I also am a mom…among so many other things. And I firmly believe the kind of mom we are is shaped by our stories. And God loves to use our stories to touch others! The crazy, messy, beautiful sories. Thank you for your courage to share and let God use you to minister to others! Me, included. :)

  57. 67

    Lisa Jo, I just love this post. I truly relate, as so many here do. I can’t wait for more of your honest writing.

  58. 68

    True…here’s what’s true – I SO want to participate in this link-up, and I come here every week, and I read some of the other posts, and I’m so intimidated. True! Maybe someday.

  59. 69

    I would never-ever in a million years wold think of you as having blog stage fright. And also would never-ever have thought of you as just a mom. I have always wondered how you have kept up with everything that you do each day. And secretly I want to hear your voice with the blend of African, American, (insert other address here) speak.

    Hugs Lisa Jo–thank you for being here with all of us and giving us a voice and a community.

  60. 70

    “But sometimes I think I pretend that I have so that I won’t raise eyebrows or so that I will fit in or so that I will be sure not to make someone who doesn’t have a nanny feel uncomfortable.”

    This made me nod. Like, in my gut, if such a thing is possible. I so get this. SO. get this.

    YES, we need your stories. Thank you for them.

  61. 71

    So timely. Thank you. In this thing together.

  62. 72

    You inspired me tonight, Lisa Jo, so I shared a few truths about me in my fmf post. These were light-hearted, and it was freeing and fun. I sense that to continue the trend, I’ll need to dig a little deeper to some scarier parts, but… baby steps.

  63. 73

    Oh, my…five stitches and a tetanus shot…glad you are okay…and thanks for sharing some of your back story…I always appreciate your heart and story :)

  64. 74
    Joe Siccardi says:

    Loved the prompt and the idea behind it. As a man, I am often overwhelmed by how women — my wife included — diminish their roles, juggling careers (even if it’s the most demanding job of being a homemaker) and home life. We men often are experts in compartmentalizing our lives — separating work and careers from home life — often at the expense of one or the other. You women blend them and make them work. My prayer would be no woman ever calls herself “just” a mother. It’s the most important job in the word! And that’s the truth, phthh!

  65. 75

    This post hit a nerve in a good way and has left me teary eyed. I want to more than “just” a mom, and yet when I focus on motherhood I am happy, yet somehow if I am “just” a mom, I feel not enough, like there is so much I can do for God, and boy do I ever want to do it. The waiting is hard and lonely. Thanks for deepening your story today, as I get back to mothering, playing play dough and puzzles and trying to make clean this mess of a house.

  66. 76

    Grateful for you and all that you’re doing and sharing. I can’t wait to hear more of your “story”. It is scary and fun and mind-boggling to share our authentic selves, yet I’m in awe of how often we hear “me, too” from another mom walking a similar path. Blessings to you!

  67. 77

    Lisa, thanks for changing lives. thanks for sharing with us. you are so beautiful and transparent and I love it!

  68. 78

    Love this, Lisa-Jo. Love the way you’re pressing into the tension here and sharing your story. You are a gift, LJ.

  69. 79

    “they bleed brave and breathe courage” Yes they do!

  70. 80

    I am so, so glad I am not the only to feel this. Thank you for your honesty. I keep wanting to give up blogging, because this half-true writing is hard work, but I’m too afraid to write vulnerably again. This post inspires me. I can’t wait to read more of your story!

  71. 81

    Something I so needed to hear dear Lisa. Being a MOM is a 24 hr job.7days a week, 365 days a year. Yes we are not perfect and we have our ups and downs too, but we try our best for our families and loved ones and work environment and community… Waiting to read more of your stories… Thank you for the encouragement… Blessings, Natasha

  72. 82

    My goodness gracious!! This word TRUE was hard for me, & I very nearly didn’t post. But thank you, Lisa-Jo, for sharing your truth with all of us, for helping us to re-see & re-think our journeys & our true stories.

    http://wendytate.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/truth-shines/

  73. 83

    Lisa Jo, I don’t know how you always speak what my heart needs to cry out. You make me feel not so alone in this lonely mothering time. Thank you!

  74. 84

    Thank you. Again and again and again. Keep telling and encouraging truth. We need it. :)

  75. 85

    Always scary stuff when we get real. The bible study I’m attending right now (with a group of strangers other than my daughter) has been addressing this very thing. We tend to put on faces for each other, always answering “fine” when asked how we are doing, when we are screaming to be seen and heard inside. Me thinks God is trying to drive home a point……

    Thanks for hosting this each week and thanks for opening the door for telling the truth.

    Mindy

  76. 86

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