“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.: 2 Corinthians 11:30

This past summer, I purchased a swimming pool for my grandson to splash in.  It’s exactly the kind of pool that I would have loved as a child: a red mushroom canopy on top with a bright yellow base.  I envisioned him splashing with glee in the pool while I sat next to him on the outside, living vicariously through him.  But I forgot one key point: my grandson, like his father as a child, needs some time to adapt to new situations.  In addition to that, he also wasn’t feeling the greatest that week.  Instead of splashing with glee, he whimpered when we placed him in the pool.  He gradually grew calmer, but never really gained any enthusiasm for the idea.  The pool is now packed away for next summer when we will try again.

Two years ago, I began to write this blog out of a place of brokenness, confusion, and uncertainty.  I felt like my life was transitioning in so many ways, some positive and some not so much.  After twenty-plus years of home educating my own children and providing childcare for different families, my responsibilities were changing, and I had more free time on my hands.  I was also navigating some tough situations that affected all areas of my life.  After praying about some different options, I felt led to spend some time writing, both this blog and a book about my life.

Last year’s anniversary shoot, photo credit to Margaret Collins

I remember nervously posting my first blog, wondering if anyone would read it!  I knew I wasn’t an Ann Voskamp who writes poetic prose that makes you pause and reflect.  I also knew I wasn’t a Lysa TerKeurst who can directly address issues of the heart and bring new Biblical insights to light.  Although I admire these writers, I had no expectation of having the kind of influence they have garnered.  I did know that I was an ordinary woman who served a good God who helped me create an extraordinary life despite brokenness and hardship.

Just like my grandson, I was a little cautious in my first blogs, testing the waters with my vulnerability.  Can I really share some of the hard stories of my life?  Do I want to publicly reveal the shame of obesity I carried around?  Do I want to share some of the failures I have experienced in life?  Dare I expose the loneliness that I have battled for the last eight years?

Post by post, I revealed more and more, and found that my little corner of the social media world felt safe.  As I poured my heart out in words, I felt like I gained a new perspective on some of the struggles I have gone through.  Unlike my grandson, I found that, over the course of time, this “pool” of blogging was a fun place to be, where I could express myself through words, sharing with others what God was doing in me despite my faults and shortcomings.

The biggest lesson I have learned is how the shame script had impacted my life.  It had shaped how I viewed myself, how I related to my husband, how I parented my children, and, most importantly, how I viewed God.  Writing and seeing how others have responded to my posts has helped dismantle this shame.  Brene’ Brown says, “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

Readers, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for your empathetic responses.  My greatest desire through this experience was that my words somehow will resonate with you and minister to you wherever you are in your life!  I am finding that God is using my blog to do far more inside of me than my desire to minister to others.  In this journey of transition and self-growth, I will continue to write with openness and transparency.  I’m still on a journey, and I hope you will continue to walk with me!

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