Saturday, October 21, 2017

hope for the hopeless...


Earlier this year I was talking to a friend and she encouraged me (in more ways than one) to find what makes me unique and showcase that when it comes to blogging and my social media. 

I’ve been pondering that conversation ever since and have been pushing myself to open up, be humbled, be raw, be honest, and most importantly be someone who is an encouragement to this here online community. Not. Easy. 

Life has been pretty hard lately. My husband and I feel like we’re in the trenches of this super crazy hard season. This spiritual super battle. So I fell away. It got harder to blog. Harder to do my beloved Instagram cooking demo stories, hard to really do much other than self protect, damage control and live off of auto pilot. 

Then the other day I was reminded of that same encouragement my sweet friend laid upon me, with another friend on Instagram. Basically reminding us that everyone is trying to do everything here (on the internet). It’s this constant battle of “who did it better”, “who is more creative”, “who has the more farmhousie house”? Etc. And it’s exhausting. And unrealistic. So we need to find ourselves, remember what makes us special, what gifts and talents He has blessed us with, and focus on that. That’s enough and usually when we shine that light, it encourages and influences others around us in ways we never thought possible. I lost track of that and am glad to have remembered to do it again. I don’t want to cook all the things everyone else is or make things everyone else is making (macrame plant holders anyone?) and say mine is better. I want to cook things, do things, story things, photograph things and write things people will love AND showcase it in a way that is special and true to me; in hopes that someone somewhere smiles at it and finds encouragement. I want to be real and authentic in a world where we’re all afraid to do so. And do it because my heart wants nothing more for that one discouraged follower to see it and be able to breathe again. To go, “hey! I’m there too!” And to know that THAT is ok. And I want to do ALL of this through the power of Jesus. Because through Him all things are possible. 


SO! That being said, THIS is my real life right now. My family of three living in a TINY, one bedroom apartment in Los Angeles because we are financially unable to afford much else at this time.  Its having a 2.5 year old toddler who is feisty, and grumpy, and headstrong and more recently, refusing any and mostly all sleep. It's being up for 1-2 hours a night most nights cursing and fighting in a whisper with my husband in the dark because our son is in our room screaming his head off (and yes, after being consoled and checked to make sure everything is ok). It’s us recently out of desperation, taking down our beloved bed frame and dragging our mattress to our tiny living room so that our son can have the room to himself and we can all possibly start to get some much needed sleep. Its me hoping to get my sleep deprived Hashimotos self back into remission after the last 8 weeks of total toddler chaos. It’s me folding up all the blankets and pillows each morning and putting them in our dresser in his room. It’s lifting and pushing that big heavy mattress by myself while the cats and toddler try and play with it, back into his room, upright against our closet doors. (So that he can run and play and use his trampoline in our living room during the day.) It’s my husband cleaning up the living room each night of any toys, dragging that mattress back out and re-making our bed. It’s doing homeschool 4 days a week on our dining table which is right next to our office desk (because they share a room). It’s not having shiplap anything and not having a porch or yard for Luke to play in, so we have to take him to a park to get muddy or sandy or dirty. It’s not having chickens or affording farmers markets and more often than not having to forego the pasture raised or organic because we just can’t afford it this time. It’s continuing to trust He will provide each week and He will continue to give wisdom to us with how to heal my Hashimotos and my husband’s ailments through food and natural health. It’s trusting in the ways He shows us we can do and having to not get those things He’s shown us aren’t for right now (like all the essential oils and supplements and powders and vital proteins things!!!) It’s doing the best we can with what we have and preaching to our heart when it starts to resent or become envious. Because what we have IS enough and it’s what He’s deemed appropriate for now. It is right and perfect. It’s looking around our house, our “tiny home” and seeing all the things we DO have and being content. It's hands-on raising of a strong-willed little guy everyday and not getting the break or "me time"...but still not giving up; not running away. It’s remembering that “even if not, He still is good”. 

So friends, if any of you are out there scrolling through your feed and going, “Man. I can’t keep up! I can’t compare! My house doesn’t look like that! I don’t own those suede ankle booties! Those ripped skinny jeans. I can’t afford those barre classes! Those pasture raised eggs.” This is for you. You are enough. Your home is enough. Your body is enough. What you have is enough and if you change your perspective and trust in The One who gave it to you, you'll see all the amazing blessings in your life.


2 comments:

  1. Dear Christina, as I sit here on an early Sunday morning in Alpharetta, GA drinking coffee having just watched my son drive off to Washington, DC with the car he bought from my husband and I (I drove it 12 hours from East Texas to meet him about halfway at my sister’s house), I am grateful how the Lord encouraged and refreshed my heart by your very humble, loving, and very transparent blog post. I believe you expressed what many of us have felt but are either too proud or too afraid to write about as if it may “tarnish” or affect one’s instagram following. Comparison and envy are such worldly traps that the evil one uses so successfully and cunningly in our world today, even among fellow bakers and chefs...even through methods of FB and Instagram. We are enough! Our Great God has given us enough, as you shared, by redeeming us through the sacrificial blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Your post has reminded me of that once again. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt “I need to do this to make my business look like that business” and not can’t I just be satisfied with the gifts and the family that He has given me? It’s a trap that I believe even as believers we experience. Only by His grace and by posts such as yours are we reminded of how much we truly have and how we are truly blessed in Him! I could say so much more...but I so thankful for your heart and how He continually desires to draw us back to Him! Blessings, Suzanne Duke (just a small home based cottage baker in East Texas, a wife to a wonderful, godly husband of 35 years, and a mother of two adult married children, one of whom is expecting our first grandchild with his wife this January)

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  2. Gosh, friend. I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to write this. I really, honestly appreciate it!

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