June 21

How to Be a Refreshment to Others

I published a post yesterday, over at Inspired to Action, about my struggle with self-condemnation. I shared a story of how I yelled at my kids and sent them all to bed early because mommy just couldn’t do the rest of the evening.

Turns out, I am not alone in my struggle with anger—or self-condemnation.

On one hand, it is freeing—to know I am not alone in my struggle. I have found the more I write about my journey—whether it be my struggle with staying at home, my related journey through depression, or fighting perfectionism—the more I find other women fighting through the same issues.

My heart cries out for all of these women floating around and feeling alone in their struggle. So many women are confused and feeling defeated. Christian women. Ladies who have the promise of abundant living in Christ.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I started writing because I found myself lonely and isolated. I needed encouragement and accountability, and I found that through blogging. God had a much bigger plan for my time online, and it is exciting to follow where He leads.

There is just something about the online community that I love! Yet, it bothers me that so many women are struggling with finding community at home, in their own churches. Thousands of women are flocking to blogging as an outlet, because many of us feel isolated and unable to connect with women “in real life.” Even more are not writing, but reading as their primary means of encouragement, and commenting as the only way to connect with other women.

Maybe it is easier to open up to a computer screen. It doesn’t make faces at you, or show disappointment or disapproval. It won’t act differently the next time you see it. It is steady, always there, regardless of what comes out. And, we can control better what it is that “comes out”.

I get it.

The Search for Authenticity

I think the comment I hear most often, after opening up my heart, is thanks for being honest and how refreshing that is to them.

Authenticity brings refreshment to others. 

I’ve seen this over and over. Through Bible studies I’ve lead—”in real life”— to posts where I share my heart. We are all longing to see others who have let go of the pretenses, and let down their walls of who they want people to think they are, and share the thing we are all thinking inside of our heads but are too afraid to say it.

This is hard. And scary. But ladies, I think this is what we are called to—as writers and as Christians—to be authentic. To be who we really are and to open up our lives to others and let them see our hearts.

And don’t let it stop online, do the same in real life.


Following Jesus, Sojourning, write it girl

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  1. A great encouragement to be more real with those around us. I seek for this in my day to day relationships but it seems that everyone is so busy that there is little or no time to really connect. The only way around this, I have found, is to be more intentional to make time for each other like organizing to meet at the park or the beach. Still, these times seem to be few and far between. The online community is always there, whenever we need it. Interesting…

    1. Busyness can have much to do with it!

      Intentionality is definitely key! But, you are right, the online community is always here. It seems to be easier to find like-minded souls to connect with, too.

  2. I agree with everything you wrote, it’s definitely easier to let the walls come down when your hiding behind a computer screen than it is face to face. I think as women we want to be real and authentic, but what if we put down that mask and we discover we aren’t good enough, it’s a fear we all have. God did not call us to live in fear, but with power; fear is straight from the devil and it’s a pretty effective tool for him. I’m praying for myself that I can start letting down the mask and being more fearless in my own “real life,” to make those connections face to face and not just online.
    Thanks for the encouragement!!

  3. The older I get…and I am getting older…the easier it is to let go of pretense…I think this is one of the gifts of being “over the hill”…you kind of are over a lot of the games that in my youth I found security. I do think the body longs for honest, real conversations…from what I can tell…you do that here. blessings…stopping in for write it…

  4. On that note, I was thinking that you need to come see me soon. I miss you!!

    Love this friend. And love that you are here as you are inrl.

  5. I crave this sort of connection in real life. I was just commenting on Brooke’s blog post from last night about the desire for real, deep friendships. It’s so hard to “start” as a stay at home mom. There isn’t a place to initiate the friendships. I’m praying for God to open doors.

    Mary Beth

  6. Very true. Ever since we were handed Barbie dolls as children, we have a problem with authenticity. But I don’t look like that. My hair isn’t blond like that. My shoes aren’t bent to fit inside those perfect heels. If we are authentic, we are busting open that model. But thank goodness we are. Blogging is an avenue for that I’ve found.

    I’m starting the morning routine challenge – I’m looking forward to it.


  7. It sounds like we’ve struggled with the same things. One of the things that has really helped me is truth journaling. I talk about it on my blog – i don’t know how to provide a link, but if you go over to the right and click on renewing of the mind tools, then scroll down and click on truth journaling, it describes my process. God had used this discipline in a million different ways to help me – and is still using it! In fact, it has even helped me write a comment like this – in the past I wouldn’t have, because it would have seemed self-promoting. Now I’m willing to write it even though it might make me look bad!

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