A friend turned me on to a writer I had not had the pleasure of meeting yet. I am always ready to hear of a good read, but more over, someone I can relate to. While I have not lived the life Anne has, my HEAVENS does she “get me” as a mother.
When I really love an author, I insist on buying books in hard copy, not the fancy e-book way, because when I spend time with a good book, it’s like a physical book is having the author right there in the room with me. I dont just read their books, I converse with them. I also have a habit of desecrating books, and the more I love one, the more horribly in shape they become. Anne’s? Well, I’ve begun whole conversations next to her underlined phrases and paragraphs that I’ve circled and put a huge exclamation mark next to. At one point, I circled a quote she added from another author who was profound and impacting, and I wrote under it, “Wow, and sooooo not me!” I let my eyes move to the next page and what did she write? “This is SO not me!”
For all that she is, Anne Lamont is not anything but a human woman, BUT she is something so many christian women aren’t. She’s bold faced honest.
There. I’ve said it. Christian women are often not honest. That seems contradictory, but it’s amazing just how bad about myself I feel after reading a devotional or even attending a bible study where it’s not transparent with women who will show their broken sides. There are an awful lot of women I know who need to see that being christian doesn’t mean your kids are perfect and your house runs smooth… it also means you can be mucked up and broken, wounded, and not getting much right in life, but still – the fact you woke up and tried one more day to get it more right than wrong is enough to make God proud of you.
I needed to hear the honesty… and in a way that made me listen like I stopped doing a while ago because I was too tired to try and hear through the noise of my pain and my motherhood strife. Anne dares to pen four letter words as she relates her messed up life and shows how God’s intervening. It shocked me. Has she been in my head?
I’m gonna put these two quotes on my fridge… because they’re just that brutally honest…(not even because they tell me what to do, just that they remind me someone else is walking around like me) :
“Everyone has been having a hard time with life this year; not with all of it, just the waking hours.” & “I don’t know what the solution is, I know what doesn’t help is the terrible feeling of isolation, the fear that everyone else is doing better than you.” Anne Lamont
The fact is, my life is not beautiful and perfect. I can mask up and make it look that way. I can manage to make it look like I got great kids and a fantastic marriage that takes no effort, and that I’m this cheery sweet girl who is just bubbly and happy go lucky. I can do it. And you’d walk away and go, wow. Huh. Wonder what I’m doing wrong that I don’t have a life like that.
You’re not doing anything wrong… Life just sucks sometimes. It gets mucky. And every single thing I touch requires so much effort that I feel drained before I have even managed to climb out of bed in the mornings. I wake up, think about my to do list, and I want to turn over and go back to bed. IT’S SO DAMNED HARD!!!
This is not how I planned life to go at this point. I had a whole life planned out. It was detailed and it was glorious! We will call that Plan A. It was set with eyes that were childish. By childish I mean, eyes that had not yet seen what real life was like… the effort required just to survive day to day, and the moxy you have to possess to actually do anything more than that.
So Plan B – That is where I stand now. I have an amazing husband who stands by me even though I am a headstrong, stubborn, hot-tempered, often unfiltered woman. (I really need a filter for my mouth before I speak) I have three amazing kids… because when all is said and done, they truly are amazing. I may pull my hair out daily, and end up bald, but they really are amazing. I have the things I need, some that I want, and even some I never thought to want. I’m blessed.
That said… Life is insane. Life is hard. Life is driving me nuts. I screw up daily. I get some things right. I’ll never figure out a whole heck of a lot of things I assumed I would have bagged and done by now. I’ll admit I think a LOT of cuss words in my head and even say some of them out loud. I am a Jesus loving, God fearing, Bible reading, Christian woman who does NOT have her ducks in a row and can not begin to lie and say she has her act together. I simply do not. BUT – I do get up and try, each and every day, to get more things right than I did maybe the day before, and hopefully will learn something that will make tomorrow easier to get through.
Anne confirmed something I have long done, finding it to be one of the only ways to release my built up tension… Somedays, you can be right or you can be kind. It’s a grace thing. Oh, and screaming in the car helps.
I ramble all this for one simple fact… somebody out there may need to know that they are so not alone. They may need to hear life sucks for someone else too, and they (me) are having an insane number of days where motherhood is pushing them to the brink of clinical insanity. No joke. I cant tell you how many times I have wondered what God saw in me when he delivered the specific children he did to me. I wonder because I dont feel strong enough nor prepared enough for the years still ahead of me. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing God DOES know more than I do and I am not the only one navigating these uncharted waters. (I know people have had kids before, but I haven’t, and no one has ever raised MINE – so thus, the waters are uncharted for both of us.)
Hang in there… God will take you just as you are… muck and all… and you are not alone.
Quotes are taken from Anne Lamont’s book “Plan B…Further Thoughts on Faith.”