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Keeping It Real

If I accidentally stumble upon another blog of a homeschooling mother of eight, I am going to crawl into a hole…

I am going to crawl into a hole and start muttering, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Over and over and over again, whilst sucking my thumb and twirling my hair.

No offense to you homeschooling moms.  No offense to you mothers of eight or more. No offense even to you, homeschooling mother of eight who blogs. Bless your hearts. You are extraordinary.

Bless your hearts, you bloggers with your recipes for organic homemade smoothies with ingredients I’ve never heard of, and your free printables of “25 Easter crafts to make with your toddlers.” I know you mean to encourage. I know you mean to share valuable information that can help us be better mothers. I know it. Deep down I know it.

It is not your fault that you make me want to crawl into a hole. It really isn’t. It is not your fault that I am still sitting over here trying to figure out how you even have time to take a potty break from all the laundry, grocery shopping, and meal preparation that must go along with rearing eight children; much less have a spare minute to take gorgeous pictures of all the crafts and organic goodness taking place in your home at any given point in time. But then write about it in step-by-step detail on your beautiful blog? What am I doing wrong? I don’t have the foggiest idea how to even start to get to your level…

I have two children. One under the care of the public school system for 35 hours per week. One in private preschool for 13 hours per week. I am having a red-letter week if we have clean underwear to put on every day and don’t run out of bread for school lunches at least once during a two-week span. I wish I was exaggerating. 

Here’s a picture of my desk right now. Old Sara would not have been able to sleep at night until there were at a minimum: healthy straight little piles. For new Sara, this actually looks tons better than it has for the last couple of weeks, because you can actually see some of the desk surface underneath.

Am I proud of this? No. Do I think that if you are “savoring” properly, your desk should look like this too? No. Understand I am not passing judgment either way.

But if you are ordinary like me, and this is more your reality, feel at home here.

Oh, I fear, FEAR, that in some way my blog may at some point make someone feel “not ______ enough.” You fill in the blank: not holy enough, not spiritual enough, not creative enough, not Bible-knowing enough, not patient enough, etc, etc.  I fear that somehow, someway, someone might read something and walk away feeling NOT ENOUGH. I fear that if I write about my successes, successes I think you too could achieve, you will not understand that the failings are far more frequent. You will not understand that I truly believe that, “If I can do this, if I can, I know you can do this too. Because I am SO ordinary.”

You are enough. You are enough for Jesus. Right now, you are enough. He died for you, for me, in our ugliest, most unworthy states: in our sins.

That said, I do want us all to strive together to be better, to be more, to be closer to Jesus and to be more like Him with each passing day. I don’t want to be satisfied, to be complacent. There is work to be done.

So come to me, all you ordinary. All you huddled masses yearning to break free of the “perfect Facebook status” and “perfect parent” status. All you who have had a New Years’ resolution for the past four years to learn to make smoothies. All you who are completely befuddled by extreme couponing. All you who more often than not consider Chick-Fil-A waffle fries an acceptable vegetable serving, at least for this night. Next week we’ll do better.

All you who sometimes fall asleep in prayer. All you who have had a New Years’ resolution for the past four years to read the Bible all the way through, and fall apart by February. All you who have a red-letter day when you only raise your voice to your children once.  

And if it ever happens, if you ever come to this place, or any place on the web for that matter, and feel overwhelmed, feel less than worthy – shut it down immediately. Shut it down. Unplug, get up and move.

If you are looking at this blog and you haven’t spent 5 minutes today in the arms of Your Creator, just you and Him: shut it down. If you are reading my ramblings and you haven’t spent 5 minutes looking into the eyes of your spouse and listening, really listening to how their day went: shut it down.

But I hope you’ll hang with me. I hope we can figure out this calling together – this calling to be in but not of. This calling to be holy, as He is holy. This calling to take up our crosses.

God knows, with whatever days I have left, I need your help…

And now this calls:

Sara Walker





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31 Responses to “Keeping It Real”

  1. BILLIE THOMPSON April 14, 2016 at 8:35 am #

    AMEN, THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

  2. Sarah May 31, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Gosh, this made me laugh! I made a herculean effort to clean the house yesterday. Now, it looks like a hurricane blew through again! I can’t keep up. And I won’t even say how often our family eats pizza in a given week! My friend homeschools four little kids — I don’t know how she does itI can’t even manage to get my kids to public school on time. Thanks for making me smile.

  3. Jennifer S April 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    This really was a cute piece. I was thinking the same thing and I don’t even have kids.
    Anyway, not sure if my other comment came through the other night or not….just wanted to remind you we are still praying for you. Love!!!

  4. Melissa April 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Sara,
    I love reading this “Keeping It Real”. I feel this exact same way most days. How in the world do these people do it??? Reading this helped me to step back and allow myself to … cut me some slack.
    God Bless You!
    Praying for you!

  5. cris April 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Sara ~ Thank you for your post – It made me laugh out loud. Especially the “you is kind, you is smart, you is important” bit. Because I relate so completely! And it made me want to cry at the same time because you get it and it made me feel so great to know someone could relate. I just wanted to hug you!!! You write beautifully and I am always grateful for you sweet words!

  6. Toni April 2, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    You are so funny! I just realized that I had not read anything from you in a bit and remembered I had forgotten to sign-up here with my e-mail. Will do that right after this.

    I know exactly what you mean about all those extraordinary women who blog! You may disagree, but I believe you to be one of them as well!

    At times I think you will make me feel “not ____ enough” but what you have done for me and my faith more than makes up for it! I am so thankful for you. The way you convey your thoughts and feelings is amazing! You consistently push me to appreciate this beautiful life God has given me. You consistently push me to be closer and personal with Jesus.

    THANK YOU!

  7. Mara April 1, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    I just read your “My Story” section too. I love the person you wrote it in!!! Amazing and I bet so true~ I have also wanted tell you that I wrote out some highlights on the most awesome sermon I heard on faith (this was awhile ago). I put it on your Caring Bridge site and spent 30 minutes on it. Well, something happened when I signed up for the site and I it lost my whole post. I was crushed because it took so long to write & it was so good. I immediately thought of the devil because I had worked so hard on it and I knew it would’ve made you feel better. I simply prayed after it happened because I didn’t have the time to write it again. I am just glad to be able to tell you about it. Keep up the great writing! I love that you’re full of God and not just full of religion. Keeps me excited that God is here and what he can do!

  8. Mara April 1, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    You are awesome!! You made me laugh. I love how you keep it real. It made me feel like I was “okay” for not being the perfect mom. I was glad to see you got this blog!!! I check in on you from time to time. I have prayed for you many times. So, so glad to see you here. I will keep reading. Please let me know if you need for me to pray for anything specific!

  9. Dawn Brown March 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Thank you for this post, Sara! I appreciate you keeping it real and sharing real life- as you always do. So often I get caught up in putting my efforts into the wrong things, rather than making my priorities come from God. I think about the way we grew up and we were plenty active, but it didnt feel as rushed as it does now. I dont know if it’s just different being the parent or if we are trying to do too many things. I love the story from Penny above about her grandmother. I think that will stick with me when I decide how to spend my time!

  10. Janelle March 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Keep on …keepin’ on… keeping it real Sara! I agree that Satan using the comparing thing to distract us from what or WHO we should really be looking at and to keeping us occupied in the wrong efforts. I admit it has happened for me more than I care to admit.

    May we all spend more time counting our blessings and appreciating other’s strengths!

  11. Kim March 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I know I say this everytime, but this one was my favorite yet.

  12. Penny March 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    You “is funny!!” I LOVE this entry! I think you hit the nail on the head. In my opinion, this is exactly how satan attacks “good Christian” women. He makes us think we have to be all and do all and do it well, just like everybody else; and when we can’t live up (no one can), we get discouraged, feel defeated and unworthy. This is just what satan wants, for then we are distracted from the pure joy of just being still and KNOWING that He is God! My grandmother passed away today, a godly woman who did not get caught up in the crazy rat race of life. My favorite childhood memories of her include dozing in her soft, comfy lap while she read me a Bible story and spending lazy summer afternoons picking daffodils near her pond or gathering blackberries that grew wild on the fence in her front yard. More recent memories include just sitting and talking for hours. I would feel guilty that I wasn’t “doing” anything, but now I see how precious those talks were. When we get so busy with our five-year-olds’ little league sports, book club, cooking classes, getting a 5 mile run in, coordinating fundraisers, etc., etc, etc., that we don’t have time to pick up the phone and check on a friend or go visit Memaw and Pawpaw, then shame on us! Can you tell you struck a nerve with me in this post, Sara? 🙂 Thank you; we are all blessed by your heavenly insightfulness. Keep on preachin.’ It’s just what we need to hear!

  13. Kristen March 30, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    LOVE this! Love your HEART, that is so sensitive, so in tune with others, so careful with feelings. Time and again, you redirect the focus off of yourself to others, to God…just as it should be! How wonderful it would be to see more of this in what I’m sure is often well-meaning cyberspace. Also really enjoyed the description of you twirling your hair while muttering self-affirming chants from The Help. I can relate 🙂

    Praying for supreme peace sprinkled with true joy and laughter for you and your family this weekend. He knows His plans for you, and I am so excited to see how they will continue to unfold.

    With love,
    Kristen

  14. connie leach March 30, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    I’m new to this but am fasting with you this morning. 63 yrs old and selling our house today and trusting in GOD for a new house–renting back this one for a month.

    GOD has been so good to me. Seems like I know him thru the little things– finding my lost glove.
    So I know we can trust Him for the big ones.

    Thanks,
    Connie Leach

  15. Sally McMahon March 30, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Sara, you are so funny, and precious! As a mother of ten, I can tell you that I NEVER, EVER, got the house completely in order. That said, I did find it got easier after the birth of my fourth child, for two reasons: 1) After my fourth child, I stopped waiting for my life to get “back to normal.” Just reminded myself that as long as my children knew that God loves them and their dad & I do, too, the rest will work itself out. 2)The older kids are, by age 7-ish, old enough to do more than just pick up their toys. They can help with lots of light housekeeping tasks, etc. In fact, I actually had this conversation with my then 8-year-old son: He: “Mommy, why are you making me learn how to scrub a bathroom?” Me: “Because I want my daughters-in-law to love me.” Many hands, light work! Looking forward to a good report on Monday; blessings to you and yours!

  16. Beth March 30, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I think Mother Teresa would agree: “Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.” I’m pretty sure she didn’t make organic smoothies, but she did have hundreds of children.
    Sara, God continues to guide your pen (or keystroke) to inspire. I love you for who you are and for who you are helping your readers to become.

  17. Laura M. March 30, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    Sara, thank you for this post. Thank you for your transparency and honesty. I totally relate to everything you just wrote about. I look forward to figuring out this calling together! <3

  18. Teresa Messick March 30, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    You brought a smile to my face this morning! Thank you for ‘keeping it real’! In doing so, you turn the focus to what God thinks of us and away from the temptation to compare ourselves to each other! Sweet blessings of God prayed over you this morning in the name above all names…Jesus Christ!

  19. Aunt Kay March 30, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Sara, you’ve been looking at interest again, haven’t you. Remember, those are just pictures. What you have in your home is the real thing. Two beautiful sweet boys who will be grown and gone before you blink your eyes. When you look back at these days, it’s not the messy desk or the piles of laundry or the Smoothies you never made that you will remember. It will be the joy that those two little guys brought you that you will remember. And that desk actually looks pretty organized to me! Love you and your three guys. Many people in Louisville are praying for you today and every day!

    • Aunt Kay March 30, 2012 at 7:17 am #

      I meant to write pinterest not interest, stupid auto correct on my tablet! I hate technology! Have a great day!

  20. Tammy March 30, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    I *needed* this today! God bless you! I’m praying for good news on your scans and full healing. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

  21. Jamie March 30, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    Amen. Just amen.

  22. Ginger March 30, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    Oh Sara, I feel right at home here. Thank you for being real and honest. Praying for you this morning.

  23. M M March 30, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    I read this great blog a few weeks ago that described how having 8+ kids was way easier than having just one! http://www.ncregister.com/blog/to-the-mother-with-only-one-child#ixzz1npWzQXWU That’s how they get it all done so efficiently–they use the kids as worker bees!

  24. Judy Morgan March 30, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    Fasting in prayer for you today! Thank you for being real and reminding us God made us the way we are, just like He made the perfect moms. Without one, could we have the other? He knows His perfect balance!!

  25. Alyson Atchley March 30, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    Thanks for saying exactly what so many of us think and feel so often. You regularly say what we all think but just never say. I am fasting and praying for you today! I am waiting for your good news as prophesied by your precious son! I love you my Sweet Sara!

  26. Donna March 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Sara,
    You ARE so dear to us all. Your writing is both inspiring and entertaining. Thanks for keeping it real and for reminding us that we are enough even if we can’t measure up to all those “perfect” moms who get everything done so well. I’m with you on the desk! Just ask my kids. Somehow it never quite gets cleaned up. But there are so many more important things “calling” my name. (At least I hope that’s the reason and not an excuse–oh well, I can rest in the fact that the Lord loves me in spite of it all). Praying for God’s glory to be revealed in your GOOD test results!
    Love you,
    Donna

  27. lori melissa kwater harrell March 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    hahahahaahahahahaha- you TOTALLY crack me up! but isn’t it so real that we (especially moms) compare ourselves to each other and tend to see where we fail instead of seeing ourselves through God’s eyes?

    one day as i was driving to church in tears because of some major failures in my life (that i went into great detail with Him about) and i was bemoaning a particular character flaw which i despise in myself (i tend to be a bit dramatic i’ve been told- lol) He stopped me mid-moan and said, “You DO know that I made you that way on purpose? I have a plan for that.” what He kindly did NOT say but what i felt was that i was insulting Him because i disdained His gift…. how dare i !!!! needless to say i had to step back and re-evaluate many thought processes.

    anyhow- had to laugh at your blogger/homeschoolmom/8 kids too….. because i blog (2 blogs actually, but neither gets updated daily. not even weekly or monthly.) and homeschool my 4 living older children and have a one year old underfoot. i have piles on every floor of every room in my entire house. some have been there for 3 years or more. i don’t remember when the last time was that we got all of our schoolwork done the day we started it… sadly. and we won’t talk about laundry,dishes, clean toilets, and homecooked meals. we try. sometimes we succeed. sometimes we fail…. sometimes i’m just grateful night falls so i can start fresh the next day!

  28. Dawn March 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    So real, so true, such wonderful encouragement. I had not totally caught on to what the “perfect Facebook life” meant until recently when someone described Facebook as showing the best of our life and not our life. To me that’s also the Proverbs 31 woman – she can do it all. A Bible study I did once mentioned that she would not have had all those qualities at the same time – as a year has seasons, so does life. Enjoy the season you are in, strive to do your “best”, keep going – there’s always the next minute or next day to pick up and start again.

    Thank you so much Sara for being real! Praying for your scan tomorrow.

  29. Jo Shnell March 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Sara, thanks so much for today’s post. I needed to be reminded that you are human and I am enough! Love and prayers, Jo

  30. Pam March 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Oh, thank you!

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