messy me, thankful for a village, and lots of grace

April 16, 2015

camellias and rosesThis week has felt like one jumbled mess! Between getting our bathrooms remodeled (everything downstairs feels gritty), the joys and chaos of mothering, lots of homeschooling lessons, Ben working lots of late nights, and the added stress of getting True ready for her first round of standardized state testing has put me on edge. Especially that bit about state testing.

One thing I love about homeschooling is that we don’t really have to teach to the test, but at the same time, I want to make sure she’s equipped to navigate it. I’m sure the reading and writing will be a cake walk for her, but math isn’t her strength. Also, I’ve seen the Common Core way of asking questions, and it’s pretty sneaky (sometimes I’m not even sure what they’re asking). We’ve been spending extra time doing math activities and worksheets in preparation for it. In regards to all the other school stuff though, we are almost done for the year. Hurray!

Tuesday was a particularly rough day (f-bombs included), by the end of it, I was no longer talking to the children, just yelling. Is this the story of my life or what?! I shared a little about it here too. I could feel a lot of anger and crankiness in my heart, so I started texting some friends (and my own mom) to pray for me. They lovingly pointed me back to Jesus, and reminded me that my desire to control is exactly what put Jesus on the cross, and only through Him am I set free from my own desires. I needed to hear that truth. I was just exhausted, and it’s okay to be exhausted because it’s normal. It’s just that my heart needed that rebuke and reminder, and that’s why community is so important! We weren’t meant to navigate our lives alone; everyone needs their own village, and I’m thankful for the one we are part of.

Did you know I get scared to share these parts of me here? But it helps me think through things when I write it out, and while we all know we probably aren’t alone in feeling the things we go through, it’s nice to read someone else going through it too. It’s kind of validation that we are all in this together.

Blogs started off as this grand community of sharing and has grown into a full on business for a lot of people, and now it’s mostly about consuming. I’m personally very thankful for the opportunities that have come from it, but now these once personal (and encouraging) spaces can feel a bit too commercial. I’m not saying it’s wrong to take part in sponsored posts and work with brands (I do it!), but blogging is just a different game now. Despite how its evolved, I still love that this is a place where I can share what I’m learning in this stage of my life, ultimately, this space is still very much me! And honestly, I’ve said this before, and I hope I don’t sound like a broken record, but I’m very thankful for all of you who do take the time to read here (or on instagram). The tidbits and encouragement you do share really mean a great deal. Sometimes after I hit publish on a post like this, I worry if I said too much. Then I remember, it’s not good being a people pleaser, and there’s no harm in thoughtfully saying what’s in my heart. It really is my hope and prayer that the stories I share here stir your heart towards grace (and that you’d learn from my mistakes!).


30 comments on “messy me, thankful for a village, and lots of grace”

  • Anna says:

    I love your words! This is my first year homeschooling and the simple act of texting your mother & friends for prayer in the moment of craziness is GENIUS. It’s like accountability, confession & support all wrapped up in one perfect package! I will try to remember this the next time I get all yelly with my sweet babes.

  • Frédérique says:

    I love your openness and honesty, this is what makes your blog so special! Nothing worse than preparing kids for a questionable test. I am preparing my students for the AP French exam every year and it is the absolute most unfair test ever, I am French and can’t understand a lot of it!!! Sending lots of good thoughts your way, hoping for a very relaxing weekend!

  • You are only human, and Honestly it’s good for the children to see that too. Ok. So you yelled. And no, that’s not the best choice- but your girls witnessed you under stress and I’m sure after you yelled you role modelled what to do once someone makes the wrong choice under pressure. A child psychologist once said at a parenting conference “you’re only human. Isn’t it better that the kids hear that from you than the drunk down the road?”!
    And as for sharing these stories – I also have four young children. My husband is overseas for 3 weeks out of 5 for work, so sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who has days like this. Keep up the good work!

  • I LOVE that you share these parts of you here!! I can probably count on one hand the number of blogs/instagram accounts I follow that truly share the hard parts of parenting too.

  • Karla says:

    We’re in the same boat! I often feel like such a bad mama. I’m home all of the time with my kiddos, and even though I do so much for them, they just don’t listen and I ended up reverting to yelling all. the. time. I get cranky and impatient and just want to punish them! Most of the time I want go to to my room and be by myself, but I have to be all grown-up and responsible. *sigh* I didn’t know taking care of little people would be so hard!

  • Melissa says:

    These posts are the best! It’s so relatable and think you are a great mama!

  • nikki says:

    writing always helps me too! and i think the bloggers who share their true feelings about life are the best blogs to read!

    xx nikki

  • Charlotte says:

    I love that you have pointed out the commercialization of blogging. So many of my faves have turned into one big ad, and while it’s great for them to be making their blog a business…sometimes it’s less interesting to me as a reader. I appreciate the real life so much more than a staged post that’s sponsored. Keep it up!

  • lisa leonard says:

    Yep, I’m in there with you. So flawed, tired and trying so hard. I see God covering my weakness. So much grace. Sending love your way friend. xx

  • Rebecca says:

    Did you apologize to your children for yelling at them? Try reading this book 123 magic by Thomas phelam.

    • Oh I’ve just started a 123 Magic parenting course run at the kids school. It’s great!

    • Rubyellen says:

      Yes, I did, and I prayed with them asking God to forgive me too. I know 123 Magic, but I must admit I’m not on board with every thing about it. I think after a time out or some sort of consequence, we find it important to talk about it and also address their need to ask for forgiveness. Just as I have to apologize once I come to my senses, I think they need to do that too.

  • theveryflowers says:

    So grateful for you sharing this. <3


    Much love!

  • Kai Chan says:

    yes! I’m finally starting a whole new blog, new brand, new name and logo and i’ve been planning out on things I want to say on blog and limit them to not make it too personal or overwhelming etc. i definitely learned from my old blog. i’m still new to blogging as in trying to build a content that everyone can appreciate and build up my brand name as well.

  • Jessica says:

    Hello again,

    I truly thank you for sharing this with us. I just truly admire your strength and values. I have been through a really bad angry mommy phase. I do believe my daughter is now scared of me and I am afraid I might traumatize her in the future. I don’t want her to become a girl that is always afraid to express herself because her mom always yelled at her for making a mess. I just tend to forget that she is only a 3 year old girl that wants to explore the world and play. I need to learn to enjoy her more and to be more patient with her. I do seek advice throughout your blog and feel inspired to become a better mom. Thank you again for giving me that inspiration and please continue to enlighten us.

  • Amy says:

    Thank you so much for these kind of posts. As a mother, I have some really rough days myself! We all do. Thank you for your example of relying on Christ and admitting your imperfections, I needed your words!

  • Kristen says:

    Love your honesty! and your honest posts are always an encouragement. I feel the same way about the blogging world sometimes!

  • Jane says:

    I miss these sort of posts. The ones that make me feel like I’m not the only one and that encourage me to keep on trying. Thanks xx

  • Hannah says:

    I am a long time reader of your blog, but I never comment! Hope that doesn’t sound too voyeuristic! I am also a new mother (to a 3 month old daughter). And I SO appreciate your honesty in ALL your mothering moments. Really, truly. I have no idea how you hold it together with four when I barely do it with one! God bless you and your family! Thank you for being real. I know it’s hard to be vulnerable to an unknown audience, and I know you have no clue as to who I am. But I do really thank you still.

  • megan says:

    Keep it real, Ruby! That’s what makes your blog so encouraging to read. You’re sharing a little grace every time.

  • Mary says:

    I just want to say that I love how you share your faith so openly in these posts. It’s always a great reminder for me when I read them that God is there to carrying a part of all our burdens. It’s wonderful to find these reminders in your blog, because it is not something that all blogs offer. So thanks again! I am a teacher too (regular school, not home school) and I agree with your comments about testing/the common core, so tricky!

  • Denise says:

    Ruby, I love how real you are here. Parenting and living life is messy and full of nuthouse moments. I’m guilty too of all you’ve mentioned here. I’m thankful for blogs like yours that keep life real because as you mentioned we can feel like we are the only ones losing the plot. I hate days where I have much to do, little time to do it all in and having my kids wanting me too. There isn’t enough of me to do it all and unfortunately I often lose it with my kids. I’m learning, very slowly with Gods guiding hand, that I don’t have to finish my to do list and it’s more important to give my kids some of me. I dint have to spend a big lump of time with them but if I do what they want even for half and hour I’m than able to go about my list of things uninterrupted and not feeling guilty. I pray a lot on what to do and when. And again as you mentioned it’s the times I don’t that everything falls apart. Have a fabulous week :)x

  • Amanda says:

    It’s nice to have friends who provoke you to love and good works! (Hebrews 10:24)

  • Elizabeth says:

    I have been really working on yelling too and praying about it alot. I was never a yeller before I had kids, and I feel so guilty about it at the end of the day. I have read so many books about kid behavior, but also I know it needs to start with me. I have a couple of simple things that have actually helped me the last few weeks. One is setting several reminder rings (in a soothing ring tone, ha!) on my phone at times of the day I tend to lose it. Sometimes I will be just about to yell and then my phone says “no yelling!” The girls will hear the phone and say, “Mommy you are doing a great job!” Also, I put newborn pictures of my girls around the house and it helps remind me of how precious they are to me even though I am greatly annoyed at the moment.

    My oldest of my three girls is almost 9 and has testing this week here in Tx. I hate it for her. You are right, the questions are sneaky! You are doing a great job, mama. I have been reading your blog for years now. I appreciate your honesty and the way you love God, your girls, and your hubby so fiercely!
    Anne Shirley says “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 🙂

  • Quin says:

    I recently started reading your blog and now I am in the archives. I really love this post. You blog is very relatable. I hope you continue to have success and patience.

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