my favorite tree is the magnolia tree. It blooms once a year and when it does it brings me so much happiness and hope. Beauty exists after winter, and blooms bright. I even love the petals that line the streets from the magnolia blossoms. Small light petals signifying spring, new life. 

If you are just now reading this, let me tell you a little about this project. About a year ago, or two, I began to become more and more disheartened by the filters and airbrushed lives we show to each other. It started with social media, and I began to see it feed into other parts of life. The more filtered we were, the more fake we became. But there was another side of it, we could also become bold and hide behind a computer and begin to bully. There was always some sort of conflict, and discussion turned ugly. Instead of respect we started becoming more and more divisive. 

And I began to compare myself to all the more patient, crafty, fitter Mothers. I’d read this “what’s your excuse” campaigns of Mothers who did more, looked better, and had it together in ways I couldn’t. We stopped celebrating the journey of motherhood together, and began to divide with shame and judgment. 

I compared myself to the sexier wives, the police wives who didn’t cry when their husband got called out on a holiday. The wives who were a better spouse, who loved better, and could cook magical healthy filling food. 

I wasn’t holy enough. 

I couldn’t afford all organic food. I couldn’t fit into my favorite jeans. I couldn’t get to the gym everyday. I cry almost every month that I can’t have another baby. And some months I breathe a sigh of relief because I’m so freaking overwhelmed. I rarely check my voice mails. I hate wearing a bra. And I don’t have an excuse. 

 I wanted Real. 

I craved the real. Swimming in laundry. Singing  loudly to Taylor Swift in the car, because that was the only down time I had all day. I craved other women who loved God, but were flawed, who cried and laughed, and lived for days in sweats.

I was so sick of the friend wars. The mommy wars. The political debates. The religious divisions. 

I’m not saying I don’t acknowledge those things, I do…but the negativity paired along with the sugary sweet…this is who I am, but angled and filtered got old…

And I craved the real. 

Because I was living something real. 

And it  wasn’t beautiful. 

I was living in a place of complete darkness. 

I felt God had abandoned me. I was emptied of all hope. I was giving my all, and losing someone I loved. I was grieving the loss of a beloved family member, I was worried for my family who grieved even more deeply. I was worried about my Parents.  I was getting up every day and getting dressed, and just trying to get…through…it. The day. Life. 

And I would read and see these lives, these lives that couldn’t possibly be that rounded and smooth. 

I would get up…and move through the day…and pray that someday I would feel joy again. And I would wonder why my life was so dark. My real was that I thought about dying. A lot.  

Fast forward(making the most scary call of my life and getting help) 



Followed by months of work. Healing. Medicine. Prayer. Light. Life….happened. Because I stopped faking health and started working for it. 

I fought back. Against the darkness. Against the comparisons. Against the guilt.

And I started telling people…I need you. I need prayer. I need help. I need friendship. And it was scary. Those words. 

Most people stepped up. And some walked away. 

I had some major transformations. And some revelations. 

 So, I started this revolution. Your pain can be real. And so can your healing. You can find hope here in your realness. 

And your real is enough. 

This past week some of the sadness settled again…Deep down. And I couldn’t seem to shake it. It terrified me. Because I don’t want to go back to that place. To last year. 

Part of being real is admitting that getting better has weeks where I’m not better. But I’m still working so hard at it. 

I’m working hard at seeing the real joy in life, and how incredibly important fighting for my healthy is. 

My family is affected by my sadness. Deeply. This week I became very aware, and I know that they deserve my joy and Me present.

So this week…my real is asking you to wherever you are at, find your real and notice the ways your actions, your present is affecting those around you…and be there, and try. 

Find that one spot of hope and joy…and bloom. 

And if you’re filtering it, and hiding your real- be real and ask for help. It’s hard, and uncomfortable, but it’s brave. 

I have had some good cries this week. But I’ve also had some great moments of joy, and I cling to them. And I have vowed to work and strive everyday to scatter my love over my children. They are a constant reminder to me that God is faithful. 

I do not know how my husband loves me so much but he does…I don’t deserve him. But my real is enough for him. And that brings hope.

Today I stopped under a Magnolia tree and looked closely. It is my favorite tree. I said a prayer and left the sadness scattered on the side of the road with the petals. They are still real, and just as beautiful, but the blooms that cling and hold on…they are such an amazing reminder of the beauty of perseverance. 

Never underestimate the blooms that hang tight. 

God is good. And life is precious, a gift I will cling to. 

In my real. Even in my weeks of sadness. 

God is good. Life is beautiful. I will hold on. 

And my prayers for you…hold on. Hold tight.