All posts by flamingodiary

Lets Get Real

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In this day and age of Pinterest perfect Martha Stewart’s on every corner, it’s time to get real. Life is busy and messy and rarely perfect. I vacuum and clean and minutes later there are crumbs again, I finally wash that last piece of dirty clothing only to see the hamper full again…life is to be lived, and living is messy. It always makes me chuckle that we clean and straighten and clean and straighten, only to do it again tomorrow…the actual definition of insanity! But that’s life!

Lately it seems homes have become this thing that has to be perfect, and perfectly maintained, or we are paralyzed to invite others in…by allowing this to be an insecurity, we are shutting ourselves out of the awesome community that comes from letting people “all in” to our world. If you are too worried about the crumbs on your counter and dishes in your sink, then you might miss out on the chance to invite your neighbor in for coffee, or your friend over for some much needed girl time. I believe wholeheartedly that God created us to be relational people, and it’s terrible losing out on that because of our own insecurities and fears.

I’ve been pondering why this is such an issue for many of us. What causes us to panic at the thought of letting people “in”?! And folks, it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with us.

I received a compliment a few weeks ago and at the time thought it was sweet, but didn’t think about it again. Then today a friend mentioned the comment in passing, and I realized I had overlooked a gem gifted to me that day. Someone had offered me kind words and insight into his view of me, but I didn’t let it sink in. It hit me like a load of bricks, that in that moment I had stopped loving myself.

I’m sharing this with you because, while it isn’t about messy (or not) houses, it really is. Every thought and perception that I have impacts my view of the world. If I’m so critical of myself that every thought going through my head is about where I’m failing and what I can’t do, I never allow myself to experience the gift of others. Because those critical thoughts about me, turn into fears and misconceptions about the world around me, and what they must think of me. If I’m upset with myself for the dirty floors, sticky counters and sink full of dishes…then I assume the rest of the world is judging me for those messes.

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Our thoughts and hearts are totally “what you put in, is what you get out”.  Are you putting in love and offering grace for all the “messiness” that comes with living; embracing the awesome person God created you to be!? Because you are awesome! All of those little quirks and intricacies that make you you, the wonderful little things that separate you from every other person around you…its all awesome! If God says that we are a perfect creation, then how can we not love it!? That means love you! Life is messy though, and that wears on us. I’ve always been a pretty laid back person…but after the many stresses and setbacks of life, that laid back person became a tightly wound mess of crazy. All of that free spiritedness was replaced with disdain for me, the person I have to live the rest of my life with! All of my failures big and small took place of genuineness and grace in my life…and I was sure that every person I came across was judging me. It’s time to let all that go!

So as we embark on this blog journey, full of fun and all sorts of real in one place, lets also take a look inward and make sure that we did not become our own worst critic. Lets not look at this as a marker of how good or bad we are doing…is my house clean enough, pretty enough, perfect enough…but instead use it as a reality check that we all have messes (literally and figuratively) and life is too short to be a wind up toy.

I will probably spend the rest of my life learning to let go and love me, but I will gladly work on that if it means that my life is full of authentic and meaningful relationships. The kind that make your heart soar and make life worth living! So lets all run to the mirror, look at that beautiful person looking back at us, and do everything in our power to love on that person!! And the next time someone compliments you, proudly claim it for the gift that it is!

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I have a dream…

That we can break down these walls of perfect and be vulnerable….finding the freedom to be “me”, full of my imperfections and humanness. The me that has all sorts of awesome strengths, and just as many flaws. When did society buy into the lies that we can be superwoman and perfect at everything!?! Who wants to be friends with that person!?! I would much rather spend my time with people who can admit they are human, admit that they can’t do it all, and claim that confidently. I want a friend who is vulnerable and real and full of grace. Let’s stop competing and trying to find our worth by outdoing one another…I don’t want to hang with the mean girls. Let’s be real, inviting each other into our messes and not worrying about it…because we want to hang with the big girls who have it all together, who know that real beats fake every single time. And by all together, I mean that they live confidently with their flaws and don’t apologize for being human. I’m human! I am a miserable housekeeper but I can cook up a feast, I rarely get the clean laundry off of the floor but I can style you like nobody’s business, I’m terrible at remembering to respond to that email but I will drop anything to be there for you, I never remember the thank you or birthday cards but I’m always thinking of my friends…and those friends love me for all of that! The good and the bad!!

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I have three kids, and after the first two, thought I had this parenting thing figured out…then my third came. He’s all sorts of awesome, but nothing that worked with the first two works with him. I’ve spent the past year and a half wondering what I was doing wrong. He did things in public I swore my kids would never do, he’s not social and doesn’t care what is considered acceptable behavior, (he’s two, so that’s not surprising!) and I could honestly fill a whole blog with crazy parenting stories….but the thing that threw me with this kid was the judgement I experienced while out in public. I never dreamed another mom could treat me with such disdain. I mean, does she not have real kids?! You can’t tell me her kids never threw a temper tantrum in public, or hit someone when they were mad, or screamed at the top of their lungs when they didn’t get their way, or refused to sit in the shopping cart, or spilled their snack!! Where was the grace and the team mom mentality!? This is what I’m getting at…my kid shouldn’t have acted that way, but he’s a kid and I’m working on parenting him the best I can. My parenting isn’t perfect and he isn’t perfect, but who are they to judge?! I’m guessing that those glass houses would shatter if they looked inward, but they don’t, so they judge and pretend to be some form of superwoman. Its time to let go of these perfect-got-it-all together images and embrace the real us. The person that doesn’t have it all together but is doing the best she can, the woman whom God chose and loves regardless of those flaws and imperfections. Lets grab hold of that God given grace and share it with those around us! I have been just as guilty of judging and pretending to be all that, but I’m not and I’m tired of the game. I just want to live a messy, imperfect life with people willing to do the same.

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So, join us on this messy (or not so) journey and lets teardown some walls! Lets embrace the ME God wants for us and let go of the guilt and judgement…you are chosen and loved!!

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