What Happens When There is No Snap

snapI was 33 years old when I came to the very logical conclusion that the only way to stop the hurting was to kill myself.

I was in the depths of a very painful marriage where I never felt like I could do anything right. I was a mess. I knew I wasn’t a good wife, a good mother, or a good friend. All I could see around me were the people I was disappointing. I didn’t just feel helpless. Worse. I felt hopeless.

So I thought about how I would kill myself.

I didn’t want to hang myself – what if one of my kids found me?

Then I remembered that a radio personality I listened to on a regular basis in the Bay Area, Duane Garrett, had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. But I was afraid I would not be able to go through it.

I considered all the possibilities, very rationally, very thoughtfully. As if I were trying to decide between chicken and beef for dinner that night.

I felt sure I would go through with my plan, until I thought about what would happen to my kids. I didn’t think my kids would miss me, but I was concerned that they would be raised without me. So, continuing in what I thought was totally logical thinking, that if we all died, that would solve all of the problems.

And that’s when I felt the snap.

There was something inside my soul that just broke. I remember feeling like I was splitting down the middle of a foggy lane, and I thought to myself, “What the HELL are you thinking? What mother ever thinks of hurting herself, much less her kids.”

That snap got me to run to my therapist, where I admitted for the first time that I thought about killing myself.

The words that were assigned to me were “Situational Depression”. I was given counseling and medication. I was prayed for and I was loved. I went to bible study, and I found hope.

But every time I hear about a suicide, I think about that time some many years ago. What if there was no snap?

What if I’d never ran to get help because I was in such a dark place, I couldn’t imagine that help existed?

I only have two reasons for writing about this:

1. I believe the more people who talk about their own battle with depression, the more we can all talk about it.  I know for so long I felt like I had to wear a mask and keep up appearances because things would be taken away from me if I didn’t. My kids, my job, my friends. I felt like normal people didn’t go through what I was going through, and therefore, I didn’t deserve normal people things. So I kept hiding it until there was no me left.

But, if we can say that this happens to people, real people, and share our stories, we can give someone else the courage to safely share their story, their struggle. When we find out that we’re not a freak – that our struggles are real but not rare, we have a better chance of being able to connect with someone who has gone through the same thing, or who can help us get to a healthy place.

2. Each of us has a story. I wanted to cut my story short, because I couldn’t take the pain and I couldn’t see any good up ahead.

But only God can see around the corners.

I would have missed out on so much: my second husband, who is the love of my life,

my two beautiful kids, who make me laugh every day and bring good things to the world,

my bonus kids, who I can’t imagine my life without.

A job that makes me excited to get out of bed every. single. day.

And a life that God sets before me every day and and says, “I’m crazy about you. Come alongside me. We have great things to accomplish today!”

Your story is not done. God had great adventures for you. Only he can see the ending to your story.

If you’ve been in that dark place, would you do me a favor – could you share below what God had for you on the other side. Someone needs to read about it.

If you are in that dark place? Would you please, please, reach out to a safe person? A friend, a counselor, a doctor. Please. You don’t feel it now, but you are precious. You are irreplaceable. There are things that need to be done that only you can do. God says so.

And I’ve found that he turns out to be right over and over again.

 

When You Feel Like Calling It Quits

Calling it quits

Friends, it’s Kathi here- I’m sure most of you know my sweet friend Renee Swope from Proverbs 31 or her wonderful radio spots heard absolutely everywhere. (Sometimes I’m sitting in the passenger seat swearing to Roger that I’m hearing voices – it’s just Renee talking to me through the radio.) Make sure you read down to the end of the post where Renee has several ways for you to win some of her latest resources.)

It had been a hard day, running too many errands with two small children. My three-year-old didn’t understand why we couldn’t buy every toy his tiny hands could touch. And he kept getting in and out of the grocery cart, and whining when I tried to stop him.

I was not a happy mama and wondered how all the other moms in the store seemed to know what they were doing.

Their children listened when they told them no and they wore matching outfits, too. I wondered how in the world those women pulled it off with a smile. I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed and get us out the door before lunch.

When we got home that afternoon, I went looking for pink construction paper so I could write “I QUIT” on it and turn in my “pink slip” to my husband J.J. when he came home from work. I was tired of feeling like such a failure as a mom.

I couldn’t find pink construction paper, so I decided to pull out my journal.  Filling blank pages with scribbled thoughts, I wrote:

I hate who I have become. I’m such a horrible mom. Why didn’t someone tell me how hard this was going to be? I’m frustrated with my kids and myself. I have no patience and I don’t know what I am doing! I feel guilty all the time. I couldn’t wait to be a mom and now I want to quit.”

Just as I finished writing that sentence, I sensed God whispering to my heart: Renee, You are so critical of yourself. You focus on your mistakes and beat yourself up with accusation and condemnation. Those are not My thoughts …”

It felt like a dam broke in my soul as I choked out the words, “God, I can’t do this. It’s just too much for me”

And in that place of surrender, Peace came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. It felt like God bent down before me to listen, and spoke to my heart: You are right, Renee. In your strength and through your perspective, you can’t do this. But with My promises, My presence and My power – all things are possible. I will help you.

Looking back on that day, my heart can’t help but echo the words of the Psalmist: Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”  Psalm 116:2 NLT

When we acknowledge that we are a mess on our own, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down to show us that with His help, wisdom and guidance, we can become the confident praying mama we long to be, and the confident mom HE created us to be!

When I say… I can’t do this, God says… You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Keep praying and depending on Me for help.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

 

Today’s post from Renee Swope is a partial excerpt from her new A Confident Heart Devotional book. Used with permission from Revell Books.FamilyPhoto_Nov2012-300x227Renee and JJ Swope have been married for over 20 years. They have three children: Joshua (19), Andrew (16) and their sweet Ethiopian princess who they brought home in 2009, at the age of 10 months. Renee is also a best-selling author, speaker and radio co-host with Proverbs 31 Ministries. The Swope family lives in North Carolina and she blogs at www.ReneeSwope.com.ACH Devo standing up

About Renee’s NEW Confident Heart Devotional:Does self-doubt ever make you question your ability to be a good mom? Expanding on her best-selling book, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope has written a new 60-day devotional that will encourage, empower and equip you to live confidently in your God-given roles, relationships, and responsibilities! Each devotion also features a “When I Say…God Says…” statement with a Bible promise and a prayer to guide your thoughts and emotions that day. Plus you’ll LOVE an easy-reference chart that includes all sixty ”When I Say…God Says…” statements for days when you just need a promise to hold onto!

LetGodLoveYou.ContestTitleOnly

 

ENTER TO WIN 2 copies of Renee’s A Confident Heart Devotional book. Leave a comment below and let us know what friend you’d give it to and why, if you won 2 copies.  Contest ends on February 20, 2014. CLICK HERE to find out how you can WIN a $50 gift card, 2 additional signed copies of Renee’s A Confident Heart Devotional book, and more!


Organized People are just too lazy

Thanks Ask Anna

 

http://www.kathilipp.com/2014/01/6194/

I’m Having Gastric Sleeve Surgery. Here’s What I Want to Tell You…

I’m Having Gastric Sleeve Surgery. Here’s What I Want to Tell You…

Tuesday morning, Roger and I will be at the hospital at 5:30 AM and I will be going in for the gastric sleeve surgery. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the Wikipedia page.)

While I’m a little nervous about the surgery, I’m mostly excited. (I liken it to when I had babies – excited about how my life is going to change, but also appreciating that I have no idea of all the ways it’s going to change.) But the thing I’ve been most nervous about? Telling people.

5422327_m(1)There is a lot of shame that comes with having a weight problem, (and for those of you who don’t have a weight issue, I know there are other areas that can land you in that shame place just as quickly) and while I’m not on the cover of People magazine, I do have a lot of friends and followers that I wanted to let know in some way. It feels a little weird putting it out on the internet for the world to see, but I would hate it even more if anyone thought I was trying to hide what I’m going through. Because for me, this weight thing is the biggest thing in my life.

I’ve always watched those shows like “Biggest Loser” or any talk show with someone who has lost weight as they’ve talked about how miserable their lives were before they lost weight, and how magical and fairy dust-covered their lives were after losing the weight, and here’s the thing: I could never relate.

Yes, I’ve had hard times in my life. I’ve gone through a painful divorce and been rejected by people I love, but one thing has remained true: I love my life. I love the God who loves me back. I have joy that not weight or circumstances can take away from me. On top of all that, I have a husband who adores me, a family that not only loves me, but likes me a whole lot of the time, friends that love and accept me, and the best dang job on planet earth.

I’m not having this surgery to change my life. I’m having this surgery so I can keep showing up for the life I already have.

Right now I’m in good health. (The intake nurse told me this morning that I was the easiest intake she’d had all month because I don’t have complications.) But I know what is shortly waiting for me around the corner: I already have high blood pressure, and I have a family history of diabetes, cancer, stroke and more. It’s possible that losing weight can help me avoid some of that. I want to have the surgery while I’m still a great candidate to do so.

This has been a lifelong struggle. When the nurses ask me when my weight problem started, I honestly can’t remember a time in my life when it hasn’t been an issue. And I’ve lost weight before. Two times I’ve lost more than 65 pounds, and 20 pounds a dozen times over. But  I’ve always put the weight back on just as soon as any other struggle has come up in my life. And after a while, I had failed so many times that it was easier to give up than it is to fight my way back.

But whenever I would give up, sooner or later there was something that lurked inside of me that said, “Don’t give up. Keep fighting for your health.”

I’ll be honest. Ten years ago when I heard that people had weight loss surgery, I thought to myself, “Well that’s cheating. That’s not really how you’re supposed to do it.” Now ten years later, I think that people who say, “I’ve tried everything I know how to do, and now I’m trying one more thing, surgery” those are some brave people. It took me ten years to get to the point to stop giving up on myself and start speaking up and saying that I need help.

I was afraid to tell many of the people I love about the surgery, since I thought they would have a similar reaction. “That’s cheating.” or “I’m just going to pray that you don’t have to have the surgery.” I was especially afraid to tell people who I know had lost weight “The right way.” They were Weight Watcher leaders, and one friend founded an international weight loss program. And I was terrified to tell them.

Boy, did I need to have more faith in my friends.

Every person I respect, without exception, has expressed nothing but love and support for this decision. My friends who have done it “the right way” have been over the moon for me and have loved and supported me every step of the way.

This decision for surgery has come after a lot of discussion, soul-searching and support. I’ve consulted with my primary physician, a gastroenterologist, my psychologist, and a nutritionist and have even talked it over with my pastor. But most importantly, it has come after a lot of prayer. I now have the confidence that this is the right decision for me. It took me a long time to get there.

God has brought me through a huge learning curve about myself and his love for me, and people’s love for me. To those of you who’ve known and encouraged us, thank you for your unconditional love and support. I am grateful and I feel powerful because I know that I have so many people who love and are praying for me and Roger.

If this is something you are struggling with, I pray that your path would be made clear to you, whatever that might be. If you know someone who is struggling, I hope this may give you some insight into what they are going through.

Oh and one final thought: if you have some objection to the path I’m going down, please let love and support be your guide (in other words, Roger may delete any comment that isn’t helpful or constructive before it shows up on the blog!).

With great anticipation about what God is going to do,

Kathi

 

How to Never be Criticized for the Rest of Your Life

How to Never be Criticized for the Rest of Your Life

Friday, I was standing in line waiting to have my license examined to see if I was legal to fly in to Dallas.

As the TSA agent was inspecting someone’s ID in front of me, a uniformed man walked up to the front of the line. He was obviously an employee of the airport and was able to skip the line to get to his job, but apparently, he was doing it the wrong way.

“Don’t stand over there! Stand up over here!” the TSA agent barked at the worker.

He asked a question (it was obvious that English was new to him,) and the TSA agent continued to bark at him, and then to belittle him. “Why can’t you just follow directions? It’s not that hard.” And she continued to berate him to the passengers who were standing in front of her.

Obviously, I don’t know either of the people in this situation, but it was apparent that this older gentleman was new to this job, and probably our county. and because he didn’t know the system, he was getting criticized. This man, who left his homeland, I’m guessing in pursuit of a better life for him and possibly his family. He is having to learn new customs, learn a new language, and relearn everything he thought he knew because everything in his life is new.

And this woman had no time for it.

The only way this man (and you) will stopped being criticized is if he, and you stop showing up.

The next time you’re being criticized, ask yourself –

Am I doing something new? People who are comfortable in never changing their lives are the first to criticize those who do.

Am I being brave? It takes courage to say “This is new to me – I don’t know everything, but I’m marching forward!

Right now, I’m stepping into a new world, podcasting. I don’t know a lot about it, and it’s easy for me to be embarrassed “I should know how to do this! I wish I was better at this!” But really, I can only be as good as I am today, and maybe tomorrow, by trying something new, I can be a little better. But I’m going to be a whole lotta bad before I can do anything well.

Are y0u in the midst of something new? Tell me about it. I want to cheer you on in being brave!

And if you’re being criticized, look at the source. As Brene Brown says, “I only listen to those who are in the ring.” Listen to other brave people who are doing their own brave things, not those who are sitting comfortably in the spectator section.

 

Relief is in Sight: Reclaiming Our Dignity (in the Restroom…)

 

Peeing in peace

This is Kathi – MOMS  – this one Yes ladies, you read that title right-of all the issues to bring up on the topic of motherhood, leave it to this mom (yep, me) to chat about the potty of all things. But with three young children at home, if I know anything, it’s this

Finding time to use the restroom *alone* is virtually impossible these days.

Now I’ll be honest-I was semi-prepared for some of the rude awakenings this parenting gig would provide, but I never, and I mean* never* thought that my trips to the restroom would become chaotic at best. These days? It’s all about using the bathroom as quickly as possible-as in a mad rush-before something catches fire or someone has to go to the hospital.

Yep. It’s no secret that our kiddos tend to choose the most inconvenient times to manifest mayhem within our homes. Spilt milk, dirty dogs running amuck, Frisbees getting stuck on the roof, strangers at the door, and minor flesh wounds all tend to take place while we’re.ahem.”busy.” And as a mom, I can’t help but wonder: Should I feel fortunate that my kids want to be around me all of the time? Should I embrace my restroom visitors, even though these moments seem awkward at best (and kinda weird)? While I’m still struggling to figure out the answers to these questions, I do know one thing for sure: we may never pee in peace again.

Or can we?

I think it might be time to take some action.

WonderWomanWannabe Cover jpeg_final front-1

Are you with me, ladies?

After all, when nature calls, we had better listen because holding the contents of our bladder for long periods of time just isn’t healthy, not to mention, uncomfortable, Amen? But with a house full of youngsters, heading to the restroom can be a hard feat to manage.one that, believe it or not, may take some planning on your part to achieve. Oh my gosh, wait! Am I suggesting that we start planning our trips to the restroom?

Indeed I am.

Hey, our kids are going to need some sort of distraction in order for us moms to leave their sides and tend to our needs, correct? So, here are just a few things we can do ahead of time to ensure we get the peace we desire and the relief we need:

1.     *Games and Puzzles:* Kids love games and their quite fond of putting together puzzles too. Take out Monopoly, or better yet, bust out that 500 piece puzzle with all their favorite Disney characters on it. Talk about buying you some time. Woot!

2.     *Snack Time*: Scheduling a bathroom break around lunch or snack time is ingenious if you ask me. Fix them their food, unwrap all juice box straws, delve out some napkins, and then head off to the bathroom. Hey, five minutes of peace is five minutes of peace, right?

3.     *Scavenger Hunt*: Head to your computer and grab this indoor scavenger hunt printable (found here). Have a small prize ready to go (or pull out a few dollars from your wallet), and let your kids get to exploring all within the confines of your own home. Talk about the perfect time for a potty break? Boom!

4.     *Masterpiece Mania*: My kids love to color, use their imaginations, and create art as often as they can. Bust out the contents of that closet (housing their art supplies) and let them create away. Have older kids? How about a still life? Grab a piece of fruit, or other inanimate object and let them reproduce it. Little Picasso’s in training, eh?

So what do you think? Not so bad, right? Completely doable with minimal effort on our part, eh? Girls, it looks like we may have just reclaimed some of our dignity, discretion, and a wee bit of alone time to tend to “business.” And that’s most definitely a good thing!

OK now this is fun: for readers of this blog, Jenny Lee’s publisher is offering 30% off of Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe. Just use code KathiLipp30

And the fun continues: Purchase Confession and you can be entered into winning this 15 ebook bundle. (See page for details.) 

Bio-Pic Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a wife and mother of three who enjoys writing about anything and everything under the sun, but especially loves to instruct, motivate, and guide other moms with practical advice, tips, and a whole lot of comic relief in the process. Jenny is a contributing writer for

*The MOB Society* and *Moms Together, *and is the author of the recently released guide for all mamas titled, “*Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time.*” To find out more about Jenny or to follow her blog, visit www.jennyleesulpizio.com

 

 

Why I Write this Blog for all My Friends with a Secret Idetity

 

superwoman friends

One of the big reasons I started this blog, (or write books, or speak at events,) is because we all struggle, and I find in sharing our struggle, and working beyond it, we grow in strength. The best sentence a friend can say to another friend is “Me too!” When I share my struggles with you, and you share them right back, it’s easy to feel a little less crazy than we did going into the day – and I find that very valuable indeed.

In addition to sharing our struggles, I want to share hope. I’d always wanted to be one of those “Big Idea” people: “Hey, let’s all get together and raise money for wells in Africa!” “Here’s how to start a women’s ministry in your church!” simply “Hey, you can do great big things in your life!”

I look at other writers and speakers and see how they are changing the world – or at least their corner of it. And I so want to be like them. But I realize I have a different role.

It came to me one night when I was speaking at an event. I was presenting a “Big Idea” and got the group really motivated. I was all excited. “Big Idea” Things were going to happen!

And then a woman came up to me looking a little crestfallen. We started to chat, and she let me know that while she loved the whole “Big Idea” it was frustrating to her. She expected something else from me. Her exact words? “Kathi, it’s hard to change the world when you can’t find your car keys on a regular basis.”

And that’s when it hit me: I’m the car key lady.

God sees fit that my role is to help all of you (and you all help me sometimes,) find our car keys on a regular basis, so that we can go do “Big Idea” Things. But our “Big Idea” things often come in some pretty plain packaging.

It’s a sneaky plan – discovering God in the midst of organizing and meal planning. But that’s where God lives – in the midst of everyday real life. God is in the “Big Ideas” but he is also in the small, intentional acts that to the world look like homemaking, working and raising a family:

  • When I talk about cleaning out your purse, what I’m really talking about is getting your life organized so you have time to volunteer for your daughter’s class and make an impact on her and her little friends.
  • When I talk about freezer meals, what I’m really talking about is creating a family time where you can have a house that is enveloped in peace.
  • When I talk about flirting with your husband, what I’m really talking about is showing the world how two broken people can be madly in love with each other when Christ is in the midst of it.
  • When I talk about saving money at the grocery store, what I’m really talking about is having extra money in the bank so when your heart is moved to adopt a child through Compassion, you have a way to do it.

To me – you are each super heroes with a secret identity: To the average bystander you look like moms and wives, employees and students, friends and volunteers. But I know your secret identity: you are world changers. You are the ones who are changing your family’s life and everyone they come in contact with. With your “everyday” actions you are quietly, almost undetected in many circumstances, doing huge and brave work.

What I’m really talking about on this blog, in the midst of the money-saving-house-organizing-man-loving post is one word: Peace. With every tiny little improvement you make, you are bringing peace to a world that desperately needs it. Your cape may not be ironed, and no reporter is following you around reporting on your great deeds. But I see you. I know the truth.

And I love you. Rock on secret super hero.

Calling All Writers (or Maybe You Just Want to Be…)

At almost every event,  womegold fishn have come up to me and said, “I want to do what you do!” And I want to help. I’ve want to coach, I want to encourage.

And then life and family hi and my best of intentions go out the window.

But now, thanks to my amazing co-author, Cheri Gregory, there is a way you can see what the process of writing a book looks like from every angle.

“Write Beside You” is your chance to hang out (albeit virtually) with me and Cheri as we write The Good Girl’s Guide to Breaking Bad Rules.

You’ll have access to a secret Facebook page where we’ll regularly post status updates about their progress. We’ll share what we’re learning about the writing process (i.e what’s working well and what’s not!)

You’ll be able to ask your questions about writing, speaking, platform-building, marketing, etc. and receive specific answers.

Plus, you’ll be hanging out with a bunch of like-minded women who will (we are confident!) become a source of support, brilliant ideas, and even accountability.

You can participate as much or as little as you like. All we ask is that you be respectful of everyone in the group and keep everything confidential.

If you’re interested, fill out the application here and you’ll hear from us soon!

 

Reopening a Can of Worms (Thoughts on Yesterday’s Post)

Can Of WormsSo in yesterday’s post, provokingly titled Let Me Tell You Why I Unfriended You On Facebook I talked about the need to filter some of the people in your life if you’re struggling in areas.

While the reaction on Facebook was overwhelmingly positive, enough issues were raised that I would love the chance to clear things up.

  1. I didn’t unfriend you on Facebook, I promise. I didn’t. I’ve unfriended exactly two people in my life, and they both were for extreme kinds of things that I promise you you’ve never done. They both know that I unfriended them, and they both know why.  I did, about 18 months ago, merge my Facebook Profile with my Facebook Page. I was getting close to maxing out on the number of friends I could have, and so I merged to a Page that has an unlimited number of followers. That killed my personal profile and i had to start all over friend-wise. Over the past 18 months, if you are someone I know in person and I’ve seen you on a friend’s feed and you’ve said yes to my friend request, or you’ve sent me a friend request, we are friends on my Facebook profile. Or you may be a follower on my page. Either way, I get to hear what you want to say, and try to respond as much as I can.  That blog post was in no way telling a former friend here is why I’ve unliked you – because I haven’t. (I HAVE hidden a couple of people’s Facebook streams because of what I’ve talked about in yesterday’s post, or because of extreme religious and political views – but I usually unhide most people once elections are over.)
  2. I wasn’t saying you should only post negative stuff. Somehow, that is how it got interpreted by a few people. I was asking for a little balance and reality. I love to celebrate your child’s good grade and your dog passing obedience school. As I said in the post – I also love when you, with humor and grace, share about a bad hair day.
  3. My main objective was to help women feel permission to not have to read every status update. Facebook is a tricky place and by the number of Facebook comments I got yesterday, I can tell this is an issue for a lot of women. Some people said that they only want to be positive and post good stuff. That’s fine. I’m just saying, if you are doing more than posting encouraging updates, if you’re bragging on a day to day basis, I may hide your posts. You have the right to post what you want. I have the right to read what I need.

If yesterday’s post caused you to rethink a post today, I’m glad. If it gave you permission to hide, even for a day or two, somebody’s post that was dragging you down, I’m really glad. If you felt that I was trying to hurt a former Facebook friend, I am truly sorry.  I promise you that was not my intention.

Let Me Tell You Why I Unfriended You On Facebook

Dear Super Amazing, Gifted, Friend on Facebook,

(And BTW – none of those things are sarcastic, I truly mean them,)

thumbs downI am happy for you. I truly am.

I’m happy that your kids are all doing what they are supposed to be doing in life.

I’m happy that doors are opening and you are so darn grateful for everything that is happening in your life.

I’m happy that you and your husband are happy. That you rarely fight and that you wake up grateful every day for being in the same space.

I truly am happy for you. (You’re gonna think I’m not. But I promise you, I am.)

But…

But I can’t take it anymore. I promise you, I am not wishing you ill will. I want you to have those things. But here’s the thing.

I can’t hear about them anymore.

You (and a lot of people reading this,) are going to think that I’m shallow. If I could only get a little more Jesus, I could read your posts, your back door brags, every updating starting with the same phrase, “I’m so proud of___________ (insert child’s name here.)”.  Maybe you’re right. But God and I are working on me, together. And one of the things I need to work on (big time) is actively working against discontent. And I’m working on it:

  • We’ve adopted a Compassion child (because who can sit in a place of discontent when you can take food in the fridge and a bed to sleep in for a given?)
  • Roger and I are purposely looking for ways to help people in our lives
  • I write a list of gratitude once a week
  • I look for things to thank God for, aloud, every single day

I’m working on it.

But every time I read a post about your seemingly perfect life, I go back to that ugly place. That gnarled, twisted ugly place where I think to myself “Why does God love her more than me?” (I told you it was ugly…)

It brings me back to 4th grade  where my teacher, Mrs. B. took a weird dislike to me. (How anyone can randomly hate a nine year old is beyond me, but I digress.)  Mrs. B. would pass out candy to the kids in class, but “run out” when it came to me. If a friend and I were caught talking, I would be sent to run laps out on the field, but my friend was excused. She tried to have me switched to the “Early Readers” (in other words, slow readers) class even though I was reading three grades beyond our level.  I couldn’t understand why Mrs. B. seemingly liked all the other girls in class, but didn’t like me.

So I go along in my life, practicing my gratitudes. Not always getting it perfect, but definitely making progress. And then I run across a post from a friend who talks about their poor choice, or the poor choice of one of their kids, and they do it with humor and grace (because the worst choices can make the best stories,) and it encourages me, and makes me want to rally around my friend and do the dance of the sister-in-arms – we may trip, we may stumble, but because we are linking arms, and loving each other, we will not let each other fall. And I keep dancing.

But when I come to your post, about your child’s perfect grades, and this post is identical to the six posts before it, showing me the shiny side of your life? It brings me back to fourth grade. And let me tell you – once was enough for fourth grade.

I need to read your highs and your lows. I need to know that you get it. No – I don’t need your family secrets. I do need to know when your hair looks like Don King, or when you bought the ice cream after your son’s team lost the soccer match. Brag on your kids – yes – let me celebrate them with you. But balance the victories with the “growing opportunities”. Because we all have ‘em.

OK so I’m not blocking you today. I’m hiding your post for a while until I get a little stronger. Let’s check back with each other in six months. We both may be different then. Maybe I can hold you up when one of those “growing opportunities” comes along.

An Update: Reopening a Can of Worms – Thoughts on Yesterday’s Post