The Art of Real

I love those days.

The kind when I’m up front singing with praise team and a blog post idea comes to me, mid-song.

Really. I even somewhat processed it out as I sang, but really that’s not a good idea for more than one reason. 😉

It was one of those days that actually started Saturday.

Wake up with monster headache.

Take ibuprofen, drink coffee, take time getting ready.

Go out to get a few things done.

Come home and get ready for commitment that night.

Monster headache still there…more ibuprofen.

Go to said commitment. Come home around 10:30, don’t get to sleep until 12:30. (with the time change thrown in there)

Sleep for six, too-short, hours.

Wake up, and lo and behold, headache? Yep, we’re good buddies now…apparently inseparable ones at that.

Get ready for church, get girlie ready for church, all of us leave at 9:20. (But, really, it’s 8:20. You know, with that awful time change.)

Look in the mirror when I get to church. Not good. I chose yesterday to wear those pants…you know, those. The ones that are a strange, shiny, shade of blue-almost-black that go with everything and, really, go with absolutely nothing.

Hair a mess…yay for day #2 and the new jar of hair putty I was experimenting with that gives me bedhead all day long. Still contemplating whether the slightly spiky, messy look is really a good thing or not.

Tired eyes…teenage skin. (Yep, it was one of those weeks.)

Belly pooching over pants…six pounds since Christmas, and my sixes don’t fit so well anymore.

I kind of wanted to crawl into the back pew and away from the world. But, noooo…not an option yesterday morning.

And as the morning continued on and I stood in up front of the congregation, the question I asked over and over…

Why am I so afraid of real?

Why does it bother me so much if my hair is less than perfect, and if my clothes aren’t equally perfect? If someone sees me without makeup? Or catches me at the end of a week that’s been full of editing and short nights from the girl and even less sleep for the mama?

Without realizing it, I’ve made it too easy to hide behind the makeup and as-perfect-as-I-can-manage hair, behind an outfit that helps me hide at least some of those extra pounds.

We have this image of perfect…and often forget that He loves imperfect. Anyway and in spite of.

But I still try to cover those imperfections…the ones He sees and knows and, yet, unconditionally loves.

I don’t have a pretty ending for this post. I just know what my heart looks like.

I also know that tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up, throw in some type of workout, shower, putty up my hair, put on some makeup, and wear clothes that (mostly) hide the hopefully-now-only five extra pounds.

But I’ll try…to be a little more content and see something beautiful when I see my reflection…instead of seeing all the flaws.

Because He loves flawed and imperfect.

He loves real.

And, this is cool…I wrote most of this post before I read what one of my favorite bloggers, Lisa-Jo, wrote today. I love her perspective…hop over and read her heart. It’s beautiful.



  1. Oh Mel, I love this post! You must have written it just for me :) Right now I’m dealing with a nasty migraine…going on day 3! And I always over- stress about all the little things…my flaws, my hair, and how I just can’t ever manage to say the right thing, at the right time.

    I love how you said, “But I’ll try…to be a little more content and see something beautiful when I see my reflection…instead of seeing all the flaws. Because He loves flawed and imperfect. He loves real.” Your words are such a blessing to me today, thank you for sharing them!

    And P.S….We just moved to Arizona and I LOVE that they don’t do daylight savings. So NO moving the clock forward here! You should have seen my happy dance yesterday :)

    • Oh, sweet friend, thank you for the encouragement! I’m so sorry about that migraine…when I get one, the only thing that helps is sleep. Praying it goes away SOON! I’ll do a virtual happy dance with you, too…I’m always game for one of those, even if I have to set my clock forward. :) Blessings!

  2. I’m an Arizona girl stuck in the midwest…love the no daylight savings and the incessant sunshine. Miss it often. But, ahem, unto what I wanted to say. Great post, Mel! I read Lisa-Jo’s earlier this morning and was much encouraged by hers and by yours. I’m tired about the little pooch over the top of my pants and I’m scared that baby boy has given me pounds I’ll never get off. (I walk 4 miles a day, and have changed my diet, but I’m going to have to be more drastic.) These imperfections (even the greys showing up on my temples) are a part of aging…how come we live in a society that only shows off the perfect? Only when we are honest about falling apart or needing help or being a messy can we ever get (or start to look for help). And really, who do you know that has a house like Martha Stewart every day of the week? They must not live in it then. A lived in house (and life) looks loved…and a little frayed around the edges. Yea for being REAL!

    • Wowza…FOUR miles? You’re well on your way! That’s great! :) I was just commenting to my hubby today that, in my mid-30’s, I already feel like I’m falling apart…but, really, we’re all just aging, like you said. (I have the grays, too…so we can commiserate!) 😉 And as for a Martha Stewart house…I agree with you. I’d rather live and be real. (And messy!) Blessings, friend! Thank you for your encouraging thoughts!

  3. Mel this post 1) made me laugh 2) encouraged my heart so much. I am getting ready for my ministry’s biggest conference we have planned so far. We planned it way before I knew I would be going through all this with my dad. I have been struggling because people except Alive full of Joy Jenn. I still have joy.. deep joy and peace.. but I have walked these past 23 days through the valley of the shadow. This post spoke deeply to me and encouraged me to be real in that.. i love you heart sister!

    • Oh, girl, I’m so glad it made you laugh and gave you some encouragement! I’ve been thinking of you as you get ready for this conference with so much heaviness in your heart, too. I love the phrase, Choose Joy…because that joy is a choice, and while we know it’s there, it doesn’t always show in the form of a smile. But God knows what you are choosing…because you are choosing to honor Him in this valley. Love you, my heart sister! (I love that term…totally stealing it!) :) Continuing to pray and trusting that our Father will bring beauty from pain.

  4. Love! I so hear ya, girl. I read Lisa-Jo’s post today too, and it came right to mind as I was reading yours. Great minds;) Your real makes me feel better about my real! (((hugs)))

  5. Oh how I can relate to this. Imperfection has been my theme this year. I’m learning that when I let go of perfection God can truly perfect me. It’s a process and has nothing to do with me being in control.

    • It’s so hard to let go, isn’t it? Even of the smaller things like my hair and makeup always being perfect. I think you were the one who first mentioned the book, No More Perfect Moms to me. I’m adding it to my reading list this year. I think it’s a must, and I’m looking forward to it! Blessings, friend! :)

  6. LOVED this post and except for the short hair balm – could totally relate! 😉 My story just includes out-of-control frizzy curly hair! :) I struggle so much with the idea of being “perfect” to the world….and so often forget about the sight of my heart. Working on that with God’s help!! Have a wonderful day friend and know that you are loved!!

    • Thank you, Kristin! It’s been fun getting to know you through the GSDT…and so looking forward to Allume, too! I’m blessed to be part of this journey with you, friend! :)

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