Monday, November 24, 2008

Reality Check

How many times have you read someone's blog only to think that their life must be perfect? They have a beautiful home that's always clean and orderly. Each meal is a culinary delight and is served upon a freshly pressed tablecloth. Laundry is always done, ironed, and neatly put away. Children always have neat hair, and adorable outfits. No one ever raises their voice or loses their temper.

We get sucked into these illusions, and can easily become dissatisfied with our own lives. If only my home looked like hers.... If my husband just did that.... If my children would just....

It doesn't just happen in blogland, either. We can be sidetracked just as easily by television shows, books, or real life friends.

Real life isn't always peachy keen, though. For anyone.

I've not been feeling well since September.

My home has been dirtier than normal.

Laundry gets done and folded, but then it sits. It sits on a large counter in the laundry room until I feel like I can't take it anymore and yell at everyone to put it away.

Ironing sits, too. In a big pile on top of the dryer. Waiting. Oh sure, Autumn and I attempt to make a dent in the pile every other day or so. We get about 10 pieces done, and then something else beckons us.

And meals are definitely not always gourmet. Yesterday, it was an entire day of find something to make you happy and get your belly full. Some chose a simple sandwich of peanut butter and jelly. Some chose to heat leftovers. Some ate crackers and cheese, and some ate Ramen noodles. Everyone ate cookies. Too many cookies.

This morning, Verne and I attempted to take my van to a man that was interested in buying it. Cheap. $250. And you know what? I say attempted because it totally broke down on the side of the road, and it's still sitting there. That $250 was going to buy a few Christmas gifts. So, do we spend $100 towing it there?

Last week we got a bit of snow. I looked outside to discover my children who are old enough to know better having a snowball fight in flip flops. Snow was covering their feet. Yes, I yelled. And now, they are coughing.

Life isn't perfect. For me, or anyone else.

But on a brighter note, we are in a warm home. (Well, warm is relative, isn't it? We have the furnace thermometer set to 67 F.)

We have plenty to eat, and even cookies!

We aren't afraid to show affection or say "I love you." I feel warm arms around my neck several times each day!

We enjoy God's Word around the supper table each night, and we know that we are His.

Hmmmm.... BIG reality check.

Edited to Add: Verne was able to borrow a tow chain, and he and Mac got the van to the man who was still willing to buy it. (Somethings do turn out well! Praise God!)


Karen said...

Thank you for your transparency in sharing the not-so-perfect side of your life, Tracy. God is good, and He does provide for all of our needs. I'm grateful for your contentment reminder, too. I hope and pray that you and your family have a lovely Thanksgiving this week, with many reasons to be thankful for the Lord's goodness and grace.

Dianne said...

I loved this post, Tracy because it is what real life is all about. We're not always on top of everything. We don't always feel good or energetic (I hope you will start to feel better soon). Things don't always get done when they should or as soon as we want. We can't all be gormet cooks and have that perfect looking table with candles and such.

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who can't always keep up with everyone else but you are perfectly right when you state that you have loved ones who aren't afraid to tell you how much you mean to them and they love you anyway even if you or they aren't perfect. And if we have God in our lives and His word to inspire us, what else do we need anyway?

This post inspired me!!

lady jane said...

yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. to all the above. completely. without question. big time. yes.

Are you feeling the teensiest bit better these days, dear one? I'm praying.

His Girl said...

fantastically real post. well done, chica. love reading what you have to say :)

Anonymous said...

Great post Tracy, it's always a relief to admit humanity to everyone in blogland...I do it frequently! lol! I hope you feel better soon healthwise though.

love, Tina :)

Nina in Portugal said...

Yes, I fall into that trap from time to time. Spend a little time reading a few blogs, and come away feeling defeated and discouraged. Thinking that they have it all together....when actually the other bloggers struggle with the same things as do I. ---Thanks for opening up in this post. I too just did a post and shared my heart. No more "Ms. Tough Girl" anymore for me!

Hope you're feeling better soon. I'll be praying.

~~Deby said...

You are house is a mess, I am in horrible pain and my brother is in his last days, or even today...we are the way out to see him..he turned 44 today and has brain cancer, my heart is husband has had a severe dental infection...Voila'
no perfect from my neck of the woods...I will pray for you dear woman..
this I know:
God is always good..HIS ways are not always my ways, HE knows best...

Anonymous said...

I'm *so sorry* you're not feeling well. I struggle with times like that myself and I know it is frustrating to want to get things accomplished but not having the strength.

marilenearndt said...

Oh, Tracy - having arms around your neck, hearing those 3 words more than once a day, having 4 adorable kids to yell at - that IS perfect. It's God's love all around you, and He is perfect. And the's just details. I wish I lived across the street, so I could just run over and take care of your ironing, or just sit with you to hear you talk, drinking a cup of coffee. I have a friend in Connecticut, and since she left Brazil to move up there, we say to eachother: "I wish I hadn't met you!" - that's how much we miss eachother.
Tracy, sometimes I wish I hadn't found your blog! You are such a special woman, I check your blog every day, and it brings me so much inspiration to deal with my own little "details". I just wish I could give you half of what you have already given to me!
I pray that throughout these tough days God gives you an extra share of His warmth.

Anonymous said...

Yes it's nice to know that your life isn't perfect either. :-)
It's good to let people know that from time to time-just to remind them that you too are human.
But take heart dear cyber friend, you are most definitely not alone. :-D

Abounding Treasures said...

I chuckled when I read this because it sounded like you were describing my own home sometimes!

I appreciate your transparency in sharing *real life* and in reminding us of all the blessings you have even while these other things have been allowed in your life!

To read Verne's footnote that the man still wants to buy your *dead* car made my heart sing for you and all those dear ones who tell you they love you, each and every day!

Blessings :o)

Rebecca said...

67?!?! That is like Hawaii around here... we have our thermostat at 57. ugh. yuck. putuwee.

I'm really glad the tow thing got squared away~ and I totally 'get' the laundry deal...except I don't have a laundry room to hide it in. The basket just stays at the foot of the stairs. And my wee ones have recently been given the responsibility to put their own clothes away so I don't have to lug so many trips upstairs. Laundry is an overwhelming thing-and I am still doing SMALL things! I can't imagine doing a whole families worth of FULL size clothes!

Hope you feel better Tracy, and am thankful to see "the other side" every now and again. ;-)

Jodi said...

((Tracy)) ~ I wondered how the asthma / coughing situation was going. Will keep on praying that you get better.

Your excellent post actually made me chuckle because I can relate all too well. My husband calls it getting behind the power curve. And - oh boy - does morning sickness and pregnancy fatigue throw one behind the power curve! I was just thinking tonight (as I pulled my frozen pizzas out of the oven) that I should write a post on the wisdom of keeping something quick in the freezer at all times for emergency backup in order to avoid spending excess money on fast food or take out. (I dozed off sitting up in a chair, reading a Christmas cookbook and didn't get my chicken started in time for dinner - lol.) Ah well - so much for the healthy, homemade dinners served each night in a timely manner! ;o) Real life is ... well ... real! But as you so beautifully point out - how very blessed we are to be surrounded by our loving family.

I am so glad Verne and Mac were able to get the van to the buyer. Hugs to you, Sweetie. Hoping you feel better soon.

Terri said...

Tracy, this was such a good post. There are so many times when I think someone's life seems perfect. It's good to remember that we all have our struggles.

I hope you are feeling better soon!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Tracy, I don't often blog about details of the less-than-perfect things in my life... but I always try to stress that I have PLENTY! My home gets dirty, dinner gets burned once in a while, and my husband and I are not angels. We are living a good life, but it's important to keep things real.

Take good care of yourself...

the voice of melody said...

I'm sorry you're not feeling well. You have so much on your plate, and I'm sure it's frustrating to not feel well enough to do it all. Actually, none of us do it all. We just wished we did and then feel awful for the things we haven't yet crossed off our list.

Try to take it one day at a time, enjoy the love of your family and the warmth of your home. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ways of Zion said...

Thank you for sharing! It made me feel better as we are all suffering with colds and brocitous and the house is a disaster...

as for christmas gifts I found a wonderful pattern that you might be able to use for the girls for bags. i am making a bunch of them for the ladies on my list!

Mrs. Rabe said...


Your life sounds remarkably like mine. :)

We all struggle with keeping up with everything. I spend too much time on the computer for starters!

Thank you for being real - appreciate you more for it!

I thank God for His grace and for my precious family!

randi---i have to say said...

Tracy, thank you for sharing from your heart. Blogs are kind of like magazines--all of the good and lovely, without all of the mess. Sometimes it is good to remind us that we all have some mess in our lives. It helps us to feel like we are more alike than different!

I do hope that things are looking sunnier. I will be praying for you.

Kristy said...

Thank you for this post. I am right there in the thick of laundry still in the baskets waiting to be folded, wiping my 1 year old's runny nose that goes along with teething, and trying to potty train my 2 year old. Yes, I do sometimes feel that I am not keeping up like those on the blogs I visit. I feel encouraged now to tackle those baskets of laundry and continue on, because we all are in the same boat, aren't we? I am so thankful where the Lord has our family now, and so thankful that yes, too, we have heat and plenty to eat. We are together and are so blessed.

Glad to hear about your van. That $250 will be spent wisely, I'm sure. Hope you're feeling better soon! I will add you to my prayer list.

Samantha said...

Thank you for this post Tracy!

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has these kinds of days. It can be difficult to be real when it comes to blogging. It's so much easier to share our strengths and accomplishments.

Oh and I'm glad to hear that the man still want's to buy your van!

Samantha said...

sorry, I forgot to add: Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Sharon said...

You are so right Tracy and maybe more of us bloggers should show the not-so-pleasant things in life. Right now I have a huge pile of ironing that has been patiently waiting on me and will have to wait until I feel better.
I pray you will begin feeling better soon. May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving!