Blessing or Impressing?

I’m waiting in the MOPS classroom, looking up at the screen, and I see it there—my face, name as the speaker of the day, and two published books. My heart is still, quiet, as if in the eye of a storm louder and greater than any I could venture into, so I retreat.

The storm I’m in has nothing to do with public speaking, because I happen to feel almost as at home behind a microphone as I do in my kitchen. But my life—it’s a hurricane—and I’m not sure how to speak without sharing parts of it because speaking is more about sharing than about impressing.

We all connect soul to soul more than theory to theory. All of us want heart to heart more than accomplishment.

group hand fist bump
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But I’m wondering why life is so utterly finite and we’re all so human we end up with lives we never dreamed we’d live.

I was looking at my daughter’s friends a few weeks ago, and I saw brokenness on their faces long before they opened their mouths to describe their families. I’m crushed for them, for all kids who face life with a broken home.  

I stood before the group of women that day and chose the honorable way of transparency. They saw not only my message but my rawness. They heard not only my goals of parenting but the challenges  as a single mother whose husband has just chosen another way and left the kids reeling with emotions to match Hurricane Katrina.

I spoke my heart out. All of our eyes welled in tears. I walked back to my seat and sat down, wondering why on earth I’d chosen, again, to share something I could have hidden. I could have left the building that day feeling just a little better about what they thought my life was like.

I chided myself immediately. My calling hadn’t begun with hypocrisy, and it wouldn’t flourish with it, either. The death of a life didn’t have to mean the death of a calling unless my own sin came in the way.

And then, she came, this beautiful little mama wanting to open up about her life because I had opened up about mine. The next one, and the next, until I left with more friends and open hearts than I’d dared hope for.

The authentic life is the beautiful life.

The honest life is the honorable life.

The blessed life is the bare life, because God has always clothed the naked.

I’m loading my plate up with muffins and cheesecake, because you can’t speak to a group of mothers without thinking of your own children, and one of mine’s a foodie. I smash the jumbo chocolate muffin right into the half-eaten piece of pumpkin cheesecake, and I know she won’t mind.

Sisters, if your name’s on a screen, make sure those listening to you see Jesus in your eyes. Allow him to strip you of all need to impress and fill you with a desire to bless. You’ll emerge from your broken places, knowing with Paul, that there is nothing to boast of except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

By Sara Daigle

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