The “Real Simple” Truth

by | Sep 3, 2011 | Uncategorized

Life is Full
It was that time of day, the hours between 5pm and 7pm when my husband comes through the door, my kids homework strewn crazy throughout the living room. I am assembling dinner and engaging in simultaneous conversations. Trying desperately to have eye contact with my child while concentrating on the correct measurements of ingredients for the recipe I am following.

I am not an A+ multi-tasker, more like a C student. My kids expect me to make the honor roll in this category. I almost never meet up to their standards.

Getting back into the school routine takes a few weeks for me. The shock of the alarm clock, details to remember, appointments to schedule, forms to fill out, supplies to buy. It’s brain energy overload for this mom.

Unexpected Favor is the Best Kind
On this particular Thursday after dinner, my husband and the new driver in my home loaded up in the van to take my son to a youth group meeting. I am alone with a few moments of quiet. Decide to leave the dirty dishes scattered on every surface of the kitchen for a few more minutes while I check email messages, scan Facebook.

That’s when I saw it. The email from a Real Simple editor saying they selected my essay as a finalist in the first ever Simply Stated Blogger Contest. Put my hand over my mouth, grasped for air like I had an elephant sitting on my chest and managed to say “oh my gosh” out loud about one hundred and fifty times. Laughed uncontrollably; tears streaming down my face. My golden retriever laid still, looked at me stunned, discerned wisely not to move toward me.

I ran to the phone to call the people I cared about the most, the ones driving in the van to the church. When my husband answered, I realized he had the phone on speaker . . . after I started my sentence with the phrase: I can’t breathe. Wish I could have seen their expressions.

We all want to be chosen, stand out in the crowd. It starts early. In gym, my heart pounded heavy as I waited to be picked for a dodge ball team hoping I wouldn’t be the last one. I wasn’t athletic.

Freedom Can be Painful and Exhilarating
For reasons I am unable to explain and don’t fully understand yet, I have lived with the assumption that everyone else is better at doing something than I am. It isn’t immobilizing self-doubt, rather a lie I believed that became a noxious truth embedded in my head. Until my husband lovingly pointed out my flawed thinking a few years ago and God began to reveal the ugly like a bucket of ice water being thrown in my face.

This selection as a finalist is not just about winning a contest, or being recognized – as wonderful as that truly is. For me, it represents triumphant grace dripping in God’s favor, a slap in the face of self-doubt, brilliant light exposing what lurks in the shadows. He speaks affirmation through the words of an email and I am overwhelmed with thankfulness.  Overcome by His love.

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  1. Ronda Perry

    Shelly, your words have spoken to a gray part of my heart where self-doubt and an attitude of who-cares-anyway? exists. Despite the promise of God to Jeremiah, I somehow believe it is my responsibility to bridge the gap between defeat and apathy to promise and hope. You have reminded me of something I was on the verge of forgetting – hope. Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Ronda, rejoicing with you about the revelation you received. Pray hope stays alive in you sweet friend! You are a blessing.

  2. Sherri Strickland

    Shelly, I have always been an avid reader, and have considered at length what I think a good writer is: someone who captures people’s deepest darkest lightest thoughts in words. You get an A+ here, girl!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Sherri, that is a great compliment. Appreciate your leaving it here for me to savor!

  3. Rose

    Evidencing the faithfulness of God and the obedience of a beloved
    Woman of God! God is good and revelation is in His time. Real Grace!

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