I’m STILL real.

Here’s the deal:
I don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want to put myself out past my comfort zone. I don’t want to tell the boy I like them. I don’t want to jump anymore. I don’t want to be the person who does the thing first.

I don’t want to be strong or independent or resilient.

But what do you do when it seems you need to be all those things?

I’ve spent a lot of my adulthood learning balance. 

(I think I’ve come to find most adults spend most of their time learning balance.)

I’ve tried to the best of my ability to be positive. To find light and truth and hope.

In regards to a lot of the different aspects of living I’ve tried to be a human who leads by example.

One of the best compliments I have ever received was from an assistant in my classroom who said I had never asked her to do something she hadn’t see me do myself at least once.

But for the last few weeks (maybe longer, probably longer) I haven’t wanted to live in those places.

I’ve become a standard I am incapable of living up too.

I stepped into Meg about 5 years ago and now it seems too big.

The funny thing is, I’ve always been the person I was five years, I’ve always been kind and loving and helpful.

I’ve always had the almost inability to receive. 

But, right now, it seems as if it’s manifesting in the ability to want to not give. 

And in the fear of getting hurt again.
I think part of the reason I work with tiny humans is because that can’t hurt me in ways I am incapable of fixing. Sure they can hit me and bite me and yell in my ear. 

And sometimes they leave and my heart hurts.

But, they can’t HURT me.

As long as I give them snuggles and pat them to sleep and give them cheese sticks and sometime skittles, we are on the same page.
I haven’t been able to actually write the past few weeks. Nothing has felt real or true or right.

I haven’t been using my voice.

So, I guess in this jumble of words I do have a point. A realization that is the point B to the beginning point A:

I’m real.

I’m hope and love and kindness and I try to pass those out.

But when I feel incapable of those-I’m still real.

I’m not depressed or sad or any of those other synonyms.

I’m just me. 

Learning balance.

““Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. 

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ 

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ 

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” (Velveteen rabbit)

I guess what I want to say is this:

To whom it may concern:

When you’ve reached the point where you don’t want to give out love, or hope or vulnerability. When you are wondering if it’s worth it. If you are wondering if you can handle more hurt or failure or being resilient:

Know you are real.

You’ve become.

You got this.







My friend and future co~bookstore owner, Patty wrote a blog about love (read it here) after we came back from Spain. I had tears streaming down my face reading it because I understood the love she was speaking about.

And I must confess, I’ve wanted to write a blog on love too. But my words I knew would be different than Patty’s. And I wasn’t sure what words they were yet. All I knew was my heart bursts and breaks now in ways that it never had before.

The other day I woke up with a beautiful passage from Velveteen Rabbit in my head and on my heart. I hadn’t recently read it somewhere, I wasn’t scrolling through Pinterest—it was just there. Sitting in my brain.

.quote from the Velveteen Rabbit. .picture from Sistarovat, Romania.

“But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. But once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always


Here’s the thing: real love, real tear filled, hard words, silly laughter, silent book reading afternoon love changes you. It does something to you that you almost can’t explain.

I don’t want this to be read as if I’d never experienced love before- I had. And actually if anything the last two years have caused me even more clearly to see where I’ve experienced love like that before.

Where I’ve experienced CHRIST like that before.

I’ve ran a lot in life. I’ve hid. I’ve hid behind the fact that I know how to love well. And if I KNOW how to love well then I must be ok. If I can give it I must have HAD it.

And of course, I give really, REALLY good hugs.

But there is a difference between GIVING a hug and RECEIVING one. There is a sink your whole self into the person, wrap your arms around them and let all your troubles go because you know that person is going to take them, even if for a moment from you.

I was normally on the giving end of a hug. I would see someone needing a hug and I’d give. I’d rarely ask for one. I didn’t need them that bad.

And when it comes down to it how I interacted with people was how I interacted with God.

I feel like, for the longest time I never asked God for a hug. I never plagued Him with my burdens. I’d hug Him when I felt like I needed too. But never in a receiving sort of way.

Then I got to the point that I couldn’t even hug him. I’d been there before, during times of depression and times of brokenness. But after the race and the beginning of Spain I had to force myself to even be in his presence. During an exercise in class last summer we had to picture Jesus with us in this field. I was sitting on a blanket when he came up. I promptly told him to not sit down next to me. To stay away.

Then He overwhelmed me. With words from people, with gifts, with love. He poured so much into my arms even while I was STILL telling him to stay away.

And then I ran. I made myself busy. I did a lot. I volunteered for things, offered myself for jobs. Which is my normal. It is what I did.

And then, like so many times before, I got tired.

And He was still there.

Through all of it. He had watched me run and do and be all of these people and places and things that I didn’t need to be. Like I had done time after time after time.

And He was still there. Like HE had done time after time after time.

And then out of sheer exhaustion and the inability to solve any of the “problems” going on around me I let Him hug me. I gave up really. I gave up running, gave up turning to things that I had been turning to for years, and I let him hug me.

And really, REALLY allowed myself to open my arms and receive love. Let it saturate me. Let it wear me down. Let myself hear what he thought of me. Let Him whisper that He LOVED me.

That He Loved me FIRST.

That He loves me ALWAYS.

And then, without knowing it, I became a person who can give and receive love.

Even when it looks messy and when it’s hard and when it causes your heart to burst and break. I have experienced the love of Christ like I’ve never known. Like I never chose to see or receive.

So I sit here, tears streaming down my face knowing that it isn’t possible to go back from this. Knowing it is in me.

And no matter how I struggle or where I go or what ups and downs happen in life I have this love from my God in heaven that has sufficiently rocked me to my core.

Without knowing it; I became Real.

(And once you are Real, it is for always)