My Motivations For Transparency and Why I Need Openness In My Life

For those who don’t know me personally, you wouldn’t know that I am as just open here as I am in person. And sometimes I wonder if I’m too open. I wonder if I’m making a mistake. Should I be embarrassed?

I wrestle with this. And maybe I am too open, but is that really a bad thing? I really couldn’t say. All I do know is my own experience and my own reasoning. Isn’t that true for all of us?

I suppose one of my motivations for transparency lies in my faith. Christians are called to speak out about their struggles so that fellow believers can help build one another up. To keep each other accountable. Because let’s face it, following any religion is hard and it’s unreasonable to do it alone.

And that’s a big motivator for me. Do I make mistakes? Do I sin? Do I represent Christ poorly? Yup, all the time. And I want to be held accountable for that. I want to know when I’ve messed up, so that I can fix it. So that I can apologize and clean up my mess, because I will make a mess of things. I’m human. That’s the grace of God, the confidence that I can screw up, apologize, and it’s forgiven, it’s forgotten. No matter how big or small, my mistakes are always redeemable. God’s offering, I might as well take it.


But outside of my faith, I have other reasons. Memories in my past of cruelty, prejudice, sexism, and hate. I have memories of good people, respectable people, turning on me in private. Tearing into me and spreading lies about me.

When your nightmares become a reality and hell becomes a place you frequent, it becomes hard to trust. Hard to believe. Hard to hope. And living in hell taught me that I wanted to be free. That I wanted to be more than my past. My past taught me that some of the kindest people we know are often the cruelest. My past taught me to look for lies. To look for deceit.

And so I live a transparent life. I speak candidly. I want you to call me out on my mistakes. Because I know monsters and I don’t want to become one. Living in secrecy, hiding who we truly are, breeds evil, and I desperately want to be good. To distance myself from my nightmares, look in the mirror, and see a whole, loving and kind woman. I am and will be more than my past.

Encouragement In The Little Things

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Found this written on a scrap piece of paper in Bernice’s things:

“Mercy withholds what we deserve. Grace gives us what we don’t deserve.”

I needed this little pick me up. Funny how God can use the little things to encourage us. I’m sure Bernice never could have imagined a quick note she wrote years ago, would be encouraging to me during one of the hardest seasons of my life.

Life may be pouring hard on David and I, but we can trust that God is continuously merciful. And He is incredibly gracious. And sometimes that’s all I can cling to, God is good.

Our Visit to American Girl

One of the things I always wanted to do with a daughter was take her to the American Girl store. My parents bought me a “Truly Me” doll when I was nine and they would take me to the store in Chicago and allow me to pick out a special outfit for my doll. I almost always chose the New Year’s outfit. The memories I have of this time with my parents are some of my favorite memories.

Naturally, I wanted to share those memories with my daughter as well. And as silly as it may sound, was one of the reasons I wanted to have a daughter. I wanted to take her to have tea with her doll, let her do crafts with her doll, buy accessories for her doll. She didn’t have to love it, I would never force it on her, but it was something I wanted to share with her.

Before we heard the diagnosis of anencephaly we were told we were having a little girl. This was a huge surprise! I fully expected boys (I have five nephews!). One of the first things I said was that I could buy her dresses, I could take her to the American Girl store! I was getting excited, David was shell shocked. He was absolutely terrified of having girls. Why? Because he was scared of something bad happening to them. You can’t do much worse than the death of your daughter, so now he only wants girls. “At least one more!” He says.

We met my friend Emily for dinner. It was cute. Star decorations on the food, the other girls eating there had special chairs for their dolls. It was adorable. And I was happy, Brielle and I were having a meal together at the American Girl store.

David and I had originally thought we’d get Brielle the Caroline doll. It will be retired after this year, so we thought that suited Brielle. Then Emily mentioned Grace, the doll of the year. Grace will only be sold for this year. Well now we were in a conundrum. Grace or Caroline, or both?! As Emily walked through the store and I waddled, we talked about which doll to get.

David decided that we should get Brielle, Grace, the doll of the year. It not only suited her, but it suited our family. Grace was on a Parisian adventure, David proposed in Paris, Grace has a charm bracelet, Brielle and I will have charm bracelets, and she has quite a bit of turquoise, one of my favorite colors. So it was settled. David lugged around boxes of doll stuff as I debated which outfit to buy Grace, and should I buy the books, the dvd? Since Brielle can’t see the doll, we decided to buy the books and dvd so that she could interact with those. She loves books and likes movies, sometimes.

And now it’s decided, each daughter should have a doll of the year, for the year she is born. And Emily has bought her daughter, Riley, the doll of the year from 2014. I like that tradition. I had fun sharing this with Brielle and having Emily there with us. Brielle slept most of the time, but did do some happy kicks for us.

Once we were home I unboxed the doll. Rosie and Emmy went crazy sniffing the doll and as they sniffed Grace, I told Brielle about the doll. I felt quite a few big happy kicks. I don’t know what she understood, but I’m glad she was having fun hearing me tell her about the doll. And so far, she has enjoyed the Grace book.

A couple of days later, David bashfully said, “I had fun shopping with you and Brielle. I liked buying her things.” He loves his little girl so much, he is such a great daddy.

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Brielle and Mommy posing in front of the store.
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Mommy, Brielle, and Daddy with Grace!
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Mommy and Brielle with Aunt Emily!