Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Show Your Real: Libby

You know the expression- "to know her, is to love her"? Well I'm pretty sure that was made up specifically for my friend Libby. I've know Lib since I was an ignorant high schooler, and in the *ahem* couple, few, many years since then, I've never met anyone who doesn't love her. And not because she's one of those saccharine-sweet girls that you can't not get along with. But because she's a real-sweet girl, who will call you out, tell you like it is, and love you fiercely in the process (and she might make you laugh until you pee your pants...that's just a bonus). She was in youth ministry for a while, taught middle school for a few years, now spends her days wrangling three little ones of her own, and she and her husband Ryan are in the process of adopting a little guy from Ethiopia. So suffice it to say, she's got some patience. And some wisdom. I'm overjoyed to have her share here today. (And because I know a slice of Libby won't be enough- head over to her blog to get to know her even better).

When Courtney asked me if I would be willing to guest post for this series, I felt like it was God playing a joke on me. My life struggle IS showing my real. Just need to get that out there before I say anything else. Being real and vulnerable and honest is NOT the "American way," and it does NOT come easy for Libby Snow. To be brutally honest, I'll tell ya that sometimes it's even hard for me to show my real to the closest people in my life.  Like the closest, closest people. This has affected my emotional intimacy with my husband, at times. It has resulted in hearing some really hard things from some super special friends. ("you don't seem to need people. why don't you ever show that you're struggling? I can't be honest about my life with you unless you'll be honest about your life with me").  And sadly, it has resulted in me being more exhausted from people than I should be. Why? Because I have tried to be too much for too many, instead of just being real and being ME for the people God has put in front of me, such as my own 3 kids.

I'm used to making life look pretty.  I want to avoid painting an attractive yet potentially exaggerated and inaccurate picture of my life.  I love my life, but it’s not always pretty.

My oh-so-commonly muttered, stated, prayed, or even cried,  verse, from 2 Corinthians 12. "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." That's Jesus talking right there and THAT is pretty refreshing. 
Because you see, like I said, I have a hard time showing my real, which translates into...I have a hard time showing my weakness, which translates into...people probably have a lot of misconceptions about my life. 'Cause what people see about me ain't always the deal.

Here's a quick snapshot of me. I am...

  • a wife and mom, and a short one at that
  • outgoing, I guess?  (I get asked quite frequently if I used to be a cheerleader, hmm. Nope, never was)
  • organized  (really love my ducks in a row and having the coffee set to turn out at 5 AM for the next morning. I love love love feeling productive. just sayin)
  • a former junior high Sex Ed and Language Arts teacher (best. job. ever.)
  • a morning person. I'm married to a night owl, which stinks for us at times. BUT I love a fresh pot of coffee and a quiet house when the sun rises. Ryan loves popcorn and Pandora at midnight!
  • a lover of people, of food (both cooking it and eating it), of exercise, and of smooching my kids' cheeks waaaaay too often. (2 of my 3 kiddos were born with abnormally large cheeks. I am so ridiculously lucky)
  • Oh yeah, and I'm a pastors wife! Yep. And that's probably where a lot of the misconceptions on/about my life come into play

Being in full time ministry puts a different spin on my life because I really feel like our family is watched closely, even if unintentionally, by the world around us. It's a weird role to be in but I really really love it...now. The reason I really really love it, now, is because I have learned that 

...the MORE I let people see that being a mom is flipping hard and I DON'T have perfect kids, the closer to REAL, I get (which gets me closer to Jesus looking BETTER: "My power works best in weakness"). On a day that I'm feelin good about the time I've been spending with my kids, like I'm a superstar mom, one who makes great picnic lunches and plays "monster" and "motorcycle" before bed...it all goes down hill at the worst time. The day before Ryan and I get to leave for a 3 night getaway (first one like this since we've had kids), My 8 year old has a melt down and begins sobbing about how bad of a mom I am. "How can you leave me?" Don't you love me and want to be with ME this week?" So yes, I'm learning that I can't control my kids. 

Wait, this is your big sister's birthday party 
and you're supposed to be having an absolute BLAST right now!

...the MORE I share that I have a boat load of junk in my life that needs to be forgiven and surrendered, the closer to REAL I get. This is a new revelation for me. Years ago I thought the opposite. Share less, talk less, listen more. Right? Not always the case. People want to know I'm desperate for a savior, too. Especially my kids. They need to see that mom is wrong and that mom needs Jesus. They need to see that I have to trust Him and that I really am happy and fun and "wacky," (Ellie's words) because of the joy I have in me. (Thank you Jesus---your power in my weakness).

...the MORE I choose to appreciate the fact that if I am blessed to open my eyes and wake up tomorrow, I will once again have the mundane task of laundry to fold, a sparkling dishwasher to be emptied, lunches to be made, butts to wipe, veggies to chop, counters to be wiped--again...then I will be a step closer to REAL. Why? Because... my exhaustion and my weakness need Jesus in me to bring JOY and patience and a heck of a lot of love to my hubby and kids, in the midst of the mundane.

...the MORE I am willing to admit some fears about the fact that we're one of those families about to adopt a baby, from a country no where close to the good ol' Midwest of America, then I am pretty sure that will get me closer to my REAL. Because my feet are currently planted in Toledo, OH, and I'm in a season of life that's already busy. And this is uncharted territory for me. I need to dig deeper and trust bigger. 

The second part of 2 Corinthians 12, verse 9 says:


So there's my real. Got one shot at this life. Learning to be ok with living it not so perfectly so Jesus can be seen better and work bigger in my roles, tasks, responses, and messes. :) 


Show Your Real is a bi-weekly series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often suface-cy interactions of social media. We invite all of you to participate! Please comment, link, and hashtag to spread the showyourreal love. If you would like to contribute a guest post in this series, please email me! 


  1. I have just started following your blog and I love this series. Thanks for finding beautiful ways to remind us to keep it real. Real is the best way of wonderful.

    1. Hi Sara! Thanks for stopping by....I agree with you entirely....Real is messy sometimes, but wonderful.

  2. Thanks for sharing your real, Libby! So inspiring to know even those we tend to hold in higher regard/esteem (such as a pastor's wife) have the same struggles we often do! Best wishes on your adoption, praying for peace for you and your family as you embark upon a new chapter in your lives!