Thursday, April 17, 2014

Show Your Real: Lena's been a while since we've had a Show Your Real post around here. But you know the state of my life right now, and I'm not super into providing excuses, lest you think I assume you've been sitting on your thumbs, pining for the series return for the last two months. We used to share every two weeks. Then it switched to every month. And now? The plan is even more loosey goosey. But that's real. Real is busy. Real is sporadic. Real is doing the best you can, keeping focused on what matters (sharing raw, from the heart, stores) and not on what doesn't (an arbitrary posting schedule). So without further ado, I give you Lena: I think you'll admire how bravely transparent she's willing to get. We may have taken a hiatus, but she's kicking it back off in a big, bold way.  


Hi, y’all - my name is Lena, and I blog once in a blue moon - I’m wife to my super tall, but always hilarious husband, Brad.  And I’m mama to my wild and NEVER STOPS TALKING three-year old, Annie Lou.  Seriously, she wakes up talking and doesn’t stop until she falls asleep.  I swear she has some sort of word limit she has to meet every day!  We are a simple family trying to live our lives for the One who gave it all for us.  Our every days can sometimes resemble a circus….
My child wakes up before the sun comes up. 

Anyway, when Courtney asked me if I wanted to write a guest post for her “Show Your Real” series, I was so excited!  You see, I’m on this quest this year to be REAL.  At the beginning of 2014, when everyone was picking their “word of the year,” I couldn’t think of anything.  I’ve chosen words like “content” and “organized” — real buzz words.  But for 2014, I was drawing a big ole blank.  Then one morning, when my daughter wanted to wear the most ridiculous outfit out in public (one that she was SO proud of), and I was so amazed by how she didn’t care at all what anyone thought of her, it hit me.  I want to be REAL this year.

Let me back-track.  After I had my daughter in 2010, I went into a pit.  A deep, dark, lonely pit.  Around me, I saw all these mothers succeeding in everything — their marriages, their homes, their careers…their lives were just so perfect.  And I could barely get out of the bed.  I lost a ton of weight, was barely skins and bones….to sum it up, I was just surviving.

Then, it hit me.  I could be those moms.  I could have the perfect house, the perfect career, the perfect marriage.  I could have it all - I could be it all.  All I had to do was fool everyone.  

And fool everyone I did.

I re-did our entire house decor.  I organized every nook and cranny (even our refrigerator had labeled bins).  I had birthday parties that could rival Martha Stewart.  I had a successful career where I made great money.

On the outside?  I looked like I had it all.

On the inside?  I was a tower of pride and shame and guilt about to crumble - and crumble quickly.  

My family never knew how I was going to react to situations - I was like a cannon packed to the brim with explosives -  and no one knew when I was going to blow.

When I looked in the mirror, I really didn’t even recognize the person I saw looking back at me.  I was back at the bottom of my pit — this time, I just had everyone looking at me to see my next great move.

I was spiraling out of control.  

“I love God because he listened to me,
    listened as I begged for mercy.
He listened so intently
    as I laid out my case before him.
Death stared me in the face,
    hell was hard on my heels.
Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn;
    then I called out to God for help:
“Please, God!” I cried out.
    “Save my life!”
God is gracious—it is he who makes things right,
    our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
    when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.” 
- Psalm 116: 1-6 (The Message)

I cried out for help.  And I sought real, professional help — I went every single week for nearly a year to a Christian therapist.  She helped me tear down those walls of loneliness and guilt and shame — and find the REAL Lena.  She spoke truth and scripture into my life.  From then on, I vowed to live my life differently.

And here is where my crusade to be REAL began.  I started sharing snippets into my REAL life via social media — posting pictures of a bed full of clothes, admitting that I have a for real battle with laundry.  We hosted my daughter’s birthday with NO THEME (this was a big one, y’all) and only invited close family - no guest list of 50+ people like in the past.  I shared my struggles with parenting.  I quit my lucrative career and took a big pay cut in order to focus on my family.  

The battle with laundry is real.

Annie Lou's messy room.

I took that big ole Lena tower and put it at the feet of Jesus and said THY WILL BE DONE.  

And here I am now - y’all there is FREEDOM in being real.  Taking off those masks and saying this is me.  LOOK WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE IN ME.  

My pastor said something the other week that has just been playing over and over in my head - how can we celebrate what Christ has done in us if no one knows what all He has done in us?  Let’s tell others and celebrate it!

I have friends tell me all the time: “I love how you’re so real.  It makes me feel like I’m not the only one dealing with (insert blank)” — my response to them is you can do it, too.  Really, if you’re wearing some mask, or carrying some huge load just to make your life look perfect…let it go.  Give it to Him and start walking in the light.  

We are all women - wives, mothers, daughters, friends…we do it all.  We shouldn’t feel like one way is better than another way - we should cheer each other on from the sidelines and say: “YES!  I knew you could do it!”  I know I might be a little naive - but I really would love if we built each other up as women.  So this is me, patting you on the back, saying “I really like you even if you have a sink full of dishes and you haven’t showered in a week - really, I do!”  Let’s be real, y’all!

Family photo: We clean up nicely!

If you want to follow along with my journey to be REAL, follow me on instagram and twitter (I’m @lenawarnock) - it’s not always pretty, but it sure is fun!


Show Your Real is a 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 comment :

  1. thanks for sharing your REAL Lena! great encouragement!