Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Show Your Real: Shannon

Patience is a virtue. A virtue I wasn't blessed with, and one I don't seem to be picking up quickly. (wait..I'm impatient to be patient?) But I'm learning. So when I asked Shannon to guest post for Show Your Real ummmm a year ago...I tried to be all zen when she didn't respond to my email. Or my next email. We've partnered a few times before, and always keep up with each other on Instagram (check out her adorable little men! If I believed in arranged marriages, I'd be submitting some applications on behalf of the Bowden ladies...) so I knew that if the timing wasn't right right now, that we'd work it out someday.

And you're in luck...because that day is today! It may have taken us a year or so to get together on this, but oh man is it worth the wait. (and that comes from someone who doesn't think much of anything is worth waiting for). I love what Shannon has to share today, so much so that I decided to post it the day after she sent it over...a week ahead of schedule. It's short, it's honest, it's beautiful.


Hi, I am Shannon, wife to Mark, momma to Behr (3.5) and Hudson (15 months) and you can find us over on The Scribble Pad. A year ago I transitioned into a dream role and this past Spring I sobbed to the women in my church's moms group about how nothing is how I imagined it would be. Here is a snippet of the story.

If you know the secret to family pictures, please enlighten me!

When Courtney first asked me to participate in Show Your Real (over a year ago!) shortly after my second son was born, I immediately thought, I am not ready, I need to get my act together! And then promptly ignored her email for well, about 12 months.

Are you kidding me? That is the exact reason we write these posts and share these stories. Courtney and I, you and your neighbor and the mom across from you at the park? We are moms on the pendulum swing of work-dinner-kids-husband-dishes-cooking-laundry-kids-lunch-did-we-feed-them-breakfast-work-kids-wait-did-I-forget-about-my-husband?  Life is constantly in motion, the things that are in motion with us might not always look the same, but the motion continues. It doesn't necessarily get easier, just different.

After two and a half years of working outside the home, I transitioned to a totally different role, running an intern housing building, after my second son was born. I am now a work from home mom. Silly me, I thought working from home would mean more time, as if I would magically get extra hours in the day. Without even knowing it, I was looking for easy. Let me tell you, I did not get easy. I relearn this lesson every day. Every day, I am reminding myself there is not an easy out, no easy button. Darn you, Staples commercials.

Instead I got a 20-30 hour a week job with not nearly that much babysitting in my budget. I work with Hudson on my lap jamming his fingers into my calculator. I work with Behr standing on the chair behind me, hanging around my shoulders. I spill whatever I am drinking on everything and my beautiful modern dining table turned desk from ikea is covered in stickers. I work while my kids watch TV, sometimes on beautifully sunny days when we should all be outside, sometimes for so long they fall asleep and then fall off the couch with a thud.

I'm sure I just finished telling them not to poke each other anymore.

There are days we race matchbox cars, I even duct taped a track on my carpet once. We build block towers to knock over and lego towers taller than our heads. We walk to museums in DC, pick up our farm share, and play at splash parks. But for every exciting adventure I share on instagram, there is just as much behind the scenes work going on. But do you really want to see my computer every day?

Motherhood is not about looking for the easy, it is about walking through the difficult and knowing that Christ has called you to this life, and his calling means he has enabled you. Read that again. Christ's calling in your life means he has enabled you. Do you understand what that means? I don't. Well, at least I forget it often. I throw up my hands in exasperation, feeling defeat instead of the gentle tug of growth.

I want to feel the tug of growth and stop letting my own self-wallowing get in the way. Maybe someday I will get there. For now, pass me some legos. I have a tower to build.

To be honest, this is not at all what I was going to write about...but this is what has been on my heart as I think about our week, which already feels impossibly long. I am not sure what is on your heart today, but I hope you are able to be encouraged. I really hope to meet you over social media. Please stop by and say hello!


Can you resist those smiles? I sure can't.

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 (cjsbowden at gmail dot com).

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