Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Today, I decided that I was just going to say something."

"I love your blog!"

I turned around to find an older woman at the end of the juice aisle. She was pushing a cart of groceries and hesitated for just a moment as she made eye contact with me, smiling.

"Oh...thank you!" I replied. With no children on hand, I realized that she must have recognized me from my picture. "What is your name?"

The sweet lady stopped altogether, and introduced herself as Sarah, a nurse for the past 50 years, and a reader of the blog since before our kids were born. We chatted for a few minutes about the kids and how they are doing developmentally, before we went our separate ways.

But she said something else during our conversation that I haven't forgotten, even though our encounter was several months ago. She said, "I've seen you here several times before. I told my husband that you must live in the area, but I've never wanted to stop and bother you. But today I decided that I was just going to say something!"

If ever there was a time when I needed to hear her words of encouragement, that was the day.

Recently, I've been having a sort of internal crisis. I've been blogging for more than three years, and freelance writing for almost as long. The beautiful thing about writing, is that for an introvert like myself, it perfectly fits my comfort level. The unfortunate part of writing is that it requires you to put yourself out there. In three years, I've grown used to some of the judgmental comments made about me and my family. It just goes with the territory. And by and large, people really are kind. But recently, there have been some extra things said that have really knocked me down.

So far down that for the last several months, I've daily considered stopping altogether.

  • "Whatever made me think that anything I write is worthwhile?"
  • "People keep private journals all the time. There is no reason to keep a blog."
  • "I've fooled myself into thinking I'm a decent writer." 
  • "If I shut down my blog, I won't even be missed. The kids won't care about reading this stuff when they are older anyway."
  • "At least then, people will like me."

The internal dialogue would play over and over again as I felt myself going through the motions of writing. I don't mind disagreement or healthy debate, but the mean, personal attacks were getting to be too much. At one point, I asked Sean through tears, "Is this worth it? Is writing worth it? I love it so much, but is it worth the stress and the frustration of trying to be real, transparent, and approachable when I know not everyone likes that?"

He said it was worth it. And so that's what I've clung to as I've tried to find my feet again.

But then, out of the blue, between picking up three loaves of bread for that week's sandwiches, and getting excited that I can now buy butter in two pound packages, a lady who I'd never met, stopped to encourage me in the juice aisle.

I can't even imagine what she thought when I turned around. No makeup, hair unbrushed and hastily pulled back into a ponytail, coughing from a recent cold, and dark circles under my eyes. And then, believe it or not, I pounced on this lady I'd never met and hugged her. I hugged her because she took a few minutes to encourage me, an exhausted mom who desperately needed to hear something positive.

Could she have known what she did for me? I doubt it. I doubt she thought as she rolled up to me, "Gee! I better say something because that lady is on the verge of quitting her blog, and holing up with her kids in an effort to avoid everyone." Instead, she just said something because she felt like that was the day.

I've thanked God over and over again for that conversation since then. Friends, you never know when something you say will have a lasting impact on someone. It doesn't even have to take more than a couple of minutes. Take a minute to encourage someone, especially if they don't look like they need it. Odds are, they need it the most.

And for goodness sake, if you see me out and about, stop me and say, "Hi!" I like meeting you all!

Also, I am *so* glad that I brushed my teeth that morning! I almost didn't!


  1. Let me say, "Keep it up girl". You are doing something you love, you are creative and funny, you are open and transparent, but in being that, you open yourself up to criticism. In having worked with the public for many years, I can tell you there are a lot of very unhappy people out there who want to pass on the misery. I think putting comments on your blog (instead of having to say it to a person's face) is easy. Don't let them rain on your parade. Do what you enjoy! Many of us are blessed by your words!!

  2. Well shoot, I tried to comment but I think it disappeared, so if you get it twice, sorry :) I think it's so cool someone recognized you! Wow! And such a beautiful story of how well her comment was timed. God touched her heart to touch yours. I still can't believe you've gotten such nasty comments. I don't understand why people do that. But I, for one, would miss your words if they weren't here. I truly enjoy reading what you share.

  3. Getting recognized in public means you are a celebrity now! No turning back! :) I'm guessing for every few lovers, there will be a hater, not just in blogging, but in life. Embrace those that love you and tune out the haters!

  4. haha, sorry I just laughed at your teeth brushing comment :) I am really glad she stopped and said hi to you. I've only been a reader for a little while, but I would miss you posting. God knows us and our needs, and will send people to answer our prayers.

  5. Wonderful share thanks for the honesty. Keep writing keep sharing the negative comments and remarks only mean you have touched something in them that makes them reflect on themselves . It really isn't about you but how they are feeling and want to project on others. Best of luck look forward to your next share :)

  6. Ya know...if I ever heard something like this, like EVER, I'd probably faint. Good for you. It must have been a great feeling. :)

  7. Awww. Don't stop writing! I just found your blog recently, but I love reading it. And it's so true that we never know what kind of impact our words will have. All the more reason to go out of our way to share kind words with everyone we meet!

  8. I enjoy your blog too. Try to ignore the mean comments and focus on all the good ones you get! Three years of blogging can get anyone down, we all go through dry spells and think of quitting now and then. I say blog on as long as you enjoy doing it, but don't feel as though you have to post every day.

  9. Wow, Your post brought tears to my eyes. I often think about our visit at the grocery store. Inner beauty and kindness shine through your face--- even without make-up. Your writing is so level-headed and thoughtful. You definitely have passion with talent. Mothering four little ones all at the same time 24/7 is incredibly difficult and you do an amazing job!!!! As for blogging -- you should do what is best for you and your family, but I hope you continue forever.
    amazing job

    1. I was so hoping the person she wrote about would comment :) I just love to hear stories of when people touch each other's lives.

  10. This is so beautiful! I am so thankful for that woman! As a new reader, I just want to read more and more. I have always felt that you are one of the best writers of the bazillion blogs out there. Genuinely, you need to know that!!

  11. If you were to stop blogging, it would be like mourning the loss of a good friend. I would continue checking to see if you had changed your mind. God's blessings to you and your family.

  12. This brought tears to my eyes honestly Becca. To think that anyone could ever be mean or judgemental to YOU of all people that I have known is horrible. I have told Sean on many occasions, if not everyone that I have mentioned it to, that you are an incredible mother, writer and person all around. People with that much anger in their heart that they would feel the need to lash out to you, I feel sad for. Whatever is going on in their lives that makes them feel just in acting out like that is disheartening. I adore you, your writings, and your family. God bless you for bringing smiles to everyone, whether you know it or not ;) Many hugs to you all.

  13. You just had me in tears!!! And then I burst out in laughter at the end. I know how days get hard and you really feel that giving up will be the easiest thing to do, but its so unsatisfying.
    Keep on keeping on, because you are busy leaving a legacy!!! xxx

  14. Oh Becca, here's a cyberhug from me to you!! I just don't understand why people feel the need to be critical. They don't walk in your shoes! I'm a faithful reader of your blog and I would miss it sooo much! I feel like we're friends and wish I could your friend in real life. You are such an inspiration and I'm totally in awe of the way you handle four active toddlers! God bless!! Brenda F

  15. What a lovely post. Sometimes we just need those "God moments" to remind us that we can make a difference in our little corner of the world. And the neat thing is that our little corner of the world is HUGE! It can reach the entire world. Thanks for your words today. They are a good reminder that God can use us even when we don't feel that we are being used. Blessings!

  16. What a wonderful thing for her to do! Just like Beth said above - a true God Moment.

    I always say it is best to be your authentic self on the blog. Writing is not just a hobby for most of us: we bleed our thoughts, hopes, dreams, frustrations, joys out onto a page. We send our words out into the dark, hoping that to someone: they will be a Light. You never know when something you said, will be a blessing to another. So just kept at it!
    Most of us never are lucky enough to get the feedback that we have touched another with out words.

  17. I'm a grandma that is being blessed by your blog. Thanking the Lord that you were blessed with encouragement at a time your heart truly needed it. I agree with the comments others have made that the negative comments most often reflect on the hurting soul that wrote them. Praying for you & your family. Continue to blog as it works for your family. We'll be grateful.

  18. very well said. I don't think people often realize the power their words say - positive and negatively. I enjoy your blog. I like the ideas and tips you give and mostly hearing about your beautiful children. Shame on anyone who gives you hurtful words.


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