You were born to be real, not perfect

Little voices fill our thoughts with the many things we lack. We are a pinteresting, dieting, comparing, self-help book reading society. The constant need to reach the next phase of our perfect self surrounds us.

I appreciate becoming ‘the best version of you’. If we settle for where we are than we could miss out on some of the amazing opportunities God has planned for us. We should seek improvement in our lives to find the highest potential for joy that the world was created for. I love discovering new ways to style my hair or how to be a fun mom. The climb is literally a joy filled adventure for me. I like to look at something and say “Yay, I did it!” Everyone loves to see hard work pay off, right?

but..

Sometimes there isn’t enough time in a day to accomplish all that we want to. Sometimes life places us in circumstances that prevent us from reaching goals. Sometimes God’s plan for us isn’t that thing, that job, that house, that baby, that man, and we don’t get what we want. No matter how cute our hair is, our latest craft project, that yummy cobbler, and our well-mannered kids are we just can’t control everything.

It’s important to face a reality of “imperfection is who we are.” We are beautifully imperfect. The faults in our lives make our successes what they are. Without the failures and the need for joy we can’t appreciate the full meaning of Christ. His perfection is the only perfect thing within our reach.

Don’t feel the need to fake it for the opinions of others. Who cares what they think? Who cares what I think? We are all just trying our best and sometimes we will come up short. If you show people in a humble, honest way who you are, you are showing them what God wanted them to see. When you fake it you are hiding a Van Gogh behind a knock off.

Don’t hide an original “insert your name here” for the sake of posing as “insert who you wish you were’s name here”. It depreciates your value and steals all potential of God working in your life.

Bottom line is, be real. Be the awkward, clumsy, frizzy haired, big butt, horrible cook that God intended you to be.

PS. I don’t like my arms, I can’t sing, I use spell-check more than necessary, and I sometimes talk too much. #BEREAL

xoxo
April Walker

Yep. As far as I'm concerned, MY grass is greenest. Makes for a content life, and I like it that way! No keeping up with the Joneses' allowed in my house!

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Are you letting sin win?

Fear often determines peoples choices and direction in life. The Bible tells us that that fear of failure, of death, of embarrassment, of the dark, and all the other big, bad, and scary things in life is not from God. God gives us power and strength.

7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7

Sin is one of those big, scary things to a Christian. As a Christian we seek to please God and perfect our ministry so we fear the downfall that sinning brings. (I’m not going to address the sins itself because we all know the Bible is interpreted in many different ways. Therefore debating what’s a sin or not, doesn’t fall into an area I care to participate.)

With this fear of sinning, we avoid anything related to the sin itself. The sin is not the place, the people, or the object we make into a vice, it’s the actual action we are committing. All of the things I just mentioned do not have life and are not capable of sinning. We are the sinners. Our fear is of our on actions. This is great news! We are in complete control of our sins. Why be fearful of what we have power over and have defeated through Jesus? Grace was a gift that cannot be earned or taken away. If you believe in Jesus then you have been given grace. This should give you courage to face your fear of sin.

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, -Romans 3:23

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9

A lot of things tempt different people and we all struggle in different areas. It is extremely important in knowing your temptations in order to prevent them from getting the best of you. But once you discover them you must gather self-discipline and defeat the sin. In Christian lingo, this is repentance. Sometimes it means avoiding the situation all together. Some desires are just too strong to try to face for that individual. For others it’s a practiced discipline of self-control. We must remember my sin is not your sin. The variations of how we struggle mean we will all handle the sinning temptations differently. It’s important not to define someone as sinning because of their association with something that might cause you personally to sin. That is a judgement we are not called to make. No one act of repentance is above another.

Once you have a game plan of self-control then there is no reason to be consumed by the sin. The thoughts of doubt and oppression are not of God. We are not condemned due to what we have done or could do. When we live our life fearing that we could mess up we are never given the opportunity to succeed or help others with similar struggles. What ministry do you miss out on because you fear association with the people or places associated with your personal struggle? You then take the power from God and give it to the sin. If your sin prevents you from reaching out to someone in need or from living life among other sinners then the sin is winning. You cannot possibly display the glory of God and His grace when you are cowering in the safe haven of a Christian atmosphere. Our calling is not to defeat the sin in our life. God did that! Our calling is to show the glory of that defeat by holding our heads high and facing our own dirty, fault-filled human nature. And telling the world about it! Are your choices led by your fear of the opinions of others or your opinion of yourself? Or do you have great faith and trust in God’s grace and ability to be present at all times, in all places? Don’t hinder God’s work through you for appearance sake. You are accountable to God and God alone.

So get some self-control, establish a game plan, and rejoin the world so you can show others sin can be defeated!

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:8-9

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

On this side of Heaven, you won’t always get it right
Sometimes you rise above, sometimes you gotta fight
You never know the stories that lie beneath the skin
But judgin’ now won’t change the broken places they’ve been

Cause I know that Jesus ain’t worried ‘bout tattoos and cigarettes
Or if you wear a golden cross around your neck
What about loving your neighbor and giving to the poor
I just want to love like that and nothing more

Rhett Walker Band “The Mystery”

xoxo
April Walker

Give Your Marriage Grace

When Rhett and I got married we were forced to learn quickly how to make it work. We had exactly 9 months to get our act together so we could then begin learning how to be parents. This boot camp marriage scenario isn’t ideal but with 10 years under our belt we can testify that it is possible to have a great marriage regardless of your circumstances. There was a lot of trial and error, and more errors… But the fruits from our labor have been well worth it.

I know marriage is hard. I can honestly say that the fighting sucks, learning to live with someone with different opinions sucks, and humbling yourself to admit when you are wrong sucks…..

We had and have our share of “passionate” discussions.

I think that was one of the biggest obstacles for us. Realizing that fights are going to happen and that the fights lead to growth, gave our marriage a chance to breathe.

After the many romance comedy’s I watched I was under the impression that true love doesn’t fight. That if we fought we were doing it wrong.  We had 3 strikes and your out mentality. So each fight built up more tension because we began fighting about the fact we were fighting.

If someone with a marriage I deemed as “true love” and “they are meant for each other” status would have told me they still fight, the pressure of a perfect marriage would have been replaced with grace. I couldn’t give my spouse grace because in my mind I was fighting for our marriage. I was right regardless because I was making our marriage work and become “better”. But the fights were soooooooo stupid. They were created from petty, selfish insecurities and ideas formed from the “how it’s supposed to be” mindset.

Let me take the opportunity to tell you that Rhett and I fight. He drives me insane and I do the same to him. But now that we realize we are allowed to not agree, allowed to be different, and allowed to do things separately, we don’t fight as hard. We accept the differences. And even learn to love them the most.

I love my husband and I know he loves me. I like my husband and being around him as much as possible. But we are different people and we will disagree at times. Once you give your marriage the grace it needs, it is so much easier to give your spouse the same grace.

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xoxo
April Walker

Be Proud and Confident

Good morning.

Before I try to share whatever encouragement I can muster today, I thought I’d tell you a little more about us. I want you to understand the reality and not a false idea. Rhett and I are often misunderstood due to our livelihood. We are seen as way more special than we are. Not that I’m not special *wink, wink* but just not any more special than you.

I was a girl in a small town that married a boy from a small town. He sings pretty good so there birthed Rhett Walker. It’s really that simple. You might draw, cook, care for, create, fix cars, build, heal, teach, etc really great. So see, we are just the same. All special.

Now that we are all on equal ground, here is what I feel called to challenge you with this morning. God promises repeatedly that He is with us, He will carry us, He knows the plans for us, He will fight for us, and so much more. With this knowledge why do we struggle with so much insecurity?

Arrogance is often frowned upon because of the roots it is developed in. Money, status, career, beauty, and accomplishments can breed confidence in a negative way. My pastor is currently in a series discussing the foundations we build our life on and find our identity/role in. It got me thinking about the security in knowing you are building your life on the foundations of Christ. I know without a doubt where my faith is and the security I have in Christ. So therefore there isn’t much that I fear, shy away from, or worry about. It’s very freeing! I am led by the opinions of my Savior. According to him I am pretty awesome. As are you.

I realize this is a practiced faith that develops over time. Since that is the case, I challenge you to start being proud and confident today. He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t give up on you. He is always there. With that how can you possibly find shame in anything? The perfect, flawless Creator created you perfectly.

Take huge leaps, smile with courage, and show the world your beauty. The world will not know what hit it if we all learn to hold our heads a little higher.

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xoxo

April Walker

Confessions from a Nit-Picking Mama

Nit-picking: minute and usually unjustified criticism

Today I thought I’d share my recent self discovery. I have found myself “nit-picking” my littles. I seem to have my homeschool mindset on at all times. I find lessons in every moment.

My intentions and heart are all in the right place but my timing and over indulgence of the habit create anxiety in me and the Littles.

My children are extremely respectful and smart due to my educational narrations of life but they can never fully let their guard down. I don’t want that for them. I want them to have the freedom for their own self discoveries. I want them to not develop a fear of trying and allow them times to fall. If I never get out of the way then that can’t happen.

Once I noticed my bad habit I began a conscious effort to not direct the little instances.  No more, “Riles quit fidgeting” just because I want her to sit still. I understand there is appropriate times for sitting still but there is just the same time for being a wiggly, silly child. No more grammar corrections during non-school hours. No more, “Jett calm down” just because he is a rambunctious 8 year old boy. No more life lessons in every conversation they try to have with me. No more unnecessary don’t touch, be quiets, sit still, fix your clothes, put that away. I want the times I do correct them to be intentional and with value.

This purposeful neglect to correcting them is not out of laziness. It’s mama pulling her grip back a little to allow them to be children. I want them to know how to be real and cut loose. Not feel the need to put on fake persona’s whenever they are around their parents and other adults. The manners and intelligence are tools I’ve equipped them with and I now need to give them reasoning skills to use them based off of their personal experiences while it’s still a safe environment.

One day I won’t be there and I want them to understand making mistakes now while the mistakes are harmless. Embarrassing, humbling moments will happen in life and it’s important to know how to handle them.  I’m going to give a lot more grace, observe from the sidelines, and patiently trust I don’t pull my hair out trying not to correct the little things.

xoxo
April Walker

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