A New Friend and Some Perspective

Today I get to introduce you to my new friend Chrissy–one of those people the Lord very specifically put into my path at the exact time He knew I needed her, at the exact time he knew I needed her story, her encouragement and her perspective. She’s a pretty intuitive gal, so she probably already knows that her story is what gave me the courage and the strength to write yesterdays post.  The post that helped to give my tired momma heart the boost it needed for the long road we have ahead.

I’ve known Chrissy for 3 days now.  And in only 3 days she’s changed my life in ways I can hardly put into words.  This girl has a beautiful way with words, which you’re about to see for yourself.  She’s mastered the art of capturing those impossible emotions and putting them into words we can all understand and relate to–such a gift.  Just yesterday I spent two hours (when I was supposed to be folding laundry) pouring over photos of her beautiful children and soaking up every word about her journey raising 2 boys with autism.  Tears ran down my cheeks as I read this post.  And I found myself feeling overwhelmingly validated and understood as I read this post.

Today Chrissy is sharing her heart with us.  I know you’ll love her as much as I do.
Be sure to stay in touch with her on social media too–she’s a burst if inspiration.
Read more of Chrissy on her blog: Life With Greyson & Parker
Connect with Chrissy on Facebook.
Find her on Instagram: @lifewithgrey
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Are you following Little Miss Momma? A picture on my Instagram feed asked me months ago. I remember clicking on her feed. I was awestruck. Ohmy… all children are beautiful, but really- these children are GORGEOUS. I mean- are they real? Did she hire them for her feed from a modeling company? That dimple. That hair. Those eyes. They are so beautiful. They are so well behaved too (I filled in my own blanks). Her house is TOO CUTE. And Ashley? She is ADORABLE. I love her. Her smile felt like she was smiling AT ME. And her hair is so cute. And her clothes. This gal has it all together. She is so happy and her life is so perfect, I thought- filling in some more blanks. Like I need a thesaurus to find new terms for cute to describe EVERYTHING about Ashley.

I must have been in a mood- who knows why. I can imagine me- looking down at my stained, stretched out pajama shirt that’s still on at 10:44am. My hair piled in a wispy ball on top of my head. NOT in a cute ballet bun but in a crazy, disheveled, just got out of prison fashion. My inner insecurities raging. I distinctly remember I didn’t follow her feed. I was intimidated. Most days I feel like I am BARELY keeping it together. I often don’t feel like I am good enough. I don’t need reminders of everyone else who is doing life better than me, I huffed.

The other day a friend told me about a friend of hers that she knew I would capital L Love. You have to check her out, she texted- she’s @littlemissmomma on Instagram. I clicked on her feed and instantly recalled scrolling through her feed months ago. This time I followed her. I know God works in those kinds of ways- he is patient and gives us repeated messages even when we ignore him at first.

I poured over Ashley’s posts with different eyes. I found out what you smart cookies already now. She is like me. I am like her. We are all like each other. Beautiful and adorable and real and flawed and just doing our best to put beauty out into the universe.  Working hard to make the most out of this beautiful life God gave us. Focusing on the good while also keeping it real. I dove into her blog and ate up her delicious words. I could relate to so much.

Like the HUGE and all consuming love that she feels with all of her heart and might and soul- that almost feels like too much at times. I can so relate to the outrageous love she feels for her amazing little boys, Wesley and Sawyer. Totally love that when her hard wood floors are dirty it drives her batty. We love the same kind of books. She sometimes wants to quit blogging- but in actuality she probably will never quit– because her words and perspective is something the worlds needs more of. I found myself saying- yes, yes, yes- and nodding my head over and over again while reading. But then, oh my, friend, I read her post about her perfect Wesley and I actually felt God in the room with me. My eyes filled with tears.  We can understand each other in ways I never could have imagined at first glance.

I fell in love with Ashley’s outlook, perspective and her bright inner light that the world needs so much more of. And when Ashley offered me this space to do a guest post I was humbled and grateful. I have two amazing little boys with autism and I am working to change the world for them and for anyone who is embracing a life that is different than they expected. And I immediately knew what I needed to write about, but I was also embarrassed. And then again her words spoke to me and nudged me forward.

That which is most personal is most universal

So here’s my personal truth. I don’t always know how to use the internet. I’m really grateful that the teenage me didn’t have social media. I was already insecure and uncomfortable, searching to find my spot in the world. Never really feeling like I fit in for more than a moment. I was never the prettiest or smartest or best at any single thing. I’m still not the prettiest or smartest or best at any one single thing, but thank goodness most days I realize those things just aren’t important.  But some days grown up me forgets what is real and what is important, especially on the internet. I forget all the ripe juicy lessons that time and experience brings. Sometimes when I am on social media I feel so insecure. It pushes on the places that already hurt. Words I don’t want to feel, let alone define me come out. Jealously. Empty. Insecure.

But this sweet little life lesson in getting to know Ashley is teaching me. And I’m willing to learn because I don’t have the world all figured out. If I shield myself with feelings of inadequacy, I miss out on all the goodness that lies inside too. Ashley is a gift that I almost didn’t even open up. That’s not okay with me. I don’t want to miss out on goodness in life.

Both of my adorable boys, Greyson (5) and Parker (3) are constantly in therapy to help them navigate in the world. They have Speech and Behavior Therapy five days a week. Autism is a disorder than affects communication, social interactions and behaviors- so my boys work daily to overcome the things they struggle with most. If they can work to overcome things that don’t come naturally to them, than so can I. And today I thought about the lessons I’ve learned from this experience, and I want to share them with you- in case you need to hear them too.

God puts others on our path to enlighten and inspire us. Not to make us feel inadequate or intimidated. It’s up to us to decide which feelings we will focus on though.

Everyone has their stuff. Hard, real-life stuff. Stuff that makes us cry and helps us grow. It’s all part of being a human. Some of it you can’t see in pictures, but trust me, it’s there for every one of us.

If we judge others based on the surface we are missing out on the goodness inside. A picture says a thousand words, but there are still thousands and thousands more words inside each person that tell a very important story.

No one is good at all the things. We must focus on our strengths and forgive what we see as our imperfections. I’m a crap cook and always five minutes late. By no means does that cancel the good that I do. We aren’t good moms because of a specific thing we do or don’t do. We are good moms because we love big and unstoppable.

The happier we are the easier it is to accept others gifts. Take time for your very own brand of happy. Take a walk alone, read a book, take a nap, buy a cute new shirt, talk to God, tell your friends when you’re feeling sad. Fill your cup with a happy elixir made just for you.

At the end of it all- I think we all just want to connect. To see and be seen. To be our real selves and be loved just the way we are.

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Comments

  1. i am so very glad that God brought both of you into my life. he knew that I had a lot to learn and that you were the best teachers for the job. i’m so very grateful for our friendships. my heart grew three sizes today reading this post. LOVE YOU both with all my heart! xoxo

  2. I love you both. And follow both of you. I am glad you came together. You both inspire me to love more everyday and take time to relish in the moment. Whenever I am having a moment of mommy guilt or feeling too overwhelmed to be a good mommy, I can search your websites and find the message I NEED to sooth my soul. Thank you both so much.

  3. Beautiful post❤️

  4. I love you both. Honestly the words you two put to paper (or in this case the keyboard) always leave me wanting to be better. You have a gift. And I love that you two were brought together.
    I’m glad I didn’t have social media in my life as a teenager too, Chrissy. It’s something I majorly worry about with my 12 yr old daughter who is getting ready to start junior high (don’t even get me started on junior high or I might break into hives) in the fall.
    And I have felt like you many, many times. I have unfollowed people because their lives felt “too perfect.” I’m just trying to wear something other than sweats and a pony tail and they are off with their bright red lipstick, pumps and perfect hair every.dang.day. I think there’s a balance somewhere in there- I actually follow a lot of people who share both the good and bad. Because I want to be associated with real and authentic.
    Anyway— you are both amazing and I’m grateful to you two! xoxoxo

  5. Michelle says:

    I love this, Chrissy. And like always, I’m nodding my head and saying YES all throughout your post.
    I wish we could zoom ourselves back to that little cabin by the sea and I could tell you in person all of the things I love about this post and you.

    Ashley, nice to meet you. I’m so glad you two met and now a bunch more of us can enjoy the one we didn’t know before.
    :)
    Love to you both,
    Michelle

  6. Phyllis says:

    Great post! Just the words I needed to read to help me today. Thank you!

  7. I love both Chrissy’s post and Ashley’s post about meeting Wesley. Although I am not a momma (yet) I do work with adults with developmental disabilities, many of whom have autism. I was also a supportive roommate to a young man with autism for a couple of years. I want you to know that you two are amazing mothers- I can tell because the love you have for your children shine through your posts and pictures. The people I work with have taught me so much more than I have taught them and have blessed my life in so many ways. I know that Wesley and Parker and Greyson are here on this earth for a reason and they are/will bless the lives of many.

  8. Thank you for sharing! Your boys sound so amazing. I agree with what Lissy said about how your boys will bless the loves of many.

  9. Bzeedik says:

    Wow- you really put things into words so beautifully!! I hate it when I almost miss out on someone amazing because of MY insecurities! You are putting words peoples thoughts, feelings, emotions, heart— and it is a wonderful gift! I can see why Ashley was so drawn to you! And now I am too!

  10. Kimberly says:

    Chrissy I loved reading this post. I too see how and why Ashley is drawn to you. You have an amazing sorry and so does Ashley. Just by reading this you have inspired me. When we share our stories and our thoughts and perspectives, we are touching so many lives. That is what you are doing. I have many of the same feelings you have. It’s just nice to know there are people who are so real and they share their stories. Your a gift and so is Ashley. God definitely brought you together and that’s so wonderful. Keep up all your hard work with those amazing boys of yours. Whenever you feel overwhelmed read all your posts cause you have so many people who are cheering you on and who think your AWESOME!!!!

  11. I love love love this post! I think all of us mommas struggle with the same feelings at some point. I printed this out to post these lessons up for days I need to be reminded. Thank you :)

  12. It’s crazy how life can bring people together and how often we have more common with each other than we think. God is good.

    http://www.mysimplesignificance.blogspot.com

  13. I’ve been feeling very insecure and inadequate lately and this post and many other posts from Ashley have helped me realize my potential and that things, especially social media, isn’t what it seems. I thank you both for inspiring us ladies out here.

  14. Love, love, loved this post!!!

    xoxo, Misty

  15. Kristin says:

    You both are amazing!!! I’ve found myself getting lost on both of your instagrams. Such cute kids. and Chrissy – the joy your boys (Greyson especially) gets out of the trash truck coming every Wednesday makes my heart so happy. It’s a reminder to find excitement in the every day things. I absolutely love your pictures of him jumping up and down!! :-)

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