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
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.
Latest posts by Ashley Stock (see all)
- Multi-Tasking - January 27, 2015
- This Is My Year - January 2, 2015
- A Beautiful Mess: Tour of My Happy Place & HUGE Giveaway - December 18, 2014