White Picket Fences

We see the white picket fences. We ooh and aww at the house behind. The yard is beautiful and perfectly landscaped. We see the family outside and wave from time to time, but never stop for very long. We walk away dreaming of what their life is like–absolutely beautiful. “That will be me someday,” as we correlate a bunch of painted wood with our happiness.

What we don’t see is everything else. We didn’t see the time their dad lost his job and they had to eat whatever they could find in the house. We didn’t see the time their daughter stayed up all night crying from a broken heart. We didn’t see the days their mom walked around feeling depressed and not enough. We didn’t see the family dog die. We didn’t see the disappointment in their son after he spent hours with a math tutor and still receive a “D” on the test. We didn’t see all the fights, all the fears, all the tears, and all the pain.

whitefence1

We never saw, because we never knew. They never invited us in. They stayed behind that fence and they went through all the hard times alone.

The white picket fence out front is only a barrier that keeps the rest of the world out. The white picket fence is a master of disguise and oppression. It doesn’t have to be a fence. It can be a smile on a face. It can be a lie. It can be busyness. It can be a job. It can be a relationship. It can be a sport. It can be a hobby.

We put up protection for all the same reasons. It’s never just to “look pretty.” It’s to keep others from seeing who we really are. We think they will see something ugly, broken, and a mistake. But the problem with this reasoning is that behind all the brokenness, mistakes, and pain, is you. All that makes you inspirational, encouraging, relatable, and an amazing friend. You are imperfectly perfect and shouldn’t wish it any other way.

The fence not only stops others from coming in, but it stops us from going out. Only when we let people in to see us in our pain are we able to fully enjoy and celebrate one another in our joy. They go hand in hand, and let’s be honest, it’s the hard times we need someone to know the real us the most.

whitefence2

So out with the fences and in with the welcome mats. Don’t just be something pretty to look at because you deserve more than that. We are longing to know you, please let us in.

Do you have the tendency to hide behind something? Are you afraid to let a part of you show? Let’s get it out in the open… it really helps!  

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30 Responses to White Picket Fences

  1. Lori says:

    Great post Emily! I love when you said, “The fence not only stops others from coming in, but it stops us from going out.” Also loved, “So out with the fences and in with the welcome mats.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this post and the courage you feel building within during your reading of it, so true! Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your feedback and encouraging words ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome, please keep at it! You’re giving a lot of joy, happiness, support and most importantly, POSITIVE vibes to many out there – and that is truly one of the best gifts anyone can give anyone 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • lightthelie says:

        I am blown away by the kindness you have written! Thank you for your support. I couldn’t agree with you more about your thoughts on positive vibes! We all could use a little more positive and a lotta less negative. You are just so wonderful and doing an amazing job on your part sending those positive vibes my way! Thank you!!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad I could send some happiness your way, nothing better on the planet than that! It is just so easy for people to be negative, which is often difficult to understand in many cases because it NEVER feels good sharing negative energy or partaking in it yourself. The problem, I find, with negativity is that it’s a little like quick sand, once you get bogged down by it, it is very difficult to free yourself from it, but positive energy is like love, the more you give, the bigger it gets and the more you find yourself surrounded by it. I also really and truly do believe that it is the best thing you can do for yourself and others, sometimes just telling someone that everything is going to be okay is seriously the BEST thing you can do at that moment,, so thank you very much for doing it for me through your beautiful words 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • lightthelie says:

        Negativity is such a vicious cycle! As women, we have to be very aware of what is coming out of our mouths. It is so easy to be negative in order to try to find something in common with the rest of the group. It can become a battle of who has it worse.. HA! Just awful. “You have beautiful hair.” “Thanks, but, I hate the way it…” and then all the sudden we’re both complaining about our hair dressers?! What how did that happen? A simple thank you could have turned the entire mood around. Thank you for this lovely reminder. Having a thankful heart will benefit everyone! Not only ourselves, but all those around us. Thank you for being a light in my day! ❤ You have such a beautiful heart and those around you I'm sure are better because of it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aw thank you! I feel exactly the same way about you when I read your posts. Your little girl is very lucky to have you as a mum because it is so very important to have a solid, loving guiding light in life and it is because of mum’s like you we can all rest assured that the future is going to be a bright one! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • lightthelie says:

        I am completely honored by this comment. All I can say is thank you. Beauty just pours out of your heart. The world needs more people like you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome and we could go on like this forever 😀 Seriously, your blog is wonderfully inspiring and my comments are from my soul, I am so very glad I found your blog and better yet, am very excited about getting to know this wonderfully amazing person across the seas 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lightthelie says:

        Haha yes around and around we go!! I will leave it with a big giant THANK YOU and a piece of my heart ❤ Stay beautiful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Okay, and I will leave it with an equally heartfelt thank you! Stay gorgeous as well and I’ll treasure that piece of your beautiful heart ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jimmy Lem says:

    Beautiful writing

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post. It is so true! I love the comparison you make to the white picket fence. It’s amazing how when we let our guard down and allow people to see our true, not-so-perfect selves how much more we can serve others and be sympathetic to their situations and needs. Not to mention so much happier about ourselves!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much! I couldn’t agree with you any more! It’s so easy for us to feel alone and trapped by the measures we take to appear our best. It seems very counterproductive to allow others to see the broken pieces of us. When we trust others with those pieces of our heart we experience true and deep friendships.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. beingeternal says:

    Standing Ovation to you, Emily. This is such a wonderful post. So honest in every word. We hide our real inside and we do not want others to see the ugliness and the tampered emotions. The irony is we do not want to show the real us but expect others to show up their real selves. I admit, there was a stagnating phase in my life when I lost my dad. Until then, I never tasted pain but after that doom’s day….i was all exposed to the knife of exploitation. Physical and mental abusers were all around. Just because there was no male in the family, my mom, my sis and I were the most vulnerable then. I was very timid and scared to death dealing with the outside. That did not work for my survival. So I had to don a bold mask to cloud my timidness behind. Then after, no body tried to take advantage of me. But that momentary fake boldness has become integral part of the real me. Now, I am open and real. People know the two poles……my extreme timidness and sheer boldness….. It is a choice ………which one I want to use when.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      Reva, I am so honored by this comment. Thank you for being so real here! I appreciate you. I am so so sorry for the loss of your dad. I can only imagine the pain you must have felt. It is sickening that others used that vulnerability to abuse you and your family. I am thrilled to see the growth you have found through the death of your dad and finding how to be open, real, and bold. It’s hard when people take advantage of our vulnerability, but it’s in those times we have to practicing forgiving, over and over again–which I know you have done so gracefully. Not letting them have power over our vulnerability but realizing they have done something hurtful to us while we have done nothing wrong. No one should get to take away that part of us. They can choose to hurt, but I will choose to feel and heal. ❤ ❤ LOVE to you -tonight- where you are. My far far away friend. Wishing you the sweetest dreams tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • beingeternal says:

        Thank you so much, sweetie. I got my gain from the pain. “I will choose to feel and heal” – Love these wonderful words of yours. Many of the times…………..before retiring to bed…..my lips say”I will never forgive who killed my dad” but always wake up to realize that my heart has already forgiven and forgot the hurt.

        Thank you for being here and always lending your ears to my words and your heart to feel my pain. Blessings to you.
        Love. Reva.

        Like

      • lightthelie says:

        I am so sorry about your dad. If you ever want to share the story or just talk about it, or vent, or have someone to cry with… I’m always here for you! If you have time, you should watch this video http://youtu.be/wz3tkHv5sbg I cry every time, but wow! What a powerful story of forgiveness. ❤ love your way!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • beingeternal says:

        Aahhh so kind of you. Thanks for the friendly shoulder. Watched the video just now. It is super awesome. Loved it crazy. Honestly, it is dead difficult to forgive few but when given………….it is so liberating. The pain has no power over you after that.

        Thank you soooooooooooooo much for sharing. Love to you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lightthelie says:

        LOVE and HUGS to you. ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Natalie Brenner says:

    ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Natalie Brenner says:

    This is so true and I’m always praying to keep my guards down, when necessary. And also encourage others to come out and find Jesus and know He is safe and we as His people fail but want to love. Ahh so good Em

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Your words are so good. You always speak such truth! I know that struggle.. wanting to keep the guards down but being naive that they are already up! You do a great job showing others His love. It is so beautiful. Love you!!!

      Like

  8. Marla says:

    This is so beautiful. I couldn’t agree more. It was right after I had my little boy and realized I was drowning physically and emotionally that I put away all the fake and wore my reality on my sleeve. I wrote a post on my previous blog about my actual struggles with motherhood. And boy, was it so good to get it out there. One of the most amazing things, is that as soon as we own up to our own reality, people flock around to say “Hey, me too!” It is amazing how we all so deeply want to be understood, we are just fearful of what people will think. Thank you for this post! 🙂 Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much Marla! I would have to agree with you that motherhood can help us become ‘more real’! HA yeah no more time to have perfect clean houses.. or shower every day…. 🙂 I run around the house on Wednesdays cleaning like a mad woman sometimes before our missional community comes over.. and my husband kindly reminds me that they’ll still love me with a messy house. AND really it gives them that same freedom. We are by no means perfect, as much as we would like to think we are sometimes. “One of the most amazing things, is that as soon as we own up to our own reality, people flock around to say “Hey, me too!” It is amazing how we all so deeply want to be understood”—love this. It’s like the first penguin that jumps over the edge and all the sudden everyone does. Thank you for your inspirational comments. I LOVE seeing “Marla commented on your post” pop up on my notifications! Hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marla says:

        It is so true! Motherhood is an awesome, albeit hard, period when we realize we really don’t have it all together. For me it seemed to bring out parts of me that I didn’t like, and previously didn’t know existed! SO it is actually one of my favorite things when I see a mom contented to reveal how her normal life is. In my head and heart I am comforted, because it is confirmed to me that I’m not alone! And you are so sweet! I definitely have enjoyed connecting with you!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. tokyoblossom says:

    So so so true! I know that I have been guilty of thinking that the most ‘put together’ looking families had it altogether, when it couldn’t have been farther from the truth. It’s really taught me to take more time to really get to know people rather than assuming that I know everything about them. I’m not always good at that but I have been making more of a conscious effort to.

    Like

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