Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to School {and more thoughts on Stories}

Ella has been back in school for several days now, and each day she has come home and said that school was "fun". Early this morning, however, reality crashed into exhaustion and she made it clear that she had other plans for today. And guess what? She didn't think today needed to include her teachers.
I remember those back to school feelings. I remember by the fourth day I was on my last "new" shirt, and having tennis shoes that once glowed so brightly in their newness now looked dingy and tired.
Sometimes that's how life can feel, too, when the newness wears off: dingy and tired.
I recently blogged that I wasn't happy with my story, and many of you have asked me how I'm doing with that.
The answer to that question is, "I don't totally know."
What I do know is that I am trying to connect with people who mean a lot to me.
I had a big, I mean huge, revelation about my story since I wrote about it.
I have cut parts of myself off from friends who love me because I didn't like the story I was writing with my life. When someone like me doesn't like their story, they have a tendency to not talk about their life. In the process, they also don't ask about other people's lives. Not because they don't want to hear about their friends' lives (they truly want their friends to share everything about their lives).
Instead of having a healthy conversation, you quit asking friends questions so that they won't ask you in return. You care from a distance, you pray for them, and you make yourself believe you are as good of friends as you've ever been. There's got to be some sort of psychological diagnosis for this kind of pattern, but I don't know it. I just know that it had become a part of my story. And it was one that was unhealthy and hurtful.
It was hurtful to them and to me. Thankfully, I have some amazing people in my life who really do love me, and want to be a part of the entire story.
I am guessing some of you feel like there are times you don't feel like you have anything to contribute to the conversation, and maybe even fear being asked. For my story to get better I've realized that I need people more than I thought I did. It's time to ask questions, and listen for the answers, and then ask more questions. It's time to share my story, and not hold back.
You see, I'm not just talking about sharing the hard stuff. We all have plenty of hard stuff that needs to be shared, but I need to get better about sharing the good stuff, too. Somewhere in the back of my mind I hear, "They don't need to know that. Will they think I am talking about myself too much? I can tell them that in a few months...after it's happened, or maybe I can just blog about it and be done with it? Braggart! Braggy-bragger!" 
Sharing details about the good is just as important as sharing our losses. I love to hear about the victories that are taking place in my friends' lives. When they get to send their kids to Grandma's, get a new job, and receive the perfect compliment, I want to be the one that is cheering the loudest. And when their lives are hard and their exhaustion crashes into reality, I want to be the one they send the SOS out to. I am learning that good stories have to contain both of those elements. The truth of our stories are made to be shouldered and shared. Doesn't that sound better than living it all alone? I am learning, and I'm liking it.
The pictures in this post are mostly from Ella's first day of school and my Back to School Coffee that took place last Friday. I added a few of Talia getting ready for her first day of school too, which sadly for her, doesn't start until next Wednesday.


  1. Kimberlee, this was such a wonderfully touching post. Thank you for being so open and honest. Although we have only met once 'in real life', I feel so blessed to have been able to share that time with you. Your kindness touched my heart in a way that you will never know. I think of you and the CW girls often, and have nothing but amazing memories from the weekend. I am so honored to be able to call you my friend. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday and much love to you and yours, always.

  2. Thank you for sharing! Your thoughts are so what I sometimes feel. I struggle with friendship in the town I live in because I feel as though I don't have honest to goodness friends who even want to know how you are doing. I do have two very good friends who live in another town not far from here and thank goodness for them! I hope you are doing better. Thanks for being so honest and sharing things that may not always be very comfortable to share. I'm so glad I found your blog. You have blessed me with out pretend friendship.

  3. Oh, so true! I completely relate and hope to pieces that you find peace with all this. Thank you for your vulnerability. You are a beautiful vessel of His love. I for one would love to know what you have to brag about :) You can just call me nosey, nosey Kate.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story with me (and others!); it's nice to know I'm not alone in these kinds of thoughts. Also, the party treats look delicious :)

  5. Thanks for the words, Kimberlee. As a fellow "blogger," it's easy to feel like life looks good in color — and then to forget to live between the posts. I think I'll ask the husband for accountability on this, since he sees me in those in-betweens (and already gripes at me for taking food pics at the dinner table).
    Thanks best-former-nanny-ever!
    - Whitney,

  6. Love it, Kimberlee! Freedom! Isn't it all about the freedom we have in Christ? To live without fear of judgement from others. Freedom to be our real selves and value the opinion of our Creator above the opinion of men. Freedom to be open and real with our friends and loved ones. Freedom to LET others participate in our everyday life without fear of rejection or disappointment...knowing that when people are imperfect and let us down that Abba NEVER will!! Freedom to give grace to others and receive that grace, as well! I'm so excited for you and look forward to hearing more on your story and what God is doing in your life!! You are so awesome! Thanks for putting this out there!!

  7. it's so nice to hear some REAL feelings out in blogland. :) i know it's a touchy subject to put it all out there but this is all so good.
    proud of you for using your voice for good.
    not sugar coating.
    not putting on the pretty perfect face for your readers.
    growing up is hard. life is hard. we don't know what we're doing! it's all a journey for all of us!
    this was awesome.

  8. i love your story. i consider you a friend, even though we've never met. i appreciate your realness here. I've been absent from my blog b/c i don't want to share the discontentment i'm feeling in this phase of life. i feel like the story of my life at present is lacking and boring and crazy and too negative. but no, this is me. even if its not always pretty... (wow, tangent.) i've been absent on my blog but still come to check yours.... and am going to be more present on mine this fall. life is crazy. but i need to be a part of this community again. :) love you!!

  9. I am a Kimberlee fan. You are amazing. You bring peace and love to others. I love you mucho.

  10. I'm proud of you! Share your story, people want to hear it and many may not know how to ask. You open up first and it gives someone else freedom to do the same.

  11. I hear you, I feel you, I totally get it!

  12. I hear you, I feel you, I totally get it!

  13. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have been missing your posts. It is a good story. It is a story of growth. Hang in there. You are loved for who you are.


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