Hurdles Through Life

I have been pondering many subjects lately. Some are weighing especially heavy on my mind.

In the last couple of weeks I have heard from different sources {people} what others think about me. I have mixed feelings about what I have heard. Fortunately, the statements are not hateful, cruel or mean in any way. {There might be negative comments made about me, even though it kills me to think so, just as long as I don’t hear them} This is what I heard:

“She has it made. Her life is perfect. She doesn’t have any problems.”

The “recovering” perfectionist, which is a constant endeavor, part of me was feeling catered to.  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s not just the perfectionist side of me that wants others to think I am perfect or without trials to contend with.  Maybe it is humanity?  Maybe it’s being American?  Don’t we all want to appear as though we have it together?  Isn’t that why so many in our society end up in debt?

The problem I am finding with the above statement is 1.) It’s not true.  No one in this life is immune from trials and tribulations.  I discussed the above statement with my family and you should have heard their feedback.  I’m glad I didn’t take offense to how strongly they disagreed and said those people didn’t know me very well. { it’s true}  It is just because of the hurdles I have knocked down that have made me who I am today. {far from perfect still}  2.) I don’t want other people to think I am perfect.  I can’t believe I said that.  But it’s true.  I believe my main purpose in this life is to help others.  How can I help others if I intimidate them, if they think I am “untouchable.”  I have worked diligently throughout my life to better myself and overcome weaknesses.  In some cases I have been successful at combating uncomely habits.  In other cases, I still struggle and probably will my whole entire life.  Just because I write on this blog about family bringing joy does not mean my family is perfect as well.  I will never claim to be an expert in the field on family matters.  I share what works in our family and what I hope might be helpful in other families.  Studies show when you teach others what you have learned, it reinforces that knowledge into your brain. {Sorry don’t have time to look up sources for this, however I have been taught this in college and many other places}  Plus, again, it goes back to me wanting to help and inspire others.

Let me give you an example of a current hurdle.  Right now I am struggling a great deal with one of my children.  I don’t want to pinpoint exactly which one.  This child displays many behaviors of that of an Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  Both my husband & I hoped this behavior was just a phase and would discontinue.  After 4 years now, we know it is not a phase.  I finally called and scheduled an appointment with a therapist for this child.  I am so tired of the constant arguing.  The negativity and anger that exudes from the child is emotionally draining and causes much contention in our home.  As a Mother, it is difficult to not feel that I am responsible for this outcome.  I have prayed countless days and nights for this to be resolved.  I worry if we don’t get help that it will affect the rest of their life. {Prayers are greatly accepted :)}  I feel a sense of hope now that I have scheduled the appointment.

One more…I suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.  This is not the outwardly hyperactive form of ADD, it is inattentiveness in my mind.  I didn’t realize I had this until after having my second child.  It became increasingly difficult for me to function and juggle my responsibilities as a Mom.  I was diagnosed with depression earlier in life so I thought I was just dealing with those symptoms.  Gratefully, through the help of a friend and my psychiatrist {yes, I have one} we uncovered this diagnosis.  I am not ashamed to admit I have this disorder in any way someone might admit they have diabetes, etc.  As a matter of fact, it helped me to understand why I behave the way I do and how I can cope.  So through the help of God, therapists, family support, church support, books and medicine I have persevered and will continue to persevere.  I don’t want to use my ADD as an excuse to get away with things.  And I don’t want to make this post about ADD.  I will save writing more about how I endure this hardship another day.  I just want to share some of my imperfectness with you.  Honestly, with both of these disorders, it makes it quite difficult to be “normal,” let alone, perfect.

I’m not sure exactly how I am wanting to wrap this up. {but I need to so I can go run, even though I really don’t want to, ugh…rainy & overcast outside}  Have I explained in an understandable fashion why I have mixed feelings about someone saying they feel I am perfect?  In a way, I am extremely flattered, but in another way it concerns me.  I believe it might be even more difficult as a reader of this blog to see the ‘full me’ because I don’t want to be discouraging with my posts.  I want Family Brings Joy to be a place people come to be ENCOURAGED and INSPIRED.  However, if I come across as being “Betty Crocker” or “June Cleaver” then I feel I am doing my readers a disservice.  I believe in being honest and having integrity.  These are values I strive to live by and teach my family.  If I misrepresent myself, then I am not being true to what I believe.  Please know that I have flaws, struggles, weaknesses just as you and everyone else in this world.  My closest friends and family are well aware of this.  I’m sure they would be happy to share many stories on the matter. {Please don’t air all my ‘dirty laundry’ to the public, loved ones ;)}  All the same, my greatest desire is that in this life I leave a legacy of hope, faith and love.

Endure and be grateful for the ride,


  1. I’m glad someone was listening yesterday:)

    • Real funny! Completely coincidental, I promise. These were my own words, however I felt your talk was spot on! 🙂 Thank you for writing a comment, though. Definitely a first!

  2. Hey Shannon,

    I understand how you’re torn over this. I’m with you on wanting to be encouraging but real at the same time. Honestly, it’s a balance I haven’t found. I’m a little too “real” a lot of times, I think. Thanks for sharing what’s on your heart. I really value transparency in a person! I love you and your blog. 🙂
    Sara Waters recently posted..It could be your lucky day

    • Sara, that is what I LOVE about you! I admire your realness so much. You have like a million friends and I know they value the very same thing. I guess working on a balance keeps us grounded, maybe. 😉 Love you & miss your sweet family so much!

  3. Shan, I love your efforts to be a positive person. I think this positiveness is what makes people think you have it made! No one likes to hear someone complain but they feel uplifted by being around someone else who has a positive attitude. I am so proud of the many obstacles you have overcome in your life. I admire you for ever yearning to grow and especially your desire to help others. So glad you got the appointment made. Love, Mom

  4. Shan, thank you for sharing your story! I will pray for you as you discover new ways to “parent” your childs behavior issues. It is so hard to not blame ourselves but I can see from following your blog post, you are an amazing loving, caring mom who wants the best for her family and friends. There are no fingers to point or blame to be declared.

    Keep up the running! I commend you for taking the time in your day for yourself to excercise!
    Pam McCoy recently posted..Go for it! 115 of 365 Day Project

    • Pam, I so needed to hear this today. It’s been a bad day and I am so drained. Reading this was just the pick-me-up I needed. Thank you so much! 🙂

  5. Praise the Lord we are not perfect!!!! Keeping it real sister., hoorah! As we chatted about, people pleasing plus perfectionsim is a bad combination. You’ve got your heart in the right place and are loved by many. So who care’s what they say! Heck, I guess there are certainly worse things people could choose to say about you–JK! Keep being you all the time, just like this post, and you are golden 😉 Althlough we seriously need to hang out somewhere else than a sweaty track with no make up! Hope your Wednesday is awesome.

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