Beyond Borders

courage. faith. action.

No Perfect Mamas Allowed! Trading in the picture perfect and getting real.

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I prayed it for years. Too many now that I have lost count and I wondered if God was ever going to answer, or if He was even listening. I felt invisible. I felt alone. I felt isolated. My prayer simply was this… to end the perpetual state of chaos that was my life, my family, my home.

The chaos was kind of inevitable.

Two special needs kids with multiple diagnoses, my chronic migraines and autoimmune disorders, it’s a race from the moment eyes are startled open. Most days the finish line is nowhere in sight. (You can read more of my story here)The more days that passed, the more the chaos took reign.

And let me tell you, I tried on every how to, every system, every parenting technique, but nothing worked. Well, maybe it did, for about a week. This only fueled my frustration. Why couldn’t I make this work? Why could I not be a better mother? Wife? Why could I not manage this house? My answer was simple. I . Was. A. Failure.

Then November 2014 happened. I received an email, or maybe it was a Facebook post, I really can’t quite remember how it happened (I blame the flu) but I saw a request by Sally Clarkson to assist in her new book launch. This year had been so busy I had not an inkling of what her new book was about, or how I would find time to help, I just knew I wanted to do this.

Being on the launch team, I got the privilege of reading the first few chapters, and did I ever ugly cry? You can read about that over here. And then there was the webcast, insert more tears here. But it wasn’t until the book was in my hands and flipped through the pages and knew this was the answer.

That prayer that had become so repetitious was answered. Sally’s life poured out onto the pages of her book, It was all the answers. But this one thing hit me the hardest, I have been running around trying to fit my life into someone else’s puzzle. And that will never work, because their puzzle pieces are not mine. Mine are unique to my family, my health, my gifts. My puzzle.

Yeah. There it is. God hears. God sees. And God loves.

And I am not a perfect mama. Not even close. And in these days when Pinterest and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, all the social media outlets. They fill our lives with comparison. It is so easy to get lost in the everyday mess of our lives and begin to feel less than, because these women posting all the beautiful things you just know they have it right. Perfection. They have learned the art and you will never live up. I will never live up.

But here is the thing, in the middle of my mess and my chaos, in the middle of tantrums and toys, I need to own it. Not run from it. Own. It. Own this life.

Because I don’t want a home that is perfectly decorated, if it means these little ones God chose for me to tend to do not feel perfectly loved. And I promise on any given day, there will be scattered toys, dishes in the sink, laundry, well, everywhere, but there will also be love. And this is real life. And it’s a beautiful life.


Thank you Sally Clarkson, for pouring out your heart, for heeding God’s call, for loving all of us imperfect mamas as your own.

Now ladies, I say we blow the lid off of this idea of perfection and show the world and the mamas out there that feel less than today, that we are all the same. Show them what perfection really looks like, the only perfection that matters. Will you share your story today? Click the little froggy below and link your blog post, if you are not a blogger tell us in the comments.

In the words of my three year old “Let’s do this thing!”

To view stories of real mamas click the blue froggy link above!

Author: Shelly Richardson

A stay at home mom, married to my best friend, who loves like Jesus. Together we have four beautiful daughters. One biological, one adopted and two by way of marriage. Our 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome when she was 6 years old and our youngest was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. I have dealt with chronic illness most of my life and at times has been debilitating. It is through this illness and the special needs of our children that drew us closer to God. Beyond Borders is the place where I write out my story of living beyond my borders. A place to share of God’s love and grace, His mercy and sovereignty, and what that looks like in my own little world of chronic illness and autism. A place where courage and faith intersect and He moves me to action. My hope in writing is that you find something that inspires you. Encourages you. Makes you smile.

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