Paul was a senior when I was a sophomore. He was ridiculously handsome, popular and kind. He and my older brother were in the same grade and we had all grown up together for many years. Even though I knew him well, I was still just a little sophomore and he was a big senior so I didn’t exactly hang out with him and his friends. One morning while I was walking to my locker he passed me and very loudly said “Hey little Snell (my maiden name) I saw your dad on the cover of the Current magazine, that’s crazy!”. He wasn’t being mean, just simple letting me know that my dads face was plastered on our local news paper. I shrunk to the size of a four year old, hurried at my locker and walked straight out of school. Humiliation and fear were far more overpowering than the need to pass my classes. I don’t remember if I went to the store and got the paper or if it was already sitting on my kitchen counter when I got home but Paul was right, my dad face was staring back at me. Well, actually he wasn’t staring back at me, the picture was of him leaning on a pillar of some building looking off to the sky…oh how dramatic! I cant remember the exact title to the article but it read something to the effect of him being a secret FBI informant. The body of the article talked about how he had the stunning good looks of Joe Montana and how he would crawl through ac vents to spy on people. It was the height of his “fame”. Shoot me now please and whatever you do please don’t make me go back to school. The jokes were short lived, we were teenagers and moved on to a different subject every few days, thank you God! I know that my dad didn’t sit down at the interview for that magazine with the intention of completely embarrassing me. That’s what happens when we don’t think about the people in our path. When we put ourselves first we tend to not realize the effect we are having on the people around us. When we try to be someone or something that we are not we are doing a terrible disservice to everyone in our lives. Why would I even tell you this story? Does it matter to you what happened to me over 20 years ago? Is that moment still affecting me? Nope. That moment was one of several that molded me into the woman that I am today and the mother that I am today and I don’t regret it one bit. I”m also not telling you so that you will throw me a pity party, I won’t show up, I promise and that’s no offense to you. The story actually has nothing to do with my dad, its just a tool. I reveal myself everyday so that maybe it will connect with just one person and you will know that you are not alone. I think that God put me through so many things in my life so that I would have a way to reach and relate to other women and sometimes even to men. I think as women we are so worried about how society, as especially other women, see us. I don’t tell you stories of not hearing my child’s heart beat to make you sad, I tell you so that if you have been or are in that situation you can know that you are not alone. I don tell you that my kid hoards spoons to make you laugh, I tell you so that you know you are not the only one without perfect kids. Magazines and commercials give us examples of how we are supposed to be perfect wives, perfect mothers, have the perfect body, host the perfect party and so many other things that we need to live up to. Well I’m here to tell you that I’m over weight, my roots are showing, my stomach looks like a tiger attacked me (cut me a little slack I once had 16.9lbs of baby in there), my parents were divorce (twice), my dad was a criminal, I’ve been divorced, married twice, gave myself away before marriage and not to my husband, I have acne (thank God for Proactive), I have terrible grammar (just ask my sister), I would misspell my own name if it wasn’t for spell check, I have a special needs child and sometimes she’s more than I can handle, I cant stand animals, my childhood was taken from me, I rebelled against God for as long as possible, I have someone in my life that I literally hate more than anything (I try to pray for her anyways), my house is a mess, laundry is piled on my kitchen table, my socks never match and neither do my daughters, I’ve questioned my marriage, I’ve questioned my profession, I’ve questioned my faith, I’ve wanted to walk out of my house and never come back, oh I could go on and on. Can you imaging if the real truth was the caption on one of those magazines with famous people plastered on the front. What if they didn’t tell us about how amazing they are for getting back their figure 3 hours after having a baby or how they just bought a 7.5 million dollar villa on a remote island. What if they published their flaws…OUCH! They don’t because they want to sell magazines, just like the magazine that had my fathers face plastered on it…not one bit of truth inside. My headline for my imaginary magazine for today is ” Perfectly Flawed and Screwed Up but Gods Girl Anyways! “. I try to make sure that all of my daughters headlines each day read “God Made Me” and that my husbands headline reads “Respected Husband and Man of God”. Of course I’ll be the first to tell you that sometimes my headline is “Lazy Mom Avoids Her Children” or “Mediocre Wife Fake Sleeps While Husband Cooks and Cleans” . Lets change the headlines. Lets be real and honest and open so that we can encourage and embrace each other. Whats your headline today?