Don't be a Carpet

Don't be a Carpet

We have had an area rug in our living area since my hubby and I got married nearly 5 years ago. Sometimes it graces the boys' play area on the far side of the living room, other times we appreciate the cozy atmosphere it creates next to our couch. It has seen a lot of use, lots of play, some rough housing, and probably more than a few cups of spilled milk {as has my couch}.

Sometimes during the hottest summer months I'll roll the carpet up and store it to give the house a "cooler" feel. This summer when I rolled it up, I took it to the basement {didn't think that all the way through}. When I brought it back up last week, it had acquired a bit of a musty smell. So I borrowed a carpet cleaner from a friend and gave the carpet a well over-due cleaning.

You know, my carpet really didn't look too bad. It has some stains, but overall it looks like it did back when it adorned our first apartment. I wouldn't have necessarily described it as worn or dirty.

But it was carrying so much under the surface.

I cleaned the carpet once and dumped chocolate-milk colored water from the return bucket. Eeeeeeeeew!

I cleaned it a second time and pulled another bucket of chocolate-milk colored water. By now my germaphobe nature was shuddering at what else I wasn't seeing.

I gave it another plain water rinse and though the return water was lighter in color, there was still a lot of dirt. Find a happy place, find a happy place!

At this point, I called it a day. But the next night, I washed it again--and still the return water was disgusting!

By all appearances, my carpet was fine. But there was a whole lot going on under what it allowed me to see.

Isn't that how we operate so often?

"How are you doing?"

"Fine. Yourself?" We answer back.

Meanwhile under the surface we are struggling, carrying burdens, dying to share something exciting in our lives, and thinking we are alone in all of these things.

There is someone in my life who has asked me frequently why I didn't tell people what we were going through with our second born at the time. And I think there are a couple reasons.

First, sometimes when you are barely hanging on to the end of the rope you get so focused on just hanging on that you forget it's not normal to be hanging on for dear life in the first place. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes the abnormal becomes a perceived normal until something reminds you what normal really is.

Sleepless nights, overwhelm, stress, and bloody diapers kind of became the norm in our lives. And though we were carrying so much under the surface, we didn't think to share or let people in.

Second, I thought people wouldn't care. But the truth was, underneath of my self proclamation that people wouldn't care, I was really afraid to let people care because of what they may find under the surface. So when someone asked how we were . . . I said we were alright.

When really, we were struggling. When really, there was a lot going on under the surface.

And I can't help but think I am not alone.

So here is the challenge dear momma friend--don't be a carpet. The carpet looks fine, it proclaims its fine-ness to all who enter my home. Yet, it's worn from serving, from giving, from sharing its beauty. It's carrying so much under the surface . . . but it won't let on.

Let us be brave enough to say we are struggling when we are. Let us be brave enough to let someone in. Let us be brave enough to let someone minister to us. And let us be brave enough to silence the fears about what may be found under the surface. Let us be brave enough to tell the truth.

We mommas are gracious givers--sometimes we have to learn to be gracious receivers as well.

If you are carrying a burden today, if there is so much under the surface of what you've let people see, I challenge you to let someone trusted in. Be brave. Be honest. Silence the fears.

Because you know what? My carpet was carrying a lot below the surface, but I still love it. It is still beautiful to me. I only wish I would have known so I could have done something sooner. And that is what you'll find on the other side of honesty.

Be encouraged,