On Monday afternoon my husband took deliberate, necessary time out of a busy day to take me bike riding at the Biltmore Estates. Our season pass gives us access to the bike paths, and hearing that it was going to be a beautiful day, and because we were going to Asheville for other business, we decided to strap the bikes onto the Jeep and go for it!
The weatherman was right – it was beautiful! High 70 degree weather greeted us as we pushed our bikes to where we would get a map of the estate and begin our peddling expedition. However, before I ever even peddled my first inch forward, I had a minor accident (leave it to me!). My husband had climbed aboard his bike and was too far ahead to see that when I lifted my leg to go over the bike bar, I lost my balance! Jumping on one foot, I tried to steady myself, but to no avail. The bike and I came crashing down together onto the pavement like a waltz gone bad! (I see you laughing, and I don’t blame you!)
A kind group of people nearby saw me and hollered to ask if I was okay, and began to scramble up the hill towards my awkward situation. I assured them I was okay – only a bit broken in spirit! I knew I hurt, but I also knew nothing was broken, thank the Lord. I picked up myself – and my poor dance partner – and caught up with my husband, who had no clue what his clumsy wife had just done!
I laughed it off and we were able to take the paths and enjoy the views and the ride. It was a fun time – while safely on the seat! It wasn’t until later that night when we got home I saw the damage my little crash had done to my upper leg. A purple-ish bruise was beginning to show its ugly face. The next morning it was black and blue and much larger. It’s tenderness kept me from sleeping on that side without groaning. The arm that caught me and softened my fall was also sore. “Oh well, it was worth it!” I thought to myself.
As I pondered this scene in my mind this week, I realized that this is so much like a blogger’s life – or anyone who opens their life up for others to see. I tell you
“We went to the Biltmore to ride bikes!”
and you see this –
smiling faces, blue skies with puffy clouds, and the mansion beyond the lake. You may think, “How perfect. How serene. Wish that was me!” But what you don’t see is the ugly, painful bruise on my thigh! Why not? Well, that’s personal! Who would show that?!
I say all this to be honest and to perhaps open your eyes to what you know is true. No one has a trouble-free life. Recently I received a precious email from a dear reader who assumed that our family had not gone through parenting woes. She sees my girl’s posts and it looks like there are “no bruises.” This was a reminder to me of a truth that needs to be shared.
There are some things that should remain unspoken and unseen, and though it’s not mentioned they ARE there. There are difficulties. There are painful times. There are trials. There are internal bruises and hurts that no one else knows but the Lord. It’s not that I desire to be a phony, because there are times when I share difficulties, but there are some times and some things that are not for sharing.
Bloggers, pastor’s wives, speakers – anyone in the light all have imperfect lives. They struggle just like you. Be careful not to assume that because you can’t see their bruises, they have none. They are there – they’re just wise to protect their families and loved ones, and even themselves. Don’t put them up on a pedestal. They (I) have dusty houses, selfish hearts, burned cookies and mood swings – just like you.
If this blogger can encourage you with some of my bruises, and with some of my “happy biking days,” that will make my heart smile. I’m not writing because I’m perfect. I’m as far from that as I am from purchasing the Biltmore for our vacation home! I’m writing because God has put a message in my heart to share, because I want to be a blessing and encourage your heart, home and life with some small thought or idea.
Thanks for remembering that I have bruises and imperfections – and thanks for reading anyway! You and I are on the same path. I hope yours is free from falls and bruises today!
With a desire to refresh you,