“You inspire me” she says as she hands me a bag full of baby clothes for Mercy House. “I wish I could be like you, but I’m just a mom.”

Her words sounded like an apology.

I offered a feeble smile.

Because at the moment, I didn’t even want to be me.

I was still beating myself up over how I started the day. Before 9 am, I’d lost my temper with my kids. I was rude to my husband and irritated with, well, the planet.

When the house was finally quiet and I’d said my “I’m sorry’s” I put my head on my desk and cried. I knew my family would forgive me, they always do. But I have the hardest time forgiving myself.

But this is me: a tangled mess of humanity-more failures than successes.

This is what I really wanted to say to that sweet mama, ten years younger than me, standing at my door, looking in my life, like I had it all together:

I need you to see me, really look at me. I’m no different than you. I’m a mom and wife and sometimes I not very good at either. I have dirty piles of laundry that match the dirty places in my heart. Even though I said yes to a dream much bigger than myself, I struggle everyday trying to find God in the mess. And sometimes that mess is me.

It’s okay to apologize for what you’ve done, but not for who you are.

I think we look at people doing something brave and we tell ourselves, we could never do that. I’ve said the same thing to myself a dozen times. I truly believe this is a lie that is meant to discourage us and keep us paralyzed.

When we maximize others, we minimize ourselves. In God’s eyes, we’re all the same.

So, when someone calls me brave or inspiring, especially on days like today, I feel like such a failure. Not just for my obvious mistakes, but for making it appear that I’m something I’m not.

I hope my ugly humanity challenges others to do something extraordinary for Him.

Because if God can use me to inspire another mom while I’m deep in the trenches of motherhood, He can use anyone.

Print this out and tape it to your bathroom mirror:

  • I am His.
  • I am enough today.
  • My mess is the perfect place for His Glory

by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family

  • Amy Hunt

    He uses messes to create beauty! Your real-ness is what makes what you’re doing so powerful. And is what makes Him so evident.

    I’ve had dreams of sitting and chatting with you awhile, swapping ideas and dreams. I look forward to that someday. For now, you remain in my prayers–that He’ll humble you and lift you up, and that you’ll know His heart in a more profound way every day. Rich blessings, Kristen.

  • Melissa

    You’re so right, Kristen, and I love your bullet points to tape on the mirror. Many blessings to you!

  • Kerry @ Made For Real

    I love the “ugly humanity” reference. It’s so fitting. This was great. Glad to hear someone put into words (so beautifully and bluntly) what I think about all the time.

    • Kerry @ Made For Real

      …and do you mind if I ask about the cute totes in your pic?

  • Sheila Jones

    Wow this just sang to me…. “When we maximize others, we minimize ourselves.” I am constantly finding ways to belittle myself, especially when others try to bring me up with compliments. Thank you for putting it into words, hopefully seeing it in black and white will help me stop myself and soak in the goodness that God SO wants me to have and to know that each of us has battles, but we are enough with Him.

  • Lisa

    Your friends words, “I’m just a mom” make me sad. She isn’t embracing her true identity and the divine role of a mother. That is the most important work and service we can do. Everything else is lovely and wonderful, but if we aren’t finding the value in motherhood I kind of feel like we are denying God.

  • Michelle DeRusha

    This is hugely powerful: “it’s okay to apologize for what you’ve done, but not for who you are.” I very often don’t make a distinction between the two.

    Thank you for being honest, Kristen.

  • Robin

    Thank you for sharing so openly. You expressed what i have thought so many times.

  • Joy Waters Martin

    Did you write this just for me today?? ;-) Thank you ! God has spoken !

  • Erin

    I love the quote, “It’s okay to apologize for what you have done, but not for who you are.” So many times we link what we do to who we are and it damages our esteem. We are God’s beloved children who He loves. Who we are is not what we do. :) Thanks for this post. Bless you.

    • DewDrop22

      That’s the line that I needed, too.

  • Beth Williams

    Kristen–You must have peeked right into my life!!!

    This is soo me.. ” I was rude to my husband and irritated with, well, the planet.” But this is me: a tangled mess of humanity-more failures than successes. I’m constantly getting upset over things.

    Loved these phrases: It’s okay to apologize for what you’ve done, but not for who you are. When we maximize others, we minimize ourselves. In God’s eyes, we’re all the same. Powerful words!!!

    I am His.
    I am enough today.
    My mess is the perfect place for His Glory

    loved, loved loved this post!!!!!!

  • Lesley

    I am a Director a local Pregnancy Resource Center, and I want to commend you on what you are doing. I have been looking at the Mercy House Website and my husband and I have been praying for you, your family, and the work that is being done. My heart breaks for those that are too often considered the “least of these”. It blesses me, that you and your family are doing something tangible and that it is literally saving lives.

    I know that you are not perfect, because none of us is. I know that you are following the Lord, and that is what truly speaks to my heart. Even in your fear and in your messes you continue to trust the Lord. It is an amazing thing and it is truly inspiring.

    I do not say this to put you on a pedestal, but to (in)courage you. ;o) Know that you are being prayed for daily, and even though I have never met you, you truly inspire me. This work is not always easy, but it is the right thing to do. Thank you for standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Thank you for giving a voice to the voiceless.

  • wanda

    Oh sister! You have spoken words of truth here!
    I know what it’s like to be a mess. I’m thankful….for a hubby/family/God that loves me in spite of it.
    You are an inspiration! Thank you!

  • keltrinswife

    Glad I am not the only one! be blessed :)

  • Sharon O

    We all have so much to learn in this process called life, and sometimes we just can’t seem to make it all work well. We all have issues and messy lives. None of us are perfect and that is ok… God loves us IN and through our messes and perhaps even hopes for us to find HIM on the other side waiting for us.

  • Christy

    This spoke to my heart today-thank you for putting words on paper what God wants to reach into our hearts :)

  • Janelle@GraceTags

    We’re all such a mess, aren’t we? In our own ways, we each have a mess. But God is faithful to turn our mess around for His Glory. And even in our mess, He is glorified.


  • Tracey H.

    Thank you for your honesty! We are all enough and thankfully His:0)

  • Cherie From Queen of Free

    “Even though I said yes to a dream much bigger than myself, I struggle everyday trying to find God in the mess. And sometimes that mess is me.”

    so wonderful. I am with you. thank you.

  • Courtney F.

    Really needed this today. And probably should re-read it. Just had a very ugly, lost-my-patience-and-yelled-loudly-at-the-kids moment… not proud.

  • Guest

    Just what I needed to be reminded of. Thank you.

  • allison

    This is so, so, so, so perfect and God-ordained for me to read at this moment. Whereas I didn’t lose my temper today, I did yesterday–but today I was crying (instead of at my desk, sitting on the ottoman in our bedroom) about mistakes from years ago, at a point when our marriage left me in emotional deficit, marital counseling drained me (and I didn’t feel comfortable with the counselor), and I was raising a newborn and a toddler. Stress and tension left me often impatient and demanding of my toddler back then. And I weep for it. I have to choose to remain in the hope that, in Jesus, I am enough as a mother, and in Jesus, I have everything I need to grow as a mother. That He loves me enough to redeem my mistakes in my children’s lives–and that He loves them enough for that, too. Crying on the ottoman, I prayed for God’s redemption and mercy to rain down on our family and make those mistakes and sins (past, present, and future) fodder for deep, authentic relationships–and that it will show my children how much I need Jesus. If they can see that in me, I hope they will recognize how much they need Jesus, too. Psalm 19:14 calls Him our ‘Rock and our Redeemer.’ I choose to quiet myself in that–if He is called Redeemer, surely He can do the work of redemption. Even of MY sins. Your post is the cry of my own heart, and you said it so genuinely. I’ve been told by a dear woman with whom I occasionally interact that I’m one of the nicest people on the planet, and that she sees so much peace in me. I told her that’s because she’s seen me at my best. But it makes me nervous, in a sense, because I know if she sees me at my worst, I’ll surely disappoint her–I don’t want to mask that or to try to stay on somebody’s pedestal. But I hope that one of the best things that can be said about me is that I deal well with my sin. Satan works hard to keep us mothers in isolation, I think (at least for myself, a stay at home, homeschooling mother). But when I can read what you’ve written at the end of this day, I find a sense of fellowship–and a fellow traveler. Thanks, sister!

  • Shandra

    You are a beautiful mess! ;)

  • Betzy

    You just put in writing what I was thinking about yersterday. Thanks for your words. Every single women should read this. Thanks again!

  • Melanie

    Amen! So timely to be reading this. Now to believe even more and live into that His power is made perfect in my weakness. Thank you.

  • Modupe @ Hephzibah Bride

    It’s good to know I’m not alone in thinking like this.

  • Steph

    I’ve definitely had mornings like that!

    I am His.
    I am enough today.
    My mess is the perfect place for His Glory

    Thanks for this.

  • Kelly B

    It was definitely one of those weeks. Thank you for your openess! I am one of many who have walked down that path. Thank you!

  • Beth (A Mom’s Life)

    “When we maximize others, we minimize ourselves. In God’s eyes, we’re all the same.”

    Thank you for this.

  • Beth (A Mom’s Life)

    And I hope you don’t mind but I’m putting that as my Facebook status. But don’t worry – I will give you full credit! :)

  • Natalie B

    My day started the same way today!! So thankful for forgiveness and more hours in the day to make it right.

    Beautiful words and ones I want to remember and to pass on to my children. Thank you so much for sharing today!

  • Robinn

    Wow. I think what you wrote probably applies to 99.9% of the women on the planet – never feeling like we’re good enough is something we’re all acquainted with! God uses our imperfections to point to His great glory. I don’t remember where it is, but “His grace is sufficient for you.” (somewhere in the Bible)

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  • Betsy

    Thanks for sharing your humanity with us! I can certainly relate. I have messes too, both in my heart and in my home, so your word “My mess is the perfect place for His glory” is definitely something I need to tape up on my mirror.

    Thank you.

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  • Bugs & Sunshine

    beautifully spoken.

    “my mess is the perfect place for His glory”…soooo good!

  • Megan@DoNotDisturb

    I love this. It is so incredibly true of my life and an important truth to be reminded of over and over. Thanks for sharing and for your inspiration.

    P.S. – I am heading to Kenya in Aug and will pray while I am “in the land” for Mercy House.


  • Mothering From Scratch

    {Kathy} It’s as if you read my heart today. Thank you.

  • Sara

    This is like water being poured on my burning heart. I am so tired, they aren’t enough hours in the day and i am just finding myself getting stressed and so worried about anything and everything. My anxiety level is through the roof.

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