I feel like a fern.

I know that's a weird title but give me a minute and I think you just might get me. I went out to the front porch this afternoon to water my ferns because I "water on Wednesdays" just like my mama taught me. They are beautiful ferns, four giant ones, courtesy of my dear brother-in-law, Drew's, family nursery. On the outside they are lush and pretty and green...full of life and flourishing. But, when you give em a good shake, another of mom's fern-care rules, it rains dead fern leaves everywhere. And if you lift up all those pretty branches there is a lot of not pretty stuff underneath. You have to prune those sad leaves and get them out from under there so that they can keep healthy and growing.
As I was going through the motions, channeling my mom, I got to thinking. I feel like these guys. I think for the most part my life or just me, looks ok on the outside. I am super blessed to have 3 unbelievably cute and healthy kiddos, an incredible husband, a home I love, family all around....I mean the good stuff. If you just looked at the surface of my life it's great..gushy great, you know.
But then there is me. The real me. The underneath. The mom who struggles daily with pushing forward, fighting a battle with depression. The mom who gets frustrated with kiddos for arguing, disobeying, making messes. The wife who feels like she wants so badly to be an all-star mate but most of the time can't muster the energy to be that. The homemaker that wants to finish the laundry AND put it away, have all the dog hair swept up, bathrooms clean, flowers beautiful, garden picked and pruned, beds and dinner made. The girl who wants to be creative but can't find the time. And more than anything wants to love Jesus and live like him but on every front but feels like a failure at every quick tempered reaction, selfish wish or thought, angry word and impatient moment.
This is me. And my guess is its most of us. Painting a pretty picture on the surface. Trying to survive underneath. I guess every now and then we need some water, a good shake and some pruning so that we can continue to grow the good stuff. I need to be better about giving myself that.
What about you? - e


  1. absolutely, e. I had a couple days last week when I just thought, "I am a jerk"...based on my thoughts toward people and just in general in regard to my attitude.
    and, at times I am 'just too tired', when in all reality I have no reality, I just 'cannot be bothered'.
    thanks be to God for his everlasting grace. (and to those around us who love us unconditionally.)
    I get it, e.
    in it together... :)

    1. thanks for getting it! it feels better to know you aren't alone! and I love you're reality!

  2. So beautifully written and more than that, true! I am a fern with you!

  3. fern sisters! i love you, i love your mom, i love your life - all of it - mostly because i can so easily relate!

  4. I am a fern!! Thanks for sharing, E! Love you, Ash

  5. Your soul is beautiful. From one E to another.

  6. You too? My conversation with Missy last week: "I think I'm going to talk to my doctor, something is wrong with me! I'm exhausted...all of the time, and I'm kind of a bitch (a lot)!" Missy: "You're totally normal! You are just a young mom!" I'm a fern...and I don't love the pruning and the shaking so much! ;) Love you!

  7. Beautiful hard truth. Pruning sucks, thankful to do life w other ferns. Love you

  8. hi e! have you seen this? http://vimeo.com/66775750 it's from a commencement speech at Kenyon. sometimes when I am feeling impatient/frustrated/a little crazy, i just tell myself, 'this is water, this is water' -- to try and remind myself to see beyond the normal. i love you! -k

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  10. From one fern to another -
    Lovely, vulnerable, authentic words. thank you.
    I feel like my ferniness is on display, so I thank you for showing your old fronds when you don't have to. I suppose we're all in the same garden, really.

    Also, I love 'this is water', too.

    and you.

  11. Erin! I saw on Facebook that Beth had a new baby and it made me want to look for you. What a gift to stumble upon this post, as I have recently had a baby and am drowning in chaos, PPD... and the guilt and shame that can pile up so easily. You are so transparent and encouraging, just like I remembered. I'd love to catch up? Email me? libbagranger@yahoo.com Big love to you and your whole fam, Libba (Diffey) Armenta


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