This past Tuesday I was among a group of bloggers from the state of Arkansas to visit P. Allen Smith‘s Moss Mountain Farm on behalf of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Y’all, I have so much to say about that day and a great big photo dump coming your way, but today I’m just wanting to unwind a little bit.
Once again we are all reminded how short life is. How suddenly it can be taken away from us, and how we have absolutely no control. I can try my hardest to eat well and work out, but there’s no promise that I won’t end up with a life-altering and deadly disease. I can wear my seat belt and life jackets, but there’s no guarantee that an accident won’t happen. I can try my hardest to protect my little family in every way possible, but I never really know what life has in store and how our story could change.
This lack of control is something that weighed heavily on my heart this past Tuesday as I was driving to Moss Mountain. Even in the midst of excitement, I couldn’t help but worry about Nate and Weston and if they would be protected from potential storms heading our way. As the weather started to show that it wouldn’t be severe I slowly started to release that tension, allowing other thoughts to start forming in my mind. It was the usual suspects: normal random thoughts sprinkled with moments of self-doubt, worry and pride. And as I was losing myself in those thoughts, a word was said that really struck my heart: authenticity. We were in the middle of a discussion at the Bean2Blog event about interior design, and Allen said what was important to him in all of his design was to be authentic to himself.
Y’all, I don’t know why this stuff just strikes me so hard and so suddenly. The idea of authenticity is not new here, and it’s something I strive for daily. But there’s always that small, terrible voice in the back of my mind telling me to do things the way I see them being done somewhere else. Write like that blogger, cook like this one, dress like that girl, wear your hair like this, like this music and these TV shows and buy all of the things. You’re not worth anything if you don’t reach this level of success, make X amount of dollars, live in that neighborhood. I could go on and on and on.
But Tuesday I sat there and I soaked in the word. AUTHENTICITY. Not false or copied; genuine; reliable; trustworthy; undisputed credibility.
Once again I sit back and revisit myself. I think about the things I write, the recipes I make and the experiences that I have. This short little life that I’ve lived so far has been filled with inauthentic thoughts and actions, things that are not of me, that have been mimicked and copied and, as it turns out, all of those things were just cheap knock-offs of someone else’s real thing. Life has also been filled with a lot of authenticity – things that announce HEATHER WAS HERE! Words typed that are the very definition of my heart, raw and real, things that are said that really are my weird sense of humor, actions and thoughts that could never belong to anyone else.
I sit here and I pray (really, I’m praying NOW) that my life, as it becomes more authentic, begins to not just tell others that I am real, but that God is real in and through me. When I think about this life, but a blip in time in the grand scheme of things, I hope and pray that what I say and do shows others that I’m OK with being especially me because I’m more than OK with the work God has done in me. Every moment leading up to now has been for something bigger than just Heather; my goal is to make every following moment authentically God’s.
I hope you guys have an incredible weekend. I love you 🙂