by Kristin on May 4, 2012

in Culture, ideas & paradigms

Photo by John Tann

I was wondering how I would ever find time to write a post today, then I remembered it’s Friday—a perfect day for a five-minute post! The concept starts at The Gypsy Mama’s blog, where she provides a topic and urges everyone to “Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.” Today’s prompt is just one word: “Real.” I’m setting the timer…here I go!


“Real” is everything I’m longing for in my deepest of deeps, yet makes me cringe and feel uncomfortable on the surface. It’s that push and pull—the longing and the discomfort, the heaven and the earth, all wrapped into one.

“Real” is the lopsided, experimental loaf of bread that I bake from grainy ingredients in a well-worn pan. It’s my relationship with my daughters, always situated somewhere between knowing them too well—every small fault and quirk—and never being able to know them well enough, to the full depth of their beings, the full capacity of our love.

Real is contained in the words I write when I feel most empty—when I think I have nothing to say, no path to run down, no clear destination to reach. It is all about struggling with those words, then abandoning them to go struggle with the weeds in my garden, then dragging my sweaty, dirt-smeared self back to my computer to try again to do something beautiful with the words. Real is back and forth.

Real is a life that doesn’t look at all like I thought my life should and would. It is a love that is at once less than perfect and so much more perfect than I could have imagined. It is a place, neither here nor there, where God and I meet, and try to hash things out.

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  • HopefulLeigh

    You’re the real deal to me, friend, and I’m grateful for that.

  • kells

    wow. really good. I like the back and forth that is being real. And that whole thing about your daughters made me wonder if that’s what my mom thinks about me…not in a bad way but that push and pull of knowing me and then not knowing me really at all…have a great weekend sister…great post

  • Amanda @wandering

    That second paragraph was powerful to me. The description captured my attention and made me re-read.

  • Leah James

    Correct sometimes real is the beauty of a weed of a dandelion. :) this was a joy to read.

  • Pingback: When “easy” does not equal “good”

  • Kristin T.

    HopefulLeigh, thank you. (Now that we’ve met in person, you can say that with even more evidence, and I can definitely say the same of you!) :)

    kells, I think when I forget about the back-and-forth thing, I fall into the trap of thinking “real” is some idyllic destination somewhere out there, rather than something we strive for here. The back-and-forth is a reminder of our “dual citizenship,” the now-and-not-yet aspect of hoping in God’s promises.

    Amanda, thanks for reading and letting me know what struck you! I’m always a bit surprised, myself, at what comes out during those free-writing sessions.

    Leah, it’s all about the contrast and the surprising double takes, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by and reading.