have it all together

31 Days of Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: Day 21 “But You Have it So Together!”

Guest Blog by My Sweet Friend Rebekah Porter

Over dinner at church the other night, my pastor friend leans over and says, “…but you have it all together!?” I scoffed and chuckled and appreciated his sarcastic remark which reminded me of how many times I have heard that very statement. I knew he was joking because he knows me. He eats dinner with us and has been a victim of a one-sided food fight started by my boys. He’s walked with my family in the midst of loss, hurt, disappointment and frustration. He knows this family is a mess. However, I am surprised at an unbelievable perfect perception I must carry because I hear often from people, mostly who do not know me, that I must have it all together. Where are these people when I’m yelling at my children or grabbing jeans from the dirty clothes hamper or only shaving the bottom half of my legs or burning dinner or tripping over the curb or being really disappointed when things do not go as I thought they would or, or, OR?

Today, I’m here to plead, beg, pay you off if I have to in order to set the record straight, I wish you’d stop saying, “…but you have it all together!”

Here I am…Me, the worst of all sinners. I’m judgmental, self-righteous, prideful, boastful, selfish, self-centered, full of complaints and just down-right mean. I don’t have it all together because all together I’m one big giant mess. One day several years ago, I was talking to a friend on the phone. Somehow the conversation steered toward the misconception of my perfectionism when I stopped her, “Wait. You really think I have it all together?” I laughed. I laughed hysterically. What the heck? And then, on cue, my minded was immediately flooded with all of those times my frazzled-self melted down to a helpless puddle on the floor.

My second baby was born via C-section. After her birth, I could barely move and was totally on an emotional edge. My three-year-old was starting to feel ignored and was communicating her irrational thoughts in every way other than a mature conversation. So, tensions were high and just a week into being a mommy of two, the hubs went away on a business trip. After a very long day on very little sleep and a long series of events I lost it. I was so mad. I yelled and screamed and cried to my three-year-old and put her to bed way before her bedtime. Walking away from her I was overcome with shame. Oh, you know what I’m talking about. You know those feelings. The condemnation and feelings of failure were almost unbearable. I just knew I had damaged her for life. I remember crying to my mom about how horrible I had been and I remember exactly what she told me, “It’s okay for her to see you at your worst. She knows your heart for her and trusts you more when you’re honest and admit your faults”. This was so freeing and it opened up the door to admitting times when I mess up and for apologizing frequently.

Many more meltdowns have occurred with all of us in this family over the years. Our twin boys went through a horrible biting phase and a pooping in their pants phase and a spitting phase and a throwing the toys phase and the destruction of all things made of paper phase and an everything is stupid phase {even Sunday School teachers. Really sorry about that}. But, back to the biting phase: they were two when I started getting calls from MDO (Mother’s Day Out) regarding the problem. The little school was extremely kind, but had rules, which I completely agree with. The rule stated after three bites, suspension would be enforced.

We were suspended.

Although just for a few days, their suspension was a fast-track to my humility. The break in my pride ultimately led to me keeping the twins home with me for a school year. Ba-bye MDO! I was sad. I cried. It was a hard, humbling and significant year. You can read more about our humbling adoption journey here.

Just a few days ago, the hubs and I were at each other’s throats for something so ridiculous I can’t even remember what it was. Just like everyone else we’ve also had significant, yelling fights which have ultimately shaped our relationship. We do not have this thing figured out and we certainly do not have it all together.

The lie that says we have it all together comes at us faster these days. Social media is constantly in our face yelling voices of comparison and judgments. Y’all-Instagram and Facebook lie!! No one is going to post a picture of the expression on their child’s face after witnessing a big fight between mom and dad. No one post honest confessions of the heart like coveting or lusting or gluttony or pride? I have never posted after smashing a plate as hard as I could into a million pieces from exhaustion, anger and wounded-ness. Nor have I posted a video of me yelling *!@$#%^! to my daughter in the middle of our stairwell. Those just don’t make the newsfeed. Nope. Never. The online view into our life is skewed and extremely one dimensional. When we scroll over a perfect picture, we overlook the story behind it. We assume all is well and right in their world according to the angle of our view. The smiles and cute outfits translate into perfection when ultimately that is just not possible. Only happy moments make it across the invisible walls of cyberspace.


This was recently the case with my friend. Talking about this very subject, she revealed the picture she had posted that day of her and her littles was a 30 second happy moment in the midst of a 23 hour and 59 ½ minute day of hell. But none of us saw that. We just saw the cute, happy faces. Truth is, those pictures hold real people: real imperfect people, overcoming an imperfect world. They hold people with real struggles, real hurts, and real moments. So, instead of comparison or assumption, let’s look deep into those eyes and ask the Lord for his insight and perspective.

We had all been arguing with each other just moments before the family picture that is plastered to my blog. The hubs and I had candy stuffed in our pockets for bribery. No shame. I chewed out one of the girls soon after the photographer showed up for stomping around with a bad attitude. And you know what? When I look at that picture, I don’t see the pretty smiles or quirky style or the sun being in the right spot at just the right moment. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think we look great, but what I see are seven sinners who are in desperate need of a Savior. I see seven people who need Holy Spirit in order to bear fruit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I see seven people living their story of redemption, restoration and a quest toward freedom. Behind every picture is a perfect-less life in need of the eternal gift of the Resurrection.

Our days are not perfect, but I can testify to experiencing some near perfect moments. I relish in the times of belly laughter and loud singing {made up songs are the best}. I am thankful for moments spent cuddling on the couch or making up original dance moves in the kitchen. You’re welcome. I appreciate moments right before bed when my kids are at their most vulnerable state and spill out what is really going on inside those hidden places of their hearts. I am thankful for moments of intentionality and those times when we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor. I love seeing and being part of God’s redemption for each one of my peeps.

So, nope! I certainly do not have it all together. Nothing in my world is perfect except Him. HE is the reason to get out of the bed in the morning. HE is the reason to see the good no matter the circumstance. HE is the reason we can choose joy in the midst of sorrow. The only way, I can stay in a covenant relationship with my husband is to stay in covenant relationship with Father God. The only One keeping me from going ballistic on my children is by singing Carrie Underwood’s:”Jesus Take the Wheel” is the One who holds my attention and focus and meets me right where I am at. The only way to live a life of abundance and freedom is to trust the One with good plans and purposes for me. The only good that comes from me is because of the Good, Perfect, Whole ONE who lives inside of me. The only way I can look at my family, friends and others with grace, compassion and hope is because of the One who looks upon me with an everlasting grace, compassion and hope. I stand secure in who I am, filled with joy and assurance because of the life I live with Jesus. My life is not about presenting a picture of perfection. My life is about constantly relinquishing my rights in order to be made whole, healed and set free!

You can see more of Rebekah’s Wisdom’s at her beautiful blog Reclaimed Riches


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