no more apologies.

September 26, 2011

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I went to blog sugar on Sunday. I came away so refreshed, inspired. I took away a lot from it. You see, Im a sensitive soul, I am a people pleaser, I tend to be insecure at times.

But when I left there I decided I wanted to try and say "no more apologies"...
this is who I am.

I was going through some messy stuff in December and I read this quote by Leslie
"If you haven't already gathered, or happen to be reading this blog for the first time in your life, I am a melancholy girl through and through. I find beauty in not only the beautiful things in life, but the bittersweet and sad as well. To me, there is something poignantly lovely about the human experience from its splendor to its grief. God created all our emotions, not just the happy ones, and for His good purposes. That's why a good cry can feel so good. And hitting our limits forces us to look outside ourselves for a Savior. It is in the plea, when we're at our end, that we can find that which is truly life-giving. Personally, my moments of deepest grief, deepest pain, have resulted in the most beautiful seasons in my heart. I've met God more intimately in those moments than in all the other pleasant ones combined. What isn't completely lovely about that?"

In a moment where I felt alone, I felt heartbroken, angry.....I read this and suddenly felt like someone out in the world possibly understood. So, I started to really write. I started talking about mama stuff, some heartache, struggles, csection scars, NICUs, my miscarriage....and that's not the half of it. 

I wanted (and still do) this to be a blog/ a place of inspiration, uplift, joy...but also truth. Because life is hard. 
A lot of us have been through some seriously icky stuff. 
And so I wanted this also to be "real". 
It's easy to take beautiful family photos and pretend to have it all together-but  who does that help?

Then Rachel (who blogs here) said this...

"To be taken seriously, I must realize the seriousness of  blogging.

Not in a "I take myself very seriously" type of way at all. More in the way that you realize the importance of the words, the faith and the beliefs that you hold.
I have a responsibility and far reaching arms when I share my words and

so
do
you.

Use your blog, your words and your person to share the Lord (and your heart) with others.
They desperately need to hear your story as much as you need to hear theirs.

Be serious. Be passionate and Be you."

Use your voice. No apologies. 
We are all different and have been through different things, believe different things.... but whoever you are there is SOMEONE you can touch with your story.

Don't hold onto it.

158 comments:

  1. so beautiful, even when you're not trying to be...

    I've been struggling lately to decide how much of my blog I want to make personal, and how much just strictly business. Still kinda trying to figure it out... but you definitely give me courage!

    Love you!

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  2. Its so nice to read a blog where the person writing it is REAL... beauty and pain... she's real with it all! I so appreciate it and there is no need to apologize! You are a beautiful woman inside and out!

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  3. That end photo is so adorable.

    Its funny that you are posting about this, i had a similar conversation today about how much of a people pleaser i am. I always want to make people happy. I came to the realization that i cant do that anymore. I have to be the best me and if people do like that then its their loss. I cant apologize for my faults anymore..

    So im with you.

    No more apologies!! :D

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  4. I love this Casey! I'm taking this to heart. No apologies, I am who I am and that's how God created me and he doesn't make mistakes.

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  5. Thank you so much for writing this. I am a pretty new blogger and have already questioned my reasoning for blogging in the first place. With so many others out there, is my voice even worth listening to? Your words are just what I needed to hear - a God moment: I'm going to keep writing about what is passionate to me, all for His glory!

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  6. Casey, I really appreciate your openness and honesty about being real. You are who you are. I am who I am. It is easy (if you want) to write a blog that presents the picture perfect image of who you want people to see you as. But life isn't picture perfect for most people. You shouldn't have to put on a facade to get people to follow you. Why would I want to have people following someone who wasn't the real me?? I am a Christ follower, a wife to a great guy who works 2 jobs to keep us afloat because I had to quit my job because we have 2 kids (one who is medically fragile). Life is messy. That's what it is. There is no white picket fence around my life. There's no pretty bows tying up the package that is my life. But it is who I am and I am not willing to compromise that. Through all the mess, there's an incredible amount of faith-building going on and it's a beautiful thing! Just like you said, there is SOMEONE out there who you can positively impact because of your story. I've "met" so many women through blogging who have impacted my life in a big way. I appreciate you keeping it real!

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  7. Oh. my. gosh. Casey... this post could not have come at a more poignant time for me. I have been struggling for some time with the idea of sharing my struggles and my stories on my blog. I have definitely been going through a season of heartbreak, but have struggled with being vulnerable enough. And by not being vulnerable, I haven't been letting people in to my life and my suffering which has made it such a lonely place.

    I think one reason I have struggled with sharing is because most people that read my blog are people I know. And it scares me to have everyone know that much about me. But why should it? I should be allowing people to really know my life.

    Anyway, I am sorry for the rambling. I just really appreciated your post and it has inspired me to share more of my story.

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  8. LOVE this. It truly is amazing when we stop trying to be what someone else wants us to be, or expects us to be, and allow God and the truth of our lives shine through us. You are truly such an inspiration to me to be more honest and open in all that I do. Love you so much, friend! xoxo

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  9. thank you for the encouragement Casey! I'm always worrying that my blog is too serious and that it will turn people off. it's nice to hear that there are others that think like i do. god bless.

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  10. amen. love it!!
    so sad i never made it over to hug you last night!
    blog sugar rocked my socks! xo

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  11. YOU GO GIRL! True freedom! I struggle in many of the same ways. I'm such a people pleaser. This blog world is teaching me to let go of things. And just be me. Because I won't be able to please everyone. Love this, girl! Love you! xo

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  12. I loooved this post. I love what Leslie wrote too. I copy and pasted it into a word document so I can print it off and read and re-read it. Thank you.

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  13. HA! I just read and commented on Rachel's post. I loved it too. I need to do less listening and more doing. Thanks for echoing the same thoughts God has been planting in my head. I think it's the Holy Spirit dwelling in us calling us to this form of "evangelism" through social media. I say Let's Do This!!
    You are such a blessing to me!

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  14. You are such a beautiful person Casey! I admire you and your strengths. You encourage me to be a better person.Thank you for your thoughts today! I personally haven't experienced any negativity from the blog world yet and I am grateful for that. Yet we can never please everyone and that is okay. Stay true to yourself because you are so incredible and inspire so many of us.

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  15. This makes me smile. :o) I heart everything you said...especially the things that you are and are not. So much like me. And by the way, I don't use the term "heart" hardly ever, but it's growing on me I guess.

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  16. AMEN!!! Love this. Being real, sharing our stories in hopes to bring glory to the Lord is what this journey is all about! Your words are beautiful!

    ♥,

    A Mom Without Facebook
    www.amomwithoutfacebook.blogspot.com

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  17. Casey-
    This is beautiful! I have been struggling with thinking "Why am I even writing? No one reads it- I've only got 20 something followers..." But you have inspired me- to stay afloat, to write, to post, to share- for myself.
    Thank you for being real. Even though there is age difference- I consider you a mentor for times to come.
    XOXO
    -Tori

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  18. Casey... how sweet your words are. I have someone close to me going through what you have gone through in the last month. It is interesting how situations of absolute bottom that we realize how none of these faces that we ALL put on matter at all. It is a very brave thing to look inside yourself and take the time to actually find the real person inside. It's work! Thank you for being an inspiration to me today. Honestly, I had so much fun photographing your family BECAUSE they were themselves and YOU let them do that. May we all let our kids explore, be themselves while we are listening to God as to how to guide them. You are AMAZING!

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  19. I LOVE this! It is so true! I suffer from "Approval Addiction" and I, too, am tired of apologizing! I am who I am...that should be good enough! Thank you for being inspirational, once again!

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  20. Sing it sister! I always wonder why I feel the need to apologize for things. I am who I am, and God created me this way!

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  21. Oh my goodness! The tears are flowing. "I read this and suddenly felt like someone out in the world possibly understood." These words completely touched my heart. I feel so alone these days and like God doesn't love me and my husband doesn't need me. I never thought about God creating all our emotions even the icky and sad ones. For the past few years I've had SO MANY people(Christians in fact), tell me suck it up and put a smile on my face, but some days I just can't. What a freeing thought, thank you so much for those freeing thoughts. What an inspiring blog I have come across, thank you for your realness and openess to share the good and the hard stuff. Many blessings on you!

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  22. How do you always speak to my heart? Always? Many times I just want to blog about real things but get sidetracked or fall into the trap of materialism. I want to be real. Need to be real. Some days I feel like I shouldn't blog if I don't have any photos, but those are the days when I need to blog. There's usually something the Lord is laying on my heart that perhaps others need to hear. Thank you for always being so open and honest.

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  23. beautifully said. the last thing anyone needs is one more person pretending to have it all together. if we have it all together, what did Christ come for? i love this post. and love the photos.

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  24. First off - What is Blog Sugar ?? :( I feel like I missed out on something amazing.....
    Love your post - I blog because I want to blog, a place to write about my interests, family, God, fun things and it is just nice to have a place to do that and still make some pretty awesome friends in Bloggy Land! No apologies here!! Thanks for posting and sharing!

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  25. woohoo ... you go girl .... love this ... BE YOU ... that's who God made YOU TO BE!

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  26. Yes, this! Why do we so often feel the need to apologize for who we are? Why aren't we instead celebrating all of our differences and seeing the beauty in allowing people to be themselves? Such a great reminder friend!

    I don't let my baby cry it out, but I have friends that do. And guess what - we all have happy, smart, loving, attached babies!

    I don't spend much time in the kitchen, but I have friends that do. And guess what - we all go to bed with full bellies.

    I have never left my 9.5 month old overnight (or for more than 3 hours twice during the day, actually), but have friends who work, take trips, etc and spend a bit of time away from their babies. And guess what - it's okay!! We are all doing what works for us, our kids, our family!

    You keep being YOU Casey! Who you are is what makes you such a great friend!

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  27. I completely agree. I LOVE this post. I think may come back to reread it when I have more time later tonight, just wanted to say THANK YOU for being so transparent. If I could be half of what you are, then I've more than met my goal. XOXO

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  28. wish i would have met you last night @ blog sugar. you sound lovely. just clicked over from our heartbeat. your blog looks so beautiful...i'm kind of lost in listening to your great music right now!
    look forwarding to following....

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  29. I could not agree with you more! I am new to blogging and I cannot believe some of the feelings and beliefs I have shared thus far. While my following is small, I still cannot believe the courage I have gained in the last year of my life to speak out about my faith and the amazing grace that God has bestowed upon my life. :) There are so many people that can be reached through the blog world and I love surrounding myself with beautiful words, written by beautiful people like you. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  30. I could not agree more! I am new to the blog world and I cannot believe how much I have shared about my faith in God to people that I do not know. I have developed a strength and courage from God in the past few months and I feel the need to share His beautiful grace with others. :) While my following is small, I love sharing my faith to others. I love to surround myself with beautiful words written by beautiful people like you! Thanks for the encouragement!

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  31. What a beautiful honest post. Today was one of those days and one of my blog readers called me out. She was not afraid to be open about her faith. And it was words from the Lord I needed. I try to be honest on my blog but often still hold back. I try to not talk about my faith a lot as to not push my beliefs on anyone else. But yet words like yours...and my blog reader's...are risky but need to be heard. I think your honesty is a huge inspiration. We are all who we are and can find so much freedom and joy when we fully embrace that.

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  32. casey i just love reading your blog. i often end up feeling the exact same way, that somehow, someone else understands. that quotation from leslie is the story of my life right now, and i couldn't agree more with what you're saying!

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  33. I so agree with you! Sometimes we try to hide who we are because we feel that the choices we make, while right for us, are unpopular.

    I feel like in the blog world, where any nasty person can anonymously express their disagreement and make you feel like crap, you just resort to avoiding those unpopular topics. But when I do that, I don't feel the release that blogging is supposed to bring.

    We all need to be ourselves and screw whether other people think we are wrong.

    On a side note, YAY to no cry-it-out method, yay to attachment parenting!

    www.prebabyblog.com

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  34. Good for you,girl! It was great meeting you and Little Miss Momma yesterday and taking your pictures before the conference. Hugs to you...

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  35. GREAT message and I am in LOVE with your first pic! It's seriously my favorite pic ever of you!!

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  36. oh my gosh, these are so beautiful. i just looked through a couple of your posts and you are so talented! keep up the good work chick, and you have an absolutely lovely family. :)

    love, rach.
    www.so--hi.blogspot.com

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  37. LOVE this post!!! Totally what I needed to hear today!!!
    And you totally described me in the first part of your post....all the way down to the co-sleeping and not sticking to any schedules!! I look at it like this, we are the mom's and they are only our babies once, and God gave us a mother instinct for a reason!! LOVE ya girl!!

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  38. This is not the first time I've read your blog, but this is the first time I've ever written...on a blog. HA- Hello 21st century!!! I was (and still am to quite an extent) that girl that thinks, "why would anyone care what I think or feel?" Your post today really spoke to me though and I admire your raw honesty. Tonight may just be the beginning of a serious look at myself and my thoughts, what I'm not afraid to write down and see it looking back at me. Thanks for the inspiration...stay tuned! :)

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  39. This is not the first time I've read your blog, but this is the first time I've ever written...on a blog. HA- Hello 21st century!!! I was (and still am to quite an extent) that girl that thinks, "why would anyone care what I think or feel?" Your post today really spoke to me though and I admire your raw honesty. Tonight may just be the beginning of a serious look at myself and my thoughts, what I'm not afraid to write down and see it looking back at me. Thanks for the inspiration...stay tuned! :)

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  40. Casey, all those points you made about who you are are totally me too. I always get caught up in who I"m not and needing to be that because everyone else is. Thanks for sharing this... I need to fight through who I think I should be and find who I really am and be confidant in it. Thank you. :)

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  41. this is so perfect! i definitely need to stop making so many apologies! i'm going to have to steal this idea!
    xo TJ

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  42. Go girl! You have touched me with your story. I randomly happened upon your blog just after our daughter was born 2 years ago and you have done more for me than you will ever know. I'm a young mama and felt really isolated when there was no one else I knew that was going through what I was going through raising a little one. By sharing so much of your personal story you helped fill that gap for me and give me confidence as a young parent. Seriously, I at one point went out and bought "mom jeans" : ) I felt lost and you helped lead me back to a path of confident mama-ness. Don't let anyone bring you down, you have your own voice and you are using it for wonderful things!

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

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  43. I love this post, Casey, Makes me feel really good about my parenting-- we arent scheduled, still use bottles, and my daughter eats random things. Thanks for sharing your heart!

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  44. Casey, you are GORGEOUS and inspiring. Never apologize for who you are. :]

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  45. So true. It's so refreshing just to be yourself.

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  46. Thanks for your honest, wise words. You have articulated such a beautiful vision for blogging.

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  47. Casey, All I have to say is...you constantly amaze me with the beauty you hold inside and out. CONSTANTLY!! Blog Sugar was blessed to have you in attendance.
    On a lighter side...my goodness, girl! I know you had a dream of being a model. Why aren't you?! That first picture is stunning! And Ainsleigh in the last picture...so sweet that I am surprised she is not attracting butterflies!
    Take care and always be YOU! xo

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  48. Can I just write "Amen!" because I feel like you have just said it all.

    "...but whoever you are there is SOMEONE you can touch with your story. Don't hold onto it."

    Um, yes.

    Thank you for sharing your truth, Casey. There is so much beauty in it.

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  49. Love this casey! You inspire me to be more real!It's funny I just wrote a post about being insecure...and how God is helping me through. It's hard to do. I think if your real, God honors you for that..plus who knows who needs to hear it! Love the encouragement girl! You are truly beautiful!

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  50. I am NOT the mother who cooks either! Why is cereal for supper not generally accepted by society anyway? Revolution, anyone? :)

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  51. I just wanted to say I loved this post. GOod for you. I also am a co sleeping, breast feeding, baby wearing mama and I hate the criticizm I get from other moms about outting htem in their own bed and blah, blah, bkah, DO WHAT YOUR INSTINCTS TELL YOU!!!! THat's how I parent:) Love ya girl!!! ANd even though I cook all this fabulous stuff I too am giving them waffles for sinner half the time so dont even worry about it. we all just so what we can:)

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  52. I love that you speak the truth from your heart. Blessings to you and your beloved family!

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  53. I had a amazing professor who taught me to truly believe that you can not appreciate the sweet without the bitter. I really believe that the solution is incomplete without the problem. The problem and the solution are equally important. If we only share the good in our lives, no one can fully learn or be inspired. Even though I was taught this, I don't know if I really understood it until recently, and I understand it more every day. You are such a receptive, lovely, soul that you understood it naturally. And it is one thing to understand, another thing to do. But you do.

    It can be hard, but I know that blessings come from having gratitude for the good and the bad. God can be with us through everything, even pain, if we let him. Keep being wonderful Casey! I have no doubt that you will.

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  54. I like how you said "messy" stuff... it's such a pleasant way of saying how life can be tough. I am finding "messy" stuff can sometimes be fun later on, once you get through that moment. it makes you stronger with your hubby, you learn what type of woman you are...and you can support your dear friends later when they run into challenges. I am so glad I found your blog xoxo

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  55. I was just discussing 'my story' with my husband. I guess the short version is that I don't fit in with my family. I had decided not to write it on my blog because it might my family uncomfortable. Then I read here, "Don't hold on to it." and a similar message on another blog. Maybe there is a way to share my story and maybe it is important. Thanks again Casey for your inspiration!

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  56. I just found your blog and I am already feeling so blessed by you. Thank you for sharing yourself, and inspiring others to do the same.

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  57. casey, i love this! again....i just wrote about courage on my blog on friday and this was such a lovely post to read. i'm so happy other people are as concerned with having a voice and being themselves. i was so nervous to post my struggle with courage and having a voice. hands down, your blog is the #1 inspiration to me right now.

    thanks for being you.

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  58. Great, great, great, great post, Casey!! This too is my hope for my blog. That I can share my story, truthfully and make no apologies for it. I just can't say enough how much I love this post and I want this post to be my blog mission statement!! :) I've always loved your blog and have been a reader for awhile, I don't comment much but I couldn't keep my love for this post quiet.

    Dana Michelle

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  59. Thank you for this post. I find myself not wanting to the troubling things in life because, who honestly wants to read that?!, as well as I didn't want to offend others. But I started my blog for a reason; & I've been seeing everywhere lately how the good & the bad need to be shown. Hopefully my kids & maybe their kids will read my store & they should get to know the real me. They should know how I truly felt. More importantly, they should know, no matter the circumstance, that I turned to my Heavenly Father for His love & guidance. I have been struggling for a very long time now to show all of my feelings. After reading your post; I feel that it's time. So thank you again for this post! Thank you for showing me that it's okay.
    Love & happiness!

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  60. Love you! Thank you for sharing some blog sugar wisdom with us!! You ARE affecting peoples lives, probably waaaaay more than you will ever know! Your heart is beautiful!

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  61. read this earlier and didn't get the chance to comment, but i thought this was one rocking post. love you!

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  62. Thank you Casey. Once again beautifully written and you touched my heart. I too am a Momma who didn't let my kiddos cry it out, am Not a great cook, Will choose my husband and our love forever. Thank you for your truth.I just finshed the Truth Project and it was amazing. God is so good. Even when we are trying to figure it all out and even when we are going through the icky stuff. Thanks again. I hopeyou will take a peek at my blog and I pray it will speak to you too.God Blessyou and your family.

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  63. LOVED THIS! I've always been a people pleaser too. It's hard not to apologize when criticism comes, but it's important to stay true to ourselves and let our original stories out! Thanks for this.

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  64. you're lovely. it was so great to meet you at blog sugar <3

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  65. i love it. thank you & keep being you, you're beautiful and so inspiring. & a great mama! I agree with you 100:)

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  66. I'm a fairly new follower, and as I've been reading your blog, I'm finding that there is a lot about your beliefs that right in line with my own, and I really like you and your honesty.

    Also, and this will probably sound really creepy/stalker-y, but for some reason I keep having dreams about you. I don't really remember them, except that you are in them, and you are doing something good for someone/everyone/me.

    That's weird, isn't it?

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  67. you are gorgeous! Wow...beautiful thoughts. it is so important to share our experiences in this life...we just never know who it will touch or help. and how much nicer is it knowing that someone else might know a little about how we are feeling and is encouraging us along. Thank you!

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  68. thanks mamas for sharing.
    love you sweet lady & love all that you stand for & who our LORD is refining you to be!
    what a beautiful sister you are inside & out!

    no more apologies.

    xoxoxo

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  69. I am so glad that you came Sunday! This post is beautiful and so encouraging! My heart was overflowing to see you and Kimmie pouring your hearts out to each other. You are such kindred spirits and deserve each other:) Is that creepy of me? it cant be as creepy as me looking on and smiling--that was just bad manners.

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  70. i feel like this post is written directly to my own heart and soul. i have had many a discussion with my husband about what it means for me to have my blog and what i want to write about. i have told him countless times that i want to vow to be honest, real, genuine and share my personal story. because that is what will help others. but then once i go to push publish on my very personal stories, i always get so very anxious and second guess everything. but your post has helped remind me why i'm doing this and how amazing this whole blogging experience is. thank you for again knowing exactly what to say so perfectly and beautifully!

    and holy cow you only had 20 followers in January!?! and now you have over 3000!?! i'm AMAZED and so impressed!! couldn't have happened to a lovelier woman :)

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  71. So much great perspective and food for thought in this post...I grapple with finding the balance on my blog too so thanks for this!

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  72. 1000% agreed. blogging does create a voice. it's best to use it to uplift and encourage. as you do my love. that first picture looks like a magazine cover. love you.

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  73. Your honesty is a breath of fresh air. I love the "sugar-coated" blogs which can be motivating but it's a relief to see the normal once in awhile. Thank you!

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  74. This is exactly how I feel as well! I want to be inspiring but the truth is, life IS hard; it's not always a perfect portrait.

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  75. This is wonderful. Thank you for your words.

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  76. Casey, in the short time that I've been following your blog, you've inspired me to be true to myself and let some of my walls down. I've always been the opposite of how you are, I keep people at distance to protect myself, I act as though I'm not hurt by others when I'm much more sensitive then I let on. I'm learning that God made me who I am for a reason, so instead of hiding it, I'm embrassing it. The sense of relief I feel is amazing. By you sharing your journey the past few weeks, you've helped me more then you'll ever know. I'm beyond thankful for such a beautiful soul, like yours, to have entered my life, even though we've never met. God has a way of bringing people into other's lives for a reason, thank you for all your honesty.

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  77. I love this post. I just posted our story on my blog...a struggle that my husband and I have been through. I was really nervous about it but I feel like our story could be used to help others through their struggles. Thanks for sharing this. It was an encouragement that I'm doing the right thing sharing our story with the world.

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  78. II corinthians 1:3-7
    God of all comfort
    thanks for your post. your beauty. your strength. your sweet.soft.courageos. soul.

    and for the record. i think cereal for supper.... ROCKS!!

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  79. This is so beautiful Casey...I love how honest you are and I love your heart!

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  80. I wanted to share a story with you... I was sitting eating ice cream with my hubby and daughter when a pair of girls sitting next to us started talking about moms. One of the girls couldn't understand why their other friend (not present) couldn't spend a few days away from her daughter. She said most of her friends would LOVE the opportunity to get time away from their kids. Oooh I had to bite my tongue and the hubby knew it too! Because a lot of what you wrote in this post rings true to me (co-sleeper here too!) but especially your first bullet point, "I AM that mom that hates being away from her kids, even for an hour."

    I've taken a long break from my own blog but maybe it's time to revisit. Sharing can be scary and I can so relate to the money problems, and maybe other issues that most of those close to you have no idea you are going through. So just dropping by to say thank you. Seems like a lot of times when I read your blog it ends up with me nodding my head thinking WOW maybe someone else does understand!

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  81. Wow...I have been going through something really tough the last two years. Yesterday was a bad day and it was still hanging on my heart this morning. When I read your quote....it made me feel at ease. THANK YOU.

    Tawny
    rustypallet.blogspot.com

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  82. AMEN. i couldn't agree with this post more. you need to be yourself on your blog because no one likes as a fake bloggers...the real ones are the ones that everybody wants to be friends with & sees the light of Christ shine through their struggles.

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  83. thank you for this post, casey. i'm at a point in my life where the Lord is showing me the importance of understanding & embracing my unique story. i have been on the fence about starting a blog & through seeing blogs such as yours, it encourages me to also be real, open, speak truth, and share my story with the world through a blog. i'm excited to see your boldness & truth speaking develop more on here!

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  84. i just want to say a big, huge THANK YOU for writing this post. no apologies.
    we are who we are and God made us and loves us that way.
    i totally wanted to say hi to you at blogsugar, but, alas... i was too nervous! maybe at the next one. :)
    i think that i can resonate so perfectly to this post because it IS so hard being yourself and not wanting backlash. i recently wrote a post about pro-choice and pro-life issues and how very passionate i am about my opinion. i was totally freaked that i was going to get hate mail and rude comments, but i didn't. i'm not saying i never will, but i'm seeing that putting myself and my opinions out there have positive influences too. others agree with what i think! not everyone is out there to attack.
    anywho.. all that to say, again, thank you.
    thankyouthankyouthankyou.

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  85. You are beautiful inside and out. God is doing a great work in you, and we all need to embrace who He made us to be. That's how we shine the light of His hope and grace.
    xoxo

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  86. This is such an inspirational and inspiring message! I agree wholeheartedly... Also, beautiful photo-accompaniments!

    Aya ♥ Strawberry Koi

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  87. Good stuff. Thanks for being real. Marissa

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  88. Hi Caesy! It's nice to meet you. I came across your blog a few weeks and thought I should say hi. I love your honesty, passion and loving nature. Your art studio seems so adorable and your sweet family so loving.

    Love your play list too!

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  89. I loved this and needed to read it today. I AM so very much the same. Thanks for sharing.

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  90. This is beautiful Casey. I really do admire you a lot. You have a wonderful way with words! I wrote a blog response to what you wrote about over here

    http://alittlethis-that.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-voice-my-vision.html

    I would love for you to read it if you have time [in between kisses, hugs, and snuggling with the kiddos and hubby]

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  91. I could have written every single one of those I am/I am not sentences myself. Like seriously, those are spot on with my life. Love this post!

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  92. You are such an inspirational lady. Thank you for doing what you do and sharing what you share.

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  93. Found your blog through Call Me Blessed. Such a beautiful post! Thank you for being YOU <3

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  94. such a great message! And so true.

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  95. Casey -
    This was so inspiring! I just wrote a blog about you and your inspiring words. May I please use the first picture on this post and a few of your quotes for my post? I wanted to ask. You can email me at mamma_megs@yahoo.com
    Love your blog and your art!
    Megan

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  96. Hello. I'm Susan Walker and I'm fairly new to blogging and hope you will check out my blog too. As I read your thoughts, I see a huge similarity in you and I. I try to please everyone first and apologize when I have done nothing wrong. I'm excited I some how came across your page. I plan to visit often. You have a very beautiful family!! I too think like you do about inspiring others and wanting and needing to be inspired. I also think as well, that people do make assumptions and act like they know when they do not even have a clue whats going on in others lives. Not to mention even before the assumption they should know better than to enter other peoples personal lives. But on a good note, I look forward to your posts and hope you will stop by mine, maybe even throw a tip or two my way ! lol Thanks, Susan Walker

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  97. Casey, I just started following your blog not to long ago, and I can't help but be so excited to read your posts everyday! I'm not a mother yet but the way you share your experiences, who you are, and everything else only makes me want to be a mirrored image of you! You are such a strong woman in every way possible! Thank you so much for your inspiration!
    Aubrie

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  98. So happy for you, so inspiring everything you wrote and so true!!!
    :)

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  99. This is the greatest blog post ever. I'm not just saying that. This totally wraps up all the feelings I am having right now. I'm still trying to figure myself out and I'm tired of trying to conform to what other people think I should be. I am me and that is just fine. I'm not the perfect wife, employee, cleaner, cook, etc. and I am realizing that I am just fine with that. Thanks so much for posting this and keeping your blog so honest and genuine. Your my fav Casey. I mean that.

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  100. Thanks so much for sharing this Casey! I started blogging a few months ago and am already struggling with blog comments that make me second guess what/who am I writing for.

    Thanks for sharing and keep up just what you are doing :)

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  101. You are one of my favorite bloggers. Just thought you should know that. Love this. :)

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  102. In the depths of my heart, I trust my call to write but it's not always easy when we let doubts, fears, and comparisons get in the way. This advice and motivation coming from you was what I needed to hear and push me through tonight. Thank you for your faith, for your witness, and for your hope. It meant more than you know.
    <333 Victoria from MarieTea

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  103. Casey, I found you via Naptime Diaries and clicked on your "Faith" button, and this is the first story that comes up.

    Can I just say that I am in tears? I just wrote a very vulnerable post on my blog last night, and have done a lot lately, cause you are so dang right, life is so dang hard, and we are in the thick of it right now. I write so vulnerably sometimes I think twice about putting myself "out there" so much. But I don't want to fake it. What's the point? Thank you for being so real and honest here. I am thankful to have found you and look forward to following your journey.

    Brooke
    fromunderhisfeathers.blogspot.com

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  104. Casey, I just started following your blog about a week ago and I couldn't be more happy. After reading this I am truely appreciative for all the things you said. It is so easy to look put together and like you have it all on the outside ...especially in blog land because you edit out the parts you don't want people to see... but really life can be so tough. Money, stretch marks, loving your kids so much but needing five minutes to yourself... you name it! You have inspired me to be more real!

    Kelsey
    www.poofycheeks.blogspot.com

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  105. sounds like me! i love my kids, dislike schedules, eat whatever, hate to cook, my baby always sleeps in our bed until i decide it's time :) you are beautiful, love all your photos!

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  106. First of all your site is fantastic. What I appreciate the most is your honesty of making it real. This is how I write my own blog. I will be following your site and linking to it as part of your Oct. 28 Followers Fest.

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  107. Beautiful post! I started blogging two months ago to share my values and views on marriage and my role as a woman. It is encouraging to read your WHY and realize that what I want to do with blogging is serious and important. Thanks.

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  108. New reader to your blog. I was going through some of your old posts and then stumbled upon this one. It makes me very excited to read more! Love your honesty.

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  109. i found your site via the nat the fat rat giveaway. thank you for your 'no apologies' post. sometimes i wonder why i blog (i started in may and am loving it) sometimes i wonder if it's conceited and self absorbed. thanks to your writing i am soothed and inspired to keep going in thinking that by expressing all of my self and by learning to accept all of my life, maybe others will be inspired to do the same. then we'd have a world of people who love themselves. sounds good to me.

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  110. hey there Casey, I found your blog through Pinterest, and I just wanted to say how much I like it.

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  111. Such wise words- you know...to live unapologetically. I've had my blog off and on for years now and I wrote once straight from my heart about the pain as a pediatrician- it was a 10 minute rant- that has lived on. I have heard all over from those quiet souls that heal our world's children. And I was so grateful. I read once from Stephen King- in his book On Writing- to tell the truth. And people will respond.

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  112. once again you have inspired me... to be truthful and to not put up a front. this year my blog will be full of truth and i will not sugar coat it!

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  113. You have an amazing site! You are so beautiful!

    Check out mines:
    http://nmephotoblog.blogspot.com/

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  114. I am so very happy that I found your blog. It is simply fabulous. You write so beautifully. I am deeply inspired by your words.

    Proud to be your newest follower.

    Tami
    http://www.thethingswefindinside.com/

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  115. Praise the Lord!
    Use your voice, my friend.
    God has big plans, for you.

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  116. You are a breath of fresh air. Although I am pretty much the exact opposite of what you are as a mom (I work 90 hours a week while my kid is in daycare, I live for schedules and balances meals 24/7, I'm type A+++), reading your blog INSPIRES me like no other. I love getting this perspective and I long for the days when I am more spontaneous, more loving, more easy going, more of what I want to be and not what I have to be to survive.

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  117. This post is the very reason I love your blog. I don't have any children (although I am step-mum every other weekend) I'm not married (but I live with my partner) & I'm not religious (although I do believe in something) but I come back to your blog because you have a lesson for all of us. You are so truthful, and refreshing and inspirational, so thank you :)

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  118. Casey- My dear dear friend sent me a link to your blog after I miscarried last month. It took me a while to come and visit because I did not want to face what had happened. You have helped me during this dark season of life. You have shown me how someone can get through it and continue to reach out and recognize God. I just wanted to say thank you for your honesty. I don't know you, but I consider you a friend and someone who is helping me on this journey. I love your blog, and will continue to visit. You've also inspired me to be more honest while I am blogging. Thank you for following God's direction.

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  119. I've been following your blog for a few weeks now, but only just today read this "Why I Blog" post. It was so much what I needed to read today. For many reasons. One, because I've started blogging more personal and serious stuff, expressing a side of me that I know not even all of my friends will like, because not all of them are believers. But I'm tired of apologizing for who I am, and want to be ALL of me, not just the parts that are acceptable to EVERYONE. That's such a watered-down version of myself.

    Second, we've been trying for four years to have a baby and it's been so disheartening and saddening. I look around at my friends, and bloggers, and strangers, who look like they have it all together and things have come so easy. But your words remind me that I'm not alone. There are a lot of people struggling (probably everyone in some way, shape or form) and appearances are not always what they seem. Thank you for this little nugget of encouragement today. You're a wonderful person, and I thank you for having the courage to be yourself and share your story.

    -Charity

    http://atallshipandastar.blogspot.com

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  120. The most amazing piece of writing I have read in a long time. This was so beautiful Casey. I am so touched by your words.

    Life is hard. Gosh...I can so relate. I've had some very difficult (almost unbearable) moments in my life, and through it all I've had God at my side. He was my salvation when no one else could ease my pain and hurt.

    Thank you for this, you made me see how important it is to tell my story...for someone out there who is going through the same thing that I did...to give them hope.

    Love your spirit.

    God Bless always.

    xo Tami

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  121. Casey you are an amazing blogger, I really admire how you have the courage to say what your heart wants to say, it is hard for me because I can't stop thinking about what everybody else would think.... I am going to pray for courage like your, and maybe someday who know's I might actually help somebody like you said we could.

    Thank You
    Joni LeBaron
    www.lavalya.com

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  122. I just stumbled upon your blog and after reading this post, I wanted to thank you for inspiring me. I am just starting out in blogland and have little direction thus far, but I intend to represent myself as who I am without making excuses.

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  123. I have been blogging semi unsuccessfully for over a year now and I think a why I blog post could be a great thing for me to write for myself and for others:) thanks for the inspiration! you're an amazing person!

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  124. Thank you. I needed that!

    pairofloons.blogspot.com

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  125. SO glad I came across this post today! What a breath of fresh air! Thank you!

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  126. this is a great post. very inspired.:) http://lovesimplegreen.blogspot.com/

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  127. You have a great way with words. This post was very inspiring and uplifting.

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  128. I'm so glad I came across your blog. // Honesty, first and foremost is a priority. // I'm not interested in getting followers, I'm interested in following God honestly, earnestly. I don't care to put something out there that makes others think well of me. I want to put something out there that makes others think well of God, and what He is doing in me. // I'm glad for your example in that. // Also, I'm getting back to creative, so I love connecting with creatives. // xo, a new follower, one of many

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  129. i might have a crush. you are amazing!!! can't wait to read your posts and feel ugly, fat, and inadequate, yet love every second. and now i want to be blonde again. oh, and i love God too. Christians 4-evs!! this all sounded like i have issues. i'm ok with that.

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  130. This is so beautiful and inspiring Casey. I cannot tell you how many times I've just not posted something on my blog because of the reactions I may get from others. But you're right.. Why do I have to mute my voice in order to please just a few people who want to be rude? No more!

    Katlyn

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  131. I am that mom, too! Thank God I'm not alone!

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  132. the most inspiring things to me are always the most honest.

    thank you for your inspiration!

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  133. love love LOVEEEE this post!!! so true so inspirational and i totally needed this!!! thank you xo

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  134. Wow, wow, wow! I know you wrote this over a year ago and I'm just now finding it (thanks to our new Twitter connection!), it is so very relevant and resonates in my heart. I'm pondering my blogs and my presence in the blogosphere and considering some serious changes. Good changes. And this just encourages me, so thank you :)
    xoxo Jessi

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  135. I just stumbled across your blog for the first time, I love this. So beautifully put.
    Thank you for the reassurance, that we can be whoever we want, but that we need to be true to who we are.

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  136. i love this! really love it! x

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  137. I needed to read this today. I love "Use your blog, your words and your person to share the Lord (and your heart) with others.
    They desperately need to hear your story as much as you need to hear theirs.

    Be serious. Be passionate and Be you."

    So often I feel like I'm too serious or that I'm sharing too much, thank you for taking my fears away!

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  138. Came across your blog when I heard about #americanblogger(what a neat idea!) So glad I did! You speak so much truth and I am encouraged as I remember that my voice does matter. It doesn't matter that I don't have tons of followers or anything like that. What matters is that I'm speaking my story, my thoughts and feelings. I believe that there is always someone out there that we can encourage, make laugh, or inspire. I blog because I need a creative outlet...and a way to share my faith in Jesus Christ, my thoughts, and my empty nest. It's up to God to make the connections that need to be made.

    Blessings to you and your family!

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  139. Love this! I so appreciate your openness and vulnerability in a world where we are expected to have it all together. Being real is so needed and this is such a beautiful way to do that.

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  140. I discovered your blog today randomly when I was having one of those "my husband and I can never make this filmaker painter lifestyle work financially and are we just stupid for pursuing our dreams... still." He is a Documentary Filmmaker and I am a freelance Painter and mama to a 3 yr old boy. We left Los Angeles to have a calmer life in Ga and the move was good but sometimes I get sad feeling like we may never be able to provide financially in the way we want too. Film-making is a funny field because awards flow but everything (including money) takes time and its hard. I love to say there should be a rule "Art students" cant marry eachother because the stress of one of us giving up our career is almost or more stressful than being finacially strapped. But at the end of the day we are madly in love and love our creative passions in one another. Your blog is very honest and we have so many similarities, including my really, did I say REALLY? trying to have faith that everything is ok and we are doing the right thing for our family. I thank you and I like to think I should thank God, for helping me today when I was at a real low point because I feel like I found this blog for a reason. A family like yours could almost make me more depressed because yall look so perfect and creative and "making it work" but thank you for being so real and honest in that you can make it work but it also includes late nights and some sad hard scary days when your husband is traveling working on a film:) I too, know all those feelings. PS- I am an Abstract Painter as well and have a blonde curly haired little fella, arent boys the best? I cant lie in saying I want a girl too, if we can ever afford another child lol

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  141. wow, i know this is almost 3 years ago, but its the first time ive read through this... No apologies... i love this..i am such a people please, ive wrote about it alot...and i am so often fighting myself in that and my urgency to step up and be real, but not so real that people see me in the here and now...
    I always feel like i can share the "real" after its happened, after the victory is won...
    but i know to be real now,can reach someone too...
    love this girl =) xo

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  142. This is one of the best, "why i blog", post that I have read :)

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  143. No more words needed. Perfectly written. Thank you for letting me into your life. I have been following you through instagram for some time and today is the first time I passed by your blog. Although we blog about different things in life we find important, we are the same, sharing happy things but also the sad and misgrieves of our lives. Trying to still find a way to express what I find important you give me inspiration and courage to continue.

    I am still searching for my word, but I guess "quest" of " journey" is definitely one te choose from.

    xDiah
    http://haveaswiminacalmsea.blogspot.nl

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  144. Thank you for sharing your beautiful voice. I just came across your blog and I am glad to have found it. I have shared your post within this link: http://beautyfound.org/labor-suffering/

    Much love,

    Marisol

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  145. I have followed you on IG for a while but just read your blog tonight for the first time. I am honestly and deeply touched by your stories and sincerity. It is refreshing to read and powerful because imperfection makes the rest of us feel like its ok to just be who we are. So..thanks :)

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  146. I like knowing I'm not the only mom who gives their kids sandwiches for dinner sometimes. ;)

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  147. I got here while reading about the 'Hope Spoken' conference. I love what you said above. It is so true and that is why I started blogging. To be a hope. Not always easy because I tend to me real in my joy and in my pain… for everyone to read. I just pray it blesses and I pray God brings those around to my words who need it. God bless you for doing the same… being real!

    www.maddychristinehope.com

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  148. Love this. Very well said. It's difficult sometimes to find your "voice" and to believe in your voice. Even when you seemingly have it all together or are beautiful -- like you are -- you have insecurities. Blogging is very tricky, I find, because sometimes you want to share a piece of your heart and other times, you're not so sure... or you need to fine tune it. I find this, even as a published writer/essayist is a challenge. www.thecaliforniamom.com

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