We think we need to impress each other; what we really need to know is we're not alone.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

I walk along the creek bed with summer grass brushing the edges of my feet. I try to block the sun from my eyes with my hand as I stare at the line of trees. I’m looking for a place I haven’t visited since childhood–a long rope dangling from a limb my friends and I dubbed “the swing.” We spent adventurous hours here and came home covered in sweat and dust only to add a layer of sticky Popsicle juice.

As I continue my search I think more about the friendships I had then and the childlike faith with which we whooped and hollered, dared and played, ran wild and free.

What I can forget as a grown-up is how essential the willingness to get messy is to this type of living. We never worried too much about mud or dirty knees or spilled sodas. It was all part of the ruckus, often even part of the fun. Our goal wasn’t to come home clean; it was to come home spent and wonder-filled.

I want to go back to that kind of carefree wisdom when I am with the people I trust. To drop my guard and lay it all out. To laugh so hard the salsa falls right off my chip and onto the restaurant table with a splat. To let the tears flow until the mascara streaks down my cheeks like a winding little river. To walk back in the door of my house feeling bolder and stronger than before.

We think we need to impress each other; what we really need to know is we’re not alone. We need to be human together, to share the hard times and the happy, the struggles and the victories. Because in doing so we remember and remind each other that we are not God. This is the beginning of worship. And we need to understand that we’re loved as we are. This is the beginning of joy.

I realized eventually that the swing was gone, lost somewhere to time and nature. But I can always keep what I learned in that season. If I lean in and listen hard enough it seems I can hear an echo from all the way back then. It’s telling me to try less and trust more, to remember life is better when it’s shared, to believe that messy is sometimes just a sign that you’re fully alive.

I smile and walk home with dirt on the bottom of my shoes, sweat dripping down my neck and think about all the folks I love who just might be willing to share a sticky Popsicle with me.


Holley Gerth

p.s. If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect


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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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