On the night of my graduation from Bible School, an evening that was supposed to be one of the best ever in my life, I was really, really low. I was alone, lonely, and thousands of miles away from family. No one was able to come for the graduation. Bible School. A place where you grow in the things of God. . . so I should have had some epiphany or understanding of my purpose. But I had no idea what to do next and felt like a failure at the time. I couldn't stomach a feel-good-hip-hoorah commencement speech and desperately prayed in my seat for grace to endure the rest of the ceremony. But then the speaker shared about the difference between the much admired, delicate tea cup sitting in a china cabinet and the chipped, often used, dependable coffee mug. The mug had been left outside, tossed to the floor of the car, used in a variety of ways and had held all sorts of beverages. It'd been through hard times. But that made it valuable because he knew it could withstand challenges. The speaker shared about his recent trip to the Louvre Museum in Paris. Though it displayed numerous well-known works of art, the longest line at the time of his visit was to see a priceless painting that had been slashed by a vandal. After some repair, the museum placed the painting back on the wall. The damage to the masterpiece was still obvious, but it seemed to draw even more attention because of it. And the priceless value of the art did not change. Both of these stories touched me deeply. I could relate to being a damaged work of art, priceless as a creation of God and purchased at the cost of Christ's blood but damaged nevertheless. And I yearned to be that trustworthy-often-used-by-its-master mug, chipped but dependable because it had endured a lot. I've been through a lot. Recently, two blogs that I follow had posts about being transparent, authentic, and bold in sharing real-life experiences. To pull back that curtain to reveal the three dimensional person behind the blog. MckMama recently wrote a post called "Bold Blogging" that got my attention. And Jen @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam has written about her family's season of unemployment and calls it their "God Watch." I let both ladies know I was mentioning them and also how their posts impacted me. The messages resonated strongly with me. It's never been my desire or intention to present my life as being more of anything just by highlighting the positives or detailing the wonderful times. I want to use my voice as a woman. wife. mother. flawed human. Jesus lover. to encourage others and point them to Jesus. What I've shared up to now has been authentic and me, but there's more to the story. And I am willing to open up and show more facets to the diamond in the rough that is Miki. For the purposes of reaching out to others who can relate and may need to know that others experience such things. And to glorify God.