Going through the motions

Lately my blog hasn’t been up to par. That’s because my life hasn’t been. In all areas I’m just “going through the motions.” I’m being a mom. A wife. A friend. But I’m not able to be fully present, fully in the moment, fully myself. 

We all do this. Put on a happy face and push forward in times of trial. It’s not that we’re trying to “be fake” or act like everything is okay. It’s that we want to be strong. We want to “fake it till we make it.” If I act fine, surely I must start being fine right? Surely planting a smile on my face and holding back the tears will make them go away? Putting the hurt and pain in a little tiny box and hiding it deep down inside will make it disappear?

We all are human. We are all flawed beings. We will all disappoint people. Let them down. Hurt them. It happens. We have all felt pain. We have all felt sorrow. It’s part of the human condition. It’s something that only Heaven will cure. Because until the day we enter those gates, we will continue to experience heartbreak in one form or another.

I heal by venting. I heal by writing. My poor husband has had many, many nights of holding me in the bed while I sob. I try so hard to cry quietly so he won’t hear me. Won’t have to once again be my protector, my supporter, my strength. I can be strong all day but when my head hits that pillow and the room is dark I break down. I fear the quiet for that is when that pain screams loudest. When the pieces of my broken heart cut me like shards of glass. 

I’m thankful for the amazing people in my life. The strong bonds I share. The people who know me. See my faults and love me anyway. But no matter how hard I try to let that love be enough, it never can be. It can never replace the love I’m missing. The rejection I feel. I am a little girl who just wants love. Yearns for that “I’m proud of you.” Longs for that unconditional, no-matter-what kind of love. I’m trying so, so hard to navigate the waters without it. But I’m drowning. No amount of therapy, hours spent in prayer, or the love and support from my husband seems to be able to save me from this. Nothing can take it all back. It cannot be undone.

Having children changes you in ways you can’t grasp until you’re a parent. Their needs come before my own. Our job as parents is to keep them safe. The world is such a horrible, nasty, mean place. We have to do our best to protect them. I never want them to ever, ever experience this pain. Ever. I will put up fences. Build walls. Go to war for them. Even if that means causalities along the way. I will not jeopardize them. Their safety. Their happiness. Their hearts.  They will never know or understand what I am facing for them. I don’t want them to ever have to know. Ever to see. To hear. To experience. 

Thank you blank computer screen. Thank you keyboard. Thank you silence. Thank you tears and loud ugly sobs through which I am writing. Thank you Lord for guiding me. Carrying me. Holding me and comforting me. It is through You where I will find peace. Gain understanding. Heal.

What is right is not always what is easy. What is right may not be something others can understand. What is right may mean standing alone. It may mean persecution. It may mean even adding more pain and hurt to an already hurtful situation. It may mean questioning everything you ever knew to be true. To be honest. To be real. 

They are worth it. When you get married your spouse becomes one with you. An extension of yourself. Your children make you into your own family. It’s us now. The four of us. No matter what. It’s us. Any love I may be missing. Any support I wish I had. Pride that I wish was felt. Protection and honor and gratitude and appreciation and understanding and communication and honesty and joy and commitment and grace that I wish was given to me. I must now POUR into them. I may never get to experience those things but they will. They will ten fold. They will benefit from all that I am lacking. 

My children (and future children) will look at Zach and I and know. Know that no matter what they may face out in this world that we have their backs. Their best interest at heart. We will protect them. We will cherish them. We will soak up every single second we have on this earth that we can with them. They are our hearts. Our lives. Our everything. They will NEVER ever know pain from us. Ever. Ever. Ever. All they will ever know is love. Pure, true love. 

The love that I have for them changes everything. Puts so many things into perspective. Into a new light. I see things differently. I know and understand things that I didn’t want to see or accept or feel. Denial is fine and good when no one else is at stake except myself. But now it’s not just about me. About what I face or deal with or try to pretend is okay and normal when it isn’t. When it’s simply not how things are supposed to be. It’s not okay.

So forgive me. Readers forgive my lack-luster blog posts. Forgive my lack of responses from your mommy questions, Disney questions, and other areas where you’re seeking advice. Friends forgive my lack of emotions. Forgive my hermit like qualities. Forgive my self-absorption. Family forgive my unclean home. Forgive my tear stained face. Forgive my fake smile that I may be wearing for quite awhile. Forgive me for simply going through the motions of living as, for now, it’s the best I can give.

This is my prayer. I continue to read this verse over and over and over. I pray it to myself. I pray it out loud. I pray it daily. Hourly. Thank you Lord for giving us your Holy Word as it is through You we can face anything. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in
every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
~Philippians 4:6-7

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. KQ
    October 10, 2012 / 3:36 pm

    my prayers are with you, sweet Emily! This verse has helped me through some of my roughest days: "For we know that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28. It is also very comforting to read through the Psalms.

  2. Dawn McLendon
    October 10, 2012 / 3:38 pm

    Em, you will be in my prayers as you travel this road. I pray that God gives you peace and understanding and comfort. Love you! Dawnee

  3. forddygirl
    October 10, 2012 / 4:55 pm

    I totally know its not the same to hear it from me, but i am proud of you. I'm proud to call you my friend. And i love you, dearly.

  4. Danielle B
    October 11, 2012 / 1:36 am

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. No one can understand until they've been through it, and most of us have not and never will. I can tell you are hurting so deeply, but like Kelly said, I'm proud of you too. You are definitely putting on the "strength and dignity" to keep going for your family, and that takes a courage that not many can muster up. I know this will be a grieving process…will definitely keep praying. πŸ™

  5. katie green
    October 11, 2012 / 1:45 am

    Love you friend. Praying for you. How awesome for your kids to one day see in your struggles, you turned to the Lord for help. That alone speaks volumes, better than being a good friend, mom, wife, etc. Just to turn to Him. πŸ™‚

  6. rdbixby
    October 11, 2012 / 1:45 am

    Will be praying for you as you go through these dark days.You have made me become a better person through your blog. I strive to be more like you in every area of my life… mommy, wife, friend, etc… Just know that people look up to you and when you're feeling down, we're still here and even us strangers care about you! Take care of yourself Emily & stay strong!

  7. Sandi
    October 11, 2012 / 1:49 am

    I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this, the love that you have for your family (and them for you) is so overflowing in your blog and I'm sad that the same isn't being reflected back to you by everyone. I'll be praying for your strength and for resolution, whatever form that takes.

  8. Amanda Jones
    October 11, 2012 / 1:49 am

    Well I'm sorry you have been feeling down lately….I haven't noticed! There again I'm behind on reading blogs lately, but I don't feel like I've missed out! I would like to mention though that during your paragraph where you thank the blank computer screen and keyboard, I pictured you singing "Thank You" by Alanis….I remember you were such a huge fan of hers in middle school…

  9. ChelleyN
    October 12, 2012 / 3:18 am

    I SO appreciate how transparent you are. You have no idea how many people you are touching through your courageous writing. Obviously, I don't know exactly what is going on with you right now, but I prayed for you today. May God's strength carry you through. XOXO

  10. April
    October 15, 2012 / 3:42 pm

    Dear Emily, I hate that you are having these problems but you do have a support system at home: your family. As I sit here reading this I realize that this is about you putting your needs before your husband and children's needs. Be thankful that you are a stay at home mom and are able to care for your children unlike most moms in this world today that have to work full time as well as go to school to make a better life for their families and still have to take care of their children's needs, husband's needs and the household duties all before getting in bed sometimes after midnight and having to start over at 5 or 6 the next morning. Most of the time we don't receive praise or a pat on the back although we know it's there. We go about our daily routines because as a mother that is what our job is and what God expects of us. I'm sorry that you are feeling the way that you are, but you need to try and live in the "real world" for a change and get out of your bubble. I heard about your blog from the negative comments surrounding it and had to see for myself. I do read your blogs from time to time, but can't read them all of the time because you make people mad by living in your bubble. Your perspective of life does not evovle from the outside world, it's from the bubble you live in. Your family and close friends should do the right thing and tell you that you need to grow up because your life DOES NOT revolve around you!! As I said earlier, we as moms do not and should not always expect anyone to dote on us (for example, your push present should have been the child God blessed you with and not something materialistic). Your job now is to take care of your husband and children.

  11. Kelly Ford
    October 15, 2012 / 5:28 pm

    Wow, April. How discouraging!As one of Emily's closer friends, I can assure you that she is not living in a bubble and upset about mundane life. She's going through some stuff right now that is incredibly hurtful and difficult (an understatement). Life changing, heartbreaking stuff. No, she didnt spill the details of why she's "going through the motions" so you couldnt know, but please consider the fact that you dont know Emily personally or her deep struggles and that you're not aware of everything going on in her life. I would encourage you to not be so quick to judge that which you dont understand or fully know the details of. πŸ™

  12. Kayla Brooks
    October 15, 2012 / 7:03 pm

    i wish I could "Like" Kelly's post a hundred thousand times. I do not have a clue what's going on in Emily's life, nor do I need to. She is a beautiful person as well as a wife and mother first and foremost, as is ALWAYS made abundantly clear. I, too, am going through MANY personal struggles that most are not aware of. I, too, have been judged for not being "myself"… however, we are in our human. We change. We evolve. We grow. Sometimes we have to even take a step back to learn more about the person we're becoming. A person who still was "fearfully and wonderfully made"… I am a better person for knowing who Emily is.

  13. April
    October 15, 2012 / 7:11 pm

    If you read my comment you would see it was not in reference to just this post but the blog as a whole. I was not trying to discourage her in any way, but to try to show her despite what she might be going through right now there is always someone out there who has and IS going through somthing worse. She needs to take a break from the blog for a while and take time for herself. Maybe find a hobby or seek professional help for her current problems. If she can't handle the negative and positive feedback that comes with the territory of putting yourself out there for the world to judge then she shouldn't be writing a blog in the first place! I may not know exact details of what she may be going through but I know about pain. My daughter had cancer with aggressive chemo treatments for two years and still has to go back for rechecks every 6 months. Now do you want to talk a little more about me not knowing what a family goes through. My family was turned up side down when this occured and the only thing that helped us through this situation was with prays from God, my husband, her sibblings, family and friends. So, I really don't care to hear about someone whinning about not getting praise from people to satisfy "my needs". Again,you just do it because you're a mom!

  14. Anonymous
    October 15, 2012 / 11:34 pm

    Hey April! Go scratch!!!! Rachael

  15. Courtney Parker Fleming
    October 16, 2012 / 11:53 pm

    April, let me begin by saying I am very sorry about your daughter. I hate to hear that anyone has to go through that kind of pain…especially as child. I am one of Emily's friends and I know the "real" Emily who does not live in ANY sort of bubble! I have never understood why people come onto this blog…or any other…for the purpose of being mean or rude. Emily may not have a devastating disease, but she is going through a VERY tough time. This is HER blog and she is allowed to talk about WHATEVER she wants. I hate to sound rude, but if you don't like her blog…why on Earth are you reading it??????? Just to make rude comments??? Emily, I love you and I hope your week is filled with EDIFYING AND UPLIFTING moments!

  16. Diane
    October 17, 2012 / 12:00 am

    Oh, April. You are falling into the category of "my struggle is worse than yours". You have been through a difficult time with your daughter, as have I. Very, Very Similar situation. I do not know Emily, she does not know me. But you sound very, very bitter. Emily blog post always seem to be uplifting and have helped many people along the way with advice and prayers. It seems to me that parents that I know go through a lot of things similar to what Emily goes through. If she is in a bubble I think she is in it with a lot of us parents. She is one of gods children as are you. I don't think when someone has an issue Jesus wants us to say "well you need to get over your issue because mine is worse". I think he would want us to say "I have been through hard times and although I do not know the specifics of yours, I will pray that you find comfort in the lord as I have". So April don't be bitter or judgmental, be encouraging and uplifting. Also, yes, if Emily is in the blog world she should be able to handle the criticism. If I am correct, I do not see a response on here from her. So it would seem she is handling it well. Negative criticism are inevitable. It is to bad they have to come from a person who considers them self a christian, there is enough from non believers. Emily looks to be doing a lot of self reflection. I suggest you do the same as well. There seems to be a verse in the bible I remember about a speck in someone's eye, and a plank in yours.

  17. Anonymous
    October 17, 2012 / 1:21 pm

    I read April's comment and I did not get the vibe of a bitter person or a person with the problem of "my issue is worse than yours." I saw someone who was being honest and saying something that most are afraid to say. Sometimes tough love is the best love in the world. Instead of wasting time arguing with someone about how hurtful they are, you all should be reaching out to your "friend" in her time of need.

  18. Katie Roberts
    October 17, 2012 / 2:54 pm

    Wow…I missed this post last week (and the resulting drama, apparently). I pray things have turned around for you and you're having a great week!

  19. Rachael_Copponex
    October 17, 2012 / 3:28 pm


  20. Robyn
    October 18, 2012 / 7:51 pm

    April – I also want to say that I am sorry from the bottom of my heart that your family had to go through something as horrible as having a child deal with cancer. As a mother of two, I can no even begin to imagine the hell that that must be to live through.And I think you are right. There is *always* someone who is going through something worse. But that goes for ALL of us. While you think that your situation is "worse", others might think that, too. I would wish cancer on no one, but remember the grace that God has extended to your family by allowing your daughter to be ALIVE. There are those of us who have lost children. I got to live through the pleasure of walking through this world for almost an entire week knowing that the baby in my womb was no longer alive. I will have to wait until my time is up on this world to meet that sweet baby boy. So, yes, I echo your words. It could always be "worse". That being said, no one should get into a competition about who has lived through the most tragedy. We should all remember that people around us are always battling things we don't know about. Just because we live through something "worse" than someone else doesn't mean that they lose the right to be upset about what we would think would be lesser things. I pray that your daughter would be victorious in her fight giants such an awful desiese. No child should EVER have to live with that as a part of her story. But I also pray that you come to a place that isn't fills with (what appears) to be bitterness for those who have struggled "less". I also hope that you realize that, to some degree, we all live in a little bubble. And that's okay. That bubble sometimes is God's grace – shielding is from things that we are not yet ready to face. We all need to learn to extend that grace, ourselves, to people who are dealing with their own struggles.

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