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Archive for April, 2011

I write for me. I write to put words to my feelings. I write to gain perspective on reality & Truth.

I have been blogging anonymously now for several months. Neither my family nor friends have any knowledge of this place where I publicly share my thoughts, my life, my heart. I could tell myself several reasons why I blog “in secret”, but what is the truth? I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings? I don’t think anyone will believe that the husband that they see is not the husband I know? I do not want to feel judged?

When I write, I am forced to take all the thoughts that are swirling in my head and the emotions that are swimming in my heart and see reality for what it is, not what I wish it was. It is so validating to write about the situations of my life and receive a comment from someone who can “relate”.

But what is it – shame? self-condemnation? protection? pride? – that causes me to keep secrets? I am vague when people ask how many years I’ve been married so no one can “do the math” & realize it is 5 years less than my oldest child. I have had the same co-workers for 10 years and none of them know that my children do not share the same father. Nor that I got pregnant (four times) before being married. I blog when no one is home and write about the credit card debts I carry that not even my husband knows of. I’ve been more authentic in this blog that can be read by strangers than I am to those in my day-to-day world to whom I should be closest.

I’ve wondered what would happen if my friends or family did stumble across my blog and, after reading a few posts, immediately realize they know it’s author. As for my friends, they would most definitely be surprised. Some would understand why I kept secrets . . . others would not. My embarrassment at what they would now know about me, would be certain. My children would gain insight to the inner thoughts of the person they think of only as “mom”. Would they be able to understand my perspective? Probably not as children. And my husband? – of anyone in my life, I’ve wondered most about what his reaction would be. What would he think/feel as he read my exposed diary? Would he hear my heart speaking, would his defenses rise, would he judge & sentence me and our marriage?

“The most radical treatment for the fear of man is the fear of the Lord. God must be bigger to you than people are…. Regarding other people, our problem is that we need them (for ourselves) more than we love them (for the glory of God). The task God sets for us is to need them less and love them more.” (Edward Welch – When People are Big & God is Small)

Proverbs 29:25 He that feareth man, shall quickly fall: he that trusteth in the Lord, shall be set on high.

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“I often wonder, if given the space to be a different person, who would I reinvent myself to be?” . . . (mindspace by t.c.)

Over the course of my life, I have felt very little freedom to be anyone other than the me I was expected by others to be. Growing up, those “others” included my parents, extended family, schoolmates, teachers, & (even) God. My family was very involved in church ministry, so living in a fish bowl with the eyes of the congregation watching, was my norm. Going to a small Christian school and conservative (legalistic) church meant my world was controlled by definite rules of conduct. All judgements were made by appearances. So as long as I looked & acted the “right” way, no one really questioned the condition of my heart. Not even me . . .

In college, living away from home, I had the opportunity to experience an unaccountability that I had never known. I began to question,”What did I believe, who was I, and who did I want to become?” At the age of 20, before I had an opportunity to answer those questions fully & with confidence, my identity became “mother”. I embraced the responsibilty that came with the title and loved my role. So much so, that after getting married and adding “wife” to my resume, along with many others, years had passed before I realized that these labels had become more of a description of what I did – not who I was.

Taking away the titles, responsibilites, and expectaions others have of me, who would I re-invent myself to be? Ahh – now that is a question to think about. I have such a wide spectrum of the “me” I would like to be – some very far from the woman people now see. How to reconcile them all into one “me”? Not quite sure . . . is it even possible? Can the “me” that wants to feel sexy still be respectable enough to teach Sunday school? How about the “me” whose heart’s desire is to be a stay at home mom and yet also wants to have a career that is fulfilling and pays well. Then there’s the “me” who would lay down my life for my children but who secretly wishes I could be that woman who is able to spend all her time, money & energy on herself. Oh and can’t forget the “me” that is pleasure seeking, yet who also truly desires to put God first.

Balance and boundaries – something God is still trying to teach me.

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“I’m leaving,” my husband announced as I knelt over the flower bed, gardening on the first sunny day of spring. I didn’t look up. I didn’t even blink. He went on to express that with the recent death of our friend, he was reminded of how fragile life can be, and as a result, had decided he wanted to visit his aging aunt who lives in Arizona.

I was not asked for an opinion, nor was I invited to come along. Through out the course of my marriage, my husband has never thought twice about leaving me to care for the 5 children alone. But since I have never put him in the position to care for them alone while I went on a trip (business or otherwise) he has never had any idea of how difficult it can be. He makes plans as if they affect no one else but himself.

My husband then began to inform me that he would be visiting his aunt for only a few days followed by a week at the Grand Canyon with his cousin and her daughter. It was beginning to now sound like a vacation . . . away from his family . . . or maybe just away from me.

I said nothing about it for a few days, but as I began to grow more and more resentful, it was bitter words that eventually came spewing out. The conversation was long and ugly. He said that inviting me was never even considered because he wanted to “protect” me from having to endure the Arizona heat.I was accused of being selfish and controlling. I felt hurt & excluded. Once again, I felt my words went unheard and my feelings invalid.

II Corinthians 4:18b . . . so we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now, rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

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