Taking Care of Myself

Ginger, over at Just One of the Boys, has a series going. It’s called A Happier, Healthier You. I thought I’d jump in on Week #7.

Through this long journey I’m on, I’m realizing that taking care of myself goes hand in hand with embracing the “self” that I am. I can find who I am, but if I do nothing to nourish and care for that “self” then I lose my “self” as fast as I find it. (Yeah, that sentence confuses me too.)

Here’s what I’ve done to care for the treasure that I am.

1) I’ve learned to redefine and redirect my passions. A dream does not always need to be pursued actively. Sometimes, it’s ok to keep it a dream a little longer. Sometimes stage of life holds precedence. I’ve realized that my dream to help women become confident in themselves can be achieved now in this stage, but my dream of being a full fledged author…. it’s better left on the shelf for a little longer. Those two do not have to go hand in hand.

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2) I’ve learned to say “no” to the pressure to be famous. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but in the blogging world, I feel an intense pressure to become a household name. I could not blog for myself. I blogged with the entire goal to become famous and rich. I would beat myself up for not blogging consistently or not having the number of readers that other bloggers had.

I’ve had to say “no”. I still want to blog. I still want to write. It’s part of who I am. But making a household name of myself is not who I am. I am a much happier woman having taken that pressure off myself.

3) I went clothes shopping the other day. I took a friend along to help me. I suck at style. But I learned so much from her. I feel I could confidently shop for myself now. Yay! I also bought some cute shoes. Now to find some black or gray dress pants that are plus size in the gut/butt, but not plus size in the legs. Hmmmmm.

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4) I’ve started taking care of my hands and nails. They are, after all, the extension of my body that I use to impact others’ lives. I want them to be a reflection of who I am… a proclamation of my confidence in who God created me to be.

My hands are pretty dry in these long Indiana winters, so I’ve been using this Dead Sea lotion on my hands and Jamberry’s cuticle oil on my cuticles and the skin around the edges of my nails. My dry patches are nearly healed and no more hang nails. YAY!

1hands

I’ve also discovered Jamberry’s nail wraps…. LOVE!!! They give me a chance to show off my personality and they last a very long time. I never liked painting my finger nails because the polish would always look awful in a couple days. I love that these wraps look great until I decide to change them.

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5) I have begun to realize that I do have something to contribute to this world, the Christian community, our church, our family, and our finances. And that, in fact, I am happier and healthier when I am contributing. I have begun to serve as nursery coordinator at our church. This gives me a responsibility and “forces” me to interact with people there.

I also began to sell the Jamberry wraps I fell in love with, in order to contribute to our family’s finances. I love that I made back my investment and began to profit in 5 weeks time. I love that the flexibility of my job allows me to contribute financially and still homeschool and spend time with my family. I love that this job will enable me to help fund remodel projects, pay off debts, and build up our “new house” fund!!! I’m so excited that I finally found a way to contribute. And best of all, my job is FUN and I get to help other women find confidence too. Two dreams in one. Nice.

 

My goals for this week:

1) Drink 46 oz. of water every day.

2) Begin a treadmill routine.

3) Read two chapters from Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine.

My Broken Hallelujah

lineGod, I’m not even sure where to begin. Do I start at the beginning, in the middle, in the right here and now, or with my hopes for the future?

I have nothing… nothing to hold up for myself to say, “THIS…. This is my good. This is the part of me that got it all right… that knows where it’s going… that knows what to fervently embrace and run with.” Instead, I’m here… wandering in the fog of confusion, surrounded by millions of voices yelling at me, forcefully luring me to come to them and follow their path.

But I’ve tried so many paths. At impressionable ages, I was led down twisting trails, told what to believe and what to strive for. I left these pathways for one of my own. I wasn’t going to let someone else choose my way. I would find it on my way.

Sometimes I was sure I was getting somewhere good, but most times it was just way too foggy to even see where I was going.

You see, I’m broken… so very broken. I’m broken in my mind, in my heart, and in my soul.

I was taught that you wanted me to follow long lists of rules to be holy. I was taught that a position of authority was a free pass to blissful manipulation. I was taught you needed me to meekly submit to this type of authority before you would truly be pleased. Until then, I was rebellious and deserved to be stoned.

I came to see you as a manipulative God, ruling your subjects from your royal throne, laying down law after law and withholding love unless they were followed. I strove everyday to be able to hear you say, “This is my daughter. She is holy because she holds my standards high in her heart.”

Then came the slow realization that these standards I strove for were not even your own. They were standards set forth by a man, claiming to be your favorite minister. They were standards enforced by the authority positions over me. And I could never, absolutely never, uphold these standards perfectly.

Then I did it! I broke away from these chains wrapped around my ankles. I was free… free from the chains of legalism. And you began your work of healing. You showed me that you love me, no matter what.

But as these fallacies and half truths have slowly been picked out of my mind and heart, they’ve left holes… holes that need to be filled with truth. And I don’t know where to get this truth, God. How can I ever trust another teacher? How can I read your word and hear just you and not the words of others?

I need you to take my broken pieces. Sweep them up, every sliver, and piece me back together in the image of Christ.

Sort through the twisted wires of thought patterns in my mind. Untangle them and connect them correctly.

Fill in these holes with you and your truth.

I come to you broken, Father. I love you. I trust you. I know that you are sovereign and full of grace.

Here’s my broken hallelujah.
Your Daughter

We’re Not In Kansas Anymore, Toto!

snowSo much to write about. So much going on in my mind. I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps with small talk… you know, like the WEATHER!

Can I just say, “I HATE WINTER!!!”? And that, folks, is an understatement. This winter is straight from Antarctica.

When our temperatures are an even keel with Barrow, Alaska and even dipping lower than theirs, there’s something wrong. So wrong. (I live in Fort Wayne, IN)

temps1

I now understand why the suicide stats are so high in Alaska. This much cold, this much snow, this much wind, this much staying inside with cooped up kids. It leads to some serious mental degradation.

Can I move back to Kansas now? At least there, they get above 30 every so often.

In other news, I started this year off with a resolve to love my body with the same grace God pours out on it. I will treat it with respect and nurture it as a prize for the King of Glory.

For the month of January, that meant following the Whole 30 diet… well, mostly following it. I fudged a little on the dairy issue, since I couldn’t seem to keep up a good level of healthy fats. I just drank 8 oz. each morning.

But this was a big issue for me… my normal diet has a solid foundation of dairy and grains with protein and fruits and veggies as garnishes. So my goal for this diet was to break that habit flip my diet triangle upside down… mostly protein, fruits, and veggies with dairy and grains as garnishes. And sugary treats as just that… A treat. Not a norm.

I have a few days left, but I am 100% sure that I am going to hit that “lost 10 lbs.” mark. I’m so excited. I didn’t count calories or measure servings… just ate what was “approved”.

I don’t know what February’s focus will be. I should find some sort of plan before it starts though, or I’ll end up with Dr. Pepper washing down my cereal breakfast, sandwich lunch, and pizza dinner all over again.

Another goal I had for this year was to find a source of income that was immediate and easy and fun. I had many ideas, but all them involved a lot of up front time or money.

So when a friend told me about an opportunity to become a Jamberry consultant, I hopped on it like a cat pouncing on a grasshopper. It was easy to fit the start up into the budget. There’s no creating a product. And let me tell you, it’s the most fun I’ve had in a loooooong time. I’m pretty sure I’m part of the most awesome team ever.

We’re back at homeschooling again after a two week holiday break. We have fun days and struggle days. I’m glad though that we’re not forced to take the same number of snow days as the public schools. We’ll be finishing up the last Friday of May, and the neighborhood kids will still be going to school long into June.

Well, that’s what’s up here. Now that I’ve got you all caught up, I’ve got to get back to writing for the love of writing. It’s been a long break, and I’m ready to hit it more often.

When a Blogger Gets Vulnerable About Blogging

forgivenI kinda feel like an idiot admitting this out loud.

I don’t know if I can do this blogging thing. I began this blog with a nice, steady line of five dead blogs behind me. I tend to pour myself into a project and then wane off. I guess it’s just what I do. Start and never finish.

But I guess I feel like this blog is different. It’s not just any old blog filled with randomness that occasionally hits the mom blog world in a buzz for a few days (or years as the busy bag craze did). This is me. This is my passion. It’s what I’ve done (unknowingly) all my life.

Think deep. Write. Reach out to those who need some deepness. Hide from the crowd, but single out one person whom I can inspire.

I want to be this, live this, on a large scale. I want to impact a scattered community across the world.

I want to be what I write. I want to write what I am. And I want what I write to inspire women everywhere to love who they are.

Then why would I slack off? Why would both quantity and quality go downhill so fast on a project I embrace with my whole heart?

The same reason I have yet to reach my health goals. The same reason I reach for frozen pizza at times. The same reason I drive a dented, starting to rust minivan. The same reason I just now looked at my clock and sighed.

The reality of the moment screams louder than dreams and ambitions.

Kids wake up too early. Breakfast needs served. Morning chores need done. School needs taught. Preschoolers have melt downs. Morning snack time is demanded by little hungry bellies who woke up too soon and ate breakfast too early. More school needs taught.

Lunch needs served. Someone spills their water all over the schoolbooks. More school needs taught. Kids need non-school attention. The dishes need done. The laundry needs rotated. There’s ants crawling under the dining room table. Close friends and family need to be called, texted, chatted with. Kids fight.

Dinner needs cooked. Husband works late. Dinner needs served. Dinner needs cleaned up. Kids need prepped for bed. Bills need paid. There’s not enough money to go around. Brain free relaxation with the husband is beyond needed. Sleep calls your name.

Where does passion and life ambition fit in there?

(Yes, I know. We could talk about finding passion in the calling to motherhood. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.)

We’re trying to get our finances in order right now… you know, the good ol’ student loans, groceries, fuel, everyday needs, mortgage stuff. It’s quite apparent that, without a raise in income, it’s just not going to work.

Christmas this year will be significantly less materially than the past ones (not a bad thing, by any means). But that means most gifts will be homemade. T.I.M.E

I’ve been searching for ways to bring in an income. That’s another thing on the plate. Gotta research. Gotta do the actual work. Gotta market. T.I.M.E.

Well why not just make money blogging? The top, number one reason is: I never want the goal of this blog to be for financial gain. If it happens, that’s fine. But that’s not its purpose. But also, making money off blogging (especially with this type of blog) takes many months, sometimes years. That’s not soon enough.

So if I’ve got the everyday realities of existence and motherhood… plus Christmas gifts to make… plus income to create… how does my piddly little “impact the world” dream even begin to matter? In the right now, it doesn’t even fit.

There are so many women out there who run tremendous blogs and shout “you can too!” There are a bagzillion ebooks on the steps to successful blogging with promises of great success. But I’m here to say…

In the daily realities of life, blogging is just a computer sitting on a desk. In the daily realities of life, dreams are just lofty thoughts in the sky.

And this… this is why I wonder if I should even be blogging.

 

*photo credit (recycling a photo from a previous post because there’s no time for a new one)

A Metaphoric Nancy Drew, Pt. 2

Metaphoric Nancy Drew pt 2

*This is part two of the series, A Metaphoric Nancy Drew. You can read part one here.

 

“Nessa Brach?”

“Yes, this is Nessa,” she had answered, wondering who the caller was.

“Don’t trust him, Nessa,” the voice warned. “He’s not good. He’s pure evil. Get away from him as soon as you can.”

“Who? Who’s evil?”

“The Leader. Dr Landon.” By now, the voice was panicked. “Stay away from him.”

She heard a rustle and then silence. The caller had hung up.

Nessa sat on her bed staring at the wall for what seemed like an hour. “Well, that was weirder than snow in July,” she thought.

She pulled her laptop onto her legs. Maybe she could look up the number the call came from. Then she could find out who called.

211-123-4567. Andrew McCoy.

But the caller had definitely been a girl… maybe around twenty. McCoy. McCoy. Why did that sound familiar?

A door slammed downstairs, and she could hear the clip, clip of her mom’s high heels across the kitchen tile. Mom would know. Nessa slid off her bed and scurried down the stairs.

“Hi, Mom. Here. Let me help you with the groceries.”

Her mom looked at her in surprise. “Thank you.”

Nessa smiled as she slid the loaf of bread into the bread drawer. “Mom. Who’s Andrew McCoy?”

“He used to work for Dr. Landon. Why?”

Nessa opened the refrigerator and slid the jug of milk onto the top shelf. “No reason,” she lied.

“You know,” her mom continued. “His daughter Skylar was Dr. Landon’s secretary a couple years ago. I guess she started ‘loosing it’ and accused Dr. Landon of some nasty things, so Mr. McCoy resigned to take care of his mentally sick daughter. I don’t think anyone has heard of them since.”

Nessa thoughtfully poured herself a glass of Coke. “Mom, why did Dr. Landon take an interest in me? I didn’t  even know the Institute existed until I came here from Dad’s a year and a half ago. I wore clothes Dr. Landon would never approve of and listened to music that he deems evil. Why did he ask me to be his secretary when Aubrey left six months ago? Why me? And why did Aubrey leave anyway?”

Her mom stopped unloading groceries from the last bag and looked Nessa in the eye. “I don’t think all that matters, Dear. What matters is that the Good Leader saw great potential in you. He changed you for the better. You were so depressed and rebellious before you met him. He saved your life, Dear. That’s all that matters.”

There it was again… the “you owe the Good Leader your life” line. Nessa raised her glass slightly. “Thanks, Mom. I’m going upstairs to study.”

She was glad her mom didn’t ask her what she was studying. She had plenty of research to do, but it wasn’t for any of her college classes. She had to find out more about Skylar McCoy. This research project just might be more interesting than a jar full of fireflies to a six year old boy.

 

Read more from this series:

A Metaphoric Nancy Drew, Part One

 

*photo credit

Music Monday, er… Tuesday: Just Be Me

just be meLaura StoryJust Be Me

(listen on Spotify or Godtube)

I’ve been doing all that I can
To hold it all together, piece by piece
I’ve been feeling like a failure
Trying to be braver
Than I could ever be
It’s just not me

So be my hero, be my comfort
Be my peace
Cause I can be broken
I can be needy, Lord I need you now
To be, be my God
So I can just believe

I’ve been living like an orphan
Trying to belong here
But it’s just not my home
I’ve been holding on so tightly
To all the things that I think
Will satisfy my soul
But I’m letting go

So be my father, my mighty warrior
Be my king
Cause I can be scattered, forever shattered
Lord I need you now to be
Be my God so I can just be me

Cause I was lost
In this dark world
Till I was finally found in you
So now I’m needing, desperately pleading
Oh Lord be all to me

So be my Savior, be my lifeline
Won’t you be my everything?
Cause I’m so tired
Of trying to be someone
I was never meant to be
Be my God, please
Be my God so I can just be me
So I can just be me
I can just be me

 

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” And so we try. We try to be strong. We try to be brave. We try to find a solution. We try to work the plan. We try to smile. We try not to be needy.

And we fail. We stumble. We fall. We crumble under it all.

“I just can’t do it anymore, God!”

“You were never meant to, my Love. I am your God. Let me be strong and brave. Let me work out my plan. Let me be God. And you just be you – who I created you to be. Trust. Rest.”

When life gives you lemons, hand them to God.

Give the lemons to God

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:6,7).

________________________________________________________________

In the conservative circle in which I grew up, contemporary Christian music was not allowed. After marrying, I began to listen to a CCM radio station. Much of my spiritual growth since then can be attributed to the many CCM artists and the songs they write. There is truth in those words and power in their music.

If music means as much to you as it does to me, you might want to check out Spotify. This music program allows you to search for particular songs and save them to playlists, allowing you to listen to your music whenever you wish. Best yet, it’s free. (It will require you to download their music program to your computer, but I promise it will not download any junk.) You can find all the songs highlighted in Music Mondays at the Recovered Identity Spotify playlist.

 

*photo credits: savannah, lemons

A Metaphoric Nancy Drew

Metaphoric Nancy Drew - Another Recovered Identity StoryThe second the download began, a sickening feeling settled in the bottom of Nessa’s stomach. Who did she think she was to play Nancy Drew in the Good Leader’s office? It was not hers to think, but hers to obey… or so the Leader, Dr. Landon reminded her quite often. But she had to know.

If her hunch was right, this man could not be trusted, and she could no longer play secretary for him, no matter how devoted her mother was to his teachings.

She looked down at her silver watch and then back up at the creeping download bar. The download speed in this office was more annoying than a congressman in a think tank. 35%, 56 %, 69%, 78%…

She heard the all too familiar footsteps in the hallway coming closer and closer. He was four minutes early this morning. He would expect her to have his hot coffee on his desk and be back at her own desk already filing papers. 87%. “Come On!” she hissed.

93%, 99%… 100. Quickly, she yanked the USB drive from the Dr. Landon’s computer and rushed into the side door connecting his office to her own. She swiftly and silently pulled it closed behind her, just as the Leader stepped into his office.

She held her breath and counted to three in her head. Forcing herself to remain calm, she opened the door once again.

“Good morning, Dr. Landon,” she smiled sweetly. “You’re in a little early this morning. I’ll have your coffee for you faster than a baboon with….” She tapered off as the Leader’s smile turned to a frown. She knew better than to use metaphors in his presence.

His droning voice echoed in her memory.  “Nessa, speak the truth… the pure truth. It’s enough. There’s no reason to dress it up and make it look pretty.”

She rushed into the hall where the common coffee table stood. Fill the cup ¾. A dash of milk. Two packets of sugar. Sometimes, she was tempted to change it up a little and “accidently” put in only one packet, just to see if he’d notice, but today such an experiment would be as dangerous as being locked in a bathroom stall with a rhino.

Metaphoric Nancy Drew Part 1

“Here you are, Sir.” She placed the cup on his desk next to his left hand. As she did, he grabbed her hand and caressed it.

“Thank you, Nessa. There’s not another woman in the world I’d rather have as my secretary.” He smiled a sort of twisted manipulative grin and gazed into her eyes.

A disgusted feeling overtook her, and suddenly she felt cold and clammy. She cast her glance down to the floor. His gaze was as piercing as an arrow shot into butter.

She managed to pull her hand away and slip out of his office and into her own. This isn’t the first time he’s made advances at her. There was the time he caressed her hair and whispered into her ear about her righteous dedication. And there was the time he played footsie with her under the dining table in the dimly lit dining hall.

She had told her mother about it, but she had dismissed the stories faster than Nessa could tell them. “You’re just misinterpreting the Leader, Nessa. You are the blessed one. There are a thousand other girls who would give anything to be in your shoes. Being Dr. Landon’s secretary is not to be taken lightly, Young Lady.”

Since then, she’s never mentioned it to anyone. She may be uncomfortable with it, but apparently that goes with the job, and accepting it was all she could do about it. At least that’s what she thought… until three days ago when she received an anonymous phone call.

 

Read more from this series:

A Metaphoric Nancy Drew, Part Two

 

*photo credits: computer, mug

Two Powerful Stories of Freedom

freedom from the church and depressionEvery once in a while, I come across an article or story that just sticks with me, and I just can’t get it out of my head. I find myself pondering on it as I go through my day. Here are a couple of that I can’t help but share.

 

I can across this personal story by Maren Stephenson over a year ago, and I haven’t forgotten it since…. A story of a religious Mormon couple who dared to question their faith… a story of their journey out of a pointless religion.

“I don’t believe in God,” my husband whispered in the darkness of our bedroom.

Before I could process what I was saying, forbidden words slipped off my tongue. “You are more important to me than the Church,” I said.

I wondered what my pioneer ancestors would say if they could hear me…. (Read More)

I hope that one day they ask the question, “What if the church is a fraud, but God is not?” I hope they begin a journey to finding out who God really is and who they are because of Him. But for now, I’m glad they found their way, and I am proud of their courage to defy religion.

 

I came across this brave story this weekend. You’ve probably heard of Ruth’s blog Living Well, Spending Less, but you may not have known her background. She is not your “ho-hum, always had a perfect life” blogger. Her story is one of tremendous trials and black, black days. But with the help of her earthly father and her Heavenly Father, she made it through. She tells her story on her blog.

Eleven and a half years ago, I woke up in a panic, unable to breathe, with  some unknown object blocking my airway.  The only thing that mattered was  getting it out as quickly as possible.

I soon found out—as the alarms began sounding and my ICU hospital room  instantly filled with a half-dozen stunned doctors–that the thing I had just  pulled out of my throat was the ventilator keeping me alive…. (Read More)

What a story of the sweet amazing grace of an all-sovereign God!

 

*photo credits: temple, prescription

Three Benefits of a Recovered Identity

Our idnetity is something we investigate.“To thine own self be true,” said Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

But why? Why should we know and embrace who we are?

Why not just follow the masses? It’s more popular that way.

Why not just live the average Joe life with a white picket fence and money in the bank? Is the American dream, after all.

A knowledge of our identity is not something we’re born with. It’s also not something we just know by the time we’re grown up. It’s something that must be learned, in the same way that we learn how to walk, how to read, how to add, how to tie out shoes, how to cook, and how to drive.

We research. We investigate. We experiment. We review. We repeat the truths over and over again until it is mastered.

Quite frankly, it’s a lot of work, and we’re constantly bombarded by things that try to distract us or confuse us or outright lie to us. But it’s worth every minute of effort.

Three Benefits of a Recovered Identity

1. It gives clarity and purpose to your days. From our first breath, the average human being possesses 28,835 days on this earth. Days to be spent.

Like money, these days can be spent on anything from “cheap crap” to investing in great riches.

You can buy a cheap plastic toy from the dollar store and it’s only a dollar, but it will break by the end of the week. True. it was only a dollar, but it’s a dollar you will never get back. In the same way, you can give a day to a mediocre life (or even a life of “hell”). But chances are, it will break down or dissatisfy you. And while it may only be a day, you’ll never get it back. The more days you spend this way, the fewer you have left.

Would you not rather spend every day you have on a life lived to its fullest, embracing your place in this world…in history.. in this thing we call life?

Be sure to check out Robert D.’s video for a visual of our days.

2. It proves that we own nothing and are owned by nothing. When we realize we have a reason to live, it gives us a sense of purpose, and only one thing becomes important… that purpose.

There are beautiful gifts that we enjoy along the way, such as family, a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep on. And while they may enhance or compliment our purpose, they are only gifts. We do not own them. They are not part of who we are. And they could be taken away at anytime without any warning.

In the same way, nothing owns us. Not our possessions. Not our money (or lack of it). Not any other person. Not any difficult circumstance or situation. If we are here for a purpose, than we belong solely to that purpose and nothing or no one can keep us from that.

3. It gives both confidence and humility. Like super heroes just discovering their secret powers, we see our abilities and strengths in a brand new way. We see them as assets to success… ways to reach our goals and to accomplish our purpose in life.

At the same time, it opens our eyes to the individuality of those around us… our spouse, our children, our brothers, sisters, co-workers, friends, the common stranger. And we realize we’re all super heroes. We all have abilities.

And suddenly we’re consumed with a confident, humble desire to somehow convince the earth’s inhabitants just how incredible they are.

Nothing you’ve learned in life came without some amount of effort. Most of us have never completely mastered a skill overnight. You will bleed, sweat, and cry your way through this journey to finding yourself, but I promise it will be worth every drop of blood, every drop of perspiration, and every tear.

 

*photo credit

The Post I Secretly Hope No One Notices

Fix It

In the five months this blog has been alive, I’ve had two goals. Inspire others to overcome everything that holds them back from living out who they are. And don’t make anyone mad.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way human nature works. We stay stagnant until someone is brave enough to slap us in the face and wake us up from our stupor.

So, here’s to making people mad. If it inspires even just one person, I’m ok with the rotten tomato brigade.

Today, I will stop trying to live by the popular Pinterest saying: “Be brave enough to tell your story, but polite enough not to tell the story of others.” Our lives as humans are so tightly twisted and mangled together, that that’s just simply impossible. You can’t tell a story of triumph without speaking of the darkness. But you can’t tell of the darkness without speaking of the person who caused it.

I’m on a journey to break through the darkness of a hostage identity. The one holding it hostage was my mother. She really messed me up.

“Yeah, well none of us had perfect parents,” you say. “At least you had a mom. At least she wasn’t a druggie prostitute living on the streets.”

Both of these statements are true, but there’s fallacy in the thinking.

If we’re honest, we don’t shrug our shoulders at our parents’ mistakes out of kindness, but out of fear. Fear of confrontation. Fear of drama. Fear of rejection. But mostly, fear of responsibility.

If we acknowledge their parenting failures, we’re forced to act upon that acknowledgement. We’re forced to confront the “messed up” parts of our life and fix them. We’re forced to take action to prevent making the same mistakes they made.

But here’s the rock solid truth: If you don’t stand up and acknowledge how your parents messed you up, no one else will. If you don’t fix what’s messed up, no one else will. Your parents cannot do that for you, no matter how many times they anguish, “I’m so sorry. Forgive me. I only did the best I could.”

So today, I’m taking my stand. I’m standing up on the wooden soap box in the park to say…

My mother made mistakes. These mistakes messed me up. It doesn’t matter if the mistakes were huge or small. What matters is I’ve spent the last 9 1/2 years trying to fix what’s messed up, and I’m not done yet. That’s huge.

I’m messed up because I spent every waking hour of my first 25 years of life doing exactly what she wanted, when she wanted, and how she wanted because it was my job to make her happy. It took me 9 years to even realize that this emotional control had polluted my thinking.

I’m messed up because my mom taught me that every.single.man had only one thing in mind: sex. And that they will take every opportunity to get it from any female body. She would stop our homeschool afternoon and drag us with her to my dad’s job site to make sure he wasn’t messing around. I struggle with trusting my husband a lot… I mean like beyond the normal trust things that come up in a marriage.

I’m messed up because my mom decided our family should join ATI. My dad went along with it to make her happy. She gave herself to following Bill Gothard and conservative family Christianity. She set up “standards” we had to follow so we could be Gothardy. I resisted, then fell for it, then resisted, then fell for it. Funny thing was, the only time I resisted was when I was away from my mother. The only time I began to fall for the legalism and strict authority focus was when I was home with my mom. Even in my 20′s, I submitted like a child to her rules and wishes, because Mr. G said that’s what a godly daughter does.

I’m messed up because my mom abused me physically and psychologically. She became the dictator, in the name of parenting. It’s made me so confused in my own parenting. I hate the concept of authority because of it. The recent realization that I am a teacher, and have no reason to even try to be a dictator, has been the most freeing thing to me as a parent. I’m so relieved. ‘Cause if being a mom means being a dictator, I can’t do it.

There’s many more ways I’m messed up, but that’s enough to get the point across.

woodcrates

I can’t just shrug my shoulders and excuse her with “she did the best she knew how” and “she was probably messed up by her parents too”. Excusing it doesn’t address the problem; it simply shrugs off responsibility.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not a blame game. I’m not throwing mud. I’m not lashing out. I’m just being honest and shouldering the responsibility to do something about it.

Now that I’ve realized it, stated it, and believe it, I have the power to change it. I see where I’m messed up. I realize why. Now, I can take the action to fix what’s broken and do my darnedest to mess up my kids a little less than the previous generation.

So stand up on your soap box. Admit how your parents messed you up, so you can fix it.

 

*photo credit