Friday, May 29, 2015

The Changes You Fight the Hardest



I suppose I haven't made an official blog announcement, so here goes...

We are moving!

I realize that doesn't change anything, really, for you blog readers. But it does mean a lot of change for me.

We have lived here, in Tupelo Mississippi, for almost seven years. It's the longest we've lived anywhere in our married lives. I'd be lying if I told you I'd ever wanted to move here. I had no issue with Tupelo, and I knew it was the right decision to come here, but my best friend is in our previous town. So many friends were there, and it was the first place I made friends as an adult... like the you-can-call-them-at-3AM-in-a-panic friends... Ya know what I mean?

I slipped into a depressive episode not long after we moved here. I couldn't find a doctor I trusted for a while, and I was really struggling to parent my oldest child. I thought something was wrong with me because I couldn't handle him. A few years later, we would receive a diagnosis that explained so much. But, at the time of the move, I had no explanation and thought I was just doing everything wrong.

And I missed my friends. Gah, how I missed my friends. I remember lying on my bed, staring at a blank wall, tears falling silently. I just wanted to go home.

And now, here I am, packing boxes and crying over leaving this place I never wanted to come to. That's how it works, life. Sometimes the changes you fight the hardest are the changes you need the most.

And I did change here.

In Tupelo, I became me.

I chased my dream here. When I arrived, I was a blogger who liked to scribble poems and once in a while published an essay or verse somewhere. I was too scattered to take myself seriously. Now I'm still a blogger and I still publish poems from time to time, but I finally focused on my dream of writing novels. Focused and finished many a manuscript and landed not one but TWO literary agents (not at the same time, lol). I will move to our new town feeling more purposeful... more like a person who exists outside of parenting and being a minister's wife.

We figured out a lot of stuff about my oldest son living here. We certainly haven't solved all of his problems, but we have a much better idea of what kinds of problems he needs help with and if not exactly how to help him, we have plans for various situations. We have some understanding that we actually are good parents and we are doing the best we can with the resources at our disposal. It was here in Tupelo that I was able to homeschool my kids long enough to teach them to love learning... to teach them that education doesn't have to be an emotional nightmare. And they have returned to public school capable and confident.

It's been in this town that I allowed myself to embrace myself... doubts and skepticism and heretical ideas that many a minister husband would be appalled by. I learned to trust that my God is big enough and my marriage strong enough to see me through, even when what I see doesn't match anyone else's vision at the time. It's oddly comforting to know I can question the floor beneath my feet and it will still hold me up.

How's that for a paradox?

And I haven't even touched on the PEOPLE in Tupelo... the people who have meant so much to me and always will.  We aren't moving terribly far away, but distance is distance, and we will no longer be passing one another in church hallways once or twice a week. Relationships will change. They always do. But nothing can change how these people have held me up... how they have loved me and let me love them. I can't possibly write enough words to cover them all.

So, here is my announcement. We are moving from Tupelo in just a few weeks, leaving behind my husband's twenty-year career in youth ministry and embarking on a new adventure in church planting. It is scary and exciting, this new pathway... but mostly?

It's ours.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Not My Highest Calling (On Middle Places)



The church isn’t the only place that gets it wrong.

A commenter on Facebook pointed this out to me, and she’s correct. However, being a Southern-raised girl who married a minister… the church is where I’ve seen it most.

“Motherhood is a woman’s highest calling.”

This is a lie. Or, at the very least, it is a lie for most women. It is a lie piled high and heavy on young girls’ hearts. Or, at the very least, it was piled high and heavy onto mine.

I have to take a quick moment to point out… my parents NEVER taught me this. My father isn’t even a Christian, and he certainly never pressured me to have kids one day. He never pressured me to do much of anything except always use sarcasm and fight hard for what I want. My mother encouraged me to stand on my own two feet and she worked her fingers to the bone to make sure I had every opportunity to do so.

But I digress.

Once I left my little country church for a bigger church with a youth group, I noticed things. Sunday school classes were arranged by age and family status. When I finished high school, I moved to the college & young adult class. There was also a singles class, a young marrieds class, and then came the couples with babies and so on and so forth. The oddness of this never crossed my mind until I married and had my first child.

I was only 20-years-old, and the church didn’t know where to put me. By age, I should have been in the college Sunday School class, but that was an epic fail. Those kids were hungover from partying or talking about Econ classes. I was caring for an infant with reflux and battling Postpartum Depression. So we were moved to a class for couples with kids. These people were all in their thirties and forties and mostly ignored us as still being kids ourselves.


CONTINUE READING ON MIDDLE PLACES

Monday, May 11, 2015

Currently: May is a Pious Fraud

Current Books: I just read Bone Gap and was swept off my feet. Now I am reading Yes, Please, because I really need to laugh. I am listening to the audio of Before I Fall. I also just listened to Belzhar and loved it.

Current Playlist: Hitting shuffle on iTunes and seeing what comes up

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: I just ate Taco Bell.

Current Colors: Bright red

Current Food: Pepperoni and cheese

Current Drink: Manzanita Sol

Current Favorite Favorite: Stress Away oil blend rubbed on my wrists. I keep sniffing my wrists.

Current Wishlist: A haircut

Current Needs: Peace, patience, stamina


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Current Triumph: I survived the weekend.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Weekends

Current Indulgence: I think I am going to make brownies in a few minutes.

Current Mood: At this exact moment, I am okay. Mostly, lately, I am a big ball of anxiety (hence the Stress Away on my wrists and the hatred of weekends).

Current Outfit: jeans, Bell Jar tee, white sweater, sparkly back Toms

Current #1 Blessing: My husband. He doesn't always understand me, but he always tries and he is always supportive. He encourages me to feel my feelings. He doesn't freak when I text him thirty times in ten minutes.


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Current Quote: “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it.” -Amy Poehler

Current Photo:
Jamberries on my tootsies



Title taken from:  "May is a pious fraud of the almanac." - James R. Lowell

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