Friday, October 23, 2015

Things I've missed

I grew up in a VERY conservative home and church community.  There were a LOT of things that were normal for my college friends that I had never experienced.

My parents never allowed me to date.

I had never been to a football game...high school, college, or professional.

Or a dance.

We didn't own a TV or go to the movies.  I saw ONE movie prior to college.

Because my parents limited my experiences, I missed out on a lot of things.

I missed out on all the highs and lows of high school dating.  The awkwardness.  The drama.  The excitement.  I don't think I really care NOW that I missed dating then...but then, it was a huge deal.

I missed out on Friday night movies, or football games, or baseball games, or much hanging out with friends.  We were able to hang out occasionally...Monday nights were set aside for church softball games and youth volleyball.  Sunday nights, after church, were a time for the youth to socialize at someone's home.

I missed out on much of the drama that is part and parcel of the high school experience.  I can't say that is something I regret missing.  I am a quiet, peacemaking person, and drama is NOT something I desire.

I missed out on learning to dance.  Even today, dancing is not something I am comfortable attempting to do.  Don't get me wrong...I WANT to dance.  I LOVE all of the dancing in the musicals...ballroom dancing, line dancing...I am fascinated and so very much wish I knew how to dance.  But, because I never learned how to dance, and was taught that movement was sinful, dancing is not something I have ever done much of.  I would learn in a minute, if I had the money for lessons, or someone were willing to spend the time to teach me.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Labels I give myself

Often, as a parent, I have fought to keep my children from being limited by their labels.  We think if we can protect them from labels, they will see more of themselves, and be able to do more.

However, for myself, I find that sometimes labels are helpful.  After all, who would want a cabinet full of tin cans with no labels on them?  "Looks like 'surprise dinner' again tonight, kids!  Wonder what's in THIS can?"

I label myself, and often with labels that feel right to me, whether anyone else sees the legitimacy of the label.

I call myself a Believer, a Christian, a follower of Christ.

I call myself a mom.  I guess most people can see that.

I call myself a wife.

I call myself a NAVY wife.

I call myself a counselor.

I call myself by a number of names that at first glance may not seem to fit.

One of those it Third Culture Kid, though I have never lived outside of the contiguous United States.

Another is Orphan, though my parents are still living.

Additionally, I call myself Broken, Wounded, Healing, Healer, Warrior, Misfit, Outsider, Educated, a Reader.

I have fought most of these labels over the years...I have not wanted to label myself.  But like those cans in the cabinet, my labels help me on my path to healing, and help others as they support me on my journey.

What labels do you give yourself?  Are they helpful labels?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Weeping with those who weep...

There is so much pain around us.  Often we are able to see past it, to see the sunshine, and flowers, and to remember that everything is not always painful.

And then there are weeks like this one....
...with the senseless slaughter of college students,
...and the loss of military lives that hit closer to home than usual,
...and the ongoing slaughter of a beautiful people, and destruction of their homeland, because of ideological and religious disagreements,
...and friends with cancer,
...and children dying at the hands of cruel adults...

The list seems endless, at times.
These days, when the pain is so heavy, we are admonished to share in the pain, and help carry the load.

Soon enough, the sun WILL break through the clouds that are hanging lower than normal, that are spilling rain like the tears we all feel.  We WILL see the sun again.  For now, understand the rain, and help holding the umbrellas for those who are most affected, and are in the deepest of the pain.

"...rejoice with the rejoicing, and weep with the weeping."  Romans 12:15 YLT