Finding my way back out of motherhood — while mothering
I am a Woman out of the Lost & Found.
Gosh, it’s been fast. The little girl feeling from first grade is a clear memory. How many monthly calendar pages do you tear off in 40 years? 480. Beyond the 1/10 of these sheets that marked my prologue in Korea, my life divides roughly into thirds. The first chapter written in NYC, the second in PA that suburbanized the college girl, the third in CA that ruralized the wife and mom. (At least in contrast to the zip and dash of life in the Big Apple. Cows across the street here.)
Motherhood consumed me in its centripetal force. Okay, I let it – in my determination to be the best darned mom I knew how (any resolution cemented with best darned sure to unglue). What was it about turning 40? Did I sense it was the crest of my climb, that it was only a descent hereon? Or could I borrow a lesson from Moses? He had it made until the mistake that cost him his crown to Egypt at 40. Surely he’d done himself in. The next forty years on the run, he became a family man tending sheep. Little did he know God had all the time in the world and he was on training ground where he was humbled and readied to shepherd a nation out of slavery – in the four decades ahead. No coincidence that a human baby is full term through 40 weeks.
When I hit the age that embodies spiritual gestation, something happened. I remembered I was more than a mother. Motherhood is no less my solemn charge today than it has been the last six years. But the woman God had created to reflect Him in her way even before she birthed her child had gone missing. I remembered that writing is how I really breathe.
Stones collected along the shore of my wayfaring, some posts are light and colorful, others not. Relationships, identity, learning, time, faith, fun, the physical, the invisible. I see God’s handprints everywhere. Whatever catches my eye in the journey, I hold up to you. I offer no secrets to growing a money tree, am not artistic enough to captivate you with unusual aesthetics. You’ll see the photos and some videos, and information I intend to be useful – but a good many stories and what I hope you consider insight. The best I’ve got for you are words. As a wordsmith, I’ve been sculpting the pictures from the road. It has been interesting to find single guys digging my writing as much as the moms. So I speak of it all – not just the parenting or homeschooling or my faith or marriage. But also of the things we share by virtue of our humanity. Hence a holistic journey.
We go around self-absorbed.
He wasn’t very responsive over lunch. What’s gotten into him?
I’ve been so sick. I expected her to show more concern. How insensitive.
She’s kept away from my family and made me feel judged. How rude.
I won’t say what I really feel because he would think less highly of me.
We need to get over our self.
Our life is all about us, but their lives are not. Remember, as soon as we step outside and start interfacing with others, we have a pair of people with each person talking about the same thing from his own perspective, experiences, biases. I recently talked about this autobiographical listening we do, but wanted to look at this dynamic as it plays out when we feel slighted or offended.
He just mumbled during lunch? Maybe he had a headache. Or a fight with his wife. Shirley recently shared: Neither am I so quick now to “perceive” an injustice and attribute intention to another. I don’t really know what is going on in their head…perhaps it’s just my perception and they never intended it the way I took it. More than one blogger who has emailed me has wondered why I didn’t get back to them right away. If they knew what I juggle, and the challenges I don’t write about (Wayfarer’s voice climbing)! I assure you I do more than my best to get back to readers on email and your site. And I suggest you don’t follow me through the filter of expectations based on the number of likes you leave me. I attribute part of my growth to the loyalty I show my awesome readers, but on weeks like these I just can’t keep up. I’m sorry some of you will fall through the cracks. If you think I’m talking right at you, well, how’s that for self-consciousness? My head’s too full to be seeing names at the moment. One other thing. If you haven’t noticed, I boast extraordinarily intelligent bloggers in my readership. Yours isn’t the only blog I want to revisit.
Wish I tolerated alcohol.
I’ll be nice again, next post.