A little note to let you know, I’m still me.
And the blog is still the blog.
She just has a different name,
I so enjoyed One Word December. I hope you took time to ponder, too.
While I’m here ending the old year with a name change and more than a word, something’s been nudging my heart, but I haven’t been quite sure how to say it.
Here’s the best way I know how …
My blog bio under my picture used to say:
I rode out the occasional – and chronic – storms of life, waiting out the doldrums with joy and a sense of adventure.
Sort of True
Well, that was true.
But not totally true.
Sometimes joy didn’t bubble up like a fountain in a park.
Sometimes joy was a hidden spring I had to look for.
Writing a “Homeschool Chuckles” column for Home School Enrichment magazine helped through these years. If I was going to meet the deadlines, I had to look for the humor in the midst of heartache.
Joy was there all along,
not always riding the surface of the wave.
Many times, I remember finding it
on deep dives
into the foundations
of the muddy bottoms of life,
where God still dwells.
This last autumn, I felt uneasy about the joy part of my bio.
It didn’t tell the whole story.
I referred to riding the seas of life and homeschooling, but life wasn’t all peach pie and geography quizzes.
I was having fun, but I was also angry. And I was hurting. And I was depressed. And I was angry. (Oh, I already said that.) And I was afraid. And I was sad, so so sad. And I was anxious-ridden. And I was in pain – physical pain and other kinds of pain.
And I was tired.
The flipside of the burden-dumping world insisted I remain positive. At least outwardly.
I have a story to tell. I’ll make it short.
Years ago, I was overwhelmed, overburdened, overstressed, overtired, overstretched and ready for it to be all over.
In a certain form of social media, I shared an anxiety, a frustration in general terms. Very general.
I got a barrage of input.
No one asked about my pain. No one asked why I shared my anxiety. No one inquired about the overwhelming circumstances I was facing.
Creamed for a Word
I got creamed for a one-word choice. A word, in my thinking, appropriate to my emotional state and considered [so I thought] generally acceptable.
Online compassion for in real life pain was non-existent.
I was put in my place to suffer. Not only the circumstances, but also the judgment and the multiplied loneliness for a single typed word.
I was rejected for feeling.
Mud, Meet Waters
That was the day I realized I was alone. Really alone.
But it was also the day I realizedI will never be totally really alone.
I found God again where the mud meets the waters and He lifted me up from my tears.
The Face They Want Us to Wear
But I also began trying really hard to be the face everyone wanted me to wear publicly.
In a sense, that was good for me. To find out that I could keep the smile going.
But in another sense, the positivity became a lie.
I thank God for my Sunday School class who let me be real. Was it scary? Of course. Was it real? Yes, it felt good to be real, if only behind closed doors. Real and loved.
At some point in this struggle between reality and positivity, I wrote my blog bio.
This Last Autumn, I was Asked … The Question
My daughter and I were shopping in a nearby outlet store when we saw a woman who had been in a group we were involved in a few years before. She asked me this question:
“You look good online, how are things in real life?”
I love her for that question. I just love her for it.
Challenging the Duplicity
She challenged the duplicity.
She loved me enough to care about my real life.
Life Reflected Art, at that Moment
At that very moment in real life, however, everything was lovely, just like online.
I was out with my daughter, shopping, giggling, playing spy at the perfume counter. Life was written in the perfect font on color-coordinated pages, and the dust bunnies weren’t in view.
Life Changes by the Tick of a Clock
Give the clock a few moments to turn the page, and life was kind of hard. Not as hard as it had been, but still, kind of hard.
Her question kept me wondering if that little nagging sense of misperception about my blog bio was really conviction.
I didn’t jump on the condemnation wagon right away because I’ve been learning that not everything in life is wrong.
But I did put it in my ponder basket for review.
I apologize for coming across biographically joyful when IRL (in real life) I wasn’t always so. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself looking back, or maybe not hard enough yet. And maybe my bio will change again over time.
All I do know now, is that during those hard, hard years,
God did give me joy. But to Him all the glory. Not to me.
Art Reflects Life
I changed my bio under my picture a wee bit ago. Did you notice?
Now it says:
I have walked through the occasional – and chronic – storms of life, as well as waited out the doldrums. Through it all, God has been faithful to show His heart and His sense of adventure both at home and beyond.
That’s more betters. It’s more honest. It’s more real.
- GOD has been faithful.
- GOD has shown His heart.
- GOD has a sense of adventure.
- GOD has walked with us.
- GOD has given me joy.
- And GOD deserves all the glory.
Even when I’ve been trying to be positive at the expense of being honest.
What I Learned From This
We are not to boast in our ability to remain positive. We are to boast in God’s ability to bring good out of bad. Doubt me? Just look at the cross.
Please forgive me. And please glorify God for all He has done. It’s been much.
REALITY CHECK: There is a difference between omission of factual gory details and altering the factual details to make the gore look good.
Join Us on the Journey
*More about the name change later, as I wanted to end the old year on the right foot. The foot that Jesus saved. Thankfully, He saved the wrong foot, too.