During some recent experiences with verbal introductions, here's what happened:
- I shared what I'm paid to do.
- I often made light of the time spent "just at home" or "being a mom."
- I listed my children's ages, grade level, and sometimes their names.
- I rattled off what keeps me busy.
- I didn't use the term "wife" as a way to describe myself.
I've been pondering the snippets of information I chose to use. I'm perplexed and a little agitated with what I excluded when giving a brief synopsis of myself this week. Starting from the bottom bullet point, I'm using this post to mull over what I noticed.
Why didn't I call myself "Alan's wife?" I labeled myself "mom." Doesn't Alan deserve a shout out? At the very least he definitely played a major part in making that "mom" thing happen. Sure it's cliche, but Alan is my best friend, and the cool thing is, I get to have a slumber party with him every night for the rest of my life. Am I so subconsciously worried about being viewed as old-fashioned or submissive that I neglected to mention I'm married?
I gave people a list of my responsibilities instead of a list of what I love. Luckily, in my life these two often overlap. But it bugs me that I hear myself sharing in such a way that it sounds like a list of chores rather than blessings. It seems that my identity or worth is still too tightly bound to my "to do" list and accomplishments rather than soaking in the Sabbath. I didn't give much (if any) information on how I worship, rest, and renew.
My kids are the delight of my life, yet when given a chance to "introduce" them, I didn't share what I like most about my children or what makes them unique. Our culture often focuses on gender, ages and grade level. There's much more to my daughters than how long they've been alive and how far along they are in the education system. I'd like to start describing Brynn and Jolee for who they are, not for what they've accomplished.
I believe that being at home is the most important thing I can do for my family. I admit, it's not always easy or enjoyable. My office at NFC is often a little sanctuary away from the chaos and frustrations of home. "Just" being home is some of the most challenging work I've ever done/will do. I also try hard not to sacrifice time with my family for the work I do as a pastor. It seems silly to spend time "serving God" while ignoring the first and foremost gift God has given me, my husband and my girls.
Of course when someone asks, "So, what do you do?" I name my profession. It's the American way. I am grateful to have a job I love. Sometimes I even cringe at the thought of calling it a j. o. b. But the deal with this last point is that I want to live a life not solely defined by paid positions. I want my advocacy with Compassion, marital status, motherhood, and a list of my own interests to be just as vital to describing who I am as my title in the church directory.
I've pushed the delete button more in this post than perhaps ever before when writing for my blog. Writing often clears my head, but I'm still not clear on this one. What might seem a somewhat shaming or self-condemning piece, is not. And yet I can't deny that what I've written has a corrective tone. This blog is about compassion, spreading hope, and letting God's light shine through me whenever possible. I pray that God will use these last 4 hours (yes, I'm ridiculous) to help me focus on truth and grace.