Friday, May 31, 2013

What does that mean?

 source photo

Recently I started watching "So You Think You Can Dance." A show I haven't watched for years, some because my husband doesn't care for it, and some because I just never caught it enough to care about the contestants.  But I used to love it and as I was watching I remembered why I loved it.  I loved it because they are a group of artists and I love and understand their desire to take a feeling on the inside and express it on the out side.  I wouldn't say I'm "an artist," even though I have a bachelor's degree in it, because if I learned anything from school I learned I'm not good enough (whatever that means) to call myself that but I do have that artistic personality and relate to these performers. As I'm watching these kids create I become super sad that I've been ignoring that side of myself for years now.  I never create, unless creating a human being counts, cause I've done that :)

I graduated from college super happy to be done.  Because although I love learning so much, I hated being a part of a major that was so incredibly rigid.  The message of my art teachers was "do it like this or don't do it."  And I basically spent that whole time trying to fit my square peg into their round hole.  Doesn't that sound totally backward for art, something most people would call vague and hard to define.  Well let me tell you someone has a definition, they didn't tell me what exactly it was but just that I didn't have it.  So I put it all away.  I didn't touch it, I didn't look at it, and I surely did not display it.  Things that I loved became my shame.  And the kicker is, is that I worked my way through school, paying for...this.  ha ha.  But I moved on.  Around this time I got engaged and my mind and heart was filled with new dreams and hopes.  I didn't miss it.

Once I was married I had a new identity.  I was now a wife, which meant that my mindset was on my hubby and taking care of him and being a good partner.  And I also was slapped with a new label "pastor's wife." Yikes what does that even mean, I still don't know, but again one thing I was sure of was I wasn't doing that right either.  My hubby and I knew nothing.  We were at a small close knit church and we went into it like little babies.  The head Pastor was not a good mentor because he basically encouraged us to be like he and his wife, co-leaders, partners, every thing my hubby and I should not be, but we had no clue there was any other way.  Don't get me wrong my hubby and I love each other, we just are not meant to be co-leaders.  I love supporting him but being out of the spot light.  And I love being involved in my own things.  It was terrible for us.  We fought every Wednesday on the way to Wednesday night youth group.  We'd be yelling, open our doors, get out and say "Hey!" with big old fake smiles.  It was an icky point in our super young marriage.  During this time I lost a baby my husband had scary health issues, and all the while we were encouraged by our "mentor" to do the job, complete the task, preform our duties as Pastor and Pastor's Wife.  So hard, I don't even know how we came out of that! Yes I do, God!

Ah well life moved on as we quickly realized that even though we were forming bonds with the families of that church it was not a good fit for us.  Then we decided to move to the bay area for the first time and become live on campus seminary people.  Whatever that means, again I don't know but we always felt very isolated, mostly because no one else had any experience in ministry and we just had a terrible one.  It was hard for us not to be bitter at that time or at least cynical.  But this was also the time when I became something I've always wanted to be, a mother! Oh how I loved it, and still love it.  I am obsessed with him!  The more I get to know him the more I like that little man of mine.  But even as happy as I was I still feel like I am missing something.  I miss myself.

As a mom we devote ourselves almost entirely to others.  Even if you're not working (as I am not) your entire day revolves around taking care of others.  It's so easy to not do anything for yourself.  I think that is a struggle for most mom's. I know that my sisters and I talk about not showering very much because we are too tired to care about it.  It's a good thing because we are focusing on what really matters but it's a bad thing if like me, you don't do anything for yourself.  I fantasize about what I will do with myself when my kids are in school.  I love that my son is a little older and I can entertain ideas of things that are just for me.   I crave the time when I can rediscover and define my identity beyond wife and mother.  Why can't I do this now...I'm just too tired.  Babies are a lot of work and I'm afraid I don't have as much energy as other moms do.  Right now I have to choose to take care of them to the best of my ability over my artistic side.  One day though.  One day :)

Do you ever feel like you have a label on you, that you just don't quite understand yet?  This could very well just be me, maybe not though...      


  1. I have also had a hard time figuring out how to be "Pastor's Wife." I felt like there were these expectations and this mold I needed to fit into. But it wasn't ME. There are definitely some things I want to do differently when Chris goes back into ministry. The break from full-time ministry has been really good for us. I think I'm learning that being a pastor's wife is just about loving people, really. We shove all these extra requirements and duties into it, but it's not about fitting into any mold. It should just be about loving God, loving the people in the church, and loving the people outside of the church. Easier said than done, I know!

  2. Hi Meg! So glad to see you're blogging again :) I understand how you felt about the art thing at school, and I'm glad you stuck it out. I was a music major, and I quit after a year not because I didn't love music but because I didn't think I was good enough and I didn't think I fit the mold there. It's actually a regret I have -- of course life turned out just fine, and I ended up becoming a teacher -- but still, I wish I wouldn't have let my insecurities allow me to quit something I loved so much. The good thing is, you don't have to be the best at something to do it and allow God to use it. I'm learning that. He's gifted us all in our own ways, and only one person in the world at a time is the "best" at something! God cares about us being willing to give to him what we have.

    Oh the role of the "pastor's wife" - it's a tuffy for sure. I feel like I am constantly learning about who I am in this role, redefining it and making it work for me.

    I guess all in all, this striving to be who we are meant to be is a time to turn to God and let Him mold us! There are these labels we feel we need to have or this molds we think we need to fit, but that's just crazy! God made us all so different and unique -- how could one label or mold work for anyone? But I totally get it. I struggle with it too.

    This got long - sorry :) But you sharing this meant a lot, and I think it's exciting to be on the journey of embracing and becoming who God wants you to be. Period. :)

  3. The first part of this post really spoke to me and I feel like I can really relate. Thanks for sharing.