who would have thought?

I can't help but marvel at how, on many levels, my life is full of irony's. .
In fact the craziness of it all regularly keeps me up at night.
I stare up at the ceiling through the blackness, asking God repeatedly...why? why?? why???

No, actually I'm being a little dramatic (sort of).
Its really just a bi-weekly passing thought.

~I grew up in a home where we had daily devotions, trips to Disney, and endless hugs of affirmation. My dad played the guitar and we sang together. We did the "special music" in church as a family, and sang 4 part harmony (just like the beloved Von Traps). It was beautiful (i hated it).
I married a man, who as a child, regularly made his own meals and washed his own clothes at the ripe old age of 8. His parents didn't hand out many words of affirmation, and the Von Traps didn't resemble any part of the family unit. Sound of Music wasn't even included in the record collection. Thus, our parenting skills have been known to clash, and expectations in our marriage have from time to time "come up short", mostly due to our differing formative years.

~I started to bake for my family when I was in gr. 4. Brownies were my specialty.Years later, it was bread and cookies. Baking became my go-to-activity for boredom or stress relief.  If Kent came home to a sink crammed with mixing bowls and dirty pans, he knew to ask if everything was "A-OK". As a  mother my affinity for mixing ingredients together to yield yeasty, carbohydrate goodness continued to satisfy. Baking together was a fun family activity.

Then last summer my 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Wheat flour unintentionally transferred from the counter to her skin now makes her stomach hurt to the point of tears, and her body break out into a bubbly rash. Gluten is toxic and if consumed, immediately damages the lining of her small intestine. Its a life long disease.

Needless to say, my spontaneous baking festivals have been cut short. My favourite recipe books remain closed (or are sold on kijiji). I don't bake anymore to relieve stress or surprise the family with sugary goodness. I bake now out of necessity. Gluten free muffins, cookies, cakes and pizza dough pretty much cover it-that's all I can bear to do. Gluten free baking is not pleasurable. The dough tastes like Elmers glue. When Kent comes home to dirty mixing bowls and a cooling rack laden with muffins, he knows I've had a good day.

~My mother was the ultimate pastors wife. Company over for Sunday dinner after church, leader of committees, regularly soloist, incredibly talkative, very involved (girls club, quartets, bringing food to needy, hungry, happy, random people) She was excellent at everything she did, and it was all done sincerely. She started a community women's bible study on practically every street we ever lived on (knocking on doors and churning out coffee).

I on the other hand,  do NOT have regular company after church on Sunday. I intentionally do not lead anything in church, do not like to sing solos (don't have moms soprano voice anyway), can be found ducking into Kent's office after the church service to hide, and really only converse with the neighbors when we happen to be outside at the same time (door knocking reserved for Halloween candy and Christmas cheer). This pastors wife is slowly working her way back to involvement, but is a sad reflection of her motherly role model.

~Like most young mothers I prayed that my children would be obedient and polite social beings (As an old mother I'm still waiting praying for that). When they were small and relatively non-verbal I read all the books, about training children to immediately OBEY. i.e. to sit quietly in church, to respond when greeted, to wait patiently and to listen to my every request. It was important for us to appear that we had it "all together". I really wanted our church congregation (where Kent was new on staff) to feel that we were a family to be admired.

I was blessed with a first born who, as a toddler and preschooler, liked to move and scream...constantly. All the time. day and night. Every minute of the day. Did I say constantly? Church was not conducive to these out of control, animal like tendencies. Running up and down aisles, screaming, undressing, biting and crying were not behaviours generally encouraged during worship. I experienced a great deal of self- induced shame. Gone were any hopes of winning the congregation with our starched collars and super powered parenting skills.

Ironic it has been.

To be honest, I'm secretly holding out for my own reality show.


Anonymous said...

And my reality show will follow yours..."the dietitan's children who don't eat" show :)
I am glad that you mentioned the shame...not that I want you to experience it, but this just must be one of the enemy's favorite tactics to render us relatively useless. I have had strong feelings of shame related to things "in my control" and other things beyond my control(i.e. with my kids). And as you say, I also think I have withdrawn myself in certain areas because of fear of what others will think of me/my children/our family. God does not want us to live there, but rather in his freedom. " I have come that they may have life and have it to the full" - let's take him at his word :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts as I have been having some of the same!
God bless you as you surrender to God and blossom before Him.

Rose said...

YOu are so real, Christine. Thank you for sharing of yourself - it makes me feel better to know I am not the only struggler.

Anonymous said...

Christine ~ you have won your church family over, just the way you are. I admire your openness and honesty and I also think that no one has it all together ~ and if someone thinks they do, well then that could be a problem. You, Christine, are awesome.

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