03 August 2009

On blog honesty

One of the things that has been holding me back from blogging is a struggle with what is and is not honest. Sometimes I feel as though I'm representing only part of myself when I blog. On the other hand, I am learning that not every thought that pops into my head, even those that stay there ruminating for a while, need to be shared with every. single. person. Where's the balance? I'm not sure I know.

What I do know is that I've felt as though I've only represented what-I've-wanted-y'all-to-think about me in the past. My great fear in life has always been disappointing people I love. I've made a lot of mistakes in life because of the need for approval from others. But transparency is becoming essential to me, I think. I don't want to present an air-brushed picture of myself taken through a Vaselined lens. What-I-want-you-to- think doesn't take into account the mercies God is showing me in revealing my brokenness. And that's probably pretty much all that's worth sharing on a blog at this point.

Anyway, in an attempt to clear up some misconceptions that I think I've perpetuated, judging by past comments or emails to me, I'll have a little out-ing here and post a list of 25 things about me, as inspired by a list I posted on facebook. There are not the 25 most important things about me, nor are they 25 things that will never change. But they are honest and that's why they are here, now.

25 Non-random things about the author of this blog

1. I love, love, love living in my hometown. I don't care if that is not cosmopolitan or evolved or sophisticated or anything else. I think this place is amazing and thank God every day that I live here again.

2. I'm really excited to have a house of my own, but I constantly fight a desire to make it bigger and better. When my husband lost his job recently, I realized that I could let go of the house very, very easily if it meant having him and the kids. That helps put Victorian-style fainting couches into perspective.

3. The fact that my parents are still married after almost 35 years of marriage is amazing and one of the most inspiring things I've ever experienced. They have not had an easy road, by a long shot, but their story is full of such grace and mercy and forgiveness and learning and growing that continues to unfold. I am so, so, SO thankful that they've made the difficult choice again and again throughout their lives.

4. I love that my husband knows how to do almost everything. I always thought that would annoy me in a spouse, but it doesn't. I love when he's more right that I am. Competency is so virile. And confidence and humility are a powerful combination in a husband.

5. We got together on Ash Wednesday, Mar. 5. I knew without a doubt by Sunday evening that I wanted to marry him. We got engaged on May 4 and married on July 4. It seemed like it took FOREVER.

6. One of my favorite memories from our wedding was when my friends and family, including my 80-year old grandmother, surrounded us and swayed back and forth while holding up candles while we danced to the KISS song, "Forever", which is one of Dennis' faves. My Grammy rocked that song.

7. I think my grandfather is one of the greatest human beings ever born and I miss my Grammy almost every day.

8. I've learned to be a better parent thanks to Keith Lehman, Scott Turansky and JoAnne Miller, Gary Chapman and James Dobson. And Elizabeth Kreuger and maybe even Michael Pearl. Yes, you read that list right.

9. Watching Annalivia being born was probably the most profound and amazing moment of my life. When Daniel was born, I was too exhausted from the 43 hours of labor to properly appreciate the profundity.

10. I think God is breaking me open through my children. This is one reason, among many, that Dennis and I are loathe to limit our family size to what I can conceive physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, etc.

11. I wonder when I share some particular parenting triumph whether I should also disclose the approximately 4.8 billion parenting failures that occurred in the days, hours, minutes and seconds previous to that.

12. My sisters are seriously the coolest human beings on the planet and are my absolute best friends. I adore them.

13. One of my favorite programs ever was "Sir Norbert Smith: A Life!" shown on Masterpiece Theatre here when I was in high school. That and Black Adder pretty much made my sophomore year of high school and began a long, constant and current love affair with English comedies. And dramas. And movies. And books.

14. I can still quote Sir Norbert.

15. I was a pastor for 7 years to a congregation I really loved. But I do not miss being a pastor. Now I am in my hometown as a lay person, of sorts, trying to figure out how to worship in my home church, or not, without wounding people I really love and destroying the vocation God provided me.

16. I love liturgy. I love the pipe organ. I love high church trappings. I love a rockin' band. I love slightly awkward worship-leading praise music. I love spontaneous prayer. I love a humble man leading a congregation in worship, prayer, and teaching. I love a humble woman leading worship, prayer, and teaching. It's when worship, music, pastoring, praying, preaching etc. becomes something to prove or anything other than real and authentic and honest and true that I feel sort of sickened when I encounter it.

17. When I was in seminary, I won an award for constructing a very tight, terribly consistent theology. I now believe that well-constructed, tight and terribly consistent theologies are generally not based in any real God experiences.

18. I have found myself at a point where I can listen to a wide, broad, divergent spectrum of theology -- almost anything, in fact -- and find something of meaning and help to me.

19. I totally love Jesus now. It only took 5 years of ministry for me to have my "kitchen conversion." Before that, I loved people and the church more than Jesus. But people fail, and I realized that I wasn't going to be able to go on in ministry or life without loving, seeking, and knowing the Spirit of the Living God above all else.

20. I've finally learned that there is absolutely no substitute for the presence and power of Christ found in reading, studying, sharing, preaching, teaching and listening to the Bible. Living Water, Bread of Life... I understand those labels now. Finally.

21. My life completely and totally changed due to the events of Sept. 19, 2006 when Dennis and I, and Daniel who was at 18 weeks gestation, survived a major car accident.

22. I became sort of rabidly pro-life after the accident after being sort of rabidly pro-choice before it. Almost everything, politically, changed for me from there. I once was a self-described "flaming liberal." I also hadn't done much thinking. I now consider myself conservative in almost every way, except when it comes tothe gays. I love me some gays.

23. I spend approximately 90% of my time thinking about faith, spiritual disciplines, the church, practical theology, Christian parenting and what to eat next.

24. I have a problem with sarcasm and really am trying not to be ascerbic or condescending or vicious, both in thought and in deed. It's hard.

25. I also struggle with anger, gluttony, sloth, greed, and pride. Oh, and envy. But not so much with lust. So I guess there's hope for me yet. :)


Tonya said...

I LOVED reading this! ((HUG))

I spend 90% of my time basically thinking about the same things you do. Maybe we were separated at birth....

Anonymous said...

you and I would be good friends IRL, April... liked this list!


Sarah S-D said...

this sounds like the april i think i've already come to know via blog and e-mail. i don't think you've been as prone to prettying up your life as you fear! what i LOVE about you is well reflected in 16 and 18. and maybe in your list of parenting books, i don't know all those authors. in any case, you have a breadth to your spirit, an openness to such a wide range of perspectives, that i think is a virtue more of the world could benefit from possessing. and that this is balanced with genunine passion.... for Christ, for family, for your hometown... you aren't wishy washy and non-committal- you are open AND grounded.

that said, i get that you're not perfect. i love your candor about struggles too.

hey did you ever get my e-mail back about that presby thing?

Holly said...

I loved this list, April. I encourage you to continue to just be you. I like you now, I'll like you as you grow and progress. :)

And goodness...I just wish we could sit and talk. Could we be neighbors, maybe? There's so much I just want to ask you about, to get your thoughts on, to mull over with you.

Number 24, the sarcasm, hit home for me. ME TOO. But God is really wrapping that part of me up and throwing it away....

Really, I could relate to many of the things on your list. Again, wish we could talk!


Anonymous said...

Oh - and I just want to encourage you on the sarcasm front. About seven years ago, a new friend, who is terrifically blunt, said to me, 'You are the most sarcastic person I know!' It just about killed me. Our family is renowned for quick wit and a dry, pithy humour. I used to be very quick to think of sarcastic comebacks. What she said, whether completely valid or not, was such a wake-up for me. I made every effort to kill sarcasm in myself, and for a while, would just think the thoughts and not say them. Now, I can honestly say that I don't even think them so much. I am much, MUCH more gentle in thought and word. It can be done!


~liz said...

this post REALLY touched me, april. thank you for writing it. :)

Anonymous said...

This was awesome! :)

April said...

Thank you, all!