Monthly Archives: December 2021

Into Your Hands

This would be the year I was sick on Christmas. I felt it coming on for about a week, and then once the 19th hit, I’ve only been out of bed if I had to be. I’m currently waiting for that time of the month to start, and the two combined are like a special kind of agony, particularly of the mental and emotional kind. Everything is more intense at this time.

I’m ready for this year to slip quietly into the past. In fact, I’m ready for many things to do that. I told my sisters this morning that I really need to be a different person this year. I am needing the second half of my life to be different from the first. The first half being marked with too much pain from uninformed decisions and wounds unhealed.

I don’t suppose I’m na├»ve enough anymore to think there won’t still be pain, that there won’t be new wounds. But the loneliness that has come from a non-communal life, from the almost two decades of living in obscurity with no money, no respect, no tangible sign that what I’ve done with my life has been worthwhile and fulfilling, that is what I cannot do anymore. It’s not that my family did not fulfill me, it’s that I put my own dreams, my own self, my own human needs on hold for too long. I’m convinced that doing so almost killed me, so much that it makes me feel ill to think about.

“Lord, help me go on to have a life after this.” Those are words I prayed earlier this year, when my body was broken in ways I’d never before known. I feel like I have lived such an inwardly focused life, confined to the four walls of whatever my dwelling place happened to be. I want the second half of my life to be marked with outward living. Doing for others, not just managing the immediate needs right in front of me.

I want what I’ve learned in the first half to count for something that makes a difference in the second half. I want the pain I’ve been through to not be a waste, to be transformed by God into a life of healing and tenderness. I want my children to be okay. I want to know that they’re all going to be able to spell and do math. I want to know that the live I lived did more than just break me. I want to know that God heard my prayer.

On Being Mrs.

It was a warm day as far as the normal first day of Decembers go. We had our annual Thanksgiving gathering with my family over the weekend. I was missing everyone today thinking how fast the days seem to go this time. It was an added blessing this year to have my grandmother there. Instead of in Florida, she is living with my parents now.

Advent is usually my favorite time to write. I tend to feel more inspired and connected to the spiritual world. I feel pretty dull for the time being, not depressed, just plain. I dropped the kids off at church tonight and then came back home. The elders were counting on having the boys there for the Advent meal to eat the food. I still am staying home from a lot of church these days. Our particular church does not alternate between any of the services in our hymnal, or do anything different for the special mid-week services. It’s Divine Service Three with communion every time. There just is no forcing myself to be grateful about it. I would go for the hymns, if for nothing else.

As much as my word of the year was “community” (ha!) and my main mind activity/ study this year has been contemplating the body of Christ and the practical applications of the theology of Christ’s body as it relates to the bodily communion and fellowship of the saints, I’ve actually gotten quite comfortable this year with being alone. I still have times where the pangs of loneliness will arise. It’s usually when my husband and I are together but not talking. It’s like inside I’ll just suddenly start screaming, “Pay attention to me! Ask me a question! Be curious about my inner world!” or even just saying, “Can we talk or something?” spurred by the feeling of wanting to connect emotionally.

I’m certain this is a common phenomenon in (some) relationships, which is why I don’t feel like I’m crossing any sacred boundaries by sharing it. The trick, I am learning, is not to indulge that overwhelming urge which can often come out sounding angry, which will inevitably sabotage any chance of obtaining the connection I am wanting. I am usually not this calculating in my actions, but the other day, when we were together in the living room and the feeling came upon me, I simply got up and left the room and went into another room to read. I was curious to see if my husband would wonder where I’d went and follow me. It took about three to five minutes, but to my utter amusement, he did!

There is so much to learn when it comes to living truly, or truly living, in a committed, long-term marriage relationship. My sister and I were talking about marriage today and she brought up how she’d once seen a marriage book written by a girl who’d been married a year. I don’t mean any disrespect to this young woman, and would never want to discount another person has having valid life experience to share no matter their age, but I did have to admit that the idea of writing a marriage book after one year of marriage seemed a little premature. Even after 18 years myself, I hesitate to write about it. Marriage has been such a formative part of my life however, the length of a whole other childhood, that at this point, it just feels wrong to not mention it more.

I have no advice. I operate best, and appreciate best, when I take the time to stop and write down a few experiences or thoughts. There have been things about my marriage that have been brutally hard, and things in my marriage that are and continue to be blessed and wonderful. The good news is that I do think, that with practice, time, and dedication, the things that making it brutally hard can actually improve. I’ve experienced some of those improvements this year, and with that, the hardness becomes less brutal, and more soft. It becomes less about what I’m wanting and needing, what I’m not getting, and more about seeing and appreciating what I have. I’m receiving more, yes, and growing to give more, too.