Got Joy?

I’m browsing through my news feed on FB last night, you know how that is, you see something interesting, cool, or inspiring, and you click it. Then that click leads to another one, and another one, and another one, and I wind up looking at pages of peoples that I haven’t seen or heard from since childhood.

Wow.

For the most part it was good. I’m thinking to myself, “HE is a grand father?”  “Look how skinny she is now!” “Aw, she has kids!”  You know, things like that.

Then I noticed something, that normally I wouldn’t notice.

Those pictures from my childhood, those kids that grew in to adults, grew in to  what seems on the surface, happy people.  But more than that, just going by their pictures and posts, happy Christian people.

Some of them, I did find rather shocked by their adult life.  Now I know that FB is where we put the good stuff. Normally we don’t air our bad stuff out on FB.  But on the surface, these people seem to have something that right now, I am missing.

I am missing the joy in my religion.

That was a tough line to write…

It was a tough statement to make when I was praying to God last night. Telling him what he already knows, that I have lost my joy.

Because he does know.

And I want to know how to get it back.

I just have no clue how.

I don’t even really know how I lost it in the first place.

All I know is that somewhere along the line, I stopped being a happy Christian, and now I’m just sort of here.

I feel like I am torn between worlds.

Not sin, or THE World, but its difficult to explain.

I think I feel judgement everywhere I look.

Let’s face it, the Christian population is a very judgmental bunch.

And if you think about it, so are everyone else.

I go to church, which we are still trying to find a home church, but I walk in and immediately feel like I’m being weighed and measured by my clothes, hair, my outward appearance. And I pull in to myself. I put walls up to protect myself from feeling my inadequacies. To keep it from hurting when no one talks to me, or smiles at me or even bothers to shake my hand after service. So I slide in, sit near the back, and make a quick get away as soon as service is dismissed.

But when I am outside of church, I feel the same judgement. Only this time, its because I don’t find a raunchy story funny, or I don’t like vulgar language.  I feel it in my own home because I worry when someone has a drink as soon as they walk in the door from work, or keep saying “I had a rough day, I deserve a drink!”.  I grew up around alcohol and drug abusers those words are trigger words for me.  So yes, I worry when I hear them.

So if I am feeling judged and as if I come up short, in every aspect and relationship in my life, how am I supposed to have joy?  How do I find myself, and be comfortable in it, and not let everyone around me affect it?

I don’t know.

I pray God shows me.

Why didn’t anyone tell me

In roughly 2 weeks, Son2 will be getting on a jet plane and moving almost 800 miles away.

Until he has children of his own, he will never really understand the mixed emotions this brings me.

On one hand, I’m thrilled. I’m excited. I’m happy.

On the other, its killing me.

I’m proud of him for making this move. Its a big step, moving that far away from your family and friends, to a place you’ve never been, and only know one other person. And doing it all alone.

Yet it terrifies me for the very same reasons it makes me proud.

Such a mixed bag of emotions.

I know he doesn’t understand, and he won’t until he experiences it himself.

Its all part of growing up, all part of being an adult, and on my end, all part of being a mom .

Its also one of the things no one ever tells you when you have that squished up, red faced, bundle of joy.

They don’t tell you that one day, you will have to let them go.

 

He’s how old?

In about an hour and half, my oldest son turns 25.

I

am

old.

Its hard for me to believe he’s even an adult, much less 25 yrs old.

He is still supposed to be that kid I have pictures of running around in a plaid shirt, underwear and cowboy boots grinning from ear to ear because he was such a happy kid.  Shoot, I would even take the sullen young teen that thought life stunk and would never get better.

Now, he is a well adjusted, happily married adult with an amazing wife, who is his better half in all ways.

I miss the smiley faced kid.

I even miss the sullen tempered teen.

But I really love this adult child of mine. It fills my heart to see him all grown up and living life.

Stud didn’t want kids.  But once oldest was born, he was hooked.  I have pictures of Stud literally glowing, holding his newborn son. He was the first, the one that won our hearts and showed us what unconditional love is all about.

Happy Birthday Son!

Which is better?

Lately, quite often in fact, I feel as if I have lost my voice.

Not my physical voice.

Its difficult to explain.

I work from home. I hear Stud and the kids, enjoying themselves, sharing stories of their day, laughing, arguing, just being a family. I am working usually behind closed doors and cannot participate. When I take a break, I will usually ask what’s up, what’s funny, and am met with “oh, it’s nothing”.

So I end up catching up on things that need to be attended to, laundry, making sure Dad has been fed, meds given, that sort of thing.  And wind up being the nag-gie one.

Yep, I’m the fun killer.

The conversation stopper.

I’ve executed little experiments to see what happens if I don’t nag. If I don’t say ‘has this been done?’.

It doesn’t get done. Or, I do it myself.

So which is better, to be part of the conversation, having laughs and enjoying life, or being the one that makes sure we all have clean laundry, food to eat, a clean house…. you get my drift.

At this point, I don’t know.

I just know I am lonely.

And I live in a house full of people.

Got gun?

Tonight I was on my break at work, I stopped and chatted with dad for a bit. When I had to get back to work, I said “Well, I better get back to work!”

Dad: Have you got your gun?

Me: My gun?

Dad: Yes, your gun.

Me: (grabbing youngest’s BB gun) Yep, got it right here.

Dad:  Ok, I’ll go to bed then.

Not sure what me having a gun and him going to bed had to do with each other, but hey, it worked!

Parallel lives

A year ago, tomorrow, a childhood friend’s mother passed away.  Her mom was the greatest when we were teenagers.  I aspired to be a mother like her. She was Christian, she was cool, she was caring, and most of all she was unjudgemental. I loved that woman.

As we grew older, my friend and I grew apart. We lost touch.

Last December 2013, my friends mom calls me up one day. I was shocked. She had grown up under my dad’s ministry. She loved him like a Father, loved my mom like a Mother.  We talked for about an hour about them, the new state we had moved to, her husband and herself had just bought a place about half an hour away from us. They were hoping to get to spend Christmas there.

I also found out she had cancer.

A very nasty type, that they weren’t giving much hope for.

I cried on the phone with her when I found out. I told her how much she meant to me when I was growing up, how much I had always admired her.

Then, 3 very short months later, she passed away.

This 1 yr anniversary of her passing, kind of hit me tonight.

I wasn’t able to go to her funeral, mom was sick.  So I missed that. But I talk to her daughter occasionally on FB, and we exchange blurbs about missing our mom’s.

Tonight, I cried again.

I read an amazing tribute her daughter wrote about her Mother’s final days. The beauty of her whole family gathering around her and loving her to the other side.

I am praying for my friend tonight.

I am praying for myself tonight.

 

Outgoing? I think not.

I read an article tonight about having an outgoing personality in an introvert brain.  It was interesting reading.

I’ve been accused many times of being outgoing, but I feel like and every personality test I take says I am an introvert.

Such a strange combination.

Is it possible to be Outgoingly introverted?  Is that even a thing?

After reading the article I think maybe it is.

I thought I was the only one who felt that way.  Anytime a family member, Stud especially, has ever said I was outgoing, I always look at them like they suddenly sprouted a 2nd head out of their shoulders.  I don’t feel outgoing.

But when I look and analyze myself, I think that to a certain extent, I am.

Once you get to know me, I am outgoing.

I’m not afraid to speak my mind if need be.  I will laugh and love with all my heart.

At a party, if I know most of the people there, I will take charge, and command attention.

If something deserves attention, or celebrating, I will plan it, and enjoy the celebration with gusto.

On the other hand,

I am terrified of meeting new people.

I would rather spend a quiet night at home with my husband and my kids, or if we are going out, I want to be with them, not a room full of strangers.

At events, while I will speak up if need be, I hate speaking in front of a crowd.  I do not like being the center of attention. I don’t want to be the center of attention.

I prefer to stay in the background and let others have the focus on them.

Honestly, I don’t drink alcohol because I detest losing control, and refuse to do something that will make me lose control and possibly embarrass myself.

I don’t wear flashy clothes, even thought I secretly think they are fabulous and am jealous of women who wear them with confidence.

I love to sing, but won’t do it in front of anyone. I used to, but not anymore.

When beginning a friendship, I always hold back, and am very timid about sharing with new people.

I don’t share my life easily.  I think that is why I like to blog.  I can share here without fear of judgement. I might be judged on what I write, but its all virtual and I can tuck it away with ease and not let it affect me.

I guess, when I am in my element, I am confident, I am sure of myself, therefore, I am outgoing.

I just have to figure out what my element is these days. Otherwise, I think I’ll become a hermit.