This has been a difficult assignment. It is easy for me to talk about what I DO. It is not so easy to talk about Who I AM. There are a lot of things about me that I do not like very much right now. The aging process is becoming brutal - suddenly, it seems. Don't worry, I'm not ill or going through anything life-threatening. I just don't like what's going on with my body. I'm not crazy about what I see in the mirror. I can't seem to get serious about changing what I can change and accepting what I can't. My job has been my joy for almost 14 years, but it has become not so much fun any more. Changes are being made daily that make it more difficult, and trying to do it half time has become more and more of a challenge. My memory is just not what it used to be either!
But this is not what we're supposed to be talking about today. I keep thinking of things that I could say, but I keep coming up with a But . . . Why do I do this to myself?
So much of who I am is because of my past, of course. Being the eldest of 5 in a parsonage defined much of myself. I grew up being terribly responsible. I was left in charge of the younger ones many times, and at a very young age. I don't suppose my parents could do this today, with life the way it is now. That's sad, because I think I developed a tremendous sense of responsibility very early in my life. I was a partner with my parents in a very real sense. I sometimes feel I was never really very young. That is a whole other topic and has its goods and its bads!
I am a missionary at heart. Because the church defined our beings so much of the time, we had the privilege of knowing "real live missionaries." They stayed in our home in the days before everyone stayed in a hotel. They ate with us and shared stories with us, and usually left each of us a quarter when they departed early in the morning before we were up. I played missionary. I thought I would be a missionary. God did not send me, but I was willing. I think that's why my passion for missions has never waivered. I have been the mission leader in our church for many years. My love affair with missions and missionaries has never gone away. I do believe God knew what He was and is doing!
I have music in my soul. As I mentioned recently, I began piano lessons at 7, started playing in church and 8, and have hardly been off the bench during church services since. I am not great. I am a pretty generic pianist and organist - the black and white kind - I play what I see without a lot of fanciness. I wish I had been able to continue lessons beyond age 13, but finances did not allow it. Who knows how good I could have been? But I love to sing - I'm not a great singer. I can harmonize like crazy and have a low alto voice. But the joy of singing in choir keeps me going - I can be so tired on Wednesday that I want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head. But forcing myself to choir practice is always the best thing I can do for myself - music energizes me. But - only certain kinds of music! I won't go into that any further.
I am strong. Not physically strong in the sense of lifting weights or running marathons. I have learned to enjoy exercise as an adult, hating it as a kid. I was always the last one chosen for a team, and wanted to hide. By strong, I mean mentally and spiritually. If you've followed my story written with my children, you know that I've endured a lot of heartache and stress in the last 15 years. Much of the time I kept it hidden from those who could have helped me through it. DC and I endured a lot that we should have shared with those who loved and cared. I am so happy that I can do that now. It is liberating and cathartic to share our burdens. I have learned that I have the ability to put those things on paper in a way that helps me and hopefully helps others. If you're new to my site, you can read our stories, which are linked on my sidebar. God has kept us going all these years, and I feel stronger because of what we have been through. I am, however, ready for a break!
I am opinionated. This is definitely one of those good/bad things. I feel passionately about things, most of which I can do nothing about. I shake my head in helplessness when I listen to the news of our world and wonder what in the world is going to happen. But I know God and prayer are the only answers.
I love security. As a preacher's kid, we moved many times. I've talked about this a lot in this setting, and also mentioned that I was always the one ready to pack up and take on a new adventure. Somehow that has changed. I have no desire to move and my roots are very deep in my home. DC would like to have a more adventurous life as we face retirement, but I can't fathom pulling up stakes and starting over somewhere else at this age. Maybe this is not a good trait, but it is who I am.
I show my feelings on my face. I don't hide anything - also good/bad. But I don't know how I would change that. I think it also goes along with the above-mentioned passion.
I am Mom and Grandma and wife and daughter and oldest sister and aunt and cousin. I am no longer granddaughter. My sister and I used to play mommy, teacher, secretary, and missionary. I grew up to be all of those things in a sense. Mommy and Grandma have definitely defined me and have brought joy and sorrow. All of these roles have had a part in making me who I am and I thank God for each and every one.