I saw a post from a friend that led to Ted Dekker's facebook page. I really liked his mind. I like the way he seems to be, full of something that was truly good. I was intrigued. He is a Christian author who I had regrettably never heard of before. His page led to my reading his mention of a scholarship program to attend the Re:Write Christian writers conference. I had my oldest, first born son in mind when I applied for scholarships to attend because he desperately wants to be a fiction author but longs for direction. I thought this might be just the thing for him. I had personally never been to a writers workshop or conference and up until the last few years never really attempted writing and certainly never considered myself any sort of writer in any way. I, I, I, I. Time for some new words.
Then Mark said. Mark said...circumstances that surrounded him writing The Circle Maker were small steps that led to a greater picture. This coincidental thing just happened that led to this and to that until...
A new email showed up in my inbox about a week later. It was the folks over at Re:Write telling me that we had gotten the scholarships to go. Stoked, I ran over to the site to register us for this event totally unsure of what to expect, but I felt like something great was going to happen to us, that we would learn something outer bounds of amazing. I booked a cheap hotel, you know, the one where the police knock on your door and demand to know who's inside for know apparent reason and then tell you, oops, sorry wrong room.
The feeling continued to run deep down inside my bones, that change was coming, something is coming, don't know what it is, but it is coming to me. The air is humming and something great is coming. Come on. Deliver. To me. Thanks, West Side Story.
Now how all the details surrounding getting to Austin, Texas, figuring out who would watch my other five kids while me and my son attended and the like had yet to be figured out, but I knew it would work out somehow for some reason. In actuality, my husband truly made it all happen. He started a new job and had his own details to figure out, but he squeezed his appointments and obligations together just so we could go without much trouble. Looking back, I should have made it easier for him by packing the children's bags and preparing them for the little journey they were going on, but my mom got sick and I flew out to see her child free for five days. We thought we were close to the end with her so I wanted to make a small trip to see her just in case it was our last days together. This conference came directly after my visit with her and all these events surrounded my husband starting his new job. He was trying to make me happy. He was encouraging me in every way until...
I flew back from my mom's to Dallas and he came to pick me. He drove up to the arrival doors at the airport, I opened the car door and trash, tooth paste, clothes, coats and stuff fell out of the door. Not seeing all that my husband had done for me in full retrospect the last week, I looked at all the things falling out of the door and before I could stop myself it was too late. My first words to him after all he did for me and for the kids and yes, for his boss, my very first words were a complaint about the stuff falling out of the car. He was immediately disheartened and so were the kids who just longed to hear I miss you and love you from their mom. I was so completely concerned that someone saw all the mess, junk and stuff and all the judgments that surround having a larger family ensued my mind. I back pedaled. I tried to say sorry. I tried to be upbeat but all I could think about was how dirty and messy that car was and why in the world was it? It drove me nuts. I immediately started cleaning the whole car out. You'd think I'd learn my lesson just by saying those initial words, but no, I had to get it all clean before I could have ten decent words with my family.
It was a long three hours on to Austin.
I should've. I should've. I should've.
Shoulda' coulda' woulda'
My coulda's clouded the entire weekend. I don't think I made anymore complaints. But my life is one big complaint too much of the time. I don't even see it anymore. I don't know how to catch myself. I don't know how to stop myself. I don't know if there is any way to stop committing so much complaint or critical jabbing at myself. At my family. At others. I grew up this way. I feel it's horribly and irreversibly inbred and unbreakable. It's pathetic. It feels hopeless in many ways. I keep telling myself to get over myself. To admit, to improve.
Then Ted said. Ted said...Judgments are personal fears reflected onto others.
I judge. I criticize. I complain.
Then he said, "Who are you pretending to be today? We live in story. Rewrite what you believe about yourself today."
I believe I can't be helped, that there is no possible way that I can change, but yet, people have to put up with me on a daily basis. I can be very loveable, but then not appealing in the smallest way because my words will injure and cause fall out. I have created fall out in my marriage that creates another kind of fall out that creates another kind, that creates another kind...
Then Sandy said. Sandy said...create your culture, ignore your critics and opposers!
I am my own worst critic. These cliche and well often spoken thoughts are still true. Always have been true for me. I am a mom to six. I am a homeschooler. I am a wife of almost 16 years. I want to follow the real Jesus, the real God. I want to follow my love of music and the love of writing with reckless abandon. I am reeling inside every single day about what I did or didn't do and I've passed those decrepit feelings I carry on to others, worst of all, my own beloved family. Yes, they are my most beloved and my greatest wish on planet earth is to make them feel love and encouragement daily....but that is SO hard to do if I do not love myself and don't feel loved and encouraged.
But what does it take to feel that...for me? DO I even know?
Sandy also said...release courage over someone. Maybe that someone is myself? Myself. It's selfish. Myself is extremely and embarrassingly selfish. But courage. Me. I need courage to see myself for who I truly am and face it. Face the ugly truth head on. I have been given SO much but my gratefulness hasn't shined as much or as high as what I've been given. My reality has been washed over by how I have been raised and by not listening to others and by myself and most importantly not listening to God. He so understands me, but He does want me to hear from Him. He is so patient, but He does want me to shut up and listen sometimes, too.
C.S. Lewis received 800 rejection letters for his books before he was finally published.
Rejection of self, self-inflicted rejection...all can be overcome. Persevere.
Write. Engage. Explore. Track. Miss Diaz graced us with her words. Applicable to life. Applicable to mine. Me. Mine.
She said, she said...turn around errors by being transparent. Being real. Being honest. I need to get honest with myself and face fear and irresponsibility for my actions head on. For real.
Susan May Warren said. She said if your writing journey hasn't changed you, you missed the point.
This blog post has changed me. Time to face the music and embrace forgiveness and love of self.