I can’t remember the last time I posted a list of links, but there are some things I’ve read in the past few weeks that I’d like to put in front of your eyeballs. So. A list of links!
But this is merely an anniversary, a pause along the path. We are no longer at the beginning, nor are we quite at the end. We are in the middle, the place where everything happens before you know why it does.
But one of the important things I learned about emotions and relationships during all that counseling is this: Feelings are neither right nor wrong; they just are. It’s not my job to justify or explain them. And it’s no one else’s right to question or discount them. The best thing for me to do is to acknowledge and perhaps try to describe them, and the only thing someone else can do is try to understand how I feel, not why.
Maybe I’ll say, “Well, Curly Fries, God doesn’t have a face or hands like you and me. But remember what Ms. Terri and Ms. Jane or Mr. Jerry looked like when you hugged them in the hallway at church? Or what Ms. Nancy looks like when she helps you make crafts in Sunday School? Or what Ms. Caryanne looks like when she plays hide-and-seek with you in the sanctuary after the service? Or all those backpacks that we filled with school supplies in the Fellowship Hall for kids who don’t have much money? Or those cans of food that we put on the altar to feed people who are hungry? Or how Pastor Mike and Pastor Lin look when someone comes forward to join the church or be baptized? You know how it looks to have everyone singing together in the chapel? Well, that’s what God looks like.”
Obviously, my Google Reader filled up after the Glen, because I met Jenni Simmons there as well. We didn’t workshop together, but she made me feel welcome. I loved her piece at The Curator on finding her voice again.
“Behold, I am making all things new,” says Jesus. The order of my life was revised by the Author of my faith. He also said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” — an eternal decree to St. John, but also to me, a writer. Elbows and wrists are fearfully and wonderfully made, created to work in synchronicity. But they are also created to suffer in synchronicity. I could barely lift these bone-hinges to type a sentence. I took to henpecking with my right hand fingers. How will I ever write again? . . . Who cares. My writing voice was snuffed out by trauma, pain, fatigue. Disillusionment of the Lord to whom I pleaded.
What’s in a name? A story — one of overcoming hardships in pursuit of a better life for your children in the face of outrageous odds that claimed the lives of friends and relations at every step. This immigrant story deeply informs the story that I grew up with — a story where my very name, rightly or wrongly, was a source of shame to me.
I am a big fan of Ask Moxie, and I appreciated her discussion of motherhood here (and always). Be sure and read the post she links to as well from her friend Randi.
While you’re going through those conditions you’ll be in a state of being. Everything from serene beauty to terror to exhaustion to resentment to adoration. You”ll be the woman pumping on the couch at 3 am feeling like nothing but a milk-making machine. You’ll be the flabby unhappy person who wonders what you do with your days. You’ll be the strong ecstatic person who helps her kid ride a bicycle.
What have you been reading?