You Dropped A Bomb On Me (Baby)

In my blog post entitled, What’s On Your Plate, God basically told me I was co-dependent. I put it on the shelf so to speak, mentioning it again in my blog post To Share, Or Not, I mentioned the word, but at that time, I didn’t go too far into the subject. Now I am delving deeply into it and I am learning a ton.

While at a meeting a week ago, the table was filled with papers with various affirmations typed on them. As I sat listening to people sharing, I glanced over at some of the affirmations and started reading a few. One affirmation in particular distracted me so completely, I stopped listening to the speaker.

The affirmation read something like, “The most important person in my life is me.” I was instantly shocked and thought, “WHAT?!?! That can’t be right! This has to be one of those situations where the world says one thing and God says the opposite!” I was indignant. In my head, God comes first, then my husband then my children and on and on. I put that affirmation on the shelf, where I’d previously put codependency and paid attention to the speaker again, but that affirmation kept messing with me all week long.

It came up again after I finished writing a journal entry. Upon finishing it, I found myself starting to write it. I stopped, closed and put the journal down and said, “Ok Abba, let’s talk about this. This can’t be right can it?” I heard a very simple, “Yes.”. In my typical argue- with- Almighty God fashion, I said, “Ok, no, that’s not right. That’s selfish and wrong.” Then I heard, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” At that, I burst out crying, but I was not done arguing with God yet. I said, “Oh my God, that’s in the Bible. No, no it’s not.”. Mind you, I know full well it is, but I was majorly offended. I told my daughter to google the verse. When she read it and told me where it is, I burst out crying again.

The reason I cried is because God knows me. He knows my co-dependency is such that I tend to others and exclude myself. I’m ok if you’re ok, I will just suck up whatever I’m dealing with to make sure you’re good because you matter more, you matter most in fact.

Love your neighbor as yourself. My goodness Friend, if I treated you as I have treated myself, you would not like me at all. Not even a little bit. That hit home in a huge way. And, because God and I have a relationship that is not devoid of silliness, it was as if He put change in a jukebox somewhere because I suddenly heard the chorus to the song, “You dropped a bomb on me, baby, you dropped a bomb on me.”

At that, I could only giggle through my tears and lovingly say, “Abba, you are so stoopid.” Religious people should read “stoopid” as “silly” if that helps settle the spirit. I assure you, God can handle little ole Patrice. He is teaching me, and I love Him for it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I just wanted to share some love notes from a class led by Francois Du Toit, author of The Mirror Bible translation. I hope you take the following thoughts to heart and know you are, have always been and will always be, deeply and immeasurably loved.

No one looks for something they’ve never lost possession of in the first place. You were always His. You can’t be lost if you did not belong to begin with.

My prayer for you today is that you would agree with God about you.

I pray that more than pleading with God to know His plan for your life, that you realize that your life is His plan.

I pray that you would rest beside the still waters and see yourself as He does. Your spirit remembers who you truly are.

I pray that you remember that whatever is true of Jesus is true of you too. As he is, so are we, in this world. (1 John 4:17)

Enjoy your day!

Love, Patrice

Grateful To Hear From God

My greatest pleasure has to be the fact that God speaks to me and I hear Him. Growing up, I was taught about a god being more so, a distant deity, not really a person with feelings. Well that god had anger, and plenty of it, lol. I know God to be totally different from the one I was taught about while growing up.

Looking back on my life, I now understand that God has been speaking to me -and I have actually listened, quite a bit. I now know that so much of what I have done in life was because of His leading. He’s had me travel paths that I didn’t know existed so there was no previous interest in them. He has led me to have the types of birth experiences I’ve had, from my first and only hospital birth to go on to have unassisted homebirths. I went from sending my oldest to daycare, inwardly dreading her first day of real school, to taking her out of daycare and going on to unschool her and my other children.

With the track record God has established between us, I trust Him implicitly when He gives me a directive. That’s not to say that I don’t get afraid. I most certainly do. I am just ok with moving forward in spite of fear. Really, it’s because this is God we’re talking about. It has happened many times that people want me to do one thing when God has directed me clearly to do the opposite. I always go with God. In that way, I am not a fool.

I find that God can get real weird in His directives with me at times. I think He does it sometimes just to show me (not Himself) how willing I am to follow Him. He already knows what I will do from one moment to the next. I believe He’s teaching me about myself in these instances. He’s showing me how I can advance to greater levels of trust and intimacy with Him. Sometimes it’s fun, other times it’s hard, there’s pain involved, but it’s always good.

So, I will keep right on trusting and following Him, even when others are saying something different. Some even say that what they are telling me to do is from Him. Sometimes I laugh it off, knowing what He told me directly. Other times, I freak out and He gently says, “Who are you going to listen to?” Now, more than ever before, I am so grateful that I hear Him.

Thoughts on Mothering

I was a part of a class yesterday that served as a wonderful confirmation of things I have felt most of my life, even when my experience and what I was taught was vastly different.

The class was taught by a woman who is also a mother. She said two things that made me pause and smile. One was that just after each of her children were born, she knew something about them that had to do with their character.

I perked up upon hearing that because I remember very well, feeling I knew things about my children while in utero. I knew who was mild mannered but couldn’t keep still, who was feisty and opinionated, who was mild mannered, who was wild and free and so on. I don’t think it’s unreasonable as each baby and I shared my body for months and months on end. To my way of thinking, you can easily learn something in the amount of time it takes to gestate and be birthed into the world outside a woman’s body.

The other thing the teacher stated that I loved was that while her husband belongs to her, her children do not. I have felt that instinctively at least since I gave birth to my firstborn, 20 years ago. She was and is a gift, as are all of my children. They are not mine. They belong to God first and, when/if they marry, they will belong to their spouses.

My job is to love and respect them. I listen to them and help them to learn and grow in as loving an environment as possible. They are not extensions of me. They are not a reflection of me, representing me everywhere they go. They aren’t my arm, foot, or anything like that. They aren’t me. We are not entangled. They are entirely whole, separate beings, on their own, in and of themselves, and I have the honor and privilege of raising them. I am here to help them, not try to control them. I find so much bliss, freedom and peace in that.

Hearing another mother echo these sentiments, mean it and show the fruit of it, was so refreshing and affirming. For many years, I thought I was weird because I am not like anyone I knew growing up. I used to say I didn’t know where I came from with all the ideas and things I have done and do regarding birth, child rearing and more. As I think about it now, the answer is super simple. I follow God’s leading. He has been speaking to me for as long as I can remember. I am grateful for that and that He is always guiding me and helping me to be a better me, and in this case, a better mother. I so love being a mother.

Ramblings

I am sleepy. I have been awake during hours I should have been sleeping. What started out as a typical trip to the bathroom, turned into my remembering more traumatic events from my childhood.

So many things come to mind.

I consider how easily and without any thought whatsoever, people get into destructive and dysfunctional roles and play them out, sometimes, for the rest of their lives, with little to no self awareness.

I consider all it takes for one person to stop the cycle of abuse that has been perpetuated in a family, in a most covert manner, for generations.

I consider who will be the ones trying to bring back the old order and way of doing things so that all is “back to normal again.”. Sometimes these people are intentionally sent, and sometimes, because they are uncomfortable, they just go of their own accord, all with the intent of “restoring” things.

I wonder how adult after adult, could be so dismissive, caught up in their own issues, to not see hurting children.

I consider and now see patterns in my own behavior and have a better understanding of myself, and why I did and do things in certain ways.

I am dissecting what people are really saying when their behavior, patterns and what they say aren’t aligned with one another.

I am questioning much of what I was taught as a child and believed most of my life, up until now.

I am uprooting lies I have been told and replacing them with Truth. Truth is a person named Jesus.

I am more mindfully parenting my children like never before.

I am learning to treat myself with love, compassion and care. I am angry at times that it isn’t easy at all.

I am paying attention to the knot that develops in my gut when I feel a boundary has been or is in danger of being trampled. I am gaining more self respect as I honor my feelings and observe my boundaries.

I feel I have an invisible, but very real muzzle on. I think it is coming off. I am exploring my feelings about this.

I’ve Not Disappeared, Well Maybe I Have

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written anything.  I’m writing now to simply say that I don’t really know what to say besides saying that I am on a very hard journey to healing childhood wounds.

I implore you, if you have any of your own, seek help.  It is unreasonable to think you can just go on and not pass on some or a lot of your own pain to someone you care for. Something I saw on Facebook from Christine Caine said it best, “If you never heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” This makes me angry, actually.  I find it difficult to fathom being so unaware of oneself, that one leaves a path of destruction in their wake, completely and utterly oblivious.  I especially have a hard time when it’s children who catch the brunt of that destruction.  It isn’t fair.  I am intent on ending abusive cycles.  The buck stops here.  What I find even more disturbing is the covert nature of it.  When it comes to people, I have an easier time taking those blatant, in your face types.  Covert behavior bugs me because there’s such an insidious nature to it. It’s so ugly and despicable. Also, when one displays covert tendencies, it makes me feel that they have more control than they’re willing to admit, being able to behave one way here and another way there.  I don’t handle that well.

So, I pray you are well while I’m going through all the emotions and what comes with healing.  It’s hard, but it’s great and so very necessary.  I am already a very different, healthier, more alert me than ever before. I am happier too, actually.  As I said, it’s difficult at times, but this is a good thing.  God is with me and I know it.  He started me on this journey, after all.  I will aim to write again soon.  With love, Patrice.

To Share, Or Not

I have written several blog posts, only to put them aside.  I am not sure what to share or how much to share these days.  I understand all the reasons why I should be quiet right now and just deal in secrecy, but, what if keeping quiet is harmful?  What about the opportunity to have my issues be a source of comfort, relief, validation or joy for others?  What if my opening up could help more than my being quiet? My friend Juli recently told me that my super power is my transparency.  I agree.  I enjoy being honest and open.  I love the idea that simply sharing my journey can help others in ways I haven’t considered.

I have been on yet another life altering journey of self discovery and healing.  The Lord seems to be moving through all areas of my life, cleaning, pruning and making changes.  It makes me think of a time when my oldest daughter unknowingly gave me a word from God.

We were in a prophecy 101 type of class, and had chosen one number from a cup, twice.  The first number was to be our number, the second was the number of the person we would be prophesying over.  When it was her turn, my daughter said something along the lines of, “I see a person being molded and shaped, like bread.  They are very uncomfortable and want to fight against the molding taking place but God is saying to stop fighting against the molding and shaping, because it’s Him.”  I could only smile in awe when she announced the number and it was mine.  I haven’t forgotten that word she gave me.  It is very true of the process I am in right now.

God has brought to light things that weren’t exactly done in the dark per se, but they were done in ways and at a time where the truth of it all escaped me because I was a child, conditioned to think and believe in very specific ways.  I have learned that because of this, I am what the world of psychology calls, co-dependent.  I have empathy for everyone except myself and tend to be overly concerned about caring for the needs and wishes of others, even to my own detriment.  I have believed so much about myself and my personality that simply aren’t true.  He is teaching me who I truly am and healing me of past wounds so that I don’t continue the cycle of abuse with my children or anyone else for that matter.

I am working through a lot of rage that I have carried since childhood.  I used to fight, and when I did, it was pretty awful.  Looking back, I am surprised that no adult picked up on the obvious rage in an otherwise mild mannered, kind hearted little girl.  I am especially surprised this didn’t happen when I was suspended in 5th grade, for fighting after school, off school grounds.  I will just say, that poor girl has evidence of that fight today and what I did to her wasn’t at all warranted.  Let me explain…

As I walked home from school with friends, two of them suddenly began fighting.  One friend, got in a good hit on the other and without thinking, something inside of me snapped, and I was suddenly fighting the first girl.  I later went to her home and apologized to her and her mother.  I didn’t know what happened or why I did what I did. I messed her face up badly enough that when we went to school the following day, teacher after teacher was outraged at the sight of her face and, learning I was at fault, I was sent to the principal, who, also outraged, suspended me for 10 days.

Every single fight I had, I remember one common theme.  I would seem to leave my body, fight viciously, and suddenly come to myself, wondering how I got there.  Sadly, there were several people who were left with permanent scars, all undeserved.

The Lord is helping me sort through all this and more, and it’s not fun or comfortable. It’s very hard, actually. I see and understand the reason for it all and am grateful, nonetheless.  I know that, on the other side of this, I will be a better, stronger, truer version of myself. I will set boundaries and have consequences in place if those boundaries aren’t adhered to.  I will no longer quietly assume any roles  God Himself hasn’t designated for me to play.  I am done with it all, and I feel more free having just stated that.

With love, Patrice