Disclaimer: You cannot read this if you are not up to date with “This is Us”. Please hop on Hulu and return.
A few weeks ago my husband and I were watching the show “This is Us”. Yes, I married a rugged, smoking hot cowboy who watches my shows with me. I know, I hit the jackpot. He is a real gem.
At the end of this particular episode, one of my favorite characters and the keeper of my wife goals, Beth, discovers that she wants to teach dance. This is after years of being successful at something else completely. I was fighting tears watching her character dance and was envious of how she knew in that instant just what she wanted to do.
I will admit, I didn’t even cry when Jack died. I know that must sound heartless, I mean, it is Jack. I should probably look into that. Anyway, my husband looked over and was very confused. He, of course, wanted to know what had pulled at my heart strings. I mean, Jack didn’t even get my tears.
“I think it must be really cool to have a dream,” I answered. I could not believe how raw and real I had just been out loud to another human being. My husband, God bless his beautiful soul, even got teary eyed. He reminded me of all of my skills and applauded my many crafts.
It was a dark room filled with the soft glow of a paused television screen. It became full of “You are such a good writer”, “I love hearing you sing”, “Nobody refinishes furniture like you, babe”. Again, bless him.
I was grateful that our eyes could meet without him seeing just how unraveled this experience had made me. It seemed so silly. It was a T.V. show! I told him how amazing I thought it was that he took his passion, his dream, and his skills and actualized his vision for his life. He is wildly successful and driven. That is how I see my husband. He is in a lot of ways my hero.
I could never do something like that. Right?
What got me, what it really boiled down to, was that I couldn’t remember the last time I really had a dream. I have had hobbies. I have many talents. I see that, but I stay so focused on managing the household and working hard to help everyone else achieve their dreams that I FORGOT TO HAVE ANY OF MY OWN.
Even writing that I am fighting tears. I’m shaken by how much I have let myself down without even realizing it. The worst part was I knew what I wanted my life to look like. I knew the mom and the wife I wanted to be. I knew what I would like to be doing with my time, but I had no real vision and certainly no intention. My almost-dreams were just things I would pick up every now and then. I am very much just winging it.
Here is what I know about myself:
I have 1/3 of a degree in every major you can have in community college.
I inherited the “Taylor nose”.
My teeth are crooked and the more wrinkled I get the more my forehead resembles a Klingon.
I am a hand talker. Watch your face.
I cheat on my diet.
I drink coffee like it is my job because I don’t get enough sleep.
I have love handles and stretch marks and my belly button reminds me of a flat tire I changed in Auto Mechanic School (see, every major).
I have had a little voice inside me that has told me since I was little that I was supposed to do something big. I have told that voice to be quiet.
What do we notice about this list of facts about me? Not much positive, but that is what I came up with. Ew. I have had so much faith in the beautiful people in my home that I stopped having faith in myself.
I had forgotten the good stuff. That is crazy too, y’all, because there is a lot of good stuff. Frankly, I’m pretty awesome. Why did that not make my list? I had cheated myself by disappearing into my roles at home and at my job.
Remember that gem of a husband I mentioned? Well, he made me think of all the things I wanted to accomplish. He wanted to know what I would rather be doing with my time. He is the reason I was so clear about my life goals in my “Trolls” entry.
I told him that I wanted to be more present at home instead of looking for the next thing to check off of the list. In this chapter of our lives, I really need to be. My family deserves a Mary. I need to put Martha away now.
I wanted to write and to be published. I wanted to upcycle and refinish and paint until every shirt I owned was ruined. (I have been affectionately named a “Paint Slinger”).
I want to be bolder and more open with my talents. I want to share them and I want to use them because God gave them to me for a reason! I was cheating my creator just as much as I was cheating myself and that fact was the twist of the knife.
God has a funny way of delivering his message. He also has an unimaginable way of putting you where He wants you. We have had endless blessings in recent difficulties. We have had protection from outside forces meant to destroy us. We have been given distance from chaos (aside from our indoor Nerf gun battles).
God has created opportunities for me to see what is most valuable. He has stripped away everything to reveal to me what is important. God has shown me through media what He wants me to do. This is going to sound crazy, but here goes.
About a month ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and stumbled across a video advertising a book called, Girl, Wash Your Face. I watched the video and thought, man, this chick might be my braver soul sister. I barely have time to read these days, so I opted for the audiobook for my work commutes.
I enjoyed listening to the book. I could relate, I loved the positivity, and I thought it was cool that we had a similar writing style. (SIDE NOTE: I am not comparing myself to Rachel Hollis. That woman is a goddess). I was uplifted and I thought it was just going to be good fluff for my state of mind.
Then, I listened to Chapter 16. I was weeping. The timing was downright chilling. Ok, God, I see You moving. For those who are familiar with our latest trials and who have read this book, I imagine the hairs on your arms are standing up too. What were the odds? How could something like this be a shared experience? How could anyone else, especially someone so wholesome, possibly know this pain?
God used a Facebook ad to show me something incredible. Writing honestly and sharing experiences leaves an impact. Since I started sharing my blog posts, I have had so many women on my friend’s list reach out.
They have related their own recoveries to mine. The situations may be different, but the pain is the same. These women have read entries to their children and husbands to say, “This is me. This is how I feel. This is how I love you.”
Even people who are not Christians have shared that my posts make them laugh or make them feel good. What I was writing mattered. It was a reassurance and a comfort. It was a validation and an empowerment. It was even revealing God to people I love! I didn’t even really mean for it to be.
This blog was really just supposed to be an outlet and maybe links emailed to my mom for her to put on her refrigerator or something. God put me where he wanted me, so that I could find my dream and ultimately, my purpose. Whether intended or not, my blog had become a source of service and worship.
My husband and I had a very long talk and the man that God gave me took my hands and put my dreams back into them. An adorable novelist wrecked my heart and made me feel less alone. My amazing readers shared that I did the same for them. My mom, who is my sound board for just about everything, confirmed that I was on the right path.
God did not wait long for me to listen. I picture Him, tapping His fingers and sighing, while watching me blindly run further and further away from my dreams. Just when I was about to disappear completely, He redirected me. He had to use Facebook and a T.V. show, which is something else I probably need to look into, but He nudged. Then He hollered. Then I listened.
Regardless, I have feel so confident and excited about the direction my life is going. There will be a lot of changes. There will be some struggle and work, but it will be worth it.
God gave me dreams. He gave me talents. I want to give Him glory.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
More will be revealed.