Confessions of a Superhero

Confessions of a Super Hero

Other possible titles:

If I tell you what I really think, will you call me a bitter divorcé ?

Words you write when you are out of Xanax.

There is not enough Botox in the world to hide the fact that I feel tired and old.

Misguided Musings of a 30 something single mom.

 

In just two years I’ve become a real life super hero, this is my story:

We don’t have to talk, we are not friends”.

That was all I could manage to say. That was the last thing that I said. I didn’t look at him again. I didn’t look at her either. I just rolled up my window and drove away. I don’t know where they went. Maybe to celebrate his new found freedom, or to revel in the fact that they had won some great prize in an out of court settlement that included very little time with the kids and even less financial support. I don’t know where they went, and does it really matter? He had made his choice and I would make mine. And so I closed the door on ten years of my life.

Ten years of hopes and dreams.

Ten years of joy and laughter.

Ten years of fighting and strife.

Of contention and hurt and more heartache then our marriage was capable of withstanding.

I closed the door behind me and stared out into a world full of terrifying possibilities, armed with only the tiniest glimmer of hope that somehow, in the end, all the wrongs would be made right.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

 

It’s important to note that by this time I had been a single mom for over a year. Gone were the nights of holding my children as they cried themselves to bed and then slipping into my own bed to do the same. Gone was the fear and worry that my former “stay at home mom” status would prevent me from ever getting a good job, or a good job that I liked. Gone was the fear that I would never be wanted, and that what I could offer would never be enough. And the loneliness that once threatened to rob me of all future joy; was more of a dull ache only noticeable when I focused on it, and I never did.

 

At this point in my life I tried to date. I use that word “try”, about as loosely as you can use any word, because in hindsight, I did not “try” at all. I got out of these “relationships” exactly what I put into them, basically nothing. To be fair, I’m not sure I was ever good at dating… I mean, I was married at 21 so that leaves only my high school boyfriends to chime in… but please don’t because that would be insanely uncomfortable.

The point is this; it is extremely awkward for Christians to date after a divorce. Call me a hopeless romantic, but still hard to forget how, “the one” turned out. And while I totally agree there are a lot of someone betters out there for me, I am plagued with the reality that there is also someone worse, and that guy makes being single seem pretty stinking wonderful. And so, I am content to wait. On time, healing, confidence, hundreds of cats to take over my home and drive me out into the street where I am forced to make new friends, God, anything… I am just waiting. And trusting that when it is right, I’ll know.

Things that steal my joy:

Not having enough time with my kids.

Watching them miss their dad.

Knowing that my chances of marrying Bradley Cooper are basically non-existent.

Seeing them disappointed.

Knowing that even at my best, I will never be both a mother and a father.

Seeing them disappointed again.

Being so tired my body aches.

Seeing them disappointed again and again and again.

Commuting 2 hours a day and then coming home and feeling like a zombie.

The road map of wrinkles that line my forehead.

Things that bring me joy:

Being able to provide for my kids.

Daydreaming about sharing a front porch and a double rocking chair with Bradley Cooper.

A community of friends and family who held my arms up when I was too weak to walk.

Disco dance parties in my daughter’s room.

The way my son looks at me with such gratitude and pride when I come home from work.

All of the things that make up Elly’s world.

All of the things that make up Nicky’s world.

Knowing that I am building a legacy in them, and they will always be my proudest accomplishment.

Interesting work.

Cute clothes.

Knowing that I am not alone, and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Feeling loved every day.

Having a front row seat in the lives of two really cool little humans.

Remembering that this is only one chapter and that the rest has already been written and is just waiting to be read.

 

In truth, some days are awesome and other days suck. I can appreciate that I am not a conventional superhero. An argument can be made that there is nothing super or heroic about me… get behind me Satan.

Although it may be fair to say there is nothing spectacular or even particularly interesting about my life right now. I’m trying to do the best with the cards in my hand, like all of the other amazing parents I know. Still, there are seasons of motherhood that seem more trying than others. This has been mine. And so, you will forgive my bold self-proclaimed superhero status, and just remember sometimes I need to be reminded that I am more than a conqueror.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

Love,

Shaena

PS,

This blog is for moms like me. Your lives are not perfect, but you wake up every day and you do the best with what you have been given. You are beautiful and your story matters.

 

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The Common Snob

Times they are a-changin’. If I thought snobbery was only for the rich and famous, I now know that is a lie. The truth is, snobs are common, and anyone in any situation has the potential of becoming one.

The other day, at my neighborhood grocery store, I noticed a woman carrying the stores recyclable bag. I too had a recyclable bag with me. If you aren’t saving the planet one plastic bag at a time, it’s possible you do not know what an elitist club that users of recyclable bags belong to. Trust me, it’s kind of a big deal. Since membership in the “bag club” at an organic market is relatively common, it really best to display your recyclable bag at the neighborhood market where it really gets noticed. See, the bag say’s, “I care, and I am doing my part. So PLEASE don’t ask me to give a dollar when I get to the register”.

After seeing a fellow member, I had to impress her with my membership badge. So without hesitation, I flipped my bag on my shoulder, and proudly displayed the logo from the organic market down the street. It was as if to say, “I prefer organic, but I’m feeling crazy”.

As soon as I flipped the logo out my face started to become hot. I was so embarrassed by my foolish pride. I struggled to pull my bag off my shoulder and throw it back in the cart, hoping the woman did not notice. If you’ve ever tried to do anything in a panic, you know it is nearly impossible to emote grace and ease. From the look on the woman’s face, I must have looked like the bag was attacking me. We exchanged uncomfortable smiles as we passed each other and I made my way the checkout counter. My hope was just to make it home without any further embarrassment. The whole event took 4 seconds.

Yes, times they are a-changin’. Now, a snob can be anyone.The world offers so many insignificant club memberships and we race like ox to the slaughter to become a part of them. But the secret no one wants us to know is that membership in these worthless clubs only distracts us from what really matters. Memberships exclude, Jesus invites. William Faulkner said, “A snob has to spend so much time being a snob that he has little time to meddle with you.” I definitely see truth in that. I was so focused on showing that woman my cool logo and then, consequently, running away from her in shame, that I never stopped to think maybe there was another reason we at the same place at the same time. Proverbs 16:9 says,

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps

Since God knew we would meet, I doubt His plan was for me to show off, but it could have been to teach me this lesson. You see, I learned that I could have told her about another kind of membership, the kind based on the incorruptible and not the insignificant. I could have looked at her and told her about Jesus, but my pride blinded me, and all I could see was me.

Pride blinds us from seeing people and caring about their needs, and none of us are immune to it. Every so often, it’s good for me to take inventory of the things I do without even noticing, so that God can transform the hidden places of my heart. Even if being a snob is common, I don’t have to be one.

The irony of the bag incident is that later I returned to the store for plastic grocery bags! If you ever see a woman quadruple bagging her cereal box you might want to pray for her. She could be a recovering common snob just like me.

All God’s blessings are possible through Jesus! Hope you will receive them this week!

She Laughs

Sometimes I hear voices in my head. If I were to be totally honest, I’ve been known on more than one occasion to have full blown conversations with these voices. The other night, for example, I was sitting at Starbucks relishing the time I had all to myself when a familiar voice chimed in.

“Excuse me”, she asked. “Don’t you have something you should be doing”.

“Actually, no”. I replied. “My husband gave me the “night off”. I’m just going to hang here at Starbucks and read and write and… enjoy”

“You should have put the baby to bed. Nick will have a hard time getting her to go down.”

“He was insistent he could handle it. Besides, the kids love time alone with daddy”.

“He will let them stay up late. They’ll be tired in the morning. He will let them eat junk food, and then forget to brush their teeth. Your son will probably pass out from exhaustion and then pee the bed. You’ll be so behind on laundry tomorrow and your kids will be cranky from lack of sleep. You’ll get frustrated, send them up for an early nap. While in his room, your son will leap from the top bunk and break an arm. You should go home. You should go home right now!”

I begin to concede, ” I have been here 10 minutes already. I do feel somewhat refreshed. I’ll try again another night. ”

As I am packing up my book and notebook, she makes another remark. “After all you want to be like the Proverbs 31 wife, right? She would never take a night off.”

I stop. “Wait… what? Are you sure? Is that true?”

Silence.

I opened my Bible to Proverbs 31 and began to investigate whether being a wife of noble character, meant never taking any time for myself. It was like the scripture burst off the page and into my heart. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future!

“Ah ha” I thought. “She laughs! She laughs, so doesn’t that mean she’s doing something she enjoys?”

She laughs without a care in the world! She isn’t worried if she’ll have enough time to finish her quilt (22), or if her field wont sell (16), or if her alarm doesn’t go off and she sleeps in (15). She laughs because she has established a pattern of love to her husband, children, and to others. She laughs because that pattern allows her to take breaks and enjoy the fruit of her labor. More importantly, she laughs because she knows that after working hard to do the very best she can with what God has entrusted her, all she can do is just that, her best. She laughs because she trust in a God who holds her future and the future of her family in the palm of His hands.

I listened to my thoughts a minute to see if “she” would respond, but it was just me. I smiled to myself, thankful that God had empowered me to take my thoughts captive (2 Cor 10:5) and bury them in the truth of His word. Thankful for a real and living God, who is always faithful to guide and protect me. With peace in my heart, I laughed, kicked up my feet, and continued to enjoy my “night off”.