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.

 

Life Matters

Image

Yesterday I started writing this blog.

And then I deleted it.

And then I started writing it again.

And then I deleted it… again.

I deleted it because there was nothing funny about it. In fact, it is an unpleasant topic, that, like most people, I’d rather avoid completely.

I deleted it because there are women I know and love who are walking wounded, and it hurt my heart to think of reopening their wounds and causing any more pain. But maybe truth can be spoken in love. And instead of hurt, these words can set someone free.

So I started writing it a third time.

And you guessed it; I deleted it a third time.

And then I spent an hour reading stories that will haunt me for a really long time. Stories of botched abortions, partial birth, tiny little jaws, hearts, limbs.

Stories of horror.

Stories of shame.

Stories that, quite honestly, if I could go back and unread, I would.

And then I started writing… because PEOPLE MATTER.

They matter.

People aren’t accidents.

They aren’t mistakes.

They aren’t a consequence of sin or circumstance.

They matter.

They’ve always mattered.

They mattered when they were carefully woven together in their mother’s womb.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Psalm 139:13

They mattered when they were made in the image of God.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” Gen 1:27

They mattered when there were created for a purpose and with a plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11

People matter.

You matter.

I matter.

And so I started writing again, because how can I expect a DESPERATE WOMAN, who either believes she has no other options or is terrified by the options she has; how can I expect her to be BRAVE and TAKE A STAND, when I’m not even in her shoes and I am too afraid to say LIFE MATTERS… at every stage.

People matter.

There is hope.

Tuesday, November 19. The voters of Albuquerque, NM have an opportunity to vote FOR a ban on late term (post 20 week) abortions. Will you join me in praying for this historic day in our cities history? Maybe you’ll even be brave enough to publically declare that LIFE MATTERS.

To the walking wounded: You matter. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and NOTHING, no NOTHING, can separate you from the love of God. Come to Jesus, let Him bind your broken heart.

Praying for you. Xoxo,

Shaena

No extras.

“All the world is a stage, and all the men and women are merely players” William Shakespeare

I was in a movie once. In fact I was in an Academy Award winning movie. I played the role of, “a girl”, not “the girl”, but “a girl”. It was a role I was born to play.

Okay so I was just an extra, and there is a slight chance the academy award had nothing to do with me… actually there is also a chance my scene didn’t make it into the movie … I never saw it. Anyway, for the purpose of bucket list #354 “Be in a movie”, check.

Being an extra is a little like crashing a wedding. You come all dressed up, but the party is not for you. I was so excited for my big role as “a girl”, until I got there and realized it wasn’t quite as special as I hoped it would be. I don’t know what I expected, but being crammed into a room with 50 other extras who were all treated like a huge headache that wouldn’t go away, was quite a surprise. The important people on a movie set are the actors and extras aren’t actors…not really…they are more like props. We use props to make something artificial seem sincere, but the prop can’t tell the story. It was awkward, and a little disappointing to realize the best part of being an extra is getting to say that you were in a movie. Yep, pretty lame claim to fame.

Have you ever felt like life is one giant movie but you definitely aren’t a main actor? Maybe you’ve even wished you could be cast as someone else. I know I have. In a world that loves us some celebrities, it’s easy to feel like my role is not that important. But God says I matter, that I belong, and I have the power to tell His story. With God there are no extras, my role is just as important as any other actor. In short, “I am kind of a big deal”, and Christian, so are you.

Here is what the Bible has to say about our role:

  • You are known by God (Rom 8:29; 2 Tim 2:19)- Hands down the most famous director knows you and has from the beginning.
  • You were chosen (Rom. 8:30; Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 2:9)- God does not make mistakes, you’ve been chosen to play a role in God’s story…He could have played it Himself, but He chose you.
  • You are accepted (Rom 15:7, Eph 1:4-6; 1 Peter 2:10)- You don’t have to hide away as though you don’t belong, you are accepted and welcomed!
  • You are watched (Psalm 121:7-8, Prov 16:9)- not only does the director look your way, He won’t take His eyes off you, and He will direct your every step.
  • You are important (Psalm 96:3; Isaiah 12:4; Matt 28:19-20)- You are important because people need to see Jesus, and He has chosen you to play His child.

You are not a prop, you are a principal character. You can tell a story with your life about a God that saves. There are no extras. No one can play you better than you can.

His audience awaits.

Praying for you this week. That God will pour out His Spirit and make you bold so that many will hear His story through yours.

In loving memory of… me, I hope

Every time someones death makes headlines, I get an opportunity to think about how I might want my world to remember me. Chances are my death won’t make headlines (unless you count Facebook) but I am certain that I will die… the statistics are alarming. That being said, thinking about life in terms of the impact I want it to have is not a bad a way to live. Life is short, and I hope to make mine count.

  • If I was a good wife, I hope they say I loved one man and loved him well. That I respected him and became a crown on his head and not a thorn in his flesh. I hope they say that I encouraged him to dream even bigger by standing beside him when times were hard. I think it’d be best if I “went” first… this might even out the score for all the times I kept him a praying man.
  • If I was a good mom, I hope they say I fought for my kids, even when it sometimes sent me to a padded room. I hope they say I sacrificed pieces of me so that my children would feel nurtured and blanketed.
  • If I was a good daughter I hope they say I eventually rescued my parents from the padded room I sent them to in my teens. I hope they say my life brought them honor and not shame. I hope they say that I was grateful and I never let them forget it.
  • If I was a good friend, I hope they say I laid down my life for them. That being my friend built them up and did not tear them down. I hope they say I smiled, even when it hurt, and challenged them to do the same. I hope they know I was sometimes silly because I’d rather see them laugh at me then not laugh at all.
  • If I was a good mentor, I hope they say I had no secrets. Instead, I lived my life an open book so that their reach far outstretched mine.
  • If I was good student, I hope they say that I listened well and didn’t waste their time. I hope they say my wish was never to be them, but to learn from them that Jesus in me was the only reflection I needed.
  • And if I had talent, I hope they say I worked my butt off to multiply it. That I didn’t settle for what was easy or natural but that I took what God gave me and did everything I could with everything I had to get better, to grow, and to go to the ends of the earth with it so that Jesus would be glorified through it.
At the end of my life, I hope God says well done, that I fought the good fight, and that I was faithful until the end.
When I started writing this, I was thinking of all the time I had to get this right before I die. Since none of us are promised tomorrow, however, I hope I live this wish list out every day, by God’s grace, starting today.
How do you want your world to remember you? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear.

I Hate Tansformers

When you’ve done all you can and it still isn’t enough, surrender.

I hate transformers. Not the movie, no opinion there, but the plastic toys that transform from car to robot. If you don’t know what they are…seriously? Maybe hate is too strong a word, I really really don’t like them. They are impossible to transform. I suspect manufacturers make transformers to drive people crazy, and people give them to my son to see if I will curse.

There are three kinds of people when it comes to transformers, or any other challenge, and I have been all three.

  1. The Quitter: If something is hard, it just makes sense to quit and move on to the next toy. Never mind the cost that have gone into buying it or that fact that it had only been opened moments ago, this person just quits.
  2. The Determined: The determined person will spend hours trying to transform that little car. She will work until her hands are cracked and bleeding, and if Bumblebee still looks like a confusing piece of plastic, the determined person will just break off any parts that look strange and attempt to pitch the toy as one-of-a-kind. Winners never quit, even in trivial matters.
  3. The Surrendered: The surrendered person is often birthed after the death of the first two, when the child of said toy is still crying. Instead of re-fashioning the toy, this person recognizes they cannot transform it alone and sends the child to ask his father.
Here is the deal, in this life I will face challenges. Jesus said it in John 16:33:
In this world you will have trouble
Real challenges, real troubles, but the person I become is up to me.
Some of those things, will challenge every ounce of faith that I have. I will feel helpless and broken.
I won’t quit.
There will be times when I do all I can and it still wont be enough. Times when my heart will break and although I would give anything to change a circumstance or situation, my determination will not be enough.
I won’t be determined.
Jesus said:
Take heart! I have overcome the world
In this world I will face challenges, but He has overcome, and Christ in me is enough.
I will surrender.
In my surrender I will recognize I can’t do it on my own. I can’t heal broken hearts. I can’t set the captives free. I can’t make beauty from ashes. And I can’t make all things work together for good. But He can. And so I cast my cares on Him, and trust that He will sustain me, and that in Christ, I will not be shaken.
If I can learn to surrender in the little things, like transformers, maybe I’ll develop a pattern that will enable me to trust God in the big things.
Sometimes God uses seemingly insignificant things to teach us powerful truths. I invite you to share yours, I’d love to hear them. Do you have a testimony of surrender in something small that prepared your heart for something bigger?
Praying that you will surrender everything you are this week.