Monday, June 18, 2012

Blogging Anniversary

Let's Add Sprinkles has hit a milestone! She is six months old. Should I throw a party?
No I think I'll reflect on what blogging has meant to me the last six months.
The last thing I would want is for people to think that I am shallow or materialistic.
I am sure that is how it comes across sometimes on a decorating blog.
(Oh and that I am one step away from an episode of Hoarders.) ;)

Well, in reality I am far from those things. Yes I love shopping but I am extremely frugal (cheap) and thrifting is my favorite hobby. I love the hunt and turning trash into treasure.

The last three years have been extremely difficult in several ways. This blog has helped me not only focus but refocus if that makes any sense at all.
Three years ago my husband Mr. Sprinkles (he wou allow me to call him that)(so Mr. Bill it is) and I had a child graduating from college and one from high school,
I hit the mid century mark,(don't worry, I'm not insecure about my age.)
our life at our church was dramatically halted,
and finally (the one that brings me the most pain,) my extended family began to implode!!
I don't have to explain the first two but let me briefly explain the second two.

My children called me the church lady. 
From the time I was a little girl I have loved church. 
I sang in the choir for 7 years (I have the pins to prove it.) I loved everything about it and don't even get me started on potluck suppers.
My area was women's ministry. I felt a calling to help teach women and planning retreats and other events was a right up my alley.j I loved spending summers outlining Bible studies for the fall.
All that changed when I started being paid by our church to lead Children's Ministry. There was a call for help and I knew that I could do it. 17 years teaching school had prepared me. Of course it was temporary... 
2 1/2 years worth of temporary. As soon as I joined church staff the pastor quit. (I am sure that is why he asked me to take the job. I guess he felt I could lead us through a time of transition.) Mr. Bill was an elder. 
(Can you say "perfect storm"?)
It was a nightmare. Clearly I am not called to be on staff. Every time someone left the church it was gut wrenching. Literally, my stomach started hurting all the time. The Dr. thought I had tumors on my liver!! 
All we did at home was talk church. Both of us were heavily invested, which of course lead to conflict because essentially Bill, as the finance elder, was my boss!
I know, I know. I can hear what you are saying.
It all ended very badly and put both of us in counseling with an abrupt end to our days of worship at that church.
I felt that I knew better and that I ended up letting EVERYONE down. 
I tear up just thinking about it and here I thought I was over it.

It has taken years to get over it because I loved church so much. I love God of course, but I loved the church experience. Loving God and loving church, I have realized, are two separate things. So as we rebuilt our marital relationship, thank the Lord, we settle in obeying the premise that God wants us in church, but not really feeling the same about it. Although we don't sit in the pew wondering why they are doing  what they are doing anymore. We go but we are not involved at all so we have lost a big part of our community. 
(My stomachaches stopped right after I quit my job at the church. Huh?)
Okay now the second thing. 
A few months after the explosion at the church an implosion began with my extended family.
My brother, Jim became ill with a short term memory problem. He has memory for 10 minutes and that is it. Eventually he can develop new long term memory but I am not sure how or how long that takes. My brother and his wife got him in a nursing home. At 53 he was to spend the rest of his days in long term care.
Then my brother Dave had a stroke 5 months after Jim's illness. 
I think I went into an emotional coma during this time. 
Varying responses to this crisis have affected my family to such an extent that I am not sure we as a group can recover. My family was everything to me. 
So, in the span of a 2 years I lost my beloved church and my beloved family. 
My identity is built on neither of those things, so while it has shaken me, it hasn't broken me. I know that I placed too much importance on what was not the most important thing. When you serve the Lord in a church setting it feels right.
I learned to the detriment of my relationship with my family that is not the case. I have learned humility in this process. 

I also learned that for once I can't fix either of these things. We could get more involved in our new church but it would only put a bandaid on things.
I love the Lord, I love my family but there is a void.

I hope this gives you insight into my world. I realized I had been a little remiss in letting you see who I really am behind the paint and dust (and drop cloths).
Blogging has given me an opportunity to teach women again, an opportunity to write and grieve at the same time. I have learned some crazy computer skills and I think I take a fair photo. 
 Thank you blog world for helping me take my focus off of my circumstances and refocus on something new. 

Sprinkled with something real,
Katie
P.S. Feel free to leave a comment. It feels a little like chirping crickets after publishing a deeper post.
Thank you!!








5 comments :

  1. Katie,
    Thank you for sharing your story.I am so glad you found through blogging healing.I enjoy reading your posts.Happy blogversary!
    ((((Hugs)))
    Anne

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  2. Goodness girl, you have had way more than your share of pain! I so get the brother friend thing, I talk to my brother everyday, he is my best friend...I just don't even want to imagine what my life would be like if something happened to him. I have been deeply involved in a church before too, not to the extent you are talking about, but still, there can be a lot of drama, now I sit anonymously in my pew. Blogging is such a great escape, I have the best friends, my son calls them my "Invisible friends" LOL...They seem real to me though! Keep on healing, happy blogaversary!

    Carol

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carol. I love blogging!

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  3. As you can tell, I am reading backward!! I knew about your blog before, but I just got involved with your life today :^)
    I was almost scared to read this post because I walk in your shoes. I am music minister in a church where my hubby is president of the congregation. Yes, it's a frightening/sometimes frustrating situation. I also have a son who
    has "divorced" (his words) the family. Life is a scary situation, but when the waves crash down on me, I will think of you and your sweet spirit, and we will make it through!!
    I love your blog and will be around to check you out on a regular basis!!
    Many blessings to you and a Texas sized hug from another Texan!! I am thankful that Waco treated you right when you were in town with your brother.
    J

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