Sick of Myself

When I started writing my book a few months back, a friend of mine—who once wrote a book of his own—gave me some advice for when “you hate your book.” While in the midst of writing it (and write it I did—I turned it in to my editor on time three weeks ago!) I never did reach that point when I hated the book, I did get to the place where I was so sick of myself, my thoughts, my ideas, my writing, and anything that flitted inside my brain, I thought I’d die or go insane. Seriously. I now understand why so many writers do go—or are—insane. No offense….

All this to say, I haven’t blogged since I turned in my book for those very reasons. I’m still sick of my own thoughts, and I’m cringing a bit even now as I think them.

But one important thing came of all this me—and it affects my mom ID more than I ever realized. In the book, I’ve got a chapter on how God can shape and grow you during periods of being “hemmed” in—meaning during times of motherhood when you feel you’re kept from or unable to live out all your gifts and dreams or whatever.

While I’ve long experienced this hemmed-in feeling as a mom, spending all these months eating, drinking, thinking, sleeping my book hemmed me in in a whole new way. Actually, in the reverse way. While writing about wanting to be known for my full identity and being encouraged to live out my full identity, I found myself wanting nothing more than to be with my kids.

Not that I wasn’t with them, mind you, during this process. I wrote in the wee hours of the night, during “nap” times, baths, and with them playing on the floor while I typed at my desk. I had babysitters sometimes, but primarily, I was at-home as much as I ever way. But I even when I was with them, I wasn’t often engaged—my mind was on the book.

That’s whey I realized what was happening. I think God also used the period of writing to stretch and grow me as a mom. I’ve come out of the book-writing period not only pumped about getting to live a dream, but recharged about my role as mom. Go figure… But I gotta run now—I’m getting sick of me again. 

One Response to “Sick of Myself”

  1. Dawn Martinez
    April 23, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

    Caryn,

    I discovered your blog after googling the phrase, “Christian women who struggle with gender roles in the church”. I was elated to see that you live in the West suburbs as I do as well.

    Last night, I politely refused yet another invitation to attend a women’s event sponsored by our wonderful church located in the northwest suburbs. We have attented this E-Free church for 6 years and have been Christians since 1999. I have never accepted any invitation for women’s retreats, teas, or any kind of gathering associated with gender separation. (and I do love the kind and loving women who have extended invitations.) Hopefully this will help to explain…..

    I am an executive in the specialty retail sector. Perhaps the simple fact that I “work outside the home” contributes to some of my feelings. I just cannot seem to “get right” with the gender roles in the evangelical church. There just seems to be something covert about the whole thing. I hear women talk about their husbands as leaders, defer to them submissively in public, and even seem to downplay their own intelligence in group settings. But just look closer….look at the grimaces….look at the glances…it just doesn’t pan out for me.

    I have been a faithful servant in the church, and my leadership abilities have been utilized in exciting ways thanks to a wonderful pastor who seems to be embracing of spiritual gifts regardless of gender. (To a point of course, as the E Free Church doctrine does not allow women in positions of higher church leadership.) I have served on the pastoral search committee. My husband and I serve in our youth group. Our dedication to studying the word together daily is keeping us close to God and helping us to remain obedient. We love our church and the people in it. I just feel like I don’t fit in. While everyone is very nice, I have always wondered if most men in the church would rather have their wives spend the day with a drug dealer than with someone like me who might put subversive ideas into their heads. (Probably complete paranoia….I have never encountered such sentiment.)

    I am struggling to come to terms with this and feel that I won’t be willing to submit. Any wisdom you have would be much appreciated. I don’t want to drift because of my views, and I am quite certain that this is a secret issue for many, and by the number of google entries on the subject, one for the church as well.

    Thanks for the blog,

    D

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