Prelude.

Before we go an further, I have to say good-bye to the lies and belief systems that were created in my two worlds, that held this narrative captive in my mind instead of letting it settle on written page for fear of what others would think. I have hand-written this letter, but it is import to add these words to the chronicles given this letter was my own permission slip to write, to speak, to open myself, love myself, and to allow you to peak in.

Dear Old Thought Patterns, Lies, and Systems,

I have to say good-bye to you. Today is the day I regain my identity, uniqueness in character, and drop the lies of my past. Goodbye to the feelings of inadequacy and hello to knowing I am ENOUGH. Goodbye to performing, to earning the love of those around me, to the fear that I would never FIT IN. I, today, say hello to rest, to loving myself, to understanding that people love me just because they do, not because I made them. Goodbye to caring about what other’s think, goodbye TO EXPLAINING MYSELF and APOLOGIZING FOR WHO I AM. Hello to knowing God intended for me to be exactly as I am. No. More. Apologizing. No. More. Explaining. Goodbye to believing I am not enough and sometimes too much. Goodbye to the lie that I don’t or never will “FIT” into Christianity. I do FIT. Perfectly, in the skin God gave me, in my skin. I do fit. Hello to actually believing that. Goodbye to the sadness and guilt over strained and tough moments with my parents. Hello to loving and honest relationships with them that continue to grow. Goodbye to the untrue messages I picked up about God, and I welcome a new relationship with Him, one that I feel safe and loved in. Goodbye to negative self-talk, to shame responses, to holding my head low, to my racism, to earning admiration through deed and accomplishment, to the never-ending chase of the next high. Hello to the high coming from within.

Goodbye to being afraid to speak, of being quiet, of cowering and hiding. HELLO TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. HELLO TO WRITING UNHINGED AND ROWDY. Hello to knowing the message inside of me is GOOD. Hello to writing for myself. Goodbye to believing I am programmed from creation damned, rotten, wretched, and a screw-up. Hello to believing, and knowing, I am created in the image of a good, good father, which means there is good inside of me, from creation. I am not wired to mess-up. I am wired for love, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Goodbye to teaching my children out of fear. Hello to teaching out of love.

Goodbye to thinking Josh will fill my void of happiness. Goodbye to the marriage I dream about. Goodbye to expectation and bitterness. Hello to letting him be exactly who he is. Goodbye to thinking Josh deserves a better, more spiritual, quieter wife. Goodbye to believing I broke our marriage. Hello to forgiveness, to healing and to HOPE. Hello to our marriage being a healthy version of what it is. Hello to knowing I am exactly who he needs.  Goodbye to blocking love. Goodbye to being closed off to other people, and new relationships. Hello to letting people know me.

Goodbye to you, Captain Morgan. Goodbye to being afraid to feel the low hum of anxiety, to ignoring sadness, of pretending pain doesn’t exist. Goodbye my old friend, goodbye to you helping me numb and not feel. Hello to feeling IT ALL. Hello to feeling all there is to feel and understanding it is a gift to be aware of what is going on inside. Hello to understanding that my emotions are invitations from myself to take care of myself, especially on the low days. Hello to knowing my tears are information watchtowers and messengers.

Goodbye to the thinking I suck as a mother and hello to creating a different and healthy way to be a mother. Hello to believing I am a WONDERFUL mother. Hello to three boys being raised by a mother who is giving them her very best shot. Hello to knowing they love me.

Goodbye, to all of it. Goodbye. I am laying you down. Hello to inhaling and exhaling, to filling my lungs full with air, and to knowing that I AM OKAY. Hello to breathing. Hello to being alive.

-Chele

************************************************************************************************

Hello! Have you ever wanted to write yourself a goodbye letter? This letter came at the end of an intense, 12 week course called the Ultimate Journey. I would recommend this class to EVERYONE. All people. If you are interested check out the link below to fill out a registration form. I will contact you when our next session starts!

http://www.houseofhopecr.org/classes/

Registration form under the tab labeled Ultimate Journey Phase 1-Ongoing.

*************************************************************************************************

Hello to you! If you would like to Chronicle with us, follow the blog,  find me on FB @facebook.com/cmmisener or Instagram @cmisener! You are welcome here always friend!

 

Bored.

Image

I have two days to go. Only two. A governing body of professionals in our school district have decided that 14 whole days is required to celebrate Christmas. Actually, I don’t know who makes that call.  Someone who is mad at me, I presume.

Boredom hovers over our home. I wonder how it was possible to birth the thirstiest, and boredest, children on the planet. Maybe the two go hand in hand, the boreder they get, the thirstier they get. The fog is thick, making imaginative play, creative thinking or reading of any kind impossible.  I conclude that my children can no longer see the words on the page through the boredom.  The only thing left to do is sit as close to me as possible, and stare. Even the dog. She is bored. And staring.

My arsenal is bare. I have suggested all I know to keep us busy, thriving and going these past two weeks. Even TV is old news. Nothing left to do but sit, and stare, and hold on. The boredom creates a shaky, anxious feeling inside me. We can all feel it.

I remember reading an article somewhere that talked about boredom being good for kids. That it actually makes them smarter. I decide I love that article. That even though they are staring at me, and sighing loudly, they are actually turning into little geniuses. This thought moves me safely back to the illusion that I have it all together. Lying to myself about this gives me something to do.

Finding something to do. That, I know, is actually what is making me feel shaky. It’s me. Not the kids. I am bored. I feel uncomfortable in silence. Unsafe when stationary. So we go, and do, and push so I can pass the hours until bedtime. As if time wasn’t moving fast enough, I partner with it to move the day along quicker. My eight year old’s face is changing. The early years are falling off, he just looks..older. His life has flown by. Back to panic. Back to shaky. Moms know time is flying, and yet, it isn’t moving at all. I don’t understand this dance, and why it makes me feel like I can’t miss a second of their young lives. Even though I need to. Even though I have to.

There is a post-it note tucked away in my journal. “Courtney, you don’t have to be ever-present.” It was written after another tearful conversation with a friend. A male friend. Casually, he said “I think moms get present and ever-present mixed up. Being a present mother doesn’t mean being an ever-present mother.” The words dropped in my heart like an anchor. I go back to the post-it frequently, a written permission slip to myself to walk away and let boredom set in. Not only for my kids, but for myself, because THIS IS IT. I DON’T HAVE TO BE EVER-PRESENT.

This opportunity to be the mother of three young boys needs to be exactly what motherhood was that day. Each day different, but routinely familiar to the day before.  Each day asking for do-overs and high-fives. Each day feeling joy and sadness. Anticipation and boredom. Each day walking away from ever-present parenting, to ever-present awarness of what I need emotionally and physically, so I CAN BE a present parent. What WE need. Each day being what it is, nothing more or less.

I smile thinking of all the days I have had with the boys, and of the ones coming. They catalog themselves in my memory. The memories steady the shaky energy. I know that they are okay, and that I am okay, and that I am actually a really good mom. Even though I am bored today. Even though motherhood seems like busy work. So it will be. So it is. But I still have no idea what to do with the dog.

img_6296

When Your Wife Needs To Go….Let Her Go

Image

Husbands, Spouses, Daddies..this one is for you.

I’ve got a favor to ask, a petition, a battle cry, on behalf of the lady in your life. This is me, sitting with you, looking you in the eye and calmly getting to the point, because hallelujah I know you don’t want details, you want the big picture in one simple point.

So-here it is. If, and more commonly, WHEN, your wife or the one you love needs to go, then you gotta let her go.

Where you ask? It could be anywhere really. Target. The front seat of her car. Down the street. A coffee shop. A weekend getaway with the girls. It doesn’t matter, the location always has the same purpose…to GET OUT OF DODGE.

Now, this next stuff is important.  The above was getting to the point. The following is why the point is needed so hang in there with me. If that lady of yours is herding smallish people all day, or if she works and comes home to herd until the night, then when she looks at you and says “babe, I need a break”- then those are your cue words. You are now cued in to the oncoming of her crazy-she is letting you in-asking for help-this is your chance.

It is in this moment, this balance, that you have to encourage or at the very least agree that a break is needed. This is a vulnerable place. A testy place. If your face reads resentment, if your words fly off handles and walls, then she will retreat inward, or volcano outward, with you in the line of fire.

And this is why. Your wife, the one you loved or love, she changes. The woman that met you at the end of an aisle will change as you walk back down the aisle together. No longer single that woman, now a wife. A new role. A new skin. And so the change comes; homemaker, career chaser and holder, and maybe the one that rocks the insides, mother. All that change.

In all this you have probably thought your wife was loosing it. Emotional. Sensitive. Irrational. Cold. You were right. Sorry for that, because we can be nuts and you have to deal with it. Our crazy can run deep and true. But often it is found in all of the change and all of the new skins. So we try to remember who we were before, and try to wiggle and fit into who we are now, and try and shape who we want to become.

If your woman is a momma, well, all of this gets mixed up. Because momma can move itself to the top, and all of the other ‘hers’ will fall to the side. She will feel that. And so, will probably ask you for a break. Without the kids. Let her go without the kids. For the love, without the KIDS! (I just raised my voice at you, apologies)

Mommas need to know who they are without their children. This is healthy and good, because one day they will be women without their children. One day they will be women who no longer ask permission to be away from their kids, but ask permission to be with their kids. One day their house will shift quietly, the rooms will be empty and they will be holding their momma skin in their hands trying to understand how it fits again. How will they, we, know if we don’t see who we are away from them in the littlish years? How could we transition from someone always needing us to only you wanting us? How can all this stretching and changing not rattle even the most sane of mothers?

With your help, that’s how. See, I told you this was very important. With you letting us go…when we need to go.

This time-out, this place of solidarity, this weekend with her friends, this conference she has asked to go to or this trip home to see her family, it will allow her brain the opportunity to gather all of the ‘hers’, look at them, breathe, and regroup. It is a precious, holy even, time for her.

Careful, however, to use your “let” purely and honestly, not as leverage or a wager. This is not a one for one, this is a one for her. Back to the crazy feelings-she will know, feel, when guilt is tied to your “let”. If she takes your guilt with her, she won’t get down to the work, or the relaxing, that needs to be done.  Plus, she will be fighting the guilt she will take along anyway.

While she is away you will survive! Yes you will! And it may be hard. And you may (should) call your mother for help. Or a friend. And she will have slaved away before leaving to make it as easy as possible for you and yet still…it could be a disaster. Really your goal is to keep everyone alive. You can do this. All of this is ok…because you love her. Or you did at one time. And when she comes back, that is what she will feel. Loved. Unless, of course, you are dramatic about how bad it sucked. At this point, it is also beneficial to only give information that she needs. Having been away, she will surprise you with what she can handle. She will love you more.

So, that’s it. You really do matter. We know you work hard. We know you love the kids. Some days we even know, or remember, that you love us. You are appreciated. Still, when your woman has got to go….then let her go. Want her to go.

And ladies-if you get the opportunity…..no looking back! YOU GOTTA GO!

P.S. Single mommas..parents..I just respect you-mad respect.

momma

******************************************************************

Hello!!! Thanks for hanging out here for a bit! If you are loving what you are reading, then follow Courtney Misener on FB or on Insta @ cmisener! You are welcome here always!!!

The Cussing Toddler

Image

One morning about a month ago Josh and I had a loud, engaging marital debate (fight, we had a fight) about who even knows. I can’t even remember. What I do remember is that in order to get my point across I yelled a word that rhymes with duck. And truck. And luck.

My actual sentence was “WHAT THE (duck, truck, luck..yeah you guessed it.) A-team cuss-word status. I figured in order to get my point across I needed to pull out the big guns. I was also fooled in thinking that our kids were preoccupied with their cereal and cartoons.

With lighting speed those words left my mouth, and our four year old silently registered that sentence in his language catalog. He also decided that those words would be his NEW FAVORITE THING TO SAY. AND SAY. AND SAY.

That night my mother-in-law was visiting and she and my son were sitting on the floor working a puzzle. The pieces weren’t fitting together, so in frustration he said clear as day “WHAT THE (f-word)”. There was a pause,  and as we were waiting to see if any adult would acknowledge his potty mouth, two thoughts went through my head. The first was actually another cuss word. The second, was surprise that he used the phrase correctly.

Liam beep

I smiled at my mother-in-law and raised my hand admitting my guilt. “Me” I said. “It was me. He learned it from me.” We both laughed and later that night Josh and I talked to him about why Mommy should have chosen a different word, and that those words were not words for a four year old, or even for mommies. So I figured, good. Done with that.

Nope. Not done with that. YA’LL WE ARE NOT DONE. This child of mine is on a ROGUE MISSION TO SELL ME OUT any chance he can get. (PS-kids are the worst at throwing us under the bus…punks.)

The following is a list of people who have been told by my four year old that the f-bomb is a bad word, as well as many versions of this word. Am I around when he is dropping this information? NO. As stated above, rogue.

Daddy, Grandma, his uncle, both brothers, two babysitters, his Sunday School teacher, Pre-school teacher, two neighborhood kids, family friends and a handful of monster trucks HAVE ALL BEEN TOLD  by my four year old that the BIG F is a bad word. And he says it plain as day. Why do I know this? Because in giggles and belly laughs they have told me.

And since he has shared this information with his little brother so many times, my three year old is now on board to spread the gospel message that this word is bad. Of course, in order to be a strong communicator one must practice their message often, so that is what my three-year old has been busy doing. Practicing using this new word.

WE ARE NOT DONE. FOR THE LOVE.

Josh and I have a plan, and we will see this through. If it doesn’t work-I may be back asking for parenting advice….but not yet.

This is what I want you to know :: SOMETIMES THINGS HAPPEN IN OUR LIVES THAT SHAKE THE PERCEPTION OUTLINES WE GIVE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE ABOUT US. 

On social media, in relationships, during dinner conversations, in small groups- if you aren’t someone who has been in my inner circle for years or knows me intimately, I am going to drive the information I give you to control what you believe about me.

We all do it. Our manipulation and selectivity of information is exercised many different ways, in order to protect who we want people to think we are. 

And this is who I want you to think I am; I want you to think I am a woman so in love with Jesus,  and her husband. A mother who has fought the good fight with depression and won it, a mother who loves her children and is raising them in a calm home that is free from strife and unrest. A woman placed by God to run a thriving and growing Women’s Ministry who leans not on her own strength, but God’s. I also want you to think I am funny. And pretty. And an amazing writer.

Some of what I want you to think is true. There are, however, large holes in the above story line. For starters, I like to cuss. I said the word like. Because I do. It has become a habit and common in the way I communicate. Many would argue cussing isn’t in the best interest of someone representing Jesus. There are many schools of thought about cuss words qualifying as sin (it would be cool if that conversation did not start here in the comments)-but for me I don’t actually agree with the word being sin, more than the truth that I can communicate my point in a way that may be less offensive-and give people a purer version of the Jesus I claim to be so in love with. ( I am going to stop here on this. The next blog post will open this up more and explain why I have come to this conclusion. Please wait before weighing in until next post)

Right now, this current habit of mine is roaming the street coming out in a blaze of glory through my four year old. And isn’t that just the thing-the stuff we try to hide and engage in secretly, or stuff down, or dismiss as not a big deal, or pawn off , all that stuff always finds away to surface and cling to us like a scarlet letter. All things come to light in the end.

So it’s out. My cussing F-bomb is out. My kids cuss. They heard it at home. If they cuss around you-they heard it at home. No need to wonder.

There is a story in the bible often quoted and used to explain Jesus’s character. There was a woman caught in adultery who was brought before Jesus to be sentenced. She was brought by the Pharisees who have been compared to the religious community of the time. As the crowd rallied for her to be stoned to death, as was punishment for this act according to old law, Jesus says the famously quoted “he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” The woman’s accusers drop their stones and leave.

Jesus, standing alone with the woman, then asks her “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you? to which she replied “No one, sir.”

Let’s sit here a minute. This is the good, rich, beautiful truth of life. YOU ARE YOUR ONLY ACCUSER. Your behavior, actions..all that may call attention to something you are doing. People may raise a brow. Ask questions. Judge unfairly. Cast stones. All of it.  But the holes in the reality you are giving people and the reality you are living will accuse you first. It starts with you. And the accuser’s stone you are holding will be the only one that matters. 

And if we know this about people, we can drop our stones and walk away. For those of us following Jesus, we really are all the woman trying “to go and sin no more.” For those who choose another way-we still drop our stones. The holes in our stories will accuse us as sure as we accuse others. So we have to communicate differently. Maybe without the F-bomb.

If you experience my son’s potty mouth, good for you. Because at the very least you will get a decent laugh in for the day. I hope you also know I am human, make mistakes, and am doing my best to let Jesus mold a truer perception for me to hand out. Maybe even one day I won’t hand stuff out anymore, you will just get what you get. I don’t even know if I will stop cussing. (joking-probably gonna stop because..kids.)

Strength for today friends. Love for all your cussing friends. Love for who you really are.

(Above story found in John 8:1-11)

*******************************************************************

Loving onelyric?! Good! I used to write about music-now I just write! But you are welcome here always…follow onelyric on FB or cmisener on Insta to keep up with the going ons!