I grew up in a conservative Christian home. My family loved me, and I loved them…. most times. My mom and dad are still together, my extended family is my grounding foundation upon which I lean, even from a distance when life’s storms blow. I never understood the effects of divorce as I can honestly say to my memory, I don’t know of anyone with whom I was in close contact with who went through a divorce that hadn’t already done so years prior. My grandma and grandpa Ray were divorce but that happened eons ago and my grandma ended up remarrying my grandpa’s cousin so hey….. we were all still family all sitting together around the Christmas table. I didn’t know any different.
My brother and I were a lot older than most of my cousins that lived in town so I ended up babysitting them. To this day I can clearly remember these moments and now they have kids of their own. This scares me because I have just said “THE” phrase….”I remember when I used to babysit you and look at you now, you got little ones of your own.” I should have glasses on, curlers in my hair, a housecoat and of course no bra because i’m too old to care, asking for them to put the tea kettle on the stove while I serve jam and biscuits. Wow I’m OLD. Anyways, I may not see all of my family now-a-days, but I think of them always and I lean into the foundation upon which I was raised. My family of origin.
Life was not easy. We didn’t have a lot of money but I never knew what that meant. I was raised with a lot of rules and broke most of them once or ten times…. whose counting? I’m my fathers daughter and yet i’m also my mothers daughter. Both kind of scare me and yet give me pride. Life was about struggle and how you dealt with it. There was a solid foundation that no matter the storm, no matter the size of the waves, Christ was the rock upon the values, ethics and life was based. Of course not everyone held true to this course but no matter how you look at it, whether directly or indirectly, faith is what carries the family through. If there’s one constant thing I know, my Grandma Harder lifts her family up in prayer and has prayed for me everyday of my life. Faith has been threaded into my being, no matter how hard life hits or another judges me for it, there isn’t a being on this earth that can take it from me. Don’t even try.
There’s the little things too that I can remember that as I think about it now, I know how much they impact me and how I deal with life and it’s crescendos as they come. I can remember one time -I have no idea how old I was – but my Dad and my Aunty Joan got into a fight. Eventually dad went to apologize to my Aunt and gave her a single rose. This has stuck with me and I think about that and over the years I’ve delivered a few bunches of flowers to loved ones when I needed to tell them they are worth it. It’s the little things that count and sticks with us like glue as we grow.
My family isn’t perfect….almost perfect, but not quite. We all have laundry. The beauty of it as I have come to learn, that life is not a fashion show. This is the game of life and this is my laundry. There is no one on this earth, not even myself that can bleach out my stains. I’m not being preachy and I’m not delivering a hidden agenda, I’m simply stating fact.
This is my story. This is my journey. This is me. Some will judge. Some won’t. No matter, this is my earthly laundry and someday I’m going to get a new suit.
It’s until then that I can choose how to wear my laundry.
I can walk around using my laundry as a portrayal of my self image, poor pitiful me, or allow my past to whisper lies of deceit and doubt because it feeds the lie that we choose to believe. “Would you look at the laundry you’re carrying Jennel? Your not good enough. Your stained and unclean.”
I can fully understand the beauty that is me. My creation. My design. My being woven and knit in a Love from an eternal being so majestic and powerful, that He simply spoke and the world was. When God thought of eternity, he thought of me. This is a promise that stills my soul when life’s storm blow. This is my garment upon which I cloth myself. This is what I’ve come to know in my Family of Origin and I am thankful.
When a loved one whispers “I love you” or “I’m thinking of you” or “Your beautiful,” -those words sink deep and feed our being. Imagine how deep words penetrate and fill when you hear those same whispers from the one who created you. There is no one person in this world that can EVER take those words from me. They’re mine. They’re yours.
So now your wondering what does this have to do with my title?
Social media these days I feel is more of a curse than a blessing. I know it can be whatever you chose to allow it to be but honestly life was so much simpler without it. I’m a people watcher. An observer of the masses. I’m a thinker. I can often be misread and judged on my delivery of life but those who really know me well, know I’m somewhat of an overactive introvert. While much of the blatantly obvious passes by me in mystery and sometimes purposeful denial, I do pay attention to the little things. I pay attention to the heart of the matter. I can see the bigger picture.
Facebook has become the delivery system of the gospel according to meme’s. We’ve traded personal connection, accountability, family, love, reality, and value with little sayings and quotes to inspire us in the moment. That moment dissipates like the 76,000 thoughts per day we typically have on average. Posting and Posting and posting until somehow, someway we make it true. But then…….
Life happens. We sink. We withdraw. We lie and berate ourselves “if only I did it this way. Next time will be better. See, I told you so. Your simply not good enough.”
We lie to ourselves and believing we can go it alone. This is simply untrue. We lie to ourselves saying that the truth is what we make of it. We lie to ourselves and add kissy faces, lol, hearts and meme ourselves to death over everything we say, there’s no longer value or meaning. I heart you. Kiss kiss. Hug hug.
How about a good ol’ fashioned Spank.
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” – The Usual Suspects
We are all spiritual beings, we can’t deny that. You know it and I know it. How you choose to feed it, is your choice. Words, music, nature, moments of greatness and moments of deep sadness can feed that spirit or crush it. We have a choice, stop the BS we feed ourselves and simply be still. Dig deep and listen to that still small voice we know is there waiting to be heard. For me it’s God. I used to think that God was so far away because I couldn’t be a good enough person for him to want to be near me. I used to think I denied my truth and values to a point that his voice was but an echo fading in the distance. Oh the lies I believed!!! The truth? The still small voice mean’s he’s right beside me, there’s no need to shout. He’s always been there, I just couldn’t see Him. It’s a matter of heart perspective.
We are so blinded by our pity parties and self righteousness that are stamped and validated with approval as we post like an addict on the wall of Facebook, desperately declaring something that is already true only it falls on deaf hearts. So we stamp again, and again and again. It’s really kind of pathetic.
We all live our lives according to the gospel of Meme’s.
It’s time we power down, grab some flowers and a bottle of wine and go be still with your loved ones. Some use alcohol. Some use drugs. Some use shopping and some use lies. Lies so believable, they numb us just enough they prevent us to see the truth.
We all have that ache inside. Sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Jennel are you listening without hearing? Go to your thinking spot. Listen to that ache.”
There’s a reason we find healing in nature and hang pictures of mountainous beauty. They inspire awe and stillness to our spirit. There’s a reason in music we find healing. It’s majestic. We connect with that small voice. There’s a reason why old hymns have power and conviction, or country ballad’s touch deep, they were written by souls who were once blind, but now see.