Not Miscellaneous – Simply Jan!
*Some of you from RGBPs are just now finding me here in my new location. Welcome! This is why I made this change.
For seven years I wrote a blog under the title Preacher Mom. When I started the blog, I thought it would be an online journal that no one would ever read. I remember the shock and panic I felt when I received my first comment. Those emotions soon faded as I found myself a part of a growing group of online writing women, most of whom are in ministry. While I have met only a few of them in person, I follow their lives, families, and careers with great interest. I have turned to several of them when I was in need of some good advice, a shoulder to cry on, or a safe place to hold a snarkfest. What began with a few comments turned into a few blogs, then RevGalBlogPals, and now numerous Facebook and Twitter friends. For all this time I’ve been Jan, the Preacher Mom.
Two and half years ago when I moved to Charleston, I sensed many internal changes that accompanied my move across the state and my new call. I wrote sporadically. I thought about shutting down the blog. I realized I didn’t want to part with it, so I tried to breathe new life into it. Still, something wasn’t right. Then last spring I decided to print out my blog. Since I was contemplating a project for an upcoming writing class, I sorted the posts by topic: Ministry, Kids, Pets (i.e. my furry kids).Thus the name of the blog: Life and Times of a Preacher Mom! Whatever didn’t fit neatly into those categories was tossed aside into a miscellaneous pile.
So what landed in the miscellaneous pile? I did. As I tried to figure out a way to file this unclassified stuff, I flipped through page after page of stories about my relationships with family and friends, self image issues, things that happened to me as a child, my fears/anxieties, and hopes and dreams for my future. This was important stuff – my real life stuff – and yet I categorized it all as miscellaneous.
I realized that this isn’t just how I had been treating my writing. This is how I have been treating myself for years. At some point in time I made the unconscious decision that my identity would be tied primarily into just two aspects of my life: my life as a pastor and my life as a mom. I poured everything I had and everything I was into those two things. That isn’t totally a bad thing. I love being a pastor and I love being a mom.
But what about Jan? Who am I, both apart from these other identities and in relation to them? If I was no longer a pastor and/or if my children were no longer living in my house, who would I be? The answer? ~ crickets ~ Well, guess it’s time to find out!
I’m called to be a mom. I’m called to be a pastor. But I’m also called to be simply Jan – complete with all the other miscellaneous things that includes!