April 1: Resolution Update

photo of chaffinch courtesy magnificentfrigatebird.com

a chaffinch, twittering

I’m not clever enough to pull off a joke, so I’m not going to try:  let’s get that right out of the way.  I was going to try to share an April poem with you; you know, something about buds and hillsides and twittering chaffinches.  But I’ve been thrown off my groove by reading Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Spring.  It starts innocently enough, with “To what purpose, April, do you return again?”, but after that it’s a rapid decent into horror.  So I think I’ll just pass on the poetry and get to my resolutions.

You might recall that I added an extra resolution in February, to blog every day.  I’ve missed a few days over the course of the last three months – 4 days, maybe? – but on the whole, I’d say I’m succeeding.  And I got the boost of being Freshly Pressed this week and having a major traffic jump for a couple of days.  That was loads of fun, and even though I’m back to my usual obscurity (almost), it was an encouragement.

Now on to my original resolutions….

1)  Death to the Crabby Mom – Well, she still tries to rise, moldering, from the grave now and then (sorry, I’ve still got Millay in mind), but I keep returning to the mercies of God and He is changing me, day by day.  This morning the crabby mom faced a significant test and rather than focusing on me, me, me, me, me, I was able to see how disappointed my child was in his own failure, and I just empathized and comforted him.  That’s forward motion.

2)  Media Diet – Yes.  Well.  At least I haven’t gone back to watching “Toddlers in Tiaras”.

3)  Pursuing Further Education – I’m only one book/test short of earning my doctrine & theology certificate through the lay training program, but I don’t have the last book yet.  So that’s on hold.  On Monday I’ll register for online classes at Northwest Nazarene University, in the course of study for ordination.  Classes don’t begin until May 5, but I’m already wound up with excitement.  I’m still praying about the decision between ordination as an elder and ordination as a deacon.  If God tells any of you what I’m supposed to be doing, please let me know.

4)  I Will Be a Hugger – nailed it!

5)  I Will Age Gratefully – Okay, clearly the media diet and this one are the real challenges for me.  Developing an attitude of thankfulness is coming along, I think because saying “thank you” is pretty much in my control.  I may not always feel it, but the corresponding feeling of gratitude usually follows the deliberate decision to thank God.  But as for not focusing on my age or how I look, that is still a major struggle.  Perhaps I need to start hanging around with old ladies more often, so that I’ll look young in their company.  All I know is, it stinks to feel self-conscious about the way I look all the time, and it seems that’s been my situation for most of my life.  Having been a sort of sad, bedraggled looking child and an awkward, homely teen, you’d think I’d be over it by now.  But I still care, and on my worst days I move through the world like the elephant man – feeling like I scare small children and prompt people to make the sign of the cross over themselves.

I don’t say that for sympathy, but partly because I suspect I’m not the only woman in the world who feels this way.  Rationally, I think my perception is probably a little out of whack, but even if it’s not….well, you’ve got to live with who you are, right?  There are people who actually do live with disfigurement -the kind that frightens children – and some of them seem to pull it off with a lot more dignity and self-respect than I do.  Which is just pathetic.  And that knowledge makes me feel lame and narcissistic – but not actually closer to a solution.

So there’s seems to be a need for more than just will power in this resolution.  Healing is probably more like it.  Maybe for the next month I’ll approach this one less with determination than with prayer.  And I will keep reminding myself that Mr. Right thinks I’m purty.


About Sharon Autenrieth

Wife, mom to 5, homeschooler, Christian Education Director, idealist, malcontent, follower of Jesus.
This entry was posted in education, parenting, poetry, resolutions, spirituality, television and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to April 1: Resolution Update

  1. Judith Anstine says:

    I’m liking your HONESTY as you work through the list of resolutions! And, I think you are on the right track in seeking healing about some of them. As one who knew you ‘when’ , I don’t recall ever feeling that you were an unattractive child! But that feeling you describe has to be coming from some affront to your psyche along life’s way. As the old song goes “Take you burden to the Lord, and leave it there”!!
    When we were in Indiana, we took our kids to a highly reccomended pediatrician. I remember the first time I saw him. He was terribly scarred and disfigured from just below his eyes , including his ears, and neck past where it disappeared below his collar. I learned later that he had been burned in an explosion in chemical class when he was in college. Not one of my kids ever was afraid of him, or even commented on his appearance. He was such a thorough, competent, gentle, kindly doctor that you soon paid no attention to his appearance.
    May you feel God’s smile upon you as you journey down the path he is taking you!


  2. Pingback: All the things I’ve missed this week (and Mr. T, too!) | Strange Figures

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