Thursday, August 28, 2008

Swollen like the Cahaba River last week.

My contribution to the Greater Birmingham Community this year was to show what a girl looks like after an emergency C-section and a week in the hospital. Sitting for the photograph was not as brave as say, storming Omaha Beach, but it was my Iwo Jima.

Thank you for another opportunity to force myself upon the world, C.J.

(Look for Kristen's essay, too.)


eimrek said...

Susan, your essay is beautiful! My heart aches that much more to feel the pangs of motherhood after reading. Thank you for sharing!

susan said...

Oh, I know that aching. We hoped for a baby for a little more than three years before we got one. I'm so sorry you're having to experience this. I'm hopeful for you. There's just no explaining that feeling, is there?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read the essay.

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing, Susan. I found the whole segment about mothers interesting. I was curious about what the working mother would say since I plan on being one of those one day, but I admit I was disappointed with her answer. How do you see your relationship with your work/career/education and motherhood?

susan said...

That's a huge question worthy of an ongoing conversation, but I think that for me it boils down to a sense of calling to be a part of my family and very involved in the lives of the two people for whom God has given me responsibility.

But, I also feel called to something else that has yet to fully take shape. You might call that career or vocation. I'm just following the light I have for that as I get it. I have a vague vision for the ultimate outcome.

I feel responsible not so much for "being the best mom I can be!" as for being as fully involved and present as I can be as a wife to David and a mom for Carrie. It's sanctifying for me because it requires me to lay down so much selfishness. (Not so unlike marriage, just more.)

But I am also supposed to be involved in the other work God has given me and I am supposed to be as fully involved as possible there.

I don't really see a clear delineation in priorities because I feel God has called me to both and will equip me for both.

Right now, that's being as fully present as possible at home (and for me, that means as selfless as possible so long as I can still be a strong and influential voice at home and be willing to fight for what I believe is right. No namby-pamby submission stuff for me.) It's also taking the one class I have this semester and trying to suck the marrow off of the bones I'm given to chew on.

At the same time, I'm also called to be a contributing member of my church community. For me, that's just serving as I am called and being willing to reach out and minister to the needs of others out of my own poverty.

I guess, in a nutshell, we've each got to figure that out. I think it is a matter of calling and I think it is a matter of hearing the whisper of the Holy Spirit for ourselves. There really is no "wrong" or "right" in my opinion. And I don't see my work so much as an expression of myself as a service paid to God. I think I've come to devalue "self-expression" for the sake of self-expression. (That's kind of what I got out of the working mom's essay. What about you?)

Nobody wants or needs to hear what I've got to say unless it is about the truth I'm learning from God.

When I am dead, only the love I've poured into my children and the work I've offered to God will matter. I'll just be dead.