I am in a book club at church, well rather through my moms' group. We read a book a month throughout the school year. I get a lot of great books to read, and even some amazing ideas for books to read in the summer. I thought it might be fun to tell you what I am reading, and what I am getting out of it.
Right now I am reading Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody by Allen Hunt. We read it last month for book club, but since I had my children that night I did not bother reading it. Plus, I put it off because I know I have someone to forgive. Well, it was a great book. I was caught up immediately, from the moment he began discussing Jesus and his forgiveness of those who crucified him.
Well, crap. How could I not finish it. How could I not try to forgive the man who hurt me to my core. Fine. I read the book, I loved the book, and I began to try to forgive. I couldn't. It was not even a remote possibility. I harbor ill feelings, sure, but I am not angry. I do not feel I need to forgive him. I sat down and assessed who needed the forgiveness.
I began questioning myself and those around me. I didn't blame him for leaving me because I left him. I didn't blame him for cheating because...well, okay, I blame him, but I am not angry it happened anymore. When I think back to why I am so damned angry I think about the following:
I left, I was relieved he cheated because it meant I could finally leave.
He hurt my children and I was horrified that I let him.
My daughters were "used to it." Perfect, I couldn't even protect them against words.
I was relieved a marriage of 10 years was not valid in the eyes of the church.
Double crap. I wasn't mad at him. I don't care enough about him to harbor feelings that require me to forgive him. The way I see him and his mistress: It is their issue to take before God, not mine. They are not sorry. And, I could not care much less. I am happy. I am mad at ME. Wonderful. Because we all know self loathing and resentment are so easily healed, right? Well, this was what I needed because now I am in that place. The place where I get to heal from the wounds I caused myself. I no longer blame myself, but I still have not fully forgiven myself either. It is a day by day prayer process.
We all have someone to forgive. I challenge everyone to find who they need to forgive. Ask yourself the questions I did:
Who do I blame?
Who do I no longer trust that I need to trust (of course I no longer trust my former spouse, but that is not an issue because I do not need him in day to day dealings)?
Who do I want fully in my life, but push away?
Ok, let's be real for a moment. What we all envision as a stay at home mother who homeschools is a mom, with her hair all done and her kids sitting at a table working diligently. Her house is immaculate, although none of use ever imagine her cleaning because she is teaching. Her laundry is done and all meals are home cooked. It is this picture perfect family in their little bubble.
Well? I am POPPING THE STUPID BUBBLE.
My life is total chaos. I am a single mother. I work from home. I feed, bathe, and teach my children. Chaos. Boo is a rock star, I say "school," she jumps. I actually had to pause her Grammar lessons because she was too far ahead. Bear is not so enthusiastic. I say "school," and she cries.
I am a (newly) single work at home mom of four. I spend my days planning school activities (we will be homeschooling next year, I am clearly insane), changing diapers, and living in awe of what God has given me. I spend my evenings working to support these amazing children I have been entrusted with.