Me: "I wish I were a writer."
Him: "You are a writer."
Then I laugh at him, laugh at myself, qualify the truth and belittle the feeling I get when I write down something hard, something beautiful, something meant only for that lined piece of paper... because I've never really been paid for it, because I've never really held a job doing it, because I've never really succeeded at it... I'm not actually it. A writer.
For ages now, I have been typing out here what I would never say outloud to anyone, even the husband. I refer to myself as a writer in the safety of the blogger template, I can put it on my twitter bio (again, qualified by the words "ocassional" and "freelance"), but when someone asks me what I do and I try to form the words, my tongue sticks and I weigh the words in my head before saying,
"Um, I'm a mom. And sometimes I blog, you know, kinda do some writing, but I never get paid for it, so you know, mainly mom. Yeah..........." End of convo. Nice to meet you.
But I can't really say that anymore, because I write everyday.
And I did get paid for it (shortlived, but wonderful to receive an actual paycheck with the beautiful word article in the memo line).
And my full-time job is to document the lives of my children, to find breath and worth in their shoelaces and dirty faces, to remember what it felt like on an Irish December night.
And I write for Matt and myself and our life on mission here and over there, telling our friends and families what our life is like and why we went in the first place and how it's all worth it.
And the fact we are still in this thing, going back and telling more stories, means we have succeeded.
And I ask tough questions of myself and of my God, things that can't be answered yet, but He hears my heart in the asking and writing it down means I'm not giving up.
Several weeks ago we were handed business cards at church. Empty business cards. We were told to write two questions: Who am I? What do I do? The idea being this:
Who we are is simple. We are in Christ. He is my life.
What we do is just a part of that. I mother and I write.
And now, I have to stop writing and go mother because the pretzel sticks will not pick up themselves and they all huddle in front of the tv while I take just one more minute or two to write and change and delete and format and reread and edit and edit and...
Yeah, I am a writer.