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I Am What I Am..... (Popeye)

alec vanderboom

My husband Jon (a man so knowledgeable as Father of four daughters) has a new saying 'the curly hair girls want their hair to be straight, and the straight hair girls want their hair to be curly!"

I have spent so much of my life wishing to be something I'm not.

I learned this week at Vacation Bible School that I am a "starter". I'm someone who does "Foundations" like my bff St. Teresa of Avila. I'm a "visionary leader."

I hate this!

I want to be a little "follower". Or if I have to have the discomfort of being in charge, I want to be the calm, efficient "administrative" leader, the one who is has all the support systems running smoothly in place.

Beginnings are hard! Beginnings are messy! No likes you. Every is a critic. You work your finger to the bone and there is next to nothing to show for it.

What is a foundation--a giant, empty hole in the ground! Or maybe if your lucky a drab slab of concrete!

The fun part of the house is the frame--the drywall- the interior decorating!

But God gave me a special talent--I'm a girl who starts things from scratch. He gave me the grace to start a Vacation Bible School in a parish that not only didn't ever have a Vacation Bible School before in its 27 years of existence, but for the past 20 to 25 years --didn't even have KIDS IN THE PARISH. (We're a mission parish that consisted mostly of retired people. God has a great sense of humor and put 5 super, large homeschooling families there. Then He moved me there!)

Now there are many other "started ideas" I have floating around my heart.

I spent my Saturday brunch* today telling my husband--"but I don't want to be the leader! Why can't one of the other ladies be in charge?"

My husband kept telling me--but "you're the Carmelite!" (Which I think loosely translates to "you have the most access to grace so you have to have the hardest job").

So here I am, age 37. Trying to finally make peace with the messy, unruly texture that is my hair. Trying to make peace with my unruly, messy, creative leadership style and the fact that I will never, ever have a safe, boring, established job in my church.

I'm the Fool. I'm the Mystic. I'm the girl that sees a large future building rising from an empty field currently covered with cow patties.

Thank heavens, He's a good friend in my heart because Man--it is lonely out here. Being a Carmelite means that I live in a desert!

*(By the way, thank you Little Jo Ann for sending us delicious, organic Applegate bacon to eat for this all important post VBS brunch. I didn't like anything I was hearing from either Mr. Jesus or Mr. Benjamin--but at least my tongue got to delight in delicious tastes).