Think of this as a play in three acts

You need to know the setting, the story line, and the cast for each act.

The setting for Act One: Ruth’s home, a lovely mansion on a Maryland hillside, surrounded by autumn woods and full of light and grace. By light, I mean real light, sun pouring in through the windows and French doors; by grace, I mean Keurig coffeemakers tucked into corners upstairs and down so a fresh cup of java or chocolate is just seconds away.

Ruth’s home is a bold statement: it says, I designed this place and it’s beautiful and won’t you share that beauty with me?

The story line: Eight women will gather to talk with each other about what it’s like to be them. They’re nervous. Some of them are flat-out scared. But all of them are committed to trying to do this honestly.

The cast: We’ll let them introduce themselves and the sphere they’re representing (widow, single woman, etc.).

This is Carla, from Indiana. She started teaching in 1999, has worked with reading intervention, and began her present job as assistant principal in an elementary school in 2009, shortly after she and her husband returned from Ethiopia with their newly adopted son. She has three children: a six-year-old son, a four-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl.

“This job fell into my lap. God opened every door…I applied for the job two weeks before going to Ethiopia to pick our little boy up. I had an interview after I’d been home for three days . . . the superintendent called and said the job is yours if you want it. I told them, ‘I’m on adoptive leave, I’ll be there in a few weeks.’

“Six weeks after getting our child, I went back to work. I love my job — I think it’s the best ever. It’s a difficult place for me to be often times . . . I don’t know, I really struggled within the church, just feeling really different, feeling really misunderstood. I don’t love my kids any less than anybody else and I totally feel like I am where I’m supposed to be right now, and that feels really good.”

Here’s Sabrina. She’s 32 and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three young children: two sons (4 and 3) and a 10-month-old baby girl. She married at 26; before she had children, she worked in a job in accounts receivable. Now she stays home with her children and tries to be a support to her husband, who is an associate pastor.

“A desire of my heart has been to have connections [with women]. I have an incredible mom, but she lives in Canada . . . I have a desire to learn. How do I walk with my husband, how do I respect my husband, how do I raise my children?

“The other day, my son asked, ‘Mommy, what does holy mean?’ When I explained it to him, he looked at me and said, ‘Mommy, you’re not that.’ And I thought, okay, I’m going to go [to this weekend], because I’m going to learn.”

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4 Responses to Think of this as a play in three acts

  1. Annie Ray says:

    Carla, this is for you. I have been wondering if the same thing is happening on this blog as happens in the church…….like people don’t seem to know what to say to you or do with you? I was a sahm and then became a professional. Shortly after I seriously began my educational journey I began experiencing the distance. It has only grown over the years. I have worked to shorten that distance but found it easier to develop relationships outside my church and they are a mix of women who are sahm and professional. Question to anyone out there; What are the attitudes and thinking that prevail on this sphere? What causes the distancing? Any advice?

  2. Carla says:

    Annie,
    I definitely feel the distance within the church, but have some VERY good friends who have supported me and who love for me for who I am. I often feel like I can’t relate to sahm because I work outside the home. It is difficult to find common ground at times and I feel so misunderstood. The questions of how can you balance it all, or I could never do that are often hurtful. My thought (very rarely verbalized) is well that is why HE didn’t call you to “my life”. I think we all need to embrace are differences and celebrate who we are and who God created us to be. Keep the questions coming.

    • Annie Ray says:

      Carla, I so agree with what you said about ’embracing and celebrating our differences’. If what He asked me to do is a ‘God thing’ than we have THAT in common and THAT we can understand. I have tried to not talk about myself as sahm or as a professional. Therefore to not use titles such as SAHM or ‘……….’ but rather to talk about interests,ideas,dreams etc. Most of the time conversation never gets around to what I ‘do’. Often I have to take the responsibility to start these conversations and I find I learn so much about the person and it let’s me do a 15 second ‘God Comment’ when He opens the door and He usually does. Carla I find myself in prayer for you as I do for my daughters:). I thank God for the joy He gives you. I’m sure others find that very attractive and maybe enviable too. I get the feeling that, had God called you to stay at home and serve Him from there you would have done just that,as well. So blessings to you as you help your ‘children’ experience this Holy Season! And SABRINA : I get the notion that if God had called you differently you would have done that as well. I really like that about you,it seems you have a passion in your heart to be His person and to do it in an excellent way,I see a very strong person in you. I pray for boldness as well.:) Also I like that you walk in the wet grass! :). So blessings to you as you help your ‘children’ to experience this Holy Season! BOTH of you ladies are gifts to us!!! Thank you! And Thank you God!

  3. Joy says:

    Carla, so sorry that you feel a distance within the church. I can relate somewhat although it’s on the opposite side: I’m a sahm in a church filled with working mothers! While I have good relationships with working friends who were friends prior to them having children, I have found it difficult to make new close friendships with working moms in our church. I don’t specifically know your situation, but I feel that for myself it’s often a simple matter of scheduling and priorities coming between these women. Their free time (evenings and weekends) are often filled with family, extended family, and a few close friends. And really, I think that’s who they should give priority to. Of course, I do wish there were some social opportunity there as well for our family.

    From your perspective do you have any suggestions? How would you like new people to become involved with you and your family? Is there room for new friends? Do you think my perception of these working moms having a ‘closed schedule’ is on target or an exception to the rule?

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