Growing Is Hard Work

Tuesday, October 09, 2007 10 Comments A+ a-

I am quiet right now; reflecting on life, my journey, my experiences, and so I am quiet. This is truly a growing experience for me, not always pleasant, but I am thankful for what I’m learning.

[I have hinted in previous posts that my family has quite a story. One that not only would I love to share with you, but one that I think a lot of people could identify with. However, my parents are not yet ready for me to share with the World Wide Web. So even though my sisters and I do not see our story as one of failure, but of one where God triumphed, I have to respect their wishes. I’m sorry for the vague details in this post.]

During the fall of my sixth grade year, I was 12 years old at the time, there was a pivotal moment in my life; a moment where life stopped being carefree and easy, a moment when I took a role upon myself as my sisters’ protector. No one told me to become their protector, no one asked me to take on this role, and certainly no one expected it of me. It was something that, in my 12-year-old mind, that needed to be done and so I did it. It was a situation where I, as the big sister, could pick on and fight with the three girls but the moment anyone else tried to venture the same, I was instantly on the defensive. Again in my 12-year-old mind, I thought I knew how to best care for them, even better than my own parents at times.


It’s interesting to be 28 years old and reflect on self-imposed expectations from 16 years ago. Fast-forward to today and I’m realizing that I still carry that same expectation to protect. I find that I’m constantly trying to protect them from life, from hurt, or even themselves. The problem with this mind-set is twofold:
  1. My sisters are grown women now; they have minds and goals of their own. They do not need me to protect them anymore; they probably never did. They were even surprised that I felt this way when I broached the subject with them. They had no idea I had placed that kind of expectation upon myself.


  2. I have been battling a constant tug-of-war between which family is my immediate family. Common sense says that obviously, Jon, Devyn, and Hudson are my immediate family and I couldn’t agree more. But my head and my heart still feel as though my sisters are my immediate family.
My counseling sessions are helping me realize that I do not have to choose; that I can have both and that my relationship with my sisters is not going away, it is just changing the way it looks. We are moving into a relationship where as women, we can respect each other’s decisions, hold each other accountable in our roles as wives and mothers, we can be a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. And I find that I’m ok with that. When this subject was first approached by the counselor, I could feel my heart rate picking up speed and I had difficulty breathing because change freaks me out. But weeks and numerous counseling sessions later, I am now ok with stepping back and “letting” them grow up. This is one less expectation to worry about and that makes a huge difference in my little world.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

10 comments

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Stacey
AUTHOR
1:17 PM delete

This. is. beautiful.

Thank you for being so transparent. We love you!!!

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Amy
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2:26 PM delete

Wow! This does sound like hard work, Jenn. But good and hard often go hand in hand, is seems! Thanks for always sharing your heart...

love Amy

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Wendy
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2:43 PM delete

Oh, wow, I can really identify w/this. I am also the oldest of all girls (no brothers) and have always had the protector role of my sisters. Sometimes more like a mom and because of somethings in our family, this was and has been my role. They are all growing up now too and I'm still learning what my new role is. It is tough sometimes.

I'm glad you are learning and growing. Thanks for sharing.

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Just Me
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3:11 PM delete

Thank you for sharing. And it's awesome how you are finding yourself in all of this - reflecting, growing, changing - it's all good! Praying for you still!

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AndiMae
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9:09 PM delete

First, sorry for the sporadic commenting lately...my internet access has been so crazy lately...

Second, I can relate to this post so much! As the oldest in my family, I have found it really hard at times to let go and let my younger siblings make their own choices- especially my sister!

P.S. Been thinking about your weekend plans a lot lately! Can't wait to hear all about it :)

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dareth
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10:30 PM delete

Keep up the good work. Your relationships with all of your "immediate" family will benefit from it.

So proud of you, Jenn.

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CresceNet
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2:06 PM delete

Oi, achei seu blog pelo google está bem interessante gostei desse post. Gostaria de falar sobre o CresceNet. O CresceNet é um provedor de internet discada que remunera seus usuários pelo tempo conectado. Exatamente isso que você leu, estão pagando para você conectar. O provedor paga 20 centavos por hora de conexão discada com ligação local para mais de 2100 cidades do Brasil. O CresceNet tem um acelerador de conexão, que deixa sua conexão até 10 vezes mais rápida. Quem utiliza banda larga pode lucrar também, basta se cadastrar no CresceNet e quando for dormir conectar por discada, é possível pagar a ADSL só com o dinheiro da discada. Nos horários de minuto único o gasto com telefone é mínimo e a remuneração do CresceNet generosa. Se você quiser linkar o Cresce.Net(www.provedorcrescenet.com) no seu blog eu ficaria agradecido, até mais e sucesso. (If he will be possible add the CresceNet(www.provedorcrescenet.com) in your blogroll I thankful, bye friend).

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CresceNet
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2:06 PM delete

Oi, achei seu blog pelo google está bem interessante gostei desse post. Gostaria de falar sobre o CresceNet. O CresceNet é um provedor de internet discada que remunera seus usuários pelo tempo conectado. Exatamente isso que você leu, estão pagando para você conectar. O provedor paga 20 centavos por hora de conexão discada com ligação local para mais de 2100 cidades do Brasil. O CresceNet tem um acelerador de conexão, que deixa sua conexão até 10 vezes mais rápida. Quem utiliza banda larga pode lucrar também, basta se cadastrar no CresceNet e quando for dormir conectar por discada, é possível pagar a ADSL só com o dinheiro da discada. Nos horários de minuto único o gasto com telefone é mínimo e a remuneração do CresceNet generosa. Se você quiser linkar o Cresce.Net(www.provedorcrescenet.com) no seu blog eu ficaria agradecido, até mais e sucesso. (If he will be possible add the CresceNet(www.provedorcrescenet.com) in your blogroll I thankful, bye friend).

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Sarah
AUTHOR
1:44 PM delete

ah, growing pains. We've each got our unique challenges, but the truth in each of them is that God has good things for us, both in the growing process and in the lessons finally (or temporarily) learned. Baby steps my friend, but you're walking in the right direction. I'd love to chat with you more about all this some time. Coffee this week?
Love, Sarah

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Elise
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9:02 PM delete

Growing is very hard work. Be silent as long as you need to be, and know that others are praying for you...

...and will call you back when they have more than a few minutes to talk! :)

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