Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Measuring Up

Week two of the "Your Secret Name" read-along hosted by Marla and my brain is a swirl of so many things I want to share and not sure how deep to go and if I am ready to share certain things. Both of the chapters I read this week (ok lets be honest, I read them this morning at 8 am!) were very (at least to me) thought provoking. I think because I can relate a lot to chapter 3 (The Name Game) and chapter 4 (Puppets and Pawns) makes me rethink past relationships with teachers, my parents, friends, ect.

I am actually going to use Marla's post to help my write my own...because my brain is 1) not quite awake this morning and 2) even if I hadn't read her post first, I would have basically went the same direction with mine (with the exception that I have a little soap box opening up moment planned...duh duh duuuuuuuh!).

In Chapter 3 The Name Game Kary discusses how we define ourselves and play this game as we search for our secret name.
The first quote I want to look at is this one: "Most men define who they are by what they do - their jobs. Most women define who they are by who they know - their relationships." 
I can proudly say that I am a women and yes, I do in fact, tend to define myself by my relationships. I've always done this, my goal was always to try to be in the in-crowd because I thought, hey, if these people are my friends then everyone will want to be my like..and it won't matter that I am a little overweight. As I have gotten older, it's less about being in the in-crowd and more for me being friends with people that will push me, grow me  and love me for me. To me, this is the ultimate relationship. But, I am a little man-ish. Mostly where being a parent is concerned. That's my job (even though yes I do have one where I am paid) and when I first because a parent I wanted so bad to be that parent that everyone looked up to. Today, as I sit here typing, watching my 2.5 year old toddler who's standing on his chair and watching Sprout, I am content being the parent I am becoming. I know that I can't compare myself to other parents, we all have our own ways of doing things....

The other quote that really jumped out at me was this one: "Because beneath the surface of every person is a human being with an insatiable need to know who he or she was created to be." Ding ding ding ding ding - this is me - it's like if you looked up Denise in the dictionary, you'd see my picture with a variation of this quote - "Denise just wants to know who she was created to be..." (And here in begins my soap box moment.)

I want to be perfectly honest with you. I don't have the easiest past. Besides being an "oops" baby, my family life wasn't easy. I come from a broken home, divorced parents, being the oldest of 4, having grown up living my my grandparents because we couldn't really afford to not to, being overweight, developing faster than some, ect ect. I played the name game a lot in regards to who my friends were. I had a steady core of friends through-out high school, but I also did a little shuffle of friends at times. One particular set was not necessarily the best set to have...they definitely contributed to certain things I did in H.S. that makes me cringe today. I thought smoking would make me cool...it didn't. I thought using bad language when around them would make me cool - again - not. so. much. I didn't feel like I could really talk to my parents and I always felt compared to my siblings...

Oh my brothers and sister...I adore them, love them and am so thankful that they are my siblings, but in high school and even a bit in college, to me, they were always much more important. My brother P and sister S both were straight A students (which I am proud of today!) I was not....I rarely had an A on a report card in high school (band really was my only A at times!). I felt like my parents were far more proud of and investing in P and S. P graduated not only in the top half of his class, but I think top 50 of 400 some. S. pretty much the same thing. I was just glad to graduate in the top half. Both P and S got high honors, me not so much....and then there is B - he is the youngest of the four of us and well, we can all imagine how the youngest is sometime treated...(he was the baby after all.) I always felt like the awkward, on my own path, less loved one. (I don't feel this today).

But I am sure you can imagine how this shaped me. But I learned and I grew. H.S, was hard, but college was a relief. I chose to go to a Christian college in Cincinnati and wanted to major in Children's Ministry. This is one thing that I do not regret, am still passionate about and see God leading me in that direction. This is my heart (and possible part of my secret name...). If it weren't for a mentor at my church that invested in me and loved me and whom I still consider a "mom" today...I don't know if I would be where I am.

Having said all this, I spent a good portion of my life playing the name game trying so desperately to figure out my NAME....only to now, at the ripe old age of 28 realize that God is slowly starting to reveal my secret name to me....so I am getting better I knowing who he made me to be...

Chapter 4, Puppets and Pawns is about whether or not you have every been someones puppet, if they made you become who you are. You know, you became a doctor because your parents wanted you to be...or you became this or that because of this person or that person.

I can honestly say I don't know that I have been a puppet or pawn...it could be possible I was kind of indirectly a pawn, does it count that growing up I knew I didn't want to be like my parents? Or is that a me thing and not them making me a puppet or pawn.

I am looking forward to learning my secret name. If you want to join the read along, you totally still can. And even if you don't want to read along, you could still win cool prizes each week...just by answering questions posted on Marla's blog.

And on a completely different note - hey Kary, I grew up in warsaw, so I know Grace College well!

1 comment:

Marla Taviano said...

Wow, Denise. Thank you. My prayer for you today is that God will show you some specific ways that your PAST has shaped your beautiful future AND some ways that he's going to use it to encourage others. Love you!