The past year I’ve been writing for a Christian Publication, building my resume–this is my latest and favorite article. You’ll notice that I’m repeating some of my past thoughts, but so what? We’ve all got baggage. (Smile) I celebrated Easter after a healing Lent. Thank you for reading my blog…

The One Voice That Matters(for the Troubadour)

I’ve always loved the scene in “The Sound of Music” when Maria has all of the Von Trapp children huddled in the bed during the storm as she sings about her favorite things. Even recently when I watched it I could still feel the heavy down of her comforter, soft and soothing, the reassurance that everything would be okay—the storm would soon be over. That part over any other part of the movie resonates with me. I can’t even count how many times I’ve calmed a screaming child with a kiss and a band-aid, how I’ve soothed a feverish babe with a song and a washcloth, and how I’ve broke up a fight with good old fashioned distraction.
I recently heard the liberal community I live in referred to as a place with a million unsolicited opinions, and I agree. In fact I find our world has become that way too. From the magazines commenting on a movie stars cellulite to politics becoming more and more anti-family/anti-life. I saw it first hand in my last months of pregnancy with Grace. In one weeks time I was told by a woman that I was the largest pregnant woman she had ever seen, and by a completely different person I was told that my pregnancy was an epidemic and she wanted to thank me for adding another carbon footprint. Unsolicited. Unnecessary. Unwarranted. I found that no band-aids would make it better, I went from being so proud of my round belly to feeling all too big. I’d look at those “perfect” movie stars with the small basketball for a belly and compare, thinking of how unfair it was that I was so much larger.
My Lenten fast of complaining was similar to an experiment in faith. Could I really break years of habitual griping in order to find the good in everything? But what started as a simple gesture to teach my children gratefulness became in many ways a life changing lesson for me. Because it wasn’t just those outside unsolicited opinions that led me to complain. Giving up complaining also meant saying goodbye to an internal voice that has followed me for years. An ugly internal dialogue that menaced at every turn of my life, waiting for me to make a small slip up and unload on me. An opinion I’d allowed, even welcomed.
Bad housekeeper. Lousy Mother. Unattractive Wife. Lazy. Selfish. Stubborn. Prideful. Shallow. Sinner. The list goes on and on. These are things I would say to myself on a regular basis not even thinking twice about it and I could never seem to be free of them, because they were inside of me. But when I gave up letting that inner voice dictate my self worth, I broke free from the thunder clouds that tainted my vision on faith, Christ, myself.
During Lent every time I heard that voice began to speak I thought of the things I love, my most favorite things. Grace’s dimples when she laughs, Micah’s loud singing voice, Daniel’s vivid imagination, and Jonah’s great compassion; all gifts from a God who makes things in his image, beautiful. When I felt my frumpiest, worthless in my own skin and the thoughts began I thought of how Chris still looks at me as if it is our wedding day, as if I am the only woman in the world. I’ve found myself giving more thanks for my amazing life and praying for the things that really matter.
Giving thanks also really made me think about how easy it is to listen to every other opinion but God’s. How simple it is to lose faith in ourselves as we become caught up in life’s own storm. And suddenly prayer becomes something we do just once in a while as the worlds voice becomes louder than the only one that matters. His voice that loves me unconditionally, because he is a much greater judge than I could ever be of myself.
It’s funny that in forty days I have more perspective than I could possibly have in 30 years. Breaking up with that internal dialogue has been harder than I thought, because I’ve lived with it for a long time. But I’m doing this huddled under the grace of Christ’s soothing reassurance that I can.
And while the lights may flicker, rain will fall, and people will be rude I am comforted in tremendous blessings. I am married to the man of my dreams. I get to watch my own home-made carbon footprints grow more beautiful every day. And I am beautifully made because Jesus is the center of every part of my life. My name Kristin which means follower of Christ is one more testament of that.
I am one of his favorite things.