And out it all comes

I was messaging with my bloggy friend SarcasticMom the other day. She had asked a very insightful question on her blog about censoring ourselves in our writing that I have been thinking about ever since. She has also come up with a brilliant idea that you can check out. Anyway, all this got me thinking about what the purpose of my blog is and why I blog and I had to admit that YES I DO censor myself a whole lot on this blog and that is not the way I want it to be.

I haven't always had to censor as much. I've always been careful to not talk about anything I wouldn't say in real life. There has been nothing on here that I wouldn't show people who know me in real life.

But after I shared THIS and I wrote THIS post, and THIS other one, and THIS one, and HERE, HERE, and HERE.... I got into SO much trouble that every time I start to write something from my heart I stop and just put a lovely picture of my kids up instead. At one point I was sent unkind emails and I was even discussed at a meeting -without my husband or I present- about my blog being behaviour "unbecoming of a pastor's wife and misrepresenting the church". At this point I must say that I KNOW this is a minority of people. I know for sure that one person did his level best to defend me and tell them the conversation was inappropriate and that they should be talking to me. But he was ignored.

Apparently if I am honest it makes others look bad. They believe that my depression reflects poorly on Jesus and our financial struggles reflect poorly on the church. That's not true you know.

And as angry as that makes me and as much as I think their attitudes misrepresent Christ I love my husband I have been trying valiantly to keep my trap shut so he doesn't get in trouble.

The thing is I offered to talk to these people in person. I invited them to ask ME questions and tell ME their concerns. I even offered to take them through my blogging process, to show them how it works and who reads it etc. They didn't even respond to me. The simply had their hurtful meeting, sent their unkind emails and then carried on with their day. While leaving me in shambles.

I wonder how they would feel if there was a meeting discussing them or their wives at length and they were not allowed to attend. I bet they'd be mad. I bet they would point out how unbiblical it is to do that. I bet they would be filled with righteous indignation at how WRONG it is. But I guess since I am the pastor's wife it is ok to be cruel and unacceptable for my husband to be angry.

And yes, obviously I am going to get in trouble yet again about this post but at this point I don't really care. Bring it on. Because you know what? God is ok with me speaking honestly. I have not ever maligned anyones character, I have never used people's names, I have not named where we live or specifically what church we work for. In fact in ALL the posts where I got in trouble I was only talking about ME. Myself and I. My problems. My issues. My stress.

I can't continuously keep everything bottled up inside. It makes me physically ill. I am impatient with my husband. I am impatient with my children. I start to blame God for things that aren't His fault at all. This blog and my ability to share my heart and write out my feelings and get feedback from KIND people is what keeps me sane.

And so I will continue to be me. To share how I really feel. And yes, I totally agree I should not gossip about other people- on my blog or in my real life. I have not done so and I don't plan on starting. I have never claimed to be perfect and I state right out front that this blog is just about MY imperfect opinions and MY imperfect heart. Imperfect being the whole point.

So before you print this off and show it angrily to others, before you start talking about me behind my back under the guise of being concerned about my well being, before you start calling my husband with your anger... stop and ask yourself one thing- do you have that right? Is that ok with God? Because I bet the answer would be no. If you have a problem with me you can talk to ME about it. No one else. I have left the comments open to anonymous commenters so if you don't have the courage to talk to me openly then you can leave your comment on this post and I will never know who wrote it.

And for those of you not married to a pastor, to those of you who don't work in a church, please remember that your pastor and his wife are just human. They have feelings. Don't do anything to them that you wouldn't want done to yourself. That's not my rule. That's Jesus' rule.

How's that for speaking my heart?


Anonymous said…
Tara, you have spoken what has been on my heart for so many months. I have written almost exactly that same post in my head over the past few weeks. I read SarcasticMom's blog too. And I loved the idea of an anonymous blog.
I applaud you Tara! I too am trying not to censor my comments. People need to see the "real" us, whether they like it or not, God does. And this is what truly matters in life.
Sarcastic Mom said…
Great job, I'll bet that felt terrific!

I wanted to mention that I find the kind of behavior you mentioned very sad. Christians who think they are "advertising well" for God by pretending to the rest of the world that their lives in Him are perfect, are doing the word of the Lord no good. Others see through that, we all know that NO ONE'S life is perfect, and to see His children, in effect, lying, does not deliver the wary to his door.


Being real and honest is the only way we can ever all come together in love.
Anonymous said…
YOU are awesome. That is all.
Natalie said…
What a great post! I have even more respect for you after reading this post and some of the ones you linked! Pastor's wife is really one of the hardest jobs in the world! Good for you for being open!
Becky Mayerle said…
Thanks for being yourself! That is exactly what I have loved about you ever since the first time I had you over for a visit. You are truly a blessing and a gem and very cute. Love ya Becky
Judy said…
Good for you.

Your posts have the potential (and probably already do) reach to the heart of people who would never darken the door of a church.

And not because they have a problem with God. They have a problem with the knowledge that they will never measure up to 'those people', and don't even want to.

Keep it up. This is how people reach people in the year 2008.

What you have to say is real.

Now, I doubt that the picture of your boys peeing outside would ever grace the cover of a church bulletin, but it is PRICELESS!

You have a platform to speak to people from the heart that your husband, as an ordained minister of the gospel, will never have.
Anonymous said…
I hope that you begin to feel protected, cherished, honoured for your courage in this time, somehow.

I trust that you know that it is not about you, but it can be a shock when people misunderstand and harden their hearts and criticize, advise, impose limits. Where is the humility in that? I think there is a bit of fear when people respond that way. Where is the trust that God's plan is working and unfinished?

I hope to hear that the riled up people turn to caring and creativity in the community, giving somewhere,
1) without looking for perfection,
2) without looking primarily at immediate results
3)without criticizing themselves or expecting criticism,
4) living at the edge
6) too involved in their devotional service to inspect you.

It is the giving and growing that counts. Blessings on your all-on growth.

Much love, G. on the coast
nessatxmom said…
Wow! I censor myself all the time on my blog. The thing is, I don't know why. Am I afraid that people will send me unkind comments? Hurt my feelings? Why can I not just be hoest about how my life really is without fear of being judged.

I am sad that you get in trouble for being honest and open. Seems like the church would want you to be truthful.

I do not have any fluffy advice or words of wisdom for you. All I can say is that as a depressed, migraine prone, in debt, overwhelmed by my laundry and housework, financially broke, frazzled SAHM sister in Christ ---I can completely understand!

You'll be in my prayers.
You are offering authenticity. You are not offering religion.

You are offering hope and understanding and honesty. Believe me IT IS REFRESHING. There is not enough authenticity out there for Christians and that is a big, big problem.

You are putting yourself *out there,* and you are getting slammed. Don't forget the real war you are fighting. And don't forget that it's not yours to battle least you know you are in the battle.

I will pray for you.

Natalie said…
I linked you today. Thanks again for this honesty. I was inspired!
my2boyz said…
What a wonderful post my new friend! Been busy entering some blog contest and just now got to read totally through your blog! I am sorry you were judged and spoken about behind your back. That is awful.
Anonymous said…
Hi Tara. Thanks for a great post. I found you through the bloggy awards and am enjoying reading your blog. I think what I picked up during the awards is how real you are. Many times (I know I do it) We post just the happy things and are so careful in what we say. I work for our church as well and I know how you feel trust me. Its a shame it is that way but when you work with large groups of people someone isnt going to like something. You get a standing ovation for being your self.

God bless
and I'll be back. :)

Amanda Daybyday said…
Funny. I've been thinking about starting up an anonymous blog for awhile now. I feel I can only say a portion of what I'm really thinking on my current blog.

You go girl! And I hope people start to try to understand you better...because you are worth knowing.
Anonymous said…
Tara, an hour after I posted my first comment about your post my husband was forced to resign from his position at our church. We now find ourselves living with family, trying to find which way we are supposed to go from here. So I no longer have to watch what I say on my blog and I feel to free. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me because I could never say what I wanted to, even though it was truth straight from the Word.

Blessings to you and your family!!!

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