Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Defining One's Self

I ended my post yesterday trying to lead you into thinking about how you should define yourself by good memories, quit holding on to (treasuring) bad memories. So, I started trying to sort out exactly how I define who I am. Here are my top three:

1) I am a Child of God.

Ok, that's not news. I tried then to think of memories linked to that statement. One of those memories was from before I started school. We lived in Commerce City, Colorado. I remember waiting out in our car, ready to head for church. I had a pen. I had a Bible. I wrote my name in the front of that Bible. That is a pretty defining memory, I think. I spent quite a bit of time looking for that old Bible. I really think I still have it somewhere but maybe not. I do have two of my old childhood Bibles, though.

This first one was given to me by my Dad in 1968. It had been his and I think he gave it to me when I was baptized. I was 10 years old. A lot of things seemed more simple then. He had written notes in it and later, so did I. There are two $1 bills tucked in the front. I have no idea why but I would guess I forgot to put them in a Sunday School offering the last time I used the Bible. I think I should put them in the offering plate now, don't you?


This second Bible was given to me by my parents on June 12, 1971. I don't know why or for what occasion. As far as I know they just thought I needed a new Bible.  Well, look at the one in the above photo. You can only ask just so much of masking tape, I suppose. Anyway, I loved that little Bible. I was easy to pack around and really, it was flat out cute. That's important in a Bible when you are 13 years old.

2) I am a member of a loving family.

Again, not news if you've read my blog at all. We aren't perfect but we love each other. I have roles as a sister, daughter, wife, mother, and now grandmother. I am also an aunt, daughter and sister-in-law, etc. You get the picture.

The first time I moved away from home I went to Moorhead, MN. I worked as a real estate secretary and one day at work I realized it was the first time in my life that the people I spent the most time with did not even know my family. My boss and co-workers did not know my family. Even my roommate never met my family. It was such a weird feeling to me. How could these people ever really know me without knowing my family? It was a new experience to see myself as separate from my family in such an ongoing way. I didn't really like that.

3) I am a nurse.

I haven't always been a nurse and someday I will retire from nursing. I will still be me. However, even if it is not professionally, I think I strongly define myself with my need to feel like I am helpful and caring in some way.

My earliest childhood memories of this part of my character revolve around my little sister, Tina. You can get to know Tina here. My sister has cerebral palsy and her handicap likely has something to do with why I became a nurse in the first place. When we were young and I walked anywhere with her, I learned to grab a wad of the shirt/dress/coat on her back. This was to help stop her from falling if she tripped. As her older sister, that need to nurture and care for her was pretty strong when we were little.

Tina did fall a lot as a little kid. I seemed to think it was my job, when she fell and cut her head, to run get a damp cloth.  Mom would press and hold the wound, which in itself is pretty amazing if you know Mom. She has a little problem with blood. In fact, even as she is reading my post here, she's probably getting woozy, right, Mom?

So, that defines me a bit. Now, what about you? Anyone care to tackle that self-definition? What are your top definers?


EJN said...

Great post. Lizzie Janovic says something like, "Look around you, these people are you." The whole idea being that our story defines us: Our God, our husband, our kidlets, family. We need to read ourselves in that story. I have a hard time defining myself. But when I ask my husband, or kiddo or friend, they know exactly who I am and remind me.
Sometimes we forget, Andrew Peterson has a song, "Shine Your Light" it has a line - "they were singing out my song, when the song in me had died". The Holy Spirit works through our peeps to call out of us, who Christ made us to be.
Have a great day. Grace, Peace and Joy,

Michelle said...

Hmmm--I don't remember even knowing about your sojourn in Moorhead. How do you think that first separation from family affected your life?

Our aunt Bess, even long after she had been working as a nurse, still did volunteer work at things like blood donation clinics and always saw herself as a nurse. It's not just a profession, it is a part of your essential personality and character. You may not still be holding the back of Tina's dress, but when you are with her your care for her is very evident. It is great to see the love you sisters have for each other!

Mom said...

I just finished reading Leviticus, a very bloody book, so I'm tougher now. HA HA

Susie said...

JoJo, there is a lot of truth in that. It makes it even more important to surround ourselves with good people, doesn't it?

Michelle, I think it was just a normal time of seeing myself as a person capable of making a life on my own, even while feeling loved by my family.

Mom, Ha ha! I hope you were seated while reading!

Allen said...

I am a child of GOD.
I am a survivor.
I am uterly fantastic.
I believe GOD does miracles and I am an example of it.

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