It's so damn hard to find a name to title my blog! I literally wrote 4 different titles, but hell, I'll never start blogging if I can't move past the title.
I started posting here not to long ago, and have done quite a bit of reading through this forum, which has been immensely helpful. So I figure, why not write here and offer some insight for others and gain more on my life? I'm the kind of person that researches a thing to death to see how others have been successful so that I can build on that. I do it in my professional life, and even in my personal to some extent.
My story....really there's so much to cover, so I'll just start spitting it out and see where my thoughts lead
FJ is my husband of almost 14 years. We met when I was 14 and he was 17. We dated for 4 years until I was nearly 19, then we got married. At the time, we were enthusiastic young Christians, set on saving the world and ministering to orphans and widows. We weren't your kinda Christians that preached perfection or hell, we were always about love and community, even looking into living in a Christian commune type set up during college. We were dirty little hippies spreading Jesus's love and acceptance lol. FJ and I made the commitment to stay virgins until our wedding night. It was so important to us at the time....and I still consider it to be a good experience for me. I came from a pretty effed up home life with lots of promiscuity from age 12-14, just shy of PIV sex. So for me, a lot of loving myself and sexual healing came out of the early relationship with FJ. There was certainly still some shame surrounding anytime FJ and I came close to sex....but we were committed no matter what, and made it....whatever that means.
When we got married, we were still in college, and had a roommate for the first year. This was all in line with our desire to be part of a community and share our lives with others. We had drum circles, pot lucks, bonfires and such all the time. After about 9 months of being married, I got pregnant unexpectedly (or expectedly?? I was practicing NFP lol). We were thrilled, and quickly started to make plans to buy a house and move. FJ got a decent job and put school on hold, while I continued to go through my bachelor's degree in Communications with an Interpersonal focus. I managed to graduate with a 3.5, 2 days before having my second child. All by the age of 21. I am nothing if not an overachiever! When we moved, we deliberately decided that we would move into the inner city to minister at a church we were attending. The church was all about being cross-cultural, healing racial wounds, and taking care of eachother.....at least we thought so :/ We lived in the ghetto for 5 years, with FJ's mother and eventually 4 children for 5 years. I don't say ghetto lightly....our next door neighbor was a crack dealer. As was the neighbor across the street. Their house caught on fire, cracking our windows because of the heat, gunshots were fired during police raids, and even a SWAT tank complete with masked men raided the house next door. All the while, the church we expected to be in this with us was caught up in liability issues surrounding ministering to hurting people. I mean, wtf?? We'd really like to love others and minister to the hurting....but you might sue us so we'll just stand back instead.
All the while, FJ had a job where he was working 3 days a week out of town. Plus 4 babies in 6 years....plus his crazy mom living with us. It was unraveling from the stress. We didn't fight much, but we certainly weren't connecting. We were unhappy with our lives, and so we decided to make a change. We decided to move out of the city to another state, in a rural area. We joke that we threw a dart on a map....it wasn't quite that simple...but it wasn't all that complicated either. So, in 2006 we moved from a big city of over 300,000 to a small town of just over 1,000, with the biggest neighboring town being less than 10,000. Big paradigm shift? Hell yeah, but we were excited about it.
For the first time in 7 years of marriage, we lived alone in a home together. We were tired of community and ministering....we needed to focus on each other and the kids for a while. And focus we did. Found out neither of us were sexually satisfied, and we got real honest about what turned us on, what our fantasies were, and what we felt like we were missing. We started having sex like bunnies, reconnecting on a spiritual and deeply emotional level. It was awesome! We were struggling to find jobs in this small area, but eventually managed to both land decent jobs. My husband in sales, and me doing something I LOVED part time while I still homeschooled the kids. For anonymity's sake, I won't say exactly what it was, but it was highly fulfilling, community building work that I got lots of public recognition for. And it was fun! If anything, FJ is more well-suited to be a stay at home dad than I am a stay at home mom. I'll insert our Myer's Briggs here (because I'm somewhat of a junkie) FJ is an INFP and I'm an ESTJ. I got pregnant with our 5th child, but it didn't interfere with the new job at all. Now I'm done procreating
Homeschooling was our ideal choice for giving our kids the freedom to learn what they needed and were interested in, we hated the structure and testing of public schools. But eventually, working became more of a priority for me because my husband wanted to open his own business, and we just couldn't do it without me going back to work full time. So we just finished our 1st year of public school for the oldest 4 kids which has gone swimmingly.
In our first 13 years of marriage, we went through some giant life changes-philosophically, emotionally and spiritually. I lost both of my parents before I turned 30, and had a couple of friends lose spouses the same year my mother died. To say that this was an intense year doesn't really manage to describe it. It's been 3 years since my mom passed, and it hurts worse now than it did. (I'll get into my sad family story later-too fresh after mothers day yesterday) I did what I do, and launched into full ministry mode to the 2 widows who lost spouses, making dinner every week, spending lots of time with them so they didn't feel alone, etc. I still had the ideal of a community, where everyone took care of each other, and love was the ultimate law. But it seemed that I was the only "Christian" doing any of this. I got seriously disillusioned, and had a major crisis of faith. And to be honest, I really am still in the midst of this crisis. Basically, my philosophy is that Love is the only thing that remains in the end. I have no room, nor patience in the short life for judgement, unforgiveness, hypocrisy, lying or general asshole-ishness. (totally a word) Give me an authentic human, living their life and figuring their shit out over a fake-ass prick any day
Which leads me to now.....sort of.....tbc