Thursday, January 3, 2013

An ordinary biography

Have you ever been asked to write a brief biography of yourself? You know what I mean: a list of all the relevant and impressive info on your life, a compilation of achievements and experiences that make up the well rounded person you are today…
I’m here to tell you, it’s enough to drive a person to eat a KING SIZE Snickers bar. (I mean that hypothetically, of course. I have never done that…)
On most days I wish my life would be slightly less interesting. I am almost always on the verge of losing my voice completely…not from a cough or strep throat, but from all the EXCITEMENT my kids add to my day.
                “That’s a ‘b’ not a ‘d’.
                “Don’t fuss at your brother.”
                “Don’t use that tone of voice with me.”
                “Put your shoes in your closet, not in the floor.”
                “Please feed the cat.”
                “Please feed the fish.”
                “Please go pee instead of jumping from one foot to the other holding yourself.”
                “Don’t hit.”
                “Don’t whine.”
                “Stop crying.”
                “DO NOT blow your nose without a tissue.”
                “You need to go to your room and pray that the Lord gives you a better attitude. If he doesn't soften your heart, I have something equally un-soft that you will be having a meeting with.”
ALL DAY LONG I am talking, doing, going, going, going. So HOW is it that my life is so DANG BORING????
I sat down today to work on a publishing proposal for the book I wrote about my sister’s life. I've been putting off working on the proposal for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I KNOW I’M JUST A REGULAR GIRL, and lots of regular people want to publish a book…so who am I to even think I can do such a thing? But my hubby keeps pressing me, and if for no other reason than to get a grin and a ‘good job’ out of him, I opened the document saved on my desktop (downloaded and saved by said hubby, since I was too wimpy to even find one) and scrolled down to a section I thought would be easy enough to knock out.
The. Author. Bio.
I sat and stared at it, wrote something, erased it, wrote a few more things, erased them, swallowed the lump in my throat…and got up from the computer. This is where the hypothetical king size Snickers bar may or may not have entered the picture.
It turns out I am terribly boring. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t have a job history to speak of. I have never done anything amazing. I speak only one language. I don’t even know the names of most of the people living on my street.
What would I say to them, anyway? “Hi, I’m Charity. Tell me your name, but I won’t remember it because I have four kids who are always into stuff, so I’m sorry about all the crazy screaming water gun fights and the crazy frantically yelling ME than you may see running around from time to time. Glad we’re neighbors…what was your name again?”
Post hypothetical king size Snickers bar (which we will refer to as HKSSB from now on) I may have been on a sugar high, and I came up with what I consider to be some very clever thoughts on myself.
“Author bio: At the age of 18, while on the mission field (which is code for sweaty and nasty and chubby and growing out a very unfortunate haircut) Charity managed to rope a wonderful man who also turned out to be a very talented musician. She somehow conned this math genius into marrying her and allowing her to stay at home full time while he worked. The couple has 4 children. The children are seldom seen in public fully clothed, and occasionally resemble a herd of wild animals. Charity and her family are the proud owners of thousands of Legos, hundreds of movies, and dozens of games. In her spare time Charity likes to drink coffee…and eat twizzlers and HKSSB’s…and watch reruns of her favorite sitcoms while folding laundry and cooking supper. She loves Star Wars, old Carmen music, and Chick-Fil-A sauce. A few of her talents include reciting the books of the Bible without taking a breath, and falling down flat on her face in wide open spaces for absolutely no reason.”
Oh yes, please publish my book, people. I have a very diverse life.
Half the time my kids don’t listen to anything I say (which is why I am always hoarse, because I then have to REPEAT what I just said at a slightly higher decibel) so why in the world do I think that anyone else will want to read what I say?
If only there was more than one HKSSB in the house.
But then, as it always does, the Voice seeped into my CRAZY. It’s always different, the way He speaks, but today it was a flashback to a conversation between my 8 year old and me 2 nights ago.
He came into my room with tears in his eyes. I was already half asleep, laying in my bed, but something about his voice made me force my eyes open and my brain into high alert. “Mom, I’m sad.” I pulled him close to my side and asked him why. His response? “Because I chose to play by myself today, and I got mad at Nate and Gabe when they wouldn't leave me alone, and I was mean to Faith when she wouldn't let me have a turn on the computer. And Mom, you told me that I should always try and think about my brothers and sister, and to remember how much I love them, because I might not always have them in my life, kind of like how Aunt Joy died, and you said you were sad that you didn't get to tell her a million times that you love her and that you’re glad she’s your sister. Remember when you said that, Mom?” And I did remember, but I didn't know that anyone had heard me saying it. But here sat my sweet son, broken to the point of tears because he had realized, if only for a moment, that his everyday life mattered, and his words and his actions were important in the lives of the people around him. The tears made puddles in his eyes and spilled down his cheeks, and he said “What if they die before I get to be nice to them tomorrow?”
I thought of my sister in heaven, and of all the years I tortured her as only an older sister can torture her younger sister, and I thought of the last time I told her I loved her, and my heart hurt, and tears pooled in my eyes too. And then I smiled at him. “I have really good news, Clay. There is no last time when you know Jesus. Yes, it’s going to be a LONG time before I get to tell your Aunt Joy again that I love her and I’m glad she’s my sister…but I WILL GET TO TELL HER AGAIN. And you will too, buddy. Because Jesus lives in your heart, so there is no end. You see what I mean? And by the way, I’m super proud of you for thinking about your brothers and your sister. You’re becoming a wonderful man of God, Clay Isaac.” And he smiled, and he nodded, and he went back to bed, and I smiled, and I sent a prayer of thanks to heaven for such a sweet kid, and I went to bed.
But now I am remembering that conversation, because the Holy Spirit has dropped it into my heart. That boy may not always listen when I tell him to walk instead of run, or wipe his nose on a tissue instead of his shirt sleeve, or that it’s not funny to say “ass” when the word is “as” and I know he knows the difference, but he remembered when I told him that his words were important so he should choose them carefully. And he remembered when I told him that he should cherish every minute with his siblings, because every minute was precious. MY LIFE and MY WORDS made an impact on his.
So I am adding this to my bio, right after the talent of falling down for absolutely no reason: Has a son who listens, sometimes, to what his mom says, and who has a tender heart toward the Holy Spirit, and a deep love for his siblings.
It probably won’t mean anything to the publishing companies, but I KNOW it means something to his little brothers, and his big sister, and to me, and to his dad that I am still conning into working all day so I can stay home.
And now that I have decided to embrace my boring life, I am being informed that my youngest has taken apart an entire package of post-it notes and POSTED them throughout the house.
I’m probably going to ignore the post-it decor in favor of a tickling match and a game of hide and seek. Because they don’t think I’m boring, and they listen when I speak, and my life actually does have meaning, because I am raising men and women of God every day.


  1. My husband and I read this together and laughed out loud until we cried. :) Then...we cried. So very honest and touching!!
    Alanna :)

    1. Thank you, Alanna! My mission in life is to make people laugh and I'm feeling very accomplished! :)