In a recent meeting, a colleague of mine was catching grief from others who wanted her to hush. In her typically passionate manner, she managed to talk over everyone else and exclaim, “Wait, wait… everybody wait! I know I talk too much, but I need to tell you something!!”
That’s kind of how I feel, starting a blog while a bazillion other bloggers are already hard at work. With all the words and opinions out there, who needs another one? But I find that, like my friend, I need to tell you something. It’s probably already been said, and may be more for me than for anyone else. I’m good with that. If in the process, someone else finds comfort, encouragement, humor, rest or some small measure of good in my words, all the better.
I’m a wife (married to Mike for 24 years) and a Mom (daughters Jessica and Gracie). That simple sentence can’t begin to describe how totally and completely these three people own my soul. Every now and then, a tragedy will strike someone’s spouse or children, and the reality of how much I love my family completely paralyzes me. I can’t even find the words to pray for their protection… I just babble something like, “Oh, God… oh, God…” It’s like our four hearts are all wrapped up together like a big pile of sleeping puppies… ears and noses and legs and paws all intertwined. I also have two more “chosen” kids — Mike and Maddie. While they each have their own families, they have somehow managed to steal my heart too.
I’m a pediatrician, and even after 21 years in practice, I still love how that word looks and feels and sounds. I work in a teaching program, meaning that on most days I’m surrounded by pediatric residents and medical students and maybe a few other learners. I take care of newborn babies… help kids who are overweight… supervise the residents in their own clinics… go out into community offices to teach doctors how to prevent and treat childhood obesity… and amazingly enough get paid for it! My job, my passion, and my calling are all the same thing, and I am so incredibly blessed.
I am a follower of Christ and I love people. I don’t fit easily into a category. Born the youngest of five, into a family ranging from bleeding-heart liberal to black-and-white conservative, I adore all of them. Maybe that’s why my deepest desire is not to win, but for unity. My heart bleeds for the outcast, for the lost sheep, for the underdog, for the misunderstood. Yet I embody the words from the Cars soundtrack, “I was born in the South, sometimes I have a big mouth when I see something that I don’t like.”
There’s an old saying: “If you aren’t a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you aren’t a conservative when you’re old, you have no brain.” I’ve kind of done it backwards. I was an ultra-conservative goody-two-shoes when young, turning moderate/progressive/liberal-ish by my half-turn of the century. Does that mean I have a heart AND a brain… or neither one? Who knows.
At any rate, whenever I have the time and inclination to do so, I’d like to share my thoughts and my story. Not because my words are smarter or better or more right than anyone else’s, but just because they’re mine.
My only requests: Listen as much as you talk. And be kind.