My Husband Made Me / by Joellyn Hoekstra

My husband made me start a blog. He’s been telling me for quite awhile, “You just need to blog about it,” and I keep on giving him reasons why I shouldn’t. Maybe he’s tired of hearing me pour out all of my thoughts and feelings in the car whenever we go anywhere. Maybe he knows I need some sort of outlet to discuss what’s on my heart. Or maybe he knows that I’m not the only woman/mother/wife/Christian/nurse/friend/daughter who is rattling these things around within. I’m a full-time nurse by night and a stay-at-home mom by day to my three-year-old son and 20-month-old daughter. And by "stay-at-home" I mean that quite literally. We pretty much just stay at home all the time because I’m nearly 40 weeks pregnant with yet another wee one. Okay, yes, I need an outlet. 

I’m torn about the idea of blogging at all. It could just be an excuse I gave my husband for not wanting to go along with it, but maybe there is something there. We live in a culture that thinks it’s completely normal to have a self-focused page about all the best things we have to offer. The world tells us it’s okay to promote yourself, and when things are getting tough you just need more “me time.” Sometimes living in this culture as a follower of Jesus feels a lot like swimming upstream and everyone is looking at you like you’re crazy. We know that the Kingdom of Heaven is upside down from this world we are living in. When we are feeling like we need more time for us we would probably really benefit from pouring ourselves out for others. My dad told me that once when I was feeling down. Don’t turn in. Look for ways to pour out and serve. And he was right.That actually filled me.

I can recall many conversations or happenings where I have offered myself, knowing I might be criticized. I mean, I don’t really hold back, and I usually discover that I’m not alone. I also like to get people thinking and open up their mind to an idea they might not have considered otherwise. I am a Labor and Delivery Nurse and a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor. When a mother says she is considering breastfeeding for a few months, I encourage her, and then I throw myself out like bait and let her know that I nursed my first for over 3 years and my second babe in tandem. I am completely aware that she will think I’m crazy. I will leave the room and there will likely be a moment behind me where a husband and wife look at each other with those big eyes and laugh--at me. But if my comment opens up the door for her to extend her nursing journey beyond a few months, it’s worth it.

My lack of tact in conversation gets me in trouble at times. My profession (L&D nurses are sadly known for this) really makes it hard to know what to talk about around the dinner table sometimes. You don’t want to talk about vaginal secretions and placental encapsulation right now? Why? Anyway, as my Godmother once told me in the context of talking about a boyfriend I had at the time, sometimes our greatest strength is our greatest weakness. I figure, while this is a definite weakness at the dinner table where my friends and family cannot get away, it can be a tremendous strength in the blogosphere. You, as a reader, can just move on if it’s not your thing. I won't even know you did.  :)

There is such comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. I’ve come off countless shifts or tough days at home with my babies where I just need to phone a friend and hear her say, “I’ve been there.” I guess I hope that’s what this blog offers. I’m acutely aware that I have been blessed with a whopping group of incredible women (and men) around me. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t specifically recall a conversation or interaction with one of these incredible individuals. I don’t think it’s entirely fair of me to keep them to myself. 

So, as I walk forward into this blog land, I offer myself to you in an attempt to open up hearts and minds and to comfort. I’m committed to praying over any post or comment made here. I live deeply rooted in Jesus and in the truth of the Word of God. This gives me confidence and joy. I am a Daughter of the one true King. It’s who I am, and it changes how I view and sift through everything I experience in this world. It is because of this that I can live and share openly and know that whatever my lot, He has taught me to say, “It is Well with my Soul.”

-JBH