On waiting for permission…

I’ve mentioned this a few times, so I don’t want to harp on it. However, I use to be in an unhealthy marriage. The person I was married to was exceptionally controlling. I was not allowed to bake, attend church, visit friends, spend money, buy certain food, etc. etc. etc.. I am no longer in that relationship. Today, I am married to an amazing husband, and we have a great marriage.

Taking a tradition from our friends (thanks Paul & Kelly), my husband and I decided to make New Year’s resolutions for each other. We each decided to make three. For me, my husband resolved that I should: 3) Reduce my chronic neck pain from a 10 to something lower, 2) start a small group at church, and 1) do more creative stuff.

Since he gave me the resolutions, I have taken on being more creative.
-Last week I redecorated our spare bedroom. I made two paintings (I haven’t painted in years), got a new duvet cover, and found some cool decorations from Goodwill.
-I baked new desserts: an apple tart, raspberry & strawberry ice cream, and a pannekoeken.
-I cooked new dinners: chicken curry and Italian soup.

As I started, years of experimental creativity came flooding back to me. My mom was great at encouraging us to try new things. I use to draw all the time. My mom and I once spent too much money on card making supplies, and on a food dehydrator, and on so many other things. I dabbled in photography. I painted. I wrote. I baked. I made some thing – from other things.

One thought hit me as I was making soup, “Why the hell was I waiting for permission for this?”

Abusive relationships steal. Sometimes I don’t realize what was stolen, until it is returned to me. My ex-husband didn’t steal my creativity (no one could do that). What he did steal – was permission. I use to know it was OK to create, but he took that from me. Thankfully, my wonderful husband gave it back to me. My new husband gave me permission. And two days ago, I didn’t even realize it was gone.

Making my soup, a list of other things I want to create twirled in my brain. I want to get better at my job – by making fewer data errors. I want to create new charts in excel that are easier for people to understand. I want to re-decorate our bedroom (the old owners painted it tan. Why tan? Always tan!). I want to re-do our bathroom, and make it orange. I want to… I want to… I want to create.

I use to think I knew all of the things that were stolen from me. I am learning that I am not fully aware of all of the things that were taken. If the last few days are an indicator, I think I have learned that there is still more waiting to be returned.

Life is about progress, not perfection. I am not sure what is missing, but I know I will be made whole again.

God gave us a world that was perfect, but we have fallen from that. Bit-by-bit, we will make it better. We have to make it better, because the other option would just plain suck. Any why would you want to live as a person who steals, when you could live like my husband… and give permission.


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