Friday, June 27, 2008

Joining The Club

My name is Elaine.

Talk to my daughter Olivia and she’ll mention my lousy maternal instincts, blatant favoritism towards her sister, one-sided loyalties, and convenient memories regarding my personal disasters.

My friend Callie will tell you I have a wonderful relationship with my daughter Erin and a spectacular relationship with my grandson. She’s quick to point out that I’m “strong, capable, and resilient.”

Then there’s Alec. He says I’m the toughest woman he’s ever dealt with. He says that I’m smart and sharp and not at all shy or hesitant about speaking my mind. And he’s also quite certain that I’ve eviscerated lesser men.

Actually, I’m a moderately capable, semi-competent, usually reliable, vaguely lonely and uniquely insecure. Best served up in small, carefully managed dosages for the most successful result. Like strong cough syrup. Or Milk of Magnesia. Not intended for small children, not to be taken regularly, and never to be mixed with alcohol.

Without God, I am a shy, introverted, insecure woman who feels that she's never pretty enough, smart enough, clever enough, or strong enough to be much good to anyone. With God, I have learned to battle my personal demons. I still quake with fear before I do something public like speak before the church, conduct a training session for my peers, or present my written works to curious strangers. But I do it because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that once I get up there magic happens with my words and thoughts and I become this coherent, intelligent woman. I am a woman after God's own heart. I am a woman of faith. I wanted to write a story about the woman I may have been had God not claimed me as early as He did. JOINING THE CLUB is that book. And even though my fictional persona Elaine has had a pretty rough go of it, she's still somehow managed to become a woman after God's own heart in the end. Because life is often just like that.

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