Monday, September 14, 2009

That Which Defines You

Embrace it.

Tell me about what defines you.

31 comments:

Amy Sue Nathan said...

I know this goes again the grain in today's mother culture, but being a mom defines me. It doesn't box me in, it's very enriching and it's what has allowed me to branch out. Being a mother has proven many things to me about myself and others. Without it I wouldn't know the best parts of myself.

It's going to be hard when my kids are out of the house -- and that's not too far away. Although I'll always be their mom, when the hands-on, in the house mothering and child-rearing is over, I do know that my identity is going to be in question and I'm kind of gearing up for that.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

This is a tough question for me to think of one thing that defines me. If I had to pick one of course it would be my writing.

My faith, my loving family and friends would be next on the list (in no particular order!)

Jenna said...

Amy awesome words!! If we had more mothers believing this we'd have a better world. Today's "mother culture" is truly failing our kids, I think.

Being a mother and a wife definitely defines me. Some days it's hard, yes. Some days very, very hard. But I chose to have my children and I am putting every last ounce of my love, time and energy into them because I want this world to be better for me having them than worse.

Of course my faith is right up there and the work I do at church and my writing and getting into shape :).

But if I had to choose just one it would be being a mother!

Great question Janna!!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Being a forgiven child of God.
~Wendy

Melanie Avila said...

I'd say my creativity defines me. It's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it shapes how I see and interact with the world.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Being a missionary and a writer. Both of those things, which sum up my faith, passion, and creativity, drive just about everything I do.

Great post. It really got me thinking!

Terri Tiffany said...

Being a mother, wife and writer, christian. Not necessarily in that order:) And you?

Janna Qualman said...

Maybe it was an unfair thing to ask of you guys, because as I try to pinpoint what defines me, I come to three or four things - all of which you've listed. Can't pick just one.

Motherhood, because that was the first role I fully embraced with no turning back, no doubt, no self-consciousness.

Writing/creativity, because it takes such a large part of my brain. I've embraced this because while being a mother is huge to me, I don't want the day to come when (like Amy pointed out) my girls are grown and gone, and I'm left scrambling to find myself. Writing is my other purpose.

And my faith/values. They shape who I am, the decisions I make, the way I live my life. None of the rest would be possible without this, and I wouldn't be who I am.

Analisa said...

Wow! I would have to say more than anything else in my life it is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I became a christian in 1982. I was very young and soon just went about my life. Making some life impacting mistakes along the way. Suffering with depression and a lack of hope. I would constantly be in and out of church and lacked real fellowship with God. During that period one of the best things in my life happened. I had my son. I was single and some thought I shouldn't have a child. But having the responsibility of that life was what God used to change me. It is a constant reminder of how much God loves me. With time I got solid in my faith and now I have both. A loving relationship with God and the joy of motherhood.
These things frame my life and every decision I make defining this wonderful life I have. Everything else is like icing on the cake.

CKHB said...

Mom, lawyer, writer, redhead, ex-pat New Yorker, actress, dancer, atheist, animal-lover.

Hmm. This reminds me that I haven't danced enough recently...

Lazy Writer said...

Mother, wife, daughter, sister, writer...

Jessica said...

Good question! I think I'm pretty much in the same boat as all of you. My faith def. defines me and everything I do/think (ahem, most of the time, lol)
But being a mom has changed me, and even being a wife.
Way to get me to think!

Cindy said...

What defines me? That's hard to narrow down. My first thought was a nurturer. I love to be there for people and help people--this applies to my family. So, definitely mother.

And also definitely a writer. Or creativity in general. I love to create things for a good purpose. To glorify God, to entertain, to get out a message.

Jody Hedlund said...

Newly contracted? :) Couldn't help that one today!

Nadine said...

Wow, this is a tough question. I would have to say my creative spirit and my thirst for adventure.

T. Anne said...

Being God's daughter first and foremost defines me. It shapes everything I do and say, and write.

Melissa Marsh said...

Lots of things define me - being a mother and being a writer are at the top of the list.

thedomesticfringe said...

Janna, this requires thinking and words on my part. Isn't that your job? ;-)

According to the old saying, "you are what you eat," I'm a leftover. At least for today.

I'm sure I could come up with a semi-intelligent answer, but I'm not sure it would be truth. I'll stick to a leftover for today. :-)
-FringeGirl

Jill Kemerer said...

Full Steam Ahead. Focused.

I enjoyed this--thanks!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

What defines me is my relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything else in my life flows from that source.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sharla said...

Okay Janna, no fair getting away with a 2-sentence post that earns you 555 comments AND makes us think!!! * :) *

First for me would be being a mom. That changed my life completely. Not always pleasant with teens, but always huge in my heart.

Then would be my faith and my marriage. Probably if I was thinking right, I'd say faith FIRST, then mom and wife. Maybe if I did that, those teen issues wouldn't be so tough!! LOL.

And like all of you...all wrapped up and intertwined in the rest of it is being a writer. I don't have a number for it. It's just very liquid and fills in the gaps around everything else. It's who I've become.

scarlethue said...

When you meet someone, there are always beginner questions, those that explain to you in brief and overarching ways who that person is: are you married, any kids, what is your job. Those three things tell a lot about a person. Marriage shows a stage of life, as do kids, while job can show temperament and personality.

But I refuse to believe those are the things that define us as individuals. They don't dip down far enough to the core of who we are.

I am defined by my Southern heritage and by my free-minded parents which gave me intense love for those who matter most to me, respect for all living things on this earth, and a sense of equality and justice.

JLC said...

I looked me up in the dictionary. Apparently I am undefinable. ;)

Janna Qualman said...

I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I hesitate to respond individually though, as normal, because your answers are so intimate. I think they speak louder when left to stand alone.

Heather Sunseri said...

My husband says I'm complex - that I could be defined many different ways depending on the day or the hour. I have no idea what that means.

Woman in a Window said...

The gait of my walk.
How I wear my jeans like a boy.
My kiss to my cringing children as they leave me for the day.
How I sing outloud as I walk.
How I yell all trash at my dog.
How I sweep my floor and when.

What about you?

The Hat Chick said...

What defines me?
To quote a favorite book of mine:
"Ancestor worship with a veil of Christianity", wrapped in manners and the traditions of the deep south.

Janna Qualman said...

You guys have given such great, thoughtful answers. Thanks!

Deb Shucka said...

A seeking spirit that will not be repressed.

Stephen Parrish said...

Being a dad. Before that, I simply don't remember.

Beth said...

Jenna - you totally summed it up for me: Mother, Writer, My Faith!