Brave New Life: Part 1: Into the Unknown

This post is part of a series. Click here to read the introduction.Like I said in my coming out series, when at the end of 2011, we had realized that transition was going to happen, and that our beliefs were not really fitting in the church we were serving anymore, we knew we needed to move on.This wasn’t easy. We had moved everything we owned 1000 miles and over an international border to take the call to this church, with the intention of staying for some time. We’d had 2 more children for a total of 4. We loved the people we were serving, our kids had friends and we had a home in the parsonage. We had our favorite haunts, walking to the park near our house, attempting sledding wit … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Introduction

Once upon a time there were two girls. One was very sad most of the time, she kept her head down and did what she was told, because she could not imagine ever being strong enough to do anything different. She hardly knew what it meant to dream, to have goals and ambitions, because her life was already mapped out for her by others, she just had to follow the rules and be the person she was supposed to be.The other girl was very afraid, she had been told her whole life that she was a boy, but secretly she knew she was a girl; she also knew that she could never ever breathe a word about it to anyone, because being a girl born with a boy’s body was wrong and impossible in the world she lived … [Read more...]

Gentle Parenting Tools: Communicate

I’ve talked about mutual respect, and recognizing emotions, and the importance of caring for yourself as a parent and here I want to talk about communication. When I was in the punitive parentingmindset, it was my understanding that you did not communicate with your kids. Kids were selfish and manipulative, only out to get whatever they wanted. No, you did not communicate, you dictate. As in, you tell them what to do, and you make them do it, regardless of what they are feeling or thinking. The child needs to learn that their opinion does not matter, they just need to obey. As I switched from punitive to gentle parenting, I started making an effort to recognize my children’s emotions, and I … [Read more...]

When Kindness Raises its Head

In seminary, we learned that people are often angry with, or have other issues with their pastor, we had to expect that people with daddy issues would probably have an issue with their pastor, people who were hurting could take it out on their pastor and be overly critical and/or defensive. One of the interesting thoughts regarding this that I still remember today, is that while as a pastor's family we were supposed to listen to the endless concerns and criticisms, we were to remember that whatever they were saying was often more about them than it was about us. It was information, just information about that person. I’ve been reminded of that principal once again as I’ve … [Read more...]

Summary and links

Well. Now you all know why I said in the introduction that my Unwrapping the Onion series was intense to write and publish! I had no idea how it would be received, but the response has been amazing. Some of you have come over from where this story was summarized and linked at Jezebel, and many of you have left sweet encouraging comments. Thank you. In fact, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the comment section has been so great, ever since I wrote the post on comments to announce that I would begin to censor anything that lacked respect, I have only had to delete two comments, out of several hundred that were left! This is some of the most positive reactions to our s … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 9: Starting a New Life

This post is the final post in a series. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.It’s the spring of 2012 now, and we’ve moved to a new home in a new city and are making new friends and starting over. We’ve officially left the ministry and are making new career plans. My spouse has begun transition and she has been able to go by her new name and female pronouns publicly now after using them at home for months. Only now there is no second guessing over what she can wear when we go out. There is no tripping over which name to use. It’s only been a few months, but she has said “I’m so happy!” with enough frequency that it has actually gotten downright annoying at times. For the fi … [Read more...]