I bought an old typewriter last year, and when I sat down to try it out, I began to type everything that came to my mind. The feeling of typing on a typewriter is very different than a computer. I guess there’s a finality to every move you make. There’s no easy way to delete your mistakes. This finality forces you to pause before you type, and then it forces you to keep moving along when you do. You have to accept what you do, right or wrong, sort of like life, in a lot of ways.

As I typed, something very unexpected happened — I began to cry. The more I typed the more I began to sob. Thank goodness for middle school typing class or I wouldn’t’ve ever been able to finish typing my thoughts. I switched out for some fresh paper.

I haven’t shared this here, because one, it makes me sound cooky crying as I use an old typewriter, and two, it was a personal moment that I wanted to keep to myself, but this summer I’ve felt something happen inside of me, and I have no idea what it is, but I’m excited to see where this compelling desire will take me, will take us.

 

The Day I Bought My Typewriter 1

The Day I Bought My Typewriter 2

 

Here’s what I wrote on my new old typewriter. The Day I Bought My Typewriter, or I’ve transcribed it just the way I typed it, errors and all:

It took me by surprise. I bought this old typewriter on a whim, on a spur of the moment decision. I’ve fallen in love with writing. Or better yet, I’ve found my home in writing. It calms me, it moves me, and I have felt my soul come alive with every word I type. So, when I made the decision to buy an old typerwriter, it was more for the sense of honoring something bigger than it. It was a way for the words I know I will write to be added into the certain place that all the greats have typed their brilliant words. I type with intrepidation, but with also a reverence for the ground that I walk on is  a ground that in many ways is a holy ground, for it’s in this place that words become eternal. It’s in this place that mountains are moved, governments crumble, and new worlds are created. It’s on this holy ground that the voice of God is spoken.

I bought this typerwriter to pay homage to all the great writers before me. I thought I would unearth a new level of writing, but what I did find took me by surprise. It was in the smell of this old typewriter The slight vibration under my fingers, the hum of it”s old byt strong motor, it’s in the clicks of the keys as they hit the paper with force and purpose that I found you. It is the memory of you, really, but if I sit here long enough I know I will see your face appear. I didn’t expect to meet you here, in this moment.

You gave me a gift when I was seven. I didn’t know you were giving me a gift. In fact, I don’t think you knew you were giving me a gift either.. I sure you were just trying to find something for me to do on those those long hot summer days at your tiny turquoise trailer in the Arizona desert. But it was a gift, none the less, Just like now, I clicked away at the keys discovering words, creating words. It was your place to create words and write stories, too. You were at home writing, and that’s what you did. Neither one of us knew what was happening on those long summer days, but as I click away today, I now know what happened; you introduced me to the sacred world of writing. You showed me the power of words and you let me explore that sacred place on a seemingly insignificant old typewriter. Your stories never made it to publish. They were tucked away, and now live in a box in my mother’s garage.

Mylove for writing would be buried soon after that summer. Oh, it would surface every once in awhile, over the years of my life igniting my soul, but then life would bury it again. The beauty of a buried gift is that it is never gone. It just waits. Buried. It’s value grows with every passing day, and just like every valuable treasure, it desires to be found, to be discovered, and brought into the world to be fasinated in. 

My gift has been discovered. I have found my home in writing, but what took me most by surprise is that I found you here, so alive and so vibrant, just like the keys under my fingers. Thank you, dear grandma for showing me this place, for leading me here, and then meeting me here all these years later. Thank you for welcoming me into the world of greats, the world where my soul unites with God.

Now I take off my shoes, for I see that I am standing on sacred ground. I am reverent in this moment.

Charity Craig

Grandma, Mom, and Me

My typewriter died a few weeks after buying it, and I’m still sad about it. I guess it brought back a piece of my grandma, who I’ve missed since I was sixteen.

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I’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.

No need for panic. It’s not Matt or my kids (at least not today). I’ve lost my love for this place, my writing. Several years ago, as I began to share my story, I discovered a buried passion for writing. I felt something inside of me ignite, and I never believed that flame would die. Until it did.

I Lost That Lovin' Feeling @charitylcraig

At first, I panicked, because the last thing I want on my resumé is one more discarded life beau, because my journey is already littered with old possibilities, but this time, this writing thing felt different, this time it felt like true love. It came easy, and whether I’m good at it or not, well, I guess that’s a matter of opinion. So, to feel the passion fizzle felt like a failure.

I can’t say what caused the cavern between us. Maybe I listened to too many writing “experts” on what I should be doing.

Maybe I stopped writing for me, and started writing for you. Maybe I forgot I’m already accepted, and was trying to get your acceptance.

Maybe my writing began to define me, which sucks, because writing is a terrible definer.

Maybe I was procrastinating, which Elizabeth Gilbert says is just another form of fear. So, maybe I’ve just been afraid, or maybe I’ve used fear as an excuse.

Or maybe I just needed to rest my heart and soul.

Whatever the reason, I’ve chosen to accept it and practice just being — in every single minute of every single day. I’ve decided to rest my hands and heart, and not to make any decisions, you know like, should I stay or should I go?  I decided to show up in life, and just be present.

You know what’s happened this summer? Nothing exciting — a simple and average life.

Then, today I felt a tiny warmth reignite inside my chest.

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Last week we watched Disney’s new movie, Inside Out…illegally, because that’s how we roll. When you have four children, going to the movies is the equivalent to purchasing a Shetland pony, even stuffing your own popcorn bags in your purse doesn’t seem to ease the bloodshed.

So, I’d like to thank the Spanish speaking pirates who took the time to overdub the Spanish version back into English, and I am in no way criticizing your lack of ability to match the voices to the film. Because of you, we were able to watch a movie two months earlier that anticipated. Also, this is in no way an endorsement of illegal activity, and if someone from the Department of Pirated Movies calls, “No hablo inglés.”

This is an endorsement, though, of my own accord, to tell you to go watch the movie even if you don’t have young children. Legally, preferably, so you don’t risk five years in prison or a $250,000 fine. Inside Out is such a cute movie that made me both laugh out loud and cry real tears, and we will be redeeming our illegal activity by purchasing it. This movie isn’t just for kids.

Part of my journey to personal freedom is the unearthing of the beauty and power of my emotions. I have discovered that my emotions are good, every single one of them, and they can be trusted, and any time I hear someone say, “emotions come and go and can’t be trusted,” I cringe and give my emotions a big hug and tell them that I love them and appreciate all their hard work alerting me on what’s going on inside of me. Emotions are one of the greatest gifts my Infinite Creator has given me, and they are what makes me the most like Him.

Emotions can be trusted, you know why? Because emotions are how you alert yourself as to what’s going on inside of you. If you are feeling angry, there’s a trigger that activated that anger. The emotions do not lie. Something happened that caused your inner man pain, which activated your emotions to let you know about the pain. This is equivalent to the physical pain you might feel getting poked by a needle.

I haven’t always been in touch with my feelings and trusted everything I felt. In fact, I spent most of my life believing emotions cannot be trusted, so I spent most of my life stuffing the ones I thought were bad deep inside and feeling guilty when anger or sadness could not be contained and overwhelmed my life, but I’m on the journey to learn how to listen and trust them.

Several weeks ago, Matt and I had a knock down drag out fight (We have those now that I know that we’re both learning to speak up and be honest with each other, and that there’s an intimacy that comes with that). It didn’t start off as a fight. It started off as a simple work event that I wasn’t invited to attend, and it hurt my feelings. I resorted to my old self, and felt guilty for letting it hurt my feelings, so I held it in. As the day wore on, the feelings mounted inside of me, and I started dropping hints about wanting to go.

Matt finally got the hint and said, You can go.

Then I felt guilty for being so childish about going. Until later that evening, as we were getting ready, I began to ramble on and on, “I’m so confused as my role as a wife. I’m not sure what I can and can’t do.” 

Matt kept saying, “What are you even talking about? You’re not making any sense.”

FInally, in exasperation, he stormed out of the room.

I could feel the guilt of my childish behavior overwhelm me, as I tried to pull myself in, but then I remembered. I have a right to feel the way I do.

I screamed after Matt, “I FEEL THE WAY I FEEL RIGHT NOW, AND I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO FEEL THIS WAY!”

Except, how did I feel? I had yet to determine the way I felt. I was only skirting around it talking about my role as a wife. It took me a few tearful minutes, before I could name how I felt. I found a tearful Matt in the kitchen.

“Matt, I feel insecure. I feel like you don’t want me to go with you.”

“Charity, I’m so sorry I made you feel like you were unwanted. I never meant for you to feel like that. I want you there, please come with me.”

You see, my emotions weren’t what couldn’t be trusted, it was my misunderstanding of Matt’s intentions that were lying to me, but we would’ve never came to the root of the problem had I mistrusted my emotions, and ignored them.

So, even if you don’t have young children, go see Inside Out. Find out how trustworthy and endearing each and every one of our emotions can be.

Don’t be afraid. Just feel all the feels.

Disney's Inside Out Isn't Just for Kids @charitylcraig

 

I’m super nervous. Today my interview (first one ever!) with Building Bridges Podcast goes live. When I told Matt I was nervous, he said, “Why? You did an awesome job.” He’s my biggest fan, and I’m so thankful he’s been just as brave to let me share our broken love story with the world. I guess there’s a difference between writing your story, and hearing your own voice speak it, so sharing it makes me nervous, but I can’t think of a better place for my first time.

Building Bridges Podcast @faithfulsocial @jennaguizar

 

Building Bridges Podcast is the brainchild of my good blogging friend, Cristina, over at Faithfully Social and her online buddy, Jenna, from Blessed is She. When I sat down to chat with them, I have never done an interview or spoke publicly about Matt’s affair, so I was terrified, but they made me feel so comfortable and I felt like I was sitting down to chat with a couple of old friends. I loved it and them.

So, now I’m sharing the podcast with you. Apparently, my favorite words are, ‘right’ and ‘absolutely’, and I stumble around trying to talk about #GoodEnoughMom, but Cristina is right there to help a girl out. Annnnd we even chat about the beautiful, Melissa Hawks, who’s been a guest on here!

If you know someone who’s had a similar explosion in their marriage, share this podcast with them, because more than anything, I want to be a message of hope.

A wounded and broken love story is a beautiful love story. 

Then, leave a rating and subscribe to Building Bridges Podcast!

 Click to Listen

Several weeks ago, my longtime friend of like 20 years (No, that wasn’t the day we were born) looked across the table and asked me point blank, “Do you think I made the wrong decision to divorce my husband?”

She and I have very similar wounded and broken stories, and we are both on this beautiful journey to healing and personal freedom, but unfortunately, her marriage ended very differently than mine.

I immediately responded, “No, I don’t think you made the wrong decision at all. I think you trusted yourself, and did the best thing for you.”

Fight For Love @charitylcraig

I know the message I repeat here at the Wounded Dove is fight for love, fight for your marriage, but I never have talked about what fighting looks like. After our lunch, I thought a lot about our conversation. I lingered on how messy love can be, and I wished it was as black and white as I used to think it was. I’ve seen enough in my life to know, not every love story is going to be like mine, and not every broken love story can be fixed. E.M. Forester writes in his novel, A Room with a View,

“Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along. Man has to pick up the use of his functions as he goes along — especially the function of Love.”

There’s no secret formula that can guarantee a happily ever after, we’re all figuring it out as we go. So, what do I mean when I say fight for love? For me, fighting simply means, staying and loving until the end.

It may mean you’re not the one who files for divorce. Maybe staying and loving means you’re not the one who moves out. Maybe loving means giving your lost spouse time to find his way again or maybe it means letting him go and having what he thinks he wants. In this dance called life we must listen and trust ourselves. We aren’t always prepared for the explosions that happen, but if we trust the voice we hear inside, and know in the end it will be ok, then we can figure out how to stay and love.

Staying and loving until the end means choosing to show love and be loving even when the other person is unloveable and does not return your love, and then, if or when the end comes, you can accept it’s over and walk away, and you will always be able to look back and say, “I loved until the end.” I heard Tony Robbins say, “Love as passionately at the end of a relationship as you did at the beginning, and more than likely there never will be an end.”

So, to my friend I want to say,

You fought for your marriage. You stayed and loved until the end. That night when you were standing in your living room, and you gave your ultimatum, when you said, ‘I’m here and I’m willing to make this work, but if you walk out the door, I won’t be here when you get back.’ That was you staying. That was you fighting. Even though he was too broken to stay, you did. Even though he didn’t know how to love, you did. 

The beautiful thing about Love is He is infinite, and He does not end with our broken love story. Like the saying goes, “every end is a new beginning.”

So, be brave — stay and love until the end.

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