Hello, and pleased to meet you – or meet you again! Today I’m re-posting the first piece from The Beggar’s Bakery as a reintroduction. God bless you, and thanks for your readership!
By: Jana Greene
Welcome to my little piece of Real(ity)Estate on the web! It took a long time for me to create one; I could not imagine anyone would read it. (I hope it turns out that I’m wrong, but if not – I get LOTS of writing practice!)
I also hope that you might take something away from it each day. I am going to try my level best to keep it real (probably too real at times).
So what you should you know about me?
There are the usual stats and facts:
I am happily married to Bob Greene, whom I don’t write about in the public forum often at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging. He really is – cliché not withstanding – my best friend, and I’m so glad to be doing this crazy life with him. We have been married over five years and have blended a family that contains three teenaged daughters; two mine, one his. (Yes, they all live with us, and yes….He IS practically a Saint!) The blending is harder and sweeter and more challenging and more rewarding than I could have imagined.
I gave birth to two daughters, now 16 and 19, and I mother my lovely stepdaughter (nearly 20) when she lets me. They are my heart walking around outside of my body, if my own heart chose to drive me absolutely crazy (which it has on occasion). I love them fiercely and will try to respect their respective privacies here, although you can expect a good many pieces about my frustrations as I learn to let them go. If they get bored enough, they might read this one day, in which case I have TONS of chores for them to do.
I’ve worked at insurance and real estate agencies, mortgage companies, law offices, and as a day-care teacher. As a single mother I worked several at a time – including a hardware store paint-slinger and as a part-time hotel maid. All were character building. But I’ve been a writer – legit or not – since I could hold a crayon.
I am imperfect all the way. As a writer, I use the forbidden “three dots”…too often and cannot bear to part with the text-forbidden smiley faces 🙂 and sometimes use run-on sentences because I think they convey stream-of-consciousness better and yes, I know all of these are against the Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” guidelines. I have written for a small local paper,and although I couldn’t make a living at it, it was the best job I ever had. Also, I have a terrible “wordi-ness” problem, but I’m working on it. Sort-of. I write for the selfish reason that it helps me productively process the pain and pleasure in life when I pour words onto a page. And for the selfless reason that I cannot help anyone else find the “Bread of Life” if I don’t show them where I found it.
Because, all of these things I tell you about me, are true, but none define me. I am a Christian and a beggar. That is my most accurate self-description.
Over eleven years ago, I came to the end of myself and all of my delusions of put-together-ness, which is to say – I got sober. If you know me even casually, you know I am an alcoholic. I haven’t had a drink in that long, but I am still – forever – in recovery, something that keeps me humble and coming back for more of what got me clean in the first place. Every single day. I keep it “out there” because there is somebody, somewhere who is hiding bottles and drinking that “two” beers just to stop the shaking and who is so, so, ashamed. I know shame. Or maybe he/she is addicted to drugs, or porn, or the approval of others – it’s all the same to your soul – or cannot seem to find a reason to wake up in the morning. I can’t tell you how to fix it, but I can tell you who can. I can tell you that I 100% expected to die during that hard time, and sometimes would have considered it a relief. I still have bad days (that “One Day at a Time” thing…) but I have the clarity to enjoy the GOOD ones, of which there are many. Faith and humor are key. Oh, and boundaries, on occasion.
One Day at a time, by the Grace of God. Even if I might have bad days, or whine a little. You know, just to keep it real!
One beggar showing another beggar where she found food. When I couldn’t love myself enough to lift myself up, I crawled back to Jesus, and He said “You look hungry… come to the table!” Redemption is the best feast ever.
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