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Role Call

Wife. Mother. Stay-at-home mom. Volunteer. Daughter. Sister. Student. Believer. Cook. House Cleaner. Those are all the roles I am, or have a history of, putting before my most important role: Kristin. There is nothing wrong with any of those roles. They’re all important, and I love being in them. The problem is that I’m more comfortable in those roles, and feel they all have more worth, than being simply Kristin. Somewhere along the way, I started believing that just Kristin was not enough. That I needed to constantly be “doing” to prove my worth. “Kristin” was not valuable, but “straight-A student Kristin” was. “Kristin” was ignorable, but “wife of Matt Maher” was someone people would feel

The Table Game

I started a game at my house, and we play it at least once a month, at dinner. I didn’t really have a great name for it — it came to me in the spur of the moment — so we call it the Table Game. The rules are simple: You start with one person at the table. Everyone at the table has to say one nice thing or something they like about that person. You go around the table until everyone has said something. Then the person must say one thing they like about themselves. Everyone at the table has a turn. I started this game because I realized I cannot receive a compliment. It doesn’t matter who gives it to me or what it’s about. I deflect. Always. “I like your outfit today.” “Oh, it’s just a dress I

Let There Be Peace

My husband, Matt Maher, is a singer-songwriter, mainly in the Christian genre. (He. Is. Amazing.) Lately, a lyric in one of his songs (“Glory, Let There Be Peace”) has been sticking with me: “Let there be peace; let it start with me.” Originally, I took this at a superficial level. Peace starting with me is easy, right? Be nicer to people. Try to listen more. Don’t be snarky on Twitter. Simple. Lately, though I’ve been reflecting more on it. What if peace starting with me is not just my behavior toward others, but also how I treat myself? Suddenly, that line gets a lot more complicated and harder to live out. How do you bring peace to yourself? I’m good at being nice to others, but to myself

Alone

I’ve had shame for as long as I can remember. Shame for the way I looked. Shame for the way I behaved. Shame for not being talented, smart, funny or nice enough. Shame for pretty much everything. The thing is, when you’re in the middle of a shame spiral, it can be pretty lonely. Part of what your shame is telling you is that you are the only one who feels this way. You are the only one who is not enough. You are the only one who is not together. I’m pretty good at midnight self-analysis and epiphanies where I can see all my flaws and logically think of healthy solutions to all of them. Somehow, though, when my alarm goes off at 6:30 the next morning, all these breakthroughs and brilliant str

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