Hats: Do Our Roles Define Us?

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By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

How many hats do you wear in a day?

No, I’m not talking physical hats, but those we don when we fulfill a certain role.

Sometimes in the wearing of so many hats—in fulfilling many roles—I seem to lose the essence of who I am. I am Wife. Mom. Friend. Homemaker. Writer. Chef (which  may or may not be a generous title for the food I serve up on a daily basis). Lover. Confidante. Counselor. Cheerleader. Maid. Supporter. Teacher. Organizer. Event Planner.

The list could go on.

Man and wife in hats

In wearing various hats, I act out different roles, accomplishing what needs to be done. Helping others in one capacity or another.

I sometimes don different personas, wearing whichever is necessary for the moment.

Cowboy hat

It’s easy to allow myself to be defined by these roles lived out daily. Each one is necessary for where God has me right now. I get this.

The challenge comes in not losing the essence of who I am in the roles I play.

White hat

It’s easy to pour myself into the lives of my children, my husband. It’s easy to set myself aside and listen to a friend as she shares a struggle, a joy, a disappointment.

It’s oh, so easy to adopt a persona so that others only see a facet of who I am.

Feather hats

 

Young lady stocking cap

What’s not easy is to portray the real me some days. To feel, or share what I’m really feeling. To acknowledge my own hopes, my dreams . . . those sparks kept alive by a mere breath deep inside.

Bears with hats

It’s not easy to admit my failings as a mom, as a wife, as a friend.

And yet, God created me. He knew the experiences that would shape me into the woman I am today.

Man with hat

God planted dreams within me that He longs to fulfill. He instilled a certain personality with specific bents because He knew the plans He has for me to live out during my days on earth. And what I would require in order to fulfill them.

As I walk out my life roles, I don’t have to lose myself in them. I certainly shouldn’t define myself by one or more of them.
Man with two girls

“Hello, I’m Peter and Edmund’s mom.”

“I’m Hubby’s wife.”

“I’m just the friend.”

No, I am Jeanne Takenaka, God’s girl. His cherished, beloved daughter. I have dreams, wounds, hopes, disappointments. And they are just as valid as the next person’s. I don’t revel in them, but I don’t discount them either.

Floral cowboy hat

I am more than the hats I wear. I am a daughter of the living God.

What about you? What hats do you wear in a given day? What defines you?

***For the moms who may be reading, I found this video, Be You Bravely by Amena Brown to be inspiring, so I’m sharing here.***

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8 thoughts on “Hats: Do Our Roles Define Us?

  1. I can no longer afford the energy to wear hats…I just do what has to be done, through the day. I’ve learned that while I may weld, but I’m not a welder. I may write, but I’m not a writer. And so on.

    What am I? I’m not sure, but I think…not much.

    It’s not a bad thing. If my personality is just a hollow shape, it can be filled with the Holy Ghost to give it definition. It’s still individual in those externals, and in the way in which the HG animates them, but there’s no internal CUlt of personality…THIS is who I am.

    Who I am doesn’t matter. How I reflect and channel God does.

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    • Hmmm, Andrew. You’ve given me some food for thought. Again. 🙂 I’m pondering what you shared about our personalities being a hollow shape. I love Psalm 139 that talks about God knowing our substance before we were born. I may be stretching it a bit, but I’m thinking He knew our personalities as part of that “substance.” Obviously personalities are also formed by life experience, but we also have a choice in how we respond to those life experiences too. All that to say, I think it comes down to do I allow the Holy Ghost to mold it for God’s glory or do I choose my own path? I’m just thinking out loud here. 🙂 Ultimately I believe your final line is spot on: Are we reflecting and channeling God? Great question my friend. I’m going to be mulling this over some more.

      I always appreciate your comments!

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  2. Jeanne, I may have mentioned this to you before, but when we were young and my husband was in the Air Force, I was in a college class on base. The teacher instructed us to go around the room and share what we do. Well, every military personnel shared what he did. My turn came, and I said, “I’m just a dependent.” The teacher and class were appalled. They said, “You are not JUST a dependent. You are much more.” I felt uplifted; my confidence soared a tad.

    I am more … I’m a child of the Most High God. Glory! That means I’m royalty. 🙂

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    • I love that story, Shelli. I, too, had times when I felt like just a dependent when my honey served in the Air Force. I love that your classmates and the teacher affirmed you for more than the label on your military ID. 🙂

      I love your definition of who you are: a child of the Most High God. Royalty. 🙂

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  3. So many excellent responses to “hats”. Do I make the hat or does hat make me? Like has been said, only God can truly define me. If I look to the world, some days I’d just run away and hide in a dark corner; but God. When I look to my Father, He will lift me and carry me where I truly belong. With Him. Beloved daughter who belongs to Him, and He calls me by name. (Is 43:1)

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    • Yes, we need to keep our eyes on God and believe what He says about us. Sometimes it’s hard to do this when the world is so loud in our ears, telling us what we should do, who we should be, etc. Looking to our Father and remembering the truths He speaks over us can help us rest in the identity He gives each of His kids. 🙂

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