Monday, July 5, 2010
Why Do We Do This?
I am in a tither (is that a word?) Today on the day that we celebrate our freedom I am thinking about our freedom of speech. The thought that is on my mind is, Just because you are free to say something, does that mean that you should? My opinion on this is a resounding NO! In the last two days I have been confronted by several examples that remind me just how thoughtless we can all be when we speak to each other. Yesterday I came home in a stew about natural childbirth, obviously just weeks away from my fourth c-section I don't participate in that. However after a talk with a well meaning friend I could only assume that the reason I needed (or chose drugs and/or c-section) was because of my own lack of knowledge about the beauty that is natural child birth. Today I came home looking at my kids and checking to see if they chew their toe nails because of a lady telling me that is exactly what homeschooled kids do. I then took a look at my home, checking for filth because also in her opinion homeschool families live in filth, not just filth but we are talking feces type filth. Shortly after I receieved a call from one of my dearest friends who was having a rough day that I think very much stemmed from others judgement of how she does or does not do things at her house.
Let it be said. I am certain I am as guilty of this as anyone in the world! I get so excited about the things that mean a lot to me that I know I sometimes present my enthusiasm in a way that makes it seem like the world's in the wrong and I am right. But, what the last 11 years has taught me is that there is no one right way to do things. I do believe there are a list of absolute imperatives that apply to everyone (moral character being key), but when it comes to day-to- day living, raising kids and being a family that is between God, you & your spouse and your kids.
I am tired of coming home after speaking to another person (usually a woman) and questioning every single thing I ever felt good about. In the last couple of years I am doing less questioning myself and more just wishing that we could be a little more gentle with each other, a little less judgemental. One thing I have confronted over and over is when you get zealous about something people seem to automatically think that you think something is wrong with them because they don't do it too, when that happens they get defensive and then things get ugly. For example, after my third son I started running because I needed something that was all me. I loved it so much that I decided to run a marathon that year. One friend pointed out that was all well and good for me, but that she loved her kids to much to do that to them. Up until that moment I couldn't see a single reason why this wasn't good for me and my family, but then I started worrying that maybe she was right. In hind sight I see that what really happened is that she felt bad about something I was doing and couldn't let it go past until she made me feel bad about it too. I am challenging all of us to be a little more gentle with each other. Something that may work wonders for you may be a disaster for someone else. For me, for now: the majority of my kids do not leave home to be educated, one of my sons is black as black can be, I happily take myself to the hospital with all the drugs I can get and have a baby c-section, I think that reading & organizing is more fun than most any type of entertainment there is, running (preferably alone) is in my opinion, the ultimate high, and I love heavy metal (although I rarely listen to it because I am wise enough to know that isn't a great influence for any of us). As for those of you who do things completely opposite from me, you are welcome to my world. I look forward to hearing about the things you are excited about and won't ever feel like you have to do it my way to be right. I will have a tendency to get enthusiastic, maybe to a fault, about the above mentioned things, but this is not because I think you have to do it that way, this is just because I love these things. I hope we can be friends...