Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Going out on a Limb (perhaps a very thin and controversial limb)

So, I have been debating whether or not to express the following thoughts.  Perhaps, because, I have not completely processed my thoughts.  Yet, it might be a lifelong processing and adjustment of thought.

  • I recently read a re-post of a blog in The Huffington Post.  You can read it here.  It got me thinking about a few things.  Maybe it will strike a chord in you too.
  • Right before Christmas, Jeff and I had the honor of attending a Nicaraguan wedding of a good friend.  I looked around and I noticed:  the imperfectness and simplicity of the surroundings (concrete walls, random Christmas decorations), the cake that was tilting heavy to one side, the beautiful chaos that is a natural part of the culture here, the guests that arrived half-way through the wedding, and the mismatched plates on which they served the food.  There was no photographer (I brought my camera and took photos as a gift to the bride; however, she did not ask me to take on that role).  There were only guests with camera phones taking photos.  The cake was served on little Styrofoam plates.  There were no little dessert plates with personalized napkins.  There was little wedding favors that had the wrong date printed on them.  (I think the date of the wedding changed sometime between the printing and the actual event.)  No elaborate and Pinterest worthy Save-the-Dates...however, the invitation (pictured below) was delivered by the bride's parents a few days before the wedding.  BUT, you know what, our friend and her husband were married that evening regardless of the date. They made a covenant promise before God and their friends and family.  That was the focus of the wedding...not the 'stuff' that we see (and feel we need) on Pinterest, blogs, or in magazines or TV.  
  • I am homeschooling full-time now, for those who did not know that.  Did you know there are a million blogs written by homeschool moms!?  I give those mothers my applause and respect...because they homeschool.  It isn't easy.  Although, sometimes when I read someone's blog, their life as a homeschooling mom seems so creative, easy, fun, enriching, _(fill in the blank with a superlative)_.  I'll admit to you right here and now, sometimes I read a short chapter of a book aloud to my kids and call it English class.  Yes, sometimes we do super-cool stuff, like make Yorkshire pudding after reading The Secret Garden....and sometimes...we barely make it through the morning without the need for a whole family attitude adjustment.  Have you noticed that there are NOT a million blogs about how we blow it big time and trash the school day an hour into it.
I think that the enormous increase in blogs, DIY sites, and Pinterest (which I joined but never visit because I don't need any help questioning the "quality" of woman I am on any given day) is encouraging insecurity or self-righteousness.  Scripture says that God has given us "everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us through His own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)  If God's word is the same yesterday, today, and forever then I can parent, decorate, cook and live without needing to compare, measure, judge, or evaluate myself according to the world of blogs and Pinterest.  However, they are useful tools.  I often check out recipes online or get ideas from a DIY blog...but when I start second guessing my value or worry that my kids are not experiencing an optimal learning environment because I don't measure up to what the 'others' are doing then I have failed to use those resources as tools and made them my idols.

My intent is not to slam those that are on Pinterest.  I am not trying to diminish or put down the moms who are blogging about the amazing things that they experience in homeschooling, or decorating, or cooking.  I am just trying to find the balance and make sure that the voice I hear the loudest is that of God.

The Wedding Invitation