I don't want to compete anymore! There's nothing to Gain!

  I know this may sound like a broken record, but I am so tired of the SAH/HS movement. I suppose it’s really not much different then the working moms/public school parents who compete in materialism, regarding their children each year. Same thing, yet different. Ya know?

If you are a stay at home/home school parent then your TRUE worth will forever be, how smart your kids are and how many bible verses they can quote on que. Why the competition?

If you are a working mom and have your kids in the public school system then your worth as a parent will be how popular your kids are in school, and whether of not they have the latest fashions and fads to keep them top dog. Throw in whether of not your kid has made high honors–and that just gives more fuel to the fire during the ladies socials.

I do not understand what has happened.  I don’t think these things mattered on the Little House on the Prairie days..I didn’t get it when I was a teen either… Why can’t we just be ourselves as kids and carry it over into adulthood…being ourselves? Why is being ourselves never good enough?  It really makes me nuts, so loopy in fact, that I have to read self-help books on not being good enough..and I AM AN ADULT! Ugh!

 

 I found myself up against the wall a few weeks back by my Uncles wife. I like her and appreciate her advice, but did she really need to pull me a side at a party to ask me what was on my kids reading lists this year?  She is a retired high school Principal, and is now a super-intendent..She told  me that once you have a job as a Principal you never truly leave that role regarding children. She has seen a lot, heard a lot and has wiped many student  tears, she shared..

That said, she started rattling off a long list of books, asking me if my kids have read them yet. I think I actually have the same list she mentioned in fact, somewhere.  A few I have heard of but to be honest, many I hadn’t.  I only recalled about 6 that I had to read in high school myself. 

I just don’t think we should be forcing certain books on any of our children. Isn’t life about choice?   I know if I start a book that I find extreamly boring after the first couple chapters, I simply put it down.  There has been about 15 books thus far, that I have started in the past and never finished because they simply did not hold my interest. 

Early on there was Funny Farm,Catcher in the Rye, Joy Luck..something…Gerald’s Game, the  good ol’ drivers manuel(<Yes,it’s true.)and any books about war, books that go back and forth in time periods…Deathly boring to me. My opinion of course.

I won’t speak for every child, but had I been forced to  read certain books in my youth I don’t think I would have the love for reading that I have today. And I certainly would be fumed  if I had someone forcing a book  on me that I found boring. Same goes for movies, hobbies and the alike….There are a lot of things that I wish i was interested in..and many things that I pray that I will find appealing some day.

Getting back to the moral of the story…because there really is one. :o)

As I  listened to my Aunt question my book list, or lack of…which seemed to be the case.  (My kids actually do have a book  list.  However they take bits from many lists that we  have found online and cator them to fit each of their interest.)  Yes, They know that if they were in public school or college, that  they would not have this option. Just like if I am serving a food for supper that I know they do not like. I am not making them eat it. However, if they were at a friends house they would have to bite the bullet and eat what is placed in front of them. This happens many times with myself even.

She asked me why they haven’t read them all yet and began questioning their grade levels, which she was basing on their reading lists.. *G*  I then explained that WE, as homeschoolers, are NOT required to read the same books as public schooled kids. She did not believe me, as in the state of Florida it must be different.

Then came all the state test questions. You would think that I’d have a nice trusting stand-by sentence to rattle off by now but it’s been a while since I’ve had to defend my choice to home school and curriculum.

After all that, the night went rather well…

I had a couple weeks to breath…

…Up until yesterday at church..which was when Round Two rang in…

 

We don’t belong to a church, but do frequent a non-denom congregation in the next town over.  We are recovering IFB Baptists..

There I was after service when approached by THE FAMILY. I had instant flashbacks to my Cecilia days….Except this women only had 8 kids,  not 12. I am not really sure why I still attract these ladies, as when I was one of them, I would have never approached a lady such as myself. ( being honest!)

Don’t get me wrong I do not dress/act/ like a heathen… I still wear long skirts, and blouses…I still have certain convictions….BUT  I wear make-up, nail polish and toe nail polish.  EVEN….and this is a HUGE secret so let’s keep this under lock and barrel…..I even wear open toed shoes…THERE!!  My secrets out! :oP   

People will  judge us on our appearance. I am still guilty of this myself. Certain people that I classify as potentially dangerous, do dress a certain way IMO. Much like prostitutes.  You can judge them by their apparel in many cases. I don’t like it, but it is what it is….

 

 I was told recently that I fall somewhere in between the line…The line of Religion and Mainstream. That said, I do not attract the mainstream what-so-ever. I only attract religious people,  even though..I am NO longer the poster child of a SAH-HSM…. And let me just add, it was NOT worth the price tag and lable,  that was placed upon me during those years.

That said…

The Lord had me walk the road for a purpose and for that I am not only grateful, but count it all Joy! 

There is something to be said about being liberated and truly having the freedom that Christ fullfilled on Calvary. Amen!<<and yes, I still have many of my good Baptist Girl traits. Somethings never die… And I have a few friends who are not Baptist that I drive crazy with all my Amens! *G*

 I will forever smile at the women I use to be…Therefore, I always smile and make eye contact to ladies, that at one time in my life would have been my only BFF’s.

Perhaps this is why they still come to me.   But as it doesn’t bother me that they approach me..It does bother me that they want to play the game…..And yesterday was no different….

 There she was..it was as if I was looking in a mirrior a few years ago.

 

Very simple in her over sized floor length denim jumper with boat style neck-line. Her hair neatly pinned up in a bun. No outter forms of self adornment. Practical tennis shoes shoes and dark hose.

Yes, she was pretty!  I glanced over to her proud husband who looked to be dressed normal by todays modern wardrobe. NOT to say what SHE was wearing wasn’t normal, because to her it was very normal. It was her uniform. A uniform that spoke out so loud to all those around her…it was down right blinding!

However speaking from much expierence– When I see a couple such as this family…. I instantly know much about the ladies life by just taking one glance…. yet when looking at the husband,  he looks just like any other man in the room.  I think you get the picture. 

 She asked if my kids would be intrested  in competing with her kids in a bible-thon. She then lined her 8 children and started asking then bible questions. This went on for the next 20mins. They were one of the best versed group of kids that I have ever met, not counting my own that is….*Grin*

  I am not upset or saddened by the fact that her Quiver could quote the whole book of Acts .. OR that  they knew how many sons Gideon had, and what Isaiah’s father’s name was…AND what book and verses talk about the upcoming Antichrists… No, that was not what was making me feel uncomfortable..

What WAS upsetting was the look in the  kids eyes, that said their only worth, was how much scripture they could memorize and rattle off on mom and dads que.   I also noticed the all to familiar look in her daughters eyes while she was looking at my  outward appearance.  I was being judged before I even could speak one word to her.  Therefore, what ever I spoke would be discredited as pure evil. Yes, I know all about this game of self rightous judgment.

She then asked me if I wanted to go up against her crew…. I said no, as I declined putting my children through the game. For they too, know how this game is played and are only 13 and 15 years old..They remember, and still have some friends that try to outdo them from time to time. This stuff starts young and carries on into adult hood. The other way around it would be to become a nun, or a monk!

 Conclusion:

   I  don’t  mind if  anyone disagrees with me on this observation..As I know the outcome first hand, and have seen it triple-fold in religious families in such a negative way…. Teaching your children bible memory verses is not the issue here…But pining them up against each other is wrong!  Being proud of how smart your children are is fine, but bragging and comparing them against every single kid that comes their way is very wrong.

As far as Children go…

I would much rather my children learn what these verses MEAN then have them be able to rattle off an entire book of the bible, resulting in Pride. Our self worth should not depend so much on what we know, but rather on what we do with said knowledge… How are we blessing others? How are we giving ourselves in acts of love and TRUE selfless kindness. Truly making a difference in other peoples lives…which in essence, brings God Glory!!

And I will close with a great big…..

 PS-Round 3 hit already hit me today….There is a lesson to learned in all of this…and it begans with a capitol P….

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Money, Religion & People

 

Money…It may not buy you happiness,  but it sure seems to buy attention & people.

Many people can look around at everyone in their life, and realize  that the people that give them the most attention and ‘appear’  as friends are in it for themselves. I’m not sure how this works for men, but for women you are only as valuable to someone by what they can get from you. Generally speaking of course…

People have a tendency to tolerate you as long as you are valuable to them. Whether it’s baby sitting their kids, buying them stuff, letting them use your car, taking them shopping and out to eat, etc.. (Pampered Chef buyer, Avon buyer, Home parties, you get the point.)  When you support someones bussiness they are generally nicer to you. It goes without saying..Money Talks!   Even if you are an invester, you are of value to the company in which you have invested in. Pull out, even on good terms..and you are no longer valuable.

 That said, when and if  these things disolve and fade away, you will only then realize that the friendship you thought you had dissolves too.  Take certain churches for example.  As long as you are tithing and have become a member of the ‘team’‘ — you are valuable to them. They will support you, give back to you when and if you fall short…They will pray with you and call you, if you are MIA for a couple weeks.. It truly and honestly appears that they LOVE you and genuinely care about you. Right?

For those of you that have been there before you know where this is leading…As soon as you leave the church you’re cut off 100%.  I have not only expirenced this first hand before, but tend to hear this story a whole lot from friends that have left their churches. It doesn’t discriminate, and happens all over America.  All those friends that you ‘thought’ you had , was nothing but a mere illusion. Why? Because you are no longer valuble to them. They are not getting anything from you. You are no longer part of the click!  You are no longer supporting the cause.   Yes, this is depressing at times..because churches should not be this way…but this is life and can be seen even at the work force. (I’m not just picking at churches.)

I was never one for clicks, but even in grade school  I remember watching the girl that brought candy and cough drops for everyone, recieve the most attention. Then while in the bathroom, I’d hear her state how much she disliked the girls who she just shared her treats with earlier. Go figure!

Was she sharing and loving from the very depth of her heart?  Did it come natural? Nope! But it sure the heck made the popular girls like her a bit more! SHE was valuable to them..In which case–Candy talked!

This stuff starts young too!  I will even use myself for an example, as very few of us are immune to it..*sigh*

 I was in 5th grade and Valentine’s day was right around the corner….  I saved up my allowance and bought one of those big Chocolate Hersheys Kiss’s for a boy that I thought was  insanely cute!  I was excited to bring it to school the next day and give it to him..My best friend at the time told me to just leave it at his desk with a note,  but never being the shy type,  I walked right up to him and handed it over.  He smiled, thanked me, and brought it over to his desk. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen next, but imagine my surprise when during recess he handed it over to the popular girl!

 I started to cry and my best friend told me the usual..Don’t be sad, he’s not worth your tears… But I was crushed!  Every time I see a Hersheys Kiss, big or small…I think back on that crazy day. Some things just stick with you I guess! *G*

…After recess we all went back to class and I had to sit through the torture of listening to the popular girl tell everyone how she and him were a “thing” now…

….And that was all it took to make him become  popular the remainder of the year. I guess I could have ratted on him and told her that I was the one that saved  MY allowance and bought the gift, but I didn’t. They ended up being a thing for only a few months, but he did remain popular… And being the human that I was, I put plan B into motion.  I saved up my allowance once more, walked up to him before class one morning and gave it all to him. What did he do? He took the cash, placed it in his pocket, and asked me if I wanted to sit next to him during lunch for the whole week!    Pitiful, I know!  But the important thing is that I can now look back and laugh!  And yes, his popularity made me popular, and it didn’t cost much.  See how that works?

Regardless, These things have been good life skills to learn early on… They have aided  me to accept people as is…. And now with Christ by my side, it has become easier and easier to love people. ALL people! Sure, I still occasionally vent and have days which I complain about this person or that.  But the important thing is that after the complaining and venting I am free! Free to have patience with people  just as Christ has patience with each one of us.

 I’m often told that this person is using me and that person is using me, and I should cut ties with people that are in it for themselves..But Why? I have had enough real life relationships to be able to know who is using me. I don’t need to be told,  I’m not ignorant to it. Some people have told me that to willfully allow people to use me makes me just as sick as they are…But I disagree! People use each other for different reasons… And I  believe that not everyone is out to get you..and I don’t believe trading skills and gifts are using people, while other do.

 Yes, there will always be a few people who go out of their way to attack you but I believe  most people want to be good…. but it’s a battle against Self.  Sometimes things  happen in ones childhood which shapes adult views on all future relationships. If people have been hurt time and time again then most will grow up having trust issues. It’s Classic, and happens all the time. But Christ can deliver us! All we have to do is ask. (James 4:2)

I also believe that having a personal relationship with Jesus will be the only way to transform ones-self into a selfless, kind,caring and loving person. It’s not about money, religion, social status, etc.  Having money may buy you attention, affection and the illusion that you are greatly Loved….  But strip away everything that you can possibly offer someone  materialisticly, and then decide who REALLY loves you. It will surprize most!

There is NO money or religion that will get you to love others and your neighbors as yourself. As stated in… (Mark 12:31)

And if you have found a way (outside of Christ) to love your neighbor as yourself, then please share!

Not everyone you meet will be honest and upfront with you….  Are they all guilty and out to get you? I think not!   However, I believe that the world is large enough for us all to Coexist together. Forget about each others differences, and ask Jesus to make you start seeing people the way that he does. Hurt when they hurt, love when they love.  Share each others burdens and have enough Grace & Mercy to move mountains with them..Have Compasion…

If these are areas that you fall short, ask!  (Ye Have Not, Because Ye Ask Not. Matthew 7:7) And YES! This scripture needs to be lined up with Gods will but I assure you that Christs will IS for you to not only have a everlasting relationship with him, but to LOVE one another. 

 It takes so much effort to judge and shake your head at people..Once you allow the Lord to  transform you into his image of love it will come easily. You will began loving the very people that you thought were  unlovable. You will start seeing that we really are ALL the same. There is no Black or White, North/South,Yankee/Rebel,  or Christian/Muslim.

YES! You read that correctly!  Christianity is a religion just like Islam is a religion. Religion breeds hate! Even amoung believers… Why do you think we have so many denominations and worship centers to begin with? Division..Division!

The only way to not hate, is to love…. And the only way to TRULY LOVE  is to have a real one on one relationship with the father. Jesus shouldn’t be some empty void that you pray too only when things are not going good…Christ should be someone that you talk with daily..Whether you’re having a good day or a bad day.

Recently I had a chance to be around some folks that were pretty well off…They were Atheists, and were living the American dream sorta speak..and while listening to them talk I realized that they had no interest in hearing anything to do with God… Should I have shunned them and not dined with them? Many would have, and to be truthful several years ago I would have shunned them myself. However..I accepted them with no effort on my part. I treated them as I would have treated my best friend. I know that I am uncapable to have done that on my own..But with Christ, all things are possible…(Philippians 4:13)

 

Conclusion:

If God hates the same people that you do, then you are worshipping a false God.

God is Love…(Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love…. 1 John 4:8)