Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday's Torment: An Axe to Grind

i read an article this last week in Parents magazine, sept 2009.

it bothered me.

a lot.

so much so that i decided to write about it.

there was just so much, well, wrong with the whole thing.

the article was titled "I Survived Preschool." and the author is Barrie Gillies. Her LinkedIn profile gives her the title of senior editor for parents magazine since 2004.

the basic premise is that when she sent her 3 year old off to preschool she kept a diary to mark the milestone, and now she shares some of those nuggets of knowledge with us, the reader.

i really dislike how 'society' deems it necessary to take our children out of the family and put them into a frightening environment like preschool all in the name of socializing our children.

socialization: that is a whole other soap box.

Gillies admits in her one page of typeset that it was terribly difficult to drop her son off at preschool. day one went swimmingly, but by day 3 she has to let dad take in her son because the teacher suggested it.

dad feels guilty: "I'm abandoning him. He's only 3. Does he really need to go to school so soon?"

well. NO! he doesn't!

i cannot imagine taking my 4 year old to preschool. he doesn't need to know how to play with other 4 year olds...he already knows how to do that. he needs to learn how to interact with real life, everyday situations. not artificial environments that cater to managing the chaos.

he doesn't need to know what it is like to be away from his family for several hours every day so that he can learn how to be self-sufficient. he needs to see how a family unit works together so that one day he can be like his daddy and support a family and disciple his wife and children.

he doesn't need to have the preschool experience. he gets life experience here at home.

and by day 21? mom is lamenting that her son has become more independent. "he needs me less-phew! I can breathe. He needs me less- but wait, I'm his mommy!"

and there is the statement that really bothered me. this mom sees that her son is supposed to need her because she is his mother. this is what God intended! God gives us these beautiful little people to raise. to steward. but she is relieved because she has new new found freedom.

am i selfish in wanting my children to need me? am i selfish in wanting to keep my children home with me? am i selfish in wanting to raise them 24/7? am i selfish because i don't want to "breathe?" on the contrary...

i think that keeping our children home and revealing our faults on a minute by minute basis is anything but selfish. it is humbling. but in order for my children to acknowledge Jesus and what He did on the cross, they need to see their need for Jesus. how better for me to teach them about their need than to be honest about my own need.

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

am i a passionate housewife?

at our local homeschool convention i picked up a book i had heard about at a MOPS group 2 years ago called Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. i have only gotten a few chapters into it, and to be honest, i have to go back and do it again.

i am a skim reader, and this book is actually requiring me to focus on the words and really listen to the message.

lately i have been struggling with my sense of purpose. i have always worked outside the home and have felt like that defined me. how wrong i was!

but i let subtle views and working mommy talk pervade my thinking and sway my desires from God-driven to world-driven.

i was getting irritated with my children if they interrupted my "me-time." i was frustrated if i couldn't get on the computer and surf the internet at will. i was resentful of my husband getting "to leave the house every day and talk with adults."


did i really let myself get to this point?

how did that happen???

i stopped praying and talking to God on a meaningful level. oh, i would pray alright, but prayers like...'please let me get through this next day without screaming at my children!' not prayers acknowledging who God is and how grateful i am to have His mercy and Grace overflowing in my life.

i watched lots of evening TV and let the insidious message of advertisements and television shows color my thinking. it happened slowly. i allowed chatter from women who worked outside the home to foster envy in my heart because i thought they "had it all."

do they?

i don't think so.

although i am ashamed to even admit my shortcoming in this area, i know it to be all too real for a lot of women. Feminism has told us that staying home with our children is not an option. that we shouldn't be tied to our homes and husbands because that would stifle us. what a load of dirty laundry that is!

what could be more important than staying at home with precious little children during their most formative years?

what could be better than being the 'safe place' for my husband to land after a very long day at work?

what could be better than serving my God, the Creator of all, by serving my family?

laundry isn't mundane, it is a blessing!

cooking isn't mundane, it is a way to nourish little bodies!

checkers and candyland aren't interruptions, they are moments that will always be with me and an opportunity to talk about attitudes and heart matters.

i am so glad that i have been confronted with my selfishness in this area.

i have a long way to go.

i am not perfect.

but i am being made more aware of the need to serve God by serving my family first, with an obedient heart.

obedience, we tell our children, is doing things all the way, right away, and with a cheerful heart.

i would do well to take my own directive and happily obey God's mandate to be a helpmate to my husband and instruct my children in righteousness.

happily, and prayerfully, and maybe even passionately!