My 9 year old was doing Bible Lifepac 402 this morning and I read with him about worry in Matthew 6. It's where Jesus was explaining how He feeds the birds and clothes the flowers and how much more He cares for us. And I thought, "Oh yeah.." as if I had remembered hearing that one time. Of course, like any mom would do, I expounded upon this truth helping my son to understand God's continual care and concern for us. And as I was speaking to him...I was speaking to me.
You know, it never will end don't you? You will never "arrive". In fact, I have been a mother for 29 years and I am less confident in me and more in God's ability.
We live in a very productive oriented and driven society. If you don't have something in the works then you are not interesting or even successful. If you are not on some committee, volunteering in your church, bringing in a paycheck, taking a class.. you will get some raised eyebrows.
I've grown up. I've discovered that if I try to make my square pegs fit in a round hole it's gonna hurt someone. So I stopped. Now, I take the solid you-can-go-to-the-bank with it truths and what-my-family-is- all about and lay the foundation of my home with that. From there, the building may not look like someone (or a lot of someones) house. I can no longer parrot status quo because it's regurgitating someone else's life experiences. The Apostle Paul pretty much addressed that tendency a few times. Wc can't and shouldn't compare too many notes with the unnecessary stuff that serves little purpose than to stress us (like moms and kids) out.
Since God has created variety (one resource states that 800,000 insects have been discovered and it is believed that over 1 million have yet to be discovered!) we can surmise there will be variety in our families. If we fall prey to comparing and then set out to copy model someone else we will be miserable.
So, don't worry. Placing undue emphasis on producing will drive you and your family into the ground. It's okay to do the same thing over and over again everyday.
Now for the post:
I address the culture alot because a mom's job is to watch for the influences which affect their children. If Jesus were teaching this perhaps He would say something like, "doesn't nature itself speak of this?" The animal kingdom (except for those unfeeling reptiles!) reveals how the mother watches and protects at all cost (personal sacrifice). She also teaches and knows when to push the fledglings out of the nest (grow up). So, how much more do human mothers have the ability to be a mother? It's okay to watch out for your kids.
With the crazy amount of choices in television viewing, internet, social networking, video games, music, trends, and ideologies there's alot out there vying for our children's attention, time, affections, and loyalty. Constant vigil is utmost in the culture we live in today. And if the culture threatens to destroy the foundation we're building upon we have to refuse it. And you will decide what will or will not be and how much. That is your job. Because the culture is like the air. It's all around us. We cannot help but be in the middle of it. And if left unattended, the culture can and will speak loudly, forming and shaping your child's mind and views.
Personally, I do not wish to create a 1950's atmosphere. Nor do I want to be the Little House on the Prairie, howbeit those time periods have endearing attributes. I am not opposed to culture, just the parts that are in direct opposition to timeless truths to live by and distract from creating the best atmosphere for maturing.
Almost daily, it's like I pull out a sword to combat the shallow, tantalizing, unstable parts of culture that come along. A statement made on television- slice! and truth is spoken. A self centered behavior- slice! and truth is spoken. The desire for entertainment to reduce boredom- slice! and truth is spoken. Honestly this is more tiring than making meals, changing diapers, laundry and homeschooling. Because the meal is eaten and the bottom is dry and the clothes are put away and the lessons are done. But resisting the culture may fall on a hardened heart or a deaf ear and the fruit may not be seen for years. Years! But if you believe in your truths you will continue despite. That's what faith is. And you find that you cannot possibly be solely responsible for this great feat. You learn that God has a part, too. Way bigger than ours.
Example: I never like to hear "I'm bored". My kids either will find something to do or else I will give them work to do or they will hear about the colonial days. This is resisting the culture that dazzles them with instant gratification.
When our children are young it is a more controlled atmosphere. But get ready. Your little brood is going to grow up. And while many will not give into the term "terrible twos" or "teenager", you can fool yourself but reality is there are changes going on during those years. And when they come you will find a huge transition in your life. Like labor, you will get through it! Your physical demands will turn to mental and emotional as the "I'm sitting down on the outside but standing up on the inside" may just show itself very vividly, requiring lots of seemingly endless listening and discussions.
Example: (8 years ago) "Mom, I bought a car on Ebay". WHAT?!?
But I wouldn't have done that. Either would his father. What gives?
What gives is that they have to grow up. And it won't necessarily look like you planned. Or what you taught. Or what you modeled.
And in time, you worry less because it's not all up to you.
And in time, you have more peace because it's not all up to you.
And in time, you become more joyful because you have peace in knowing it's not all up to you.
And in time, you are more settled with who you are and who your children are.
And I hope you get this way before I did.