Monday, April 11, 2011


Recently I got into a kerfuffle on Facebook about abortion.  (I knew better, really.  I mean, who changes their mind based on some FB wall posts?)   I called it murder and was told that I needed to work on my compassion.  I was told that Jesus doesn't judge. 

Really?  Because the Jesus I serve is kind of a badass.  I mean, He knocked over tables in the Temple and drove the moneychangers out with a whip.  In Revelation He returns on stallion with a sword and judges the Earth. 

Now, I know, I am not Jesus.  I know the verse constantly thrown in the faces of Christians.  (I read recently that the most common verse known by unbelievers used to be John 3:16.  Now it is Matthew 7:1-2.)  I get that we need to be gentle with others and strict with ourselves.  We need to self-examine before we point out others' sins.  

But we also need to be honest.  And call things like they are.  Of course we should show compassion to individual women who have had or are considering abortion.  Of course we shouldn't make death threats to abortionists or stone them in the street.  

But compassion is a complicated.  How do you show compassion for someone without condoning their sin?  How do we reach out to women while still working to end the genocide that is abortion? 

Jesus had to be the most compassionate person to walk the planet.  But He still called sin sin.  I don't think He wants us to stand idly by and allow the murder of innocents. 

I've heard the same logic used to condemn evangelism.  People get all peeved when they are called sinners.  Have you heard some altar calls lately?  I've heard some on TV that make Jesus sound like a magic infomercial panacea.  But salvation is so much more than a "better life" scheme or a set of steps towards ultimate fulfillment.

How can one recognize their need for a Savior until they recognize their sin?  And how will anyone every realize their sin when we bow to our culture's false idol of tolerance?

Compassion has to be two-fold.  Kindness AND truth.  Holiness AND love.  Gentle AND firm.  Because my Savior is all those things, and He is the one I want to emulate.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

just an FYI

I don't hate the public schools.


I know I am often quite vocal in my appreciation for the privilege of teaching my kids at home.  And I do feel that the public school down the street was not a good fit for my oldest son.

But there are a lot of really great schoolteachers and workers out there.  And I'm not just saying that because I'm sleeping with one.  (Shhhh!)

I'm married to a teacher.  My mom is a teacher.  My step-mom is a teacher.  And I know many, many more.  There are many students who are learning fantastic things from amazing teachers.  I cannot say this enough.  It breaks my heart to hear homeschool moms bashing the public schools.  Do we realize how hurtful it is when we malign all public schools in our small groups or churches, right in front of our Christian sister or brother who teaches in a public school?

(My problem is with the whole education model.  I don't like a system that only values the kids with academic brilliance.  I don't like a system that teaches kids that there are no absolutes, that all values are equal.  And I don't like a system the causes children to value their peers' opinions more than their parents'.)

I am a product of the public school system and I am grateful for the education I received (especially in Mrs. Trusty's AP English class!)  I know there are many teachers who are working within the system and making a positive impact on kids.  And I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

I think as homeschoolers we must be careful not to engender animosity that is not necessary or helpful.  Our enemy is not the public school system, nor the teachers within it.  Our enemy is the enemy of souls, who delights in causing Christians to turn on one another instead of fighting him. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

You know THAT girl?

The one you read about on the web.

The one who teaches her kids Latin and Sign Language in preschool.

The one whose kids excel at every subject known to man.

Who always has a perfect house and perfectly obedient children.

Who values punctuality and has immaculate systems for preventing lateness.

Who rises early to get at least 2 hrs with the Lord before her kids wake up.

Who takes her kids to every extracurricular activity under the sun.

Plus church.

Who takes her kids to feed the hungry and scrub toilets at the downtown mission every week.

But still has time to sew all their clothes, and prepare organic meals from scratch.

With vegetables she grew in her garden and eggs from her chickens.

Well, I'm not her.  And I doubt you are either.  I don't think this lady really exists.  But it's really easy to read blogs and get a false idea about who we should be and what we should be doing.  I have a tendency to synthesize all the ideas I get from blogs into some monstrous mommy idol.  I somehow think that the lady who makes all the nifty craft stuff on Filth Wizardry is the same one who makes all her own food on Heavenly Homemakers.  But they can't be.  Something's got to give.  And one person cannot accomplish everything that this magical lady in my head does.

And I know this.  Somewhere in the back of my head, I really do.  But I still walk around feeling condemned because I'm not her.  Because I'm not living up to some imaginary standards set by other folks.

And I get paralyzed by fear.  And descend into inactivity because I know I can't do everything. 

But all I need to do, all He has called me to do, is the next right thing.  Listen to His voice and obey. 

I need to ask Him what is important and go from there.  Accept that I cannot do it all and focus on doing a fantastic job of the few things that matter to His heart. 

People have been telling me for years that I should be selling the things I make.  But honestly?  I don't have time.  And it stresses me out.  Twice I have tried to open online shops only to get stressed and quit.  I recently tried again.  And I realized (sooner this time!  Yeah!  I'm learning!) that sewing adorable baby clothes for other folks' kids is not what God has called me to.  I should sew for my own enjoyment for the people I love.  Heck, I have a part-time job that pays well.  I don't need another one.

But I do need to streamline.  And prioritize.  And run hard with the vision He has given us for our family.  Which means dropping the extra stuff (good stuff, but not necessarily God stuff) and focusing on being excellent in a few things. 

And not beating myself up because I'm not THAT girl.

Because she didn't exist anywhere except my head.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I'm raising weirdos.

So, I'm pretty sure I'm raising weirdos. 

No, not that kind.  But I notice that my kids don't seem the same as the public and private schooled kids I know.  I read this article yesterday and felt a bit better.

 Because I don't want to raise "normal" kids.

I don't want to raise kids who tow the line and do what's expected and fit in perfectly.  I don't want to raise kids who conform to the world's mold.

I want to raise world-shakers and soul-winners.

Sure, I want my children to be polite, well-behaved and able to get along with others.  I want them to be hard workers and hope any employer feels like they are getting a really great deal when they hire my child.  I pray that their spouses and friends feel enriched by knowing my kids.  And I pray they are a blessing to their churches and communities.

But I do not worry about their socialization in the way most folks mean it.   I do not want my kids to be conditioned to accept things on blind faith because a teacher said it or "that's the way we've always done it."  I don't want my kids to ignore their consciences in order to blend in.

I don't want my kids getting lessons on how to be a better sheep.  I want them to retain their wild creativity and sincere questioning.  I want them to engage ideas instead of regurgitating facts.  I want them to learn how to learn instead of just memorizing data.

Because honestly, if I'm not desiring a different product than the public schools churn out, I'm putting in a hell of a lot of work for nothing!   And I'm way too lazy for that.