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First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In but not OF the World

I'm thinking about making this a re-occuring theme cause it's been SO heavy on my heart lately.  Regardless, I feel the need to write about a comment made to me yesterday and, sort of, on Wednesday... and pretty darn regularly when I'm out and about and much of any conversation transpires.

The comment?  Well, first I should share that the conversation resulting in the comment revolves around the size of our family.  And the question, inevitably, "So, are you done?"  (and lately, since Jimmy's birth: "Oh, you have your boy!  So, you're done now, right!(?)!)  And Tori-unable-to-lie, tells the truth to much raising of eyebrows.  And they respond back with: "Well, I suppose that's fine as long as you can afford them/that many (if I've shared the number the Lord has laid on my heart for the last 5 years).

My response?  Well, I'm not able to give it every time because of time constraints or lack of real interest on my listener's part, but I can give it fully here... which is a sort of Balm to my communicator's heart.  :)  Yesterday and Wednesday I was able to respond fully, so let me share the gist of the conversations and the responses.

Wednesady we went to the library.  Our first trip of that sort since Jimmy's joined us.  I had late fees to pay and determined that I would prefer to do it at the beginning when everyone's behavior is most manageable.  So, we were about our business and during the course of it we aquired an audience.  The full staff of the front of the library ended up out to admire and watch and comment on the cute kiddies.  And the comments and questions abounded.  I didn't respond to most cause I could tell (from experience) that the commentor/questioner wasn't really interested in my response.  But there were a few who were and I did respond.  So, the fact that I'm pretty sure we are not done came out and one Librarian commented: "Oh, but you have to be able to educate them all!"  She didn't desire a response.  However, I desired to give one.  But at that moment I could not because #1 I was too shocked to think straight cause I thought something like, "How does she know we homeschool and I'm wondering how we're gunna buy the next group of curriculum materials?" and #2 even if I hadn't been shocked, I can't think really swiftly on my feet right now... I attribute my slow brain to fatigue and hormones.  It happens like this (my brain slowing WAY down) at the end of every pregnancy and it has taken a while to kick back into gear after each baby is born.

Well, I was able to think a bit while I walked with the girls and we did our thing in the library.  During that time, I formed my response and decided I would make sure I was courageous to respond to her if I saw her again.  I didn't think I would see her again, of course, which made it really easy to determine to be so courageous.  :)

Well, when we were checking out, she did come out to watch us.  And because she was so close, I felt I had to honor my commitment to myself, even though I felt quite uncomfy in trying to do so.  Thankfully she made it quite easy because she commented/asked, "You homeschool, too, don't you?"  I felt SO relieved at the opened door!  I responded, "If I want more like I do, how could I entrust the care of my precious ones to someone else for their education?!"  She was tickled by my response, which increased my courage.  And so I said, "Did you comment to me about educating all the children when we were here to pay our fines?"  She said yes, of course.  "Would you mind hearing my response to your comment now?  I couldn't come up with it before, but I've put together exactly what I'd like to say and would like to share it with you now."  She, looking a little surprised, but genuinely interested, said, "Yes, of course."

My response, "Have you ever read A Girl of the Limberlost?"  She said she had not, which I was a little surprised at, but continued, "Well, my husband and I both paid for our own University education and I really feel and believe that the experience has only improved our character.  I think I'm a pretty good person and was definitely NOT hurt by the effort I had to expend to sustain myself and attain my Higher Education.  And I know it's benefited my husband, too.  Also, the girl in the book paid for ALL of her own education and she was amazing.  I'd like to think I'm a little bit like her.  Regardless, as a result of my own experience, I do not feel a bit of need to pay for my children's University Education.  And, as a matter-of-fact, my oldest (pointing to Ria) is regularly trying to come up with ways to earn money so that she can buy some of her own educational materials, especially the ones she specifically wants.  And I'm TOTALLY okay with that!"  My Librarian's response was, basically, "You are an AWESOME Mother."  Because I'm trying to be more gracious and loving, I did not refute her out loud, though,  in my heart I said, "Oh, you just don't see me at home and all day long."  I did NOT say it out loud, though!  I'm progressing!  :)

Yesterday my neighborn came by to thank me for something I'd done.  He was very interested in seeing Jimmy, so I shared.  :)  And my neighbor and I talked for a few minutes.  He asked if we were done.  As in done having children.  I answered and even shared how NOT done we are (we're about half-way now).  And he commented, "Well, so long as you can afford all of them, that's just fine."

My response, "Now, I actually just totally disagree with you on that one.  Because, by the world's standards we couldn't have afforded to have Ria when we did.  And by those same standards we cannot afford those we DO have.  But, you see, I know the Lord will provide at LEAST sufficient for our needs.  And, in fact, I know that He provides far more than that!"  I referred to our Disney trip, provided by the Lord through my Uncle.  I referred to this past Christmas and the mountain of presents that not a ONE of them were NEEDED, but the Lord still provided!  "So, I know that if the Lord wants us to have 8 kiddos like I feel He does, He will provide amazingly for every one of them!  At least sufficient for our needs, but I'm sure it'll be far more because it always has been up to now!!!"  My neighbor was amazed.  He mumbled something about how the Lord provides, but I think he was mostly just shocked.

So we are in the world.  We live here.  But we acknowledge our alien-ness and have our hearts fully (in many ways) in acceptance of that.  We do not require for ourselves or our children ALL that the world would have us believe we "NEED".  We know, from experience NOW, that we do NOT need 75-99% of that "stuff" and "the experiences" for our children or ourselves that the World promotes and even declares are REQUIRED to "become".  So, we're striving to be IN the world but NOT of the world!

What has the Lord impressed you to do to take yourself more fully OUT of the World's Ways?

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