I have been away again, and because I have been away I fear I have suffered a drop in interest as I search to find my purpose in the blog world again.
This year I am (gulp) beginning to homeschool my children. This is not to say I have a problem with the school 'system', I think teachers are wonderful, amazing people - it has just been placed on my heart by the Holy Spirit that I have been called to do this.
This decision does not come easily - as I, like many others, value and treasure the quiet mornings and time I have had as each child grows and goes off to school. This last year with my two littlest guys while my bigger two are away at school was filled with many beautiful moments of just quiet. That, and the excitement of a fresh new start every fall is just... well, it's just so refreshing. Fresh organization, everything matches and is perfect and pristine and so full of potential.
Fresh new colored pencils, clothes, fresh new books, paper, pens, backpack, shoes, everything. Fresh new classes, a whole fresh new start. A rebirth of sorts.
I have to remind myself sometimes that this is also a rebirth of sorts.
I do not, however, treasure the lunch making, the scouring aisle after aisle for that specific half-lined half plain paper soft-covered half-size notebook in six different colors when a tired mama can only find three - and they're all pink. And on and on it goes. Sigh. I am treasuring not being stuck in those lineups this year.
Be certain, though, that I do have a healthy dose of fear about the whole thing. Yup. I sure do. (but this has me greatly and deeply inspired.)
So, I'm not missing the school supply specifics list shopping, but I am missing the back to school clothes shopping. The budget over here doesn't allow for that this fall, and that's okay, because we do have what we need, and I am earnestly itching to get my hands back into sewing again, especially for myself and my girl. No competing with the Jones's for the cute jeans or the name-brand shirts and hoodies and no sense of urgency and spending exorbitant amounts of money just to teach my children to CONSUME EVERYTHING YOU CAN. This doesn't just apply to school, or fall, or clothes. It applies All. The. Time. And certainly I don't want to teach my children that their value lies in external things. Because it most certainly does not.
But with back to school shopping in mind, the following is a draft I was working on last year when I had squirreled away some money and budgeted for shopping for some fall and back to school clothes for my brood. I was reluctant to post it because I didn't want to offend some of my close friends, or family even. This year, however, I've let go of that - in lieu of honoring what is right, what is of God, and what I am called to be in this world - a light, a vessel, an instrument of my Father in heaven.
I've noticed a trend in patterns on children's clothing and other items. This pattern is made to look attractive, intriguing, colorful, and even fun.
I even found myself attracted to these particular patterns as they seem to be like me, (or like you. And you. And you.) a little edgy, a little bit funkified, and even a bit daring.
I'm talking about the skull and crossbones that seems to be adorning items at nearly every children's store you may shop at.
They look kinda like all those things I mentioned - a little edgy, a little bit funkified, and even a bit daring. Some even have hearts for eyes, or guitars for the crossbones saying something like hey, you're tough AND you like music? now THAT'S cool!
and then the thought occurred to me
when did it become okay to place a symbol of death on our children?
when did the symbol for danger, poison, or beware - don't-touch
become a fashion icon
for wee, precious, soft and innocent babies?
We put skulls and crossbones on our beautiful children?
The sad part is that unconsciously, images placed in front of your eyes will make your mind start to associate (without even being aware of it) death, danger, poison, beware - do-not-touch
and it is on your child.
Satan walks around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour. Sometimes it's subtle, and sometimes it's blatant. Your perfect and lovely child, wearing a skull and crossbones. Oh my aching heart.
And hearts for eyes? What, just softening it up for a precious innocent little girl? Or guitars for the crossbones for our boys? And for our wee babies? Oh my aching heart. My aching, aching heart.
As a Christian woman, wife and mother, I won't put such things on my children or on myself. Period. I know I am called to be different than the world, to look different, to act different, and to be filled with the light and love of Christ. And as I try to fumble through this with the grace of God and my human failings, I too will stumble and have stumbled and am so very, very far from being perfect and perfectly different. This also means I will not judge anyone who stumbles or falters and who does put things like these on themselves or their children, knowingly or not. I just trust that as Jesus speaks to each mother or father or person in His time that their eyes are opened to His love and there would be a turning away of the things of the this world.
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:13-16 ESV
As Christians, we are called to be different, to love those who hate us, to pray for those who despise us, to bless those who curse us. If the world looks at me and sees a difference, then they will give glory to the Father who is in heaven.
I pray that you have peace while planning for this fall's fresh new beginnings, be they in the hallways at school, the hallways at home, or in the hallways in your heart. They are all good places to start.
Love to you and yours.