Do you ever feel insecure and wonder what people think about you? I sure do! And it’s not just because I have an online presence and hope people online don’t think I’m crazy. I don’t worry so much about that anymore – I learned a long time ago that I can’t please everyone!
We were at the Midwest Great Homeschool Convention this past week, and every time I share online that we are headed to another convention there is a little part of me that cringes. People think we are on the road a lot, but we only did 2 conventions with our businesses this year and attended another one as a couple.
For years I had a stance to not attend shows or do parties with my businesses. I felt like I worked enough from home and I wasn’t going to leave my babies. And then we started doing conventions. What changed is that suddenly my husband had a product to bring along, and so it wasn’t all about me. We were in this as a family, and it has been worth it to travel. But it means leaving my younger children home with Nana or Aunt, and I always feel so guilty! It’s honestly not so much about feeling guilty for myself. I know they love spending time on the farm with Nana and she takes great care of them. It comes down to the age old question, “what must people think of me that I’ll leave my young children at home for the weekend?”
Can you relate? Women crave to be accepted, and even though we stand firm as homeschooling mothers in stances that are not popular in the culture, we don’t want our friends around us to judge. For the record, I’ve never felt judged by my friends for leaving on business trips. I think it’s all in my head!
I think part of this feeling is just pride. We don’t want others to look down on us. Sean and I have changed our opinions on a number of issues over the years. We have deeply regretted how ultra conservative we were in our early years of marriage, because it led to us being critical and prideful.
We once used to be 100% quiverful. I even wrote a blog post about it years ago. Now we have a heart to have children for the Lord, but have seen the wisdom in spacing out my pregnancies so my health doesn’t totally collapse. Do you know how controversial this is, especially online? To be truly committed to the Lord surely means to be 100% quiverful, right?
We used to be committed to the integrated family church model. Now we don’t have a problem with sending our children to a Sunday School class, provided we trust the teachers and feel it’s a safe environment.
I could go on and on about all the things we’ve had to admit we were wrong about. It’s humbling to admit that you have changed your mind. It’s easy to share all the super conservative standards you have among friends, because those are viewed as making you a godly family. It’s not as easy to change in ways that people feel like you must be going soft.
I’ve felt such freedom in letting go of some standards that I feel are more man made. There has to be a balance. Follow the straight and narrow path when it comes to true commandments from God. There are many standards that are black and white with no grey in between. But is the Bible truly definitive in its stance for or against Sunday Schools or even wearing skirts only? I know some of you believe that it is, but the case is difficult to make. Sometimes it comes down to every family deciding what is best for them, and then leaving it at that.
So with that being said, I’m not going to try to convince you to follow my lead and not be 100% quiverful. Your body might handle it just fine. I’m not going to try to convince you that it’s ok to wear jeans with a tunic shirt. That’s my own personal opinion as of the year 2017 with my husband giving me his input.
Let’s give each other that freedom. Hold each other accountable for the true standards found in the Bible, and give grace to each other for all of those gray areas. Makeup, modesty, dating/courtship, eating standards…we look to God for wisdom in all of these areas and try to follow how the Holy Spirit is leading us. But don’t try to pull one or two vague sentences out of the Bible and make it a gospel principle.
Hold yourself accountable before God, but also be open to changing. We have had to change our stance over the years. We used to not celebrate Christmas. Now we LOVE celebrating Christmas! Don’t fall into a rut where you never examine your convictions for years on end. But make sure you examine your convictions with the Lord right beside you, because it can be easy to get weary and you start giving up convictions out of fatigue.
Don’t give up! Keep pressing forward. Reject the man made labels and create a family environment that is full of God’s spirit.