I have been thinking lately. I mean really thinking about everyday decisions that I make. I never really questioned before. Until my husband insisted that, yes, chickens in our backyard were a great idea, I had kind of just gone with the flow. Really, my entire life. I was pretty good about obeying my parents, I have never questioned my faith, I was great at doing school (until I got to college). I mean, there was always something a little different about me compared to my friends growing up. I never really "fit" into any specific group entirely, partly because I don't really like to exclude those who want to be included. I had a few friends who I stuck with for the most part, but I was the one who befriended the new kid. I had a great new-kid friend in elementary school that moved away a year later, and I had a great new-kid friend in high school who eventually found a crowd she "fit" with so we drifted. I had a very manipulative friend who disappointed me greatly, and she actually passed away a couple of years ago, after our friendship was kind of nonexistent. I had a group of guys I hung around with for years, but I've drifted probably because I am married with 3 kids now. My "group" growing up kind of held me at a distance, I think, because I was always befriending someone new. I love them, but sometimes I felt like I didn't fit with them. Now my place doesn't determine my friendships and I have a super-cool best friend now, and I am so grateful to have someone I can go to no matter what. Plus, my husband is the best. It is so cool to choose your friends.
Anyway, I'm glad to be thinking and questioning now. I don't just believe everything I hear or read, or someone tells me. I like to find out if it's that way for myself, or I ask Nathan to find out for me since he's always been a thinker--it comes more naturally to him. I am running into some trouble with all this thinking, though. What do I do when my mom disagrees with me. That's been happening more and more lately, and I hate it. I love my mom very much and to cause her grief or worry just plain sucks. But now that I have started down this path, it seems there is no going back to accepting everything just the way it is presented. The worries began with the chickens, but that was just the beginning. I think the dissension really began when we chose not to vaccinate Toby, and is growing over our decision to hopefully move to a farm and live as sustainably as possible. I think it's really hard for her to accept that we may one day live without electricity and milk our own cow and use a composting toilet. (not yet, but someday.)
On top of this I am feeling far away from God. It might be because all this questioning has raised some issues. Not really about my belief. I really truly deeply believe in and put my faith in Jesus. But sometimes about how I might defend my faith if needed, or about following what Jesus might ask me to do. I struggle with being unwilling, disobedient, and especially undisciplined. I have never been a faithful reader of my Bible, and although I pray often, lately it seems like the prayers are more like conversation in my head than conversations with the True and Living God. I am also struggling with the issue of birth control and what to do/not do about having more and more and more children. I think I am afraid to pray about it because the answer might not be one I am going to like-or one that I am willing to obey. I don't want to disobey God--but I also don't want to have 20 kids. Although, I know, I know it would be a blessing. (The prior sentence reads a little too easily--this is a struggle--and a paragraph that I cried through--I really need some peace about this) In this regard, please pray for a hunger to read God's word, wisdom in decisions about more children, and that I will have the courage to obey if the answers I get aren't the ones I hope for. Or you could just pray that God will tell me to tie my tubes : )
I guess I never really faced opposition before, because I never really opposed those around me. Now it seems like all the things I get really excited about are things that will cause some sort of dissonance between me and the family that surrounds me. Who knew that the number of children you have could be an open topic of discussion around the table between the women of my family? What about homeschooling? Although, not nearly as hot a topic as immunization or baby count, still something we differ on with some of the relatives. Also, who cares if I have a cow? Apparently there are some who would adamantly demand that I never have one. (Well, just one, actually.) Who needs to be concerned about the type of dwelling we choose to reside in after we move? Lots of those people, too. They can't talk me out of wanting one of these though.
I love my family dearly, and I just hope we can find a way to live in peace now that I disagree with some of the things they think are best for me. By family I of course mean those outside of my home, you know, Nathan and I agree on the big stuff we are choosing to do together. By living peacefully, I of course mean they will come to fully accept, understand and convert to my way of thinking ;) No, really, just no anger or disappointment would be fantastic. Or worry. No worry either.
Well, being this honest has made me hungry. I may go make some potatoes the way Kristin taught me. Nathan's new favorite breakfast. But seeing as it's 11:15 pm I'll probably just have some cheese or something. We got some really awesome cheese at the Amish store. It's almost gone so I'd better be quick.