Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just random thoughts

While I sit here, taking a break from plunging toilets and forcing my washing machine to wring water out of my clothing....don't even ask, it's not worth the explanation, really it's not...I did some reading.

I visited Michael Bunker's A Process Driven Life blog and read, for the 3rd or so time now, the post on Too Much Play. All I can say is OUCH. And dear husband, you should read it too. We can sit here and OUCH together on the phone later.

Let me say this clearly. There is no greater harm you can do to your child than to park them in front of a movie or a game during the day so you can work.

The product of the modern view of “play” is all around us. Dumb, stunted, functionally illiterate socialites with phones stuck to their heads (or worse, mobile texting other “kids”) all day are all around us everywhere you go. Listen, some of the men in our group sometimes have to go work with 20-something “kids” today. They say that it is common for these modern man-children to wake up late and then spend most of their work time stuck to a phone, either talking or texting, as if they are some important lawyer or doctor!
If that doesn't sum up my family, I don't know what does. That is my eldest son to a tee, much to my shame as his mother. If he isn't texting -- seriously, unless he is talking to the phone people about a problem with his service, he never puts the phone to his ear at all...it's all fingers flying in text messages. His fiance is the same way. Then, after work, it's gets worse. They have the phones in one hand texting, toss it into their laps and then grab the video this or that to play with. Non-stop. 24/7. The only 'break' if you can even call it that, is when they put one down to grab hold of the other..

Yes, I raised him. We started off right, and we did have work more than play or 'free' time, but somewhere along the line we started listening to grandparents and family members and friends and allowed more and more play instead. Poor children today have so many chores....yeah, right. I'm an idiot. Plain and simple. I created the "man-child" that leads the lineage of this family.

See where our Boot Camp comes into play? I don't want another grown-up child leaving my nest and bringing my parental skills to shame. I'm watching that product develop in the next in line as it is. I want it stopped.

So, after kicking myself a hundred more times with that article, I ran across another thought to mull around...
I believe more than ever it's time we become proficient at doing things for ourselves and not relying so much on the system to provide the most basics of our needs. Like canning food. It's one thing to raise some food it's another thing to preserve it for future use. (Log Cabin Homestead)

And this...

With world financial markets reeling, Mr. Paulson said, he was following up an emergency meeting Friday of finance ministers from the traditional Group of Seven industrial powers — Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy and the United States — with a larger gathering Saturday of the so-called Group of 20, which includes China, India, Russia and Brazil.

The meeting was designed to "coordinate [policies] to lessen the effects of global market turmoil and the economic slowdown on all of our countries," Mr. Paulson said.

Before the meeting, President Bush issued a plea for nations to work together to address the crisis, avoiding the go-it-alone protectionist trade strategies that worsened conditions during the Great Depression.

"In an interconnected world, no nation will gain by driving down the fortunes of another. We are in this together. We will come through it together," Mr. Bush said during an appearance in the Rose Garden after a private White House meeting with ministers and officials from nearly a dozen nations and international organizations. (The Washington Times)

Yes, it's from October 12th, but that makes no difference.

I don't want an 'interconnected world'. That whole idea scares me. Not that I am a scholar of the End Times, or the Book of Revelation at all, but I know enough to know what's in there and it scares me to think...no, KNOW...that it is coming, it's here. I suppose I have no need to be scared really...God has not given me a spirit of fear. Still, it's all coming to pass, every word and idea of it, and I look around me at the community I live in, the general population of the world today, and it scares me.

No one thinks anything of it. No one thinks we are moving toward anything to be concerned with. Oh sure, some bemoan the loss of jobs to overseas corporations and such, but if we are in an 'interconnected world' what difference does that make? It won't be US jobs, foreign jobs...it will be our jobs. Everything will be universal. One World. One Leader.

I don't like that idea. So I do what I do. I move in the direction I am. I'm not new to the idea of 'self-sustaining' and such -- I'm just too slow moving. It's another credit to my shame -- I've been pushing the idea of homesteading, of being disconnected from the world around us in at least basic ways, for years. Years. And where am I after these years? I'm sitting here still connected to the umbilical cord of the grid in every aspect. My water flows from it, my lighting and my computer flow from it. My food sources still have many connections. I am still very connected. I shouldn't be. Maybe using it while it's here, but that's not what we are doing. We are not pursuing alternatives for the things that seemingly make us tick.

My gardening is a fiasco down here in this red clay muck I live on. Boo-hoo. Build up the soil and put on the big girl bloomers and get over it. If we truly fell apart today, we'd last but a short time with the stock I have in place. And while I have seeds for future garden efforts, I don't have a lick of decent soil built up for it. It's all in vain. I talk the talk but I'm not walking the walk.

My children know virtually nothing of a survival mentality. I doubt they even put enough trust in The Lord when times get tough. More credit to my shame list. I am not parenting as I should. And it's not from a lack of knowledge on my part -- I've read several parenting points of view, I've watched the fruit of those views come to pass and I've seen what works and what doesn't in the flesh, not only with my own children, but with others as well. It's hardly rocket science -- it's plain and simple Biblical aptitude really. God already laid the foundations for us as parents. We -- I -- am just too lazy to follow the advice given me in His Words.

So I perpetuate the cycle of ignorance/laziness and cry when it comes back to smack me in the face.


I am resolved...I am deeply moved to action in this...I have to make the changes that I know are needed in my family. Even if I have to walk in them alone. I need to be prepared for the future we can all clearly see is coming. I need a stocked pantry and it had best be enough to truly sustain us for a good length of time, and it must be something I have the ability, on my own homestead, to replenish and build.

I must educate my children in Spiritual Truths and do it with a sincere heart and a true knowledge. Just reading this or that Scripture isn't going to do it. Listening to the man of the world teaching from my pulpit isn't going to do it. These children, this portion of future, was gifted me in order for me to make a difference from the world around me. I am failing at that miserably and I truly feel time for correction is quickly running out for me...for all of us.

I need to get the skills in place that will sustain my homestead for the future and what it might bring. That isn't going to happen with all these umbilical cords I have here. I can use what grid I have, certainly, but I am not going to gather skills by reading about them and not putting them into practice daily. It is in the daily work that I will gather the necessary skills I need.

Here I sit with a cookstove and it's just an ornament in my dining room. It should have been left where it was unless I was prepared to get the stove pipe in place and begin putting it to practical use. I don't even know the proper way to chop my wood...of course, I don't have any wood, but that's another issue altogether.

I have a great sewing machine, but it requires electricity. What will I do when I don't have that luxury? When it's priced out of my reach as a simple homesteader without wordly connections? I have a treadle here...just not very good at using it. I sew like a monkey using his feet on that thing...no pun intended there. What am I waiting for? God isn't likely to sit down in my sewing room and give me a lesson on sewing now is He?

There are so many practical things I should already have in place, just common sense things that will make a great difference in daily living once the umbilical cords are gone from my grasp. Yet here I sit...typing away, bemoaning my lot in life more of less. I don't like whiners. Never have. yet look at me...I am one. I have a handful of excuses I pull out when needed. Whiner. I much prefer action.

And that is what I intend to do. That is my resolution. I am tossing out my excuses and making a steady effort toward pure action in my life, on my homestead. If I don't, we won't be any better off than the next guy on the street. I don't want that. I don't think God wants that of His Children.

See the sorts of things that roll around my mind when given a chance?


Mrs. Trixi said...

Oh, my, Deanna, I know you don't want a pat on the back here but I am going to do it anyway. Stop beating yourself up. You are a great parent. The mere fact that you see sin and turn from it is a testament to that.Acts 2:38 You know what you need to do differently and there is no doubt in my mind that you will do it!! We are fairly new to our survivalist journey.(about 3 years) We do include our children in the things we do. I still think they think we are crazy but atleast they will have some knowledge for the end times. We are just doing a little at the time. Like raising our pigs out. That's our newest project that we are spending the most time learning about. We may not do it again but we will know how to if and when we need to. My suggestion is just do what you can and teach you kids along side you. That is what we are doing. I feel like I am speaking to a veteran on the skills of homesteading here and it is quite intimidating. However, I hope you know you are doing a great job!!

Mrs Dewey Smith said...

LOL..I had a comment typed then poof it was gone...

First off, I don't think I qualify as a 'veteran' anything. we have raised some animals, lived in the country forever, I can 'can' things, sew our clothing and other items, make and cook from scratch as much as we can at this point, but there is so much more I should already be doing, kwim?

I am always telling the children that if a job is important enough to do at all, it's most definitely important enough to put 110% of your effort into, heart and soul. If you aren't willing to do that, then you have no business doing it at all really.

My main problem in becoming a woman of action is that I have a long (long long l-o-n-g) history of being a woman of words. Even Scripture tells us not to be hearers of The Word but to be doers. I don't do that as much as I need to.

Children learn more by seeing than by hearing. I am sending them alot of words and not offering enough in the way of sight lessons.

I do thank you for what you wrote, though. I know what you meant -- I'm not really trying to 'beat myself up' as much as I am chastising myself and exhorting myself to get with the program.

Anonymous said...

Don't you believe that the rapture will take place before the tribulation? I don't believe that God will make us go through the difficult times that are to come for those that are left behind. Perhaps I am wrong. I do believe that the fact that you are able to remove yourself from the world and relieve social pressure, esp. on your children, is remarkable. And I also think you are an unbelievable woman to even attempt to do what you do. The gardening, canning, chasing hogs;), homeschooling, baking, cooking, cleaning....I am in awe of everything that you do. Don't beat yourself up. I don't know you, but I think you must be a wonderful mother, woman, and wife.

PocketsoftheFuture said...

When you know that you aren't doing as much as you feel you should be, it kind of doesn't help that everyone else thinks that you are wonder woman! At least that is the case with me! My poor husband is constantly trying to talk me down out of a tree.

The problem is that shifting to the degree you are craving is overwhelming if you look at it all at once (which I do on a regular basis). If you were to make a list of priorities and then choose one thing and pursue that or do a 15 minutes a day approach, then you would probably feel better and you would be creating a new rhythm and direction that answers the call of your heart.

Once you take a strong step in this direction, the process will build on itself. You will gain confidence from action. Your children will gain respect from watching. You will look back at this in a couple of years and say, "Oh, look at all that we did. We only had to really, deep down, decide to."

Won't that be great?

I wish you all success,

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I have been thinking a lot about your comments on children playing. I agree. I think the children of today have way too much free time. That being said, children do need down time, but the type of play they engage in is important. Are they making a fort out of old wood and sticks in the back yard, or is their nose in the cell phone texting. Are they making doll clothes and playing house, or are they too busy playing around on face book.

I need to be better on this, I way too often plop my kids in front of the TV, so thanks for reminding me what I really should be having my children do. (right now they are trying to catch the neighbors chickens that got out! LOL!)

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer said...

I too tend to be a woman of words and not action. I love to make lists, plans, strategies. I love setting goals, prioritizing and journaling. What I do not love is - actually putting out the WORK!!!

I have no affinity for sweat and toil. Instead I like to think about sweat and toil. In my midlife, I have more discipline than I did in my 20's, yet I still fall far short of what a biblical keeper at home should possess.

Keep on striving dear sister. Yahweh is able to make all of His children overcomers.

Mrs Dewey Smith said...

I agree that play in itself isn't all bad, but I think the point I gleaned here is that we tend to over-emphasize play in our society and make it far too big a deal with children.

Children who have no tasks or duties in the family tend to grow up with a selfish sense of things. A family only works if everyone in the family works together. Everyone has a part in that family dynamics.

If you look at many families, they want the children to 'have a childhood' and to them that means play more than anything else. What happens to these children when all of sudden they are at the age of driving or working? They horse around still, want to be entertained by everything they do. They don't seek out the joy or the fun in the task, they wait for it to be presented to them.

I don't want children the rest of my life. I want adults who can function with a moral standard, a degree of education and some self respect. There is joy and fun to be had in everything if you look for it.

The computers and cell phones aren't an issue here...the children do not use them or have them. They have no need of them. What our trouble is is that we waste time in other areas...simple dawdling most days.

My having a clean house isn't important in the grand scheme of things, but their education (book and character, both) is. That needs to be my priority, and while we can have fun with it in many areas, I still need to make sure they take it seriously and don't have to have 'fun' at every turn.

After schooling and daily chores are completed, there is enough time for playing in our day. But we need to have priorities and they need to learn restraint and self-control. There are days where I'd much rather sit and do nothing but sew or even read, but I can't do that. I need to prepare meals, tend the house and tend the homestead first. If I've managed my time well, I will have time for the things I'd rather be doing...my play time.

Too often today, though, we teach our children to do things backwards...they want to watch TV in the morning instead of getting ready for the day ahead. They want to play outside instead of getting chores finished. They want to horse around and play instead of working their math or reading for the day.

Play has it's place, I totally agree, but we are raising a generation of 'perpetual children' who don't have a sense of priority in their lives and who want to have things given to them instead of valuing the work that brings them those things.


Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I totally agree with you. I think that is why people are having such a hard time with money right now.

They buy things with credit, they buy houses that are more than they can really afford, because children aren't taught they have to work for things. Since they were small they (in general, I know this isn't true for everyone) were given everything and had to work for nothing.

Anyway, I complete agree with you. Thanks for reminding me, we have been a little slack in that area. I am going to sit down today and pull in the reins a bit!

Keep up the great blog!

sara said...

It seems we are both on the same track in our thoughts about our children and other things as well. I just posted about much of the same things. Praying for you my friend!


Michelle said...

Loved your post... thank you for being so honest. I was reading and trying to figure out where the quote stopped and YOU started. :) Surely, this wasn't the Mrs. Dewey Smith that amazes me every time I read her blog, talking about gardening problems, and not having much "stocked up". Now I don't feel quite so bad. :)

We "play" way too much too... me here in front of the computer and the children wherever or begging to watch a movie.

Tonight my 6 year old begged me for the millionth time to let her try spinning (my usual response is a nice version of "NO WAY!!"), so I finally let her help me ply some yarn and work the treadle (separately!). After supper, she used the little sweeper and swept the kitchen and around the dining room. Her own idea. I know it's because I "let her" help me do something she sees as important, and she wanted to do something for me.


Mrs Dewey Smith said...

LOL...oh yeah, that was me....poor garden, sparse larder and all the other chinks in the armor and cracks in the wall.

Don't ever feel bad about what you have or don't have...you are most likely miles ahead of many and behind several...that's just how life works out down here. Luckily, we'll all be farther ahead one day in The Kingdom :o)

Ok...I'll sweep up your floors if you teach me how to spin :o) I'm on my way over with my handy broom and dust pan and my Kirby vac!


Michelle said...

:) Sounds great! You've got yourself a deal! ~Michelle


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

Blog Archive