Winter seasons, whether it be north or south, bring all sorts of viruses and not that any other denomination doesn't do it, but Baptist folk just fall rock hard on top of the belief that if and when the church doors are open, you as a saved Baptist are to be there singing Amen in the pews.
We stay relatively healthy and sick-free because we try to live a health-condusive lifestyle. We eat good (yeah, well, forget that jacked up sweet potato bread...it's a very rare thing). We don't play in the rain and muddy damp whatever -- although that's pretty hard 3 months of the year here in Mississippi! And we don't go running all over Creation for no reason.
Yes, I suppose given the homeschool co-op groups, the mega activities of the larger church-goer, the "I have to everything so we aren't sheltered" lifestyles of a lot of folks, homeschooler or otherwise, we are just that...SHELTERED.
I actually prefer sheltered to much of the alternative I see when we do go to town. But, lest you think otherwise, let me tell you, we are NOT some family in a cave here.
What do I miss that you have? Where exactly am I lacking in life? Here's some of what I get to listen to...all the time...just about 24/7...
*My children don't have any friends.
Umm...what kind of friends are we talking about? Friends who have something in common with them? Friends who are out in the world, coming and going, doing exciting things and hanging out with exciting people?
Or friends who are like-minded, similarly goal and lifestyle minded, grounded in not only their lives but their faith as well? 'Cuz that kind is what we cultivate around here, and yes, they are difficult to find, but that doesn't mean we don't have them.
*My children don't get to go out and do things, like Friday night games, dances at school, movies, just walking around The Mall with friends.
LOL...nope, you got me there, we certainly don't do those things. But you haveto remember, it's not my goal to raise (even more) "grown up children" interested in pointless, silly pursuits. I'd like to, with the Grace and Mercy of God, raise adults.
*My children are stuck at home with no TV, no friends to talk to, they just have their siblings.
Ok, you've got me on this one, too. TV is total garbage and we don't miss the mindless trash we were fed through it. We have videos now and then, but generally the TV isn't on during the day (we homeschool, remember?) And we aren't big radio listeners either. We have some CDs we like (LOL...that dulcimer Christmas music, for example...).
As to that friends thing...see a trend here? Friends are a good thing in many respects and I'm not saying they aren't, but how many of you are still friends -- friends, not passing acquaintances -- with folks you went to grade school and high school with? I have a few -- we talk every year usually, but that 'great friendship' we had eons ago when life was free and easy just isn't there. We havev taken on different lifestyles and priorities. I would still call us friends, but it's not that school-age friendship, kwim?
My children have 8 built-in close friends...for life. You don't generally get that longevity from a school buddy these days.
*My children don't get to have any fun.
Well, I suppose if you are placing some level of importance on those 'friends' that seem to be a high focus for what we lack here, you don't think we have any fun.
However, when you aren't being taught that your joy in life has to come through activities with friends, or through outside areas, you can have LOTS of fun in life. Probably more, as you are not wrapped up in the condition of someone else's idea of fun.
My children play with each other...not against each other. They have fun playing with tractors and cars, blocks, coloring books, dolls...even kindling from the wood box! They play...they create FUN...with tree branches and leaves, pinecones, kitchen dishes, empty boxes...and tarps and blankets draped along a fence row. They would play endlessly in the hay loft were it not empty :o). It's not as much fun being empty I suppose.
My children play with their cups and silverware when we set the table, for crying out loud.
We are not, by even the most worldly idea, lacking in fun around here. We have 20 acres...surrounded by a thousand or so...of nothing but creative playground here. The only thing that keeps anyone from having FUN is their attitude and personal outlook.
When my olders spend time with 'friends' who have "stuff" like endless TV stations, endless video game things, and endless activities away from family and home, they stop having fun at home. The world teaches you that your joy and your fun has to be costly and never-ending.
Contentment teaches you that joy comes from a relationship with not only God, but with your family, your brothers and sisters, and that fun has a great many shapes in everyday life. It's your attitude that determines it.
As to H1N1 'paranoia' and our not being at church lately, well, take that for whatever you believe of us, I guess. MY God isn't parked inside the church of....on Sunday morning, evening, or Wednesday. My belief is that He is where He is needed, where He is called upon, where He, well, just plain IS. My God is not agod of brick, stone, tin or woodwork. He isn't there because of a set of service times or activities, and He isn't there because there is a cross on the roof.
We are not some backsliding heathen bunch for not going to a specific building at a prescribed hour or day.
We are, however, missing the sharing of winter season germies :o). At least at church. No guarantees we aren't ripe for catching something elsewhere, I know.
Well, maybe not so much. We're staying close to home 95% of the time.