Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ok, let me dispell a 'misunderstanding' here

We are not home from church because we are hiding out from the "dreaded H1N1 pandemic" :::ominous echo in voice:::

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.


Blessedmom said...

Well, I have to say, I agree and then again, I don't agree...I agree with everything you said here, but when it came time for church this last week, I was scared to death to take my children or myself for that matter for fear of them getting sick with something, but I decided to trust God in this, God and a big ole bottle of antibacterial stuff in my purse...lol. So far the sickness has steared clear of us, so for now I'll continue to pray and trust the Lord in this, but who knows, if this "pandemic" does get any worse, we'll probably be in the same boat as you all...

In His Grace,

LizBeth said...

I never did get that bit about sending kids to school so they could get socialized. People always talked like my kids had to go get what other kids had and they were deprived if they didn't. But how did the OTHER kids get so special that they HAD "it" naturally, but mine DIDN'T. Never made any sense to me. From what I've seen, I don't want my kids to get what most of those other kids took to school with them. School has enough problems, but what most other kids learn at HOME is what really scares me. . . . . . . And you are so right about where all those school friends are now. I don't even bother going to high school reunions. Don't keep up with them any other time; why spend a fortune to dress up and go to the rod 'n gun club to watch 'em drink now!! Wouldn't recognize them if I met them on the street; those people have gotten old.

Katie said...

We belong to an Independent, Fundamental Baptist Church, and I have come to the same general opinion that those in regular attendance tend to go, whether sick or not. I never go when one of us is sick because we want to be respectful not to spread anything to other families...plus...when our immunity is down, it's easier to pick up secondary illnesses that way! I've never understood the whole 'going to church when you're sick' phenomenon that takes place, but I have to agree that it's been that way. I'm due to have a baby next month and you can imagine my red flags going up about bringing a newborn out during this time of year...especially because I know others come that may be spreading germs. I've heard on several occasions, however, people say..."So and so had a baby and was in church the following Sunday..."...so you can see how that might spark a bit of pressure. However, I know God knows my heart and my motivations for going to worship Him with other believers...it's not to get a gold star on my attendance record, it's to please and Honor Him. So, anyway, I don't so much let other's earthly opinions bother me. I pray and ask for God's wisdom to worship Him in the way He wants us to, and I also ask Him for His protection from sicknesses...whether it be church, the library, the store, etc.

Reading your post inspired and encouraged me a bit to make sure my motives behind all of our decisions are accountable to God alone and not my concerns to please man.

Thank you...I enjoy your posts!


Kimberly said...

Oh when someone starts on the "your children are missing....because you homeschool," I nearly laugh at them!

If we know our children (or us) are ill we don't go to church or activities, or grocery shopping or anything, either, as a courtesy to others and to my children, they don't want to be our running around when they feel gross! We have a Mom at our church, that will poke her children full of tylenol, then say something (stupid) like - oh, they had a fever this morning, but I gave 'um tylenol and the fever is gone! This Mom is one that asked why don't (we) want our children in school? And yes, we have stayed home from church when we hear of an outbreak of illness within the church.
And, we do homeschool "Sunday School" - mainly due to the lack of depth in the lessons, secondarily, to illness.

You are right on!

Stephanie said...

Amen!!!! I actually went to church two weeks ago, and all you heard was coughing, sneezing, and nose blowing. Then everyone in the house got sick the following week.

I also agree, and have always believed this, that God is not in a building. I have had disagreements with my pastor over this. He claims the bible verse about where 2 gather...and my point back is that God doesn't specify where that HAS to be. It can be in the park, the grocery store, or online. As long as you are sharing and learning God's word, that is all that matters.

Great post!


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.

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