29 September 2010

Kids and College

I've been thinking a bit about this, so here I am writing about it again. :)

Today the common expectation is for a child to graduate high school and then immediately pack their bags and head off to college. Occasionally you´ll run into those who have chosen a different route to further their education, but they are few and far between. Do we ever stop to question why? For what purpose are we being indoctrinated for four years under someone else´s teaching? Don´t get me wrong, I´m not against college. Sometimes it is required for the field one wishes to pursue. Many times it is done just because that is what is expected. We need to consider both the benefits and the risks.

It costs a large fortune to attend a college. It is a cost that I myself can justify. If what I truly desire is to be a stay-at-home wife and mother, why should I create that much debt to carry into marriage? A degree is nothing more than a very expensive piece of paper. Just about everyone has one these days so it isn´t something that differentiates you from the next guy (or gal). I´m not saying degrees are bad, simply that the traditional route is a very expensive way to get one. Something that I think everyone should at least consider is CollegePlus! or a similar program. Through distance learning, the college expenses are drastically reduced. If at some point I end up pursuing a degree, CollegePlus is how I would earn it.

Now, what about the quiver and arrows analogy? If the kids are being kept at home, how are you making a mark on the world for His kingdom? I think how you answer this question depends on how exactly you view missions. For some, serving our families are the ´front lines´ while for others, it may be serving the Lord in another country. Both can make a phenomenal difference for the Kingdom. I don´t think it is so much where you are serving as how. We can make a difference for the Kingdom no matter where we are. Now for young men, one expects them at some point in their early twenties to take initiative to start their own homes (whether that means marrying or living on their own is and entirely different topic). For young women, I think they can and should take the opportunity to serve at home in their own families until marriage (and if they´re called to singleness that´s another topic for another day). No, that doesn´t mean they are ´stuck´ at home all day, it is simply the springboard they use for ministering to those around them. It doesn´t mean one is limited to service in their own family, but that the family is the starting point.

So there is a few of my broken thoughts on the topic. I know not everyone agrees with me, so I look forward to discussing this further in the comments. :)

28 September 2010


A question I am regularly asked is, "Why do you wear skirts all the time?". Wearing skirts is so second nature to me that I am usually thrown off-guard and end up stammering out some sort of response that probably doesn't make any sense. This post is for those who have asked me that question and received an unsatisfactory answer, or for those who haven't been brave enough to ask me yet. ;)

I haven't always worn skirts. Growing up, skirts and dresses were what I wore to church, not something put on every day. I never gave it a second thought. However, I remember one day when my mother listened to a S.M. Davis tape on modesty, and announced that we were going to start wearing skirts and dresses more. My response was something along the lines of "never in a million years". I was probably around seven years of age or so, and had quite a stubborn streak (which I'm sure has worn off after all these years. Haha!). Was this my "turning point", so to speak? Far from it. I don't think I could pick one particular moment, one article, one book that suddenly changed my mind. It was a very slow, gradual process. So much so, that I was rather shocked when I looked back and realized that I had become my own worst nightmare. :) It was a very gradual shift in focous that really embodies how much people can change because of the influence of what they read and the people they spend time with.

Well, that gives you a bit of history, but doesn't really tell you exactly why I wear skirts all the time. It's actually quite simple, really. I like skirts better than pants. Yep, that's it! Now, I admit when I first made the switch to skirts-only, I was tempted to feel like I was better than "those girls" that felt more comfortable in jeans. There is a temptation on both sides to feel like they are better than the other. I'm not condemning those that find pants more comfortable. That's your personal decision, just keep in mind that it doesn't make you any better than the next girl.
Now the gals in the skirts-only camp will argue that skirts are more feminine. For the most part that is true. Skirts are naturally more feminine, even the uglier ones. However, I can't say that wearing pants makes you look like a man. There are plenty of feminine styles of pants out there, and many lovely, feminine outfits. But just as some people don't like brussel sprouts, I personally don't like wearing pants.

Is a skirt more modest than pants? They can be. But then, there are pants that are miles more modest that some skirts I seen. Whatever you choose when you look at your closet in the morning, careful attention should always be paid to modesty. Is this too low, too tight, too thin, too short? Most especially, attention should be given to our attitudes. Do guys notice or care which a girl wears? I don't know. But I know they can tell the difference between a lady with a modest attitude and the girl that throws herself at guys. You could wear a burka and still have an immodest attitude. Pay close attention to your clothes, but even closer attention to your attitude and demeanour..

Remember how I used to be stubborn? (Please stop snickering!) Well, to some extent that influences my skirt vs pants decision. If someone says you can't, that usually makes you three times more willing to try to accomplish it, just to say "I told you so.". Don't say you've never done that, because we all have. If you're smart, you know how to work that in-bred defiance in others for good. (I can practically see the knowing smiles of parents and older children who read this). So there you have it - I don't wear skirts because I think I'm better than you, I do it because I feel more comfortable, feminine, and less self-conscious in a skirt.

Now it's your turn - which do you prefer and why?

21 September 2010

No Going Back

There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest? - Frodo
I don't usually cry at the end of books. It's fiction, after all. Why waste tears or feel sad for someone who never actually existed? That being said, I cried at the end of Lord of the Rings. It wasn't so much finishing the book and feeling like a friend had been lost, though that feeling was present, too. No, it was the change that had taken place in Frodo. The parting of two friends that had been through everything together. Frodo had given up everything to save the Shire. Yes, it was saved, but not for him. Then I read the story again and wondered what would have happened if Frodo knew everything that would befall him. Would he still be willing to be a part of the fellowship of the ring? Now, Lord of the Rings is just a book. It is a brilliant world that J.R.R. Tolkien created. But fiction has to be draw from somewhere. Good fiction isn't just about a touching story, it is about the life application one draws from it. As G. K. Chesterton once said, "Fairy tales are more than true — not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten. ".

Sometimes we find ourselves in undesirable circumstances because of the decisions we've made. We find ourselves wishing we could go back and change our decision. Life isn't like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story, we can't see ahead of time where each choice will lead nor can we go back and change our choice if it proves unsatisfactory. No, we must plunge head-first into the story of our lives. There have been very painful situations I've been through in my life. Sometimes I've wished I could go back and start over, convinced that whatever the other option was, it certainly has to be much better. No matter how much I may wish for that, it is not going to happen. That's not what God wants me to do. I have to stop living in the past. Not only that, but I need to unclench my fists and let go of my future, placing it in the palm of His hands and simply trusting in His sovereignty. I can't change the past. God has brought me through those times for a reason. Sometimes I how even the most painful situations have been for the best, but sometime there seems to be no earthly reason for the pain and hurt. We have to let go of the past. The aching will always be there, but we have to realize that the breaking was for a reason.

We can't judge the future by our past experiences. If we've been hurt in the past, that doesn't give us a "get-out-of-pain-free" cards for the rest of our lives. This is a fallen world. We will be hurt, especially by those we love and care for the most. To love anything at all is to make ourselves prone. I can't say it any better than C.S. Lewis already has: "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

What are we then to do? We are to make ourselves vulnerable, we are to love. We will be broken, crushed, pressed, put through all kinds of pain, and for what? For the glory of God. When is our testimony the strongest when we are faithful to God while we are happy and blessed, or when we are broken and bruised but still praising in Him, trusting Him, glorifying Him? Like a light in the darkness, so will our witness shine through for Yahweh's praise and glory. Trust and follow Him, even through the valley of the shadow of death, and leave the outcome in His all-capable hands.

A Bit O' An Update

Well, well, well...look who is back! Has it really been a month since my last post? Reminds me of my journals from when I was younger. The first paragraph almost always speaks of how long it had been since I last wrote, followed by promises to write more often started then. Anyway, this time I have much better excuses - honest! Yahweh brought my family faithfully through a nine-day hospital stay with my baby brother after a very serious and intensive surgery. If you prayed for him during this time, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. God was so faithful to us during that time. Things have started to settle back into a sort of normalcy, but the busyness hasn't abated. I've had less time to keep up with friends on Facebook. I rather miss being to keep up with what's going on in people's lives, but I've realized that those people who really matter I email or chat with regularly so maybe I'm not missing out on a whole lot after all. Besides the fact that I can just stalk those that I'm really interested in. (Hahaha!)

Now you may realize there's something I've neglected to say. There isn't a hint of me promising to start posting more often or even more regularly. Why? Because I'm not. I post when I have time to share whatever thoughts I'm itching to share. Or at least I try to - I think there's about three or four drafts in my blogger right now in various stages of completion. This fall/winter is looking like it will be the busiest yet. However, I'm focusing a bit more on improving my writing, so I at least promise not to disappear all together (not that too many people will notice anyway.) ;)

So there ya go, a new post on my blog. Stay tuned for new posts that (hopefully) won't be just me rambling on and on. ;)