new laundry {how we hide behind our labels}

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Girl number three started soccer this Spring.

For the last two years she has been asking to join a soccer league and for two years I have replied, without remorse, under no uncertain terms:

NO.

The reason I, {we} have replied “NO” under no uncertain terms are as followed:

1.   we don’t like sports leagues because of how intrusive the schedules are on family time

2.   it seems a waste of time because kicking/throwing a ball in a certain direction is not a needed life skill, does not increase knowledge, is not creative, and this  household puts a high value on those things

3.  in observing this trend in other families we slowly developed a Pharisaic approach to parenting; we drew that line in the sand and smugly stood on the other side relieved that we had figured it out, and how could the rest be so dumb

 

So, we went to the library, not the athletic fields.

Our girls were enrolled in music, art, and dance, not tee-ball, soft ball, or soccer.

And only one girl at a time, for short seasons.

And it was probably the right thing for our household.

Because I was throwing up pregnant, getting up in the middle of the night, and chasing strong willed toddlers with a baby on my hip pretty much for close to ten years straight. {Four children in seven years, nine months of sickness for every pregnancy, and stay at home mom}. The chances are very high that twice a week tee ball practice with a game every weekend for two or three of my girls, then doing it all over again for the fall sports, would of drove me completely off the deep end, that I was dangerously teetering on.

Then suddenly, the dynamics in our home began to change.

The “big girls” are a teen and tweener.

The “little ones” are in school all day, and like to hang out with each other more than me.

I do not have children attached to my body all day.

So what now?

In all the ups and downs of our family expanding and shifting through stages and Tim and I, blurry eyed, trying to stay one step ahead, one thing has remained constant:

our unshakable knowing of our need to seek God.

And He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. {Hebrews 11:6}.

What He gives is Himself, in the form of counsel and grace at every bend.

And as my children grew to not physically needing me;

i.e.; mauling me and climbing on my lap and sneaking into bed two, three, times a night, and putting my arms around them for twenty minutes for a scrap that is barely visible {beautiful, beautiful times}

He kept speaking over me, in my desperation, to finally “get a life and be a mom”, that what they really need now is my presence, they need my shepherding.

I have no idea how to do that practically.

Because that does not fit into a category, or a parenting philosophy.

And there are lots of conversation with my face in the pillow of:

“wait a second God, wasn’t that You who told me to start ministry work, and to get a part time job, and oh crap I think I am doing to have a panic attack because I just signed up for summer classes, and now I am feeling convicted and stressed about how I am parenting!”

My confident, rock solid title of: stay at home mom, parent-centered, purposeful family time household, no longer drapes neatly over my daughters, making them safe, and making me feel good about myself. Because I seem to living a contradiction of beliefs, that I was 100 percent sure were Spirit led.

I work outside the home and we do sports!

But what plays like a tape recorder over and over again is this:

They are coming into their own, and all I really care about is that when they cross the thresh hold of adult are they going to willingly follow Christ, whose way is narrow.

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Am I really following Christ, whose way is narrow?

Or am I marching into the broad box of titles that has Leah smack in the middle:

stay at home mom

evangelical

social conservative

parent-centered home.

And it’s not that I did it wrong, or that I am wrong in my beliefs. Honestly, if I had to do things over again, I would not change any of the broad strokes of my life.

But no ones gets to do it over again, do they?

We just keep moving forward. And my moving forward can not hide behind self righteous titles, even if those titles represented God’s perfect will in my life.

I am not throwing the baby out with the bath water.

I just feel this restless pulling inside of me.

Like one bright thread of wool tugging and tugging till the whole garment comes unraveled.

I can’t stop thinking about the words of Isaiah speaking of Christ:

He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. and the bruised reed he shall not break. {Isaiah 42:2,3}

And I have swallowed long enough the religion of angry loud mouth, and wounding people who believe differently than me.

And just as I have no idea how to shepherd my children with my presence but start to find a life outside of the role of mother only, I have no idea how to stand for The Truth of God’s Word which is good and kind and life giving, and not steamroll over already hurt, and feeling-condemned people.

And so I guess this post, read by only a handful, most of the time by people I don’t even know, has become a confession to whomever may be reading:

I’m so sorry for judging the mom who puts her children in day care. God is not disappointed or mad at you.

I’m so sorry that I and the church have treated homosexuals like they are a disease to avoid, and not a human being whom God loves. I would gladly sit across the table and share a meal with you, not to debate with, but be human with.

I am so sorry that my first response is to get red in the face angry over and think of good comebacks, that are more like daggers, when people post their beliefs online of evolution and mock creationists. I should of been on my face in sorrow, then turned to prayer, that a human being thinks that they are a detached accident not a loved creation. Jesus said to rejoice when we are mocked by others for His sake. This response should of been automatic for those in my own family.

And so, this household of ours is changing. Because Tim and I are changing.

The change in us is bigger than different stages of parenting.

It is even bigger than our personal growth as believers, as people.

It is something that is stirring in the entire body of The Church universal.

The Bride of Christ getting off those dirty rags of self-righteousness and being made beautiful in Christ. New laundry, not hiding behind our stances.

Because we are part of the greatest paradox and contradiction of the ages:

Jesus: Man of Sorrows and Conquering King.

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This is being posted with the Five Minute Friday link up over at Kate’s blog.

I apologize that I did not stick to the usual format.

I was not going to link up today because all I could think about was her soccer uniform hanging up to dry and that seemed to have nothing to do with today’s word prompt of “hide”. But as  I began to write, for my own post, it came full circle, as things often do.

So there you go.

Happy Friday

&

Cheers.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “new laundry {how we hide behind our labels}

  1. Such great words! I hear you and feel you in so many ways! My kids are little still but I still am so resistant to so many activities/things. Thank you for sharing your wisdom/experience! Blessings on this new journey/stage you are in!
    -FMF neighbor

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  2. Leah, I must confess that I almost didn’t read because it looked long and I didn’t have much time. (I have to leave in a few minutes) I am so glad I took the time, because this is such a good post! “The Bride of Christ getting off those dirty rags of self-righteousness and being made beautiful in Christ. New laundry, not hiding behind our stances.” May God enable us to show love to those with whom we disagree and be willing to listen, to find out what’s on their hearts, to walk along beside them trusting in God to help us all know His truth.

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  3. I spent a whole reading many of your posts today. I sometimes don’t read them right when they are posted. But I always enjoy your thoughts and words. I will marinate with these today. Thanks for writing them.

    <3, jamie

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