When someone finds out that you have home schooled your children, and those children are mostly grown up, they often ask you a lot of questions.
Likewise, when they find out that you have a certain number of children, they tend to want to know certain things.
How do you do it?
How do you know you are doing it right?
How can I do what you are doing?
I almost hesitate to mention it, because it makes it seem like I think of myself as an expert, which I don’t.
But I do mention it, because in a way, my postings on this online journal (I really don’t like the word blog, do you?) are my attempt to answer those questions; in person I find it hard to do a good job of getting across the things I think are important.
In Titus we read that older women should help younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, in order to promote the Gospel.
Those who know me know that I like to give advice, anyway… but I am humbled to read that list.
However, I am getting older ;), and I am not prone to excessive drinking (another pre-qualification), so I guess you could say that I’m taking my stab at obeying this injunction, if only in a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of way.
But hey, even that can be helpful, and the kids did turn out (so far ;), by the grace of God, and due in most part to the strength of their father — to be the kind of people most people want to be with. It does seem to me that a lot — a very huge amount — of advice is given by folks who have not been married for very long, whose children are not very old, or who don’t have many children.
When I first got interested in reading blogs, I noticed that the mom blogs, homeschooling blogs, and even large family blogs are, for obvious reasons, mostly written by young women.
And many have a lot to offer, don’t get me wrong! I’ve actually been so inspired by them — some of you! — that — here I am!
However, as I used to say, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, to a friend who would tell me about the parenting tips given by a mutual acquaintance: “Beware of advice from someone with fewer than three children and with all girls!”
Does the editor of a parenting magazine have parenting wisdom, or does she drop her own children off at daycare to pursue her career of dispensing conventional wisdom?
What are the criteria that all these experts use to make their judgments?
Do they rely on other experts, perhaps ones whose credentials are in areas that would concern a Christian?
How is their cultural knowledge? Have they had a wide and extensive reading, including old books? Are they grounded in a true understanding of human nature and our ultimate destiny to share in God’s divinity?
How much experience do they really have with children? With marriage?
Do they respect the past? Do they know about it?
Having been through a few wars, internal and external, I have been moved in the past few years to share the insights I’ve gained, with a strong consciousness of the outcome of even a quick review of the facts of the case.
Such as, there is so much I didn’t understand about raising a family when I started.
There is so much I understood and somehow failed to implement, even while vowing not to lose sight of my understanding.
That’s human nature, I suppose.
That’s why I always say to those incredulous souls who stare at us, mouths agape, wondering “how do you DO it?” — If I can do it, so can you! And, read the blog :) because I do want to share what I’ve learned along the way.
So, lemons were marked way down at the store the other day. I thought I’d make pickled lemons, which deepen and intensify many a stew and roast.
Sprinkle the cut up pieces with salt and add water to cover. They will form pickles in a few weeks! Thanks to lovely Ann Kroeker for the link!