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February 2, 2009

Morals and Preferences

Thank you to those of you who shared your insights and questions on the last post. I will try to get your questions answered over time. Some of the questions that were asked encouraged me to write a post that I have been thinking about writing for some time. I guess I started to 'write a post in my head' when I read some responses on "Great Expectations". In that post I shared how I have not been able to exclusively nurse our children and have had to supplement. I was not surprised but yet saddened by those of you who thanked me for sharing this and eluded to the guilt they have felt in not being able to nurse their children or having to supplement. I was not surprised by these comments because I have went through these same feelings myself. And I would be lying to say that I don't still struggle with it. I am also saddened in realizing that the reason those of us who can't nurse feel this guilt is because of the 'pressure' that is put on us by others. I don't know how many times I have heard, "Everyone can successfully nurse their babies. You're just not trying hard enough." Well, I used to believe that and I used to try everything I could to make it happen. In doing so I practically starved my newborns all because "everyone can do it". Believe me, I would like nothing better than to be able to feed my babies without help. But that wasn't the plan. So a question that I have been asking myself is how many times do I put undue pressure on other moms to feel like they need to measure up just like has been put on me about nursing my babies. There are things that God has spoken to us in His Word that we need to obey. They are moral issues, commands from Him. And many of my posts have been convictions from these commands. Stuff that I wish someone would have told me when I was a young wife/mother. Things that I feel that God has laid on my heart to share with you. Things that I believe will help me be a reflection of Christ. Things that I believe He has commanded us in His word. But I also have preferences in my life. Things that are non-moral issues, but are part of the way I do things. I don't believe that they are 'right' or 'wrong', just the way we do it. But what concerns me is when we as moms/families put undo pressure on other moms/families to measure up to the way we do things, the non-moral issues. And how we make people feel inferior when they don't live according to our standard. I guess that is why I am reluctant to share about our preferences or the way we do things. I don't want to come across as saying that our way is the only way or best way. And yet I know how I like to watch other families or ask them questions about their experiences or learn from what works for them. I believe we are supposed to learn from one another. But my desire in my relationship with others and in my blog writings is to encourage others to honor God in their relationships and in their daily walk with Him. To encourage one another to be a shining light for God in a dark, hurting world. I know that when I stand before God one day He is not going to ask me about the non-moral issues, He is going to ask me about my heart and my obedience to Him. It won't matter to Him if I nursed my baby for 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years but it will matter to Him if I trusted Him and was joyful through it all. It won't matter to Him what curriculum we used for school but rather if we taught our children to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. It won't matter to Him the particular denomination of church we attended, but rather if we lived a life of worship to Him. It won't matter if we used cloth diapers or bought diapers, sewed our families clothes or got them at the thrift shop or bought them new but rather if we clothed ourselves with righteousness. It won't matter if we ground wheat for our bread but rather if we ate from the bread of life. It won't matter if we traveled and sang together as a family but instead if we made a melody in our heart to the Lord. And the list goes on and on..... I am not saying that these things do not matter and that we can't seek God's will for us in these areas of our life, and in fact some of these things may be moral for you if God has told you to take a certain path. But I am saying that we can get so caught up in 'preferences' that we forget the real heart issues and are insensitive to the people around us. All this to say that when I answer questions about our life and the way we do things around here that it is just that, the way we do things. I know there are a lot of questions about how a large family functions and I don't mind those at all. In fact I welcome them. But I want to encourage you as moms and as families to seek God's path for your life because chances are it will look very different from ours. And that's great because God made us all unique. And any way, wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same? :)


The Mayo Family said...

AMEN! Point so well said & taken.
This is so of God, as this is why we feel so drawn to read & watch your family grow & serve, not in a odd way but in a way of where we have been and where God has taken us and praise HIM where we are going! We must serve HIM fully in the place HE HAS US AND GROW FROM THERE! Yes, we are not to fear mans opinion...so often we caught up in serving and before you know it....fear of others opinions! So praise HIM that you are able to share & relize this is a real issue out there...we are all in a different place to be light in a very dark world! We ask your forgiveness if we came across radical & nosy. For us we love to gleen ideas not for any other reason but to learn fun new ways to run a "large" home and so on...we also love the recipe blog as my girls say it's less math (ha) as you usually have the large quanities written up!..we are in need of prayer as we are now learning(after a rough road) to return to our first love "JESUS" and worship & serve HIM not what are our way's ...we see this in your family...like we could be welcome as even if we all do not look exactly the same---hey-thats okay! Smile! We are thankful for what you share & blessed by you articles and family!
Momma of 8

Nettie said...

I really appreciated your post.

I have always been one of the blessed nursing Mom's (as the health nurse told me when Justin was 1 1/2 weeks old,'I serve whipping cream'). My 'feeling of quilt' has always been the delivery. It's amazing how many people seem to believe a C-section is the easy way out, maybe it is, but I still desire a natural birth experience. But as you say it is best just to accept God's plan for us.

Thanks again for your words of encouragement I truly enjoy reading your blog.

Forever Young said...

Best blog post I've ever read. I mean it. Thank you so much for sharing.

Mckenzie Quilter said...

Way to go Rosealie, When we stand before the Lord and hear that "well done" it won't be because everything has been done by each of us in a cookie cutter fashion. This is also the case with raising a family or ironing a shirt(do people do that any more??)

The result is the important thing.
Having run the gauntlette of "advice" while raising the crew it was quite bewildering at times. Proverbs 22:6 applies to the training of children as individuals not one of a group. I always saw the "he"(she) in that verse as Gods emphasizing that each of us are unique and therefore needing special attention.
Likewise family dynamics make for amazing uniqueness from household to household-therefor how can anyone make blanket statements that work for everyone?
I too remember the high pressure people who preached that nursing was the only good way to look after a babe. What a burden to put on the new mom ( I see a Mom as "new" with each "new" babe).
Love and regards, keep up the great words.
Grama nancy(I love this name).