I Don’t Want My Kid To Be A Team Player

So I’m listening to a podcast about the Seth Rich scandal, and of course there’s commentary on Hillary Clinton and Marine Le Pen, and I am struck by the inconsistencies in politics.

Then I read a blog by the current leader of my parent’s cult about the “Old Paths”, and I’m struck, again, by how “old paths” ideology is more about idolatry and legalism than it is about Christ, than it has ever been about Christ.

Feminists don’t care that Hillary has treated rape victims deplorably, it’s fine, because she has a vagina! She’s on our team! 

Marine Le Pen is a horrible person because she’s honest about religious threats in her country. It doesn’t matter that she has a vagina, she’s not on our team!


Obama sold weapons in the Middle East! Fuck him! Traitor! Muslim Terrorist! Unless Trump does it, then it’s totally cool, because he’s on our team.

They love Christ, but they don’t have the same “Standards” I do, they don’t dress the same way, they like different music, THEY aren’t *real* Christians. They aren’t on our team.

They like Jar Jar Binks! They Aren’t Real Star Wars Fans! Filthy Casuals! They can’t be on our team.

And so it goes.


There’s a balance here, as there is in most places in life. Which sucks, because black and white are easy, but balance is hard. It’s important to understand that teamwork matters, that pulling together for a common good is important. Particularly when we consider society as a whole (but society is a group of individuals so…).

It’s also really damn important to remember that your personal identity does not, and should not, come from what religious, fan or political team you’re on, but rather, those “teams” should be a reflection of your character. How have we not taught our children this? How do we ourselves forget this so often?

I see it so often – whiny college children who demand free things from other’s pockets, but aren’t giving themselves. Being a part of a “team” that cares about giving, doesn’t make them givers. Your team doesn’t give you merit and value, your actions do.

People DEMANDING others be more “Tolerant” and “Open Minded”, but refuse to even hear other points of view. To even hear them, much less consider them for their own merit, because those points of view might be from the other team. This is a real thing, by the way, and it’s called “Motivated Ignorance”. Recent studies show that people will not read news from the opposing political side, in many cases, even if you pay them. The hell? If you read The Libertarian Republic, you should also be reading Vox, and vice versa.

Christians who claim the love and grace of Christ over their own lives and sins, but judge others for things as vapid as the clothing they wear or the music the worship with. They’ve gotten so lost in their “Be Ye Separate” that they’ve completely separated themselves from the point of the Gospel, and of Christ – Levitical law is out, guys.  You are not a Good, Holy, Christ-like person because of your team. You’re just kind of an ass. You should see to that.

Serious question, adult peoples of the internet : When was the last time someone treated you like shit because you weren’t a part of their team? Was it because if who you voted for? When was the last time you treated someone like shit because they weren’t a part of your team? Was it because they did or did not like your religion? Did they say that they were or were not a feminist? I got called a Nazi and lost a few friends over the last election, simply because I voted for President Trump. They didn’t even ask why. Different team = Nazi.

I’m guilty of this. I have a very hard time with women who voted for Hilary. Not in the vote against Trump sense, which I can understand even if I disagree with, but women who wholeheartedly supported her as a candidate and think she would have been awesome. I have a very hard and have to constantly remind myself it doesn’t make them all giant hypocrites who are ignorant and easily bought. I shouldn’t think that way, but I do. Because Hillary? She pretty much the opposite of everything I believe in or find to be of value in a person. She’s not on my team. 

Do you know who you are without your “Teams”? Do I? If we strip away our teams tomorrow, removed labels we proudly pin on ourselves, what are we left with?

girlalonestanding

How can we possibly learn to love, accept, and form deep connections with those on other teams, until we ourselves learn to be okay without being defined by our teams?

How do we raise children to be individuals, if we ourselves are not comfortable with being individuals? Do we forget to teach them that standing up for what’s right often means losing people and being mocked? Do we forget to remind ourselves?

I would really, if at all possible, like to raise my child to not be a part of this bullshit, this needing to feel like she’s a part of a self righteous group in order to feel validated. I hope to raise her to be able to be friends, close friends, with those who have different religions and points of view. I also want her to be able to look at an idea or ideology and go “Well that’s a bunch of evil bullshit” and not waver when people call her mean. I hope for her to be able to weigh those things on their own merits, and do the damn research, find the historical context, get into the nitty gritty, to not just take these things – bible verses, political ideologies, movies, poetry – at face value, but rather dig deep and fully understand them, and come to her own conclusions. Conclusions that, hopefully, because she’s done the legwork and considered all sides, she can stand confident in. Even when her protesting peers go “YOU AREN’T PART OF OUR TEAM!” and she finds herself standing alone.

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I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream…

My husband and I have a dream. We would like, within the next 8ish years, to produce around 80% of our own food, and within 10-12 years be completely energy independent, probably via solar. A large garden to grow almost 100% of our produce (and living in the South, banana and avocado trees are possible), can and preserve both veggies and ready made meals like taco meat and black beans, raise and butcher our own hogs (and maybe a steer), and have a cow for milk. Husband wants goats, but we don’t like goat milk and aren’t huge fans of goat meat, so I don’t know why he wants them, other than because fainting goats are amusing. Husband is also very interested in aquaponics and wants to get a tilapia pond going.  All this, and a private gun range, on 10+ acres of land.

I didn’t say it was a small dream.

Simple, maybe, but not small.

There’s a lot of reasons for this, and maybe I’ll go into them at some point, but the simple honest truth at the heart is that growing things makes me calm, and pretty darn happy. It makes my husband really happy too. So we have our dream of a 10+ acre homestead. A dream I can’t even share with a lot of people I know, because they just go “That’s stupid, go to the grocery store” (thanks dad!).

I watch these amazing homesteading families on youtube – Big Family Homestead, Fouch-o-Matic,  Deep South Homestead, Hollis and Nancy’s, Justin Rhodes – and I feel like, we’ll never get there.

I feel like I’m behind. 

I look at my friends who don’t want a homestead, and they, mostly, at least own a home. We do not. Finances have been hellish for us since ten minutes after we got married until very recently. It’s just the way it goes. And yes, some of my friends are older, which I forget, and some married much older men, partly to have that insta security of owning a home and a good job. I made different choices.

But still, I feel like I’m behind. 

All my friends, literally, have two children. I possibly will not. I love my daughter with all my heart, but getting her here, during a high risk pregnancy and then having a csection, and finding out her cord was in a true knot? It was terrifying. On top of that, there are other very serious reasons I can’t go into here. I love being a mom. I’m absolutely in love with my daughter.

But compared to my friends? I’m behind. I’m half the mom they are, literally. 

 


I know that, logically, comparison is the thief of joy. I’m also pretty damn sure none of my friends think I’m only half a mom compared to them, or that I’m a loser because we still rent. But in the dark little places of my heart, *I* feel that way. I feel like I will run out of life before I get to these things I want, or that they just may be out of my reach forever, like a second child may be.

And some days, I am so consumed with this “being behind”, not just on these things, but on my writing, on spending quality time with the kiddo, on cleaning the house, on spending time with my husband, that everywhere around me, all I see is a pile of failure, of being behind, of life moving faster than I can keep up. I think of a Homestead of our own and feel like it’s an impossible pipe dream that we’ll never get to. This feeling permeates everything I do until I feel like nothing I have to offer will ever be good enough. For the people I love, or even myself.

This is fucking insanity, by the way. Were I to hear someone I cared about, or hell, even a random stranger with a small child say this shit, I’d buy them coffee and tell them to chill the fuck out.

Morning Glory


God told Zerubbabel to rebuild Solomon’s temple. It took a few years to build the foundation, and then, because of political crap, it just sat. A foundation. For 17 years.

17 years is a long ass time to be behind, guys. 

Zerubbabel was sleeping one night, or probably not sleeping, because he was WAY BEHIND ON A GIANT PROJECT FROM GOD, and God sent him a message, in the form of a terrifying messenger, as was his way (Zechariah 4):

“Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. 10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

I do not have a Homestead, but I do have a few small beginnings. I have taught myself to make bread. We eat out far less than we did a year ago, in fact I cook most nights unless it’s payday.  Later this year I hope to get a waterbath canner or pressure canner and start canning some of our own stuff. And we do have a garden. A small, stubborn, completely-above-ground-because-our-soil-is-crap, garden. It’s small, but it’s a beginning.

This is my job. Or “There are worse things than your kid being gay and maybe you should take a moment ruminate on what God calls us to as Mothers.”

My name is Elisabeth, and this is my job:

playgroundmarch

She’s two, and quite lovely. I am blessed to stay home with her. I know moms who work outside of the house not because they have to, but because they like having a big pretty house, and spending money on shit they don’t need, and driving fancy SUVs and having fancy purses. These moms, honest to God, are stupid selfish women who are doing themselves and their children and society as a whole a disservice. If you CAN raise your own baby yourself, you damn well should, even if it means going without. They aren’t puppies or status symbols, they’re human beings and raising them well is the BEST THING you can do for the world, from a Christian or non Christian perspective, from a socialist or libertarian political view. Stay at home dads, totally cool too. Or two part time working parents. Or work from home parents. Or parents who trade off day and night shift so someone’s home with the kids. Basically, daycare so you can have nice things? You’re doing it wrong, and society needs to start judging you again. The world needs mothers who love being mothers. 

ALL THAT SAID, we (yes I am the #1 culprit) get really uppity about being Stay At Home Moms, as if, just because we don’t work outside of the house, we’re fully focused AT HOME. But are we? My husband and I share a car, I am *stuck* at home, and I find that some weeks my focus isn’t on my child and my house as much as it should be. I read too much, I work (part time) too much and let her watch Tee Tee when she asks, I get lazy about the chores because “fuck it, there will be more dishes to do tomorrow, regardless of if I do them now or not”. Which is not, you know, an amazing attitude to have. Sometimes I’ll have two days in a row go by where I don’t put everything down, sit on the floor, and focus on playing with my kid, which is shameful and frustrating. Why am I home if not to make lego trucks?

I am passionate about being a mom and a homemaker, and I often miss the mark. This is not a default job I was plopped into, this is a job I waited and worked for, and I was very open with my spouse when we were dating about my career goals (achievement unlocked: making ridiculous costume child comes up with in their own brain. 2016’s “Moo Buggy”):

MOOBUGGY2016.jpg

I see it in myself quite often, this idea that just because I’m AT HOME, means my heart and prayers and focus are AT HOME. But I struggle, and I fail, and I’m aware that I struggle and fail quite constantly. Sometimes I don’t put Her first, and I plan more things than I know she can handle for a few days in a row. Sometimes I just don’t want to freaking read that same owl book again or watch videos of bunnies on youtube.
I think a lot of this ebb and flow is normal, and I’m finding that even being a full time SAHM, there are no “normal” weeks. I’m two years in and just now starting to find my groove. As soon as I find my groove, I’ll lose it again, flip out, become a Llama for a bit, and then refocus on the important things in life.

A lot of what I’ve learned so far is that physically being at home isn’t enough. My heart and my focus have to be on my home and my kiddo, or I am missing the mark. 

When my heart and my focus wander, and I miss the mark, I am unhappy. My kid is unhappy, my husband is unhappy. My well of patience becomes a shrinking puddle. Part of my “job” is to remember how important my job is.


Which brings me to a question I have wanted to asked Independent Fundamental Baptist women and pastor’s wives for over a decade:

What the ever loving fuck are you doing with your families? Who sold you the crack that going to church Sunday Morning, Sunday Night, Wednesday Night, + Thursday and/or Saturday visitation, Special Events,  and “Conferences” was good for you? Or your kids?

It isn’t. It isn’t biblical, it’s modern American cult-ish busywork, and you’re paying for it with your children, and sometimes your marriages.

I know, many of you aren’t divorced, but a lot of your marriages suck. I know this, because I grew up among you and I remember it not so fondly. Or your marriage is “great”, and you are so out of touch with your children you don’t even realize that you’re losing them, don’t even have an inkling that they HATE the church-life you’ve chosen, because it’s broken their heart over and over and over. Jesus would have smacked you upside your head. Jesus hung out with whores and government officials, but he didn’t care much for the super religious. I think Fundamentalists tend to forget that, quite a bit. You’re the pharisees, guys.

I grew up under a horrible, controlling pastor who didn’t, for one moment in my memory, love me or my family. This piece of crap man guilted my mother into coming to choir practice to sing, to make him and his church look good, instead of spending her time with me and my brother. Every major holiday or birthday, my mom bought his wife’s gift and he reimbursed her. Even now, my mom spends way too much time doing random crap there, because of the expectations his reign set, and my little brother and sister in law are dragged into this (literally) ungodly, unbiblical, “LOOK AT HOW HOLY AND TIRED I AM” bullcrap. A Holy Sabbath, none of them have had, possibly ever. This pastor was vile, and a horrible example of a husband and family man, and yet, they have a shrine to him in the back of their church, because he got “numbers” on Sunday. Fundamental Christians, you are fundamentally missing the mark, and losing your children because of it.

 Sabbath is a day of rest, not a day of work, idiots. If you and your Children are tired on Sunday night, instead of refreshed and rested, you have failed the first of the ten. Sunday is not a day of work, even of “good work”. Your job as a mother, my job as a mother, is to protect my child from ungodly crap like that. And it is, most assuredly, ungodly. It has ripped apart families and stolen more joy than many can fathom. But please, keep crowing about time spent at church and bragging about your numbers on social media, that’s not a desperate cry for meaning and justification at all. 

I remember being a teenager, and crying because my mom couldn’t have coffee with me before church on Wednesday, because she had to go to choir practice, or her being harried to run the pastor’s errands every holiday. We’ve worked through stuff, we’re past it, but her devotion to Church before us, her family, was a huge issue in my life growing up and she was told from the pulpit and all those around her that she was doing the right thing, and I was just a needy troublesome child. I’d love to say this is a one off. That the busy business of church is a problem that’s strictly within my family but I know for a fact it isn’t. Churches everywhere, but specifically the cult like churches of Independent Fundamentalists in the US, are full of busy work to look good to each other and other churches.

And they can’t figure out why they’re losing young people in droves. They point to sin, to the young people, to the world, Britney Spears and that one gay neighbor they had that one time, but never look inward towards the utter burn out that the Children of families in ministry and pastor’s kids face. How have so many women, so many mothers, gone so deaf and blind to the cries, the weariness, the needs of their children’s hearts?

If you are a mother, God has called you to your family and to being a wife and mother FIRST. Things that distract you or take away from your first calling, your home, do not become Holy and Righteous just because they involve a Church.

You may teach the greatest Sunday School class, your pastor husband may have 5,000 people hear his sermon on Sunday and they all come back Sunday night too, you might pray with dozens of whores at the alter, but if you can’t see how it wears upon your children, if you can’t tell if their hearts are heavy, if you are not there and prepared and rested when they need you, if you are not a safe place for them to talk about their doubts, their lack of faith, their questions, their sexuality and know beyond a doubt they will be loved and wanted, you have utterly failed in your first calling. 

Those children have every right, every reason, to resent you and Church, and the false picture of your own version of god you have painted for them, every day of their lives. You are a MOTHER. They should never be afraid that you won’t love them, and they should never have a list of things you’ve placed before them in life, with the exception of your marriage. That goes equally for women who choose to work so they can have fancy shit, and women who dedicate their lives to a “church” so they can feel righteous.

We need mothers who love being mothers. Before they love themselves, their jobs, the other children at church, or the numbers on the bus, we need mothers who love their own children as Christ has loved us. Unashamedly, without excuse, putting nothing before our well being, and not giving a care what society or other religious people think, but boldly doing what is best for those who are under our care. What do we gain if we have thousands in church every Sunday, but we lose our own children?