Weathering our Storms Together

Weathering our Storms Together

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Appearances and Perceptions....Buzzards and Elephants

I'm often surprised at how people around me perceive my family. Routinely, folks make comments  that are totally off the mark. Common misconceptions about me personally are that I have it "all together" and I am "so organized". From my friends that do not homeschool, or have never homeschooled they get the (very wrong) impression that we have "perfect" kids and are some how superior to them/their children/everyone else who hasn't homeschooled. Well, I'm here to set the record straight right now....that's a grossly misguided perception.
Early on in our (12 year)  journey through the eventful world of educating our children at home, I had this totally great  skewed view of how children react to their surroundings.  Well, truthfully, it wasn't all that skewed for young kids...but it was way, way, waaaaaaayyyyyyyyy off the mark for teens. Did you get that?  I'll say it was the WRONG idea.  I'm here to tell ya that I was off in the la-la land of parenting 3-8 year olds.  A truly pleasant, if not somewhat beguiling, sphere of parenting paradise.  Yes, yes, I know there are plenty of trials here....but they are trials which, for the most part, are easily predictable. I'm not here to tell you exactly what to expect, or not expect, or to say I know it all...because I don't.  I'm sitting on the polar opposite of knowing it all....I'm the antonym of know it all....the contrary...the inverse...  I'm sure you've caught on by now.

Ok, the point of this rambling post is to say, things are usually not how they appear to casual acquaintances. And most certainly not how they appear on FaceBook. or Twitter. or on Christmas cards.  In day to day life, I am a natural optimist.  I choose to look on the bright side of most everything.  The past couple of years have took a drastic, humbling toll on me......but I'm still the optimist. I'm also a realist. And here it is folks: 1.) You WILL have trouble somewhere in your life. Count on it. 2.)  Just because you don't ___________ (insert unsavory behavior) does not mean that your offspring will not.  3.) The idea that if you put forth your very best, then you will receive the very best is not realistic. Give your best out of a desire to maintain high personal standard...not for the expectation of personal gain. 4.) If you are generally happy in this life, it will be for the reason of you *choosing* to be....if you wait for circumstances to accommodate will be miserable. 5.) Someone is always ready to tell you what to expect next out of your child/spouse/etc, because their child/spouse/etc  (blah, blah, blah). Um. No.  Ultimately, there are no experts on how someone else will act.  Ever. 6.) Give Grace....because somewhere you will need the most dire way. 7.) God is merciful. Truly. Always.

I know that this sounds like a depressing, downcast post, but I'm writing this on the "other side" of some very, very trying times. (not that they won't revisit me). I'm a chronic worrier.  I have lots of other flaws, too. :-)  But I'm in hopes that someone reading this will take the initiative to invest in thoughtful consideration of others who are struggling. Whether it is with their kids, spouse, illness, church, death, or whatever.....embrace the needs of that person with prayer....and kindness...empathy....and human touch. Human touch is powerful.

And for those having honest. It is what it is.  If it's something little, or big....don't try to cover it up,  or maintain a certain appearance in hopes that those around you will have a misguided perception. ...instead,  reach out for help from those around you.  You'll be looking for the person/s that have encouraging words, gentle suggestions, and a genuine desire to help. Genuine. Unpretentious.

Don't be the "buzzard"....sitting up in a high place.....biding time until you can benefit from someone's misfortune.  Rather, be the  ....elephant....Compassionate....caring and protecting those around them....sharing in pain...sharing in joy.....

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I'm a daughter of the King, the wife of a wonderful man, the mother to two caring, earthly children and two heavenly babes...