So this morning I scanned back over some of my earlier posts from when I first began blogging, and then again while going through life changes. Moving to Gainesville and leaving institutional church. Leaving organic church and moving to Kansas City. Have a several procedures this year, including removing my thyroid. I was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter, several of the nodules being solid, some filled with fluid, and some containing both matter. I had cancer. Now I have pre-cancerous cells in my urinary tract. I have homeschooled my kids and enjoyed writing about that the most.
And as I read I got a little embarrassed, especially at my pre-Kansas city move blogging as I clearly sounded like a pod person. And probably turned off a lot of Christian moms just trying to find homeschooling blogs and blogs about Christian parenting. I noticed that in trying to be a “just say yes” person, I was awfully opinionated.
The thing is, I don’t think I would have grown, changed, healed in many areas had I not written my little online journal (this blog). It has helped tremendously and sometimes it’s the only way I was able to muster up the courage to speak what was on my heart, and what the Lord put on my heart. This is one of those times.
I love the Lord. Everyday I fall more in love with Him. And as my family and I navigate the murky waters of attending an institutional church, but remembering that we are already forgiven of our sins and don’t need to continually atone for them (if that were even possible), we learn everyday. I have learned that being right is not always important, but sometimes it is okay to say “no, that is not fine with me.” I am learning that the best friendships I have made and kept over the years are the homeschooling moms I befriend. And I wonder why. I still have contact with other friends, particularly thanks to facebook. But it’s the homeschooling moms who I seem to stay in contact with no matter how far apart from each other we live. Same deal with my kids. The ones they visit when they go back to Florida are their homeschool buddies. And I have a theory on why this is so…
So of course we have common ground, but so did I have common ground with other Christians, other parents, and other people who have a passion for the poor and downtrodden. The thing about homeschoolers is, we as a bunch are extremely accepting of other homeschooler’s views. We can talk about the different styles and curriculums we use and no one gets offended. There’s no division of this type of homeschooler or that type. I remain close with very, very different types of homeschooling families. We all have a common ground and the differences don’t matter one bit. I have never found another group that has even come close.
Homeschoolers, at least the ones I met, have been okay with saying what they agree with or disagree with in another’s philosophy or with their curriculum and it’s not a big deal. No homeschooler has ever stopped talking to me because I blog about why we are Charlotte Mason homeschoolers and why we disagree strongly with school-at-home. In fact, some of my best friends are school-at-home-er’s.
And as I was thinking about this I thought, it should be this way among Christians. Brother Paul, throughout the entire New Testament preaches love, acceptance, and no division among each other. He tells us to speak up if there’s a problem and not to become followers of men, but of Christ. I find that many churches usually stick to themselves. Sure, we have friends that happen to go to other churches. But, what if me and Chris began going to different churches all over Kansas City and meeting and befriending people? Joining groups with different denominations instead of having all our groups in one building or home? We would still grow close to those people, because the smaller groups tend to be where we make the relationships, but we would be with Christians all over the place. Why don’t we do that? Because it’s hard work and, but more importantly it’s not usually accepted. I have been to very few groups that were okay with us believing different ideologies about how to live and worship that were okay with me. Two in particular threw fits when I didn’t want to partake in a particular practice or asked questions as to why we were doing that particular practice. Some have mocked me on public forums (but didn’t have the courage to tell me they had a problem with me) and another time, when we first began the journey of joining churches, a woman actually said “why don’t you leave” because we didn’t believe a very small interpretation of the gospel that she did. I was okay with the difference and loved that group dearly, but she was not okay with the difference. So we left. We’ll never find others who agree with us completely or who will change their views to be friends with us in the church. I have a small group online who I love dearly from a church I no longer belong to and we pray for each other and encourage each other. It’s precious. But the fact is, the most accepting friends I meet are the ones I meet and connect with through homeschooling.
If the homeschooling friendships could be modeled after in church life, I think church would have better relationships. As I’ve said before, this blog is totally my opinion and expressed in love. I don’t expect to be right even half the time, it’s just what I’m thinking at this time. So if you are experiencing something different, great! I have just not found this type of connection anywhere else. I’ve noticed the deep connections at churches (all the churches I’ve belonged to) have the strong vocal Saints who connect because they lead together and the ones who follow them sticking close because they become like sons or daughters spiritually to the dominant ones. Not bad, just not a good place for a person who is neither a leader or a follower. I don’t fit in those groups. In homeschooling the playing field is even. Some of my friends aren’t even Christian, but they are respected and cared for in the same was as my devoutly religious homeschool friends are because we just want to support each other through this season of our lives.
I am very, very grateful for all of my friends, but today I am feeling especially grateful for my homeschooling friends. They have stood by me through each season of the last 6 years and don’t let go of my hand no matter where I live or what I’m writing about. And I won’t ever let go of theirs.
Have a wonderful day friends!