Monday, November 1, 2010

Things I Will *Try* Never To Do Again List

(a pictureless post. My camera has sustained a hopefully-non-life-threatening injury)

After reading a friend's Things I Will Never Do Again List, I've decided to make my own. Although, I'm going to add the disclaimer that these are things I'm *trying* to never do again. If I screw up once or twice, I don't want to feel like a total failure...problem of a black and white thinker. I need my own backdoor system, to carry on after mistakes.

Okay, here goes.

I will try never again to...

(I'm going to copy this one, verbatim)
1) Feel spiritual guilt about taking anti-depressants. I go through this every couple of years. I am doing great on my anti-depressants, then someone comes out of the woodwork and starts pressuring me to get off of them. Starts telling me that I am just not praying enough. Or reading my Bible enough. Or allowing God to heal me. At first I blow them off. But then it starts to eat at me and I start to question. I wean off of the meds and I do fine at first. But slowly but surely, the depression creeps back. I wrestle and wrestle with going back on the meds. I finally relent. Bingo. Find myself praising God for the gift of anti-depressants and His amazing mercy. I think I will just skip that cycle from now on.

Thank you, Ellen. I couldn't agree more, and didn't want to change a single word that you wrote. I'm probably a lifer for anti-anxiety meds and, most of the time, I'm fine with that. Until a person (usually a fellow Christian woman) intimates that I'm simply not relying on God enough. Ironically, in the past the women who have suggested this would probably greatly benefit from anti-depressants themselves. Can we just accept that medication in this form is as beneficial and necessary as meds for other conditions, like diabetes and chromosomal disorders, and so on? Thank God for the right medicine to help us treat the problems of a fallen world.

2) Feel the necessity to explain my reasons for homeschooling. I don't expect others to defend the choices that they make in the best interest of their family, so why should I feel the need to explain? You do what you believe is best, and I'll do what I believe is best. If your kid has a rough day at school, I won't be the first in line to suggest you yank him out. And when I have a rough day homeschooling or my kid misbehaves, I won't listen to your suggestions of public school & defend my decisions. I don't need to explain (unless you are truly an information-seeker, or just curious, or need encouragement.) We homeschool because it works great for us and we love it. 'Nuff said.

Most people get this, but a few probably never will. (deep sigh and head shaking)

3) Put my safety (or any member of my family's safety) in danger, due to social pressure. This was also on Ellen's list, but I'm thinking specifically of what I allow my children to do. No, we do not allow spending the night with friends. Probably never will. Yes, I have my reasons. No, I don't care if every other 5th grader has sleepovers. No, I don't think that's wrong, it's just wrong for us.

I also do not allow my kids (not any of them) to ride their bikes out of my sight. Or go in the home of someone who I don't know well. No, I won't let my little boys go in a public restroom alone. Yes, that's just how we do it, because it's what's best for us. To each his own.

4) Fit into the jeans that I bought before LittleLad was born. Something about that fourth kid changed my hips. Size 2s and 4s are probably out of the question for me forever now. So be it. The clothes can go to a new home. People, I run around all day chasing little folks and I need my calories to sustain the energy! I eat healthy, but can't/won't starve myself to fit into the itty bitty jeans; I can live in a 6. Besides, I'm thinking it's a bone issue anyway. Whateva'. I got sick of trying to slim down, and instead bought more lounge pants and looser jeans.

5) Leave my cell phone outside. Okay, this is just a personal goal, after my long and unfortunate track record with water-damaged phones. I need to be more careful, more responsible, and just plain luckier!! From now on my phone will go straight from hand to charger to purse to charger... and not on the trampoline (left overnight during a storm) or in puddles, pools, or toilets any longer!

That's all for now.

Bottom line is that I'm *trying* this thing of being true to who God made me and wants me to be, regardless of what anyone else thinks. My family fits together like a beautiful puzzle...yet we sometimes try to cram the pieces in where they don't belong. Or, worse, we grab a random puzzle piece from who-knows-where and try to make that fit into this masterpiece.

That's just not going to work.

Now it's time to get off this computer and get down to business. The kids are all snuggled in bed and, although there are dishes in my sink and laundry on my couch, I'm going to paint.

But first... do you have anything you will never do again?


Up2Late said...

I like it! Thanks for sharing! I have some questions - from a newer mom to a slightly more seasoned mom ... and a couple comments.

About 1 (the anti-depressants)) I love it! Never feel guilty about doing what works for you. If God wants you to change HE'LL tell you ... and he won't use guilt and negative pressure to do it :-)

About 2) You never should! You are - and I've never said this to you, but I should ... - what I would aspire to if I ever felt I could homeschool. You work soooo hard at it. You care sooo much for your children. You stay up late putting together things for their school, you work hard with them, and you are disciplined enough to do it. You are seriously the poster-mom for homeschooling. If I had any inkling of your talents, I might be able to pull it off ... really. i know you can't see what I see, but you really are the most amazing woman - I see how incredibly much you CARE for your kids, and sometimes question: do I even care for my kids as much? I see the sacrifices ... I could go on. NEVER ever EVER feel you have to defend YOUR homeschooling. You are perfect at it (even when you fail). :-)

About 3) I struggle with this. My 5 yr old is already begging for sleepovers. They scare the bajuniors out of me! I'm trying to come up with compromises - someone mentioned an everything-but-the-sleepover sleepover ... like pjs, movie, hot cocoa, make-up, and then everyone goes home and sleeps at their own homes. But that will only last me the next few years. Do you allow your daughter's friends to sleep over at your house, or do you just cut off all sleepovers? I'm so lost on this one ... I just don't trust people! What do you think?

About 4) You have the hottest body around, you Mom-of-4! If a 6 is what you are now, then you are beautiful at 6. I wouldn't lie about that, and wouldn't say it if it weren't true. So take it ;-)

Love ya - thanks for sharing your heart and your many creative talents with the world here. I enjoy stalking your page ;-)


Creative Endings with Brook said...

Wendy, these are great! I love it. So inspiring to think and maybe put up my own things. I love the "anti-depressant" one. I actually had a great friend tell me (when I got prescribed them) "Sweetie, don't be sad, upset or feel bad for taking something your DOCTOR has given you. He see's the need and GOD understands. This doesn't mean you aren't relying on him, unless you DON'T CONTINUE TO RELY ON HIM"!! I think that made me feel 100 x's better. They are for some people, and aren't for others. I don't think ANYONE should be ashamed!
Loved catching up on your blog my friend. I really miss you. Wish we were able to go for coffee, let the kids play together and just visit as Christian Sisters again. Thank you for helping me with my homeschooling things and I wanted to tell you the advise you gave me has worked GREAT!!!

love yas!

Living Creatively said...

Aw, Michele, you made my day!
I don't struggle with the anti-anxiety meds like I used to. I believe I'll be on them forever, unless GOD decides otherwise.

With school it's trickier. I second-guess myself sometimes, and feel discouraged when the kids don't ~get it~. I know we all have those days, but they're even harder when someone (stepMIL) immediately suggests public school.

As far as sleepovers-- I ban them all. No one here* and none of my kids spend the night anywhere else. Honestly, I just allowed them to start spending the night with grandparents about a year ago. Everything-but-the-sleep sounds like a great idea.:)
My kids do go to "sleepovers" and I just pick them up at bedtime.
Needless to say, I had too many incidents at "good homes" when I was younger, and I will NOT risk that.
4) Thank you. I'll take it.:) Every woman overanalyzes her own body, I think. I'm no different.

Living Creatively said...

* we have had a few kids spend the night here, when they needed to. One of my best friends had a baby and her husband was out of the country. We kept her kids.
We also allow my little cousins to spend the night with us occasionally.

Brook, thank you! I agree. I miss you, too! Let me know when you come back for a visit. :)

Leah said...

The anti-depressant thing is a biggie, isn't it? Although I haven't needed them, someone very dear to me does. She desperately needs something to help her cope with her serious anxiety issues, but is one of those people who thinks those kind of meds are wrong. Makes me want to SCREAM!

Living Creatively said...

Leah, yeah, it seems to be the touchiest topic, and the one that's the hardest to own up to. This is the first time, I think, that I've ever publicly announced I'm on meds.
I went the first few years of my marriage without meds, even after being diagnosed with PTSD. My marriage and all other relationships suffered. On meds, I feel "normal."
First of all, doctors, hospitals, and medication have all been cast in a bad light in recent years. Why? I know this is a whole new post, but here goes my quick rundown: I had an ectopic in 2000, as you know, and the doctor and emergency surgery saved my life. Praise God for medical intervention! When Mimi had pancreatic cancer, whipple surgery prolonged her life by two years. Thank God for the amazing team of doctors! My Papaw has severe asthma and medication has helped him live a normal life. Thank God for the medicines available!
God provides doctors and medication for our benefit. I wouldn't refuse antibiotics, if I needed them, and I won't refuse anti-anxiety meds either.
It makes me want to scream, too, girl, when I see friends suffering, and their families also suffering because of it, yet they simply won't accept help. We need to break down the social stigmas attached to taking these medications.
Thanks, friends, for being such a great support!

Leah said...