Ugh! Why didn’t I get anything done today? Oh yeah, I was debating abortion on the internet.
I have long dealt with guilt over, A. wasting time on-line when I should be doing house-wifey tasks, and B. not having ‘enough God’ in my daily life. I recently came to the realization that I need to be easier on myself about both, via the following conversation (with myself) after spending more than an hour discussing this abortion post on Facebook.
Me: I cannot believe it is already 10:30 and I haven’t done any sewing or gotten started on the filing I have been planning to do for a week. Facebook debates are such a black hole when it comes to wasting time. I have got to quit getting myself into those!
Me: Wait a minute! Are you telling me it is a ‘waste of time’ to attempt to change the minds of those who believe abortion is okay? Unborn babies aren’t worth your time?
Me: Hmmm. Of course, they are! If I change the mind of just one person throughout my whole life and simply get more people to understand the pro-life position, it is worth it to me. And to God, I think.
Me: Maybe this is God’s work for you.
Me: Yeah, the fluffy, spiritual stuff, no matter how much I try, isn’t really my thing. Maybe this is my thing!
Me: So maybe it is actually a GOOD use of your time, and you need to quit feeling so guilty about it.
(And yes, I switch pronouns while having discussions with myself. I just now realized it while writing this. It’s bizarre.)
If you are rolling your eyes thinking I have simply come up with an asinine justification for doing what I want and feeling good about it, rather than what I should be doing, let me explain further.
A good Christian mom gets up before her children for daily devotionals and reads scripture at the breakfast table, right? I, on the other hand, curse at the clock under my breath and yell at my kids too much. I do not comprehend how those sweet, lovely ladies get their children to move. Someday when I die; it best be after 8 am because I have concerns about my status as a Christian before that time each morning. Then I epicly fail at the epitome of good Christian mothering again at dinner time, when we should be joining hands in prayer, but instead, I act more like a zookeeper trying to get all the animals fed. However, in our zoo, all the various species are together in one cage which complicates things. And there’s homework; those lucky zookeepers don’t have to worry about getting a sloth to do homework while be attacked by a monkey like I do.
All of this causes guilt about not having ‘enough God’ in my daily life, but that conversation with myself helped me realize He is in it for much more than I give myself credit. It just isn’t in the typical way that society views ‘Christian living.’ It is more cerebral, rather than spiritual. I have a thinking analytical personality, so I approach my faith in the same way. I think, I discuss, I learn, and I teach.
Right in the middle of writing this piece, the saint I taught about in religious education class just so happened to be Saint Thomas Aquinas. (Luckily, I do have enough spirituality to appreciate this ‘Wow, how awesomely fateful was that?’ moment.) Saint Thomas Aquinas' journey to sainthood was vastly different from the unceasing prayer and unwavering faith of most saints. He was a groundbreaking theologian, a scholar, and writer. Hopefully, this means that the 'good Christian mother' title doesn't have to fit in a neat little box, either.
While our family may not pray together every day as we should, we frequently discuss how to handle situations in our kids’ daily lives in a Christian-like manner. I raise them to be Christians in that way. I also profess my faith to others through persuasive arguments. To me, reading that someone ‘has never thought about it like that before’ is eye candy. While others, are here to open hearts, I like to think I am here to open minds.
I will surely still get that guilt twinge the next time my fellow mommy-groupers are discussing their new favorite devotional. Then I will kick it aside and remember this: God made us different. Why would we all have the same script to follow when it comes to our personal expression of faith?
I don’t know. I’m not a theologian, but it’s just a thought to mull over.
I am the mother of seven children ranging from teens to a toddler, living out in the middle of nowhere, USA. I aim to hone the craft of giving advice without pretending to have this whole mom thing figured out. I am Christian, but not the really nice kind that is good at it. I am also conservative, but I promise not to be in your face with political agendas very often. I like to infuse humor into my writing, so don't freak out if you are offended or appalled by what you read here. There is a very fine line between serious advice and sarcastic hyperbole.