You might never guess by looking at me that I am a rebel at heart. I appear to be a plain wife and Mom who is plodding through life doing my best to get done what needs to get done. In reality, I am a rebel. You see, I am rebelling against many of the messages put forth by the world and the culture around me. The messages often begin with “They say”. Let us examine a few of them.
“They” say that to be successful and happy, I must have a big, beautiful house that looks perfect at all times. I am rebelling. I have a big house, but it is definitely not beautiful. It needs so much work, I do not even know where to begin. “Mike Holmes” or “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” would most likely knock it down and start over. Nor is my house is perfect at all times. In fact, it is never perfect. I might get one room clean, but never in the history of my children has my house EVER been completely clean all at the same time.
“They” say that to be successful and happy, I must drive a beautiful car that is up-to-date and without blemish. Ha! I am rebelling. I have an 11-year-old car with several scratches and dings on the outside. It has melted crayons and grape juice stains on the inside, along with various toys, crumbs and trash in all its nooks and crannies. My husband drives a 15-year-old pickup with rusting spots and no hubcaps. It is beat up and wearing out, but it still runs. Our vehicles are definitely not beautiful. But, we have no car payment.
“They” say that to be successful and happy, I must wear the current fashions, be skinny and tall and have perfect hair and makeup at all times. I am rebelling. I never wear the current fashions. I often find them restricting or embarrassing. Instead, I wear modest, comfortable clothing obtained at garage sales, thrift stores and Clothing Giveaway. I like my clothing to fit well and not draw attention to me. I am no longer as skinny as I once was before I had children. I am not tall and can do nothing about it. I never have perfect hair and I wear makeup once a year (on average).
“They” say that to be beautiful, I have to flaunt what I have. I am rebelling. I have what I have and it is enough for me. I refuse to flaunt what I have (or don’t have). That kind of information is best kept a secret. “They” say that to be beautiful, I have to have clean shaven legs and other unmentionable areas, plus two distinct, perfectly shaped eyebrows. I am rebelling. I rarely shave my legs, and often let things get a lot longer than some would appreciate. I never shave those unmentionable areas and I never wax my eyebrows. If it looks like I have a “unibrow” that is a bit overgrown, it is because that is the way I was made.
“They” say that to be a successful parent, my children must be the smartest and most talented children on the planet. They must excel at sports AND music AND school all the time. In fact, “they” say I need to brag about my amazing children on a bumper sticker on my perfect vehicle. I am rebelling. I do not have the smartest, most talented children on the planet, nor do I wish to. They do not excel at sports or music or academics. They are doing their best to learn what is important and enjoy various activities, but they are not superstars. They are sweet and funny and loving. They love one another and Jesus. I have no bragging bumper sticker on my imperfect vehicle.
“They” say I must send my children to public school where they can be educated properly. “They” say there is no way a simple Mom without a degree in education can sufficiently educate her children at home, much less WANT to do so. I am rebelling. I am teaching my children at home. I do my best to teach my children the academic and life skills necessary to survive. I am doing so without the benefit of a degree in education. My children are learning and growing.
“They” say that “thinking” people would never believe in God. I am rebelling. I believe there is a God. I believe He loves me and wants what is best for me (according to His plans, not mine). I see his handiwork and love for His creation everyday and I marvel at his creativity and love. I think about how the world would be if there were no God, no love and no “rules” as He set them forth…and I shudder. I see God in the details and I wonder how people can NOT see him.
“They” say that when the going gets tough in marriage, as it does in all marriages, that it is perfectly acceptable, in fact almost assumed, that I would/could/should divorce my husband. I am rebelling. I do not have a perfect husband. I find myself frustrated with him sometimes, but I have to remind myself that he has to put up with me, too. I am not perfect and he is often frustrated with me. Even though our marriage is not perfect and things get really tough sometimes, I will not divorce him. I promised both him and God that we would be together until death parted us. I am working hard to honor that promise.
“They” say that to be successful and happy, I must be a high-level somebody in some area. I must make massive amounts of money and be so important that the world would fall apart if I was not in that specific position or doing that specific job. I am rebelling. I am not a high-level anybody in any area. I make no money. And, only the world of my husband and children might fall apart if I did not do my job.
Want to join the rebellion? Evaluate the choices you make and the reasoning behind them. Are you listening to the right messengers? Is it really worth all the effort to live up to the demands of the world? Sounds like a lot of work to me.
[By the way, just because I am choosing to rebel in some area does not insinuate any condemnation of you or your choices. I just wanted to share a little of my rebellion.]