Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finding balance & contentment


oh, great....

I'm struggling to understand where the pendulum is swinging now.

I've been reading some more "liberal" Christian blogs lately. Some of them I agree with, some decidedly NOT. Some of my basic thoughts after a few days of sporadic reading (nothing scientific here, obviously):

It seems there are two basic "camps":
#1. the ultra-conservative, rule-defined, works-focused, highly-organized, run-on-a-schedule, complementarian, no-room-for-any-other-view type.
#2. the more liberal, Grace-focused, free-spirit, *intellectual*, gentle-mothering, working-mom, egalitarian, let's-all-live-our-own-lives type.

OF COURSE these are the extremes. There are numerous points in between these two extremes. I think I'm struggling to find a balance somewhere in all that. And I'm not alone.

Many of the blogs I have visited recently seem to want to dissassociate themselves from any particular "group", organization, ministry, websites, they don't even want to go to church on Sundays. While I'm not willing to give up my corporate worship, I can appreciate not wanting to build up walls around my faith, my beliefs - perhaps even trying to put God in a neat little box.

Yet I also don't want to fall the other direction: you know, the what-ever-works-for-your-family kind of thinking. There *is* ultimate TRUTH ~ it just may look different in each family (and probably will). I don't ever want to be all wishy-washy and unwilling to really stand up for Christ and my beliefs.

The other thing I see as I visit these blogs is a whole lot of "US vs. THEM". Now I usually visit conservative sites. Many of society's evils are blamed on feminism (ok, yes, I happen to agree to a large extent - sue me), so I guess I'm used to it. Yet in the more liberal sites I've been to, I was shocked to hear how they discussed "those fundies" (Fundamentalists). Now, I'm not saying I agree with the ultra-conservative, uber-Fundies myself. Yet as long as these people are following what they believe Christ has called them to, they are happy, they are choosing of their own free will, SO BE IT! If ladies want to wear a headcovering and be submissive to their husbands (much more quiet and sweet than many of us) - SO BE IT! Let 'em be!

If the more "grace-based" gals hate all those fundie rules, they are not required to hold those beliefs. Even if they read a site where a women holds the belief that a woman who wears pants is sinning - SO BE IT! If you wear pants, have you asked the Lord what HE wants you to do? Have you talked to your husband? Have you even given this subject any thought? If so, do you feel as though you are sinning? Ok, well, then, who cares what this woman believes? I respect those women who have such strong convictions, even if I don't happen to agree. At least they are trying to apply their Christianity to all aspects of their life. Better then the average, American Christian who simply thinks about Christ on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings and maybe prayers before meals and bedtime.

Yikes, ranting again....sorry....

Back on topic ~ can't we disagree without all this hate? That sounds so trite...but true. Yes, on some level I want the best friend who is really conservative, homeschools, wears mostly dresses, has a complementarian view (in church and the home) - yet isn't all prudish and serious and weird. Ahhh..... a girl can dream, huh? Yet God has placed DIFFERENT ladies in my life. More conservative, less conservative, even radically-liberal (*shudders*). I'm learning how to live with 'em, yet still hold my strong convictions. Don't want to let all that slide either...

So in the aforementioned pendulum, everyone seems to be seeking balance. Working moms want the world to know how beautiful their homes are, nutritious their meals are, how happy their children are. Ultra-conservative moms want the world to know they are not denim-clad, bun-wearing doormats. No one wants to be viewed as the unapproachable extreme.

What does it all mean ~ I have no idea. Should our blogrolls be comprised entirely of blogs EXACTLY like our own - same beliefs, thinking, lifestyles? Is that really what Christ wants UNITY to look like? Yet are we supposed to abandon are beliefs, our convictions?

Can I share that we really believe homeschooling is best ~ when you honestly believe private school is a terrific option? Or does that mean we judge each other secretly? If I wear skirts and you wear pants, can we be friends? At all??

I want to be confident, content and joyful. You don't have to agree with me. I'm not looking for other's approval. I used to - not anymore. I'm striving to live for Christ, so really, I should be worried about what HE thinks. If my relationship with HIM is strong, I want to relax, find that balance and love my life & others.

Is that so hard to ask??
What do you think?? Are you confident, content and joyful??


Theresa said...

Confident? Content? Joyful? sometimes!! LOL! I am certain I'm right where God wants me, my convictions are strong ... but my confidence/contentment/joyful pendulums swing wildly.

My Life With Boys said...

I agree with you completely on this! I just don't know how to put into words quite like you. Thanks for the post! =)

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts, Lori.

mama said...

Yes I am. and I am none of those camps.
Yup I too definately see the two camps in blogland.

Anonymous said...

Just read your post. Good stuff Lori. Can women with some different views get along....pants vs. skirts, homeschool vs. private... I think so. Look at us! I'm a pants wearing trumpet player with a kid in private school! I think that as long as we have the main goal of Christ being in the center of our home, we can be content and joyful in what the Lord has for us and our families lives. Okay, see you later.


LisaM said...

Well put! Thanks for posting this. :) Just googled by...

Janel said...

I agree.

I stink at debate, so I've always tried to avoid the "my way is the right way" type discussions. Actually, I tend to not say anything during discussion like that because most of the "passion" behind the "persuasion" (aka if you don't believe like me I'm going to make your life miserable) is spiritual immaturity. (At least what I've seen.)

I've learned that nobody really cares what I think until they see the way I live. I live life and keep my mouth shut until asked. Doing that has opened up a lot of doors. (Imagine that!) I try to blog my thoughts, and not in a judgemental way, because there are those who have a different perspective on life. God isn't done with any of us.

The internet is completely different from real life. I have a strong love/hate relationship with it. Honestly, I only visit blogs that inspire me to walk closer to Jesus. I don't have the time nor the desire to debate or read others' debates. Maybe in a different season of life, but not now. So yes, I tend to only keep blogs that speak to me and my perspective in my RSS reader.

I can soapbox too. lol You're not alone Lori! {{hugs}}