Monday, January 09, 2006

Society's Boxes

It's funny how society seems to have boxes which everyone fits into, and if you don't fit into those particular boxes, you're considered to be out of the norm! Along with those boxes come certain expectations and rules expected of the people in those boxes. I've never tended to "fit" into my expected box...I don't believe in people having a certain box...I like to live outside the box when I can. As I've said before, being a follower of Christ, wife and a mother are three of my greatest blessings, but a lot of times, society's view of being a wife and a mother seem to overshadow the important fact of me being a follower of Christ.

I got married in my early 20's and we began our family pretty soon afterwards. So I guess you could say I'm a young mom of three...some would say I just don't want to grow up and be completely in my roles, but that's definitely not the case! I don't think I do my husband or my kids any justice by giving up every part of myself...the things which make me who I am...my hobbies, passions for life and ministry, my dreams and aspirations for life, etc. Last year for my birthday, my husband bought me a guitar...I've wanted one for a while, but never looked at them, because I always make sure my family's need are taken care of before my own...that's what you do when you're a wife and a mom! I grew up playing piano and trumpet...being in band allowed me the chance to experiment with my friend's instruments, so I've tried everything over the sun...my sister played the french horn, so we traded and taught each other to play...I began singing on a worship team as a teen and sometimes played drums in the band. I love to write poetry and sometimes take that a step further and attempt to write songs...if I'm in a real adventurous mood, I'll write music for them as well. So, I've always wanted to learn another instrument and both my husband and I thought a guitar would be a good thing, as I could have it with me when writing music for my songs...it's a little more portable than the piano! The reactions I got about my birthday gift were funny...why on earth would I ask for a guitar? I apparently should have asked for something a little more practical, less frivolous and more in line with what a person in my roles of life should ask for!

I guess you could say that I don't like to conform to society's boxes...I like to say that I enjoy living outside the boxes of life! Earlier this fall, I was struggling with a real battle...God was prompting me to go outside my box, but I'd kind of backed down and began to live in my expected box...so I kept telling God there was no way I could say yes to what he was asking...my excuses were that I was a wife, a mom (a new homeschooling mom at that) and that made me a wrong candidate for what he wanted. Then one of my pastors...our church is blessed with three truly gifted and God-led pastors...preached on Rahab and the faith of a prostitute. His sermon spoke mountains to me about the fact that God doesn't conform to boxes...a paraphrase of one of his quotes said, "God laughs at us when we think that we know everything and have everyone in boxes...he can come and take the boxes away!" That got me thinking and then he quoted, "Unexpected blessings through unexpected breaks are how God makes jokes!" That sermon increased God's prompting...he was prompting me to go missional, to go abroad to the mission field on a short-term basis. After a lot of prayer and contemplation, I finally said if you want me to go, I will. So now my husband and I are crossing those bridges of figuring out how to make this happen...we'll be going together when it happens, which is really outside of the box, but very exciting!

My family sees me for who I truly am...I'm their wife and mom...and I do those jobs the way my family needs them done. I just add a little spice to them, by being a woman who strives to carve out time with God and also a bit of time for me, tries to examplify to my kids the importance of serving God and those around you (in my mind, this is the most important thing my kids can learn from my husband and I...and take into their lives), who blogs on the sidelines, loves music, writing and drawing and so much more...who might live outside of society's box, but will always be there for them no matter what and at a moment's notice. I'm going to end with one of the scripture passages which was quoted in that fall sermon...it made me think about the fact I sometimes use society's boxes as an excuse not to serve God the way he wants, and that's not a good practice for me to get into! Thanks again to Bible gateway...they save me a bit of typing!

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (New International Version)
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

4 comments:

curious servant said...

I have a friend who introduces me as a guy who has trouble FINDING the box.

Cinder said...

I don't think it's bad thing that we can't FIND the box...I see the box a lot of times, but sometimes I choose to step outside the box, sometimes God prompts me to step outside the box.

I've met a lot of really great people by not conforming to any boxes and to just being me to everyone around me!

I am enjoying reading your blog...thanks for coming to read mine!

jollybeggar said...

one of the greatest challenges to my social world was when i stepped into pastoral ministry. it even affected the relationships i shared with people whom i had done 'lay-ministry' with for more than a decade.

you wanna bring silence to a room? just let a friend introduce you as a guy who is 'a pastor.'

guaranteed to form the ice at parties!

Cinder said...

JB, I never really thought of things in that way...that would have been extremely difficult and probably hard, especially when it starts affecting relationships which are more than a decade old.

For me and my family situation, it was hard enough to say I was a Christian...that brought ice to anything...even though I might show up to just be there, they either bring up my less than spotless past to try and drag me through the mud and down guilt-trip lane once again or they have a whole vast of catchy analogies for my faith and new way of living. When I got my job a couple of years ago and told people I was the "church secretary" or how the pastor wanted me referred as "Pastor's Admin. Assistant", did I ever bring the ice then...if I wasn't bringing the ice, I was bringing the comments about how I ever got that job...did they do a background check and still hire me or not?

Keep on trucking for Christ...I'm sure despite the relationship challenges, that he has brought a new vast of opportunity in making new ones, despite how hard this might be!