I love how God reminds us that we don't know as much as we think.
Over and over again :)
I am currently "facilitating" a ladies bible study on parenting. That is not the same as teaching - I am supposed to just keep it organized; ask questions, encourage others to speak, make sure we end at the proper time each week.
I called to volunteer with PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) for this semester less then two weeks before it was supposed to begin. I had been involved over the last several semesters, (making up for the lost time of the first 13 years of military life having never even heard of it) but hadn't been asked to facilitate again over Christmas break so assumed it was time for me to do something else.
Then I realized that they may not have asked me because I missed the last 6 weeks of the fall semester, in GA for family stuff, and they might think I was still out of town. So I called, just to check, and the adorably cheerful and enthusiastic coordinator bubbled over with passion talking about the classes they had chosen for this upcoming semester and which ones they still needed facilitators for... and I was hooked, of course.
I don't think I would normally volunteer to lead a group on parenting. I am still in the middle of it.
On the flip side of that, I have been practicing for 14 years now, and I am still in the middle of it. I have been part of some amazing classes taught by women who have completed a phase in their life and are passing along the wisdom they have gained. However, sometimes the wisdom you need passed on is still being learned.
So, here I am, passing on what I am still in the middle of learning.
Because I am very much still learning.
And we will come back to that....
I know most of you are FB people. I link this blog to FB, and that is where most people read it, and comment on it. With that in mind, most of you know that FB and I are often not friends. I am a lover, not a fighter. I seek joy, and desire to pass it along. I want to find the good in every situation.
That is sometimes hard to do in a digital world, where everyone feels free to vent their frustrations loudly, and passionately. The reality of those passions, the pain they can and DO cause, is easily missed. Because digital words just don't seem as real as spoken ones, and things that I think people I call friend would never speak loudly and forcefully in person are typed in BOLD letters with multiple exclamation points.
My ability to find the good, to seek the joy, to pass along the love.... well sometimes it just gets overwhelmed.
Simple truth: I got my feelings hurt.
A generalization was made. People were lumped together in a group. I felt accused of being hateful, and uncaring, and mean, simply because of one choice.
And I got angry.
Which is rare, and complicated, and confusing. I don't know what to do with anger.
Then I got defensive.
I was listing things in my head to prove I was a good person.
Not just a good person, a better person then the person who had made the comment.
A loving person.
A giving person.
A Godly person.
I was thinking of ways to type up how good I was. To show that I was worthy of love. Those words just ran around in my head, lists of my qualities, for days.
My identity was threatened.
Then God reminded of me of a simple truth.
I love how He does that, right when we need it.
Canaan and Zion were playing video games, like every afternoon. I was washing dishes and prepping for dinner like every afternoon. My worship music was playing on my iPad and life was outwardly calm.
Then suddenly, life was not calm. Zion was storming off and telling his brother to "BE QUIET" and Canaan was practically yelling the "SHUSH" sound, and listening to each other was not a desired goal. Listening was replaced completely with expressing their own opinions.
Both of their own opinions were healthy, and worth listening to. However, if both of them wanted only to speak, and not to listen, then neither one was going to be heard.
I launched into the automatic mom speech about taking turns, and listening to those around you, and sometimes putting your own opinions aside for a few moments. Then I stopped, in the middle of my speech, looked Canaan in the eyes and said, "You never get to stop learning this lesson, and it never becomes easy". Because I realized that truly, that is what I was doing. Listing my own opinions and arguments in my head.
They were worthy arguments, with some points that I am absolutely convinced of.
However, my own worthy arguments can't be heard if I am speaking at the same time as someone else. Their own worthy arguments can't be heard either.
All we are doing is both speaking at the same time, yet hearing nothing and learning nothing.
Obviously, the internet allows both to speak at the same time.
But, if neither of us, if none of us, take the time to listen to the words others are speaking, then absolutely nothing will be accomplished.
We all get to vent our feelings and express our passions. Facebook is wonderful for that.
But are we actually learning anything? Are we actually even trying?
By now, we all know that there are quite a few different opinions. Quite a few different ways of expressing them, too. There are, absolutely, always, going to be people who disagree with us. (Sometimes, just because they want to)
My feelings are still hurt. I am pretty sure they will get hurt again.
I still have my own opinions. Pretty sure people disagree with me.
But, I get to make my own choices, to go with those opinions.
That is my choice.
I am trying.
And those beautiful children that God gave me will continue teaching me what I need to know while I try to teach them the same. One day at a time.