Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On my mind

This is a post that has been in draft form since October of last year, but many of the things I was mulling over are still on my brain, and since I've been lax about blogging, figured I could at least finish this post and see where it takes me.
I had watched the movie "Freedom Writers," and it deeply affected me, in the sense that I had lots of questions after I saw the movie, most particularly about the idea of social justice and my "obligation" to it as a Christian. Hilary Swank's character became quite dedicated to teaching in an inner-city, underprivileged school, mostly minority school, yet her own life fell to pieces as she sacrificed everything to make sure her students got the best chance at a real education. I admire that (really!), but what about her own husband? To whom did she owe a greater obligation? How does one juggle both giving to others and giving to your family? Is it one of those "seasons of life" things? (As in, right now while my kids are little and need much more attention, is it right and normal to not have a sense of outreach, but at the same time, if I'm not showing by example, how do I raise aware and compassionate kids myself?) I watch movies like this one, or more recently read books like George Barna's Revolution and I get this burning sensation that I want to do and be more. I come from a long line of service and volunteering, and in college it became a part of my identity. I am not really sure how my desire to give back fell by the wayside, but it's been easy to keep at bay with just having a family. While living with Meg, I heard over and over how you need to take care of your own backyard before worrying about others, and to a great extent, I think I believe that. But I don't want to permanently squelch my hope of service and eternally procrastinate or make excuses for not doing what I can. I think another factor that makes me over think things is the idea of barriers: race, class, gender, religion, etc. I tend to be afraid of unknowns and change, but I want to change.. be change (be the change you want to see; isn't that the Gandhi quote?). The other aspect of all of this that I've been considering lately is the idea of community. It pairs well with the above questions when you consider "Who is my brother?" and yet, it's more, too. Hunny and I have had several conversations regarding who our community is. Do we look for it in a traditional "brick and mortar" church, where we do not feel we fit, or do we find a small house or "organic" church where we might fit in just fine but with whom we may not agree with the theology? Do we just hang out with friends (that are as of yet unmet), or do we go create them (er, go out and get them... however you say it!)?
So, basically, I'd love to hear any one's thoughts on these issues, and I'm also just getting it down on virtual paper so that I can clear my head for a little while!


Knittingloca said...

Hi! I think that with the little ones at home, that it is OK to focus your time and energy on them and R. You can still involve them and expose them to outreach/missional living by doing things they can come along for - maybe dropping food off at a food bank or delivering a meal to a name it, you'll know what they can do.

As for community, Amy (How'd I End Up Here) blogged about that last week. I personally find community through several avenues, and they don't necessarily over-lap. Find out if there is a local Natural-living minded group of folks...I have great community with the gals that particiapte in that, although most of the homeschool and I don't. I have found comm. through the girls' school bc I voluntter there, trough my daughter's friends Moms, Church, and within that with people that are more progressive/missional minded, and through the soup kitchen. Oh, and not to forget my loval Knitting group -I suppose you could google (or check Ravelry) to see if there are any that meet in your area - you know you'll make instant friends there!
And online...great sense pf communit there, - look! I found YOU online! : )

I know that sounds like a lot of pots to stick my spoon in, but it keeps me well connected both in physical and spiritual community. It has a lot to do with just sticking yourself out there. In fact, when I was new to the community I live in, La Leche League is where I got my start. I met a friend who got me into church, and I also made other connections that I still have. Before that I was dreadfully lonely and wondering what to do and how to do it.

Hope that gives you something of what you were looking for...I sorta went off on a tangent there! HA!

Love ya, Sis!

Enlightened! said...

I am very proud of the woman that you are becoming and your heart for people and action has always been an encouragement to my soul. I will pray and strive with all that I have to help you and our family find the community and fellowship we all long for.

I love you!


p.s. I am blogging again :P