When I was in the fourth grade I started a petition to get my gym teacher fired. My mission? To rid Stonegate Elementary student life from the stench of unequal treatment. Ahem.
It took me 10 years to admit this embarrassing fact to my husband and less than 24 hours later I’m telling you. Obviously I had a few things to learn about tact and consideration toward the feelings of others, but looking back it is one of the first times one of my most dominant traits surfaced.
I am a revolutionary.
A traditional, cooking, cleaning, take care of my man (and honor him, too), stay at home with the kids, churchgoing, law-abiding revolutionary.
Being the “good kid” that I was, I was totally humiliated when I was called down to the principal’s office and handed my little hand-scrawled manifesto. My first revolutionary act was a bust and I was ashamed. I decided not to be a revolutionary anymore. I crossed it off my list of possibilities.
But deep down, it’s who I am.
It’s almost impossible to overestimate the value of knowing what gifts and talents we have to give to the world. Through my teens and most of my twenties I searched for meaning and purpose and found nothing. Looking back, I realized I had crossed some of the most important roles off my list too early in the game. Roles like mother and homemaker. This year I am adding revolutionary back on my list, too.
Due to some changes in our circumstances, Daniel, Gigi and I are reassessing things. We’re keeping our vision but scaling down our plans. We’re defining what’s essential, and for me it is this:
Our home must be a place people can gather.
If our children do not learn “love thy neighbor” from us we have failed. For us, the “net” that typically draws people is healthy living. We want to host a time each week where friends gather and learn a new skill or recipe (like making rye bread, fermenting your own sauerkraut, time-saving tips, or making broth). We also want to host mini-gardening classes and outdoor events. We plan to be like normal folks and do movie nights and stuff, too ; – )
I have often wondered if I have missed my window. Now that I am a parent I want to change the world. Ironically, because I am a parent I have no free time. How can I change the world when I consider five minutes alone in the bathroom a break? I look at that list of things to become/things to do and it seems impossible.
What to Do… How to Live
Maybe it would be better to focus on raising my children to be world-changers. Maybe I should invest in them and then give them to the world as my contribution. In a sense, I think this is what I’m doing. But on the other hand, what better way to instill them with a sense of purpose than to have one of my own? Something I can share with them, invite them to care about when they are young before they learn to be “cool” or “bored” with those kinds of things. How better to help them to catch a vision for their lives than to live it with them?
So here is my resolve: Through my homemaking, mothering, wifely ways I am going to change my community a little at a time. It may not look like much is happening, but it will.
“Never believe that a few dedicated people cannot change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that does.”
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