Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The cloak of anonymity

So, folks, have you been keeping up with the latest comments on my posts? You may be wondering why I'd let anonymous comments like these pass through. My blog is not "public", since we've always had it set where only the people we gave the address to could view it intentionally. People can also find me from other friends' blogs, but they can't just stumble on my site by accident.

Which makes me wonder...why be anonymous? I assume I don't know you, "anonymous" (or if I do, then you don't really know me.) So if you're a stranger who came across my blog from another like-minded woman's site, you must be truly looking for some sort of validation of your worldview. Why else would you take the time to surf the blogs of those you so vehemently oppose?

Anonymous, I know you mentioned (in a comment I filtered)that you were not going to be reading here anymore, which may be true. Nevertheless, it's my blog. So I get the fun of having the last word! There are some things you said that just beg for a response. I'm taking the bait.

First, you suggested that children should be taught to help themselves so they can function in the world. I wholeheartedly agree! Most homeschoolers are excellent about passing on life skills to their children, not merely in the isolated context of a classroom of peers, but in...you guessed it...the REAL world! They learn to help not only themselves, as the individualistic government school system can foster, but to assist their parents, siblings, neighbors, church community, and strangers. Age-appropriate life skills are practiced on a daily basis as chores are done, errands are run, household/financial duties are completed, acts of service are extended, and interaction with various age groups is lived out.

My three and a half year old puts away dishes, folds laundry, helps with food preparation, dresses herself, makes her bed, sweeps, vacuums, cleans up her messes, and assists me with the baby. Now on the other hand, you're completely right about my 11-month-old. He's a total slacker. He's lousy at scrubbing toilets, and I don't think the little moocher has taken out the trash a day in his life. I'd better crack that whip a bit harder.

Secondly, "Anonymous", you mentioned that my husband and I have placed these burdens upon ourselves, so I should quit whining. Hmmm. I could've sworn I called my children blessings, and not burdens, and after re-reading my post, I fail to see it as whining. (And I know whining! It's not allowed in this house, so if I came across as whiny, please tattle to my husband so I can receive proper discipline.) Yes, we've put ourselves in this position. My husband works hard, by the sweat of his brow, so that I can be free to stay at home raising our children. We don't drive fancy cars, we don't wear designer clothes, and we don't take extravagant vacations. Surprisingly to some, none of this "sacrificing" feels like a sacrifice. And it was all discussed, planned, and intentional. (As for having more children than the American average of 2.5, we know how that came about, too, and we're willing to trust in the Lord's provision for our growing family.) Ahem.

Moving right along, there's the subject of my circle of friends' "weird religion" that brainwashes our kids and keeps them from the "real" world. (By the way, our definition of what constitutes the 'real world' probably differs tremendously, but that's another subject.) I confess: it is a 'weird' religion, indeed, and has been considered such throughout history. We are Christians, followers of Christ, who was God in the flesh and now reigns, seated at the right hand of God. Because we know that all things center around Christ, our lives often look very different from those of the world around us. We love, encourage, and support others (such as our brothers and sisters in Christ) because the Word of God tells us that this is the second greatest commandment. (After loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.) You also may accuse many of us of sheltering our children. I have a shocking confession to make: we feed and clothe them, as well! (gasp)

You mentioned that we sound like women on the 'Ellen Show' and make you want to puke, and accuse us of being "women who have to glorify each other because no one else will". I disagree. We have no desire to bring glory to any person other than Christ, but often do so through the edification of others. And we are certainly not seeking the 'glory' that comes from the fame and fortune of the world.

Lastly, "Anonymous", I apparently gave you the impression that I feel sorry for myself. On the contrary, I consider myself blessed beyond measure, certainly beyond what I deserve, through the blessings that come from being in Christ. Not only is my eternal salvation secured through His blood, but my life here on earth is rich and full because I have a purpose and a hope. This certainly does not mean I will not have trials, such as those I shared a few days ago. I've been promised those, along with persecution, if I'm a faithful servant of Christ. But when I hear the bitterness, anger, and hatefulness in your comments, it only makes me sad for you. I'll pray that one day you might be drawn to love Christ, so that your life may be filled with the same love, joy, purpose, and encouraging circle of friends that come only through Him.


Tami said...

Amen Stephanie!!!!! I agree with you 100%! (and I will happily sign my name)

Laura said...

Amen and Amen!
How very aptly put.
I got to your blog through Life in a Shoe...I'm just a mommyblogger who is intrigued by the writings of other bloggers. Hope you don't mind me looking around.

michelle said...

Well said Stephanie. Such a good post.

Chelsea said...

Well said, my friend.
When I first started teaching, I made some sweeping changes to the high school yearbook. I got a phone call from a parent who spent 15 minutes berating me, and at the end I said, "I'm sorry, I don't believe I heard your name." To which she replied, "Actually, I didn't give you my name. I'd rather be anonymous."
There seems to be a theme here. "Anonymous" apparently won't read this since she has boycotted your site. But just in case she comes back, all I can say is Have Some Guts! Don't go grandstanding if your not willing to put your name on the line. We're not afraid to have our name attached to our lives.

Donna said...

Amen. Amen. AMEN!


Shelley Roberts said...

You tell 'em sister! BTW, sounds like you really do need to crack the whip on your lazy little boy! LOL!

Chrissy said...

Hi! I came here from "In a shoe". I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said to your anonymous. Isn't it sad that she feels she must spread her misery? While I don't have a blog myself, I take great encouragement from reading about other moms who are in similar circumstances. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Anonymous said...

garlic and homeopathic teething tabs? PLEASE tell me more!! My baby is 9 months, has colic, and I think it is due to teething. Where did you get those tabs?
My name is Mindy Moore, and I live in Tulsa.

Stephanie said...

Mindy, we use Hyland's Teething Tablets, which instantly dissolve in the mouth. I buy them for a few dollars at our local grocery store, but I've also bought them at WalMart. They are usually in the baby section, or near the drugs/vitamins/pharmacy. I've also seen Earache tabs in the same brand. If you can't find them in your area at those places, try a Health Food store, such as Whole Foods or Sun Harvest, if you have those.

Anonymous said...

I happened across your site from Kim P's blog. I wanted to say, I really enjoy reading all of your entries (and check it daily hoping to hear more heartwarming stories and family fun). I love to hear how you relate our faith in the Lord to your everyday life and to hear your heart of love for your family is so sweet. I have been married just 2 years and we are hoping to have a child soon. Your life that I read about really encourages me - the genuiness, valnerability and reality of life, but the determination to live as Christ desires. Keep pressing on!

~ Christa

Sarah Meche said...

I miss a couple of days and look what happens! Great entries!

Tamber said...

I have often heard people speak against homeschooling because I will be "sheltering" my children from the "real world." I have also been accused of hindering their social development. But when I look at the type of adult this world produces, I think that I would do well to shelter them from such a lifestyle. If I can, maybe I will produce an generous, intelligent, NICE person...imagine that! While I may "vent" about the hardship along the way, I will definitely take the life of a stay-at-home mother over the life of a frazzled mother to a rebellious, "socially savvy" child.

Stephanie said...


Nice to "meet" you! Thanks for your words of encouragement. Are you a real-life friend of Kim P's, or an internet friend?

Mommy Dearest said...

I just linked to you from Life in a Shoe. I am a homeschooling mother of 8. Some people just don't get it, do they? I have had some of the rudest comments from people. My mother passed away 2 years ago and was very unhealthy for years; she was very thin. People would always make comments about what she needed to eat, etc. She always wondered why people would make rude comments to you if they thought you were too skinny, but not if they thought you were too large. It's the same principle: would you make rude comments to someone because they had 1 or no children? Of course not. Everyone's circumstance is different. Blessings to you.

Susan said...

God Bless you and yours...you are truly blessed! Susan