Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Fell for Marketing Over Truth

I'd been using Agave as my sweetener of choice almost exclusively for nearly a year when Daddy found this article. I'd been putting it in fudge, my tea in the morning, muffins, and almost any recipe that called for sugar. Except my cheesecakes (agave would have ruined the consistency!).


I should have known it sounded too good to be true. I know I need to kick my sweets addiction... I just love making all kinds of "treats." I need to get some Stevia.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Called to be Different

"They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." John 17:16

I'm blessed to have been raised by Christian parents. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 4, and rededicated my life to Him at age 12. I was homeschooled all the way through school. When I graduated, I decided to stay at home and continue to be guided by my parents and train to be a homemaker. That decision has gotten me more strange looks and uncertain comments than being a homeschooler ever did and I even got some flat discouragement: "What?!? You HAVE to go to college!" Strangely enough, some of the most encouraging comments have been from people I would have expected to be the strongest college advocates. 

Now, I'm not against college for all young ladies. What I am against is following the accepted path in society without weighing it with your life purpose and making sure that it's the path YOU are called to follow. When I was considering college, I was planning to go just because it was the obvious next step. Many homeschoolers do go to college, and it seems to be the "justification" of their homeschooled past if they do well. I realized that I would only be attending college because it was expected of me, and because by doing well in college, I could prove that my homeschool education was high quality. 

Those are not good reasons to spend thousands of dollars on an education that I believe I am capable of acquiring much less expensively. Thankfully, degrees are not yet legally required for piano teachers. I am apprenticing with my own piano teacher, and gaining experience through teaching my own students. I don't charge nearly as much as a teacher with a degree would, but then, since I don't have student loans to pay, I think it works out nicely. 

This situation also works out much better than college for me because I am able to spend the majority of my time being a part of my family, and learning whatever I want or need to learn for homemaking. Since I believe homemaking is my "final" calling, it's sensible to spend more of my time preparing for what I hope will occupy the rest of my life, rather than spending a lot of time and money preparing for what will only be a temporary or side job. Should I never get married, I will likely spend the rest of my life in my parents' home, and teaching piano will be able to provide me with an income. I will never charge the expensive rates of a college graduate, but I don't believe that will be necessary to support myself. I trust God to provide for me, and I believe I am following His will for my life in not attending college.

I think that homemaking is the point where I really lose most well-meaning advisers. As a matter of fact, I have mostly given up on explaining my plans. (As you can see, I'm not very good at making it a short story.) We're in a society where women are supposed to be the "equals" of men; "equal" in their definition meaning more "comparable" instead of equal. Of course we are equal to men in value as a human being, but we are meant to have different roles, and our society as a whole continues to ignore that. To them, for a young woman to be just entering adulthood and dreaming of spending her days at home, caring for children, and being a helpmeet to her man instead of wanting to try her wings and be an independent, free person is just incomprehensible.

"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:19

I have finally realized that being a Christian means that I will get opposition from the world all the time. Why should we even want approbation from the world? I tend to be easily pressured by what other people think, and try to justify my decisions to people who don't even matter. The only person who actually matters when it comes my life and decisions is my Lord. He has blessed me with a supportive family, and friends who are similarly minded, but even if I was surrounded by disapproving people on every side, I trust He would give me the strength to follow His will in much more important matters.

"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10