Wasted time

Mark 9:42 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

In other words, it was my obligation as a Christian parent to not be the stumbling block to my children's salvation; and rest assured, I felt that immense responsibility. It's the primary reason that I decided to homeschool my children, a way to protect them from the outside world, the others. Spending time with my kids, tailoring their education to their unique needs, flexibility of schedule- those were secondary perks. In my eyes, homeschooling was the best way to ensure that God was not only a part of our daily lives but that I would also be with my girls in heaven one day. Hence, the cycle of indoctrination began. One might be wondering How did she get there in the first place?

This is a question that has plagued me a bit lately; and while I don't want to waste too much time on regret, a little self-reflection is probably a worthwhile pursuit. The truth is, I lament the precious time I wasted being devoted to what I deem to be a nonexistent god. I feel angry with myself that from approximately the ages of 25 to 40, the years in which my feeble brain was perhaps at maximal functioning, I poured myself into biblical study. Not just poured but rather drowned myself in it. Why? I would have been just as well off to spend 15 years studying flying unicorns! Of course, there are some fruitful teachings in the Bible, but could I not have gained so much more by reading beautiful literature and poetry or challenging my understanding of our natural world with a little Dawkins or Krauss? Back to my question...

I grew up in a very secure home with two parents who loved me infinitely. My dad was the leader and decision maker of our family, and I have no doubt that every decision made was believed to be in the absolute best interest of our family. I trusted my parents in all regards and thus never felt a reason to question their authority or guidance. Therefore, I harbor no bitterness towards my parents for my Christian indoctrination, as it was all that they knew and information to the contrary was not readily at their fingertips as it is now.

So, what's my excuse? I honestly don't have one. Maybe I was complacent, or maybe my adulthood was a natural extension of my youth in which I never exercised my ability or even my right to question things because I trusted others to do it for me. Maybe both. Recreating the Christian bubble of my youth, I  surrounded myself with people who were just like me, raising their kids just like me. Given those circumstances and with no one to challenge me, I had very little reason to doubt my beliefs. Sure, questions occasionally entered my mind. What religion would I be had I been born on a different continent? How can Christians alone have the truth if Muslims, Jewish people, Hindus, etc... also make the same claim? I pushed these thoughts to the back of my mind knowing that God, in his infinite wisdom and sovereignty, had a plan that would be beyond my understanding. Who was I to question the ultimate authority? Obviously these are the most basic of questions, yet if I had just given myself the permission to dwell on these for any amount of time, maybe things would have been different. If I had challenged my beliefs and maybe even challenged authority... but I didn't because I trusted, and I was certain.

I guess that leads me to my point. Christians, if by chance you are reading this, don't be like me! Those nagging questions, those biblical inconsistencies and contradictions that undoubtedly rear their ugly head in the back of your mind, listen to them. Your brain is telling you that there's something wrong because there is something wrong. In all humility and earnestness, I truly don't want you to find yourself in my shoes, looking back and wishing that you had done things differently. More importantly, you don't want your children to come back to you one day and ask Why? Why did you lead me down this path of Christian certainty when the answers to so many questions were just a keystroke away. I trusted you. We have no excuses anymore, and it is our responsibility to encourage our kids to question everything, including us sometimes. Let's lead by example. Open your mind, and let the questions flow!



Should Meditation Be a Part of Our Curriculum?

Before I can answer that question, I should probably offer a little background on my relationship with meditation. Have you ever read the book This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti? I think I was in my late teens when I came across this fictional Christian masterpiece. Upon completion of the book, I vowed never to participate in anything related to the New Age movement, especially meditation.

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Dear Mom and Dad, I'm an Atheist.

If only it could have been that simple...

I'll never forget the day, the specific moment that I realized that everything I believed Christianity to be was a farce. I don't really know why it came down to this one defining moment because my husband had been pointing out so many problems with the Bible, from its history of assemblage and questionable authorship to its downright shameful treatment of, well, just about everybody. And while I was at a point of actually listening and processing these issues, I was still desperately clinging to any shred of faith that remained.

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Church Is Not for the Introvert

Good tidings, my friends! In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I would keep things light this week and joyfully share all of the things that I hated about church even as a devoted Christian. Now, I don't want to be a total humbug, so let me take a moment to convey one of the things I do miss about church, some of the genuinely kind-hearted people I came in contact with over the decades. And on that positive note, I give you the top ten reasons that I feel so blessed to be an atheist.

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2017-2018 Curriculum Choices

Moving Beyond the Page is a secular, literature-based curriculum that offers Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Math. Although you can purchase the unit studies independently, we went all in this year and purchased the full set. My oldest is using the Age 9-11 package, while my youngest is using the Age 8-10 package. It's been a while since I've gone with a boxed curriculum, so I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

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Relaxing With Moving Beyond the Page: A Mid-Year Update

Having nearly reached the halfway point of our school year, I thought I would share our current thoughts on Moving Beyond the Page. In past years, I've always found myself looking at different curricula shortly after the new year, eyes always open for the next best thing that's going to miraculously pull us out of our homeschooling rut. Good news! Things will be different this time, as I'll just need to simply order the next age range for each of my girls. End of post. Well, not really.

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Why You Should Be Giving Less of a F*ck

I fondly remember many years ago riding in the car with my dad one day. As he drove, we listened to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on the radio. It was usually that or Rush Limbaugh. Anyway, as we listened to the conservative call-in program, my dad made a simple comment that still rings true today... "Most of these people already know the answer to their questions. They just need to hear someone else say it."

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An Open Apology

Dear Ladies,

I'm reading a book that you may have heard of, possibly you've already read it. It's called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Suffice to say, the book is excellent, and I'd like to write a future post on it. However, it's forced me to think about something that can often be easily overlooked or avoided altogether- RESPONSIBILITY, one word that has a profound effect on the way we navigate through life.

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