In my travels, I have lived places where I am the majority and other places where I am the minority based on race/ethnicity. It’s been great and I have loved meeting people from all over the world, seeing blended families through the military life as well as the locals in our various locations. I have noticed a few things lately though…..
I have met some interesting individuals….many families who have some out of the ordinary situations in their home….transgender or “gay” children (if that can be determined at 4), lots of homeschooling families with various non-traditional practices, and one family in particular who has taken on the Japanese culture to the 9th degree….they homeschool in Japanese, go to a Japanese church, only watch Japanese television, sleep on Japanese futons for beds, take the Japanese drumming lessons and get this….no one is Japanese nor do they live in Japan.
Unique? Yes, very unique and I’m completely fascinated by all these people. But one thing I have noticed, these people are all white!…meaning Caucasian/European descent, American born, English-speaking people. I have never met a non-white person that has a transgender child, a blog about their 4 year old gay child or one that takes on a completely different language or culture. So it made me dig deeper on all the people I know, have met over the years and whose blogs I follow on various unique situations like these and I’ve noticed all the same….white people!
So I came to a little conclusion just based on my limited observation….is it that non-white people just don’t happen to have these situations or interests, or are they not so open about sharing them or do they not feel the need for this expressed diversity? Hmmm? Is it that white people feel they need a stake in the land of what our culture deems diverse?
1. Do White (Caucasion/European descent) families who are English-speaking, American born and convervative get a bad wrap…they are often deemed narrow-minded, intolerant and prejudice in our culture….just for being who they are.
2. Do you have to have someone with brown skin, speak a foreign language, be gay or have someone gay in your immediate family to be considered open or diverse? Can you be an all Caucasion family, born in the great USA, speak English only, have conservative views and be “diverse”?
3. I look at my children and someone who sees them may not know the story of all that went into making them….the Native American, the Mexican, the French, the Croatian and Ukranian. If they look “white”, would people have a pre-conceived notion on their “diversity” or lack thereof?
Isn’t diversity about how we fit into the big picture and our our part can make it better. Why does our piece have to look like anyone else’s? But isn’t it okay if it does….all white, all black, all any one thing or not.
I once heard an instructor say “I don’t need each student to be diverse, be jack of all trades or a master of all subjects….I need each student to be an expert in their field of study and that’s when the class is great”.
I’d be interested to hear thoughts and perspective!
“…she saw there was something special about him and hid him. She hid him for three months. When she couldn’t hide him any longer she got a little basket-boat made of papyrus, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and placed the child in it. Then she set it afloat in the reeds at the edge of the Nile.” Exodus 2:1-3
I’ve recently heard some messages on the topic of Moses. I know that normally doesn’t scream motherhood, but I heard the speaker interestingly talk about Moses’ mother and her courage to save her son….and how he believed that investment led to a strength within him years later. It’s given me some new perspective.
Recently, I have realized more and more how much I had been struggling with motherhood over the past few years. As much as I love my children and willing to do anything for them, I have daily struggled with all that is required. I always chalked it up to starting later in life so being set in my ways. I even thought that it was because we move so often, are away from family as well as with all of the time apart and deployments. I even thought at times that it was because I was the first person in my family to obtain an academic degree so feel that I should expect “more” out of myself career wise. And one of the “best” reasons I thought was because I was overwhelmingly aware of the responsibility of being a parent….how noble. All logical reasons I guess.
But when I heard the message about Moses’ mother’s sacrifice and desire to go against the culture, I was inspired on what future greatness can become in my decisions even though our American culture does not always value motherhood. I worked for a CEO who felt mothers were causing a decrease in the quality of a driven workforce supporting capitalism and as a result, economic decline in our culture. So I have answered the questions so often from my past business counterparts of “So what are you doing now”, “Are you doing anything with your time yet”, “What are your plans”, etc. They don’t value what I’ve been doing the past 3 ½ years.
My mom is here visiting for the month and it’s been awesome to share how I feel with her in person. She shared many words of wisdom and has helped me connect how everything I’ve accomplished and all that has been invested in me is working to develop and lead the children…..that everything counts and nothing is for naught. My husband has been so complimentary and encouraging as well by his words, his prayers, his support through Skype and his letters. And he is so good about making time with me, the children, reading to them and staying in contact with their school, etc. And he and I both know that parenthood is God’s plan of teaching relationships, sacrifice, grace, mercy and all the other lessons we need in life as well as preparing future generations. Really, what other species is so physical and emotionally dependent as long as humans?
The book study I’m hosting, Lioness Arising has been so fantastic in meeting and growing with other women, many of whom mothers. But their stories, their struggles especially in respect to their teenage and older children has led me to feel that I’ve have just seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to challenges in motherhood so I need to get better my act together sooner rather than later if I’m going to have a strong foundation to withstand what the future may hold and to press forward on what is needed. Even though I know that every person has their bad days and every mother struggles at times, I still knew that none of my “reasons” truly gave place for my feelings.
But it was especially when I heard the speaker discuss how the greatest miracle is being able to “defy oneself in order to do good for another” that really sparked me. Even though I had heard that often, it somehow made more of a difference for me that day. All of my good reasons didn’t seem so valid anymore….it was just plain old selfishness! Wow, that didn’t sound as good as my other reasons! I know I will have tough times, but I am getting a new perspective. So I now have a sign in my room that says, “Whose life am I making better and why?”
So in addition to our communal Daniel’s Fast (21 days of fruits/veggies/grains)reasons for the city, our nation and all respective leadership, I have my personal objectives to grow in this area of my life. So day 6 is going pretty good!
I truly believe in the philosophy that it “takes a village to raise a child” and I am so grateful that I have wonderful friends and family to not see through me, but to see me through! I thank God for my village and for all those around me who are amazing examples and encouraging me to step out of comfort and be better!
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.“ Psalm 126:5 NLT
I love planting metaphors! Maybe it’s my current rural area, maybe my new love of gardening….I’m not sure, but I am really digging it right now (pun intended).
I love that God turns our sorrow into gladness and does it when we least expect it. For instance, I was disappointed that our desired location for our next assignment was not met and on top of only being 1 month into this deployment, it was lemon juice on my paper cut. But then, Aloha, we received word that we are heading to Hawaii! Wow, I was so excited and surprised! But then, the very practical and often cynical side of me kept thinking…..3 years on an island??!! Oh my goodness.
I had flashbacks to Gilligan’s Island and even though I consider myself a “Ginger” who is more like a “Mary Ann”…..and who am I kidding….I’m heading to the age of “Ms. Lovey”, I really have no desire to live that reality.
My husband reminds me that I won’t get “island fever” and there are 7 islands to boot. People around me talk of swimming with sea turtles, cruises, luau parties, etc. It hasn’t yet settled in yet.
But I have said that I never wanted to live north of the Mason-Dixon line and my wishes have been met so far so I should have no complaints, right?