Thursday, February 26, 2009

Repost: Blinders and Bandwagons

I'm re posting this because I came across some wonderful and provocative articles that I will link to at the end of this post. My life lately has been a lot about simplifying...making room for margin and balance in my life. The first step is to clear the "clutter" from my mind to make room for what the Lord and what my husband are telling me to do. I found this post written awhile ago (November 2007) to be a good reminder for myself, as well as the articles linked afterwards.

There's this bookshelf that I've been wanting to get for a few months now. Since I have one tiny bookshelf to hold countless homeschooling supplies, there's an overload on the floor, and it makes for a messy guest room/office/homeschooling supply room. I think it will be perfect.

The problem is, my husband strongly dislikes (I would say "hate", but we are not allowed to use that word in our house!) furniture from IKEA. He wants something of quality, preferably antique, (not costly antique, but with a reasonable price tag.) The older stuff is better quality, and made better, and won't fall apart in a few years or need replacing. I so agree.

But I'm going crazy having a workspace that is junkily organized, where I throw mail and homeschool books on the bed and have to fish through it all in a big clean up day. I need to streamline and simplify, and that bookcase just looks like it will solve all my problems. It's a quick fix.

Honestly, I just need to listen to my husband. For me to spend a good chunk of my time looking at Ikea furniture online, planning my workspace, is just fruitless. Unless he changes his mind, or decides it's the best thing to buy, we won't be getting an Ikea workspace.

Of course this notion applies to so many other things. With so much information out there, wives can be easily swayed into taking ideas as convictions, such as the best way to feed her family, biblical child education, children in church, family devotions, and living simply, among a myriad of things. This is normal, women are relational and care deeply for their families.

What I have to be aware of is that my husband's convictions may not be my convictions. I have to be aware that I am not disagreeing with my husband, and in turn, jumping on bandwagons:

Sometimes women are prone to bandwagons, which seem good in themselves. Some of them even come with proof texts. The problem is that sometimes the good thing violates a larger principle. And sometimes our contrarians are just saving us from ourselves. We need wisdom if our suffering is to be for Jesus’ sake and not for our own stupidity...
~via Amy's

Often, we need to go through life "with blinders on". Limiting information can give us peace of mind, and allow our husbands to lead appropriately. Should I be researching homesteading, if my husband does not want that lifestyle? Of course not. This can be applied to so many ideals, including bookshelves.

Really, we need to cut out the chatter and clutter in our lives in order to truly hear His voice. I know I do. This is the essence of simple living, along with asking "Does this glorify God?" One family's convictions will not look like another family's convictions. Are we following Christian culture, or are we following the Word of God? Before we jump on any bandwagons, we need to be sure we are giving our husband the lead, and we ourselves should be focused on seeking God for our own lives, not living out what others are doing.It's a constant balance, isn't it? And to that end, I'll let you know how the bookshelf thing works out. *smile*


The Marketing of the Titus Two Woman: Part One
Part Two

If you are interested in reading more of these articles, there are up to seven parts in this series on her blog.


Prairie Chick said...

I wanted that same bookshelf so bad but knew it was a huge waste of money and would soon disintegrate with all the weare and tear it would see.

P-Guy built me a custom sized replica, stained to match our woodwork perfectly, in a solid birch plywood that weighs about a ton and fits to perfection for about... oh, sixty dollars and a days labor.

I should take a picture and show it off. And I LOVE what that article had to say about marketing bandwagons. So, so true.

Andrea said...

LOL Prairie Chick--
We ended up getting the bookshelf and it worked out well. Incidentally it is the only piece of IKEA in our home. It works for now. Looking back I am glad I submitted to my husband in this area. Little things add up to big things. I'd love to see a pic of your fab. bookshelf. =)

Aimee said...

Jumping up and down in full agreement!!!!!! Timely wisdom, friend and so unbelievably and totally true. Mike's lack of jumping on bandwagons and ideals and philosophies used to make me afraid...I wanted him to get excited about those things. It has SAVED me to STOP IT and listen to the level-headed, calm, fearless leader that God has made him to be. His path of "blinders on" in many areas has saved me from myself and I can really see that. I asked myself recently "what if Mike had gone along with what I said about xyz"...and I shuddered. We are a much more peaceful and UNIFIED family now that I have said "no" to so many voices.

Aimee said...

I just read Part 3 and it's AMAZING TOO!!!! I feel like she is reading my journal entries. I have been lured away countless times by "Christian marketing" and through God allowing much brokenness, am now really guarded when it comes to any new book or teaching or whatever...better to just enjoy the Word, my husband and children than to give way to fear and read/obsess about parenting/lifestyle choices.

Andrea said...

Amen,Aimee!! You know I'm with you 110%.

Anonymous said...

Who is to say the husband is always right??Maybe you are right most of the time.use your God given brain girl...yfa

MamaBear said...

Came across you via Prairie Chick, and was not disappointed! Thanks for the reminder. I too, find myself sometimes "off on a tangent", and can't (read: refuse to) see the nose despite my face. Yep, I'm the control freak, and have been trying of late to step back and wait on Him and PapaBear to help my with daily decisions. Simplifying is a tough one for me! But I AM a work in progress, thank you Lord!:)

dorothy said...

I enjoyed this post by you when you originally posted it. Thanks for that link. All I can say is wow. So much to think and chew on. There's definitely lots of wisdom there. Good food for discussion.

Rebecca said...

Maybe I shouldn't add this...
But the solid wood pine line of furniture from Ikea - made to replicate antique furniture - is surprisingly sturdy. We have two of the bookshelves, a china closet and tv cabinet from that line. They have all held up really well despite several cross country moves - and not all of which they were handled as carefully as possible.